Beatlemania

British links to Mexico are, not surprisingly, few and far between. We half heartedly (and temporarily) invaded once with the French and Spanish in a row over cash, but quickly withdrew with the Spaniards as soon as the real French intentions – occupation – were uncovered. We did threaten to invade Mexico later in response to problems in Belize, but nothing came of it. British oil interests were nationalised in the early part of the 20th century, which provoked a spat. Cornish miners then gave Mexico the sport of football, and the pasty whilst working in Pachuca, to the north of Mexico City. That’s about it.

Except for the music. Depeche Mode and other bands which are only moderately successful in the UK are huge here. Bigger bands such as the Stones and Duran Duran are also huge. But none more so than the Beatles. Beatlemania is a constant fixture. A tribute band in the city, imaginatively called ‘Help!’, won an international contest a few years ago and were declared the best Beatles Tribute band in the world. Which must have been nice for them. I did go and see them in 2005 or 2006, and can confirm they were really very good and worth going to see.

But if you can’t make it to one of their gigs, fear not, because over at Universal’s radio station, there are two daily Beatles shows, an hour long each. This year they have declared to be the 45th anniversary of Beatlemania in Mexico. You can even apply for a special card and win prizes! The card is free and so, being a fan of all things free, I have duly applied for it. I have to go collect it tomorrow.  Long live John Lennon George Harrison Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr!

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  • Mexicans have great taste in foreign music. I’m always impressed when I’m down there that they are still playing great American and British hits of the last 30 years or so. Those hits still seem to be very popular south of the border.

    Rock on Mexico!!!

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where, weather permitting, we have some great bands who play outdoors.

    • Costa Rica has been the most Brit po barmy of the latin nations I’ve visitied so far, but Mexico is a close second. Jazz is quite popular here too, and not just in Starbucks. Ever been to the Euro Jazz festival they have at CNA near Taxquena?

  • You missed one of the better — or at least most amusing — British invasions. Back in 2004 a never-explained undercover British military mission got themselves trapped in a cave in Puebla state. When the Mexican cave rescue folks showed up, they were threatened by people claiming to be a BBC camera crew and British rescue team. The whole lot of them … who all turned out to be British military personnel… were detained. HM’s Ambassador denied all knowledge of the operation (and looked like she was lying on television), and was very nearly declared persona non grata and expelled (as were the soldiers). Best guess is it was a spy training exercise gone wrong, but it was a lot of fun for the Mexican media, which started using James Bond movie theme music in their newscasts about the incident.

    I had a fun with it myself: http://mexfiles.net/2004/04/02/we-dont-expect-you-to-talk-mr-bond-but-why-were-british-spies-in-mexico/

    Cheero, old chap!

    • I remember the incident! Most bizarre….and well done for dragging that up out of the memory bank. Good post too on your blog, I enjoyed reading it. Although I should add not all of us Brits are terribly into spanking…. 🙂

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