Paulito - behind the scenes
Well sort of. This video is from the Italian tour of last year. One morning I got up at the Hotel Palacavicchi on the outskirts of Rome and found a very strange vibe among Paulito's crew (he himself was nowhere to be seen, which wasn't unusual). Finally, as we prepared to board the bus to go to soundcheck, his corista Chiri told my companion and I that "Pututi se fue". Over night, their timabalero extraordinaire, Pututi - one in a long line of Pututis and extraordinary timbaleros - had nicked off, without a word. Turns out MTC had heard him on the phone a couple of nights earlier in Turin, having a very emotional phone call with someone; and the next day he had gone - presumably to begin the process of joining his family members in the States.
This left Paulito and his group two gigs to play sans drummer - they had already left their regular baterista at home for the tour (presumably to save costs); so Pututi's absence left a serious gap. Enter NG la Banda's El Tosco, who hooked them up with a Cuban drummer who now lives in Roma. (I didn't catch his name.) During the day, bajista Cristo had gone AWOL, so I'm guessing he spent the day training him; then the soundcheck for that night became a quasi rehearsal.
This clip is interesting for its dynamics - the song itself is one of Paulito's straighter salsa tracks - ie, with few tricky bloques to trip up the newcomer. Even so, he obviously had his work cut out for him. You can see Cristo (in a black shirt) on bass and Yannel, on congas, trying to direct him while they play. Meanwhile, over in the right-hand corner, right at the back, is Paulo, trying to conduct everyone - and seemingly getting a tad frustrated.