Source: The Nation.
The Egypt jaunt was impromptu. While on tour in Europe, Sun Ra had found some cheap plane tickets to Cairo and set up a few extra gigs in Denmark to pay for them. He landed in Cairo on Dec. 7, 1971, with his 21 bandmates—a fleet of singers, instrumentalists, and dancers called the Astro-Intergalactic-Infinity Arkestra. Despite his cultlike following in America’s underground jazz scene, Sun Ra was virtually unknown in the African nation. That is, until he left his room at the Mena, a boutique hotel near the Giza pyramids where he and the band stayed.