China: The Rolling Stones accepts censorship



The Rolling Stones accepts censorship

Veteran American rock star group The Rolling Stones will most likely follow the beat of China’s censors when they perform in China in April 2006

The Rolling Stones plan to make its debut in mainland China in an 8,000-seat stadium in Shanghai on April 8, 2006, as part of its “A Bigger Bang” tour, said their promoters, Emma Entertainment, on its web site.

The band was set to give concerts in Shanghai and Beijing in spring 2003, but those shows were canceled because of the outbreak of the SARS epidemic.

Even before their April 2003 concerts were scuttled, the Stones had run afoul of China’s culture commissars, reports Associated Press and Reuters. The Chinese Ministry of Culture told the band in 2003 it could not perform four songs: “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” “Brown Sugar,” “Honky Tonk Women” and “Beast of Burden.” No reasons were given, but the songs are among the most sexually explicit of the band’s hits.

“This time, they also probably will not play those songs,” an Emma Entertainment spokesperson surnamed Gu told Reuters.


VNU eMdiea – 1 March 2006:
‘Stones to satisfy Chinese fans, censors’

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Rolling Stones performed as scheduled in Shanghai’s 8,000-seat indoor stadium on 8 April 2006. A reporter from AP confirmed that the songs ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Honky Tonk Women’, ‘Beast of Burden’, ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’ and ‘Rough Justice’ were not played. Apparently, Chinese censors instructed the Rolling Stones not to perform these songs because of their suggestive lyrics. It has not been possible to get a comment from the Rolling Stones themselves.

Chinese rock pioneer Cui Jian joined lead singer Mick Jagger for the ballad ‘Wild Horses’. Cui was temporarily banned after performing on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square during the student protests in 1989. Talking to reporters before the show, Cui hailed the concert as a “milestone” for him and all rock music fans in China. A fan noted that the Rolling Stones were among the first acts whose music was smuggled in. 


AP / The London Free Press – 9 April 2006:
‘Stones make censored China debut’

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