The Rolling Stones in China
Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Pudong, Shanghai, China (Getty Images)
For over 30 years the Rolling Stones had tried to play in China, and at last they made it. On 8 April 2006 they gave a concert in Shanghai, the largest city in China, but it was not as lively as most Stones shows.
The four men – who are now quite old – sang and played to about 8,000 people, most of them foreigners and rich Chinese. The cheapest seats cost $40 and the most expensive $400 (the official price) or $600 (the price on the black market). Most Chinese earn a lot less than $400 in a month.
The concert, which lasted under two hours, was very tame and the audience very quiet. China is not famous for freedom of expression, and even rock music is censored, so the Stones were not allowed to play "Honky Tonk Woman", "Brown Sugar", "Beast of Burden" “Rough Justice” or "Let's Spend of the Night Together”. The reactions to the show were mixed: some people liked it, but others said that the Stones are out of date.
Rock music came to China later than it came to Europe, but it is now an important part of the cultural scene and has millions of followers.
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