The Rolling Stones arrived in Shanghai yesterday and the media noticed. We read a couple of these stories before we got bored.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports on how a “mix of censorship, daunting bureaucracy and an immature commercial market” make Mainland China a “wasteland” (read, Michael Bolton, Elton John, Backstreet Boys, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, etc.) when it comes to an international music scene. The story says 65 to 70 percent of the Rolling Stones crowd Saturday will be expats, “the fans most willing in China to spend up to $375 to see the rock band.”
The Independent writes about the possibility of censorship at the show and manages to call China’s censors “beady eyed.” They say it is uncertain whether the Stones will be allowed to play the songs that were prohibited for their canceled-due-to-SARS show of 2003: “Brown Sugar,” “Honky-Tonk Women,” “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Beast of Burden.” The Chronicle reports, however, that despite the largely foreign audience expected, those songs are indeed banned by the Ministry of Culture — which we assume was on vacation during Ice-T’s visit here.
USA Today actually took the time to see what local musicians thought about the Stones show. Li Pang, lead singer for Shanghai band Crystal Butterfly commented on the 8,000-seat venue: “Chinese care more about money than music,” he says. “If Bill Gates came here, he’d fill a much bigger stadium.” Yu Tian, of The Honeys, added, “The music market is chaotic, full of counterfeit CDs. Very few people need this kind of music.” The story also says that legendary Chinese rocker Cui Jian is expected to join the Stones on stage on Saturday. That’s kind of cool.
Also on Shanghaiist:
Are the Rolling Stones headed to Shanghai?
Rolling Stones … Shanghai … April 8
Do the Rolling Stones know they are playing Shanghai?
Extra! Extra! Train tickets, Rolling Stones tickets and crowded graves
The Rolling Stones talk about Shanghai (briefly)
Image from Yahoo! News.