Cui Jian, known as the godfather of Chinese rock, has turned down playing in the China Central Television’s gala show after organizers told him that he couldn’t perform his song Nothing to My Name, the unofficial anthem of Tiananmen Square protesters.
The Associated Press reports:
Cui Jian had proposed to sing his 1986 song Nothing to My Name at China Central Television’s gala show on 30 January, but the event’s censors told him he would have to choose another song, his manager, You You, said late on Friday.
Nothing to My Name became the unofficial anthem for demonstrating students during the deadly 1989 Tiananmen protests.
Cui decided to quit the show because he did not want to sing another song, You You said.”It is not only our regret, but also the gala’s,” the manager said. “Cui Jian has his fans all over the world, so his stage is far beyond the CCTV’s gala.”
During the 1989 pro-democracy protests, Cui performed at Tiananmen Square for students on a hunger strike, days before the government sent in tanks and troops to crack down on the demonstrations. Later, communist authorities refused Cui permission for concerts and censored his lyrics. In 2005, he was able to headline at a Beijing stadium. In 2006, he performed with the Rolling Stones in Shanghai, singing Wild Horses with Mick Jagger.
Rock was was first introduced to China by Cui Jian in 1986. He harmoniously merged the strong beat of Western music into the local folk music in North Shanxi Province on the Huangtu Plateau. His Penniless, which was once sung all over China, is considered the first rock song in China.
By Isabel Quan