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Rolling Stones to Play First China Shows
BEIJING (AP) √≥ It’s official: Beijing and Shanghai will get their own taste of the Rolling Stones’ “Forty Licks” tour.
Two Rolling Stones concert dates have been confirmed for Beijing and Shanghai, an organizer said Sunday. The shows, part of the band’s 40th anniversary tour, will be the band’s first in the world’s most populous country.
The British band will perform in Shanghai on April 1 and in Beijing on April 4, said Wang Long, an organizer for the Beijing Time New Century Entertainment Co.
Cui Jian, China’s most famous rocker, will open for the Stones in Beijing. Cui is hugely popular in China but has rarely been allowed to play big shows in the capital because he performed on Tiananmen Square during the 1989 pro-democracy protests.
Cui, 42, said he taught himself to play the guitar in the 1980s by learning Rolling Stones and Beatles songs.
“They are my heroes,” Cui told the Associated Press on Sunday. “It’s a big honor for me.”
When the Rolling Stones first rose to fame in the 1960s, China was on the verge of the radical 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, which reviled Western pop culture as spiritual pollution.
Their music first became available in China only after the start of economic and social reforms in the late 1970s.
In Beijing, the Stones will play the 7,000-seat Workers’ Gymnasium.
A few hundred front-row seats will be available for $750, Wang said. That’s about the same as the average Chinese person’s annual income.