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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 07:43 GMT
China 'orders Stones songs ban'
Rolling Stones
The Stones are on a world tour
The Chinese Government has ordered the Rolling Stones to drop four of their best-known songs from their concerts in the country next month, according to a tour organiser.

The band were told they cannot play Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Woman, Beast of Burden and Let's Spend the Night Together, said Chen Jixin, head of Beijing Time New Century Entertainment.

The Stones are due to play two concerts in the country, in Shanghai on 1 April and in Beijing on 4 April.

Chen said she did not know why the government had banned the four songs.

The same four were cut from the Chinese release of the band's last compilation album, 40 Licks, by the China culture ministry.

The album was the first Stones record to be released officially in the country, although pirated copies of the band's albums are widely available in Shanghai and Beijing.


The Chinese Ministry of Culture said no one was immediately available for comment.

It is not the first time the Stones have had problems with censors.

In 1967, the Rolling Stones appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in the United States to sing Let's Spend The Night Together.

To satisfy censors, Mick Jagger sang "Let's spend some time together".

When asked about the Beijing and Shanghai performance dates in Tokyo last week guitarist Keith Richards said: "It's about time they let us in."

The band first applied to perform in China in the 1970s and were refused permission.

In Beijing, the band will play the 7,000-seater Workers Gymnasium.

A few hundred front-row seats will be available for 6,000 yuan (475) with the rest priced at between 500 yuan (41) and 3,000 yuan (238).

The top ticket price is about the same as the average Chinese person's annual income.

The European leg of the Licks tour starts in Munich, Germany on 4 June, with the last confirmed European date in Glasgow in September.

Kaiser Guo, Chinese rock star
"There's a mistaken belief that people actually understand the lyrics..."

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