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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 12:49 GMT
Stones give up on China concerts
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger on stage
The Rolling Stones have been trying to play in China for decades
The Rolling Stones have abandoned attempts to perform in China because it was "far more complicated and difficult than expected" to arrange.

The group were due to play in Beijing and Shanghai in April - but the gigs were postponed, along with two Hong Kong shows, because of the Sars crisis.

They tried to reschedule them for next month, but have given up on that plan.

The Hong Kong gigs have been rearranged and will take place as part of a Sars benefit festival on 7 and 9 November.

The band have been on the road for more than a year as part of their Forty Licks world tour to mark their 40th anniversary.

A statement said they looked forward to playing concerts in Beijing and Shanghai "in the future".

Spiritual pollution

The Stones have been unsuccessfully applying for permission to play in China since the 1970s.

When the Rolling Stones rose to fame in the 1960s, China was on the verge of the radical Cultural Revolution, which reviled Western pop culture as spiritual pollution.

The band's music only became available in China after economic and social reforms began in the late 1970s.

When the April dates were being planned, a tour organiser said the government ordered the band to drop four of their best-known songs from their set.

The band were told they could not play Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Woman, Beast of Burden and Let's Spend the Night Together.

Stones HK Sars show row resolved
13 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
'New dates' for Stones in China
04 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Bug halts Stones' China shows
28 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
China 'orders Stones songs ban'
12 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Rolling Stones to play China
02 Mar 03  |  Entertainment


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