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Rolling Stones plan first China concert

Government asked band not to play some songs, including ‘Brown Sugar’
/ Source: The Associated Press

The Rolling Stones will play their first concert in China in April, Chinese promoters said Tuesday, three years after canceling a pair of shows on the mainland because of the SARS outbreak.

The band will play Shanghai’s Grand Stage, an 8,000-seat converted indoor stadium, on April 8, according to an announcement from Emma Entertainment.

“The Rolling Stones first-ever concert in China, do not miss it,” the Beijing-based company said on its Web site.

Ticket prices range from $38 to $375, the site said.

The Stones were slated to play Shanghai and Beijing in 2003, but the shows were canceled amid the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Before those dates, the Chinese government ordered the band not to perform four songs — “Brown Sugar,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Beast of Burden” and “Let’s Spend the Night Together” — presumably because of their racy content.

Emma staff in Beijing said they had no information about whether that demand was being repeated.

The upcoming concert could not immediately be confirmed with the band’s management and was not listed on its Web site among the stops on the current “A Bigger Bang” tour, which so far has raked in more than $3 million in ticket sales.

The band is scheduled to play in Nagoya, Japan, on April 4 and Sydney, Australia, on April 11, according to the Rolling Stones’ official Web site.

Shanghai, which is China’s wealthiest and most cosmopolitan city, has attracted a number of international performers, from Elton John to Mariah Carey to Deep Purple.

The Rolling Stones are among the better-known Western rock bands in China, with pirated versions of their greatest hits collection “Forty Licks” widely available in shops and on the streets.