Friday, April 07, 2006

Remember When Rock was Subversive?

Not anymore. Mick Jagger is reportedly unconcerned with Chinese censorship of an upcoming Stones concert, saying: “We kind of expected that. We didn't expect to come to China and not be censored.”

American fans probably wish our government would censor performances of any Stones tunes recorded after 1981’s Tattoo You. Not for reasons of morality or ideology, but for consumer protection. After all, who wants to hear a cut from their new album at a Stones concert?

Unfortunately Chinese fans won’t be hearing “Brown Sugar,” “Honky Tonk Woman” or “Beast of Burden.” Fine, that’s the Stones’ decision. Of course, the next time they perform the anti-Bush administration song/screed “Sweet Neo-Con” we should remember their willingness to let the Chinese Communists take a red pencil to their set list, and judge their ethical authority accordingly.

I do hope the Chinese get a chance to hear Stones sideman and jazz musician Tim Ries. A talented reedman, Ries has been performing jazz versions of Stones tunes in clubs, on his off nights, before Stones concerts. I heard him at Denver’s Dazzle the night before the Stones Thanksgiving concert, and really enjoyed his show.