The Beatles In China

Reports from China
Post Reply
User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 14997
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 5:00 am
Contact:

The Beatles In China

Post by admin »

Paul: I have never read about The Beatles' popularity in China.

Are you able to comment on this and compare the popularity of their music in China in the 1960s and today?

I realize you may need to speak to some old timers in conducting your research. :)
Life, as with music, often requires one to let go of the melody and listen to the rhythm

Please join the Official RickResource Forum Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/groups/379271585440277
User avatar
paul_yan
RRF Consultant
Posts: 2119
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2002 2:09 pm
Contact:

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by paul_yan »

I'll be very direct in expressing my thoughts and observatiopns on this subject, Peter, without getting myself in trouble.

The Beatles and all western pop music artists were unknown to 99.99999999% of the Mainland Chinese popularity in the '60s. Please don't ask me why. :wink:

There are some old timers (presently aged 40~50) who "discovered" The Beatles through smuggled western cassettes in the late '80s when the "curtain" opened and know some of their songs.

Today, The Beatles is just one of the old "foreign bands" to most young Chinese people. They might have heard the band name (in Chinese translation) but chances are they don't recognise the name in English form and have never heard the music. Some of the young, elite music lovers are aware of The Beatles and their music as some Beatles CD's and one or two translated Beatles biography books can be found in "elite" music stores. So, in a wicked way, yes, The Beatles are more "popular" today in China than in the '60s.

I was in one of Beijing's bigger shopping arcades a month ago and came into the Lee Cooper jeans store. I was pleasantly surprised to see the new "Beatles Series" t-shirts being featured. However, I didn't see anyone interested in them.

It's sad, but true. I'm sorry.

Fortunately, there is a Chinese Beatles Forum on-line now for people interested in the Beatles to discuss and exchange infos:
http://bbs.beatles.cn/
User avatar
kiramdear
RRF Moderator
Posts: 9045
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:51 am
Contact:

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by kiramdear »

It's hard for me to imagine a world without Beatles :(

The farthest I've been from home is Greece, where most people are aware of them.
All I wanna do is rock!
User avatar
tennis_nick
Intermediate Member
Posts: 1476
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:56 am

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by tennis_nick »

kiramdear wrote:It's hard for me to imagine a world without Beatles :(

The farthest I've been from home is Greece, where most people are aware of them.
It's funny, I was in Lebanon about 2 and half years ago, and an acquaintance of a friend of my father was hanging around with us and she said "You look like you might be George Harrison's son! I'd look into that if I were you!"


They really were known ALL OVER the world!
User avatar
paul_yan
RRF Consultant
Posts: 2119
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2002 2:09 pm
Contact:

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by paul_yan »

kiramdear wrote:It's hard for me to imagine a world without Beatles :(

The farthest I've been from home is Greece, where most people are aware of them.
Indeed, Kira. Being born and raised in Taiwan, I couldn't imagine this myself until I started living and working here 3 years ago.
User avatar
kiramdear
RRF Moderator
Posts: 9045
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:51 am
Contact:

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by kiramdear »

Paul, could you imagine an audience for a Paul McCartney concert project in China, like the Russian album? He just played in Israel for the first time ...
All I wanna do is rock!
User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 14997
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 5:00 am
Contact:

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by admin »

Paul: Thanks for your comments. Your answer to my question is not unexpected. We often make assumptions based on our own culture and may consider that others experience the same events as we do. Clearly this is not the case and the example your provide is illustrative of this.
Life, as with music, often requires one to let go of the melody and listen to the rhythm

Please join the Official RickResource Forum Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/groups/379271585440277
User avatar
paul_yan
RRF Consultant
Posts: 2119
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2002 2:09 pm
Contact:

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by paul_yan »

Kira,
Sure I can and definitely hope to see him play in China. He does indeed have fans here.
During the past 3 years, The Rolling Stones and Roger Waters each gave a concert in Shanghai and each concert attracted no less than 5000 audience. 70% of the audience were westerners though.

Peter,
I could't agree more. The bitter repercussions of the "Cultural Revolution" that took place in the '60s that ruined a lot of things and distorted lots of minds are still strongly felt today.
User avatar
paul_yan
RRF Consultant
Posts: 2119
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2002 2:09 pm
Contact:

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by paul_yan »

Hey, guess what...3 days after my last post, Sir Paul announced he would like to play in China!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... China.html

I hope it will happen and I'll definitely be there!
User avatar
kiramdear
RRF Moderator
Posts: 9045
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:51 am
Contact:

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by kiramdear »

Wow, Paul, how cool if it happens.

Ask and you shall receive, eh? :lol:
All I wanna do is rock!
User avatar
jps
RRF Consultant
Posts: 36734
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2003 6:00 am

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by jps »

He read your post, Paul! :wink:
beijingbeatles
New member
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:15 am

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by beijingbeatles »

Hey guys...

we are trying to make up for lack of Beatles magic in China!

www.thebeijingbeatles.com
rictified
Senior Member
Posts: 8040
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 5:00 am

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by rictified »

beijingbeatles wrote:Hey guys...

we are trying to make up for lack of Beatles magic in China!

http://www.thebeijingbeatles.com
I hate to show my ignorance of China, but are you guys playing near Bejing? Do you feel you are making any kind of dent in China?

Have you seen them Paul?
User avatar
paul_yan
RRF Consultant
Posts: 2119
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2002 2:09 pm
Contact:

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by paul_yan »

Sorry for being late, Bob. Been very busy with studio work and life in general for the past few months. :D :) :( :? :P :roll: :wink: :| :mrgreen:

No, I haven't seen The Beijing Beatles and haven't heard any of my musician or music loving friends mention about them either. With all due respect, IMHO, they haven't makde a splash among the Chinese Beatles-loving audience yet but maybe they're more renowned among foreigners in China. Well, I'm all for them if they can come to establish a fan base in the Chinese population. Better than nothing, right?
Rick
New member
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:46 pm

Re: The Beatles In China

Post by Rick »

I have seen the Beatles in Beijing group - definitely not bad. But Paul is correct, its appeal is largely to the foreigners (at this point).

While I was a professor, I started a music club at the university. The students I came across all knew several Beatles songs from their endless times at KTVs (karaoke), but they had no idea who the Beatles were. They knew the words to songs like Hey Jude, Yellow Submarine, Let it Be, and Yesterday, but had no idea who the band was. I even had a Beatles poster in my office (complete with "The Beatles" at the top) and perhaps 1% of the students recognized them. I'd explain "this is the band that did Hey Jude" and most students would respond with "oh ... they have funny hair." :lol:

What Paul says about foreign stars is VERY true. Whom we consider super stars are relatively unknown here, especially those from the 60s and 70s. The Eagles recently played in Beijing, and the audience was primarily foreign. I found that a bit surprising, given that Hotel California is the #1 English-language karaoke song in China (John Denver's "Country Roads" is #2). Of course, the fact that each ticket was the equivalent of the average Chinese person's monthly salary probably had an impact.

Avril Lavigne, however, is very well-known and amazingly popular. Ever try to play Sk8tr Boy on a 360/12? It ain't easy!
Post Reply

Return to “Chinese Chapter: by Paul Yan”