August 25, 2008

The Olympic commentator last night who was pointing to the fact that the Led Zepplin song was 40 years old and irrelevant displayed his complete lack of understanding rock and roll in China. Before the opening up of China in the late 80s, rock wasn't really a part of the culture. In the mid-90s rock albums began flooding in in the shape of cheap pirate CDs. This meant that bands like MC5 and Joy Division were introduced at the same time as Led Zepplin and Nirvana, making for an atemporal soup of rock culture. Good examples of this are the plethora of pirated Best of the Beatles CDs that include non-hits like Dr. Robert or And Your Bird Can Sing but don't include Help or Strawberry Fields. Older washed-up bands like Guns n Roses or the Cure are somehow still equally relevant as more current bands like the White Stripes.

What the commentor should have remarked is that it was a shame that China's own Cui Jian or Gao Feng wasn't up there on the bus playing with Jimmy Page.


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