Category Archives : SinoBeat

Video: How George Michael’s Wham! became the first western pop band to play in communist China

George Michael’s Wham! made history in 1985, after they became the first western pop band to perform in communist China.

It took their manager Simon Napier-Bell 18 months to carefully negotiate the gig with the Chinese authorities.

george michael

Photo: Legacy Recordings.

Wham! were chosen over Freddie Mercury’s Queen, for their wholesome image.

It was during a time when Beijing was keen to welcome foreign investment and open up to the world.

On April 7, a crowd of 12,000 packed the People’s Gymnasium in Beijing, paying the equivalent of HK$13.5 for a ticket. But the atmosphere was subdued as few in the audience had ever seen a live rock show.

Xi and Peng to receive royal treatment in UK, but choose to bring their own water

Chinese President Xi Jinping and first lady Peng Liyuan will visit the United Kingdom next week in a state visit accompanied by plenty of pomp and circumstance.

A state banquet will be hosted by the Queen in the palace ballroom to welcome the Chinese delegation. A horseshoe-shaped table will be extravagantly decked out with more than 100 candles in silver-gilt candelabra, along with some wholesome fruit and floral arrangements, which will be inspected personally by the Queen ahead of the dinner, reports China Daily.

However, the menu of the state banquet, which is usually approved by the Queen in advance and catered to by more than 20 chefs, is proving to be slightly problematic.