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Keith Richards nearly squashed in Shanghai

Keith unflattened
Today Danwei welcomes a new contributor: Ichabod, a multi-talented old China hand who has to remain anonymous for professional reasons. He went to the recent Rolling Stones concert in Shanghai, and was amazed to find that one of the most spectacular parts of the show went unnoticed by the media:

The world’s first mega-band to perform in China, the Rolling Stones, may have opened the floodgates. With China’s culture market no longer shuttered by censorship, the successful concert at the Shanghai Grand Theater last month by Mick Jagger and company should spur the likes of U2, Madonna and Brittany. Watch for more of the world’s most popular performers to head for the world’s most populous country.

How different the musical future of China might have been if Stones guitarist Keith Richards had been squashed.

The onstage incident, which has not been reported in the traditional media, occurred during the encore. The Stones had cruised through their hit-heavy set, largely ignoring unknown songs from their new album, A Bigger Bang, in favor of popular numbers from the early 1970s. At one point China’s most famous rock and roll dinosaur, Cui Jian, joined the band to sing Wild Horses even though he doesn’t speak English and Mick had to rescue him when he forgot the lyrics. It was a touching moment, sort of like a brontosaurus hauling a triceratops from a tar pit.

The confetti cannons fired, the band bowed, the stage emptied and then came the encore. The tune was You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Keith stepped forward to strike the opening riff, then surrendered the apron to Mick. And then a sack the size of a trash can plummeted from the ceiling and thudded to the stage an arm’s length to the right of Keith’s head.

Keith, who is 62 and less resistant to flattening than he once was, glanced upward, grinned, shrugged his shoulders to guitarist Ron Wood and walked to the other side of the stage. The bass player seemed less mobile and cast his worried eyes to the ceiling, where they stayed. A muscular man in a tight black t-shirt swept out from behind the drum kit to drag the sack, which appeared to be made of burlap, out of view. Then he whipped a flashlight from a special holster and shined it toward the ceiling with one hand while the other gripped a walkie-talkie, into which he shouted with feeling.

I asked a security guard after the show what was up with the sack. He said it had been used to plug a hole in the arena’s ceiling. A week later, Keith climbed a coconut tree in Fiji, fell five meters and had to have his skull surgically cracked open to relieve the pressure on his brain.

There are currently 2 Comments for Keith Richards nearly squashed in Shanghai.

Comments on Keith Richards nearly squashed in Shanghai

Great Post! "Stone gets beaned!" I blogged about it and linked back to you!

>"Keith, who is 62 and less >resistant to flattening than >he once was..."

Heh heh...good line.

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