So long, Street Fighting Man

The Rolling Stones – fresh off an incredibly arthritic performance at the Super Bowl – have decided have decided they’re not too old to learn a new dance, in this case it’s the craze that’s sweeping the corporate world: the Chinese Censorship Shuffle. Yes, the World’s Oldest Living Rock And Roll Band who — legend has it — once peed not on a parking lot but on its attendant, have decided not to perform “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” “Brown Sugar,” “Honky Tonk Women” and “Beast of Burden” when they play in China next month. The no-play list is the result of a request by The Chinese Ministry of Culture. If Beijing is so hung up about sex, as this list would indicate, why those songs? What about the ironic Microsoft anthem “Start Me Up”? Or “Satisfaction”? Most inscrutable. Personally, I would like to request that Mick stop trying to do the strutting rooster move ever again. I’m just afraid he’ll injure himself.

Speaking of old geezers in the Middle Kingdom … no less a personage than James Brown appears to have struck some marketing gold there. A recent performance in Shanghai by the Godfather of soul so moved Zhang Zhenglun, a textiles factory director from wealthy eastern Jiangsu province, that he immediately offered to put out a signature range of JB bed linens.

Zhang is a business partner of Brown’s manager but had never before encountered Brown’s music. Like every other human’s first encounter with a JB performance he was blown away and the day after the concert was already impersonating Brown’s signature “bicycle dance.” (Suggestion: Only in front of the mirror, dude.)

“I’ve seen many concerts in China but this was the first time I’ve seen such an explosive act,” Zhang told Reuters. “The audience was standing and dancing around, which you just don’t see in China.”

The new linens have “Mr. Please Please” sewn in gold letters across a red bedspread, while designs are being considered for pillow cases with the letters “JB” embroidered in the centre, and the shape of a dancing boot outlined at the foot of each letter. What? No cape? A real fan would have included a cape.”I can tell you right now that he loves it,” said “SuperFrank” Copsidas, James Brown’s manager since 2002. Mr. Copsidas clearly felt that it would be obvious to add, “as long as the check clears.”

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