6 Classic Rock Bands That Were Banned In Asian Countries

6 Classic Rock Bands That Were Banned In Asian Countries | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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When touring foreign territories, adherence to local customs and laws is paramount, akin to being a respectful guest in someone’s home. However, even some of the most iconic rock bands have faced their share of hurdles abroad. This article explores instances when renowned acts faced bans from performing in various Asian countries, showcasing that fame does not exempt one from international restrictions.

Led Zeppelin in Singapore

Led Zeppelin’s encounter with Singapore’s cultural policies in the 1960s highlights the clash between rock culture and local customs. Singapore, aiming to suppress hippie influences, imposed a ban on men sporting long hair. This regulation directly impacted Led Zeppelin, known for their flowing locks, resulting in their denial of entry in 1972. Despite arriving prepared to perform, they were turned away at the airport, demonstrating the unexpected obstacles bands can face.

The Rolling Stones in Japan

The Rolling Stones’ history with drug use significantly affected their ability to tour in Japan. Mick Jagger’s drug convictions in 1967 and 1970 led to a ban that prevented the band from entering the country at the peak of their career. It wasn’t until 1990 that they were able to perform in Japan, marking their return with ten sold-out shows at the Tokyo Dome and generating $30 million in just two weeks.

The Beatles in the Philippines

The Beatles experienced a unique form of banishment from the Philippines after an inadvertent snub towards the country’s First Lady. This mishap triggered a local outcry, forcing the band to reimburse their concert fees and ensuring they were never invited back. Despite having performed for 80,000 fans in Manila, their failure to fully engage with the First Lady led to their exclusion.

Bob Dylan in China

Bob Dylan’s plans to perform in Shanghai and Beijing in 2010 were thwarted when Chinese authorities expressed concerns over his anti-authoritarian lyrics. Initially baffled by the government’s delay in recognizing his controversial themes, Dylan was eventually allowed to play in 2011, under the condition that his setlist received prior approval.

Bon Jovi in China

Bon Jovi faced cancellation of their China shows in 2015, attributed to the band’s previous use of a Dalai Lama image during a performance. Given the Dalai Lama’s significance as Tibet’s spiritual leader – a region under Chinese occupation – this led to a swift reaction from officials, though the exact reasons were never publicly confirmed.

Oasis in China

Oasis encountered the politicization of music firsthand when their license to perform in Shanghai and Beijing was revoked in 2009. This decision was linked to Noel Gallagher’s participation in a Free Tibet concert in 1997 alongside acts like U2 and Coldplay. Despite official claims attributing the cancellation to economic reasons, the band’s ties to the Free Tibet movement resulted in their continued ban from mainland China, though they were able to perform in Hong Kong.