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Musical moments that should never end

By Xu Haoyu | China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-12 09:22
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Rock band Mr Sea Turtle. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Yang says the artists also taught him how to think about life. For example, one of the participants of the show, Mr Sea Turtle, a band established in 2004, preaches that rock music really is about propagating "common sense and courage to act with common sense".

"These kinds of suggestions are enormously valuable but not commonly put into practice when people make decisions.

"I think The Big Band made such a profound impression on me because it not only revealed my blind spots, but also helped me identify values that I, the music, and the artists share."

Xu describes the mid 1980s to the '90s, when Chinese rock music was born, as "an immaculate period".

"People were learning and absorbing from the outside world with an open mind and a positive sprit, feeling confident and critical."

Xu thinks a sense of helplessness often heard in rock music comes from criticizing reality soberly and always striving after better things.

In the 21st century Xu bought his first car, a black Santana, and his daughter went to primary school. Magnetic tape was slowly replaced by CD and the Walkman after the appearance of computer technology and the internet.

Almost every weekend, as he drives to a picnic in the tea field of Longjing village in Hangzhou, he plays cheerful non-Chinese songs such as Hotel California and Lemon Tree that he has downloaded from the internet and burnt onto a CD. He recalls his daughter humming along in the back seat sitting alongside his wife.

He also recalls that in December 1992 he carried a heavy recording machine to a concert by Cui in Hangzhou that lasted three days. He enjoyed and recorded every single second of, utterly satisfied - and at the same time wishing that this moment would never end.

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