I’ve been to China a number of times and each time I go, I try to gauge what’s happening with the rock scene. I can tell you this: it’s come a long, long way since that first-ever tour by a Western act. And in case you were wondering, that was George Michael and Wham in 1985.
Today, though, every genre seems to be flourishing, especially in Beijing. There’s a club in the northwest of the city called D-22 which seems to be ground zero for a lot of what’s happening. If you’re interested in the evolution of Chinese rock—and seriously, it’s a fascinating story—there’s a book called Red Rock: The Long, Strange March of Chinese Rock & Roll by Jonathan Campbell. He’s lived in Beijing since 2000 and he’s got some great stuff to tell. It’s available now through Earnshaw Books.