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Stones planning to roll into China for concerts

The Rolling Stones are going to China to celebrate their 40th anniversary, but most Chinese don't know Mick, concert organizers said Thursday.

Until this year, not a single disc by the Stones and their lead singer, Mick Jagger, had ever been officially released in the world's most populous nation, said Dai Renzhi, a spokeswoman for EMI Records China. The company released "40 Licks," the Stones' compilation album, in China earlier this year.

Dai spoke at a news conference in Beijing to publicize the band's plan to play its first-ever China shows in April, with one performance in Shanghai and one in Beijing.

Sales of the CD so far have been "good," Dai said, giving no sales figures.

"In the West, their shows sell out in hours or a few days," said Chen Jixin, president of concert organizer Beijing Time New Century Entertainment Co. "But very few people here can name the band members or their best songs."

The British rock band's management was "puzzled" when organizers told them they needed time to educate Chinese music fans about the Stones and time to promote their tour dates, Chen said.

Still, other Stones music is widely available in China. Illegal editions of their compilation album, "Hot Rocks 1964-1971," for example, sell for 10 yuan ($1.20) in several stores across the Chinese capital.