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Cui Jian, Deep Purple Rock Beijing

Perhaps the biggest foreign act to visit China this year. Deep Purple opened in Beijing on Wednesday to a sell out crowd at the Workers Studium. Veteran Chinese rocker Cui Jian was the support act. And as reporter Yang Ran found out, these ageing heavyweights still know how to wield an axe.

For local fans, the visit was long overdue. Deep Purple has a solid following in China, and they had plenty on offer, including several songs from their new album "Bananas."

Even without legendary frontman, Richie Blackmore, Deep Purple still has a mystique that few bands can match. Lending support, was China's own rock legend, Cui Jian.

The godfather of Chinese rock and roll gave fans the songs they've come to love. From his signature tune "Nothing to my name" to new material, the maestro of China's music scene was perhaps the only local big enough to open for the British band.

Every part the superstar and gentleman, even Cui Jian admitted it was a fantastic night, finally getting to see one of the world's great live acts.

For fans, it was the end of a long drought. But they hope Deep Purple and Cui Jian are just the beginning. A new kind of West meets East. And, if the energy on Wednesday was anything to go by, we'll be seeing a lot more of this in the future.

(CCTV.com April 3, 2004)

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