ROCK & ART IN CHINA: From YuanMingYuan to Songzhuang

Du Gu

Fazi and his friends at Yuan Ming Yuan were the real deal when it came to rock in Beijing in the 80’s and 90’s.

While it may be a bit underproduced (and more folk and less rock in some of these versions), it was unique in that Fazi chose powerful Western-based rock and roll instruments (electric guitars, Fender P-basses, trap kits, Rhodes Piano, and Melltron strings) to compliment his guitar arrangements.

A lovely blonde Fender P bass
A lovely blonde Fender P bass – Jam at a local bar, Beijing 1995.

The tracks I post here are often mostly guitar arrangements but we played the songs in a more rock arrangement (as can be heard on the second part of the track Who Daddy, for example).

Meanwhile, it is absolutely amazing to me that in the past 20 years while Yuan Ming Yuan as an art colony was morphing into Songzhuang and becoming over-run with foreign art dealers spending hundreds of thousands to millions on art, another kind of Chinese artist was being completely overlooked.   

Apparently, YuanMingYuan is now legendary in the annals of Chinese art.  Perhaps even more so since it is now gone.  The history books show that Yuan Ming Yuan as a colony for painters peaked in the mid-1990’s just when I arrived, but musicians are rarely even mentioned in that description of the times as existing there.

 If even the Chinese history of the place doesn’t make mention of the rock and rollers there (as far as I could search on BaiDu, I couldn’t find much), it’s impossible to think that anyone in the West would have heard of Fazi.

Next Post: “Yuan Ming Yuan Garden of Perfect Brightness>> “

(NOTE: this chapter, part of the soon to be published non-fiction book by Kevin J. Salveson,  is unavailable on the web at this time.  The printed first edition (Extab Media 2015)  features many chapters and photos not available on any digital platform.   Check out “Middle Finger Kingdom” by Kevin J Salveson available on the Extablisment website and store:  as well as soon at other fine book retailers such as

Also, look for the Fa Zi story / Rock and Roll in China Film Script called Bend Your Ear which is being developed by KJS right now and is  excerpted on the site  Or, if you are a producer who has the chops, purchase the right to finance it or co-produce it at the Extab Store for a mere $80,000.

Next Available Post>>>  

Rock and Roll in China: China’s Development

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Fazi (the Chinese Fat Elvis) + Rock and Roll + 1 American Expat = entertaining music