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In Pictures: China's rise of rock 'n' roll

Residence A is one of hundreds of bands that have sprung up over the past decade at a speed equal to China's economy.
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2012 12:40

Beijing, China - Gou, 27, is the rhythm guitarist and frontman of Residence A, a four-piece band made up of Chinese youths who have been gigging and gaining recognition in China's capital for the past few years.

He hardly speaks a word of English and never went to college, yet his raucous music and earnest, feverish performances prove he has a PhD in rock and roll.

Enthralled with English rock band Pink Floyd's 1973 album "The Dark Side of the Moon", a teenaged Gou left his hometown of Baoding, Hebei province - the origin of Chinese stress balls - and moved to Beijing with the sole purpose of becoming a rockstar.

At 18, he lost part of his index finger on his left hand in a worksite accident in a paper factory. Already a skilled guitar player, the accident nearly drove him to suicide.

Incredibly, he retaught himself guitar in reverse - using his right hand to form chords and his left hand to strum. He also taught Xiao Bing, Residence A's lead guitarist, how to play guitar.

Residence A, named after a modest lodging in the neighbourhood that Gou and Bing once dreamed of having the means to live in, is one of the hundreds of bands that have sprung up in Beijing, and across the country, over the past decade at a speed equal to China's economic development.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
Zhang Bing plays guitar at MAO Livehouse in the Drum and Bell Tower (Gulou) area in Xicheng district, Beijing.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
Residence A's set list is taped to the microphone inside their practice room.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
Zhang Bing, left, and Chen Shao of Residence A, eat takeout in their Tongzhou district apartment in eastern Beijing with their dog, Jianjian.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
These rooms have been converted into music practice rooms for local bands, next to this building is a hospital.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
Gou Zhaozhao, centre, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Residence A, teaches guitar lessons at this music store.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
This award from a local English magazine is proudly displayed in the music store where Gou Zhaozhao teaches guitar as a part-time job.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
Zhang Bing and his girlfriend, Yumiao, drive in her car from Tongzhou district to central Beijing for their performance. 


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
Meanwhile, Gou Zhaozhao, left, and Chen Shao  ride the subway. Cheng Bo, the drummer, is a local Beijinger and lives in the city.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
Chinese youths stand in front of the MAO Live-house music venue in the Drum and Bell Tower area of Xicheng.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
Gou Zhaozhao tunes his guitar during a sound check at MAO Live-house. The index finger on his left hand was partially severed in an accident at a paper factory.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
The band plays a song during their sound check. Curious audience members begin slowly pouring in well before the show is scheduled to begin.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
Chinese young people congregate in the hallway of MAO Live-house.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
The band and some of their friends eat pork dumplings and noodles in a restaurant across the street from MAO Live-house before their show starts.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
Gou Zhaozhao, left, and Zhang Bing  relax upstairs with their friends while waiting to be called to the stage.


Jonathan Alpart /Al Jazeera
The fog machine releases a puff of smoke at the onset of Residence A's performance.



images:
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captions:
Zhang Bing plays guitar at MAO Livehouse in the Drum and Bell Tower (Gulou) area in Xicheng district, Beijing. ;*;Residence A(***)s set list is taped to the microphone inside their practice room.;*;Zhang Bing, left, and Chen Shao of Residence A, eat takeout in their Tongzhou district apartment in eastern Beijing with their dog, Jianjian.;*;These rooms have been converted into music practice rooms for local bands, next to this building is a hospital. ;*;Gou Zhaozhao, centre, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Residence A, teaches guitar lessons at this music store. ;*;This award from a local English magazine is proudly displayed in the music store where Gou Zhaozhao teaches guitar as a part-time job.;*;Zhang Bing and his girlfriend, Yumiao, drive in her car from Tongzhou district to central Beijing for their performance.  ;*;Meanwhile, Gou Zhaozhao, left, and Chen Shao  ride the subway. Cheng Bo, the drummer, is a local Beijinger and lives in the city.;*;Chinese youths stand in front of the MAO Live-house music venue in the Drum and Bell Tower area of Xicheng.;*;Gou Zhaozhao tunes his guitar during a sound check at MAO Live-house. The index finger on his left hand was partially severed in an accident at a paper factory.;*;The band plays a song during their sound check. Curious audience members begin slowly pouring in well before the show is scheduled to begin.;*;Chinese young people congregate in the hallway of MAO Live-house. ;*;The band and some of their friends eat pork dumplings and noodles in a restaurant across the street from MAO Live-house before their show starts. ;*;Gou Zhaozhao, left, and Zhang Bing  relax upstairs with their friends while waiting to be called to the stage. ;*;The fog machine releases a puff of smoke at the onset of Residence A(***)s performance. Daylife ID:
1352974676024
Photographer:
Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart ;*;Jonathan Alpart
Image Source:
Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Chinese Youth http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024en-usAl Jazeerafeedback@daylife.com10Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:17:56 GMTThu, 15 Nov 2012 15:08:02 GMT http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0fkx06q7m3h10

Zhang Bing, left, and Chen Shao of Residence A, eat takeout in their Tongzhou district apartment in eastern Beijing with their dog, Jianjian.

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:21:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0fkx06q7m3h10Jonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Zhang Bing, left, and Chen Shao of Residence A, eat takeout in their Tongzhou district apartment in eastern Beijing with their dog, Jianjian.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0f7K9ZQ5D6gui

Residence A's set list is taped to the microphone inside their practice room.

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:21:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0f7K9ZQ5D6guiJonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Residence A's set list is taped to the microphone inside their practice room.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=07LR2a3dYNcTB

These rooms have been converted into music practice rooms for local bands, next to this building is a hospital.

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:21:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=07LR2a3dYNcTBJonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

These rooms have been converted into music practice rooms for local bands, next to this building is a hospital.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0eF0b21fMZ4sKGou Zhaozhao, center, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Residence A, teaches guitar lessons at this music store. Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:21:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0eF0b21fMZ4sKJonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesGou Zhaozhao, center, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Residence A, teaches guitar lessons at this music store. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=02Hk3Q40be5G8This award from a local English magazine is proudly displayed in the music store where Gou Zhaozhao teaches guitar as a part-time job.Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:21:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=02Hk3Q40be5G8Jonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesThis award from a local English magazine is proudly displayed in the music store where Gou Zhaozhao teaches guitar as a part-time job. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0aYLe7V2av1Ba

Zhang Bing and his girlfriend, Yumiao, drive in her car from Tongzhou district to central Beijing for their performance. 

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:21:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0aYLe7V2av1BaJonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Zhang Bing and his girlfriend, Yumiao, drive in her car from Tongzhou district to central Beijing for their performance. 

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=073m56beuNePE

Meanwhile, Gou Zhaozhao, left, and Chen Shao  ride the subway. Cheng Bo, the drummer, is a local Beijinger and lives in the city.

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:22:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=073m56beuNePEJonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Meanwhile, Gou Zhaozhao, left, and Chen Shao  ride the subway. Cheng Bo, the drummer, is a local Beijinger and lives in the city.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=00LG1N8gvTgoj

Chinese youths stand in front of the MAO Live-house music venue in the Drum and Bell Tower area of Xicheng.

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:22:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=00LG1N8gvTgojJonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Chinese youths stand in front of the MAO Live-house music venue in the Drum and Bell Tower area of Xicheng.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=07YVckK0Li1wK

Gou Zhaozhao tunes his guitar during a sound check at MAO Live-house. The index finger on his left hand was partially severed in an accident at a paper factory.

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:22:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=07YVckK0Li1wKJonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Gou Zhaozhao tunes his guitar during a sound check at MAO Live-house. The index finger on his left hand was partially severed in an accident at a paper factory.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0bbC2h9gcMfAyThe band plays a song during their sound check. Curious audience members begin slowly pouring in well before the show is scheduled to begin.Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:22:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0bbC2h9gcMfAyJonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesThe band plays a song during their sound check. Curious audience members begin slowly pouring in well before the show is scheduled to begin. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0cxY3tp7xF7Yx

Chinese young people congregate in the hallway of MAO Live-house.

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:22:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0cxY3tp7xF7YxJonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Chinese young people congregate in the hallway of MAO Live-house.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0dk43Jk06I7NU

The band and some of their friends eat pork dumplings and noodles in a restaurant across the street from MAO Live-house before their show starts.

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:22:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0dk43Jk06I7NUJonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

The band and some of their friends eat pork dumplings and noodles in a restaurant across the street from MAO Live-house before their show starts.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0akmajm0Wudjd

Gou Zhaozhao, left, and Zhang Bing  relax upstairs with their friends while waiting to be called to the stage.

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:22:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0akmajm0WudjdJonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Gou Zhaozhao, left, and Zhang Bing  relax upstairs with their friends while waiting to be called to the stage.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0dq84hkgZg52CThe fog machine releases a puff of smoke at the onset of Residence A's performance. Both wear bandanas to mask their faces.Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:22:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=0dq84hkgZg52CJonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesThe fog machine releases a puff of smoke at the onset of Residence A's performance. Both wear bandanas to mask their faces. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=00I48vkb2WfWe

Zhang Bing plays guitar at MAO Livehouse in the Drum and Bell Tower (Gulou) area in Xicheng district, Beijing.

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:22:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1352974676024?image_id=00I48vkb2WfWeJonathan Alpart Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Zhang Bing plays guitar at MAO Livehouse in the Drum and Bell Tower (Gulou) area in Xicheng district, Beijing.



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