Kebab worker dream came true with Hotel California adaptation

| September 20th, 2011

From Yangtze Evening News and sohu:

20110920-kebab-01

Recently a video clip named “Hotel California adapted by a cook” has brought a kebab worker into the spotlight. The clip generated over 2.7 million clicks and 60,000 retweets on weibo within the first 6 days. Netizens forwarded the clip saying “everyone is remarkable as long as you have dream” or “if you are touched by his voice, forward on”.

As shown in the video, a group of people were sitting around dinner table at a restaurant, listening to a man in cook clothes singing the Eagles’ Hotel California with self-adapted Chinese lyrics. His husky voice along with the classic guitar slamming voiced out the current condition of city drifters who left hometown to chase after their dreams.

“I sang this song to farewell another cook of the restaurant, my colleague recorded it on cellphone and uploaded it onto the Internet. I didn’t think it will trigger so much attention” said Sha Jianwei, a post-90s kebab worker at the restaurant who was from a sugarcane farming family in Yunan and came to Beijing hoping to realize his dream as a singer.

In Feb 209, Sha came to Beijing with only 600 yuan and his guitar, thinking about singing at the tunnels and underpass to earn a living. But he was often kicked out by security guards soon and it was too cold in the early Spring to stay long at the tunnels. His 600 yuan vanished. Then he started working at a small restaurant as a delivery boy, earning 1100 yuan per month. At spare time, he bought a few guitar tutorial books and taught himself how to play better,  and how to sing higher and clearer.

“I didn’t want to be delivery boy forever, I still want to live on my music.” So Sha left the restaurant and became a full time underground singer for 20 months, during which he found that it wasn’t easy, there were also many rules such as queuing, timing. “When I got lucky I could make 60 yuan a day, sometimes only 10 something, sometimes I can only afford one meal a day. I began to feel that my dream is fading further away.” Just under such despair, he adapted the Eagels’ Hotal California, “for the song sounds a little bit sorrow but somehow still contains hope”.

One time he and another drifting sketcher were working at an underpass, the sketcher was moved by his music and said “I don’t have money, let me give you a sketch as a present”. And so the sketch was now on Sha’s guitar, to remind him of the old days.

Now Sha helps at the kebab restaurant during the day, and sings with his guitar every Friday, Saturday and Sunday outside the restaurant. Together he is able to earn 3000 yuan a month now.

On Sept 15, he received invitation from CCTV-3 to perform for the famous “I wanna be on the Spring Gala” show and many other invitations followed.

“I have always like music and have been dreaming this day since I was 7. But I have never thought that my singing can be heard by so many people.”

 

Lyrics of Sha Jianwei’s Hotel California adaptation:

走在空荡的街上,枯叶随风飘荡。

Walking on an empty street, dead leaves are dancing in the wind.

仍是无眠的夜晚,走得没有方向。

Still sleepless nights, walking with no direction.

来到这城市两年,却没有归宿感。

It’s been 2 years since I came to the city, still I don’t belong here.

已回不去我来的故乡,只为了梦想。

But I can’t go back, just stay for my dream,

那就像远处的灯火,仍然飘渺遥远,

Which is like the faraway light, so remotely out of reach.

但始终有微微的光亮,让我继续向前。

Only some feeble beams, enough to keep me going.

转身走进地下道,拿起红木吉他,

I turn around and walk into the tunnel with my red wood guitar

轻轻弹起那旋律,放声自由唱,

Gently play that melody, sing freely,

这就是我最好表演的地方,充满了力量,充满了希望。

This is the best spot I perform, full of power full of hope.

也许你曾经听过,这首哀伤的歌,

Maybe you have heard of this sad song

走出这地下漆黑的路,为生活奔忙,

When walking into the dark underpass, busy for your living.

我们都曾经怀揣,年少时的梦,

We all have dreams when we are young,

也许你已经成长,已事故老成,

Maybe you have grown up and become sophisticated,

但请你偶尔驻足,听听我的歌声,

But please stop for a while, listen to my song,

审视你现在走过的路,是否一切洪荒,

And look back on your path, are they all gone?

请停下你的脚步,静静欣赏。

Please stop your pace and listen quietly

这首献给青春的歌,和我一起唱。

To this song for the youth, and sing along.

33 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Mark says:

    “They stab it with their steely knives,
    But they just can’t kill the beast…” Sounds like Korean guy

  2. Don Henley says:

    “Hotel California” is the name of the song; not “California Hotel”.

  3. Boris says:

    The song is “Hotel California” by “The Eagles”. I appreciate it might not be so well known in China so not complaining; but to a Western audience both making a mistake in the song name and mispelling the band’s name looks a bit shoking given how cult this is. Maybe you can correct that 🙂

  4. Huzhang says:

    ….copyright violations.

  5. Augis says:

    Wow! Even the post with a nice song generates so much trolling?
    What can I say? “Trolls will be trolls”

  6. Boo says:

    Very original song choice. What, he couldn’t play “Country Road”?

    Who puts a picture of himself on his guitar?

    This guy is a dork.

  7. Mark says:

    I´m a white Pig who also hate negros!I´m a white Pig who also hate negros!I´m a white Pig who also

    • Yellow Nation says:

      We already know that korean_guy

      • Mark says:

        I’m not a pig. I’m mans best fried you moron. Now shut up and go find Mao’s cock!

        Woof woof!

    • Mark says:

      I took on Expatrick when he made his racist remarks about Negroes and the basketball harmony fight. I also bitch slapped Korean Guy when he called blacks niggers several times. My record speaks for itself.

      Why do you assume every American is white? FYI the U.S. is a diverse country.

  8. ChinaMan says:

    YO everyone is ok korean_guy is so cool man, motherfucker always got something up his ass and what ever that is must came from China cause shit this whole can bitch for hours, it’s like he everything you don’t want in life all in one.

  9. JesuisleDieu says:

    I read some comment here after long long time not go into this website. coz i saw some people wasting the human race’s enegie and the mother nature earth which giving him the existence……but unfortunetely , they are still here and i think it’s the worst website i’ve never been to. hope the webmaster DO SOMETHING ! for make your website have more reader and make a better world!! PLEASE!!

    • Mark says:

      Please Do Something! YOU wanna more reader like me that use to be lie to in China. Now I no likey free speech. I likey when Chinese govt. kill bad people who say n write thing I no likey or make me feel guilty or make party look bad. We no makey them disappear online like in China, so I no come here no mo.

  10. Huzhang says:

    Oh god why didn’t I think of this at the time

    REMOVE KEBAB FROM PREMISES

Leave a Comment

Prove you are human! *
Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. China: California Hotel adapted by a cook · Global Voices
Kepard - Premium VPN Service

Latest Posts

Send or Receive Money in China

David Goldman | August 16th, 2016
bankwire

5 luxury hotels in Asia

Oliver Verot | June 2nd, 2016
ritz-bund-view-suite

Recent Comments

Mao Zedong was a sheep fucker and a homosexual.» more

For me, it means I'll be able to do my work while traveling to visit my in-laws. I guess I'll…» more

The Chinese government was offended, and afraid of the literature (in the genre, now banned), by Cixin Liu.…» more

that's mean you should never stop from doing a good deed» more

Subscribe by email

Enter your email address: