In 1984, Japanese musician Kitaro canceled his two sold-out shows in Singapore one day before the scheduled date. Defying Singapore immigration’s order to chop off his tresses as a condition for entering the country, Kitaro coolly hopped on the next flight back to Narita with his entourage of band and crew in tow.
Recalled the New Age musician,
…when I went through immigration, they were like, Kitaro, please come over here, you have a problem. You cannot enter with long hair. They said, “If you would like to enter Singapore, you will have to cut your hair.” I said, “I don’t want to cut my hair, so I would like to cancel the concert.”
Kitaro was not the only casualty of our government’s revulsion at long-haired males. Back in the 1970s, Cliff Richard, Robert Plant and others also suffered the indignity of being turned away at the Singapore immigration. Some complied to get in.
Ludicrous as it may sound, this insane policy was enforced from the 1970s because our holier-than-thou government had equated long-haired males with gangsters and morally depraved persons who had succumbed to the undesirable influence of the western hippie culture. Continue reading…