Skip to comments.Bob Dylan - To My Fans and Followers
Posted on 05/13/2011 5:39:33 AM PDT by Mr. Blonde
Allow me to clarify a couple of things about this so-called China controversy which has been going on for over a year. First of all, we were never denied permission to play in China. This was all drummed up by a Chinese promoter who was trying to get me to come there after playing Japan and Korea. My guess is that the guy printed up tickets and made promises to certain groups without any agreements being made. We had no intention of playing China at that time, and when it didn't happen most likely the promoter had to save face by issuing statements that the Chinese Ministry had refused permission for me to play there to get himself off the hook. If anybody had bothered to check with the Chinese authorities, it would have been clear that the Chinese authorities were unaware of the whole thing.
We did go there this year under a different promoter. According to Mojo magazine the concerts were attended mostly by ex-pats and there were a lot of empty seats. Not true. If anybody wants to check with any of the concert-goers they will see that it was mostly Chinese young people that came. Very few ex-pats if any. The ex-pats were mostly in Hong Kong not Beijing. Out of 13,000 seats we sold about 12,000 of them, and the rest of the tickets were given away to orphanages. The Chinese press did tout me as a sixties icon, however, and posted my picture all over the place with Joan Baez, Che Guevara, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. The concert attendees probably wouldn't have known about any of those people. Regardless, they responded enthusiastically to the songs on my last 4 or 5 records. Ask anyone who was there. They were young and my feeling was that they wouldn't have known my early songs anyway.
As far as censorship goes, the Chinese government had asked for the names of the songs that I would be playing. There's no logical answer to that, so we sent them the set lists from the previous 3 months. If there were any songs, verses or lines censored, nobody ever told me about it and we played all the songs that we intended to play.
Everybody knows by now that there's a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near future. So I'm encouraging anybody who's ever met me, heard me or even seen me, to get in on the action and scribble their own book. You never know, somebody might have a great book in them.
You have the Dylan ping list correct?
I’m surprised Bob bothered to comment on this non-story. Also surprised he used the word “gazillion”. I really enjoyed Love and Theft. And more recently I was addicted (and remain latently so) to “If You Ever Go to Houston”, co-written with Robert Hunter. Not sure he’s right about his audience not knowing his older material, though.
The only ones who really know his recent albums are all hard core older Dylan fans.
On the subject of Dylan....
Check out XM’s Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour. Great music, great comments from someone who really knows music and musicians and the history of music.
Well worth listening to.
I wouldn’t think he was a fan of Che’s. I assume it was all a 60’s revolutionary type deal, which Dylan never got in on to begin with.
Sadly, no. He loves Castro, too.
Mmm, he used them up till he squeezed them dry, then he moved on. His career was built by Communists, who ran the folk music morphing unto pop music movement/industry.
Can you show me any quote by Dylan that he loves Castro?
“The Chinese press did tout me as a sixties icon, however, and posted my picture all over the place with Joan Baez, Che Guevara, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. The concert attendees probably wouldn’t have known about any of those people. Regardless, they responded enthusiastically to the songs on my last 4 or 5 records.”
That doesn’t come of like Dylan digs being lumped in with those people.
“They were young and my feeling was that they wouldn’t have known my early songs anyway.”
In other words, he didn’t want to play stuff that catered to the whole “down with authoritarian communism, up with kinder gentler communism”. As far as what the youth in China know as far as Dylan songs go, I guess it could be true. I am always amazed at how different musical trends go overseas as compared to the US.
Ditto “If You ever go to Houston.” By far my favorite song on the album. For a while, I would listen to that, “High Water Rising” and Josh Turner’s version of “When I Paint my Masterpiece” repeatedly.
I have worked on a documentary he was in, I know members of his band. It’s how they all think. Except I wouldn’t call it thinking.
So no actual quote.
“Except I wouldnt call it thinking.”
It is not an intellectual exercise, or a careful consideration of facts based on personal reading of history.
It is called being “hip” and “cool”, man.
The Left consists largely of lazy practitioners of GroupThink. Step out of line and you will suffer the usual fascistic backlash.
Is that old, unreformed commie still around?
Don’t forget about Barry Goldwater, who there is an actual on the record quote of him liking.
You mean all of those people he wrote Positively 4th Street about?
So you were making it all up.
No, I was at the rehearsal, I was backstage with the musicians, I was at a dinner at someone’s house. Conversations were going on. They all love the “Cuban revolution”.
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