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Dylan Nixes Chinese Censorship Claims

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — In an open post to his fans, Bob Dylan has taken exception with the press coverage of his recent concerts in China, which suggested that the troubadour caved in to government requests to censor his setlist.

Not so, says Dylan. In the post, Dylan notes that he chose the songs in his set to appeal to the younger audience demographic that Dylan claims were attending his Beijing show. According to Dylan, the Chinese government asked him for a setlist and he provided them with all of the songs he played during the last 3 months worth of gigs.

"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," Dylan wrote in his post.

Dylan also took issue with the characterization that his audience in China was composed primarily of ex-pats.

"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," Dylan wrote.

Dylan also claims that he was never refused permission to play in China in the first place, despite claims in the press to the contrary. According to Dylan, this likely started by a Chinese promoter trying to get Dylan to play there and trying to "save face" after promoting a show without a contract or agreement with the singer. Dylan maintains that the Chinese government were unaware of the matter.

To see the entire post, you can check it out here and if you missed Larry LeBlanc's interview with Rod Quinton, Dylan's promoter in Vietnam, check it out here. – Ian Courtney