The voice of a generation is easily silenced, but not according to Bob Dylan, who has issued a rare public statement denying speculation that he relented to government censors by agreeing not to perform 1960s-era protest songs during his recent tour of China.
In a message released on his website he wanted to “clarify a few things about this so-called China controversy”, which erupted last month after he staged his first concerts in the People's Republic.
Dylan (69) strongly denied claims that state censors were allowed to remove what they saw as subversive songs from his set lists. Although he had been required to inform them of the songs he intended to perform, Dylan said the government did not ask for any alterations and none were made.
“As far as censorship goes, the Chinese government had asked for the names of the songs that I would be playing,” Dylan said.
“There's no logical answer to that, so we sent them the set lists from the previous three 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.”