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Bob Dylan denies set list censored in China

By | Published on Monday 16 May 2011

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan has denied reports that his recent show in China was censored by the Chinese authorities, adding that rumours he had previously been denied permission to perform there and that the audience at his Beijing show was mainly made up of ex-pats were also untrue.

On reports he had initially been banned from playing in China, Dylan says those stories stemmed from a dodgy promoter who made promises he couldn’t keep. Writing on his website, Dylan said: “My guess is that the guy [a Chinese promoter] 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”.

On the set list censorship rumours, which circulated after Dylan chose not to sing some of his more political songs at his Beijing show, he continued: “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 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 to play”.



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