Dylan mum on Ai in Beijing

Dylan plays Beijing, says nothing of fellow artist Ai Weiwei's detention:
...Perhaps mindful of the scrutiny of the Chinese Communist party, who requested 2,000 of the 18,000 seats at Beijing's Workers' Gymnasium, Mr Dylan left out some of his more famous protest songs, such as 'Blowin' in the Wind' and 'The Times they Are a-Changin''.

Many observers had expected Mr Dylan to shock the mostly Chinese audience, perhaps by making a political statement or by voicing support for Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist who has not been heard from since police escorted him from Beijing airport last Sunday.

"It would have been a total disaster if he had said anything, this was a really high-profile event," said Archie Hamilton, a music promoter in China, recalling the near two-year ban on foreign acts that the Communist Party imposed after the Icelandic singer Bjork made a plea for Tibet at the end of a concert in Shanghai in 2008...
Meanwhile, stunningly, a PRI piece on the politics of Dylan's show fails to mention that Ai and an assistant are missing after police detained them and are being held incommunicado likely by law enforcement. The segment goes into great detail about Bjork's banning from the country after making pro-Tibet remarks during a concert, but neglects to mention the imprisonment of an artist so famous he's called "the Warhol of China."

In other news, Ai's family has responded to a cryptic police statement that Ai is being investigated for "suspected economic crimes." From The Guardian:
Ai's older sister, Gao Ge, told Reuters: "The economic crimes report is absurd, because the way he was taken and then disappeared shows it's nothing of the sort. This is more like a crime gang's behaviour than a country with laws."

She said her brother had previously warned his family he might one day be jailed for his activities. "He was very clear that we shouldn't try to meddle and stop him speaking out ... My mother cried," she added.

Ai's mother, Gao Ying, said the "economic crimes" allegations were being used to stifle his activism, adding: "If he's not released, this will be the start of a long struggle ... They still haven't notified us why he was taken or where he is."
Photo: Wikipedia


Anonymous said...

Bob Dylan strips James Damiano of his first amendment rights in Plagiarism law suit

See the Stealing of James Damiano's Songs by Bob Dylan

on google

Synsate said...

We just saw Mr Gunn in Shanghai on Friday and perhaps in that persona at least, he graced us with a soaring, nuanced & very poignant Desolation Row! Apparently, it and Blowing in the Wind had been explicitly banned by the authorities.

Ed Sullivan & Beijing be damned!

He was in fine gravelly, sonorous voice, the band were superb; they chased each other round gospelly call and response jaunts through, Highway 61, Tangled up in Blue, Forever Young, Thunder on the Mountain, The Levee's Gonna Break, Like a Rolling Stone and lots of the primordial Django delta rootsy new stuff, while dressed like Sam Clemens: Civil (rights) War Union vet - which he kinda is!

Geetar, Harmonica, Churchy Organ - Preacher Bob was pounding some kinda ivory pulpit!

3 guitars plus double bass, skins&hats, peddle-steel guitar - all fronting a stark backcloth background, with the band casting haunting platonic anamorphic shadows behind. Ended with an enormous projected crowned eye and spiral tendril logo.

Big Bad Bob is watching you!

Anonymous said...

Nice review. Too bad you didn't read this post, though.