Mammoth Dylan-in-China Motherlode, #1

James Fallows is digging deep into the rumors that Bob Dylan was banned from performing in China, and discovers that news of his mainland tour may have been a concoction of his bad Taiwanese promoters:

A ton of interesting testimony and analysis has come in since then. Here is a sample installment to get going. Probably two more installments to come. The emerging theme is that whatever “really” went on with this now-scrubbed concert tour, it probably wasn’t the version trumpeted around the world a week ago, and that I initially believed: namely, that the Chinese authorities had turned down the tour for fear of a Bjork-like embarrassing comment by Dylan. As I mentioned, this is a spillover cost of any kind of censorship policy: when people know you’ve shut down some kinds of expression, they’re willing to believe you’ve shut down others even when you haven’t.

Fallows then quotes a letter he received recently:

…[My neighbor] is Bob Dylan’s road manager. I bumped into him Tuesday night. He just came back from touring in Japan and Korea with Dylan.

He says there never was a China trip planned. the whole thing is a story concocted by a promoter and that Dylan had nothing to do with planning any China tour.


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