Bob is putting it straight

May 17, 2011

Excerpt from the post on his website, probably you have read it by now:

“First of all, we were never denied permission to play in China. This was all drummed up by a Chinese promoter who was trying to get me to come there after playing Japan and Korea. My guess is that the guy 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. If anybody had bothered to check with the Chinese authorities, it would have been clear that the Chinese authorities were unaware of the whole thing.”

Bob Dylan is showing a deep knowledge of human behaviour with this comment. I wouldn’t go as far as saying, wow, he has understood the Chinese mentality perfectly well. There will be advisors etc but what he actually is saying is, hey, it’s not always the government that is to blame. This confirms every experience we have in China. There are laws protecting copyright. But they are poorly enforced or transparently controlled. There are laws to make things more transparent. But they are poorly enforced etc.. This special situation enables great businesses and projects. It also prevents other great ideas from ever becoming successfully executed. But it shows one thing: a lot is down to the people and their activities, and a lot less is down to government regulation. Walking that line to add a different colour to Chinese life with your music is our mission, and we enjoy that challenge!


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