The name Bob Dylan has meant many things to many people over the years. To some he is a genius. To others, a phenomenal songwriter. And there are others who cringe when they hear his nasally sounding vocals. To each their own. To the Chinese, Dylan has meant one thing: BANNED.
That is until today (3/11/11) when the Chinese Minister of Culture approved Dylan’s application to perform in Beijing "between the dates of March 30th and April 12th." He has also applied to perform in Shanghai, but no word has come from the Minister in regards to that application.
The most recent application comes on the heels of a rejection in 2010 that led to the cancellation of dates that he had scheduled in the two cities. Apparently Dylan thought that the 40+ years since he was known to be some sort of protest upstart along with the fact that he is now a grandfather nine times over would speak for itself. Maybe to some, but not the Chinese. In any event, something has changed their mind and the near 70 year old Zimmerman will now be allowed to play in the Communist state.
His approval did come with a stipulation: All setlists must first be approved before being performed before any live Chinese audience. In this case, it seems that the "times have yet to do (much) changin’" in some parts of the planet. The dates will be a part of a larger Asian tour that has planned stops in Singapore and Thailand amongst others.