The Guardian reports that Malibu-resident Bob Dylan has had to cut his Asian tour short because the Chinese government prevented him from playing in Beijing and Shanghai.
According to the UK paper (quoting Hong Kong's South China Morning Post):
Dylan's planned tour of east Asia later this month has been called off after Chinese officials refused permission for him to play in Beijing and Shanghai, his local promoters said. China's ministry of culture, which vets planned concerts by overseas artists, appeared wary of Dylan's past as an icon of the counterculture movement, said Jeffrey Wu, of the Taiwan-based promoters Brokers Brothers Herald. […]
The verdict scuppers Dylan's plans to play his first dates in mainland China. The singer, who plays around 100 concerts a year on his Never Ending Tour, had hoped to extend a multi-city Japanese leg with concerts in Beijing, Shanghai, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong. All these would now be called off, Wu told the newspaper.
Who's to blame for the Chinese government's uptightness about pop singers? None other than Bjork!
According to the report:
Wu said officials had become more cautious since Björk, the Icelandic singer, chanted “Tibet! Tibet!” after performing a song called Declare Independence in Shanghai in 2008. China has ruled Tibet since invading it in 1950 and views the Himalayan territory as an integral part of its national territory.
“What Björk did definitely made life very difficult for other performers. They are very wary of what will be said by performers on stage now,” Wu said.
Last year the Chinese government apparently also banned Oasis.