- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Anti-war icon Bob Dylan jams in a Vietnam at peace
HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM (AP) - Bob Dylan, whose anti-war anthems made him the face of protest against a war that continues to haunt a generation of Americans, finally got his chance to see Vietnam _ at peace.
Only about half of the 8,000 seats were sold to a mix of Vietnamese and foreigners who danced on the grass in the warm evening air as Dylan jammed on guitar, harmonica and the keyboard at RMIT University.
With more than 60 percent of the country’s 86 million people born after the war, many young people here are more familiar with pop stars like Justin Bieber.
Still, Dylan’s music during the tumultuous 1960s touched thousands of people in both nations.
“Bob Dylan’s music opened up a path where music was used as a weapon to oppose the war in Vietnam” and fight injustice and racism, said Tran Long An, 67, vice president of the Vietnam Composers' Association. “That was the big thing that he has done for music.”
An was a student in Saigon, now called Ho Chi Minh City, during the war and took to the streets with other Communist sympathizers calling for the killing to stop. He remains a big Dylan fan and has a large collection of the singer’s records.
“We listened to anything that spoke of peace. We called him the peace poet,” said Stan Karber, 60, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, who served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1971 and has lived in Ho Chi Minh City for the past 15 years. “I’ll be dancing here in a minute.”
The fighting ended on April 30, 1975, when northern Communist forces seized the U.S.-backed capital of South Vietnam, reunifying the country. About 58,000 Americans were killed along with some 3 million Vietnamese.
Sunday’s concert coincided with the 10th anniversary of the death of anti-war Vietnamese folk singer Trinh Cong Son, known as the “Bob Dylan of Vietnam.” The opening Vietnamese acts played a tribute to Son, who remains highly popular.
Dylan is one of the top foreign artists to perform in Vietnam, where big-name concerts are still rare and the Communist government maintains strict controls over expression. Dylan’s song list had to be preapproved by the government, but promoter Rod Quinton of Ho Chi Minh City-based Saigon Sound System said no restrictions were placed on the extensive set list submitted.
Dylan was criticized last week following his first-ever shows in China for allowing the Communist government there to vet his song list. Two popular anti-war songs, “The Times They Are a’Changin’” and “Blowin’ in the Wind,” were not performed at the Beijing and Shanghai shows, but it was unclear if they were submitted for consideration.
U.S.-based Human Rights Watch issued a statement saying, “Dylan should be ashamed of himself.”
“The young Dylan wouldn’t have let a government tell him what to sing,” said Brad Adams, executive director of the organization’s Asia division. “He has a historic chance to communicate a message of freedom and hope, but instead he is allowing censors to choose his playlist.”
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Vietnam says it may have found door of missing Malaysian jet as intel look into stolen passports
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- EDITORIAL: Senate rejects Adegbile for Justice post
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- U.S. deploys 12 F-16 fighter jets to Poland as exercise in response to Ukraine situation
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again