Obama shunned by Bob Dylan

Submitted by Freedomman on Wed, 10/13/2010 - 20:31

WASHINGTON (PNN) - October 1, 2010 - Most of his contemporaries have mellowed with age, but as he approaches his 70th birthday, Bob Dylan remains splendidly reluctant to embrace efforts to turn him into part of the fusty establishment against which he once railed.

That, at least, is the experience of illegitimate President Barack Obama, who revealed that he was given what amounts to the bum's rush by the musician when he visited the White House to perform at a concert celebrating the leaders of the Civil Rights movement.

Dylan, 69, was sceptical about performing his protest song, The Times They Are A-Changin, to the assembled dignitaries at February's event; and while most musicians who perform for the most powerful man in the world ask for a "meet and greet" during their visit, Obama told Rolling Stone Magazine that Dylan refused to even speak with him.

"He wouldn't come to the rehearsal; usually, all these guys are practicing before the set in the evening. He didn't want to take a picture with me; usually, all the talent is dying to take a picture with me and Michelle before the show, but he didn't show up (for) that."

After performing, it was the same story. "He finishes the song, steps off the stage - I'm sitting right in the front row - comes up, shakes my hand, sort of tips his head, gives me just a little grin and then leaves; and that was it. He left. That was our only interaction with him."

Obama nonetheless described the experience as a real treat, adding, "That's how you want Bob Dylan, right? You don't want him to be all cheesin' and grinnin' with you. You want him to be a little sceptical about the whole enterprise."