> By MoDo, Dylan has always opportunistically embraced
> whatever access he was afforded to make it professionally,
> first folk music, then activism, not believing in a bit of it.
> As someone deeply involved in his music since forever,
> I don't quite believe this.
You should take a look at the Joan Baez documentary, "How Sweet the Sound" that I think was done for the American Master series on PBS.
She's pretty explicit about the nature of Dylan's opportunism in their relationship, and Dylan actually apologizes for his past actions.
There are other incidents in Dylan's life, like his "visit" to Andy Warhol at the Factory, that I don't see much explanation for besides some type of opportunism. What did he and Warhol have in common otherwise?
Which isn't to say that Dylan is an empty cipher like, for example, Michael Jackson. Didn't Elvis Costello make some comment about Jackson's "now having the attention of so many people around the world, and all he can talk about is sugar water?"
As for the PRC, I would suspect the issue is simply to prevent embarrassment of the mixed elite that's likely to attend a concert like that. The political cadres just don't want some academic from Tsing Hua button-holeing them during intermission to argue a point. I see it as similar to the Rolling Stones agreement to "Let's spend some time together" as appropriate for a TV show that granny could be watching with her grandchildren, who of course knew the real lyrics. ;-)
And Curt Cobain? He was happy to have his censored CDs in Walmart, because he remembered as a kid, that's the only place he had access to music that was even a little different.