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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Bob Dylan defends Jann Wenner during New York show

During his show at the Beacon Theatre in New York on November 17th, Bob Dylan defended Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, who was recently kicked out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after making disparaging remarks about female musicians and artists of colour.

Following his comments, Wenner, who co-founded the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was kicked off the board after members voted to decide his future. The public figure was under scrutiny after his latest book The Masters, only included conversations with white male musicians. He spoke to Dylan, Bono, Jerry Garcia, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Pete Townshend for the project.

Speaking to the New York Times in September, Wenner said: “The women, just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level,” he had claimed. “Joni [Mitchell] was not a philosopher of rock ’n’ roll. She didn’t, in my mind, meet that test. Not by her work, not by other interviews she did.”

He added: “The people I interviewed were the kind of philosophers of rock… I suppose when you use a word as broad as ‘masters,’ the fault is using that word. Maybe Marvin Gaye, or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they just didn’t articulate at that level.”

Now, Dylan has leapt to the defence of Wenner, telling the crowd at the Beacon: “All right, l’d like to say hello to Jann Wenner, who’s in the house. Jann Wenner, surely everybody’s heard of him. Anyway, he just got booted out of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame – and we don’t think that’s right. We’re trying to get him back in.”

Dylan’s comments arrive after Bernie Taupin poked fun at Wenner during his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on November 3rd.

While giving his acceptance speech for the ‘Musical Excellence Award’, the songwriter said: “I guess you could say my being inducted is a paradox, perhaps, but either way, I’m honoured to be in the class of 2023 alongside a group of such profoundly ‘articulate’ women and outstanding ‘articulate’ Black artists along with all of the other music masters here tonight.”

Hear Dylan support Wenner below.

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