Bob Dylan invited to play Swansea tribute show

Bob Dylan is mulling over an invitation to play a show in Swansea. The local MP has invited the singer, who tours continuously, to commemorate the centenary of the birth of the late Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, who, possibly-flawed legend suggests, inspired the former Robert Zimmerman when he was looking for a stage name.

Geraint Davies, the MP for Swansea West, told the House of Commons: "We in Swansea will celebrate the centenary of Dylan Thomas's birth in 2014, and I have asked Bob Dylan whether he would be prepared to give a centenary concert in Swansea."

Bob’s people haven’t dismissed the idea of a show in the city’s Liberty Stadium. "It would be a global event on TV and the web," Davies said, "which would enhance Swansea's reputation, increase Bob Dylan's popularity and support Dylan Thomas's literary legacy. So far I've had a positive response from Sony Music and Bob Dylan, and his managers are looking at the options."

Dylan has a notorious aversion to looking back at previous aspects of his career, and is also resistant to acknowledging Thomas as the source of his name. "I’ve done more for Dylan Thomas than he’s ever done for me," he said in 1968. "Look how many kids are reading his poetry now."

The poet, among other British writers, had a strong influence on Dylan’s early ventures into songwriting, but Dylan has a point when he mentions his own influence. Jeff Towns, the chairman of the Dylan Thomas Society of Great Britain, told the South Wales Echo: "I got into Dylan Thomas because of Bob Dylan. I bought one of his records in the 1960s and learned that he had taken his name from a Welsh poet. If they could marry the two in Swansea it would be perfect. It will be almost the icing on the cake. All we can do is hope."

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