The rocker played a show in China on Wednesday night to a crowd who mostly didn't know who he was, just days after artist and activist Ai Weiwei was arrested for alleged "economic crimes." Dylan's set list had to be approved by the Ministry of Culture, and a few of his most popular songs, including "The Times They Are a-Changin'," were not played, the Los Angeles Times reported. "Foreign acts coming into China are watched much more closely than native Chinese bands," said Nevin Domer, booking manager at D-22, a mecca for student rock in Beijing.
The former Soviet leader, who turns 80 on Wednesday, has done a series of interviews offering scathing assessments of the current Russian government â€” particularly Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Calling Russia's ruling party "a rotting monopoly," Gorbachev told Agence France-Presse last month that Putin's party is "a bad copy of the Soviet Communist Party."
Since 1990, Gorbachev has been blamed for Russia's demise and failed reforms. Still, he defended the institutions now in place, including a legal system to support democracy.
Gorbachev addressed a report that Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev plan to sit down in private and decide who will run for president in 2012.
"I do not like how they are acting," Gorbachev said. "This is not Putin's - this is the nation's business. This is the decision of those who vote."