Dylan Thomas tribute: Bob Dylan wanted for Swansea concert

American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan Bob Dylan is said to be "thinking very positively" about a concert for Dylan Thomas in Swansea

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A campaign is growing for Bob Dylan to perform a concert honouring poet Dylan Thomas in the centenary of his birth.

Swansea West MP Geraint Davies wants the veteran American singer to play the Liberty Stadium, home of the city's resurgent football club, next year.

Sony Music has told him that Dylan, who many believe named himself after Thomas, is "thinking very positively" about it.

The MP said the "Dylan to play Dylan" campaign had gone viral.

It has won support from Welsh singers such as Cerys Matthews and Mike Peters, among others.

There are a number of celebrations planned for Swansea and the whole of Wales in 2014 to mark 100 years since Thomas's birth in the city.

Mr Davies said a concert by Dylan in which he blended his music with some of Thomas's poetry would be "the icing on the cake" of a great year.

Bob Dylan and Dylan Thomas

Bob Dylan and Dylan Thomas
  • Dylan Marlais Thomas was born 27 October 1914 in Swansea, died on 9 November 1953 in New York
  • Robert Allen Zimmerman (aka Bob Dylan) was born 24 May 24 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota
  • Thomas is famous for poems such as Do not go gentle into that good night, And death shall have no dominion, and the "play for voices", Under Milk Wood
  • Dylan's early songs such as Blowin' in the Wind and The Times They Are a-Changin' became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements.
  • Dylan Thomas is buried in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire
  • Bob Dylan's career to date has encompassed musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, artist, writer

The two artists never met but Thomas was known for his rock star lifestyle, before there were rock stars.

Mr Davies has mentioned in the House of Commons that he had approached Bob Dylan about the concert, when Leader of the House Andrew Lansley said he would look forward to attending.

"Since then the campaign has gone viral with all the music websites and Twitter etc, with thousands of people calling for Bob Dylan to come to Swansea to do the concert," said Mr Davies.

Start Quote

If it comes off, the welcome in the hillside will be blowing a gale”

End Quote Geraint Davies MP Swansea West

Former Catatonia singer and BBC 6 Music broadcaster Cerys Matthews has retweeted messages about the campaign to her followers and The Alarm singer Mike Peters, who knows Bob Dylan's manager, has also got involved.

As well as approaching Sony Music, Mr Davies has also met the chief executive of UK Trade and Investment about the centenary concert.

"They said they are willing to approach Bob Dylan's management about this," he said.

"Dylan Thomas is someone we are proud of in Swansea, and right across Wales.

"The idea is that Bob Dylan might come and incorporate Dylan Thomas' work into his blend of music is exciting."

According to The Times newspaper, the singer has given various accounts of how he adopted the name Dylan in place of his birth name, Robert Zimmerman. In his autobiography, Bob Dylan refers to the Welshman's poetry, but claimed the choice was largely coincidental.

Mr Davies said the singer-songwriter had already paid tribute to John Lennon in a track on his 2012 album Tempest, and it would not be too much to expect him to use "to bring something of Dylan Thomas to life".

The concert, if it does happen, will be "a fantastic show that would have a worldwide audience," he added.

"If it comes off, the welcome in the hillside will be blowing a gale."

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