Bob Dylan Demands Armed Guards at European Shows


Unlike fellow artists Foo Fighters, Motörhead, Deftones, and Prince, Bob Dylan has defiantly opted to continue his European tour, which is currently winding through Italy.  But he’s not taking chances, and won’t be an open target: according to details now confirmed by at least one venue, Dylan is demanding armed guards both on-stage, at the entrances, and on the floor.

That is expected to be an ongoing demand at all European dates.

“…the demand from Dylan is more than understandable.”

The security request (or rather, demand) was first reported in the Corrriere di Bologna, where Dylan is currently playing.  At the Auditorium Manzoni di via de Monari, roughly a dozen armed guards will flank the facility, some in disguise.  That, according to artistic manager Giorgio Zagnoni, is the first time a security request has been made, but they’re happy to comply given the context.  “It’s the first time that an artist asks us to strengthen security so consistently,” Zagnoni told the Corrierer.  “Given the situation, after the events in Paris, we believe that the demand from Dylan is more than understandable.”

Ideally, the venue would have beefed-up security checks like metal detectors at the entrances, though Zagnoni indicated that there simply wasn’t enough time for those measures.  Instead, attendees may be patted down or questioned prior to entering, which sounds more like a rap show in a major US city than a Dylan show in Bologna, Italy.

Several notables will be in the audience at the Manzoni, according to the Corriere, including the mayor and prefect of Bologna.  That’s additional reason for the security measures, with Dylan undoubtedly a big, juicy American target for radical Islamic nut-jobs.

Helping matters will be a ban on cellphones, cameras, and other peripherals, though apparently Dylan had those restrictions in place beforehand (similar to other artists).

The development speaks volumes on how times have a’ changed since Dylan’s musical birth in the 60s and 70s.  But Dylan’s defiance isn’t a personal compromise, at least not anymore: “I’m not a pacifist.  I don’t think I’ve ever been one,” Dylan told the Los Angeles Times back in 2001.


“I believe strongly in everyone’s right to defend themselves by every means necessary.”

Image: Dylan performing at Finsbury Park, London, ‎June‎ ‎18‎, ‎2011; snapped by Francisco Atunes (CC by 2.0).

6 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    ISIS’ latest video included footage from Manhattan, so you can make that European AND American shows before long…

  2. Bobby Z

    Dylan has made the request to protect his audience – he feels protected by God. If it’s his time, then so be it.

  3. EDLIS Café

    Bob Dylan did not ask for armed guards at his concerts! Nor did his people. But the media repeats the misinformation ad infinitum. Such ignorance is deeply offensive, why spread it?

    “Anyway, the local promoters told to the press that was their decision to arrange a police security enforcement for the event, not a special request from Dylan people.” — Andrea Orlandi

    L’agenzia che promuove l’evento, D’Alessandro e Galli, ha persino smentito la notizia secondo cui il Menestrello avrebbe fatto specifica richiesta di avere guardie all’interno della sala: “Il Teatro Auditorium Manzoni, in totale accordo con il Promoter, si è attivato per garantire la sicurezza al pubblico che assisterà ai concerti, in sinergia con le misure straordinarie che gli organi istituzionali competenti. Nessuna richiesta specifica, contrariamente a quanto apparso sugli organi di stampa in questi giorni, è stata fatta dall’artista”.

    • Vail, CO

      You’re going to quote Rolling Stone?


      I think they’re writing a sequel investigative report, called ‘Frat Guys Go to Italy!’

      Please, RS needs to shut down. They’ve ruined lives, defamed a proud university with lies. Don’t believe anything they write.

  4. Paul Resnikoff
    Paul Resnikoff

    Ha, well, I will say the Rolling Stone deserves the credibility problems it has. It is hard to quote that publication anymore. And RS might be gone after they’re done fighting $30 million plus in lawsuits. I wouldn’t be surprised if RS is bankrupt by next year.

    But back to this, EDLIS Café, I’m basing this article on a direct quote from the Corriere di Bologna, which clearly states that this was a request. But if that’s wrong or inaccurate, yes I want to get the story straight. But, this is the quote I’m looking at (translated from Italian):

    “It’s the first time that an artist has asked us to strengthen security so consistently. Given the situation, after the events in Paris, we believe that the demand from Dylan is more than understandable.”

    Giorgio Zagnoni, artistic director of Manzoni.


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