The latest twist in the tortured saga of rock ‘n’ roll poet laureate Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize finds Dylan agreeing to write an acceptance speech — in fact, he has already written it, according to the Nobel Prize committee — while another artist will appear at the awards ceremony to perform a Dylan song.
Rolling Stone reports that Dylan, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, will not appear at the Dec. 10 gala in Stockholm, where Patti Smith will perform Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.”
“The Nobel Prize committee announced Monday morning that Smith would fill in for Dylan at the Stockholm gala, with Smith also taking part in the Nobel Week Dialogue event the day before on December 9th, where she’ll discuss the ‘importance of role models,'” Rolling Stone reports.
The Nobel committee tweeted today that Dylan won’t attend the ceremony due to “other commitments” that “make it unfortunately impossible.” The committee also tweeted that Dylan has “provided a speech which will be read at the Nobel banquet” on Dec. 10. Organizers indicated they do not know who will read the speech.
Rolling Stone notes that Smith was set to appear at the event even before Dylan’s award was announced.
“I had planned to perform one of my own songs with the orchestra,” Smith told the publication. “But after Bob Dylan was announced as the winner and he accepted it, It seemed appropriate to set my own song aside and choose one of his. I chose ‘A Hard Rain’ because it is one of his most beautiful songs. It combines his Rimbaudian mastery of language with a deep understanding of the causes of suffering and ultimately human resilience.”
Here’s a clip of Patti Smith, a longtime Dylan fan, recalling her discovery of Dylan and talking about the seminal Dylan movie “Don’t Look Back” …