BOB DYLAN has been made an Officer of the Légion d'Honneur by Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti in a private ceremony in her offices.
In Paris for concerts at the Grand Rex, Dylan had asked that the ceremony be kept secret, with no media and no cameras allowed.
It came after his proposed investiture had been attacked by General Jean-Louis Georgelin, the Grand Chancellor of the Legion, who said he was “unworthy” because of his anti-war songs and smoking cannabis.
Dylan said afterwards: “I am grateful and proud.”
Of the 30 or so guests at the ceremony around 20 were Dylan fans, apparently chosen at random.
Also there was French singer Hugues Aufray, who recorded many of Dylan’s songs and popularised them for the French helped by the likes of Alain Bashung and Francis Cabrel. Dylan waved at him as he entered the salon in the Rue de Valois offices.
Avowed fan Ms Filippetti congratulated Dylan for the music that made him a hero to France’s young people – although he may not have appreciated her linking him to the May 1968 “revolution” as he has always refused to accept that he spoke for them.
After the ceremony Dylan had a private meeting with Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, who has been under racist attack in recent weeks. She later attended his concert at the Grand Rex.
Photo: MCC - Didier Plowy