Context is, of course, everything when it comes to controversy. These days it's pretty easy to spark faux indignation within a multimedia entertainment business bored senseless with itself: throw the latest fame-fried Disney starlet onto a stage at the MTV Awards, add a cynical misogynist so cartoon-like even his name spells out his mental capacity and let the twerking – and endless, breathless hyperbole - begin.

Want a lesson in how to really wind people up? Look no further than the career of Bob Dylan, a man whose decision-making ability has arguably varied as wildly as the quality of his musical output (which is a debate for another day entirely). This week's storm in a teacup? The famed pacifist accepted a military honour in France, adding further fuel to the "sell out" cat-calls that have dogged him for the best part of 50 years. Of course, it's all par for the course for this master agitator, as these infamous incidents prove…

Taking on the Establishment with 'Blowin' in the Wind'

It's difficult to understate the impact of Dylan's iconic single, in terms of its deft soundtracking of the civil rights movement in the US in the 1960s and in the years since, influencing generations of politically-minded musical troubadours. As with many protest songs of the time, it's decidedly undirect and has even been accused of being "impenetrably ambiguous" lyrically. All of which probably helped when the Co-Op came knocking a few years ago and decided to use it for a fluffy TV ad campaign flogging, er, food and funerals.

Turning Judas and going electric

While the only person likely to be affected by Jake Bugg's recent decision to 'go electric' is his mother, straining to hear Downton Abbey over the newly amplified three-chord clatter screaming out of her son's bedroom, Dylan's infamous volte face in 1965 was what you'd loosely term Quite A Big Deal. After releasing fifth album 'Bringing It All Back Home' complete with an electric band in 1965, he found himself routinely booed by audiences – most famously at the Newport Folk Festival – and denounced as a "Judas" by a dissenter in the crowd at a gig in Manchester, immortalised in the No Direction Home film. Pivotal doesn't even come close to describing the impact the period had on Bob's career – or the direction of politically-minded music since.

Calling 'plagiarism' accusers "pussies"

In fact, such was the impact of the Judas incident that Dylan's still referencing it now in his outbursts. Responding to accusations that he's plagiarised artists in his work and failed to credit sources sufficiently – claims voiced by everyone from critics to even Joni Mitchell over the years – in 2011 he told Rolling Stone, rather magnificently, that only "wussies and pussies complain about that stuff", adding: "These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history!"

Being 'soy bombed'

Of course, such is Dylan's magnetism for controversy that sometimes he's not even the protagonist. For evidence, see the Grammy Awards 1998, where performance artist Michael Portnoy - hired as a background "head-nodder" during Dylan's performance of 'Love Sick' – stormed the stage with the words 'soy bomb' daubed across his chest (a two word poem, apparently). Dylan watched on bemused, probably smarting that for once it wasn't him pissing somebody or other off.

Clashing over China

Even the locations of Dylan's gigs have the propensity to whip a storm, as proven by a show in Beijing as part of his 2011 Asian tour. In the weeks running up to the gig, rumours swirled that his setlist had been vetted and approved by the Chinese government , leading to accusations that Bob had, yet again, "sold out". After the show, fans were apparently disappointed that Dylan didn't speak up on behalf of activist and artist Ai Weiwei, who was being held by the Chinese government without charge at the time in a case which gained global attention. Dylan himself cleared up his stance in a confrontational blog post shortly after the show.

All of which brings us up to this week and Bob's latest run of UK shows, including three gigs at London's Royal Albert Hall. Are they likely to pass without incident? As long as it has nothing to do with twerking, Miley or Robin Thicke, we'd seriously hope not.