Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bob Dylan Week (VI) -- Born-Again Bob

It is well known that in the late 1970s, Bob Dylan found Christ (or rather, Christ found Dylan), and he became a born-again Christian. He read scripture in Bible study classes and attended services in churches of the Vineyard Movement.

As Larry Yudelson put it, in the curiously entitled "Bob Dylan: Tangled Up In Jews"--

In late 1978 Dylan himself was busy being born again. His widely-publicized conversion to Christianity made him perhaps the most famous Jewish apostate in American history. Suffering from a painful divorce, a tiring world tour and too much alcohol, Dylan began looking for answers. He found one:

"There was a presence in the room that couldn't have been anybody but Jesus. I truly had a born-again experience, if you want to call it that.... It was a physical thing. I felt it all over me. I felt my whole body tremble."

This brief period, often called Dylan's "born again" phase, saw a renewed vitality to Dylan's music. His first Christian album, Slow Train Coming (1979), netted Dylan his first Grammy award as Best Male Vocalist ("You Gotta Serve Somebody"). Dylan's follow-up Christian album, Saved (1980), however, received fewer accolades.

Dylan's religious beliefs and practices remained a curiosity for a few years. Without fanfare, the Christian music gave way to more secular-themed projects. Speculation also suggested that Dylan had returned to Judaism. Fuelling this speculation, Dylan had been observed during the '80s attending both of his sons' Bar Mitzvahs, and was reported to have been going to Temple for high holidays.

At any rate, one of the gems from his "born again" period is this track from the Slow Train Coming album -- "I Believe in You". Enjoy.



Sounds like you're a fan. In that case, I thought I'd introduce you to my new novel, BLOOD ON THE TRACKS, which I think you'd enjoy.

It's a murder-mystery. But not just any rock superstar is knocking on heaven's door. The murdered rock legend is none other than Bob Dorian, an enigmatic, obtuse, inscrutable, well, you get the picture...

Suspects? Tons of them. The only problem is they're all characters in Bob's songs.

You can get a copy on or go "behind the tracks" at to learn more about the book.

Osh said...

Thanks,Thomas. Sounds intriguing. I'll make a point of looking it up and tracking it down. Cheers.