Tuesday, December 2, 1980

Dylan finds Jesus, loses the rest of us

I've been a huge Bob Dylan fan my entire life, and in 1980 he came to Salem to play a show at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.  A year earlier he had taken a radical detour off the super-star track by declaring himself born-again and revamping his songwriting to declare his new-found allegiance to fire-and-brimstone Christianity. To most of us listeners, this was disconcerting, to say the least.

I tried to make sense of it all in an essay that appeared in the Statesman-Journal the morning of his show.

It had the most amazing impact.  On the day it appeared, Dylan's road manager called the newspaper with the message that "Bob wants to see you -- he read your piece and was knocked out by it."  The star was appearing in Portland, 40 miles north, that night, and I should meet him backstage after his show.

I did, with my then-wife Katie.

That's a story for another day.  For now, here's the article I wrote.


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