It was 35 years ago when Bob Dylan confounded his fan base once again with his Born Again period from 1979. Dylan played music exclusively from his Slow Train Coming and Saved albums, nothing from the back catalog. The Gospel Tour shows opened with vocalist Regina Havis delivering a monologue on Christian faith. She was then joined on stage by vocalist Helena Springs, pianist Terry Young, and his wife Mona Lisa Young who performed a half-dozen gospel songs, such as “If I Got My Ticket Lord”, “It’s Gonna Rain”, “Do Lord, Remember Me”, “Look Up And Live By Faith”, and “Oh Freedom”.
The backing band might have been one of Dylan’s finest Spooner Oldham (Rock Hall inductee and Muscle Shoals studio wiz), Terry Young (keyboards, vocals), Fred Tackett (Little Feat member), Tim Drummond (bass), Jim Keltner (drums). As you might imagine in the pre-internet era, many in the audience didn’t see this coming and walked out.
The playing is amazing and I find this era in Dylan’s life fascinating so let’s set the way back machine for November 18, 1979 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Click on the photo to get to the music.
Dylan on Saturday Night Live October 18, 1979. This is “Gotta Serve Somebody” The solo Fred Tackett plays is esquisite
“When You Gonna Wake Up”. Love the Hammond organ from Terry Young on this one
Sinead O’Connor’s version is still my favorite but this is a great version of “I Believe In You”