Deep into Dylan

Film: Bob Dylan's Jesus Years

By Pete Howard | September 18, 2008

The genius of Bob Dylan becomes more and more apparent as time marches on, and one of the most talked-about periods of his long and storied career remains his jaw-dropping conversion to Christianity in 1979, which produced some great, Grammy-winning music but invoked the same polarized reaction as did his plugging in at Newport back in 1965.

This fascinating story is captured here in a series of “I was there” interviews with musicians, participants and observers. Director and Producer Joel Gilbert (Bob Dylan 1966 World Tour-The Home Movies and Bob Dylan World Tours 1966-1974-Through the Camera of Barry Feinstein) weaves the fascinating tale of this remarkable period in Dylan’s life with video footage, rare photos, ephemera and memorabilia, and – most importantly – new, exclusive interviews with the likes of legendary record producer Jerry Wexler, keyboardist Spooner Oldham, vocalist Regina McCreary, writer Al Kasha and long-time San Francisco Chronicle rock critic Joel Selvin. Also included are reminisces from old Dylan chum Izzy Young and old Dylan nemesis A.J. Weberman. Many of these participants have never spoken about Dylan on camera before.

Producer Gilbert, a renowned Dylan expert and musician in his own right, goes behind the scenes and asks the probing questions that reveal much of the motivation behind Dylan’s actions during this highly turbulent period. For example, in his first-ever interview, Dylan’s Bible Class teacher, Pastor Bill Dwyer, reveals the history of Dylan’s early Christian period. It’s a fascinating peek into some private moments that helped create revolutionary music that Dylan fans still talk about to this day. Inside Bob Dylan’s Jesus Years provides an exciting, fun and educational experience for anyone who appreciates Dylan’s music.