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Bob and the Bible

Twenty-eight years ago this week, Bob Dylan brought his Gospel Tour to Golden Hall for two nights -- November 27 and 28, 1979 -- during which he was reportedly booed during monologues about his newfound Christianity. Several show reviews mentioned heckling, but a fan-made bootleg tape of the first night reveals only one discernable moment of booing. In fact, crowd members can be heard shouting, "Talk about Jesus!" and "Amen!" during one local-centric rap, before the song "Slow Train":

"Last time I was here in San Diego, I was here about a year ago...somebody out of the crowd, they knew I wasn't feeling too well, I think they could sense that, and they threw a silver cross on the stage.... I brought it with me to the next town, which was off in Arizona, Phoenix.

"Anyway, when I got back there, I was feeling even worse than I had felt when I was in San Diego, and I said, 'Well, I really need something tonight'.... I looked in my pocket, and I had this cross that someone threw before when I was in San Diego. So, if that person is here tonight, I want to thank him for that cross."

The one spate of discontent can be heard during a monologue preceding the final song before his encore. Dylan is saying, "When Moses went back to the land of Egypt to get the Hebrew children out, he told Pharaoh to let the people go. Pharaoh didn't want to do that."

A chorus of voices can be heard booing and chanting, "Play some music," but Dylan continues for several minutes without seeming to notice or care.

"If you don't know this, you better check into it," he concludes before launching into "In the Garden."

(Dialogue transcription from The Gospel Project, by Watt Alexander.)

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Twenty-eight years ago this week, Bob Dylan brought his Gospel Tour to Golden Hall for two nights -- November 27 and 28, 1979 -- during which he was reportedly booed during monologues about his newfound Christianity. Several show reviews mentioned heckling, but a fan-made bootleg tape of the first night reveals only one discernable moment of booing. In fact, crowd members can be heard shouting, "Talk about Jesus!" and "Amen!" during one local-centric rap, before the song "Slow Train":

"Last time I was here in San Diego, I was here about a year ago...somebody out of the crowd, they knew I wasn't feeling too well, I think they could sense that, and they threw a silver cross on the stage.... I brought it with me to the next town, which was off in Arizona, Phoenix.

"Anyway, when I got back there, I was feeling even worse than I had felt when I was in San Diego, and I said, 'Well, I really need something tonight'.... I looked in my pocket, and I had this cross that someone threw before when I was in San Diego. So, if that person is here tonight, I want to thank him for that cross."

The one spate of discontent can be heard during a monologue preceding the final song before his encore. Dylan is saying, "When Moses went back to the land of Egypt to get the Hebrew children out, he told Pharaoh to let the people go. Pharaoh didn't want to do that."

A chorus of voices can be heard booing and chanting, "Play some music," but Dylan continues for several minutes without seeming to notice or care.

"If you don't know this, you better check into it," he concludes before launching into "In the Garden."

(Dialogue transcription from The Gospel Project, by Watt Alexander.)

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