Bob Dylan Sings for San Francisco

Perhaps you’ve never cared for Bob Dylan’s music-but he does seem to be saying something new through his latest album. Recently, he held a series of concerts here, and we thought that he might be trying to say something about Christ.

We thought that we could turn this opportunity into a fruitful time of witnessing to those who attended his concerts. So+some of us got together to write a broadside called The Times They Are (Indeed) A’Changin’,” and we printed a few thousand of them in our Production Department. Each night of Dylan’s sixteen concerts, we sent a tract-passing team down to the theater. As hundreds of people streamed out of the theater after each concert, we asked them what they thought about Dylan’s new music.

Most of those who had attended the concerts were Dylan fans from the 60s, when he was singing the blues about life. Many were disappointed with the “new” Dylan; many more were confused about this nice Jewish boy who was suddenly sounding like he believed in Jesus. Each night we had dozens of conversations and handed out hundreds of Gospel tracts. We were able to speak with many Jewish people who gave us their addresses for further contact.

Since this was the first time that Dylan had made a public appearance after producing his new album, many of the reactions we heard were also “firsts” for many of his fans. Several Jews for Jesus related comments from those who stopped to talk:

“Well, it sounds like one of you got to Bob Dylan.”

Another said, “Dylan’s always been a prophet to our generation; maybe there’s something to what he’s saying now.”

“I respect him for speaking what’s on his mind.”

“We came expecting to hear his old songs, and frankly, we’re disappointed.”

(By Dylan’s manager, after Mitch Glaser tried to give him a tract for Dylan): “He’s got twelve of them already.”

One person said on his way out, “I paid fifteen dollars to hear that?”

We’re praising God for providing us with such plentiful opportunities to witness to people who had the Gospel on their minds, and questions in their hearts. To date, two young Jewish men whom we contacted this way have made commitments to Christ!


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