(AL.COM) “Bear, we’re screwed. Dylan’s gone Christian,” Jerry Wexler told Barry Beckett over the phone. The conversation took place in advance of Muscle Shoals recording sessions that became Bob Dylan’s 1979 album “Slow Train Coming,” according to Scott M. Marshall, author of new book “Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life,” who interviewed “Slow Train Coming” co-producers Wexler and Beckett before they died in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
Beckett, nicknamed Bear, was less pessimistic about the impact Dylan’s newfound Christian outlook would have on the upcoming album. Beckett told Marshall he replied on the phone to Wexler, “I think it will work out Jerry if he doesn’t get too schmaltzy on the lyrics.”