As Dylan recounts in “Chronicles Volume One,” by 1986 he'd hit the bottom of the creative barrel, writing "I felt done for, an empty-burned out wreck."
His latest album was the dreadful "Knocked Out Loaded," which Rolling Stone magazine called a "depressing affair." Uninspired and performing on autopilot during a co-headlining tour with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Dylan decided he'd hang it up soon.
But first there was another paycheck to collect for a tour with the Grateful Dead. Taking a break from rehearsals in Northern California, Dylan was in a bar watching a live jazz trio. Focusing on the singer, he had an epiphany.
In “Chronicles Volume One,” Dylan recalls, "I could feel how he worked at getting his power, what he was doing to get at it. I knew where the power was coming from and it wasn’t his voice, though the voice brought me sharply back to myself."
And with that, the "Bobfather" would win back his mojo and mount a late-career comeback that no one saw coming.