‘He proceeded to the leave’: Benmont Tench remembers his difficult first session with Bob Dylan

By 1981, Benmont Tench had seen success as a member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, had been part of several hit moments. That doesn’t mean he was ready to be thrown in the deep end — all alone — on a Bob Dylan session.

And it’s exactly what happened, as Dylan began working on what would become his 1981 album Shot of Love. The first track attempted was “Caribbean Wind,” a song Dylan had already tried out on tour. He was also auditioning a new producer in Jimmy Iovine, with whom Tench had worked on the 1979 Petty smash Damn the Torpedoes.

The pairing didn’t work out, as Iovine was eventually replaced — and the sessions’ initial song was left on the cutting room floor.

Meanwhile, Tench was left to sort things out.

“Jimmy Iovine produced one track that isn’t on the record, called ‘Caribbean Wind,’” Tench tells Radio.com. “It’s on a couple of different box sets. He brought me along for that, and he proceeded to the leave in the middle of the session, because of some disagreement with Bob — without telling me he was leaving. Now I’m in a room with Bob Dylan, who I have never met before — and a slew of other great musicians, who I have never met before. I’m in a studio all by myself, knowing nobody, and I’m the new kid in the corner!”

“Caribbean Wind” eventually showed up on 1985′s Biograph set. Tench, meanwhile, just released his first-ever solo recording, You Should Be So Lucky.

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