Is Bob Dylan A Sell Out?

Bob Dylan

Maybe you saw it, rock and roll icon Bob Dylan schlepping American automaker Chrysler in a 60 second Super Bowl commercial. Some Dylan purists think the man who always challenged the status quo chose money over artistic content. Still others think it’s just a sign of the times.

Mike Johnson of Portland’s Mountain Air Studios doesn’t think it was a sellout.

Making music and money today is a difficult proposition. You at least have to consider every option out there. I think it was less of a money making venture and more about getting in front of people faces and reminding them that you exist. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’s happy to be shopping for a new cabin in Northern Minnesota, but I’d like to hope there’s more purpose in his life than money.

This is not the first time the usually reclusive Dylan has lent himself to a commercial. His “I Want You” was used in a Chobani yogurt ad featuring a bear.

In 2004 he teamed up with Victoria Secret and in 2007 it was Cadillac Escalade that added pitchman to his resume. All the uproar may sound familiar to some Dylan fans who remember when he went from acoustic to electric guitar at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. The hostile crowd began chanting “Sellout” and some band members actually walked off the stage.

No one really knows the motivation for doing the commercial except Dylan himself and it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be explaining himself anytime soon or does he even have to?

Valerie Ring

Listen to Valerie Ring afternoons from 2pm-6pm and Friday morning from 7am-10am. Listen to PRP

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2 replies
  1. Slim Symes
    Slim Symes says:

    Ironically Chrysler is now owned by Fiat the Italian based auto giant. At the auto show Bubble gum Fiats were mixed with stealthy Chrysler’s and studly Dodges.

    Reply
  2. gary jarvis
    gary jarvis says:

    This is a thought-provoking proposition (whether Bob is a sell-out due to doing an add for Chrysler)… I have not yet made up my own mind. I did not see the add, as I have no TV reception here in Sweet Home Oregon and by the time I figured out how to “cast” my computer live stream to my TV it was half-time and I paid little attention to the advertisements. In any event, at this point, I lean toward “not a sell-out”. If he was shilling for Monsanto or a fracking company, I am sure I would feel differently. But at least Chrysler builds some cars in this country, and there remains some organized labor that is beneficiary to those cars being built. He may have had his way partially paved by Woody Guthrie, but he has never claimed to be Woody. As such, I don’t expect him to act like Woody. I think I give him a pass on this one. For more on this, here is another interesting read (with reader comments) on the subject… http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/276-74/21945-focus-bob-dylan-corporate-shill.

    Gary Jarvis
    Sweet Home

    Reply

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