Ultimate Classic Rock: ‘We all knew that Bob Dylan‘s music would appear in two Super Bowl commercials this year, but what we didn’t know was how strongly — and clearly — he would verbally testify on behalf of the American auto industry in one of them‘. See full article here.
Bill Maher tweeted: ‘First P S Hoffman dies, then the worst super bowl ever, then Dylan does a car commercial?? Not a good day for America.‘
Expecting Rain (ER) Discussion member: ‘Dylan looks horrible in that ad in the truest sense of the word. Like he’s dead and has been injected with formaldehyde. When he lip-syncs it looks like the movement of his lips has been computer-generated (badly) to give the impression he’s not only dead, but whoever made the ad couldn’t be bothered pretending otherwise. I bet most kids who had the misfortune to see that ad had nightmares about it last night; hell, I bet I have nightmares about it. Mostly, the ad brought to mind some of the characters I remember from video games – maybe a cheap hood playing pool in some downtown dive in Grand Theft Auto, or a zombie in Resident Evil that has shuffled into the drug store where the good guys are hiding. Either way, it seemed like the only sensible reaction was to load up some ammo and destroy the thing, before it destroys us.’
An ER member: ‘I sat front row at a Bob show during the summer. He was not far from me. He did not look like that at all. He looked great.’
An ER member: ‘The thing that saddens me about this is not the false idea of this man personally ‘selling-out’ which just isn’t the case at all, but the freakish, Photoshopped image of the man at the pool table at the end of the video, presented as the archetypical plastic, face-lift man of Hollywood carnival. Quite simply – this is not the same man I saw and heard at the Albert Hall last year, but instead an airbrushed puppet, a spooky marionette, complete with overdubbed voice and forced to speak inane lines like “Is there anything more American than America?” (probably something Dylan wouldn’t wish to say if you pointed a gun at his head and demanded he utter it on pain of death), and it makes me sad to see this kind of stuff.
On stage, he was a magician with me and the whole audience as well. I see none of that spirit here.’
An ER member: Maybe the ghoulish / death pallor look was supposed to serve as a comment on the state of American Industry. If so, I’ve got to wonder how much was accomplished for the legions of stunned viewers spilling their Super Bowl nachos and refried beans down the front of their shirts and then 5 minutes later forgetting completely about it.
Me: I genuinely enjoyed being a Bob Dylan fan (of nearly 30 years) up until seeing that ad. Hasn’t anyone heard of aging gracefully? The whole delivery looks forced. The subtext is uncomfortable. The ad will backfire. I thought it all would have gone away after a good sleep. It hasn’t. I agree with Bill Maher, yesterday was a crappy day indeed.
I don’t get anything about it. I don’t get how he looked like an 80 year old vampiress (is this what he meant about transfiguration in the Rolling Stone interview?), I don’t get the message and I don’t get why he did it.
Big mystery rolled up in an ad.
Is it like his move to be photographed praying at the Western Wall back in 1983 (which he credits with helping his image)? To keep people from understanding/knowing what the f$%k is going on?
People were getting off his back about being a spokesman for a generation and now he is a spokesman for a foreign owned car company which promotes its Americanism. Makes a whole lot of sense. NOT, except if his goal is to distance himself as much as possible from being what idealists such as Joan Baez always wanted him to be.
I needed to vent. Despite the bad taste in my mouth, I will try to remember what I wrote in my previous post: ‘Output. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball. There is method to their madness.’
Related Articles / Links:
1. Watch 10 Incredible Clips From The Career of the Late, Great Philip Seymour Hoffman
2. Bob Dylan’s Genius
3. Is Chrysler America’s Company?? Their Super Bowl Ad Says They Are
4. Rolling Stone: The spot was far from Dylan’s first venture into advertising