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[Xmca-l] Dylan at the super bowl

Apologies to Pete Seeger......

For those of you who don't follow American football, the "Super Bowl"-the championship game-is the mecca of US advertising. In rather a surprise, Bob Dylan was featured in a lengthy ad for Chrysler, the car manufacturer. It appears at http://pitchfork.com/news/53797-watch-bob-dylan-stars-in-chryslers-super-bowl-commercial/. Here's one media account:

BOB DYLAN'S SUPER BOWL: Legendary musician Bob Dylan appeared in a Chrysler ad that had been kept tightly under wraps. Dylan walked through the streets of Detroit explaining that the city made cars and that "cars made America." In case you didn't get the point, he goes on to explain in his familiar raspy voice: "Let Germany brew your beer, let Switzerland make your watch, let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car." It was the second appearance of the night for Dylan, if you count his popular 1960s tune of "I Want You" that played in the Chobani ad.

Just to be clear: I don't begrudge musicians' efforts to make a living. I've read some musicians' autobiographies, and unless you're an established star or have written something that brings in royalties over time, life is a constant struggle. One of the greatest saxophone players of his generation, Maceo Parker, took a two-year hiatus and worked as a garbage collector to earn enough to support his family (James Brown, his original employer, was notoriously tight-fisted and cold-hearted with his band members). So, when musicians "sell out," often they're just trying to earn a steady living.

Dylan's a little different, given his songwriting royalties, record sales, and concert revenues. Once a social critic of the first order, he went as patriotic mainstream as possible in last night's ad. Compare to Pete Seeger, who quit the Weavers because he felt they were too oriented to producing a hit.

I must say, this one puzzled me.

Status: O