The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

24

Bob Dylan has (cue mass rumbling of moral indignation) gone and done an ad for Cadillac to help them sell one of their top-of-the-range SUVs.

It's easy to get outraged by this sort of carry on, especially when you consider the anti-establishment line that defined his first decade as a performer. But, it's really no big deal.

Dylan nailed his colours to the corporate mast many a year ago (hell, there's probably some pompous heads out there who would try and tell you he did so back in 1961 when he signed to Columbia Records). There's been plenty of huffing and puffing at the various points when Dylan made it clear that cutting deals with various corporations was fine for him. There was that corporate gig Dylan did for Applied Materials employees back in 2002. Then in 2005 he got into bed with Starbucks for an exclusive deal to distribute 'Bob Dylan: Live at the Gaslight 1962'. And then last year he lent his hand (and silhouette) to Apple's iTunes division for some exclusive terms with the release of his last album 'Modern Times' (that included a pre-sale ticket tie-in with the devil incarnate TicketMaster).

But while he looks after the business side of things, Dylan also keeps his eye on the artistic side: there have been many a gem on his studio releases of the last decade, and recent years have seen him get his fingers dirty in some notable ventures (such as the "No Direction Home" documentary & the great read that was his book "Chronicles Volume I"). Nonetheless it's important to draw the line at his live performances of the last decade. The ones I saw were, to say the least, a bit touch and go.

Yeah, he doesn't need the money and flogging SUVs is well dodgy. But - and now I turn into a complacent crank - so what? Last time I checked life was a bit too short and, sure, we'd all be better off if we kept our outrage bottled for more worthy stuff than a gruff genius who is creaming a bit off a few corporations.


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2006 - Review of Neosupervital's debut album, written by Doctor Binokular. The famously compelling review, complete with pie charts that compare the angst of Neosupervital with the angst of the reviewer. As you do.