By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Bob Dylan: folk-rock legend, poet-spokesman of his generation . . . and GPS voice?
Maybe. The enigmatic troubadour said on his satellite radio program that he is negotiating with two car manufacturers to be the voice of their in-car navigation systems. Insert your own Dylan-lyric pun here about "no direction home" or "there must be some way out of here" or "how many roads . . . ."
The wonder of this might not be that Dylan is selling out -- he has already done that by appearing in ads for Victoria's Secret, Pepsi, Cadillac and others, and he'll be singing "Here Comes Santa Claus" on a forthcoming Christmas album -- but that his famously raspy and mumbly voice would be suited for directions-challenged drivers.
Dylan himself wasn't even so sure about that. On his BBC radio show he gave listeners a preview of his would-be GPS vocals: "Left at the next street. No, right. You know what? Just go straight."
He also noted: "I probably shouldn't do it because whichever way I go, I always end up at one place -- on Lonely Avenue. Luckily, I'm not totally alone. Ray Charles beat me there."
As with much about Dylan, it's not exactly clear what he means. But as Dylan himself put it in his voice-over for a Cadillac Escalade commercial in 2007: "What's life without the occasional detour?"