A "Super" sellout by Bob Dylan?

February, 4, 2014
Feb 4
1:52
PM ET


Aside from the music that made him a household name, Bob Dylan is well-known for his willingness to challenge the status quo. Especially when it comes to tweaking the conventional wisdom. Ever watched Don't Look Back, the D.A. Pennebaker documentary of his 1965 tour of England? In it, you'll see a man who is already losing his patience with the media and the public's preconceived notions of who and what he's supposed to be.

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What was your reaction to Bob Dylan appearing in a Chrysler commercial and promoting buying American-made cars?

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Discuss (Total votes: 24)

So the question practically asks itself: What was the deal with Bob Dylan appearing in Chrysler's Super Bowl commercial with the music from his song "Things Have Changed" playing in the background? Is he having more fun with public perception? Was he promised a paycheck none of us would turn down, if we're being honest? Or was he "selling out," as some have claimed?

Dylan has made bigger waves before. It seems laughable now, but in 1965, his plugging in and playing electric guitar freaked out his folk music fans and peers. His electric songs were booed in concert. Loudly.

Another example: In the late 1970s, Dylan recorded a pair of gospel records, stopped playing his older songs on tour and confronted his audience with his newly-embraced Christian faith.

So yeah, Bob has been known to mess with the narrative from time to time.

It's also worth noting that this wasn't the first time Dylan's music was used in advertising. And while it's true that many artists of Dylan's generation refused to allow their music to be used to sell products, that ship sailed a long, long time ago.

So why did he do it? The only one who knows for sure is the man himself.

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