No Article of Mr. Dylan's Clothing Was Removed During The Filming Of This Commercial
April 8, 2004 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Reporter: "If you were going to sell out to a commercial interest, which one would you choose?"
Dylan: "Ladies garments."
- From a Dec 3, 1965 Press conference. (movie clip of press conference and the commercial hosted on

(via a Fark discussion from a few days ago)
posted by Gary at 11:43 AM on April 8, 2004

Seriously, y2karl? A brief CNN article about a nationally aired commercial? Not your best, man.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 11:55 AM on April 8, 2004

The Dash post is v. funny:

The problem is, Bob Dylan is not very sexy, let alone Very Sexy™. He's not the least bit sexy. He's not even the opposite of sexy, like the late Strom Thurmond was. Bob Dylan lives in a world without sexy. It's a happy place, don't get me wrong, full of poetry and old hippies and the sort of people who still argue about things like acoustic-versus-electric. But friends, where there is Bob Dylan, there is no sexy. . . .

No, the worst thing you could do is have the people from Planet Unsexy come and start spreading their word to the rest of us. We'll not be able to look at a saucy merrywidow or a flirty pair of stockings without fearing their zombie invasion. The thong meme will stop spreading. Then, the earnest folk-rockers will come for the rest of us, whether we're frolicking in sliky underthings or not.

However, people who don't understand Bob Dylan's sex appeal should look at his pics from 40 years ago and then watch the hottie in Don't Look Back get fresh with reporters. It's very sparky.

Not that this explains the VS commercial. At a Dylan concert at American University last week, fourteen year old girls were wearing angels wings and dancing to his music (specifically, to "Dignity"!) by jumping up and down with great vigor. It was a strange scene.

(Hilarious mouseover, y2karl.)
posted by onlyconnect at 12:05 PM on April 8, 2004

The man in me will do nearly any task,
And as for compensation,
There's little he would ask
posted by matteo at 12:07 PM on April 8, 2004

It's just not the same. Gary's addendum does bring it up a bit though.
posted by rafter at 12:08 PM on April 8, 2004

Bob Dylan lives in a world without sexy. It's a happy place, don't get me wrong, full of poetry and old hippies and the sort of people who still argue about things like acoustic-versus-electric.

I argue about acoustic vs. electric...


Geez, Bob, whatever happened to:

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It's easy to see without looking too far
That not much
Is really sacred.

*cries some more*
posted by jonmc at 12:15 PM on April 8, 2004

Bob Dylan has sucked for like going on thirty years now. He should be given some award for such continued and likely unparallleled suckage and honored as such for it's no minor feature to continue so ghastlyly sucking in the public eye for so long.

Amazing. An outright streak, his sucking.
posted by xmutex at 12:27 PM on April 8, 2004

Well, i have to admit, I saw this commercial and my reflex reaction was " Awww man. What are you doing Bob?" But the dissapointment didn't last long. In the end it was just . . .strange. Which is good.

Also it heartens me somehow, that there was 40 years of forethought to this. That adds to the strangeness. Somehow the joke seems to be on Victoria's Secret, not Bob.
posted by jeremias at 12:32 PM on April 8, 2004

Bob Dylan is not very sexy

WHAT? "Sexy" isn't some kind of universally standard, empirically-provable thing that means you can look at a given person and pronounce them universally "sexy" or "not sexy", nor is it restricted to people within certain age, physical trait, whatever restrictions. Get over it. Bob's damn sexy.

As for the commercials, I think they work pretty well, actually, they're quite artistically done and in my opinion only those with extremely black and white views on things could really complain about it. They're very similar to certain Leonard Cohen videos, and work for similar reasons.
posted by biscotti at 12:36 PM on April 8, 2004

The commercial makes no sense to me. I don't need Dylan imagery when I think about over priced thongs and bras. I think I prefer to think about, you know, women.

Not haggard looking folk icons.

And I'm a fan of Dylan's. I just don't understand the connection.
posted by fenriq at 12:43 PM on April 8, 2004

[Peter & Gordon]

I don't care what they say, I wont stay in a world without sexy...


yes, I realize that having the knowledge to make that joke makes me crown prince of the land without sexy. carry on..
posted by jonmc at 12:46 PM on April 8, 2004

Somehow the joke seems to be on Victoria's Secret, not Bob.

I agree. weird, but true. I had the same feeling.
his seemingly unquenchable thirst for cash aside (I ask Dylan biographers here: does he have some kind of terrible, huge financial problem -- like losing all his gazillions of savings for some obscure reason -- that forces him to sell out like that or is it simply greed?), that I find unappealing per se, I have to admit the "Push-up Bra Dylan" stunt made me smile.
I was appalled to see him sell a song to a Swiss bank (??!!!) for a commercial, I was saddened by his appearence at the concert for the Pope in the Vatican a few years ago. but come on, Victoria's Secret? The joke's on them. Really. Like, you know, Umberto Eco doing a rewrite on Terminator 5 for a few million bucks -- the joke would be on Hollywood, not on the good professor.
posted by matteo at 12:47 PM on April 8, 2004

to a Swiss bank (??!!!)
Canadian. And the irony of it being "The Times They are A-Changin'" was pretty funny (in an appalling kind of way).
posted by transient at 1:31 PM on April 8, 2004

I'm pretty sure his hat was removed.

Although, true, we don't ever see it on his head.
posted by mwhybark at 1:54 PM on April 8, 2004

I thought the commercial was odd as most of the Dylan love songs that I can think of are really bitter, sometimes even spiteful. But this is just going off of a 2-CD "Best Of" collection. Am I wrong?
posted by halonine at 2:01 PM on April 8, 2004

... and moreover ...

1. To her, death is quite romantic
She wears an iron vest
Her profession's her religion
Her sin is her lifelessness
And though her eyes are fixed upon
Noah's great rainbow
She spends her time peeking
into Desolation Row.

2. The outrageous gall of the man!

The next thing you know, he'll be using electric guitars!

(I kinda hope Tom Waits does the next one of these ads.)
posted by mwhybark at 2:06 PM on April 8, 2004

> "What would you rather have Bob Dylan selling, ladies' underwear or cat
> food?" Elsas asked.

Light bulb containing dollar sign goes on over Mr. D's head. Meow?
posted by jfuller at 2:15 PM on April 8, 2004

What was right for Dylan at 25 might be wrong for Dylan at 60.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:24 PM on April 8, 2004

Why did he do it? Occam's razor, folks. Maybe he just likes to cavort around with hot naked models.

I say that not having seen the spot. I'm assuming hot naked models are somehow involved.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:39 PM on April 8, 2004

When we first saw this ad my girlfriend said "that guy is so creepy, why is he watching that woman? What's going on in this ad? Is he going to attack her?" The second time we saw it she said, "Hey, that creepy guy is Bob Dylan. He looks so creepy." I thought it was cool. Creepy, but cool.
posted by Grod at 2:42 PM on April 8, 2004

Somewhere in the world there's some old folkie who remembers when Dylan came out playing that electric guitar going "I knew this was going to happen!"
posted by tommasz at 2:51 PM on April 8, 2004

> "I knew this was going to happen!"

And that old folkie is Dylan. Said he, "If I play Newport with amps, one day they'll pay me to fly to Venice with cavorting lingerie supermodels." And some say he's not a genius.
posted by jfuller at 3:24 PM on April 8, 2004

No naked models involved. Dylan is shot in one room, model the age of his granddaughter that he's supposedly checking out (creepily as Grod describes) is in another - frankly they could have been shot at two separate locations as they are never seen in the same shot. I have no idea why that would make me wanna buy lingerie. I'm assuming I'm the target market here, since I do wear that stuff. Bob isn't unsexy but c'mon, I'd like someone my age even though I'm not as young as the model.... I'm weird that way I guess.
posted by dabitch at 3:29 PM on April 8, 2004

I just watched the commercial over at the that underwear site. I think we've all been missing its point, which is clearly that, by wearing Victoria's Secret bras, boyshorts, and wing thingies (along with judicious application of the Dylan Cowboy Hat) you too can have an unhappy love affair with an aging Rock God who will write Famous Rock Songs full of longing for you and your panties after you've broken up.

And really, isn't Victoria's Secret right that this is what most of us want?
posted by onlyconnect at 3:48 PM on April 8, 2004

Why is he doing it?

He's made a career out of odd, inexplicable decisions that completely fuck with people's heads. Why did he go electric? Why did he go country? Why did he go gospel? What the hell was up with Self Portrait? The Rolling Thunder Revue? Renaldo & Clara? Why the fuck did he write a book? Wait, he's Jewish again? No? Then what is he? He's playing for the Pope? He's releasing a CD about musical theft and he plagiarizes a Japanese mobster? What's with the Vincent Price mustache? Wait, he's got another movie?

He likes a good mind-fuck, and he doesn't like being pigeonholed. Two facts that make for an interesting career, and go a long way towards explaining why he still kicks ass.
posted by Hildago at 4:41 PM on April 8, 2004

Well, personally I think he ran out of ideas 35 years ago, that's why he did all that other crap. He was great once, and has been pathetic since. Once a great poet, a mediocre musician, and now an aging folk-rockstar still trying to cash in in any way he can. Children will be singing his songs around campfires for years to come, but no one will remember the post 1970 Bob Dylan. (Dang, I actually agree with a xmutex snark).
posted by Eekacat at 6:15 PM on April 8, 2004


(What Would Neil Do?)
posted by groundhog at 6:40 PM on April 8, 2004

I'm thinking some of you ain't nevar heered World Gone Wrong, Good As I Been To You, Time Out of Mind or Love and Theft.

The audio in the ad is from Time out of Mind.

Some of these records employ electric instruments; others do not. I'm pretty sure I'll remember these records, not the earlier Woody Guthrie imitations.

ducks, scuttles sideways seeking cover

Not that I don't love both said imitations and Mr. Guthrie. Anybody else make it to the museum thing in Tacoma a couple years ago?
posted by mwhybark at 10:40 PM on April 8, 2004

I'm thinking some of you ain't nevar heered World Gone Wrong, Good As I Been To You, Time Out of Mind or Love and Theft.

Or, hell, even "Blood on the Tracks", if you're setting the cutoff date at nineteen-freakin'-seventy.

As to Mr Zimmerman's "selling out", if you're not used to seeing boomer-era cultural icons used as insta-cred cultural shorthand by the shameless Babylonian whore that is Madison Ave., I can only ask if you somehow stepped out of a time capsule from 1980 or something? Don't get me wrong, I love the Beatles (Nike), Led Zep (Cadillac), and the Stones (Microsoft) as much as anybody born in '75 has a right to, and there are times I feel a little sense of outrage every time some bit of tunage I personally love gets hijacked for an ad, but it's old news, innit? The culture wars are over, money won. If you really care that much about the integrity of music as an artform, grab a fucking guitar (or a piano or a harmonica or a rock or your own voice) make something yourself and remember that culture is supposed to be a process, not a product.
posted by arto at 4:08 AM on April 9, 2004

I kinda hope Tom Waits does the next one of these ads.
posted by transient at 9:15 AM on April 9, 2004

"They should be fined! [bangs his fist on the table] I hate all of the people that do it! All of you guys! You're sissies!"

Great link, transient.

Maybe they'll have a PPV wrestling match?
posted by mwhybark at 9:55 AM on April 9, 2004

I'm thinking some of you ain't nevar heered World Gone Wrong, Good As I Been To You, Time Out of Mind or Love and Theft.

Or, hell, even "Blood on the Tracks", if you're setting the cutoff date at nineteen-freakin'-seventy.

Poor Bob, if he'd only gotten himself killed in that '66 motorcycle accident, then people wouldn't have to look at his aged self keepin' on keepin' on, all too not dead yet. He could have been the next Jim Morrison instead.

From Bob Dylan's Statement on Johnny Cash

If we want to know what it means to be mortal, we need look no further than the Man in Black. Blessed with a profound imagination, he used the gift to express all the various lost causes of the human soul. This is a miraculous and humbling thing. Listen to him, and he always brings you to your senses. He rises high above all, and he'll never die or be forgotten, even by persons not born yet -- especially those persons -- and that is forever.

Just from what he wrote there, I would submit that he still has a contribution to make.
But he really should never have stolen that moustache from Vincent Price.
posted by y2karl at 10:52 AM on April 9, 2004

Bob Dylan is awesomely sexy and cool, this from someone far closer in age to the models than him
posted by dagnyscott at 1:40 PM on April 9, 2004

Love this headline: Tangled Up In Boobs !
posted by y2karl at 9:32 AM on April 13, 2004

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