Entertainment behind the scenes
Bob Dylan may have starred in a television commercial for iTunes, but don’t look for him to become an iPod pitchman anytime soon.
In a Rolling Stone magazine cover story, the 67-year-old troubadour rails against modern technology like cell phones, iPods and video games. The man who wrote “The Times They Are A-Changin’” almost 46 years ago evidently thinks the times have changed a little too much.
“It’s peculiar and unnerving in a way to see so many young people walking around with cell phones and iPods in their ears and so wrapped up in media and video games,” Dylan told interviewer Douglas Brinkley, a professor of U.S. history at Rice University in Houston.
“It robs them of their self-identity. It’s a shame to see them so tuned out to real life. Of course they are free to do that, as if that’s got anything to do with freedom. The cost of liberty is high, and young people should understand that before they start spending their life with all those gadgets.”
Dylan teamed up with Apple’s iTunes music store in 2006 to promote his new album “Modern Times.” A commercial showed him singing and playing guitar while an iPod-sporting woman danced to the music. He released his latest album “Together Through Life” this week.
In the Rolling Stone interview, Dylan also expressed some backhanded nostalgia for the early recordings of his old friend and duet partner Johnny Cash, in the process describing the country legend’s acclaimed 1990s comeback albums as ”notorious low-grade stuff.”
Cash died in 2003, riding high on a decadelong comeback masterminded by producer Rick Rubin. Over that time, they recorded a series of Grammy-winning albums that showcased Cash’s acoustic side. But Dylan said he started missing Cash ”10 years before he actually kicked the bucket.”
“I tell people if they are interested that they should listen to Johnny on his Sun records (of the 1950s) and reject all that notorious low-grade stuff he did in his later years. It can’t hold a candlelight to the frightening depth of the man that you hear on his early records. That’s the only way he should be remembered,” Dylan said.
Here comes a chance not only to find out, but to buy the personal playlist and the autographed iPod of 70 celebrities ranging from Madonna and Beyonce to Carrie Underwood, Britney Spears and fashion designer Marc Jacob.
Philanthropic Web site Tonic.com is auctioning off between one and five of the signed iPods every week from now until August and sending all the money directly to benefit Music Rising — an organization that replaces musical instruments that were lost or destroyed by Katrina and other hurricanes in the Gulf Coast region.