Now comes word of a new voice for boomers' GPS - Bob Dylan.
Bob Dylan: folk-rock legend, poet-spokesman of his generation . . . and GPS voice?What an amazing idea. I've listened to Bob Dylan's radio show on XM radio. It's very interesting and entertaining as he brings together disparate songs from all different eras that have one theme in common, for example, trains or moonlight. However, I find his voice almost impossible to understand. I find myself turning up the volume for his commentary just to try to figure out what he's saying. I can't imagine trying to follow that voice when I'm lost in a strange city at rush hour.
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?"
If they want to use a celebrity voice, my choice would be Sean Connery. I would drive in circles and make wrong terms, just to hear Connery recalibrate and tell me where to go. Forget the troubadour. Bring on Bond, James Bond.