Don’t be surprised

Bob Dylan has sold out. Actually, that’s (maybe) unfair. Starbucks have announced a deal for the exclusive marketing rights to a new Dylan CD. The release is an early Dylan’s recording at the Gaslight coffee house in New York’s Greenwich Village in the autumn of 1962.

Dylan has been fighting his public image for more than four decades so what’s a mutually acceptable financial agreement with a chain selling average, frothy coffee?

Mike Marqusee writes in the Guardian: “With its corporate regimentation and single-minded dedication to maximising profit, Starbucks is diametrically opposed to the ethos of the Gaslight. In fact its cut-throat policies have pushed independent coffee houses out of business.” And yet it likes to portray itself as your one-stop-cosy-shop for all things hot.

Marquess says that, “it’s impossible not to marvel at the apparently limitless capacity of corporate behemoths to appropriate the trappings of their opponents – from images of Che Guevara to G8 protests.”

Perhaps Sir Bob was in need of some cash. After all, he featured in a 2004 ad for Victoria’s Secret lingerie.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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