Bob Dylan talks about his career as a used car salesman

An Exclusive Untold Cell phone Interview conducted by Larry Fyffe)

Untold: Bob, tell us about your first day on the job as a used car salesman?

Dylan: Well, on the first day of my new job, I’m tryin’ to sell this guy a second-hand Cadillac with a broken windowshield; he asks me where it came from; I tell him what the previous owner said to the lot’s manager:

Well, I see a Cadillac window uptown
And there was nobody aroun’
I got into the driver’s seat
And I drove down 42nd Street
In my Cadillac. Good car to drive after a war.

Untold: How’d the sale go after you told him that?

Dylan: It didn’t. Anyway, the next day, I use a different tactic when a gal’s lookin’ the Cad up and down. This time, I lie and tell her about my experience as its owner:

Well, I drivin’ in the flats in a Cadillac car
The girls all say ‘You’re a worn-out star’
My pockets are loaded and I’m spending every dime ….
I got eight carburetors, boy I’m using’em all
I’m short on gas, my motor’s starting to stall

Untold: So what happens?

Dylan: She puts her hands in her back pockets and leaves. I decide to be more aggressive with my next female customer and take her on a test drive:

I got a cravin’ love for blazin’ speed
I got a hopped-up Mustang Ford
Jump into the wagon, love
Throw your panties overboard

Untold: And?

Dylan: She wouldn’t; just then this guy wearin’ a coonskin cap and a union badge comes into the lot lookin’ for a used Chev. It’s sundown, and it’s getting dark. I figure the sale will be like taking candy from a baby; so I says:

And the car I drive is a Chevrolet
It was made in Argentina
By a guy making thirty cents a day

Untold: Enough said. You’re a clean cut kid. Please, go on.

Dylan: Well, anyway, the next customer is lookin’ for a used Rolls. I know the guy won’t fall for the old lady story who only drove the Rolls to church on Sundays. I tell the truth about its previous owner:

He drank Coco-Cola, he was eating Wonder Bread
He ate Burger King, he was well fed
He went to Hollywood to see Peter O’Toole
He stole a Rolls Royce, and drove it in a swimming pool

Untold: So Bob, did you do any better on your third day as a used car salesman?

Dylan: On my third day on the job, this fella’s interested in the blue Buick that’s been sittin’ around the lot for months. The previous owner had phoned up from the hospital, and I told my customer what the driver from the Buick 6 had explained to the manager about the accident and how it could have turned out much worse:

Well, when the pipeline is broken and I ‘m lost on the river bridge
I’m all cracked up on the highway and on the water’s edge
She comes down a throughway ready to sow me up with a thread
Well, if I go down dyin’, you know she’s bound to put a blanket on my bed

Untold: I bet that car’s sitting on the lot, still all tangled up in blue?

Dylan: No, it takes a lot to cry. The next day, I sold the Buick to a gal for a quick $20.oo:

We drove that car as far as we could
Abandoned it out west
Split up on a dark sad night
Both agreeing it was best

Untold: And that was the end of your involvement with used cars?

Dylan: Well, not exactly. I ended up getting a lift from Tweeter and the Monkeyman; they got me to take the wheel after crossing the border into British Columbia:

Tweeter was a boy scout before she went to Vietnam
And found out the hard way nobody gives a damn
They knew that they found freedom just across the Jersey line
So they hopped into a stolen car; took Highway 99

Untold: Okay, thanks Bob ….let’s get you off that cell phone while you’re driving.

What else is on the site

1: Over 400 reviews of Dylan songs.  There is an index to these in alphabetical order on the home page, and an index to the songs in the order they were written in the Chronology Pages.

2: The Chronology.  We’ve taken all the songs we can find recordings of and put them in the order they were written (as far as possible) not in the order they appeared on albums.  The chronology is more or less complete and is now linked to all the reviews on the site.  We have also recently started to produce overviews of Dylan’s work year by year.     The index to the chronologies is here.

3: Bob Dylan’s themes.  We publish a wide range of articles about Bob Dylan and his compositions.  There is an index here.  A second index lists the articles under the poets and poetic themes cited – you can find that here.

4:   The Discussion Group    We now have a discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook.  Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

5:  Bob Dylan’s creativity.   We’re fascinated in taking the study of Dylan’s creative approach further.  The index is in Dylan’s Creativity.

6: You might also like: A classification of Bob Dylan’s songs and partial Index to Dylan’s Best Opening Lines

And please do note   The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, is starting to link back to our reviews.


  1. Very funny, Larry, but again you did ask not an important question: what happened to the busted down Ford? When did the wheels fall off, the paint peel and the seat covers fade? Did he tell you he considered applying for a job at the wrecking lot of a man whose name wasn’t Henry Porter? Really! I’ll have a word with the editor in chief one of these days. (lol)

  2. Look, I cut the interview short because I was getting worried about talking by cell phone with someone who’s driving; I’m sure the editor in chief will understand that………. but then again maybe he won’t?!

    Perhaps it would be best that you not call!

  3. Yes Shepherd is there, but his words aren’t included in the above article:

    “I can still see the day that you came to me in the painted desert
    In your busted down Ford and platform heels”

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