Navigation device manufacturers are talking to Bob Dylan about using his voice to give the GPS directions:
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.”
Can anyone explain how the voices are connected to the computerized directions? Would Bob have to read the names of every street in America, with then the computer providing the association and the intonation? Would this gig mean just reading a long list of words that don’t go together, sort of like some of his songs? (I had assumed that the voices were all computer-generated, but I have since learned that, as here, actual human beings do the talking and the back-street driving.) But I can’t imagine how that can be made to work. Somebody please explain.
Also, along the lines of this first paragraph, can you think of other Dylan lines that would fit this project?