Whats the significance of a 'deadhead sticker' on a Cadillac?

One of my favorite songs is Don Henley - The Boys Of Summer.

Being a young person, I don't understand the lyric

"Out on the road today, I saw a DEADHEAD sticker on a Cadillac

A little voice Inside my head said, "Don't look back. You can never look back."

any interpretations/explanations of this would be very helpful!

10 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Back in the 60s and 70s there was a band call the Grateful Dead with Jerry Garcia. The fans were called "Deadheads" and most of them were hippies (yea!). Having a "Deadhead sticker on a cadillac" basically means that we've grown up, got jobs and are making money but are still hippies at heart. That is why "you can never look back". Always go forward.

  • 5 years ago

    In an interview with NME in 1985, Henley explained the 'Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac' lyrics as an example of his generation selling out:

    "I was driving down the San Diego freeway and got passed by a $21,000 Cadillac Seville, the status symbol of the Right-wing upper-middle-class American bourgeoisie – all the guys with the blue blazers with the crests and the grey pants – and there was this Grateful Dead 'Deadhead' bumper sticker on it!"

  • fonner
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Deadhead Sticker

  • 5 years ago

    I was not a hippie, but my mother was for a while and had them living in our home. Dead Head stickers were on old chevys, VW buses and old crappy wagons because the people driving them were living for the day. Most didn't have paying job, much less high paying ones. So the lyrics about the sticker are trying to convey he's appalled and dumbfounded. As he later was quoted, as he later was quoted, a $21k Seville passed him on the Freeway (highway to us NY'ers).$21K in todays money is over $100k. So the odds of seeing a GD sticker on a caddy in their heyday would only be the brunt of a joke. And don't look back, you can never look back can be interpreted several way. I always like to think he was like, no it wasn't real, I couldn't have seen that.

    I know your question was posted over 7 years ago but I just got in from Idlewild Airport.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    "amomtoo" is very close. But the reference to "A dead head sticker on a Cadillac" is also a symbol of lost values, of hypocrisy. It's inappropriate and shows that the owner of the Caddie is reaching back for something that's no longer there. It's a foolish attempt re-gain the past, just like the guy in the song knows that his girl is gone for good. It makes him see his own foolishness.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    He doesn't say what kind of Cadillac. Maybe it's a cool old Cadillac, that only cost a couple of grand, the kind someone could pop a surfboard on the roof of and laugh about its fading glory. On the other hand, maybe Don Henley was more focused on a rhyme than on the image of a brand. "I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Lexus; A little voice inside my head said "Don't sleep with your exes." Or, "I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Chevrolet; A little voice inside my head said "Don't go astray." Or, "I saw a Deadhead sticker on a VW microbus; A little voice inside my head that "That Deadhead is one of us!"

  • 3 years ago

    It's more complicated than just "Hippies buying fancy cars." When Henley says "Don't look back," he's trying to shed feelings of regret, even envy. His Eagles sold more records in the 70s, so why are the Dead the cultural icon of the generation, even among the more mature and successful adults? Where are the Eagles stickers? Don't look back, you can never look back....

  • Talk about hypocrisy. Last time I looked Henley was a multi multi multi millionaire. Or did he give all his millions to the poor?

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I was wondering the same thing too yesterday

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    dont ever look back in your past move on with the future boy.....oldschool .

    Source(s): brain
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