I’m gonna pack my pa and I’m gonna pack my aunt
I’m gonna take them down to the Cadillac Ranch
Cadillac Ranch was on Bruce Springsteen’s album, The River. It was released in October 1980. The following Fall, I started college at UT-Austin and remember bringing this album with me. As we studied, played and hung out with new friends in our dorm rooms, I remember playing this album over and over. It became scratchy and worn from use. My friends probably tired of listening to it. Yes, I had a little crush on Bruce back then.
It was exciting to see the inspiration for the song in person, though it looked different than I expected. All the cars are covered in graffiti. When we arrived at 7:30 in the evening, people were streaming out of their cars to see this landmark. Some brought spray paint with them and others were excited to find cans on the ground with leftovers.
The artists, a group called Ant Farm contacted Stanley Marsh 3 about funding a project in 1972. Cadillac Ranch was installed in 1974 and moved two miles west in 1997. The artists support the interactive nature of Cadillac Ranch today. I find it to be an evolving and iconic landmark.