Contact Us

‘Cadillac Ranch’ Creator Stanley Marsh 3 Dies

Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Eccentric artist Stanley Marsh 3, who created the roadside ‘Cadillac Ranch’ art exhibit (pictured above) west of Amarillo, Texas, died on June 17 at the age of 76. The installation inspired a Bruce Springsteen song of the same name.

While no cause of death is given, the Associated Press says that Marsh had suffered several strokes in recent years, and Connect Amarillo reports that he died in hospice care.

Born into a wealthy oil family, Marsh had worked in banking and owned a local television station, but his love of art — and pranks — led him to sponsor public artworks. The most famous of these was 1974′s ‘Cadillac Ranch,’ which featured 10 junked Cadillacs buried in the dirt along Interstate 40. The exhibit, which was created by the Ant Farm collective, was moved to a different location in 1997.

Springsteen’s track, featured on 1980′s ‘The River,’ is one of the most beloved of his “car songs.” He draws upon the car’s beauty (“Eldorado fins, whitewalls and skirts / Rides just like a little bit of heaven here on earth“) while using the exhibit as a metaphor for death, telling his girl, “You’re my last love / Baby you’re my last chance / Don’t let ‘em take me to the Cadillac Ranch.”

Other installations by Marsh involved placing fake traffic signs around Amarillo and painting a mesa to look like it was floating. “Amarillo has lost a bit of its color,” Wyatt McSpadden, an old friend said. “He certainly enlivened what might have been a kind of dull place.”

However, he was occasionally the source of controversy. In 1994, he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges after locking up a teenager who stole one of his signs. More seriously, two years ago he had been charged with various crimes related to sex with minors. Marsh died before a court date could be set.

Watch Bruce Springsteen Perform ‘Cadillac Ranch’

Next: See Other Rockers We've Lost in 2014

More From Jack FM

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://929jackfm.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on 92.9 Jack FM quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on 92.9 Jack FM quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!