Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Suze Rotolo (November 20, 1943 – February 24, 2011)

I just read that Bob Dylan's old girl friend and muse Suze Rotolo died recently, aged 67 after a long illness.  She's best known for being on the cover of his second LP, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, but was also key to politicising Dylan in the early 60's and was the inspiration to some of his great early songs , such as "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" and "Boots of Spanish Leather".   They were together around late 1961 till early '63.  After she and Dylan seperated (he left her for Joan Baez) she continued to be involved in the Greenwich Village scene, visted Cuba in 1964 and was involved in the Civil Rights movement.  She wrote a book,  "A Freewheelin' Time, A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties" in 2008 (which I haven't read yet but it's in the pile I'm slowly working my way through..)  She was interviewed in the Scorsese Dylan documentary 'No Direction Home' and came across as a very modest, cool woman who just happened to find herself in the middle of an exploding folk scene, involved with it's biggest star and just took it all in her stride and got on with her own life when Dylan moved on...  Suze RIP

Update: I've finished reading Suze's book 'A Freewheelin' Time' and thoroughly recommend it whether you're into Dylan or not..  It's a snapshot of the 60's folk scene and New York Greenwich Village scene and how she had to deal with the changes happening at the time both personally and politically.. It's a great read.

And a bit more Dylan.. my mum gave me a stack of old Sing Out folk magazines she bought back in the early 60's including this one with a very early Dylan cover feature, from 1962.  This was around the time his first LP came out and has words and music for several of his newer songs at the time, including 'Blowin' in the Wind'.  I just scanned the Dylan pages..it's quite a chunky magazine.
Download Sing Out Oct - Nov 1962

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