Wednesday, March 2, 2011

RIP Suze Rotolo, A Modern Muse

Yesterday, Terry Gross aired an interview she'd done on Fresh Air with Suze Rotolo, the woman who appeared arm-in-arm with Bob Dylan on the cover of his 1963 album "Freewheelin' with Bob Dylan".

Rotolo lived with Dylan for four years and is credited in his autobiography with influencing his life, activism and art. "Meeting her was like stepping into the Tales of 1001 Arabian Nights," he wrote. She inspired his songs “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” “Boots of Spanish Leather,” “One Too Many Mornings” and “Tomorrow Is a Long Time.”

According to the New York Times, Rotolo lived in downtown New York her entire life, and worked as a teacher, a painter and a book illustrator. In 2004, using the pseudonym Alla DaPie, she joined the street-theater group Billionaires for Bush and protested at the Republican convention in Manhattan. She died last week at the age of 67. In her memoir "A Freewheelin' Time," Rotolo signs off with the words "we had something to say, not something to sell."

Googling "Suze Rotolo" and "marijuana" yields this interesting page:
Bob Dylan turns The Beatles on to cannabis

on which one commenter writes:

"It was Suze Rotolo, one of Dylan's early girlfriends, who said it was Canadian folk singer Ian Tyson who introduced pot to Dylan."

in response to the comment,

"Yes, Bob Dylan introduced pot to the Beatles, and the Beatles popularized pot, for the world....but dig deeper.... Canadian country music singer Ian Tyson, in the CBC documentary, Songs from the Gravel Road, claims that HE introduced pot to Bob Dylan."

1 comment:

Frank H. Lucido M.D. said...

fyi: Diamond Dave Whitaker
first turned Bob Dylan on to pot.
Bonnie Beecher (Jahanara Romney, who married Wavy Gravy) and Dave were high school friends in Minnesota, and she brought fellow Minnesotan Bob Dylan to meet Dave in 1961, before he went to New York, and they smoked pot mucho then.