Thursday, March 3, 2011

R.I.P., Suze Rotolo


They looked so domestic. Just a young couple crazy about each other, strolling a New York City street with the confidence that the world was their oyster. The near mundaneness of the image belied the brilliance of the music within, but once you heard the music within, you took a second look at the cover. Suddenly, it portrayed something else: A portrait of a young man as an artist who had just changed popular music forever and his (somewhat reluctant, it turned out) muse. She clings to him smiling and proud as he whispers something secret -- a private witticism, perhaps, a sweet nothing, or a tale of the Village night. The images of the cars behind them futilely attempt to freeze the image in late 1962 or early 1963, but the music had already demolished the mere temporal pretensions of a camera: It's already immortal. And Suze, you feel, knows it. The smile says, "This record? He couldn't have done it without me."

Suze Rotolo is gone, succumbing to lung cancer at age 67. She inspired Bob Dylan's interest in the political world and became the subject of some of his greatest songs. Here's, Dylan's friend Ramblin' Jack Elliot sings one of them (music begins around 3:30):


5 comments:

TaraDharma said...

you write so beautifully. And yes, RIP, Suze.

tnlib said...

Thanks.

sussah said...

I enjoyed reading your post and the linked article about her. One could be known for worse things than inspiring Bob Dylan. thanks, sp

Foxessa said...

They were so cold!

But her apartment was too small for photos, so the photographer sent them outside.

Little did I know when guys kept pulling out that album back when I was a kid that one day in what then was a much closer future than now a past I'd be living right there too.

Love, C.

K. said...

Now that's pretty cool! Have you and V ever had yourselves photographed like the picture?