R.I. P. Suze Rotolo

I’m walkin’ down that long, lonesome road, babe
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
But goodbye’s too good a word, gal
So I’ll just say fare thee well

Bob Dylan and Suze Rotolo on the cover of the former’s Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan represent the archetype of young, bohemian love. The two of them walking arm and arm down a wintry Greenwhich Village street is one of the most romantic images I can think of. My obsession with “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” the standout track on that album in my humble opinion — not to mention the quintessential breakup song — prompted me to do some more research on their relationship. I knew that Dylan wrote the tune in response to the news that Suze would be extending a trip she took to Italy, but I really learned about the romance in her 2008 memoir A Freewheelin’ Time. Ultimately, they split because Suze didn’t want a life in the limelight. That and they were only teenagers when they started dating. I was sad to find out that Suze passed away of lung cancer last Thursday.

People love to refer to her as “Bob Dylan’s muse,” but she was so much more than that. She exposed Dylan to liberal politics, activism, and the New York intellectual scene. She was a talented artist in her own right. I want to remember her, whether she wanted us to or not. [NY Times]