Suze Rotolo, an East Village, New York-based artist and writer who was perhaps best known as the former girlfriend of Bob Dylan, died Thursday, February 24th after a long illness, reports Rolling Stone. She was 67.
Rotolo began dating Dylan shortly after his arrival to New York City in 1961, and appeared on his shoulder in the now iconic cover of his 1963 classic, The Freehweelin’ Bob Dylan. In addition, she was the inspiration of many of Dylan’s early love songs, including “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and “Boots of Spanish Leather”, which he wrote during Rotolo’s summer in Italy. Their break-up in 1963 resulted in another of Dylan’s most notable works, “Ballad In Plain D”.
She was also credited for Dylan’s political awakening, and was said to have inspired Dylan’s writing of “The Death of Emmett Till” after telling him the story of 1955 murder of Emmett Till.
Rotolo married her husband of 40 years, Italian film editor Enzo Bartoccioli, in 1970, and would dedicate her life to artistry and teaching. In 2009, she published her memoir, A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties.