Friday, 14 November 2008


The cover photo for Bob Dylan's second album, 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, captures him in Jones Street in Greenwich Village, between Bleeker and West Fourth Street. The woman is 19 year old Susan Rotolo, an artist who was Dylan's girlfriend during his folkie days in New York and the reputed subject of songs as "Boots of Spanish Leather" and "Don't Think Twice, Its All Right."

The two shared an apartment at 161, West Fourth Street while Dylan recorded the album in late 1962 and early 1963.

Late one afternoon in February that year, a staff photographer for Columbia Records arrived and brought the couple outside to the snowy street for a photo session and told them to just walk up and down Jones Street. There was very little thought or pre-planning and with the sun low in the sky, and the two looking a little chilly standing in the dirty slush, it was a last glimpse perhaps of Bob Dylan leading the life of a relatively ordinary young man.

The album, which included "Blowin in the Wind" and "A Hard Rains a-Gonna Fall" was released three months later and catapulted Dylan into international stardom. Susan Rotolo, continued to live in the Village until at least 2000 and her book "A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties," was published in May 2008. In it she describes her time with Dylan and the folk music scene of the Village.

Jones Street as it looks today.

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