Published Feb 28, 2011Suze Rotolo, the early '60s girlfriend and muse of Bob Dylan, passed away on Thursday (February 24) after battling a yet-unknown illness, Rolling Stone reports. She was 67.
Rotolo and Dylan started dating in 1961, she became the inspiration for songs like "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," "Boots of Spanish Leather" and "Tomorrow Is a Long Time." She was also the first to tell Dylan about the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, inspiring "The Death of Emmet Till."
Rolling Stone points to an excerpt from Dylan's 2004 Chronicles Number One, where he described meeting Rotolo for the first time. "Right from the start I couldn't take my eyes off her," he said. "She was the most erotic thing I'd ever seen. She was fair skinned and golden haired, full-blooded Italian. The air was suddenly filled with banana leaves. We started talking and my head started to spin. Cupid's arrow had whistled past my ears before, but this time it hit me in the heart and the weight of it dragged me overboard."
Rotolo and Dylan eventually split up for good in 1963 when Dylan had developed a relationship with Joan Baez. Right before then, however, the pair were photographed for the iconic image on the cover of the 1963 record The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.
In 2009, Rotolo released a memoir on her time with Dylan titled A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties.