A Freewheelin’ Time is Suze Rotolo’s firsthand, eyewitness, participant-observer account of the immensely creative and fertile years of the 1960s, just before the circus was in full swing and Bob Dylan became the anointed ringmaster. It chronicles the back-story of Greenwich Village in the early days of the folk music explosion, when Dylan was honing his skills and she was in the ring with him.
A shy girl from Queens, Suze Rotolo was the daughter of Italian working-class Communists. Growing up at the start of the Cold War and during McCarthyism, she inevitably became an outsider in her neighborhood and at school. Her childhood was turbulent, but Suze found solace in poetry, art, and music. In Washington Square Park, in Greenwich Village, she encountered like-minded friends who were also politically active. Then one hot day in July 1961, Suze met Bob Dylan, a rising young musician, at a folk concert at Riverside Church. She was seventeen, he was twenty; they were young, curious, and inseparable. During the years they were together, Dylan was transformed from an obscure folk singer into an uneasy spokesperson for a generation.
Suze Rotolo’s story is rich in character and setting, filled with vivid memories of those tumultuous years of dramatic change and poignantly rising expectations when art, culture, and politics all seemed to be conspiring to bring our country a better, freer, richer, and more equitable life. She writes of her involvement with the civil rights movement and describes the sometimes frustrating experience of being a woman in a male-dominated culture, before women’s liberation changed the rules for the better. And she tells the wonderfully romantic story of her sweet but sometimes wrenching love affair and its eventual collapse under the pressures of growing fame.
A Freewheelin’ Time is a vibrant, moving memoir of a hopeful time and place and of a vital subculture at its most creative. It communicates the excitement of youth, the heartbreak of young love, and the struggles for a brighter future.
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|Title of eBook: A Freewheelin' Time|
|Release Date: 05-13-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||A Freewheelin' Time|
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A Freewheelin' Time
In the 1960s Bobby wore a black corduroy cap, with the snap on the brim undone, over his head of curly khaki-colored hair. His clothes were sloppy and didn’t fit his body well. He wore shirts in drab colors, chinos and chunky boots, which later gave over to slimmer-fitting jeans and cowboy boots. I slit the bottom seams on his jeans and sewed in an inverted “U” from an older pair so they would slide over his boots. He is wearing them on the cover of the Another Side of Bob Dylan album. My solution was a precursor of the bell-bottoms that came on the market not too long afterward.
He had baby fat, and Dave Van Ronk, already a well-known folk musician dubbed the Mayor of MacDougal Street, loved to tease him about the way he looked. As a folksinger, he advised, Bob had to develop and present an image to the outside world, his future public. Such things might have been talked about in jest, but in truth they were taken quite seriously. Much time was spent in front of the mirror trying on one wrinkled article of clothing after another, until it all came together to look as if Bob had just gotten up and thrown something on. Image meant everything. Folk music was taking hold of a generation and it was important to get it right, including the look—be authentic, be cool, and have something to say. That might seem naïve in comparison with the commercial sophistication and cynicism of today, but back then it was daring, underground, and revolutionary. We believed we could change perceptions and politics and the social order of things. We had something to say and believed that the times would definitely change.
Bobby had an impish char