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Coverdown: Freewheelin 211 / Freewheelin-on-line take 13
 

freewheelin-on-line take 13 cover

 

I think that this may be the first time that we have had a cat on the cover of Freewheelin’. Unfortunately it is not a Siamese cat that sits on the shoulder of the cover’s main feature: it is a plain old Tom from the back streets of Mexico. 

The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954) wouldn’t have had it any other way for she championed the cause of the undercat. Frida had a tragic life that was blighted by critical medical problems. She had polio as a child and, as a teenager, she was involved in a serious road traffic accident which resulted in her having to undergo numerous operations to rebuild her broken body. Her sprit of adventure and colour was never however broken and she became an important and influential figure in the international art movement. 

This self portrait, where Frida gives herself a somewhat masculine appearance, was painted in 1940. The brambles around her neck perhaps signify the physical restraints upon her because of the injuries that she suffered and this situation is further emphasised by the sparrow being caught up in the thorns. 

John Lennon, who looks over Frida’s shoulder was born in 1940 and you can now visit his childhood home in Liverpool, courtesy of Yoko and The National Trust. Goodness only knows what JWL would have made of the state of the world in the spring of 2003 but, unlike Frida, when John was a teenager he was as free as a bird. 

The image of Dylan is taken from the sleeve of ‘Shot Of Love’ the album Dylan released in 1981, when he was 40. He has his eye on the sparrow that has fallen but I fear that the Mexican Tom will get to the bird first!

 

Theo Casamegas

 
 
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