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Coverdown: Freewheelin 213 / Freewheelin-on-line take 15
 

freewheelin-on-line take 15 cover

 

2003 is a very good year to visit Amsterdam. In fact if you wander along Paulus Potterstraat in the Museum Quarter of the city and you find yourself at the Van Gogh Museum, and if it just happens to be your birthday on the day of your visit in 2003, a friendly Dutchman will break open a bottle of Amstell and invite you in for a drink.

The reason for the celebration is that 2003 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the artist Vincent Van Gogh and all manner of activities are planned for this year including making a fuss of anyone who turns up at the Museum on their birthday. 

The somewhat pensive self portrait that forms the backdrop of this months cover was painted by Vincent in the year 1887 and, upon completion, he called his creation, simply, ‘Self Portrait With Grey Felt Hat’. 

Just thirteen years after Vincent kissed goodbye the howling beast that sits on the border line between life from death, the comedian Bob Hope was born. So, if it is a cover about birthdays, Bob Hope just has to be there for in this year, 2003, he made the century. 

But in fact it is a cover about grey felt hats. Vincent is wearing one; so is Bob Hope and so is Bob Dylan. Big Frank wants to swap his black felt hat and reaches out for Dylan’s grey but Hope looks like he wants to prevent the exchange. Dylan has his back to the party games, he stares straight out at the camera and drums ‘Happy birthday to you’ with his fingers. Vincent,  it seems, is not amused!

 

Theo Casamegas

 
 
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