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Coverdown: Freewheelin 231 / Freewheelin-on-line take 33
 

freewheelin-on-line take 33 cover

 

In Chapter 5 of ‘Chronicles, Volume 1’ Dylan enthuses as follows about a modern artist: 

Suze's favorite cur­rent modernist artist was Red Grooms, and he became mine, too. I loved the way everything he did crushed itself into some fragile world, the rickety clusters of parts all packed together and then, standing back, you could see the complex whole of it all. Grooms's stuff spoke volumes to me. He was the artist I checked out most. Red's stuff was extravagant, his work cut like it was done by acid. All of his mediums — crayon, water-color, gouache, sculpture or mixed media — collage tableaus — I liked the way he put the stuff together. It was bold, announced its presence in glaring details. There was a connec­tion in Red's work to a lot of the folk songs I sang. It seemed to be on the same stage. What the folk songs were lyrically, Red's songs were visually — all the bums and cops, the lunatic bustle, the claustrophobic alleys — all the carnie vitality….  I loved the way Grooms used laughter as a diabolical weapon. Subconsciously I was wondering if it was possible to write songs like that.’ 

With such a glowing recommendation, I just couldn’t help but crush some of Red Grooms’ rickety clusters onto a Freewheelin cover. This backdrop is taken from a 1964 painting called ‘Purple Umbrella’. The snowflakes add a seasonal touch as they fall upon Santa’s three reindeers  Rudolph, Dancer and Blitzen who are cunningly disguised as Rough Collies. Bob is blowing the snowflakes away and if you look closely you will see Suze’s hand making its way towards Bob’s heart. But there’s something in the way she smiles that shows she wouldn’t be able to hold on to him very long.

 

Theo Casamegas

 
 
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