Suze Rotolo, the inspiration behind many of Bob Dylan’s early songs and his girlfriend in New York during the early 1960s, died last week at 67 following a long illness. Rotolo appeared on the cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan; their relationship led Dylan to pen classics like “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and “Boots of Spanish Leather,” reports Rolling Stone. The two started dating in 1961, when Rotolo was only 17. "Cupid's arrow had whistled past my ears before, but this time it hit me in the heart," Dylan wrote of meeting her.
Rotolo was a major force in Dylan’s introduction to political activism, taking the then fairly apolitical singer to Congress of Racial Equality meetings and teaching him about the civil rights movement. "A lot of what I gave him was a look at how the other half lived—left wing things that he didn't know,” she said. The two split up in 1963 amid the “pressure, gossip, truth and lies” of Dylan’s growing fame, she wrote; the two stayed friends for a short time. Rotolo, who refused to speak about Dylan in interviews, agreed to be interviewed in Martin Scorsese's 2005 documentary No Direction Home.