It’s one of the most recognizable (and romantic) album covers of all time—
photographed in February 1963 on tiny Jones Street, around the corner from Dylan’s $60 a month studio at 161 West Fourth Street.
And no one had any idea that the image chosen as the cover shot for Dylan’s second album would become so iconic.
“The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan cover photograph came about rather casually; it certainly wasn’t planned or produced in any way,” recalls Dylan’s girlfriend Suze Rotolo (that’s her, clutching Dylan’s arm) in her 2009 book A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties.
“Bob stuck his hands in the pockets of his jeans and leaned into me. We walked the length of Jones Street facing West Fourth with Bleecker Street at our backs.” This is the same view, on a February day almost 50 years later.
“The snow on the streets was slushy and filthy from the traffic. Don [Hunstein; a staff photographer at Columbia Records] kept clicking away. . . . In some of the outtakes it’s obvious that by then we were freezing; certainly Bob was, in that thin jacket. But image was all.
“As for me, I was never given a release to sign or paid anything. It never dawned on me to ask.”
Tags: 1960s New York City, A Freewheelin' Time, Bob Dylan Bleecker Street, Bob Dylan in New York City, folk music in the 1960s, iconic rock music covers, Jones Street West Village, Suze Rotolo, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan cover