Suze Rotolo RIP and a tale of the gap in my education

Who?  Even I know she was the muse of Bob Dylan for a period and the woman pictured with the singer on the The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan‘ album.(Pictured)

What I hadn’t heard about before was a “Suze Rotolo lipstick holder”.  This item came up in conversation when we were discussing last night the death of Suze Rotolo.(wiki Obits at the end if you want the links.)  Being a second decade of the 21st Century type of guy I even posted a Facebook status update:

Hmmm clearly my education is incomplete I don’t know what a Suze Rotolo Lipstick case(sic) is, or what it’s for. Suze Rotolo RIP.

Clearly I am not alone in this gap in my education as a relative responded:

I’m with you Andrew, but I am sure it costs oodles of money and therefore chic

JTO went to the shelves that contain both our record collections to get his eponymous first album which on the sleeve notes has the following:

Dylan had never sung In My Time of Dyin’ prior to this recording session.  He does not recall where he first heard it.  The guitar is freted with the lipstick holder he borrowed from his girl, Susie Rotolo (sic), who sat devotedly and wide-eyed through the recording session.

So the question of what a Suze Rotolo lipstick holder is has been answered.  It is something which holds a lipstick that belongs to Suze Rotolo.  But it was assumed that as a person who played a guitar a lot in my youth I would understand the sentence but I didn’t know what ‘freted’ meant and I had never done it with a lipstick holder, belonging to Suze Rotolo or anyone else.  A search using Google returned many debates about whether a freted or fretless bass is better and two bands named either Freted or FRETeD.  I know the fret is the metal bar that crosses the neck of a guitar to delineate the different notes.  Having read about ‘how different cords are freted’ as another result of my search, meaning where the fingers are placed on the notes to make the different chord sounds when a guitar is strummed.  So presumably Mr Dylan was using the lipstick holder to block off strings when forming chords.  The second picture is Suze Rotolo with the director of the Bob Dylan film “I’m not there“, Todd Haynes.

Obits – Mail, CBS, Guardian, BBC, Yahoo, MSNBC, and Rolling Stone.

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