EDLIS - Who's Who In Dylan's Songs

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Karl Erik Andersen

Dec 18, 1993, 7:38:36 AM12/18/93
EDLIS - Who's Who In Dylan's Songs...

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Nice car to drive, after a war

First: I am sorry this took longer than I planned. Been home with the flu
for two days, and when I was back, the battery in the computer was flat. It
took a week to get a new one, and all my Dylan material was on that local
hard disk. However, we're up and running now...

EDLIS - Who's Who In Dylan's Songs...

I have been assigned this file, and will need your help. The proposed seed
for this file is titled Dramatis Personae. It is a list of about 160 (?)
people, taken from Clinton Heylin's "Bob Dylan: Behind The Shades, The
Biography", 1991. It names musicians and other people connected with Dylan,
his life and work. I have posted it, but this is not the kind of Who's Who I
would most like to see.

I would rather like to build a list where the lookup word is the
name/word/expression used in the Dylan song.


Girl From The North Country / Freewheelin' Bob Dylan / 1963

Beecher, Bonnie:

Purportedly the 'real' Girl From The North Country, she first met dylan in
1959 and they remained close throughout his days in Minneapolis. After he
left for New York in December 1960 they remained in regular touch throughout
Dylan's rise to fame.

Helstrom, Echo:

Robert Zimmerman's girlfriend from the fall of 1957 to the fall of 1958 who
subsequently suggested she was the subject of 'Girl from the North Country'.

If you have an opinion on this, or know of a source to start the list from,
please E-mail to:


Please include the words "EDLIS: Who's Who" in theSubject line.

All requests for names or characters to be explained are best sent either to
rec.music.dylan or by E-mail to high...@virginia.edu

That way they will be quickly responded to, and I will keep a lookout for
questions and answers to include in the next posting.

Version #1 of this file will be posted around January 1st, if my batteries
are up to it.

===EDLIS - Who's Who In Dylan's Songs...===END OF FILE================

David Todd

Dec 18, 1993, 7:01:14 PM12/18/93

Here's a list from The Telegraph that may help with the who's who
in Dylan's music.


Significant women in Dylan's life and art:

Ra Aranga
A Maori Princess: Bob chatted her up when they met while jogging
on a New Zealand, 1978; then, delaying the scheduled start of
recording Street Legal, he flew back to her after his Sydney
shows and stayed a couple of days.

Mary Alice Artes
A Religious Influence: a black actress, first mentioned on Street
Legal LP cover (billed tellingly as "Queen Bee"), who helped
bring Bob over to Christianity, after calling a halt to living
with him after her own conversion; subject of "Precious Angel"
and focus in "Slow Train". Dylan reportedly bought her an
engagement ring in early 1980; later that year he wrote relevant
versions of "Groom Still Waiting At the Alter" and "Caribbean

Avril the Dancer
New York girlfriend: a dancer and actress who saw Dylan perform
at a Gerde's Folk City Monday night Hootenanny, perhaps as early
as mid-February 1961. Dylan lived with Avril on East 4th Street
for the last weeks of his stay in New York City, March-April of
that year.

Joan Baez
Folk-music lover. The cuff-links Dylan wears on Bringing It All
Back Home were the ones she gave him, mentioned years later in
her song about him, "Diamonds & Rust"

Carole Bayer-Sager
Song co-writer for Under Your Spell

Bonnie-Jean Beecher
Minneapolis girlfriend.

Carole Childs
Girlfriend; around Dylan back in 1974 and still there in
Australia in 1986; had worked for Columbia; later worked for
David Geffen, whose Asylum label Dylan used briefly in 1974.

Emily Dickinson
A favourite poet: never published until after her death; in
retrospect a major American nineteenth century voice; lived

Anna Dylan

Maria Dylan

Sara Dylan

Gypsy Fire
Sexsational gossipmonger (no smoke without Gypsy? See "My Sexy
Nights As A Slave to Bob Dylan," The People, UK, 27 July 1986).

Echo Helstrom
Hibbing girlfriend: subject of "Girl of the North Country" and
maybe of "Hazel."

Om Kalsoum
A favourite singer: a powerhouse-voiced 20th Century-spanning
Egyptian superstar and, as Bob put it affectionately, a "fat old
lady that smoked a lot of hash"; gave an annual concert in Paris;
did last show aged eighty-two and died at eighty-three.

Clydie King
Back-up companion as from February 1980.

The Last Straw Other Women: who, according to Sara, was sat
calmly with Bob at breakfast one morning right there in the
marital Malibu home when Mrs. D came downstairs.

Bette Midler
A Persistent Failure As Seductress.

Carlo Rotolo
The "Ballad In Plain D" "parasite sister." She was, despite it
all, a Dylan enthusiast (unlike her mother, who called him

Suze Rotolo
New York girlfriend: first saw Dylan perform on Wednesday 5 April
1961, at the Loeb Student Center on Washington Square, Greenwich
Village. Dylan was nineteen, she was seventeen. Later put
proudly on the cover of "Freewheelin''" and the subject of "Boots
of Spanish Leather" and more.

Edie Sedgwick
Brief companion, 1965-6.

Helena Springs
Song co-writer (of several songs, including "Coming From the
Heart", which Bob sang live in '78) and the only back up singer
to work the whole 1978 tour, from Japan and Australia-New Zealand
in February-March, thru Europe June-July, to Florida in
December, and still be there for the 1979 religious concerts

Elizabeth Taylor
Dream-girl (1964) to dinner-date (1986)

Beatty Zimmerman

Queen Esther Marrow
Crazy name, crazy gal!


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