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America through the eyes of two American-Americans

Suze Rotolo, 67

She was a 17-year-old art- and poetry-loving civil rights activist from Queens when she met the 20-year-old folk singer from Minnesota at an all-day folk concert at Riverside Church in Manhattan in the summer of 1961.

So began a four-year relationship with Bob Dylan that was immortalized on a wintery day in 1963 when photographer Don Hunstein captured the young couple walking down a snowy Greenwich Village street, Dylan's hands thrust in his pockets and Rotolo's hands wrapped snuggly around his arm.

Rotolo, who moved into a tiny apartment on West Fourth Street in the Village with Dylan when she was 18, is credited with introducing him to modern art and poetry, avant-garde theater and civil rights politics.

"You could see the influence she had on him," Sylvia Tyson, of Ian & Sylvia, recalled in a 2008 interview with the Los Angeles Times. "This is a girl who was marching to integrate local schools when she was 15."

Some rock historians, The Times' story noted, believe Rotolo inspired numerous Dylan songs, including "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" and "Tomorrow Is a Long Time."

Source

Filed under: Obituaries

Jesse Valadez, 64

Legendary godfather of lowriding and president of the Imperials Car Club, Jesse Valadez, died of colon cancer Jan. 29 at his home in East L.A. at age 64.

An impressively long line of classic lowriders from throughout Southern California and beyond joined the funeral procession that began at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in East Los Angeles and ended at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.

On a flatbed truck behind the hearse at the head of the parade Feb. 5 was one of the icons of the lowriding world: "Gypsy Rose," a fuchsia-colored 1964 Chevy Impala whose body is adorned with hand-painted, multihued roses and whose hot-pink interior includes swivel seats in the front and a cocktail bar and two small light fixtures in the back.

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Filed under: Obituaries

Jack LaLanne, 96

Jack LaLanne, the seemingly eternal master of health and fitness who first popularized the idea that Americans should work out and eat right to retain youthfulness and vigor, has died. He was 96.

LaLanne opened what is commonly believed to be the nation's first health club, in Oakland in 1936. In the 1950s, he launched an early-morning televised exercise program keyed to housewives. He designed many now-familiar exercise machines, including leg extension machines and cable-pulley weights

Using principles taught by Jack LaLanne—including deep, thrusting military squats—Seth has torn his meniscus and must require surgery.

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Filed under: Obituaries

Don Kirshner, 76

The man responsible for the Monkees died Tuesday at his home in Boca Raton, FLA.

The group members' desire to incorporate their own musical sensibilities as songwriters and instrumentalists into the show led to a famous battle over creative control with Kirshner, who ran Colgems Records, the label that put out the Monkees' recordings.

Guitarist and songwriter Michael Nesmith famously put his fist through the wall of Kirshner's bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel during one of the more heated sessions.

In 1963 he sold his publishing catalog for $3 million, a sizable sum at the time for a trove of material estimated decades later to be worth $1 billion.

Oops.

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Filed under: Obituaries
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