Bob Dylan is a legend to music lovers everywhere and has always lived a quiet and private personal life. Could his need for privacy be due to a scandalous love life?
Bob Dylan, 67, remains a musical enigma. He’s approaching 70-years-old and getting ready to tour the US with Willie Nelson. A simple man of few words, Dylan isn’t known for his charm and charisma. In fact, Ruth Tyrangiel, his common-law wife for 17 years, said that in all their time together his only gifts to her were a tangerine and a rose. Dylan lives mostly on the road, doing around 100 shows a year and travels for 10 out of 12 months. He takes 1 month off in the summer to spend time with his children and grandchildren in Malibu. Now, the UK Daily Mail is saying the reason Dylan is so secretive about his private life is because it’s extremely complicated.
For some time he has had a penchant for voluptuous, maternal women, mostly African-American. ‘Bob has a thing for black women,’ confirms Howard Sounes, author of the respected Dylan biography Down The Highway. He has a daughter, Desiree, known as Desi, who is now 23 and the UK Daily Mail has the first photo of her.
She is his child by Carolyn Dennis, once his backing singer, whom he married in June 1986. Dylan managed to keep this second marriage and existence of a daughter completely secret for 15 years, setting his wife and daughter up in a home in a Los Angeles suburb. After six years of marriage they divorced as quietly as they married. Some think that could be up to four other secret children, also by black back-up singers, although Dylan has only ever admitted to fathering four children by his first wife Sara Lowndes and will not discuss Carolyn or Desi. Carolyn has confirmed the marriage in a statement to the Daily Mail saying, “‘Bob and I made a choice to keep our marriage a private matter for a simple reason – to give our daughter a normal childhood. She added that Bob Dylan has been a good father to their daughter, in private.
Recently, a rumour was circulating that he has married for a third time and that his new wife is on the road with him, but this mystery woman has yet to be seen. Although he leads a rather quiet life, his love life is anything but. His relationship with Susan Rotolo, who was pictured with Dylan on the cover of his second album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, ran into trouble when he went to stay at the home of fellow singer Joan Baez in the mid-Sixties. This sparked a two-year romance that ended when Baez found another woman answering the door of his hotel room. His first marriage to former Playboy bunny Sara Lowndes came when she was heavily pregnant with their son, Jesse, in 1965. Accusations of infidelity plagued the marriage and the final straw came in 1977 when Sara went down to breakfast at their NYC home and discovered her husband sitting at the table with their children….and a woman called Malka, a poet who spent the night with her husband. Sara won custody of the children and Dylan hit back by having an affair with Faridi McFree, a therapist whom she hired to help the children cope with trauma of the divorce.
Dylan’s conversion to Christianity was rooted in, what else, a sexual affair. While getting hot and heavy with back-up singer Helena Springs he became infatuated with Mary Alice Artes, a black actress who was involved with a group of religious fundamentalists. This was one of the many times that Bob Dylan had overlapping affairs. During his relationship with Carolyn Dennis, who later became his second wife, he was also seeing Ruth Tyrangiel and the affair lasted 17 years and ended with him paying her alimony since she was legally considered his common-law wife.
Simultaneously, he was romancing legal assistant Susan Ross, who later called him emotionally parsimonious, a rotten lover and a recovering alcoholic. Interestingly enough, she thought there were many other women in his life including another secret marriage to anotherback-up singer named Clydie King who Ross claims was his second wife and mother of two of his children. Ross claims that there was even another marriage to back-up singer Carol Woods which resulted in yet another child. If true, this would make Carolyn Dennis his fourthwife, rather than his second. Keep in mind he kept Carolyn Dennis a secret for a 15 years. But his biographer, Sounes, disagrees saying ‘I have looked through all of the records and the marriage to Carolyn Dennis is the only other marriage for him. I find no record of any other births, either. ‘He does have a thing about black girls and when you look at his art – which is dreadful, by the way – there are a lot of studies of naked voluptuous black women in various hotel rooms. ‘There have been a string of dalliances, for sure. He had affairs with three women pretty much at the same time as Carolyn Dennis. He is a bit of a womaniser.’
To quote Bob Dylan himself, ”I’m just not the kind of person who seems to be able to settle down.’