Bob Dylan’s own style of dress and behaviour was heavily influenced by that adolescent identity with James Dean. The Dean image was there, on the record cover of “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”, with Dylan bowed and hunched up, arm in arm with Suze Rotolo, scuffing through the snow on West Fourth Street.
Dylan was singing for the new rebellion, creating the articulate poetry of protest or reality, his image and sound dominated the 1960’s, as Dean has dominated the mid-1950’s. And it was Dylan who nearly died on his motorbike, breaking his neck in an accident that might, in the event of his death, have eclipsed the Dean legend.
"…He had turned himself into the most beautiful thing God ever created. It was like being struck by lightening. That kid knew what he was doing! If James Dean walked into your life things would never be the same. That’s as close as we’re ever going to get to seeing an enchanted prince - but then it wouldn’t surprise me if he were the Angel of Death." -Kenneth Kendall
"You should read some of the letters I get from old ladies watching television. They tell me about how they want me to wear tighter pants." -James Dean
James Dean and Eli Wallach at a reading of the play Women of Trachis, 1954.
Tab Hunter visits James Dean on the set of Rebel Without a Cause, 1955.