January 26, 2018

The death of The Girl from North Country.

Echo Helstrom.

“Everybody said she looked like Brigitte Bardot, and she did.”


JackWayne said...


Luke Lea said...

link dead

Ann Althouse said...

The link didn't work because I typed it out by hand on my iPad and the keyboard only has curly quotes!

I've fixed it now. But that was so annoying!!

anti-de Sitter space said...

Presumably can't delete comments on that iPad.

Now four that need ta go.

madAsHell said...

Come on!!
The girl friends I left behind became the woman I married.

Mary said...

Thanks so much for sharing, I can always count on you for Dylan news! :)

anti-de Sitter space said...

She ranked pretty high on the scale re this sorta thing. Still, there's only one Pattie Boyd.

dustbunny said...

A perfect name for a muse.

anti-de Sitter space said...


David said...

If she had been named Gladys would Dylan have become Dylan?

She looks nothing like Bardot in the photo provided, though she is beautiful.

RIP, Gladys.

David Begley said...

Echo is quite the name.

No Echo, no Dylan.

Big Mike said...

I don’t know whether a woman can appreciate the sentiment, but I think Dylan would agree with Willie Nelson:

“To all the girls I've loved before
Who traveled in and out my door
I'm glad they came along
I dedicate this song
To all the girls I've loved before

To all the girls I once caressed
And may I say, I've held the best
For helping me to grow, I owe a lot, I know
To all the girls I've loved before

The winds of change are always blowing
And every time I tried to stay
The winds of change continued blowing
And they just carried me a way

To all the girls who shared my life
Who now are someone else's wife
I'm glad they came along
I dedicate this song

To all the girls I've loved before

stephen cooper said...

I looked at her yearbook pictures on Google Images. If I had gone to high school with her I would have considered her "out of my league." She was in the front row of some club picture, looking very happy, very confident: her hair was beautifully blonde and free, she had kind eyes and a nice smile, and there is no question that she was weight-height appropriate and was perceived as likable: she was wearing the sort of clothes everybody wore then, in 1960 or so, without, of course, in her long-ago ignorance, knowing it (I always find that sort of thing touching when I look at old photographs), but for the picture, she distinguished herself from the other people in the front row by raising her sockless right foot a little out of her shoe (a gesture none of the other students replicated). She clearly cared about details.

So, not an obscure beauty whom only the local senior-class wannabe Bohemian would have figured out she was worth falling in love with.

For the record, Dylan's own high school picture reflects a young person who looks confident and is well groomed and there is no reason not to think that he was a very successful kid in the social and dating spheres of the high schools of his day. He is younger in his high school picture than my sons would be today in 2018, and his father must have been proud of him.

So what was up with all those whining songs like "Like A Rolling Stone"? I mean, that was like, what, 5 years after he had his high school picture taken, a picture of a kid who looked like he had never had a real day of work in his life. Maybe Dylan has always been an aristocrat, with happier and more interesting dramas in his life than most of the rest of us.

tcrosse said...

She's no Suze Rotolo, either.

Danno said...

Thanks for posting.

Danno said...

Or maybe not. I see you went to the Commie Star, rather than the Pioneer Press.

Blogger Danno said...Something Ann might like to read on Dylan's girlfriend from high school-

https://www.twincities.com/2018/01/23/bob-dylan-girl-from-the-north-country-echo-star-casey-died-iron-range/ 1/24/18, 5:01 PM

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wildswan said...

"If she had been named Gladys would Dylan have become Dylan?"

If she'd have been named Gladys she would have renamed herself Echo. Some things are meant to be.

Oso Negro said...

The Girl from the North Country is hidden behind a paywall.

J2 said...


Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'm glad I took the time to read Stephen Cooper's comment.

Humperdink said...

Never been a Dylan fan, mostly because the people I knew who were Dylan fans were dopers. In my older years I have come to enjoy his music.

Some have posited that Dylan became a believer. I wouldn't know. However, if you listen to "Gotta Serve Somebody", it might cause you to think that.

Jason said...

The Irish band Altan has a beautiful version of the Dylan song.

The great dobro player Jerry Douglass sits in. Very moving .

Highly recommended.

William said...

@Stephen Cooper: Thanks for some interesting observations. Dylan invented a lot of fascinating details about his life. I guess you're not a phony if you stick the landing........Her death is more than an intimation of mortality. The bell that tolls for me becomes nearer and louder......She was very pretty. Dylan must have at times contemplated an alternate universe where they got married and lived happily ever after in Hibbing. Maybe in the afterlife you get to experience all the roads not taken. Fun way to spend an afterlife. Things seemingly worked out better for Dylan than for Echo, but who really knows.

Mikec said...

Here's a youtube of Jonney Cash and Dylan singing the song.


Robert Cook said...

I like Pete Townshend's version of the song...on his solo album ALL THE BEST COWBOYS HAVE CHINESE EYES.

stephen cooper said...

William - well said. (and Eric - thanks for taking the time to say something positive!).

traditionalguy said...

Amazingly, teenage human souls do bond together in a few months of first love that ends suddenly, but remains a strong force for 50 years. That is enobling and tragic . Ask any poet or song writer.