It is being reported that Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor has died. Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, DBE , was 79.
Taylor was born on February 28, 1932. Pop singer Eddie Fisher, who died September 22, was involved in a scandal when he left his first wife, Debbie Reynolds, for Taylor, in 1959. Fisher and Taylor divorced on March 6, 1964. and she married Richard Burton for the first time nine days later. However, in his December, 1962, recording of “I Shall be Free”, Bob Dylan was already singing, “”I make love to Elizabeth Taylor . . . Catch hell from Richard Burton!”.
Fast forward to March 31, 1986. When Dylan was presented with a Founder’s Award from ASCAP at Chasen’s in Beverly Hills, he was photographed sitting with Taylor. According to Howard Sounes in his book Down The Highway, Taylor was “giddy” over Dylan when he played at the Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute earlier in the year. They were both on stage for the finale, a version of Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday”.
There’s a discussion on Expecting Rain about Dylan’s song, “Emotionally Yours”, from 1985’s Empire Burlesque, being writtne about Taylor:
As for Liz Taylor, it’s not a theory. there’s good evidence to support the theory based upon the testimonies of the directors of the crazy video for Emotionally Yours.
“During the filming of Emotionally Yours, when it was after six o’clock in the afternoon, Dylan suddenly started to have ideas of his own. He noticed that Monica Getchell, who was playing the “discarded girlfriend”, had a similar bone structure to the young Elizabeth Taylor. He asked if a wig could be found so that Monica could become the image of Taylor in the 50’s…Dylan loved the transformation and told us that Emotionally Yours had been written with Taylor in mind…when Dylan saw his concept going from initial idea to film action in a matter of hours, he was thrilled by it. His input was exciting and valid.“
The video opens with a photograph of Taylor, which can be seen in the embedded clip on the left.
It’s also been reported that Michael Jackson and Dylan performed together at Elizabeth Taylor’s 55th birthday party in February, 1987. Dylan was in California around that time, making a surprise appearance at the Palomino club with Taj Mahal, George Harrison, and John Fogerty, and recording with Warrren Zevon.
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