All posts by Faridi McFree

Faridi McFree was born Frieda Asmar on March 8, 1936 in Hillside, New Jersey. She married Michael Hanft in 1961 and the two purchased a home in Bearsville, New York, a rural suburb of Woodstock. The couple maintained an apartment in Brooklyn while both working for the William Morris Agency in NYC. According to her ex-husband, the Hanfts were friends with members of The Band and Bob Dylan. As a hobby in the 1960s, Faridi worked as an interior designer, and even refurbished old barns - including one owned by Levon Helm, which later became known as the Midnight Ramble. In 1970, the Hanfts moved to Santa Monica, California. Michael began work for Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas while Faridi was swept up by the blossoming New Age and Transcendental movements. At the time, their next-door neighbor was Jonathan Taplin, the former road manager for The Band. He would later produce the film, The Last Waltz. In 1975, Faridi attended Taplin's wedding, as did Bob Dylan. It was around this time Faridi began working for the Dylans. Among her duties, perhaps a self-appointed duty, was teaching art to the Dylan children. In 1977, after Bob Dylan divorced his wife, Sara, and Faridi and Michael separated, Faridi moved in with Bob on his farm in Minnesota. The love affair ended a year later. Faridi spent the next few years in California, promoting her *Healing Art" while working for Herman Rush, CEO of Columbia Pictures Television. Faridi next moved to New York City where she worked for Deloitte, Haskins & Sells at One World Trade Center. In 1982, Doubleday published her book, "Celebrate You," featuring Faridi’s artwork, affirmations and healing techniques. In 1983, Faridi became an Interfaith Minister. She worked with the underprivileged, the terminally ill, and children from broken homes. In 1987, William Morrow published her book, "Peace on Earth Begins With You." After a short illness, Faridi McFree passed away on August 25, 2009. *In his 2001 book, Down the Highway: The Life and Times of Bob Dylan, author Howard Sounes writes: “Faridi had invented a concept called Healing Art.”

The Zimmie Fence


Created in 1982 by Faridi, I took the liberty of framing two pieces of corrugated cardboard she had used to message Bob Dylan.  The Zimmie Fence measures 16″ x 32″ and is backed with a piece of gift wrapping paper.  In Supermind Aliens, a script Faridi created for television, one character is named Zimmie the Zipper – after Bob (Zimmerman) Dylan.  The “Zipper” refers to the character being cloistered or “zipped up” from the outside world.  A third piece of cardboard covered with hearts carries the message, “Baby, Crawl in My Window…”


truppin MD   salem trust   people magazine   bob logan   chase  chase 2

Faridi photocopied thousands of pages of correspondence over the years. Here is a small sample of the positive feedback she received, much of it concerning her book, Celebrate You!  Published by Doubleday in 1982, the book was filled with Faridi’s original drawings and positive affirmations.

Storage Auction Box Lot

box 3

Seen here are the contents of a single box purchased at the Public Storage Auction in New Jersey.  The storage locker contained a treasure trove of Faridi’s belongings.  Six other boxes were similarly full of documents, correspondence, TV script proposals, journals, photographs, and various unframed pieces of (doodle) art.  Also purchased at this auction were nearly one hundred pieces of Faridi’s “major” works.  A few months earlier, a Public Storage Auction was held in Los Angeles.  Many of those items are now part of this collection.  Among those items are Faridi’s early colored pencil works, diaries, address books, and a Dream Journal.  The Dream Journal from 1975 contains several Bob Dylan entries and describes their meeting at Jonathan Taplan’s wedding.  Taplan was the Executive Producer of the documentary, The Last Waltz.

Home Movies

Faridi 8mm collection

Among the items purchased at the Public Storage Auction in California was this box of 1960s 8mm (silent) home movies shot by Faridi’s husband, Michael Hanft.  Interior shots of the William Morris Agency in New York, parties in Woodstock, poolside at a Country Club, and life with the Hanfts at their home in Bearsville are documented, along with two avant garde “story” films created by Faridi. One of those films is titled,  Water


Dylan and McFree Ink Drawings


As their affair came to an end, Faridi created these two portraits.  At the time the affair began, Faridi had separated from her husband of sixteen years.  The love she felt for Dylan may have helped her through the difficult separation and ultimate divorce.  The “Love is Healing” affirmation peppers many of Faridi’s works.

600 MInutes

600 minutes front page no Faridi   600 minutes with Faridi

In 1982, shortly after Doubleday published her book, Celebrate You, Faridi was living in New York City, working for Deloitte, Haskins & Sells in Tower One of the World Trade Center.  She is featured in this edition of the company newsletter titled 600 Minutes.  Her second book, Peace On Earth Begins With You, was published by William Morrow in 1987.