Andy Warhol’s Factory People
100 minute Director’s Cut Feature Documentary Version Transcript
Opening Montage Sequence
Victor Bockris V.O.: “Drella was the perfect name for Warhol in the sixties... the combination of Dracula and Cinderella”.
Ultra Violet V.O.: “It’s really Cinema Realité”
Taylor Mead V.O.:” We were ‘outré’, avant garde”
Brigid Berlin V.O.: “On drugs, on speed, on amphetamine”
Mary Woronov V.O.: “He was an enabler”
Nico V.O.:” He had the guts to save the Velvet Underground”
Lou Reed V.O.: “They hated the music”
David Croland V.O.: “People were stealing his work left and right”
Viva V.O.: “I think he’s Queen of the pop art.” (laugh).
Candy Darling V.O.: “A glittering façade”
Ivy Nicholson V.O.: “Silver goes with stars”
“I don’t have any favorite color because I decided Silver was the only thing around.”
This is the factory, and it’s something that you can’t recreate. As when we were making films there with the actual people there, making art there with the actual people there. And that’s my cat, Ruby. Imagine living and working in a place like that! It’s so cool, isn’t it?
OK. I was born Isabelle Collin Dufresne, and I became Ultra violet in 1963 when I met Andy Warhol. Then I turned totally violet, from my toes to the tip of my hair. And to this day, what’s amazing, I’m aging, but my hair is naturally turning violet. It’s all natural, maybe it’s a miracle.
I’m Taylor Mead, and I’m buried alive in museums, cinematheques and foundations. And with the Andy Warhol Foundation, we have a lot of wonderful movies with great character personalities...even almost a plot.
We were all drama queens. The Silver Factory was the place to throw out tantrums... show our outfits. Just blossom.
I’m a cult star. I’m a cult star because when I was with Warhol in New York, I was probably the only person there who thought she was going to be an actress, not just a “star”. I got very, very strange roles because of it. “Eating Raoul”, where I was a mass murderer.
Andy Warhol V.O.:
If someone wants to be in movies, you can buy their life, and say we are doing two movies of your life for that year.
Edie Sedgwick, Warhol Icon
“It’s not even acting!”
CBS News Interviewer:”How does your family feel about your being in these movies?
Edie: “Ahhhh! They hate it. They’re terrified, they think I’m beyond belief, out the window with me, and they’ve decided I shouldn’t have any money.”
I impersonated Andy and all that whole jazz. They actually believed I looked like him and they believed that I am just like him probably except that I don’t have money...or maybe.
I am Victor Bockris. I am a biographer and a portrait writer. I would say that the Factory, from the moment it opened its doors was the most intelligent art commune in the world.
We were all people who had this divine will welling up inside of us, driving us. Saying “Art! Art! Art! You just have to create, create, create! It doesn’t matter what you do. If you paint or dance, or make music, use everything! But, in New York, in the village, you are free to create.”
Title: Beyond the Beat Generation
In that era, Washington Square Park was filled with bongo drum players. All of the clubs had jazz musicians who did heroin and smoked marijuana, and you could hang out with these people and just groove. So, Ginsberg and Corso and Burroughs and the whole clique were the equivalent to the Art Culture what Marlon Brando and James Dean were to the Film Culture.
Robert Heide: Playwright, Warhol Confidant
Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac were reading that night, and Taylor Mead was reading this poem... “The Statue of Liberty”... “Give me your tired, your poor...and let me blow them”.
Taylor Mead: Poet, Underground Star,
We were all protesting. It was a revolutionary time. And a great many people from the Midwest and the West, disinherited people like me, came to the New York coffee houses. And it was Bob Dylan, and Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso... and eh, we were outré, avant garde! Super-duper!
But when we came to New York then the whole cinema horizon was open. You could see everything! The classics, the past, the present, the experimental. There were, It was so rich already that we immersed ourselves completely and immediately into it.
Before we knew it, there was no way back out of it. We were in it and that was the beginning.
News Broadcaster: “By late October new models rolled off the assembly lines. The recession was definitely over. One business really boomed. It’s 1963 and the bust is big. And when he features Jane Mansfield, Hefner gets busted for obscenity.”
Hugh Hefner: ”Genius is kind of a funny word, I suppose.”
Voice: “Warhol was very realistic.”
Other voice: “No, he was turned off to reality”
Andy Warhol: “I don’t understand. Everything you do is real. It’s right.”
When I met Andy I was just paying my rent by being a waiter in a very posh boutique uptown, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan called Serendipity 3.
Andy and Serendipity became, what will we say, connected very early. He just stumbled down with a portfolio of rejects and I was just waiting for them with open arms . I had a whole lot of Andy Warhol work for sale at 25 and 50 dollars a shoe drawing.
Gay wasn’t the word then. But it was mostly “faggots”, anybody was who was successful. There is no really kind term to express the homosexual world before the gay revolution happened. But it was a sub-culture. Because everyone was so terrified and paranoid all the time of losing their jobs.
When I begin to work on something, it usually takes me a minute to do.
The Silver Factory definitely has periods, and one of the least known periods is that early period.
Three years after I graduated from high school I met Andy Warhol, and he asked me to come to work for him. When I went back to his house the first day we worked together, I saw some of the Campbell’s Soup Can art work in the living room.
It was the right time to turn the spotlight of commerciality back onto the corporations and say: This Campbell’s Soup Can will not cost you 25 cents. It will cost you 2500 dollars. And people bought it. I think the rich like to be slapped in the face a little bit.
Andy said, “Billy, I just got this great loft uptown and would you do to my loft what you have done to your apartment?” It was very decrepit. The floors were concrete...and the walls were crumbling concrete.
Andy relied upon Billy very much. He lived in the Factory. He was the only person allowed to live there. I think they had a very brief little “liaison dangereuse”.
Andy and I had been for a time lovers, so we were intimately synchronized. I was the one, who with Andy, created The Factory. And we loved each other. And we loved what we were doing. That whole thing started to break down somewhere when people from the outside came into something that had already jelled and were expecting something from it.
Nat Finkelstein: photojournalist, Blackstar Agency
Andy needed an established photojournalist because the group that surrounded him, people that were queer, people who were not going to get into major magazines.
I had an entrée, and so it was kind of like a marriage of convenience.
The guys who hung around Warhol, Ondine, Billy Name. They were not allowed to be gay and they were terribly repressed and they ended up being screaming lunatics but really smart and really funny, and I was attracted to it. Well, that and drugs.
I was friendly with Salvador Dali. And he used to have a phenomenal 5 o’clock tea, and one day in walked this personage. I thought it was a woman of a certain age. The hair was uneven...black, white, grey. Her voice was very weird. You felt you had to put a coin in her mouth for her to say something coming from the other world. Anyway that person said to me, ”Well, you are so beautiful that we should make a movie together”. “Andy Warhol”. I had vaguely heard of him in the art world, but, you know, in ‘63 that little dwafe, dwaf, dwarf was totally unknown.
Title: All Tomorrow’s Parties
At that particular time that I was hanging out with Montgomery Cliff and he was going to the party for Nureyev, when he was the king of the world. So, we went and arrived at the Factory and it was just Edie and a few people from the Factory doing their thing. And then, across the room there was Judy Garland and Tennessee Williams doing their thing. And they decided they wanted to go to the next party already!
The new world was represented at that party by the early superstars. And what Andy noticed in the middle of the party was that the old people were getting less attention from the press that the new people were. It was a very Warholian thing, that his presence...although very quiet...seemed to unleash in these people. They were performing for him. “Make a film about me”.
People used to say, if there’s a party and if Warhol wasn’t there, it’s a failure. But the minute he came in, oh, now this is a party. It’s very flat on the surface. It’s very mundane. It’s very, I don’t know.(laugh)..
I was very energetic in those days. (laugh) I loved dancing.
Andy’s attitude towards life is that life should be a party, work should be a party. Everything should be a party.
Child ‘interviewer’: “Mr. Warhol…”
Andy: “I enjoy my work.”
Title: Back to Work
Andy sometimes liked to take liquid speed. ”Gee, I wonder what we should do next?” I said, “Well Andy, you’re into this Zen emptiness thing, just do the same thing.
Zen with repetition.” “What do you mean?” “Just change the colors around , Marilyn Monroe, with the fuchsia face, and green hair. Just change the colors around.”
I felt this little light bulb going on in Andy’s head. He liked the idea of getting his ideas from other people.
A woman who needed to pay some rent on her studio and gallery said, “Andy, supposing that I give you some ideas will, you pay me two hundred dollars so I can pay my rent?” And Andy said, “sure”. And so she said, “Andy, what is it you like most in the world?” And Andy said, “Money.”. And so she said, “what if you make a painting with dollar bills?”
Vincent Fremont: Founding Director, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Andy’s painting, the output that he did between the Firehouse and The Silver Factory is what most people know of his work. The Flower paintings, the Electric Chair, the Death and Disaster paintings. He kept thick files on, let’s say, suicide photographs. AP photographs of car accidents. I think death, or the subject of death starts very early on in his work. The “Jackie”, I mean “Marilyn”, you see it all progress, and these were done in the Silver Factory period, basically.
“The most wonderful thing about living is to be dead.”
We were all just reacting to our Midwest childhoods. Pittsburgh, whatever...with Andy, poverty. Tremendous poverty. They used to make, the dinner was Heinz ketchup in a bowl of hot water. Heinz was the biggest employer in Pittsburgh and his father worked for them, I think.
Andy is the most puzzling person I know. Because he is born in the Pittsburgh ghetto, and when he dies he is worth 800 million dollars. So, that has not happened by accident, I don’t think. But when you were with him he was so helpless. “Tell me what
to do. What should we do?” Help, help, you know, “Can you do this, can you do that, can you make the phone call, can you make the painting?” So, you know, it was so
ambiguous. Who was he?
They were making silver Mylar pillows which were floating around in the air. And I said, trying to be logical, well, would anyone buy these? “Well, Andy will sign them”.
Andy had seen me on Broadway, in a play called “Ballad of the Sad Café”, and he came with Taylor Mead. Andy wanted me to come and join the Factory. They were starting to make movies. So I was having a vacation out in Fire Island, and I ran into Andy. And Andy says, “Oh, we’re making a movie. Come on over. Come on over, and be in it...be in it!” No script. Nobody knew what to do. Andy looked like he was lost. And I said, “Oh boy, I can’t work with these people”.
The kind of cinema that one could do by oneself or just with friends or beginning with the Cassavetes piece “Shadows”. Andy came in at that very exciting time for cinema.
He’s started to make films, but it’s not known yet. He’s still seen as an artist. So in a sense those were quiet days.
The first thing that we did when we moved into the space was... Andy was having a show in mid-April at the Stable Gallery. Various wooden boxes that we had to line up in an assembly line and silk screen. Billy was, I think, that that was Billy’s first photo
Documentation of the first art project of the Factory.
BBC Television news interviewer: “Your art could not be described as original sculpture. Would you agree with that?”
Andy Warhol: “Yes”.
Interviewer: “Why do you agree?”
Andy: “Because it’s not original.”
Interviewer: “You have just copied a common item.”
Interviewer: “Why have you bothered to do that? Why not create something new?”
Andy: “Because it’s easier to do.”
When I saw in the Factory, the loft, all kinds of canvas and stretchers turned back, you couldn’t see the front. So, I asked him to see that. And one of them was flower, a flower painting, and I said I would like to get one of those which we sort of did together. Andy says...”Oh well, I don’t know... what color?” I said one flower should be violet, and I got that from him. Which he sold me. Artists never, never give you anything because it is their children, their art,
If you were at an opening in an art gallery and Andy came in, all of a sudden the entire gallery would be galvanized in a synthesis sort of way. Everyone sort of felt the same electricity infusion.
Andy is not stupid. He knows that out of chaos comes art. He needed those people because they didn’t think in a little box like my dad and my mom. They thought way off the map! And that was why we were all there. Well, that and drugs.
Andy’s Factory always worked with a triangular group at the head of it. And it just comes directly from the family. The idea is that to keep each person in competition for our attention. Who loves me most? “Me! Me! No, Me!”
It sort of started out in that old New York Eurocentric way of an older artist keeping younger artists. He then gave me a still camera and said, “Billy, you do the still
Photography, I’m just going to make films now.”
Billy was on the scene in New York then. He would come in and he would stay at your place, hang out, and he smoked Camel cigarettes. And he would take the silver paper out of the pack of cigarettes and he would paste it on the wall. He would do a whole wall with silver. That was where the Factory came from. Gerard was around on the scene. He was a poet, and he was working with Andy, and he’s always with girls.
The girls? Well, I guess I had a few girlfriends during that time. But it’s not something that meant anything.
Gerard was very devoted to him. The thing, the most important thing that Gerard walked a very thin line on was, he was actively bisexual, but primarily he was just heterosexual. He was the Factory stud.
I never thought of myself as running the show. I always felt a part of the show.
He had been with Warhol way before movies. And he wanted to be the male lead in the movies. He realized that he needed a counterpart, a female, and I was it.
Ondine was a great actor. Probably the best camp actor I know. I once did a play with Ondine, and from that moment on Ondine and I were like this.
Ondine didn’t come in like a worker, like Gerard, or like a technical facilitator, like me. He came in as a Greenwich Village star. As a flaming creature of New York. Ready to be a star of Warhol movies.
These three guys were basically supportive of each other. They were all there for Andy, and they were going through his last great painting period.
Title: Andy Makes Movies
Willard Van Dyke: Curator, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1957
“There is the possibility that there are new techniques that are being explored...that other people, other film makers can benefit by those techniques.”
You didn’t have to have a script, or a scenario. You could just make a film of what was going on. He didn’t find his own style. He said, “I’m not going to do it hand held filming anymore. I am going to put the camera on a tripod.” That became what we call the Kiss Series, the Screen Test series, the Serial art films.
But I think for Warhol, the screen test was not that, I believe that Warhol was afraid of people. He invented the screen test to finally have this person sitting in front of him. We used to watch them. I mean we would all be bored out of our minds. And he was like Hmmmmmm....
I had no idea I did a screen test with him. I guess I did a great many, ten movies at least, but with Andy it was all so easy; you just wandered in and sat down.
There was a chair and a Bolex, motorized Bolex, and anybody new who came into the Factory was asked to sit there for a portrait, and you sit there, and it’s very, when you see those, they were called ‘Screen Tests’…there is no cameraman, the camera is running and there is you.
So everyday we were filming at the Factory. The movie was titled “The life of Juanita Castro”. She was, I believe, the sister of Fidel Castro. And we were just sitting, sort of pastry like, wall paper like, twitching your lips and what have you. And then the next day, on a sheet of fabric, we’d see the movie.
There’s a town called Tarzana outside of L.A. I thought, well I think it was my idea...we should make a movie in which I am Tarzan. And Andy loved for people to suggest something to him, spontaneously. So, we made “Tarzan” and the Beverly Hills Hotel pool was my crocodile infested lagoon. Dennis Hopper was my stand-in.
If I had to climb a tree to get a coconut, I’d hand Dennis money. And he was a young, he would climb these horrible coconut trees. It was a great deal of fun.
Andy called me and he said, “Oh, Allen, I’m here with Mary Woronov, and Ultra Violet and Ivy Nicholson and we’ve got a limo and we’re going to go stay at Henry McIlhenny’s and make a movie. And I thought maybe you would want to go?”
And I am thinking, “Oh my God!” I couldn’t understand why a rich person would have Andy and all these people come to their house. He was a big patron of the arts and the heir to McIllhenny’s Tabasco Sauce….Henry McIlhenny’s. McIlhenny’s Tabasco Sauce.
And he told Jane Holzer to go over and tell me I could be in a movie, next week!
Just like that! And it was called ‘Wives of Dracula’.
There’s Ivy Nicholson standing in a very rigid position, as I recall it, and she suddenly pulls out a photograph and says, ”This is my uncle, he was an alcoholic. He
died at 37.” And I am thinking...What is this all about? So then, that film was over.
If you can call these things film. That was the film. Hello!
We only got a hundred dollars as salary, but no one noticed that. I mean to suddenly become a star, you were a star! We did many naughty movies and they would let him. It would be an honor to have Andy Warhol... to say, “Oh, he shot on my grounds,” from a mansion or something. And he would do pretty naughty things sometimes, but it was art. Really! It was art.
The first year, in 1964, it was very much more open space for those who were participating, like me and Ondine, with Andy, because we were still totally into that avant-garde underground art world thing.
V.O. This is Bibbe Hansen... who is the daughter of the happenings artist Al Hansen.
But she is the mother of Beck, the rock music star, also.
Andy looked over and he said, “And, what do you do?” And my father beamed proudly and said, “I just sprung her from jail”. Andy’s eyes grew wide and he was just thrilled. “Really! Tell me all about it!” ….And I made two versions of ‘Prison’. The first one with Edie and I alone. It was kind of spare, but it was like a beautiful early Godard, Black and white. It was like a typical classic Factory thing, the picture of one, or the sound for the other didn’t come out. So they put the two together to make one.
Great new products were coming out for film-makers. For instance Kodak came out with tri-x film which was high speed film which you could actually make movies
without lights. So, we were into using the new tools and materials simultaneously with having the opportunity to have these crazy, brilliant characters expose themselves in our films.
Oh yeah, I had the world’s most famous tongue. The longest tongue. I think some people have measured it from inside to out, and I think it was about 12 inches.
We did do a movie called “Kiss”. I think Warhol had seen my tongue and he said, you must do that film. He must have had a million people in that film, kissing. And you know, my tongue would go in and out.... and stretch out and go up...and right and left. You know, like those cows when they eat.
So you see, Andy actually did work. He did everything. He was a workaholic….
These are actors from the movie. We had a live horse in the factory. We were making a cowboy movie so we thought we would have a horse in it.
Title: The Silver Family
He wanted me to eat a banana which I refused to. I said, “I’ll eat an apple”. So, I got an apple. Can you imagine? No, it was, the decor too. We were all...or most of the people were poor, but we lived inside a painting. You painted your walls in Pop Art.
It was a fairy tale period.
“I find that people are fantastic, fantastic, fantastic.”
It was the sixties. We had just come out of the fifties. Young kids weren’t supposed to be running around on the streets and not at home. I remember going to dinner with Andy and Gerard and the rest. One thing led to another, and I wound up going back and becoming a permanent guest, not only of the city, but of the state
He surrounded himself I think with a certain kind of people who came to him.
Only, I think the first ones came from, already, from the underground. Other people... the lonely, the desperate souls that came from different places. And they somehow ended up in the Factory. And Andy was one who never said no. Never rejected.
Edie needed a place to stay, so somehow it was arranged that she was going to stay at my loft, my mini loft. She was very demanding and she was much of a diva. She was on the phone day and night, smoking cigarettes. And she was beautiful. And she was funny and she was a great thief. Every time she walked out the door.
There were things that we liked. I liked transvestites. I liked gay people because they were just nuts. They were not like gay people now, kind of fat and happy. They were angry, and so was I. So that’s why I stayed there. Well, that and drugs.
This was probably the first generation of latch key children. Andy became this great,
I wouldn’t say “father image”..... but kindergarten. It was a place where you could do what you wanted to do in. Everyone had a great time, and if Andy wanted to get rid of you, all he had to do was make a gesture or two.
It’s kind of like a Harold Pinter play in a way. Where you’re there and if there were no press people or anything like that, you know, important people around, it was really kind of like...People were just on the couch. They all have dark glasses on, which is something I had a hard time with because I was taking LSD in order to clear my
Lenses, and really see what was really there. So, I was thinking, “God, Why do they have those glasses on? It’s night time, they’re inside, already.” Do you know?
It was a kind of family. “We will take care of your life.” However, somehow it could easily become another dysfunctional family.
It’s the underground night life in New York City, Manhattan of the avant-garde world. But it’s lower than underground. It’s subterranean ground.
These were people who were real seriously aesthetically attuned artists. But so, what’s that term? Non- functional. Dysfunctional!
CBS Clip of Andy being interviewed, with Chuck Wein
Interviewer: “Andy, why are you doing these movies?”
Andy: “Um, it’s just easier to do; it’s easier to do than painting. Because the camera has a motor and you just turn it on, and you just walk away, it just ticks all by itself.”
Interviewer: “Is there anything special you’re trying to say?”
Andy: “No.” (long silence)
Title: The Sixties in New York City
“I’m doing some things called…because, it’s called UP Art.”
Child’s voice: “He calls them floating sculpture”. (giggles)
Well, Allen Ginsberg once said to me, “I think Andy Warhol created the sixties single handily”, I think he was the man who had the vision of the 60’s. The relationships between the different entourages that dominated the 60s, like Leary’s entourage, or Ginsberg’s entourage, or Warhol’s entourage etcetera, and Dylan’s, and a lot of them had to do with drugs and people’s attitudes toward drugs,
Title: Factory Life
Leee Black Childers: Photographer, former manager, David Bowie, Iggy Pop
The Factory in those days was a great mixture, nothing was asked of you, you could do as you pleased. You could come and do nothing, in which case nothing happened to you. You could take drugs, lots of pills. Anybody who says they didn’t take pills up there was at some other factory because they certainly took pills at that one. You could go up, down, and then up again.
And I’m still on drugs. Drugs come from the earth; give me a break. And our ancestors, from the grasses they ate they had drugs, coconuts. Anyway, as sophisticated as I am, and Andy loved it, Andy was only on a tiny mild speed.
Obetral, but he was very sympathetic to everything. And he loved the odd behaviour of course. Anyone who was out of it.
I was never an Andy Warhol groupie, and yet I saw him every single day. I certainly was fine without him, I didn’t have to be part of the group every night, and you know, um, it was the only job I ever had.
Brigid Berlin came through me because Ondine and I had the same amphetamine connection. His name was “Rotten Rita”, and he and Ondine were like the two greatest Maria Callas fans in the all world. The people in the New York art slash drug world were not like sleaze bags. We just used methamphetamine for fuel. (laughs) Keep things going.
I’m sure there was a lot of amphetamine running around. People were taking lots. Andy never really overdid. I’m sure there was amphetamine. But the craziness also energized everybody. People threw out ideas all the time, a lot of crazy people were at the Factory who were considered crazy but they were also very creative.
Everyone was high. I think the cops were probably high ‘cause nobody ever got arrested. I mean it was extremely rare. I remember I did take a trip because my ex-husband told me he wouldn’t give me a divorce unless I took a really heavy duty one, where I could see my blood running through my veins. I lay on the ground which looked like a mosaic thing. I spread my hands out and I am saying “Now I know the meaning, the connection of man and the world. …..Can you imagine?
There was always a party at the factory. It wasn’t like, here comes a party, it was. There were always six to twelve people there, and that’s a party in itself, and that’s just the regulars.
I never saw a party there. It was this weird holding tank where people came in and other people were deciding to eat them alive or not. That’s all. Uh, oh.
Bibbe Hansen, Warhol ‘Family’:
The drugs at the factory were free...what I remember.. speed and pot. And they were both my drugs and the drugs of my group. I was like, hey, got any pills? Got a joint?
I just wanted to get high.
Louis Waldon: Title: Actor, artist
Andy lived on the edge. Andy’s people most of them are insane and he’s living right there among them. And he didn’t say it, but everybody in the Factory hated hippies, and poor Allen Midgette got the brunt of that, cuz he was a hippie, stone hippie, and he was into free love, and that whole hippie thing. That’s boring everybody kept saying, especially Andy, that’s boring.
Brigid comes over and she calls me a Flower Child. Which I didn’t mind, because, you know, it’s better than being a speed freak, or you know, maybe…. oh, yeah, they’re one big happy family, you know.
There was constant work going on, but it was so low key, and then there would be Gerard helping make the silk screen paintings and Andy filming, or walking away from the filming.
Andy always felt, one of his philosophies was that he always felt to make decisions was hard, and he always liked to take the easy way out.
“Gee, I don’t know.”
So in the end, other people started making decisions for him. Barbara Rubin was involved in that to a certain extent, because she was very much a catalyst who brought some very interesting people to the Factory. Like Bob Dylan.
“Do we change planes anyplace?”
Title: Dylan at the Factory
Andy was thinking about the idea of getting Bob to be in a movie. Bob was a bit of a punk in those days in a nice way, but real cocky.
Each one had their own image. Dylan’s image was hairy, masculine, super, super macho. Andy’s image was exactly in the other direction. On Warhol’s side this was a promotion, on the Dylan side, they were doing a follow up on the “Don’t Look Back” movie. Each one wanted to use the other one, but when they got together they didn’t like each other at all.
Bob Heide Title: Playwright, Warhol Confidant
I had been at the factory, and met Dylan there. Andy was doing one of his screen tests, and Dylan was sitting there. Then he said, “I’m splitting”. Dylan heads for the elevator, and he sees one of these big panels of Elvis with the gun and the cowboy hat, in silver. He turns around and says to Andy, “I’ll just take this for payment, man”. He goes on to the elevator. And I swear to God, Andy’s face turned tomato soup red!
Word got back at some point that Bob had traded the painting for a piece of furniture, so Bob ended up not being in any major film of Andy’s.
Andy & art curator Henry Geldzahler
Henry: “I think he can find stills and images in his own movies that will be the basis for future work.”
Andy: “Oh, Henry, do you think social imagery is going to come in, you know like Bob Dylan singing his funny songs?”
Henry: “I think your Birmingham Dog picture is just as interesting as anything Bob Dylan is doing.”
Andy V.O: “Yeah, but what does that all mean?”
Andy O.C. “What does that all mean?”
Title: Factory Sex Life
Andy purposely created an entourage of highly sexual people. They were beautiful. But the way they walked, the way that they looked at you was always sexual. It also was very challenging. You know, particularly the gay thing.
Andy was not a sexual object for me. I could not understand his sexuality at all.
I mean he had many, many lovers in the beginning, when he was an advertising guy. Fag advertising guy with a lot of lovers. And then I remember that he seemed to have none.
I think Andy realized that we had some kind of value. The women were very beautiful,
and he used to tell me, “Leave Dali, Dali is too old”. He was extremely subtle in his manipulation. He had extraordinary charisma, magic, he had magic. People were drawn to him like a magnet. Zoom! Was that manipulation?
Andy was a user. Andy was a homosexual, he was not a “woman lover”. He was a woman “be-friender” and a woman manipulator, but as far as being a woman lover is concerned ? No, that wasn’t Andy.
Stephen Bruce, Proprietor, Serendipity:
Andy was becoming more and more outrageous, and much more accepted.
Usually Andy came at night, because you know he was a notorious night person. He was out at every club, every opening. I think the saying was he would go to the opening of a door.
So there was Andy and Stephen, everybody was what now you may call gay, but it wasn’t overt.
Andy delighted us all by showing a sex change operation. He drew it all out on napkins for us. How you take the penis and make it into a vagina.
I thought he was totally asexual. Nobody has come back from the dead to tell you they slept with Andy. I mean just take one look at Andy, who would sleep with him?
Archive News Footage
Vietnam War protests
Civil Rights Leader, Martin Luther King
King: “I speak out against this war because I am disappointed with America.”
Peter Paul and Mary singing
Fashion mini skirts getting on bus, Peggy Moffitt.
Title: Andy Makes a Movie …Every Two Weeks
We used every inch of film. There was no double takes, it was impossible in the sixties, and the art critics said, “We don’t want to see any more two hour films of Taylor Mead’s ass. My sarong kept falling down. So Andy, wrote a letter to the Village Voice: “I have searched the vast Warhol archives., and can find no two hour film of Taylor Mead’s ass. We are rectifying this oversight with all the materials at our command.” And we did two hours of my ass! (laugh)
“I think the movies are non commercial, and I think really have to be raw material in Andy’s thinking. He can find stills and images in his own movies that will be the basis for future work.”
Andy Warhol: “Really?”
Art was dead, we were making movies. We said it over and over, if Andy offers a painting, take the hundred dollars. These paintings were only selling for two, three hundred dollars Don’t take his art.
The 65/66 period is the period in which he’s making a film every two weeks.
From the time he would turn to Ron Tavel, the script writer, and say, “I want a film, white, I want it to be white.” Ronny would say, “you mean you want a kitchen?” Ronny would go away and write the script that would take like 2 days. By the time the film got developed, the whole thing took about two weeks.
Leee Black Childers:
You never knew when the camera would be rolling and it didn’t much matter anyway. But this old broken down couch they had up there, I don’t know whatever became of that couch. If it were around today it’d be worth a million bucks! And there were all these people sitting on it and they began to improvise. Next thing you knew, Ondine was giving Gerard a blow job, on screen, and this whole audience full of film students is taking notes. And I just said, “Gerard, aren’t you embarrassed?” “What? What? Well, it’s art, It’s art! (laugh) And they’re taking notes. What were they writing down?
There were no auditions type thing. Because they would come in through me, or in a different area in the poetry world they would come in through Gerard, or they would just come in.
Billy Name cont’d V.O...
‘International Velvet’ was just so beautiful. Here you see her in a scene.
Allen Midgette, Allen is the one who played Andy on the college, but he was actually one of the male stars in more films I think than any other male star except for Joe Dallessandro.
I started working at a place called Arthur discotheque. David Croland used to come in with International Velvet. She told me she was working with Andy Warhol and I said, “Oh, that’s very nice” (laugh) Andy came in and he came over and he said,
“You know I’d really like you to, well, be in my movie, and we’d like you to be the star.”
You were a star. If he chose you, you were an immediate star. And he had style. Like, the entire Factory was silver, so, silver goes with stars, super stars.
Can you imagine? ( Laugh)
Andy says “Oh, Ivy’s going to direct this movie,” and I’m thinking, oh shit. This is really, you know…she gives me a piece of cloth about that big and I have to wrap that around me with no clothes on, and in the very center of the room is this incredible Egyptian lion Sphinx, and I’m on the LSD. And Ultra says, “Well, what should I say, Andy?” and he says, “Well, talk about anything, talk about what you had for breakfast.” And she says, “Oh, I like bread, and butter, and marmalade,” and I’m thinking, you’re sitting on a sphinx on LSD and you’re listening to someone talk about this shit, and it’s like, unbelievable. (laugh)
I don’t know if they were on drugs, because the thing with Warhol movies, they would carry on, and they stopped when the film ran out. It was all improvisation, which I was not quite used to, to be yourself. What I love about his movies, it’s really Cinema Realité, as opposed to Godard, that would be Cinema Verité., which is such a, whatever. (snort, laugh)
Andy: “Well, uh, I guess I’m influenced by everybody. But I like the way Godard works., just because I think, he’s bringing television out to the movies. And I think that’s what we’re trying to do, too.”
That’s when he was permitting people to improvise. It did not come out of thin air. There was already the background. The passion was there, for cinema.
Jonas Mekas did for Andy’s film is what Henry Geldzahler did for Andy’s paintings. He was the imprimatur who said it was art.
Henry Geldzahler: “I think Andy Warhol’s imagery and consistency has made him one of the leaders in the pop art field. Whether that’s enough, I’m not sure.
(Andy gives Henry a look)
Once he became famous as a fine artist, a painter, he desired to equal that as a filmmaker. He wanted to be a portrayer of glamour, because to him glamour was the most powerful thing in the world. He wanted to make stars. So the focus was either Ondine, Edie Sedgwick, Viva, the Lucille Ball of underground movies, Mario Montez , Nico, Allan Midgette, his superstars.
BBC Andy in Bed interview
Interviewer: “Andy what do you think it feels like to be a superstar?”
Andy: (Long pause), “I don’t know”.
But it’s not the star, it’s the final film that’s Andy’s favorite. There are a lot of Edie Sedgwick films where Andy would just say “Oh, she really didn’t do anything,” you know, but there are some where she would just be so the divine Edie that it doesn’t matter.
Billy V.O. This is a beautiful Edie Sedgwick test. I shot it simultaneous with Andy doing the filmed screen test. So, isn’t Edie just beautiful?
Title: Edie Sedgwick...Silver Girl
CBS News footage of Andy watching and Edie dancing
Interviewer Dave Dugan: “Andy Warhol not only uses film but also videotape. At this party he just lets his camera observe. The center of his attention is his superstar Edie Sedgwick who says she left her society background in California to ‘find’ herself in New York. She has no acting background, but that doesn’t matter because in Warhol’s films she just moves and talks as she pleases.”
I loved Edie from the beginning, because I could feel she was extremely sensitive and authentic and fragile, and she did prove to be fragile in her life, extraordinary, meteor, catastrophe.
Interviewer Dave Dugan to Edie: “How does it feel to act in a Warhol movie?”
Edie: “Oh, it’s so true to life, it’s not even acting. it’s just so candid, like the camera isn’t there at all, like Andy says.”
Well, first of all Andy was a real social climber. Right away, he already knew that Edie came from wealth and background, and tradition and good name, good breeding and Andy was very impressed of course, “Oh come to the factory let’s make a movie……”
It was a very exciting time, and very glamorous, and Andy was thrilled by the whole thing, and that was the closest,probably, Andy would come to Hollywood in a sense, the period when he was making the films with Edie Sedgwick.
She became girl of the year in about six minutes, and everyone wrote about her style and her pyjamas, and her leather rhinoceros and her short hair. Once a month we would open up all her bills from about five drugstores. Like, why would you have to spend 900 dollars on lipstick?
I felt a very strong connection to Edie, very much like the older sister I didn’t have. She was pretty self absorbed. But she was kind. She could be kind. She would spend hours and hours and hours putting on makeup. This could be, and actually was,
quite a pain in the ass. People waiting to go, and we had reservations to eat.
Footage of Edie in restaurant: (unintelligible)
So she was a princess among queens and so we loved her
Edie was something else. Edie took the whole thing to another level. Because if Andy could have been any of his superstars, he would have been Edie. even though she had the worst life, by a long shot, and was a totally tortured soul. Edie was burning alive. Andy did like to watch that, he did have a fascination with incineration.
Jonas said Andy, why don’t you do some kind of Warhol exposition or something, so we decided it would be an Edie Sedgwick festival. And this is the point where Edie had gotten involved with Bob Dylan, and she was getting into amphetamines also, like she, at her apartment, Ondine was being her housemaid, giving her amphetamines.
Dylan’s crowd felt that some sort of a choice had to be made. It was ridiculous.
He would send “raiders”. That’s how he got his hands on Edie Sedgwick, after the shooting of Lupe Velez. Now Robert Heide, the guy who produced The Bed, tells the story of how he and Edie and Allen Ginsberg were sitting in the Kettle of Fish….
I get to the kettle of fish, Andy’s not there, but Edie is there. And I sit down and order beer and Edie, tears are coming out of her eyes, “I can’t get close to him, I just can’t get anywhere;” I thought she was talking about Andy. At that moment Andy comes in, “Oh gee, okay, how’s everything?” A limousine pulls up, the door opens, and it’s Bob Dylan.
Supposedly Dylan was going to make her a star, writing songs for her, and why wasn’t she getting paid? In her head, Andy was making so much money, and she could be a great star.
Edie, she was the golden girl when I went there. I saw her demise, or her self ejection from the Factory which is not something Warhol wanted. Fabulous, rich, beautiful about to go out the window and defenestrate!
At the moment Edie, literally, does her last film with Warhol in which she ends up vomiting in a toilet, dying, he brings the Velvet Underground in. Gerard found them and brought them in
Title: The Velvet Underground and Nico…Silver Goddess
Towards the end of ’65, there was this group playing in Greenwich Village called the Velvet Underground.
I introduced the very first public appearance of the Velvet Underground with Edie.
The Psychiatrist’s convention. That’s where the first public performance of the Velvet Underground took place at a Psychiatrist’s convention.
Jonas Mekas said that, “Warhol is conducting with personalities more than with instruments.” I think that Lou was a very good example of somebody whose life which was changed by about 100 percent, like that. By meeting Andy. And within 48 hours after they met, the first move he makes with them, “ You gotta get a new lead singer... and it has got to be this woman”, and actually it’s a stand-in for Andy. Because Nico is this blonde Nordic Goddess with the high cheek bones and the pale skin, just like Andy.
Interviewer: “How big a part in the Velvet Underground was Andy Warhol ?”
Nico: “He was in the shadow, standing in the shadow, always behind the camera.”
Nico was so gorgeous that people would just drop dead. As far as her personality, She was nuts. Eileen Ford is like dying for her to just stand still for one second, so that she can get a Polaroid of her and sell it for a million dollars! “No! I want to be a singer.” Oh she was just moronic in this way, also she was extremely, she wasn’t self destructive, she was destructive. But everybody forgave everything because she was gorgeous.
Nico and I had a rapport, and I became her friend. Funny thing is she would call me up at two in the morning and say, “Oh please, please I need you.” So I would jump out of bed and say “tonight’s the night”, grab some hash go down to Jane street.
We would get high, we would talk and she would then tell me that she had a crush on Peter Fonda!
Early Jonas Mekas in news clip
“Like any art, cinema has the narrative aspect and the poetic aspect and so-called
Underground filmmakers are exploring the poetic aspect of cinema.”
CBS interviewer David Dugan: “Jonas Mekas is the founder of a Filmmaker’s Cooperative in New York that distributes underground films. And this is one of the filmmakers at work. Piero Helizer. He’s shooting a film entitled Dirt, in 8mm color, with the help of a musical group called The Velvet Underground.”
Leee Black Childers:
Everything was psychedelic, so everything that came out was psychedelic.
So I didn’t really know what the Velvet Underground were. I didn’t know at first what ‘Waiting for the Man’ was about. I kind of thought it was something vaguely homosexual, (laugh) But officially it was about waiting for his drug dealer.
“This is not “Nucular” physics, this is three cords.”
(sings) “I’m waiting for my man”, The classic one.
(sings) “26 dollars in my hand”
What became known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable started developing into a full fledged multi-media show.
Andy said (mimicking) “Oh, what are we going to do, I don’t know what to do, we gotta have something that’s fun. Oh why don’t you play and I’ll show the movies on it and we’ll have lights.”
And, there you go. We were wearing sunglasses so we weren’t blinded by the whole thing.
Interviewer: “Is there any truth in the story that the Velvet Underground wore sunglasses because the lights were so bright?”
Nico; “No, that had to do with the image of taking heroin, like the Jesus trip. Everybody, not everybody, but most everybody thought they were Jesus.”
The Velvets would dress in black with their black goggles on and I would dress in black with my black goggles, and umm we would arrive looking like the death crew.
We had the Velvet Underground performing on the stage live with Gerard Malanga and Mary Woronov doing their whip dances, then we projected the film of the Velvet Underground on them while they were performing live and also projected various screen tests of all the favourite people.
He went to LA. They turned him down. They turned the band down too.
They hated us, saying the Underground should go underground and remain there, never be dug up, but umm it was. And we hated them because it was like a big dichotomy, in NY you were intelligent, LA they knew three words, wow, wow, and wow.
In the year of 66, he records the Velvet Underground record, the first one.
He shoots Chelsea Girls.
Title: Chelsea Girls…and Boys
This is why I don’t go around the factory, Andy’s paranoia about me and my drugs
When Chelsea Girls happened, It would just be outrageous.
Oh, you see, you do anything thinking that it would never come out,
Vincent Fremont: Founding Director, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Brigid Berlin is a dear friend of mine whom I’ve known since I first came to New York. She’s famous for being in the film of Andy’s “Chelsea Girls” which embarrassed her family who was a very conservative Republican family. Her father ran the Hearst Empire. So, to have a daughter who was in “Chelsea Girls”, an underground film, ah!
When we finally released “Chelsea Girls” in the first run in theatre, the headline on “Variety” was “Chelsea Girls boffo 20k Warhol Success”, because in those days, you know it was a big deal 20K, twenty thousand dollars.
“Chelsea Girls” really was the single work which changed everything at the Factory.
It made, relatively speaking, a lot of money. Andy got 50 percent of that. And the distributor got 50 percent. He really made bad distributorship. Most of these deals were terrible. His business deals, but the fact that it made him about 100 times more famous, it didn’t make them any more famous.
“Chelsea Girls” was just really funny cuz I was feeling good by then.
I just sorta knew my place. I knew I was wanted, and I did what I wanted cuz there was no structure. But you know something? Like Ingrid, she was invented as a dark mirror to Edie. She looks like Edie. Edie’s rich, she’s poor, Edie’s classy, she’s trashy. I didn’t mind saying hi to her, I didn’t even like saying hi to her. Ha ha. Um.
“Chelsea Girls”. That one reel with Pope Ondine, and it’s so stark in that black and white chiaroscuro, and there’s this scratch on the film that keeps running through the whole thing. Its like a creation that Man Ray would never be able to think of.
“Chelsea Girls” was asked to be shown at the Cannes film festival in 1966.
Andy brought it there, and invited me, bum, bum, the whole group, Ultra Violet.
They didn’t show the film, ha ha, it was too much for them, so we had a lot of time on our hands. We drove to St. Tropez with Nico driving. we almost got killed three times. She’s driving like this. I’m thinking, ok, you have to keep your eyes on the road. You’re beautiful but I want to live, I’m only eighteen years old.
Henri Langlois showed “Chelsea Girls”, and I’m with Jean Jacques Lebel, Hi, Jean Jacques! What happened, you inherited the biggest fortune in France, where are you? He was one of the few avant-garde people in Paris working you know. He came to see “Chelsea Girls” with me and some of his friends. They walked out on “Chelsea Girls”. I said,”What the hell am I doing in Paris?” And Andy said, Andy was there, he said “Oh, Taylor, we have all these roles for you, come back to New York.”
Title: Trilogy….Films! Books! Music!
In the year of ’66, he records the Velvet Underground record,the first one.
Velvet Underground, underground piece by Andy Warhol.
He shoots Chelsea Girls which made him a famous director.
He was looked at as an American Godard. He’s also writing his first books,
“A”, the novel, (which) are a trilogy of works because they’re all made by the
same base-group of people, sitting around talking about, telling stories.
CBS Interviewer David Dugan:“Andy Warhol tries to say nothing, and succeeds. Other filmmakers try to say a great deal, but some uninitiated viewers might find them confusing. Either way, it’s a long way from Hollywood. Dave Dugan CBS news, New York.”
He really understood media. He understood what icons mean. But he sees it in a different way than most of us, or any of us, saw it.
That’s what distinguishes any artist who’s talented and has a vision.
“The problem is to bring the content in, in a way that’s not stylistically stale or boring or repetitive, and it’s almost impossible to do.”
If you talked to him, he never had anything to say. He was a doer, not a speaker.
He was the General Motors of the Art. He never called back some defective motors, though. (laugh)
Title: Factory Finale…..Your 15 Minutes Are Up
Victor Bockris: Biographer: Warhol, The Velvet Underground
To be in the Factory, you really must be able to stand up in front of those people and take it, you had to have confidence in yourself.
Title: Factory Life…Late Sixties
Your self-image has to be really strong. Because, you were going to be put to the test constantly. Your ego is being attacked constantly. Can you take it? Can you stand it, are you really one of us?
They didn’t have anything besides Andy, did they? They had Andy, they had speed. And here was this permissive father image who gave them a place to play.
These people were really very, very bright, and they could really inflict hurt.
And they inflicted hurt to the extent that Danny Williams, who was his lover, committed suicide. Danny was the person who set up the light shows who did the strobe lighting. But once Morrissey and that group learned how to do it, he knew he was expendable.
There was a lot of talent out there that could be utilized in terms of just being helpful to Andy’s work. You’d catch Andy and me silk screening, Billy playing opera records and talking to Ondine, and some friends seated on the couch chatting away.
People have this impression there was an ongoing party at the Factory, which is really not the case.
Leee Black Childers:
So I got to where I was going there every day. Sometimes I would get little jobs.
And there was a guy at the Chelsea Hotel that, whenever the check was from Andy Warhol, he’d give you an extra 25 dollars if he could buy the check, cause he wanted the autographs. So Andy couldn’t lose, and we got our money and 25 dollars extra for a check we would have just lost or peed on!
He valued people if they could participate in the creation of something that is going to impact people. But it will be known as a Warhol work? V.O. .We had this case of Coca-Cola. So one night I took them all out, and sprayed them all silver.
Andy and I were talking about having a line of perfume. And it would be called
“You’re-in” by Andy Warhol. So we made these bottles of “urine” (laughs)
The thing is that the cologne inside of them made the paint drip and come off on whoever was, so they were like a fiasco.
Andy was so far out there that investors didn’t understand what he was doing.
Now this is an actual bomb casing which we had in the Factory for some reason.
So he had sprayed it, so anyway it was posing as a Warhol sculpture. And this guy, the New York Post ran a contest to …“win” the bomb.
Andy used to, you know, he’d sit every day on the window sill with The Post.
He’d say, “Bridge, this would be a good movie.” I said “Andy, the problem is you’ll never get to Hollywood because there’s no beginning, there’s no middle, and there’s no end.”
Allen Midgette Actor , Warhol Star:
We were just shooting. There was no name. I mean, there was no script, how could there be a name? I never in my life believed that these would be considered films.
The only acting experience I got with Andy was impersonating him, and I had to do it all myself, there was no direction there, excuse me?
Geraldine Smith, Warhol Actress , “Flesh”:
I starred in Flesh opposite Joe Dallessandro. I was going to be married to Joe and I had this lesbian girlfriend. I said, “Paul, where’s the script?” He said, “There is no script”. So I just improvised.
Andy just loved to collect really colourful people that were characters,
that had something really special about them.
I had been walking down Fourth street. Someone was cleaning up a mess, and I saw all this blood and big chunks of white, what must have been brain. And I was so out of it that I thought, “Oh, that must be somebody I know”, and kept on walking.
Apparently what happened was that Freddy took some LSD and did a ballet leap out the window. So Andy came and wanted to see the exact spot where he had fallen, and he looked up at the window and said, “Gee, if Edie kills herself I hope she lets us know so we can film it”.
Andy came to my apartment and said here’s a Christmas present for you and Susan, and it was a Marilyn Monroe. He did a beautiful drawing of me that was immediately stolen by the speed freaks. People were stealing his work left and right
Title: Out of Control
In the third period, I think, 67/68, is the end of the Silver Factory. So things did get out of control. One of the main signs of this is the number of shootings.
There were three or four gun incidents before Andy was actually shot.
The gunman came in. They had a big car outside with a big trunk, and they claimed Andy owed them 500 dollars. So I probably saved his fucking life by jumping that gunman.
The fact that that could start happening was a sign that something is really breaking through the door. The entourage swelled. There were three or four women throwing themselves at him.
I was always throwing myself at him. Andy not only asked me to marry him, but he had quite normal reactions when I showed up in a mini skirt. Plus we slept together once, and there were 14 other people in the room, on mattresses and it felt like the bed was on fire, that’s how hot it was.
I would always try to get closer and closer to him.
He threw ivy out, you know, well and the reason why he threw Ivy out is because she wanted to be close to Andy and everyone was really bored with her. So she took a dump behind the couch so that a part of her would remain with Andy, and this infuriated everybody. And so bang, Billy just literally threw her out. He was the general, you know, the Emperor, but he started cracking too.
Several people were lost to drugs. There were a lot of heroin victims. And amphetamine victims. A junkie’s a junkie’s, a junkie. Edie was getting into downers. She was getting too stoned to do anything with. She could barely stand up.
Things were falling apart.
Edie Sedgwick to Andy: “You’re just going to put me down so I’m not going to say anything.”
Andy:“Put you down?”
Drugs were rampant and people were very ignorant, and Tim Leary would say, “You know, you’re only using ten percent of your mind”, and thanks to this and that “You can expand your mind.” And when I saw Edie, a few months before she died in California, indeed those drugs had expanded, physically, her head and her skull.
She became a monster.
The Golden Era was all over, and Paul Morrissey was really calling the shots on movie making. But the charming involvement of Andy Warhol in movies was over.
“If you zoom in close to their face , you can see their face.”
Andy: “Okay… (unintelligible) we’re coming to the end.”
Paul Morrissey was a technically useful man in the film business.
Initially he was very well-liked. But as soon as Andy tried to move out of the directorial position and to replace himself with Paul, the actors got really upset.
Taylor Mead went through a tantrum and was walking off the set. “I’ve had it, I’m not going to take any more!” He walked past Andy and Andy said in a really quiet voice, “Look Taylor, don’t go”, and Taylor went right back and did the scene.
Lonesome Cowboys was the happiest movie I’ve been on. In fact working with Andy was really a breeze, always. We’re filming in Old Tuscon which is a reconstructed movie set for Westerns, and I’m trying to invite these cowboys on horses to come up to the ranch to have a good time with Viva. And Andy says, “Taylor, too much plot, too much,” this is the way he talks. “Too much plot.”
Title: Out of Money
When you go to talk business with Andy, he really didn’t want to talk about it.
He would say, “I can give you some money, but not very much. I can give you maybe a hundred dollars”. I said great. You did a movie in two hours. Brigid and Viva are saying, “Don’t accept any thing from Andy, don’t accept anything except money.” Because money really gets to him.
Oh I know, people like Viva, “He owes me money”, and everybody else,
“Oh he never paid me”, I mean, “I made him famous it was, you know, all me”.
So I made this fantastic tape for Andy, and he said, “Well we just don’t have any money now”. How could he not have any money, I mean really.
I was determined to get cash from Andy. In fact, the son of a bitch, well I shouldn’t put down his Mother, his family are darling. Andy was as cold as ice.
It was sort of a brilliant act, I think. When he owed me fifty bucks and I’m in the street starving to death, he wouldn’t send the money.
Taylor Mead would be a little snippy sometimes, you know like, “Gee, where’s all the money?”, or “You know Warhol is so cheap and tight”.
He wasn’t stingy at all. Andy was always giving money to everyone, left and right.
He gave everyone money. Every one of the Superstars, their girlfriends, and their boyfriends.
He would give these crazy transvestites, you know, a hundred dollars once in a while, but me, no. What happened to me is that I had a fight with Paul Morrissey. He wanted me to sign a release and I didn’t want to sign it. Release for what?
Unless you want to pay me. Umm, so I stopped going to the Factory.
I don’t remember ever saying anything to Andy where he didn’t say it was a good idea, he was so glad to have any ideas, because Andy was not the kind of person who had ideas.
He’d promised people if the movie was a success they’d all get paid much better money and “I A Man” was a huge success. We are not getting any more money. Why Not?
It’s the same old story, if you were not there to do the work, you have no idea what it costs to produce what happens. So people came in and say “Oh wow, well Warhol can make me famous and he is supposed to pay me isn’t he”?
Max’s Kansas City, I go in there that night, I see Paul Morrissey, he’s sitting in a booth. And he says, “Oh, would you like to have a drink?” Well, Paul never asks me to have a drink. Okay, “Would you like to go to Rochester in the morning and pretend to be Andy?” So, now I’m going to do a college lecture for Andy for free? That’s what I had learned to expect. So, he said, “Well, you get six hundred dollars”.
And I said, “Oh, that’s fine. When do we leave?”
Title: Welcome to Max’s Kansas City
Leee Black Childers:
Max’s had a very strict door policy, believe it or not. There were people who couldn’t get into Max’s, but these stoned out drag queens wearing garbage were welcomed in. Mickey was so fabulous. He let us do anything we wanted to in the back room. Andrea would get up and take her clothes off while Geraldine Smith poured salad dressing all over her.
We’d go out at twelve o’clock midnight and stay out till six or seven in the morning
Andrea used to do her Showtime she would dance on the tables, and then at the end Mickey and some of the other guys would carry her out.
It was great fun, and one day she just jumped out the window with a bible and a crucifix. Nude.
At night that neighbourhood was dead, there was not a soul on the street. When you entered the door of Max’s you went into this party that was going on for the next 5 hours. If we went there to eat, it went on Andy’s tab.
We would pick up the food, and it would go flying across the room. It was a fun place. If that happened today they would throw people out, but they didn’t.
The owner must have been ‘lacksadaisical’ or something.
Mickey Ruskin who runs Max’s Kansas City, one of the great seminal cafes of New York, said, “Taylor I have this new café, you’d fit right in.” And I came back to Max’s Kansas City, the most important café since Moulin Rouge!
I took Candy to Max’s Kansa City to meet Andy, and she stopped me at the door
and said, “I can’t go in there!”, and I said why not, she says, “Because it’s against
the law for a man dressed as a woman to go into a New York bar”.
I said , “Well, baby this ain’t old New York, this is the new New York. In fact,
you’re going to feel right at home!”
So we went back to Max’s Kansas City, and Jackie devised this plan, “Why don’t we just go there and sign Andy Warhol’s name, and eat dinner, and order steak and lobster and wine.” And Andy got all the bills.
Leee Black Childers:
I remember Holly Woodlawn once saying, “No one will ever believe all these people were in the same room, on the same night”, and that was night after night after night. The back room was lit entirely in red lights. It makes anyone look beautiful.
And as soon as you heard, (sings) “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman”, he‘d go click and the whole room would glow white, and honey those platform shoes were heading
for the door, as fast as they could get out of there! (laugh)
Title: Queens & Superstars
It is not like a Hollywood studio where we select you. You came in, and get paid to do your stuff. It’s like no, here is the Roman arena. You come in as the gladiator or the siren and conquer the whole thing if you can.
The Superstars are beginning to compete with each other.
Now Viva was unlike the previous female superstars, completely different from them in that she had a very biting tongue.
“Do you know what my opinion is of Andy? I think he’s the Queen of Pop art, (Maniacal laughter) and Queen of the Underground”.
If you hear Viva talk she mentions everybody’s name, phone number, serial number. ”Oh remember when we went off to France, and we slept in the blah blah and the whole blah blah. So obviously I just didn’t handle it right. (Laughs)
Interviewer: “How did you first become affiliated with Andy?”
Viva: “After I saw ‘I A Man’, I went up to Andy and demanded to be in the next movie.”
Interviewer: “What do you mean, demanded? Is Andy easily accessible in New York?”
Viva. “Well, um, we were at the same parties. I have to go to the john.”
Interviewer: “How specifically, say in “Nude Restaurant”, do you figure that your
Andy: “Uh, well “Nude Restaurant” was just part of the Twenty-Five hour movie.
I mean, nothing very much, ah, happens.”
Viva and Allen in Nude Restaurant
Viva: “I don’t have all day”
The first Nude restaurant actually happened. But, it wasn’t the way I had envisioned it, of course, which I expected from Andy. Do you know, at that point I was living
with Robert Thurman, who had just gotten out of a Tibetan monastery. And he said, “Well, don’t worry about it Allen, just be a calm center.” And so anyway, that movie went down, and then after that, they redid the film, and gave the lead to VIVA.
I don’t mind, I’ll just take some more LSD and watch what’s going on here.
Title: All the Lovely Ladies
(Footage from ‘Vain Victory’, playwright, Jackie Curtis)
‘Paul Ambrose as Joan Crawford’:
“You wouldn’t be talking to me like this if I weren’t in a wheelchair.”
Douglas Fisher as ‘Bettie Davis’:
“But you are, Blanche, you are.”
Jackie Curtis continues singing: “Why am I attracted to you, attracted to who, tell me, I’m under your spell, as you well be …”
I was a mess, I was in jail for thirty days, so Larry took us to Bloomingdales and said, “Girl’s, go shopping!”. And we did. So I went and bought fabulous dresses and Jackie bought a fabulous housedress. What does she do? She just rips the shit out of it.
I said, “Jackie what are you doing?” ”It’s a look isn’t it?”
“I didn’t get beautiful, I am beautiful!”
Leee Black Childers: Photographer, Former manager David Bowie, Iggy Pop
They would put on five pairs at least, of false eyelashes at the same time so when they blinked their eyes, it was awnings going up and down.
Women didn’t look enough like women, in Andy’s mind. He wanted men who were completely over the top. Holly Woodlawn said, “We didn’t think we looked like women, we just wanted to get high and get laid.”
“These pioneer female impersonators were so gifted and so funny,
and had such a hard time making very little money, if they made any at all.
They led very difficult lives.”
Candy Darling (in film clip)
“This is Disneyland Ralph. See those dishes in the sink over there? Fantasy Land. (laughter) See this furniture Ralph? Frontier Land. (laughter) And your friend Norton upstairs? Fairy Land.” (laughter)
I lived with Candy! We all went out to this restaurant in the Village and it was about four or five o’clock in the morning. When the check came, nobody had any money. Holly said, “Wait a minute; I’ll be right back.” And she went down the street and she did a couple of blow jobs or something and came back with like fifty dollars. That’s how we paid the bill!
Leee Black Childers:
Our rent was 70 dollars a month, and in it lived me, Jackie Curtis, Holly Woodlawn, occasionally Candy Darling, Rita Red, Rio Grande, all in a one bedroom apartment. And It’s not like we interfered with each other’s sleeping arrangements, since no one slept. Everyone was just on speed all the time. Jackie would get up and you’d see her putting the speed in the coffee and she’d say, “I don’t really take drugs, I just put a little something in my coffee in the morning, just to get me going”.
Candy Darling looked like a slut. She did her makeup and everything like that, and she didn’t have one good tooth in her mouth. Then, she got it together with Andy and it worked out good. Because she was quite good. But at that time, I knew Viva.
She was weird. She sat that whole time talking and she was scratching her head... She had just gotten out of an institution.
Viva in film:
“When I ran my hand across my head, it felt like burned grass.”
One day Andy went to the factory and it’s raining heavily, and Viva is outside hammering on the door. “Why does so and so and so and so have a key and I don’t? It’s because I am a woman, and you are all faggots.” No one in the Factory ever said anything like that to Andy. It’s like spitting in the face of Louis the Fourteenth. You’re dead!
V.O.: “Wanting peace, Americans are still poised for war …Congress investigated the peace movement, but the result created more tumult: The gap in the American consensus becomes a chasm.”
News compilation of Warhol: Pop Artist Andy Warhol gunned down in his studio….
CBS Interviewer: “Mr. Castelli, do you feel there will be more years ahead selling Warhol’s paintings in your gallery?”
Leo Castelli: “I’m afraid not, because there are very few left, they’re all in the hands of collectors, and he hasn’t been producing many lately, except some portraits. He seems to prefer to do filmmaking to painting.”
CBS Interviewer: “Did either of you gentlemen ever come across the woman said to be his assailant?”
Ivan Karp: “No, I never saw her personally or knew of her, but there were many people in his circle in his film world, as I say, he was dealing with curious and eccentric subject matter, and there were strange people moving abut his circles. He himself was mostly an observer of this, not so much a participant, as a man who watched them and recorded them.”
CBS Interviewer: “Thanks so much.”
Title: I Shot Andy Warhol
I was in the dark room I heard a bang, a strange type of bang. I went up and I went up to the front section and there was Andy you know, lying in a pool of blood on the floor so I went over to him, you know, and I took him up in my arms.
Well, you know how Valerie Solanis got there right?
This ex girlfriend of mine named Ellen Marcus was in the loony bin with Ritchie Berlin and Valerie. Ellen calls me up one day and says, “Listen my friend Valerie was wondering if you would direct a movie for her.” Valerie called me up and I said “What is this all about?” “This is called Scum, it’s the society to cut up men, we are going to destroy all of the men in the world.” I said, “Why don’t you try Andy. I will call Andy and tell Andy that you have an interesting script for him.”
Which is what I did and that’s how Valerie got there.
Valerie’s an interesting character, demented of course. When I first met her on the set of “I A Man”, I was very intrigued about her philosophy. And uh, “Scum”, her “Society For Cutting Up Men”, it’s a bit radical I suppose, but she had a point there.
She had written that play, “Up Your Ass”, and had given a copy to Warhol.
And then she wanted it back and Andy could not find it, of course, and they finally found it in the trunk of Billy Name 20 years later!
The bullet went through every organ in his torso except the heart. It went to the lungs, the liver, the stomach, and you know, it just ricocheted off the ribs, and went around and around.
CBS Footage with Chief of Surgery
Doctor: “There is a team upstairs who is operating.”
Interviewer: “How long will it continue?”
Doctor: “Fifty-fifty at this stage.”
The week before he actually died, he still was bleeding from those wounds.
He wore a bandage type thing.
His wig was hanging off the side of his head. I wanted to put it back on his head
because I didn’t want anyone to take a photo of Andy without his wig.
We all went to the hospital. You should have seen the creeps who came drifting in.
There was one who said if Andy didn’t die, she was going to finish it.
and Ivy was gonna jump the moment Andy died, and I was supposed to watch her.
I wanted to screw her but…
But he would have married me if that, bitch is too kind for her.
I would have said, “Hey, give her anything she wants.”
Well, Andy did make promises. He’d build up people’s ego.
Coming back from San Diego, he promised me that next year I would be the
number one, two days later he’s shot.
(laugh) So, it was pretty chaotic…..
CBS News Interviewer: “Gerard, can you account for what happened today? In anything in Andy’s life?”
Gerard: “Not in anything in connection with Andy’s life. And I arrived five minutes or a minute after it had happened, so I missed Valerie in the staircase or the elevator.”
Interviewer: “Did you know the girl who was said to have done this thing at all?”
Gerard:“I just knew her vaguely. I ran into her on the street about two weeks ago one night very late after Max’s, and we spoke very briefly. She seemed quite friendly, but she was a very eccentric girl.”
Interviewer, to Viva: “You worked with Andy quite a lot. Did you know this girl?”
Viva: “Yes, I met her once or twice.”
Interviewer: “How would you describe her?”
Title: Silver Factory Finale
Andy was good for some people and not others. He was maybe helpful to some, destructive to others, but maybe some of these would have self-destructed anyway. In other words he was a conduit. It’s no accident that Andy is shot. When you become so famous, someone is always lying in wait to possibly...
Andy was a conduit. He really wasn’t interested in the things most people are interested in. The Velvet Underground, the songs were rebellious, the art was rebellious. But I believe after Warhol was shot, he was afraid.
Nico: “He was the one who had the guts to save the Velvet Underground from poverty.”
Interviewer: “Your days with the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed, do you find you’re harassed by that?”
Nico: “I just find it very tasteless really. Because already, that I’m still alive.
I’m one amongst the few who are still alive. Because I know that the audience likes clichés.”
I made Andy’s last movie. He got out of the hospital, and we made that movie.
But this dreaded thing that hung over Andy. People really hated him. He told me
he died. He said, “I died, Louis, the light at the end of the tunnel went out.”
It was the end of trust. And the fear of like, and selfishly thinking it could be me, because I was there that day. It was the end of a certain kind of innocent glamour, the glamour got harder, people got harder, tougher. They were scared after that.
I felt the trauma of the whole thing so much that I stayed in my dark room,
and I only came out at night. I could not be light-hearted. And Andy made believe he was, or it was sort of like, a cardboard Andy. It wasn’t a real Andy anymore .
“You said all people are the same and that you wanted to be a machine in your painting, is that true?”
Andy: “Uh, is it true, Brigid?”
Brigid: “No, he just wishes it were all easier.”
After he was shot, I met him on MacDougal street, and he was very frail at that point, Also Andy was not just super cool. Andy was very vulnerable. He was at the cutting edge of the age that we live in now, of technology.
In the future we will not want out 15 minutes of fame,
we’ll pay dearly for our anonymity.
Title: Epilogue; Your 15 Minutes Are Up!
Child: “The most wonderful thing about living …”
Andy: “The most wonderful thing about living, is to be dead.”
Nico sings:“And what costume shall the poor girl wear, to All Tomorrow’s Parties”
Nico: “Regrets? I have no regrets, no, except that I was born a woman instead of a man. That’s my only regret.”
Lou Reed: (Transformer)
“It’s such a perfect day, you made me forget myself. Made me feel I was someone else, someone good.”
“He made it all possible, one by his backing, and two; before we went in the studio,
he said, “Use all the dirty words, don’t let them clean a thing. ”
I had one engineer that said “They don’t play me enough to listen
to this shit!” I’ll turn the machine on and you call me
when it’s over.”
When I left he had to replace me with drag queens. That’s what he said.
I would have been his wife. He was going to speak with me. That was during my homeless period. I got more publicity when I became homeless than when I lived in my ex, my first husband’s castle.
Growing up in the art world, to a certain extent art isn’t anything special. It’s what you do everyday. One time I was in my father’s loft and starving to death,
and I went down and found some soup. Al came home a little while later and
fished the cans out of the garbage and said, “Do you know what this is?” I said, “Ya....Campbell’s Tomato soup.” “No! That was an Andy Warhol signature. You just ate two cans of soup signed by Andy Warhol.” So, they say when you are really, really hungry food tastes great. Let me tell you it tastes even better when you are really, really hungry and it’s art!
I don’t care for Pop Art. I mean when I was there I thought it was gold, I thought it was fabulous. And I didn’t understand what was going on. I was just one of the little flies on the wall going ,”Oh this is fabulous, oh wow, a soup can!”, hahaha. I hate it, now.
Vincent Fremont: Founding Director, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
The Silver Factory on East 47th Street. Andy was the center. He was the force.
He said he just was just there watching and paying the rent, watching other people do things. That is again the opposite. He was like a huge magnet of ideas and exchange of ideas. And that is what life is about and Andy understood this.
Whoa, whoa! What affect did Andy have aside from being just a large rock which is thrown into a pool and made a lot of ripples? The structure remains intact.
You go to Eisentstein, to Renoir, to Rossellini, and nobody can make films like Renoir, nobody can make films like Eisentstein, and nobody can make films like Andy.
“When they tried to explain your film they said, “This was a peek into Hell”. For me, William Burroughs’ ‘Naked Lunch’ is like a peek into Hell.”
“Andy goes to Church every Sunday , and he probably has his own idea about Hell.” Henry to Andy:
“Does Chelsea Girls remind you of Hell?”
He used everybody around him to produce that whole body of work, that cannot be repeated.
And so I mastered the camera and used it for my art work you know?
(but) there was not really a place for me anymore, it was simply an art scene,
so I left one day and I left a note on the dark room door, “Dear Andy I am not here anymore but I am fine, love Billy”, and I went out into the world to see what the planet earth was doing.
I was aware, we were aware at the Factory, what we were.
We could feel the power, we could feel the dynamic of the whole thing.
(But) I didn’t really have an intent to document. I was just an artist who
Andy gave a camera to.
Today as an artist I rack my brain, my violet brain, to find out what shall I be doing? Because it’s so transient, it’s going to last five minutes. Or fifteen minutes, if I’m lucky. You know Andy, when he was much younger, he wanted to be a tap dancer. And to be a tap dancer you’ve got to levitate, and Andy could not levitate.
So he said, “Gee, I’m going to go into art, because there’s no criteria in art, anything goes.”
Compilation of Warhol Art
Andy Warhol from BBC interview, in car.
Andy: “I wish I could sing, or hum. I can’t even whistle.”
Fade into Credits
I’m way past my time, actually. There’s no one here anyway.
I’ve got to subtract an hour from, I don’t know technology, I don’t know how to change my watch.
Taylor Mead: over credits
Now they’re waiting for me to go onstage. I have to prepare for my public.
I have to appear for the three people that showed up. (holding his Radio, loud jazz music)
That’s what he says. It’s all very, the world is very emotional I guess.
In honor of French television, or people in Paris, or whoever is here tonight, I’m being interviewed. You got the cameras rolling? I would like to do a homage to the Statue of Liberty which France gave to us, reluctantly. Or we were reluctant to pay for the trip over. Misers on both sides. Finally it got erected. So my poem is,
“Is lesbianism something new?” Well, there has been a very masculine,
God, I’m slurring like crazy. Fucking whisky and drugs. “Is lesbianism something new?” Well, there has been a very masculine woman carrying a torch for someone, standing conspicuously in New York harbor for over a hundred years. Here’s to Lady Liberty. Boy, is she tough looking too.
After Taylor and credits
Andy Warhol. being interviewed:
Young child V.O. to Warhol:“Would you like to add something to that?”