3 'oh so Andy!' anecdotes from Warhol's Factory
Parties, paranoia and 'H for John's toothache' - more salty stories from Factory Andy Warhol Stephen Shore
No one did socialising quite like Andy Warhol. “One's company, two's a crowd, and three's a party,” said the great pop artist, revealing in that simple phrase a great deal about his own social approach and the company he kept.
Stephen Shore’s book, Factory: Andy Warhol Steven Shore, captures quite a few of those parties, where Ivy League dropouts mixed with European art-house stars and rock musicians.
We’ve already run two stories, each reproducing a trio of salty anecdotes. You can read them here, and here. Now here’s another three tales from our new book. We hope you enjoy them.
“Nico and I were dear friends. Then she got impossible. The first time I met her, she came to my assassination party in ‘63. In my loft on 23rd Street, where Edie [Sedgwick] had lived and everybody. It was one week after Kennedy’s assassination. I was giving the party, because everyone was down from Harvard. Then I thought of calling it off, then I thought I really should have it, because everyone needs a party. Nico came in with Denis Deegan and an Argentine guy and went over to the punch bowl - all I served, because all I could afford was cheap vodka and grapefruit juice. A giant punch bowl. Nico put her head back and ladled the punch right into her mouth; she didn’t even bother with a glass. People stood back; they made this ten-foot circle and asked, ‘Who is this woman?’ Then it started to get around that she was the person in La Dolce Vita. She was very scary. She immediately picked up my friend, Seymour, who was from an Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn and very gay. She seduced him and became his lover. She taught him how to have sex with women.” Music manager Danny Fields
“When I first met Lou Reed he was in a very fragile state, an insecure and paranoid frame of mind. I was borderline paranoid, too, and considering all the drugs that were going on – I milked it for what it was worth. He didn’t really have an idea about what he wanted to do. I knew what I didn’t want to do, but I had no idea what the rest of it was going to be. For me at least there was some kind of theory that you put this and that together, and you have something interesting going on. There was a cast of characters that seemed to make sense, I could rely on to cover a lot of ground. The point was to get Lou to make things up on the spot. It was magic to him, and it was always fun to see him surprise himself at what could happen. I think he was astonished by what I was doing. He didn’t understand what the hell anybody was doing holding a note for two hours, but he understood the cachet of the avant-garde and what that meant.”____ John Cale
“Andy wanted to get my father to finance a discotheque. He approached my father for financing, to establish it apart from the Dom, to have his own place. To get my father interested, Andy presented him with the books that were kept of the Velvet Underground. My father called one day and said, ‘You gotta see this.’ There were expense accounts. ‘$5 cab fare.’ And every day it ended with ‘$10 for H, for John’s toothache.’ It was in the books.” Stephen Shore
More great stories and even better photograhs can be found in Factory: Andy Warhol Steven Shore; buy your copy here.