(PHOTO CAPTION–LEFT TO RIGHT, ACTRESS BIBBE HANSEN AND FORMER WARHOL FACTORY MANAGER BILLY NAME ANSWER QUESTIONS POSED BY MODERATOR MARTIN TURGOFF, WRITER/PRODUCER OF VH1’s Rock Doc, Lords Of The Revolution: Andy Warhol (who filled in for original moderator Richard Belzer).
(PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA.)
Correspondent/entertainment journalist/friend Anne M. Raso has filed this short piece regarding the fabulous panel discussion regarding VH1’s Rock Doc, Lords Of The Revolution: Andy Warhol, which premieres this coming Friday night, August 14th at 8PM on VH1:
Well, you have to admit that Warhol will never die! Way beyond just being the most famous artist of the 60s who was quoted as saying, “Everyone is famous for 15 minutes,” he brought things to the table of popular culture that no one else did–partying as a lifestyle (supposedly, if you sent a limo to the Factory and didn’t even say where it was going, Andy and crew would hop in), getting socialites and arty types to intermingle, and instigating the pre-punk era via The Velvet Underground. (Yes, you have to give him credit for mentoring The Velvet Underground, the first group to put a gritty realism into words in the pre-psychedelic era when The Beach Boys were still winging about the wonders of girl-next-door Barbara Ann! Did we fail to say that Mr. Warhol had a huge influence on corporate advertising–his famous silkscreen portrait style is used in ads for everything from Volkswagens to Swatches!
Last Thursday night the 7th (which would have been the popartmeister’s 81st birthday), New Yorkers has the opportunity to see a special p review and panel discussion of VH1 Rock Doc, Lords Of The Revolution, Andy Warhol.
Catch it this Friday the 14th at 8PM, EST or catch it in repeats (as VH1 does frequently). You will see previously unseen Warhol Factory footage which includes shots of The Velvet Underground and Warhol superstars. There seems to be some interesting news footage of Andy’s shooting by aspiring screenwriter/psycho Valerie Solanas (subject of the film I Shot Andy Warhol), which changed the whole climate of the Factory to a more guarded atmosphere.
On the panel at this remarkable Paley Center event were former Warholites/scenesters Danny Fields–who invited Edie Sedgwick live with him in NYC circa late ’64 after he dropped of Harvard law school (and who is a legendary pop culture tour-de-force in his own right), Warhol movie actress Bibbe Hansen (mother of rock superstar Beck), Billy Name (Warhol factory manager) and Robert Heide (Warhol’s main movie screenwriter). The stories that went down about Warhol were phenomenally interesting, especially during the Q&A session. Audience members seemed obsessed with the famous tale that when Factory regular, dancer Freddy Herko, took his own life by jumping out of his friend’s apartment on 5 Cornelia Street, all Andy could say was that he wish he knew ahead of tim e so he could have filmed it! Warhol supposedly later said he wished he could be around to film Edie’s death–the panel candidly commented on this subject but were quick to point out that Andy was not the cold, calculating individual he was portrayed as in some of the books and other documentaries about him. Punk godfather Danny Fields–who discovered Iggy Pop, The MC5 and The Ramones among others–was quick to point out that Andy helped a lot of people get their foothold in the art, publishing and movie worlds.
After the panel, there was a party at the Gershwin Hotel that promised to have even more original Warhol scene alumni turn out. But according to one of the panelists it was a party Andy would not have given even 15 minutesof his time to. Said the party guest, “ANY cool people at the Babe Paley Museum certainly did NOT come to the ‘party.’ It was the worst party I’ve ever been to in my life. You can quote me, but don’t use my name. Grotesque, ugly, crowded, NOBODY one ever wanted to meet or to see again, revolting people, dozens of assholes in the VIP room taking ‘secret’ pictures of me with their cell phones, and a guy with an English saddle on his back who gave rides to bimbos for $1…in general a crowd that gave the word hangers-on a new low level of unattractiveness.” Wow, those comments really make us long for the height of the “Silver Factory” party days!