The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground
Inside The Inevitable World of the Velvet Underground by Alfredo Garcia
Billed as the "most comprehensive collection of Velvet Underground articles and ads collected together in one place," The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground is now available in a limited, numbered edition. The edition includes the 504 page book (with about 1,000 reproductions and a large amount of articles and reviews) and a bonus CD. Details here.
From top left clockwise: John Gilman introducing The Bed film segment; Collette with actors Gordon Ramsey and Tim Cusack; Robert Heide (centre) with Tim Cusack (left) and Gordon Ramsey who read the play The Bed (Robert Heide notes that Cusack was the director of the production of The Bed that took place on the streets of Greenwich Village in 2006); Jimmy Rado (co-author of Hair) and Jim Jennings (actor in the 1965 play and film of The Bed) with playwright Robert Heide. (All photos by Randolph Graff.)
Playwright Robert Heide has sent in some photographs of The Bed event that took place at the Gershwin Hotel on 14 March 2013, as above. He has also written an account of the event which you will find here.
Heide notes that the event was "produced by Neke Carson at The Gershwin Hotel with Peculiar Works Project, and Heide/Gilman Ent."
William S. Wilson will be making a rare appearance on a panel discussion when he participates in a discussion of Eva Hesse and her work, along with Todd Alden, Susan Fisher Sterling, and Kirsten Swenson, at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor, of the Brooklyn Museum. The discussion is inspired by the exhibition "Eva Hesse 1965," that closed on 9 March at Hauser & Wirth in London. The conversation will be moderated by Elisabeth Sussman (the Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art), with opening remarks by Elizabeth Sackler.
In addition to knowing Hesse and writing about her ("Eva Hesse: On the Threshold of Illusion" in Inside the Visible: An Elliptical Traverse of 20th Century Art in, of, and From the Feminine), Wilson was the author of the ground breaking "Prince of Boredom" article on Warhol - one of the first to draw attention to the fact that Warhol's repetitive imagery was anything but repetitive because of the way that Warhol retained and encouraged the mis-registrations involved in the silk-screening process. Wilson has previously lectured on Eva Hesse at the Jeu de Paume (Paris), Tate Modern (London), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the College Art Association.
Hesse was an admirer of Warhol. In an often quoted interview by Cindy Nemser, Hesse is asked whose work she liked and she mentions Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock, Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol:
"Oldenburg is an artist, if I have to pick a few artists, that I really believe in. I don't think I was ever stuck on Oldenburg's use of materials. I don't think I have ever done that with anybody's work and I hope I never do. I can't stand that. But I absolutely do like Oldenburg very, very much. I respect his writings, his person, his energy, his art, his hum or, the whole thing. He is one of the few people who work in realism that I really like - to me he is totally abstract - and the same with Andy Warhol. He is high up on my favourite list. He is the most artist that you could be. His art and his statement and his person are so equivalent. fie and his work are the same. It is what I want to be, the most Eva can be as an artist and as a person." (October Files: Eva Hesse).
Details of the panel discussion can be found here.
Paul Morrissey, Holly Woodlawn and Joe Dallesandro being honoured at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002
Film journalist Sam Weisberg has been writing a series of articles about the Paul Morrissey vs. Andy Warhol debate. In addition to exploring questions regarding authorship (i.e. who directed San Diego Surf?), he also touches on other issues such as who introduced The Velvet Underground to Warhol. He interviewed a number of people including Holly Woodlawn, Gerard Malanga, Mary Woronov and Taylor Mead. Comments can be left on his blog page here.
Sam Weisberg (from "A Word on the Paul Morrissey vs. Andy Warhol Debate")
"[Taylor] Mead, who still resides in New York City, was a bit more laudatory of Warhol, albeit in a slightly sarcastic manner. 'Andy’s a fucking genius and an asshole, too,' he said. 'But his presence is enough. And Paul knows what he wants. The two worked together beautifully. Paul claims to do all the filming, but Andy’s influence is always there.' He added that, to the best of his recollection, Warhol and Morrissey 'took turns' operating the camera on San Diego Surf and Lonesome Cowboys, both of which were for the most part improvised. (For the record, Mead claims it was he who discovered Woodlawn, while Woodlawns avows that Morrissey found her)."
Paul Morrissey's latest film, News from Nowhere (starring Warhol superstar Viva), premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2010 and was, of course, definitely by Morrissey rather than Warhol.
San Diego Surf sells out in La Jolla
Craig Highberger's documentary on Warhol star Jackie Curtis, Superstar in a Housedress: the life and legend of Jackie Curtis, will be shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on 22 March 2013. Curtis appeared in Women in Revolt and Flesh and died of a heroin overdose on 15 May 1985 at the age of 38.
Christie's misspells Sedgwick in auction listing
Christie's auction house has spelled Sedgwick incorrectly in their listing for Andy Warhol's photobooth pictures of Edie Sedgwick in Sale 2691/Lot 196. They have listed the item, which is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from the Andy Warhol Foundation, as "Edie Sedgewick, 1965" rather than Edie Sedgwick, 1965. The listing, with an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000, can be found here.
From the flyer for The Bed at the Gershwin Hotel
A panel discussion on Robert Heide's play The Bed, will be held at the Gershwin Hotel on Thursday 14 March at 8:00 pm. Partipants include the author of the play, Robert Heide, along with guests Ralph Lewis, Catherine Porter and Barry Rowell of the Peculiar Works Project. Tim Cusack and John Gilman will be reading a segment from the original Caffe Cino play. The flyer for the event also promises "selections from the Andy Warhol 1965 film, The Bed," but there is a footnote which explains that the film footage is by Danny Williams who is identified as the "assistant filmmaker on The Bed."
As noted below in the "Andy Warhol Film Ads" announcement, when Warhol's film, Bed, was advertised, it was advertised as being "based on a play by Bob Heide." Callie Angell noted in Andy Warhol Screen Tests: The Films of Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné, that "in the fall of 1965, Warhol and Dan Williams shot a double-screen film version of Heide's play." (AD193) It is unknown whether the 1965 footage will be credited as a Warhol film, a Danny Williams film or a collaboration between the two in the forthcoming second volume of the film catalogue raisonné that is currently being put together by the Andy Warhol Film Project.
Although some writers have given the impression that at least part of the the Williams/Warhol film was included in The Chelsea Girls, the footage in The Chelsea Girls was actually from a film made the following year - in 1966. As noted by Angell, Warhol filmed a "three-reel remake" in 1966 called The John, appropriating "the basic idea of the play, without using Heide's script." It was two reels from The John (1966), rather than the Warhol/Williams 1965 footage, that was included in The Chelsea Girls - the segments titled "Boys in Bed" and "Mario Sings Two Songs."(AD193)
There is also a note on the flyer that the evening will include a "special feature" of a James Dean screentest. This should not be confused with a Warhol Screen Test as Warhol didn't do a Screen Test of James Dean.
Photos provided by Robert Heide and John Gilman
John Gilman: "... the pictures of Robert Heide and Andy [left] and the actors [right]... were shot on the set during the filming of the movie [Bed] at the Bowery loft of Robert Bernstein. The blond actor, Jim Jennings, will also be at the March 14 event at the Gershwin and will talk about his participation in both the play and the movie. The color picture on the right is from the Obie-award production of plays on the streets in Greenwich Village produced by the Peculiar Works Project, members of the panel."
The Gershwin Hotel is located at 27 East 27th Street. Admission to the event is $10.00.
The new Waverly Press website is now online and includes some very interesting items at very reasonable prices. Gerard Malanga's hand-numbered limited edition of Thermofax can now be had for $10 and a signed and numbered copy for $30. Also available is the TWPP series of books by Billy Name, Michael Cooper and Gerard Malanga. Signed and numbered prints are also on offer, including a Barry Feinstein classic of Bob Dylan in London - Bob Dylan with Children in London, 1966. Feinstein died last on 20 October 2011 but there are still some lithographs of Dylan available that were signed by Feinstein before he died. There are also a selection of signed, limited edition serigraphs by Billy Name of his classic photos of Warhol, including the Baby Ruth serigraph.
The site can be found here.
Andy Warhol film ads
Village Voice ad for Bed by Andy Warhol from the Warhol Film Ads website here
Warholstars site-user Alfredo Garcia has started a new website devoted to Andy Warhol film ads. Garcia is scouring the pages of the Village Voice and other periodicals for ads relating to Warhol's films and making some interesting discoveries in the process. The above ad for Warhol's film Bed is interesting, for instance, because it clearly states that Warhol's film was "Based on a play by Bob Heide," referring to Heide's play The Bed. Also interesting to note that Warhol's film, although often called The Bed, was actually billed simply as Bed.
The above ad also announces "An Evening of Films with Gerard Malanga" and there are other ads which announce separate screenings of Paul Morrissey films. At the same time that Morrissey was assisting Warhol with his films, he was also having screenings of his own 'underground' films:
Village Voice ad for an evening of films by Paul Morrissey
from the Warhol Film Ads website
And of course there are announcements of screenings by other underground filmmakers who had links to Warhol, such as the woman he referred to as his first superstar, Naomi Levine. Naomi's film Yes is included in the Village Voice ad for 15 July 1965 which also includes a screening of the "party sequence" of The Poor Little Rich Girl starring Edie Sedgwick. Also interesting is the ad for 30 December 1965 which lists a membership only screening of a Warhol film whose title is censored in the ad. It's possible it's Blow Job but there is another ad for Blow Job which lists the full title of the film. It couldn't have been Andy Warhol's Fuck because that film wasn't made until 1968 and by the time of its release had become Blue Movie. (Note: 1/2015 - The censored title was, indeed, Blow Job.)
The Warhol Film Ad website can be found on wordpress here.
Paul America's father - click on image or go here
Paul America's nephew, Ryan Hill, has posted a clip on YouTube from a film he is making about his uncle. The clip features Paul's father talking about his son and his son's time as a Warhol superstar. In addition to appearing in My Hustler, My Hustler 2, the Factory Diaries and a Screen Test, Paul also featured (as "Lucky L") in Warhol's book, a: a novel. Click on the image above for the YouTube interview.
Ryan Hill was also interviewed for Fantastics magazine about his uncle. During the interview he cleared up quite a bit of the mystery which surrounded Paul, including how he died. One interesting tidbit of information from the interview is that Paul America had a daughter with Debbie Caen. Caen was known as "Debbie Drop-Out" in the '60s. Debbie featured in two Warhol Screen Tests - one solo and one with Gerard Malanga. Debbie and Gerard were a couple at one point and Malanga used a double-frame image from their Screen Test on a flyer to advertise one of his poetry readings - "The Debbie High School Drop-Out Poems," at the Folklore Center on Sixth Ave. on 31 January 1966. Underground filmmaker Warren Sonbert also shot the film, Amphetamine, in her apartment in 1966.
The Fantastics interview with Ryan Hill can be found here.