warholstars.org

King Andy's German Conquest cont.
by Bob Colacello
(repr. from Village Voice, March 11, 1971, pp. 6, 8, 72)

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Thursday, February 18, Munich

I arrived at the Arrabella, Munich's chic new hotel, just in time to be whisked off with Andy, Fred, and Jed to a press conference and luncheon at the Hotel Conti, Munich's chic old hotel. Andy told me I had missed the Abendzeitung awards ceremony the night before which he described as "really up there." I had brought along the Life magazine "Nostalgia" issue which features photos of Donna Jordan (who along with Jane Forth stars in L'Amour, Andy's made-in-Paris movie) and Fred in smart '40s outfits. "Ohhh, Donna's really up there now, " Andy commented. "You too, Fred."

Paul, Joe and Jane were already at the Conti, surrounded by a minor horde of photographers and reporters. Paul could not help pointing out the ancient tapestries on the walls, the Watteau in the hall, the lavish food, the bright publicity posters of Joe Dallesandro overlooking all this European elegance. "What's this about nostalgia, " he asked, referring to the Life magazine photos of Donna and Fred. "This isn't the past, this is here and now!

Yes, Joe Dallesandro and Jane Forth were the center of a scene which might recall a party given for Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, but they were nonetheless unmistakably present, totally here and now: the star system had been reincarnated as the superstar system, and even I could not resist the temptation to ask both Jane and Joe, people I see almost every day, for their autographs on one of the glossy portrait postcards Constantin-Film (the distributor of Warhol films in Germany and the largest distributor in that county) had printed up by the thousand.

Three million Germans have paid to see Flesh so Constantin-Film, confident of commercial success, gave Trash the premiere to end premieres that night in Munich. The lobby of the Luitpold theatre, one of Munich's newest and largest (1100 seats), was jam-packed with photographer and fans upon our arrival, but more impressive than the crowd were the huge posters of Joe Dallesandro which covered the place like wallpaper. The people - mostly young and fashionable and affluent - seemed so small and insignificant against this naked, silent giant; the words "fan" and "star" assumed a sudden and intense reality.

It was equally strange and crazy and marvellous watching Trash dubbed in German. Both Paul and Andy could barely stop giggling as the lines were delivered. Jane and Joe were a bit more mystified by the foreign sounds emanating from their own images: Jane will probably go on saying "Oh mein god" for the rest of her life.

The party afterward - at the Arriflex studios - like all before it was dreamlike and spectacular. Images from Trash were projected onto the outside walls of the building; inside a large neon sign flashed "Welcome Andy Warhol's Trash." Everybody who is anybody in Munich was there, but I was on my 20th-or-so cocktail of the day so I did not catch their famous names.

 

Friday, February 19, Frankfurt:

Andy (on the way to a press conference): "What's this going to be be?"

Agent from Constantin-Film: "Oh, some interviews and lunch."

Andy: "But I never learned how to eat and talk at the same time."

So, as usual, one chocolate parfait after another.

That afternoon we were driven to Darmstadt, a small city south of Frankfurt and traditionally, an art center, where we were given a long tour of the museum which possesses not only the largest collection of Pop art in the world, but also large wings devoted to medieval art and to natural history.

Andy (upon leaving): "Weren't the stuffed animals great?"

 

Saturday, February 20, Berlin:

Once again a press conference and luncheon, this on distinguished by a rising stallion carved of butter as the centerpiece of the standard buffet of herring and hams and by a particularly strident group of women journalists determined to pin evasive Paul and quiet Andy down to some concrete statements of intent and meaning.

As the questions got tenser - "Why do women appear as vamps in your films?" "Why are all women stupid in your films?" "Mr. Warhol, was it also a comedy when you were shot by Valerie Solanis [sic]?" - the sun rose higher and higher, glaring down into the Hilton Roof Garden like a bright inquisitory lamp in a Nazi torture scene out of the some post-war movie. Andy seemed increasingly confused and afraid, trapped, but when it was over, to the surprise of everyone, he asked the most persistent and probing journalist of all, a dramatic old woman in red, for her name and phone number in the event he returned to Germany to make a film. "Me in a film," she shrieked, "but I'm a journalist." "Ohhh, but You're so good said Andy, affirming his belief that actors are everywhere, that personality is all that matters.

Late that afternoon, Paul, Joe, Jane, Fred, and I took a walking tour though East Berlin. Fred went wild over the old buildings and had Jane and Joe posing for Polaroids in front of the various palaces and museums. (Note: Fred took Polaroids everywhere we went and sent them immediately to the Photographer's Gallery in London where they were sold for $12 apiece.)

Paul said: "This is great. It looks like the backlots at MGM." Jane said: "I love East Berlin. No cars, no people, no stores, no signs, just pretty old buildings." The few people we did pass were quite amazed by Joe's hair and Jane's make-up.

That night we all went to see a film called "The Duke of Porno" which put everyone but Jane straight to sleep.

 

Sunday, February 21, Munich:

After a quick visit to the Aquarium in Berlin we were off again to Munich, which we all agreed was our favorite German city. "Fasching," the German version of Mardi Gras, was on full-force and the streets were crowded with all sorts of weird-looking people. Still, Andy, Paul, Jane , and Joe managed to attract all the attention: photographers, both Professional and amateur, were everywhere; at the Hofbrauhaus Joe's portrait was drawn by a local artist who made Joe look more like a mystic than a movie star; at the Stuck Villa, the former residence of Franz Von Stuck, the master of German Art Nouveau, people stared and pointed.

That night we were taken to dinner at an incredibly expensive restaurant by Constantin-Film. Enjoying the luxury, Andy had venison and Jane quail, followed by three chocolate sundaes each.

Monday, February 22, Munich: Early in the morning cars arrived to take us first to Constantin-Film where Consul Barthel, the president of the company, presented everyone with beautiful books about the castles of Bavaria, and then to tow of the castles themselves. Linderhof and Neuschwanstein.

We were not prepared for the snow which greeted us in the Alps - Jane was wearing open-toe shoes; Andy resorted to covering his head with a plastic shower-cap which for some strange reason he had taken with him from the hotel. Will McBride, an expatriate American photographer living in Munich, came along to make a move about the day and was amazed at how fast we rant though the castles. It was not that we didn't find them interesting, but as Andy said: "I'd rather have heat than wealth."

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