I have done two interviews this month - one with Mark Lancaster and another with Allen Midgette.
Mark Lancaster is mentioned in both Popism and the The Andy Warhol Diaries. He appeared in Batman Dracula, Couch and a Kiss film with Gerard Malanga. He also assisted Warhol with numerous canvases and is an artist in his own right. Six of his paintings are in the permanent collection of the Tate Museum in England. The interview with Mark Lancaster appears here.
Allen Midgette is best known as the person who impersonated Andy Warhol on a college lecture tour in 1967. He also appeared in a Screen Test, Four Stars, Nude Restaurant, Lonesome Cowboys and other footage that he describes in the interview. The interview with Allen Midgette appears here.
RAY JOHNSON AND ANDREA FELDMAN
Art theorist and lecturer, William S. Wilson, has brought to my attention a green shoe box that was found at artist Ray Johnson's home after his death.
The shoe box contains collage fragments which refer to Andrea Feldman and her suicide. Feldman starred in Warhol's Imitation of Christ as well as Trash and Heat (both directed by Paul Morrissey). Photographs of the shoe box and its contents appear here.
William S. Wilson has written several articles on Ray Johnson and is interested in hearing from people who knew Johnson or who have any archival material by or about him.
Mr. Wilson is also the son of artist May Wilson. Valerie Solanas stored the gun that she used to shoot Warhol underneath May Wilson's bed. May lived at 208 West 23rd Street, next to the Chelsea Hotel.
William S. Wilson: "Valerie asked to keep her laundry, not her gun, under my mother's bed, but believe me, May Wilson not only knew that the cloth bag did not contain laundry, she sometimes pulled it out to show people, the gunshipness of the gun being obvious when the cloth of the laundry bag was pressed against it."
If you have any information about Ray Johnson, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to forward any emails to Mr. Wilson.
An article about Ray Johnson's life (and death) appears here.
DALLAS DOES HOLLY
I have discovered an article in the October 1982 issue of Stallions magazine - "The Magazine of the Alternate Lifestyle" - written by Holly Woodlawn's friend Dallas who directed Holly in Broken Goddess in 1973.
The film was originally conceived for a "then-fledgling starlet named Bette Midler." But then Dallas was introduced to Holly while he was photographing Tally Brown's performance at the Continental Baths in New York, and decided to star her in what he hoped would be a silent underground classic.Holly lived with Dallas during filming and the article is a humorous account of the trials and tribulations of making the film, as well as life with Holly in the early seventies.The full article - The Madness of Making a Movie with Holly Woodlawn - appears here.
GLAMOUR, GLORY... and more glory
The recent revival of Jackie Curtis's play, Glamour, Glory and Gold, The Life and Legend of Nola Noonan Goddess and Star, closed on December 14 after a successful run at La Mama in New York and a favorable review in Backstage magazine. Photos of the production and a copy of the review appear here.
My interview with Melba LaRose who played the lead role in the original production in 1967 appears here.
Craig Highberger's documentary on Jackie Curtis will premiere at the Film Forum in New York on May 5 - 18, 2004. Dates are also being scheduled in Canada around the same time with an glitzy opening night party featuring the B-Girlz drag revue. The official website for the film (with new film clips of Jackie) is at www.jackiecurtis.com.
IN WITH THE NEW2003 was a fertile year in Warhol Land. Among the Warhol books that came out during the year were David McCabe's A Year in the Life of Andy Warhol, Steven Watson's Factory Made: Warhol and Sixties and the wonderful children's book, Uncle Andy's by Warhol's nephew, James Warhola.
Also of interest were So 80s: A Photographic Diary of a Decade, Patrick McMullan's huge book of photographs from the eighties featuring many photos of Warhol and his cronies and Checkered Past, a visual diary of the 60s and 70s by Peter Schlesinger, which came out in the states in 2003 and will be published here in the U.K. in February 2004.
Other Warhol related events during the year included Penny Arcade's performances in Germany, the production of Tragedy in Nine Lives (based on the shooting of Andy Warhol by Valerie Solanas) at PS 122, Taylor Mead's weekly performances at the Soho Poetry Club and, of course, the revival of Glamour, Glory and Gold at La Mama mentioned earlier.
Film-wise, the highlight of 2003 has to be the release of the collector's edition (signed and numbered) box set of Paul Morrissey films in France on DVD - a total of 4 disks including the films Flesh, Trash and Heat as well as interviews, a great selection of out-takes, three early short films by Morrissey, Scenes from the life of Andy Warhol by Jonas Mekas, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable by Ronald Nameth - the list goes on and on. This is absolutely everything that a DVD box set should be and was recognized for its excellence at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival where it was awarded the Prix DVD. Unfortunately, because it is in the PAL format it cannot be played on American televisions.
2004 looks to be even more prolific than 2003 - with three books on Warhol scheduled for publication, the premiere of Craig Highberger's documentary on Jackie Curtis at the Film Forum and two documentaries on Max's Kansas City and its founder Mickey Ruskin in production. Ric Burns mega-documentary on Warhol is now not scheduled for release until 2006. And, if you happen to be in Germany, don't miss the ultra rare screening of Andy Warhol's L'Amour (directed by Paul Morrissey) at the Museum Kunst Palast in April 2004.Well, that's it for 2003. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this site in the past year - and to everyone who visited it.