Interview with Baby Jane Holzer
by Anita Pallenberg
The following interview of Warhol star Baby Jane Holzer (by Anita Pallenberg) appeared in the Fall 2002 issue of Cheapdate magazine (Issue No. 5):
Jane:Anita, how do you stay so skinny? I have such a problem with staying skinny.
Anita:I don't know. I think my mum was very skinny.
Jane:So was mine!
Anita:It could be that I ride a bicycle everywhere around London. Everyone is so polite here. I would be terrified to do it in New York. How did you get the name Baby Jane?
Jane:There was this columnist called Carol Bjorkman who wrote for Women's Wear Daily, and she coined the phrase after the movie, which nobody had seen. When I saw the movie I thought oh my God, what have they done to me? It was the most frightening thing. The name stuck, which is a drag.
Anita:You've never liked it?
Jane:No, Jane is better. But what are you gonna do? You can't change history.
Anita: Shall we talk a little bit about those days? You must have been one of the first people that I met in New York.
Jane: It was with Allan. Do you remember when I asked you if you remembered him? And you said 'vaguely'. That is the funniest answer in the whole wide world. It's just like the 60's: vagueness.
Anita: I saw you at Ondine's, in about '65. It was a magic sort of place, on 59th Street, under the bridge. You met Brian Jones as well.
Jane: Were you dating Brian?
Anita: Yeah, I was going out with him.
Jane: And then you switched to Keith? Anita: Yep. Horrible isn't it? We had a tumultuous relationship, and then Brian actually got a bit sick, taking acid and stuff.
Jane: How long were you together?
Anita: Until about 1967. Then he turned into a kind of schizo. He got agressive and abusive.
Jane: When did he die?
Anita: 1969. Would you call yourself a survivor?
Jane: Definitely. We're both survivors.
Anita: But the word 'survivor' makes us sound like we're been to boot camp, as if we were barely getting by. Do you see it like that?
Jane: Yes and no. No and Yes.
Anita: I don't want to be thought of as a survivor. I'm living a good life. I've heard that you have a great art collection. What are your favorite pieces?
Jane: Warhol. I'm mad on Warhol. Also Keith Haring, Jean Michele Basquiat, Nan Goldin.
Anita: What are your thoughts about Warhol?
Jane: He was a master. He was a religious person: very catholic, very spiritual, loving and giving. He was afraid to give anyone money in case they would take drugs, but he ran a tab at Max's Kansas City, so people could eat.
Anita: I spent more time upstairs in the painted bathrooms!
Jane: Well, I was downstairs chomping away on chickpeas. That's the difference, right?
Anita: Do you remember Edie Sedgwick? I remember her being very sad.
Jane: She wasn't so sad. She was just stoned all the time.
Anita: But never happy stoned. Maybe it was her makeup that made her look sad. So what do you remember about doing those films with Warhol?
Jane: We'd always be waiting for Edie. We would all be straight and uptight by the time she arrived, and she would be so loose, so beautiful, so perfect. Everything she did was perfect. She was amazing. AMAZING! I wish she were still here.
Anita: I remember going to visit Andy at the Factory, when I had just had Marlon, and he was so sweet to him. He took him to this room packed with toys, and said he could have any toy he wanted. Marlon was blown away.
Jane: Andy loved children.
Anita: It's great now. All the kids are friends, and all the mothers and daughters hang out together. It gives you a sense of continuity. I like feeling a part of it too, especially with the grandchildren. That makes me feel almost immortal. Do you ever feel like that?
Jane: Not really, dammit!
Anita: There was a moment where I thought, this is it. I'm immortal.
Jane: The funniest thing is what people say about Keith: 'Cheating death for, what is it, thirty or forty years?' He's funny right?
Anita: He is funny, very sharp. Witty by day, must say. Do you feel differently now? Compared to the old days?
Jane: Yeah, I feel older dammit. Well, I don't really feel older, but I know I am older.
Anita: Sometimes when I glance in a mirror, I still see the same person I had inside me thirty years ago. But when I go in to the bathroom and look at myself with all the lights on, I think wow, what happened?
Jane: You look great.
Anita: As a whole, but if you look closer you see the wear and tear. I heard that you keep sheep. How many do you have?
Jane: I have one black one and one white one. They are so cute.
Anita: What else are you up to?
Jane: Just working away, trying to get my house in the country done. Same old, same old. I feel lucky to be alive and healthy; doing a days work; feeling like I have accomplished something.
Anita: Are you married now?
Jane: No, I work too hard. I don't have the time. Men of our generation need a lot of attention, unlike the younger ones. The younger ones are very good about giving.
Anita: Yeah, its true. I went to see a psychic in London, who told me I should look for a Tibetan or an Indian.
Jane: I don't think so. Darling, you're rock n' roll aristocracy.