During the early seventies, Holly, Candy and Jackie developed separate cabaret acts to capitalize on thier new found fame as Warhol stars. When the nightclub Le Jardin opened on June 13, 1973, Candy gave a special midnight performance, singing Give Me A Man. The Jackie Curtis revue was one of the support acts for the Manhattan Transfer when they performed on the S.S. Bay Belle on July 27, 1973. (The other support act was Warhol star Eric Emerson.) When Holly Woodlawn performed her cabaret act at a New York nightclub in late 1973, she was suprised to see one of her fellow superstars in the audience.
(Photo: Jack Mitchell)
"One night during my run, I was in the middle of singing about cooking breakfast for the man I love... when I looked out of my frying pan and into the audience and was struck by this beautiful white figure glowing in the front row. It was Candy, and although I managed to keep up with the tempo, I kept thinking, 'What's she doing here?' It was strange to see her at my show because we hadn't spoken for months. As a matter of fact, Candy, Jackie, and I were completely estranged. After Women in Revolt we had nothing in common except for the press, which was forever linking us together as Warhol's transvestite trio and comparing us to the stars of the Forties... In the eyes of outsiders, we were the Andrews Sisters of the underground. I would have loved it if it was true, but the fact is after we each attained our Superstardom, we became competitive rivals and couldn't stand one another most of the time... Anyway, there Miss Darling sat in all her glamourous vulnerability, glowing in full regalia. I was taken back by her aura, and after the show she came to my dressing room and greeted me warmly. 'Oh Holly, you were so wonderful,' she said in that voice borrowed from Kim Novak. 'I had such a good time.' Yeah, right. What was she trying to pull, I thought. Candy was always catty and aloof, so I was a bit leery as to what brought on this sudden surge of charm and graciousness, since she and Miss Curtis were always on the defensive. Those two were armed with wicked tongues that could rip a person to shreds." (HW242/3)
What Candy neglected to tell Holly was that she was dying. Holly learned from a friend the following day that Candy had terminal cancer. She had left the hospital against doctors' orders in order to see Holly's show. Holly saw Candy for the last time on March 20, 1974 in her room at New York Hospital.
Holly Woodlawn: "... as we walked down the long corridor to Candy's room, we ran into one of her young doctors in the hallway. I asked how she was doing... He said it was a matter of days... I entered the darkened room and saw the still figure lying in the bed... Her once-painted, picture-perfect face had now faded to a dull, lifeless gray with the exception of her lips, which were painted a bright crimson red.
'Holly,' she managed to say, enfeebled by the cancer and horribly thin, weighing only eighty pounds. She could barely muster the strength to speak.
'It's okay, hon,' I reassured her. 'You don't have to talk. I know you're tired.'
'Yeah. Putting on lipstick... it really takes it out of me.'
'What you need is some blush' I said, reaching into my purse and pulling out a compact. I swept her cheeks with color and the left side of her face smiled. The right side had been paralyzed from Bell's palsy..." (HW262)
The next day - March 21, 1974 - Holly was notified that Candy was dead. She left the following note to her friends:
To whom it may concern
By the time you read this I will be gone. Unfortunately before my death I had no desire left for life. Even with all my friends and my career on the upswing I felt too empty to go on in this unreal existence. I am just so bored by everything. You might say bored to death. It may sound ridiculous but is true. I have arranged my own funeral arrangements with a guest list and it is paid for. I would like to say goodbye to Jackie Curtis, I think you're fabulous. Holly, Sam Green a true friend and noble person, Ron Link I'll never forget you, Andy Warhol what can I say, Paul Morrissey, Lennie you know I loved you, Andy you too, Jeremiah don't take it too badly just remember what a bitch I was, Geraldine I guess you saw it coming. Richard Turley & Richard Golub I know I could've been a star but I decided I didn't want it. Manuel, I'm better off now. Terry I love you. Susan I am sorry, did you know I couldn't last, I always knew it. I wish I could meet you all again.
Goodbye for Now
[Tinkerbell was a writer for Interview magazine who later committed suicide on January 22, 1986 by jumping out of a window.]
Later that year, during the late summer/early autumn of 1974, Warhol moved the Factory from one side of Union Square to the other...