Clip from 1981 BBC Arena documentary on the Chelsea Hotel. William Burroughs and Andy Warhol have dinner, October 1980.
This was the fourth dinner they shared that year, all arranged by Victor Bockris, who planned to tape them for a book. Warhol wears a pair of headphones throughout, apparently listening to opera the whole time. (The Sony Walkman had hit the market the previous year.)
The clip also includes scenes from Warhol’s Chelsea Girls and tape of Nico singing and talking about “Chelsea Girls” in the hotel. From bbc.co.uk:
In 1981, Arena invited Andy Warhol and William Burroughs to dinner at the Chelsea Hotel for a film about the infamous New York home for waifs, strays and artists. Victor Bockris, artist and author, was the host for the evening (wearing a hand-painted suit by Warhol) and Barry Miles, the writer and editor of the International Times, was the chef. For dinner, Miles prepared what was clearly a lesser known dish to the guests, Lapin au Moutarde.
Watch the full film here. Transcripts of Warhol’s conversations with Burroughs were published in French. Other bits and pieces have appeared elsewhere, including here and here.
25 Cats Named Sam And One Blue Pussy, 1954, Andy Warhol
“Warhol kittens - it was a menagerie. They roamed through the paper jungle, clawing and pissing on Andy’s materials and periodically storming through the unruly heaps of art work in fits of feline mania. The television was on continually, as often as not accompanied by Broadway show tunes on the record player. One friend noted that walking through the apartment without knocking anything over or tripping up was like walking on a tightrope. Others described the place as a ‘bat cave’ and a set from On The Waterfront. The cats appeared to be like surrogate children. To most people they became part of his legend: Andy was living in a mad studio with his mother and twenty-one cats. The smell, they said, was something else. The apartment was situated over a night club, Shirley’s Pin-Up Bar on the ground floor, and the booming beat of 'Your So Adorable’ floated up through the front windows mixing with the thunder of the Lexington Avenue subway.”
Here’s a remarkable clip of the pair, this time chatting about, er, chicken fried steak—in the very room in which Arthur Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey! Phew, so much history! The footage is from an episode of the BBC documentary program Arena about the Hotel Chelsea and there are a couple of odd narrative elements to it, but the clip mercifully ends with Nico singing a haunting rendition of “Chelsea Girls”—in the Chelsea Hotel itself, one wonders if it was in Room 506…..
Morrisson : “ C'était une belle empoignade pour savoir quelle prise choisir. Chacun voulait celle qui l'avantageait le plus. Vraiment c'était la bagarre ; alors pour Sister Ray que nous savions être important, nous nous sommes bien regardés dans les yeux et nous avons dit : "On va faire une prise. S'il y a un truc que vous voulez faire, vaudrait mieux le faire maintenant.”
“Tout ça explique le joyeux mélange. Une véritable joute musicale - chacun tirant la couverture à soi en essayant de faire ce qu'il veut à chaque instant et ne reculant jamais. Je pense que l'entrée d'orgue est superbe. Cale démarre en solo. Il est très vite submergé puis, après une sorte de montée subite, il donne le maximum jusqu'à ce qu'il ressorte du lot. Il pouvait jouer plus fort que Lou et moi. Quand à la batterie elle était presque entièrement noyée.”
STERLING MORRISSON TALKING ABOUT SISTER RAY IN :
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND - UP-TIGHT / VICTOR BOCKRIS-GERARD MALANGA
Oh heavens, yes. I’ve learned so much from my cats, I can’t tell you. They reflect you in a deep way. It just opened up in me a whole area of compassion that, I can’t tell you, was so important. I remember lying in my bed and weeping and weeping and weeping to think that a nuclear catastrophe would destroy my cats.
A review of Patti Smith: An Unauthorized Biography by Victor Bockris
Thank you Victor Bockris for shaking us out of our Just Kids farce. (I like to think of it as Just Kidding.) Patti has constructed herself as godlike, complete with authentic outsider status, androgynous feminist beauty, a peaceful friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe, and thus, a love for all gay people. But Bockris casually corrects us: we’re dealing with– yes, a very talented person–who is also a misogynist, homophobic social climber.
The actor also will produce the film alongside Michael De Luca, with Terence Winter set to write the screenplay.
Jared Leto, Michael De Luca and Terence Winter are teaming up to tackle the life of Andy Warhol, the famed pop art artist whose blend of art and commerce made him a household name.
Leto will portray the artist for the biopic, titledWarhol, as well as produce it, along with De Luca, the producer whose credits include such Oscar-winning and -nominated true-life tales as The Social Network and Captain Phillips.
Winter, the Boardwalk Empire creator who wrote The Wolf of Wall Street, will pen the screenplay, using the Victor Bockris 1989 book, Warhol: The Biography, as a jumping-off point. (Leto and De Luca jointly acquired the rights to the book, having had a desire to partner on a project for some time now, according to sources.)
Warhol stormed the art world in the 1960s with works that elevated American consumerism to artistic heights, showing that even Campbell’s soup cans, Coca-Cola bottles and celebrities can be spun into art.
Openly gay before such a thing was accepted, Warhol created an art studio called The Factory, that attracted swaths of New York society (not to mention an unbalanced person or two, as one artist nearly killed him when she shot him in 1968) and cranked out art ranging from silk screens to films to music. Warhol himself managed Lou Reed’s Velvet Underground for a while. In later years, he was a fixture in New York’s famed Studio 54 nightclub scene and mentored a new generation of artists, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, before dying in 1987.
Warhol was a hypochondriac who, according to friends and acquaintances, vacillated between a cold and shallow person — sometimes quiet, sometimes the center of attention — to a brilliant eccentric who wore wigs and even went to hairdressers to have them cut.
The part seems tailor-made for Leto, who won an Oscar for playing a gay man dying from AIDS in 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club and drew legions of fans for his take on Batman’s insane villain The Joker in this summer’s Suicide Squad. (The actor is currently filming the untitled Blade Runnersequel being directed by Denis Villeneuve.)
And the project plays to De Luca’s strengths of translating real-life figures to the screen. In addition to adapting the lives of Mark Zuckerberg and Captain Richard Phillips, he brought Oakland A’s coach Billy Beane’s story to screens with the Brad Pitt drama Moneyball. (His next movie heads in the opposite direction: Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to S&M romancer Fifty Shades of Grey.)
Leto, producing via his Paradox production shingle, and De Luca, producing with his Michael De Luca Productions banner, are not aiming for a low-budget indie with Warhol but rather a strong mainstream project with prestige credentials.
Part of that prestige comes from scribe Winter, who was Oscar-nominated for writing Wolf of Wall Street and won Emmys for working on The Sopranos and nominated for Boardwalk Empire.He last co-created HBO’s Vinyl.
Leto, De Luca and Winter are all repped by CAA, which helped to broker the deal.