“Andy Warhol died 30 years ago today. I remember thinking “who’s opinion will I care about now?” and I still don’t know. I hope to become more like like him every day. He was and always will be my (dear) boss.”
This was published on O’Brien’s website in 2012, on the 25th anniversary of Andy’s death.
I Remember the Factory
(after Joe Brainard)
I remember Andy saying, “They’re really up there,” and “Geee, that’s so grreat.” And “Oh, he’s such a beauty” and “She’s such a beauty.”
I remember Paul calling half the people who came up to the Factory “drug trash.” And saying “Get those drag queens out of here.”
I remember Richard Bernstein being the only person who ever smoked pot at the Factory. (Until Jean Michel 20 years later.)
I remember having to take some German journalist through the Factory and he thought it was a commune and asked where we slept. After a while he said, “We fuck now?”
I remember Louis Waldon coming up and asking Andy for $10,000 to put a zinc bar in some place he’d bought in Europe.
I remember Ondine coming up to visit. He didn’t look like Ondine anymore. Somebody said he was a mailman. He didn’t say anything brilliant.
I remember Viva saying how cheap Andy was and he’d regret it when her book came out.
I remember how much Andy hated it when somebody wanted to shake hands.
I remember Paul yanking out hunks of hair from his head while talking on the phone.
I remember answering the phone, “Factory,” and Andy saying, “Why don’t you just say studio?”
I remember Fred on the phone saying, “Hughes, as in Howard Hughes.”
I remember Lou Reed calling me up and playing me a tape of a band from Boston he wanted to produce. All their songs were about him.
I remember Andy offering me a part in “Women in Revolt” and being really excited until I found out that Jackie Curtis was going to give me an enema.
I remember the day Billy Name came out of his darkroom after staying in there a year. He left a note for Andy that said, “I’m not here anymore but I am fine.” There were a lot of astrology books in there.
I remember Bob Dylan’s bodyguards grabbing Andy’s film at Mick Jagger’s birthday party because there was a joint on the table. Andy was appalled.
I remember Interview writer Donald Chase doing such a good Bette Davis imitation that he fooled everyone on the phone including W.H.Auden who went to his grave thinking Bette Davis was his biggest fan.
I remember Rene Ricard being the only person who still called Andy Drella.
I remember Richard Bernstein calling the back room of Max’s “The bucket of blood.”
I remember Danny Fields talking about the “abstract expressionist alcoholics” who sat in the middle room of Max’s. I remember Paul telling me not to hang out with Danny. I remember hanging out with Danny anyway. He discovered the Stooges and the Ramones.
I remember when Mickey Ruskin put hairy wallpaper over the red walls of the back room at Max’s. We all thought it was to slow the cock roaches down.
I remember wishing Lisa Robinson would put a sweater on over her see through blouse.
I remember Nelson Lyon using the word “fruitcake” to Andy and Andy not blinking.
I remember Bob Colacello saying Robert Mapplethorpe deliberately peed in his jeans. He thought that was exciting.
I remember Dylan coming up with John Sebastian’s ex-wife, wearing a straw hat and a wife beater.
I remember Anjelica Huston coming up to the Factory with Joan Buck. She was nineteen.
I remember Nick Ray coming up wearing an eye patch. Paul said he was on drugs. We all wondered if he needed the patch. It seemed like it was on the other eye last time.
I remember nights hanging out with Donald Cammell and his girlfriend Miriam whose job was to pick up another chick, and finally getting Donald to show me his dick because I was tired of hearing how big it was. It was.
I remember Andy asking me why I didn’t get rid of Fran Lebowitz and asking me if I really thought she was really funny.
I remember Candy saying that she had songs written about her by Lou, Ray Davies (“Lola,”) and Mick Jagger (“The Citadel.”)
I remember David Bowie coming to the Factory to do a mime act for Andy and sing “Andy Warhol.” Paul wanted to throw him out but I told Andy he was famous in England. After the song Andy didn’t know whether to be insulted or not.
I remember Geri Miller saying she wasn’t a virgin but was she saving her ass for her husband.
I remember being kind of afraid of Taylor Mead but being not sure why.
I remember Ronnie talking about shooting speed and thinking “Maybe I didn’t get here too late after all.”
I remember Andrea Whips Warhol getting up on the table in the back room of Max’s at “Showtime!”
I remember asking Uschi Obermayer to marry me. Even though I was married. I gave her a plastic engagement ring. I think she turned me down because of Keith.
I remember Ed McCormack getting so drunk he went home with Eric Mitchell and the next day he said he thought maybe his ass hurt.
I remember Eric Emerson getting stopped for drunk driving wearing full angel wings, glitter and leather shorts.
I remember Cindy Lang talking about Johnny Thunders big dick.
I remember hiring Susan Blond to sell ads for Interview because she had a squeaky voice. And I made her bleach her hair blonde because of her name. It didn’t last.
I remember looking at beautiful pictures of Steven Mueller from Lonesome Cowboys and thinking maybe he should lay off the Budweiser.
I remember Donna Jordan’s nipples and bleached eyebrows, Jane Forth’s no eyebrows and Patti D’Arbanville’s ass. I remember Jane being sixteen.
I remember Andy telling me that Jack Smith really invented the word “superstar” and asking me if Jack needed money.
I remember unfriendly looks from Gerard who was on the outs. He got over it. I remember Andy saying “No more poems in Interview.”
I remember Maria Schneider coming up right after Last Tango in Paris and making a big point of making out with her girlfriend.
I remember Andy saying at parties, “This is such hard work.”
I remember thinking Jackie Curtis was really ugly as a woman until I saw her as “James Dean.”
I remember the door being guarded by a stuffed Great Dane that supposedly once belonged to Cecil B. DeMille. I remember Vincent sitting at the reception desk reading every movie mogul biography.
I remember wondering what it was that Paul saw in Shirley Temple.
I remember asking Susan Bottomley if she’d like to have dinner some time and her saying “no.”
I remember Peter Beard with no socks in January picking up a hot frying pan in his bare hands.
I remember Jed and Jay Johnson wearing platform shoes.
I remember having a big crush on Ingrid Boulting and not knowing what to do when she was friendly to me.
I remember Paul calling the underground filmmaker Stan Brakhage “Stan Footage.”
I remember Luchino Visconti dancing with Fred at a black gay bar by the UN.
I remember dancing with Helmut Berger at Le Jardin.
I remember wondering about if Joe Dallesandro was just Paul Morrisey’s house guest.
I remember Nelson Lyon calling Fred and Bob “the head waiters.” I remember having dinner with Nelson and Candy and she complained about having a pain. We told her to stop complaining. She was dead in three months.
I remember Andy accidentally leaving his tape recorder in the Interview office so he could hear what Bob and I talked about.
I remember Andy shooting me in my underwear at the Interview office for the “Sticky Fingers” cover. He paid me a hundred buck. Fred kept saying, “Can’t you make it any bigger.” Then three businessmen walked in the door and said, “Isn’t this the architects office?”
I remember Richie Gallo, a performance artist who called himself the Lemon Man and danced around in an executioner’s hood picking up lemons.
I remember Vincent and me taping Neke Carson painting Andy’s portrait with a brush up his ass. Neke called it Rectal Realism.
I remember Brigid’s cock-prints book.
I remember Mickey Ruskin sitting at the door of Max’s saying “Sorry fellows, it’s couples only tonight” when un-hip people showed up.
I remember Valerie Solanas calling up and asking for Andy.
I remember Andy taking me to Rauschenberg’s studio and he was drinking whiskey. In the morning.
I remember going out to cash my paycheck and coming back and there had been a stickup at gunpoint. Everybody locked themselves in the back room but they forgot Joe Dallesandro’s baby and when they threatened to shoot the baby Fred gave them a hundred bucks and they left.
I remember when we got a security cameras and double doors.
I remember Andy saying “I’m not here” every day.
–Glenn O’Brien, 2/28/12