Chapter 14

Edie Sedgwick, Maid Of Constant Sorrow


R.E. Prindle


In the interest of keeping things in perspective and since a huge part of the readership obviously didn’t experience the sixties, I’d like, if I may, to give a little additional background to understand what happened here.  I hope I don’t offend by mixing in some of my own background, not merely from vanity, but so the reader will have some understanding of both my limitations and strengths in interpreting Edie, Andy and Dylan.

Nearly everything you read about the sixties today is written by former activists, usually Jewish, or dopers of one stripe or another.  Shall we say they skew the period in the direction of their beliefs.  Theirs was only the point of view of small minority.  In fact, they seized the leadership playing a much different game than the majority who were busy getting on with their lives.

The period now coming under discussion is 1966-’68 which changed the direction of the sixties. In mid-’66 Dylan had his motorcycle accident and was effectively removed from the scene for the duration. When he resurfaced in the seventies it was in a much diminished role. The first Bob Dylan was dead and the second was busy being  born. No matter what he’s done since then, compared to his mid-sixties trilogy it has had minimal impact.

Warhol reached his apogee in this period while he was shot by Vallerie Solanas in 1968 which changed the direction of his career when like Dylan he became a corporation while business affairs were managed by other men, most notably Fred Hughes.

Edie was heartbreakingly dragged through the mud in these years until her evil genius, Chuck Wein, connected her to the movie Ciao, Manhattan which was the most degrading, humiliating experience possible.  It eventually killed her.  All three of our participants then suffered life threatening experiences within two or three years of each other.  Edie was the only one not to survive.

Andy, Edie And Friends

The sixties were tumultuous times; it was like walking around with a perpetual thunderstorm over your head.  I was on the West Coast in the San Francisco Bay area till 1966 and at grad school at UOregon in Eugene from ‘66 to ‘68 and then in the record business for the rest of the period.  I got my degree from California State College At Hayward now Cal State U. East Bay in 1966.  It’s a long and irrelevant story but I entered Cal State in ‘64 taking enormous credit loads of up to 24 hours a quarter.  You can do things like that when you’re young and not too bright.  Hayward is just South of UC Berkeley.  Cal State was a new school with a very small library so we were allowed library privileges at Berkeley of which I availed myself so I was around the Free Speech Movement scene but not of it.  I was a first hand observer.

Once in Eugene in the fall of ‘66 things were getting in full swing in our own cultural revolution that would be joined to that of Chairman Mao in ‘68.  I was entranced by the poster art work coming out of San Francisco eventually dropping out of grad school to sell posters and then phonograph records at which I was successful.  Thus I was involved in the scene on an intimate basis from 1967 on.

While other generations were characterized by their literature our, the, generation was depicted by songwriters on phonograph records, thus records were central to the scene, don’t look for it in novels.  The first efflorescence occurred in the US during the mid-fifties while going into an incubation period in England from then until the early sixties when in 1964 the Beatles, Stones and Animals among others provided the transition from fifties Rock n’ Roll to sixties rock.  I don’t know how true it is but for me the revolution really got underway with the breathtaking first Doors LP in ‘66.  The blues bands and the next wave of British bands provided the impetus to move things into the seventies where the creative impulse ended by 1974 although inertia carried things through until sometime in ‘78.  Disco doesn’t count that was the beginning of an entire new ethic based in the homosexual revolution.

Morrison, Densmore, Krieger, Manzarek

When Andy, then in his quest for money, moved into records by managing the Velvet Underground, probably in imitation of Dylan, he did so just before the music scene broke.  New York bands were never that popular on the West Coast and the Velvets were no exception.  Andy, however, was an innovative guy.  Light shows were already news on the West Coast but Andy came up with a new multi-media formulation that blew our minds, as we used to say, while having a very lasting cultural effect.

In the Spring of ‘66 he rented a hall called the Dom in NYC.  Using the Velvets as his house band and his light show he managed to overwhelm the hipsters of the Big Apple.  He would have had a major success had he continued on but he was fixated on movies, wanting to do his Western put down, so the Factory crowd decamped for Tucson, Arizona, thinking to pick up the strand on their return.

While away Albert Grossman and Dylan leased the Dom from under Warhol and opened it as The Balloon Farm.  Between taking Edie from Andy and then the ballroom I’m convinced that Dylan sealed his doom.  I hope there aren’t too many people who think the rear wheel of his motorcycle locking was an accident.  Once again, conclusive proof is lacking, but there are indications that Andy and the Factory crowd did it.

Before The Fall

By late ‘66 Andy’s brief period in the spotlight was over.  His creative burst had run its course and while afloat financially, there was not any great income in sight.  Paul Morrissey had come on board as a filmmaker and his vision was more commercial than Andy’s but Andy was in charge so Paul had to bide his time waiting for his opportunity.  At the same time a man from Houston by the name of Fred Hughes came on board who knew how to monetize Andy’s reputation and art skills and then, Bang! Andy was writhing on the floor in pain.  One of those little zig-zags fate has in store for us sometimes.  The sixties were over for Andy but the change in direction made his future in the seventies and eighties.

Now, let’s go back to ‘64 and take a look at one of the defining members of the decade I’ve slighted till now, Prof. Tim Leary.  I’m convinced Leary was not in his right mind or, if he was, he shouldn’t have been there.  By the time Timmy latched onto psychedelics they were pretty well established.  LSD, discovered in 1938 by Hoffman and brought to prominence in 1943 was almost passe when Leary was turned on.  Aldous Huxley had published his Doors Of Perception in 1954 and Heaven And Hell in ‘56, that celebrated the joys of mescaline.

When I was in high school maybe ‘54 the kids of Scarsdale were notorious for using marijuana, written up in Time if I remember right.  Those were rich kids and by ‘56 our elite were very covertly using it.  In the Navy aboard ship from ‘57 to ‘59 Bennies and other pills were prominent while the occasional heroin addict passed through.  The Marines of Camp Pendleton were heavy into everything, barbiturates, mescaline, peyote buttons, LSD, you name it.  For cryin’ out loud, Hollywood had been the drug capitol of the US for decades.  One only has to read Raymond Chandler.  There wasn’t anything they didn’t know.  Cary Grant had been an old LSD hand for years before Leary, the apostle of acid, made it to town bearing the good news in 1960.  He was received with some amusement.

A very amusing story Leary tells in his autobiography is that Marilyn Monroe fell to his lot at a party.  They were actually in bed together.  As you may know Marilyn knew more about drugs than any pharmacologist.  Probably disgusted by Timmy’s ranting about LSD she handed him a pill and said take this.  Timmy did then decided to get up to go the dresser for something.  ‘Are you sure you want to do that?’ Marilyn asked.  Timmy was.  He took about two steps and seemed to sink through the carpet until only his nose was above the rug.  He lay there inert all night while Marilyn laughed softly from the bed.

From his position on the faculty of Harvard Timmy was a very visible advocate of LSD hogging headlines in Time and other mags that were the envy of Andy.  Tim was to amuse us with his antics all through the sixties.  Now, all this stuff was happening very fast.  It was impossible almost to keep up with the headlines let alone any indepth reporting or analysis.  Besides there was no internet so all news was comparatively old news, perhaps weeks after the occurrence if you heard of it at all.  Also it was impossible to be where it was happening unless it was happening where you were and then you didn’t know it was happening because you were in the middle of it.  I happened on the Free Speech Movement because I was in school but I missed the SF scene going on at the same time because I couldn’t be in two places at once and keep up grades in the third place at the same time.  New York was out of the question, London was across a wide, deep ocean, and LA hadn’t caught on yet.  Thus, I was invited to the Kesey/Dead Trips Festival but passed on it.  For various reasons I only caught the end of the Fillmore/Family Dog scene and then only fleetingly.

Even Morrison and the Doors who can claim to have been in the center could only have caught their small share however central it was.  Nobody got it all.  How could you be in Swinging London, New York, San Francisco and LA at the same time?  Couldn’t be done although there were many who tried spending their time criss crossing the country from West to East and reversed and for all I know popping into London too trying to be jetsetters but they were merely vagrants peripheral to everything.

So marijuana, acid, speed and barbiturates or downers as they were called then made up the pharmacopeia.  Amphetamines were obviously big in NYC from the early sixties and must have been in the West too but my first acquaintance with that was the Speed Kills buttons.  Heroin was a danger drug for the addict type only.  Cocaine came along in the seventies.  At the time little or none of the marijuana crop was home grown.  It came from Mexico and there are smuggling and pot running stories galore.  At first the dealers were amateurs, boys and girls next door, but that slowly turned into the criminal professionals.

Andy’s crew were all what he called A-heads, but you may be sure they smoked and did booze too.  It must have been uproarious in the early years but by ‘66 psychotic and physical reactions were beginning to slow the troops down.  It was hard to keep up that pace.

Now, Edie when she came to New York in late ‘64 was a naif.  Not many of us knew much better but she was a true naif, fresh from the farm, so to speak, while having had her brains addled by electro-shock treatment at Silver Hill Sanitarium.  At Radcliffe-Harvard she had hung out with homosexual men gaining the reputation as a fag hag.  Alright, I suppose, as she didn’t know how to handle herself around boys anyway.  She came down to New York with the group of homosexuals that Andy called the Harvard kids with some distaste.  She associated herself with her evil genius, Chuck Wein, who, as a homosexual, sought her destruction.

The Factory of Andy Warhol she entered was created in Andy’s image.  In reading of it, I was never there, it comes across as a hell hole from which any reasonable person would have fled at first glance.  Many did.  Andy hurt a lot of people being of a sado-masochistic frame of mind.  Outside his circle he was universally referred to as ‘that Warhol creep’ and yet events conspired with him to realize his perverted dreams and triumph over all.

Andy considered himself ugly and descriptions of him by others are unpleasant but whatever everyone and himself saw doesn’t show up so clearly in his pictures.  He may not be the handsomest fellow around but he has a cherubic, pleasant look that I don’t find unattractive.  But, because of this feeling he surrounded himself with beautiful people.  Fred Hughes his business manager was quite handsome.  Morrissey was OK, Malanga had his moments, Edie was considered a knockout, although I can’t see it, and the other women he associated with were quite attractive.

And then, as a little immigrant boy who wasn’t acceptable to mainliners of Pittsburgh Andy was especially pleased to have society women attached to him and especially the titled or rich English girls.  Edie fit in as a beauty, as Andy called her then, and as an old line New York society girl.  The combination was almost too tantalizing  for this lifetime homosexual.  Andy said Edie was as close to love with a woman that he ever got.  He even took her home to meet mom.  Edie apparently missed the import of that.

Andy has been blamed for making an A-head out of Edie.  Once she tasted amphetamines it is clear that there was no stopping her.  In truth the Factory was no place for her and Chuck Wein who introduced her into it must have known that.  Still, as Dylan sang, there’s something going on here and you don’t know what it is, do you?  Most people didn’t including Dylan, and I certainly was out of my depth.  It was disconcerting metaphorically to step on what was once solid ground to feel it giving beneath your feet.

Actually there were several revolutions going on which would result in massive social changes.  Those of us firmly grounded could only see the so-called change as a rising tide of insanity.  Aided by drugs these revolutionists became totally  dissociated from reality.  Drugs alone cause a withdrawal into an inner fantasy world of wishful thinking.  The external world appears as something that wishful thinking can manipulate to one’s desires in some magical way.  When the two got really out of sync as they inevitably must you ended up in Bellevue psychiatric wards as happened to a heavy user like Edie many times while most of Warhol’s crew checked in at least once.

Andy, who used these people for entertainment and self-aggrandizement, provided a hospitable retreat or club house where the cognitive dissociation wasn’t quite so apparent or, at least, normal.  The scene must have been incoherent.  A reading of Warhol’s so-called novel, ‘a’,  shows that by 1966 his crew was indeed incoherent.  Ostensibly a tape recording of Ondine’s conversation over twenty-four hours, whose conversation Andy found engaging, the tapes show Ondine unable to complete a sentence along with Rotten Rita and the rest of the crew including Edie.

Further the whole bunch were absolute thieves.  In Edie’s decline through sixty-six they walked into her apartment and chose their favorites from her collection of fur coats along with anything else of value.  In her demented state all she could say is that everyone was wearing her coats.  One wonders how much internal anguish there was as she knew there was nothing she could do about it.

At the same time Andy was a leader of the Homosexual and Underman revolutions.  Perhaps nobody knew what was going on but Warhol, Rotten and others were working for homosexual liberation which they achieved with the Stonewall Riot of 1969.

New York was unique in that for decades homosexuals from the South and Midwest flowed into New York each year in a great internal migration.  The chief destination was the Village.  Christopher Street was the  main fag drag.  The Stonewall Tavern was on Christopher.  Why the cops would disturb the lads in their own colony is beyond me, but they did and then gave up without a fight.

Perhaps the most astounding revolution of all was that of the Undermen.  Untermensch in German.  While Warhol’s crew was a prime example of the Other Half rising to control the direction of society, the main impetus seems to have been the West Coast, San Francisco and Haight-Ashbury, specifically the Hippies.  It was really there that the poverty look took hold, torn, faded jeans and whatever.  LA never really went for it but it spread up the coast to Eugene, Portland and Seattle.  The Sorority and Fraternity look went out the window with millionaire’s kids posing as the down and out.

I would imagine a naïve thing like Edie got caught up in the so-called sexual revolution too.  We’re not talking Feminist Movement here but the sexual aspect of the Communist Revolution in which women are common property to be had anytime or anyplace by whoever.  The Pill that came along in 1960 really facilitated the change in sexual mores.  Nothing exemplified that more than the mini-skirt.  So you’ve got drugs, the Pill, the Mini Skirt and the Ideology.  The world was not so slowly turning upside down.

All these revolutions might have gotten not too far but they were all collected and subsumed under the directing force of the Communist Revolution under the leadership of Chairman Mao and the Chinese Party.  The money really flowed in after 1968.  Driving the whole thing and what made the turmoil possible was the Viet Nam War.  It served the Communist cause more than the American as while taking a beating in Viet Nam the Communists subverted the United States.  Strangely Viet Nam had no effect on Warhol at all.  His disaster paintings ignored Viet Nam  while a couple napalm drops would have made a terrific topic.

In the early days of the war it was filmed like a reality TV show with the daily haps relayed on TV to the US.  The reality of napalm drops while our soldiers cheered and howled while a couple dozen Vietnamese where incinerated  was too much for the entertainment starved public to take. I sure couldn’t handle it.   The films were quickly removed.  The reality of war is a private thing between the armies, not quite like the Super Bowl.

I don’t recall a single mention of Viet Nam in Andy’s Diaries, Philosophy From A To B or ‘a’.  The war appears in none of the biographies or auto-biographies or even novels written by various denizens of the Factory.  Rather strange, but then I can recall no references to it in Dylan’s songs either.

The Communist Revolution connection developed when John and Yoko arrived in NYC in 1971.  The two of them were clearly involved  in revolutionary activities linking various art and entertainment figures with them including, Dylan, Warhol, David Bowie and others.  What exactly they were doing isn’t clear to me yet.  Yoko was and is on some Feminist rag.

So, in 1966 while an apparent apex for Warhol, his world was actually coming apart while Edie’s was descending like a Stuka dive bomber.

The period from December ‘65 to Easter of ‘66 must have been traumatic for a crazed and confused A-head like Edie.  She sacrificed her position with Andy, seduced by the fallacious promises of Dylan and Grossman  who certainly had no plans to make a movie, and if they did, to put Edie in it.

Velvet Underground & Nico

Warhol had all the sadistic cruelty characteristic of homosexuals that he turned on to the distraught girl.  Edie must have been thoroughly crushed when Dylan rejected her love while passing her on to Neuwirth.  Edie was not at her wit’s end with no money, cut off by her parents who objected to this life style, while having no means to make money to support the station in life she had seemingly attained.  Both Dylan and Warhol abandoned her after accepting her largesse for several months.  Warhol is especially reprehensible.  Dylan sure is a close second.

Her heavy dependence on amphetamines was literally eating away her brain, her body and her personality.

I really can’t believe that Edie loved Neuwirth as she claimed.  I  don’t think either was capable of love.  Yet, she abandoned her body to him claiming she could make love for forty-eight hours straight but crashed whenever he left her.  That is a sign of despair and fear.  I can only imagine the horror she felt when she looked into the future and saw only a blank wall.  As Dylan was to sing of her:  Time will tell just who has fell and who’s been left behind.

Perhaps the cruelest trick of all was played on Edie by Dylan, Grossman and Neuwirth at the Easter Parade of 1966 when Neuwirth filmed the promised movie.

In a November issue of Life Magazine in 1965 Edie had been photographed standing on top of a toy leather rhinoceros about two feet high and three feet long, popular at the time.  Whether the three of them, Grossman, Dylan and Neuwirth, put their heads together to come up with this or Dylan brainstormed it by himself, Neuwirth persuaded Edie to pull the rhino down Fifth Avenue as the parade progressed, filming as they went.  Then Bobby tied the rhino to a parking meter and persuaded a passing cop to write Edie a ticket.  Thus Grossman and Dylan fulfilled their obligation to put Edie in a movie while mocking her cruelly.  Those guys had a reputation for cruel put downs.  They live up to it here.

It was just after Easter that Warhol opened the Dom to stage his Exploding Plastic Inevitable.  The reports we got of it on the West Coast made it sound absolutely astounding.  If any one thing characterized the sixties I would have to say it was the Exploding Plastic Inevitable.  It brought everything the era valued together.  As usual with Warhol he couldn’t resist turning it into a sado-masochistic experience.  The chaos must have been extraordinary.  One can imagine the scene with dope peddlers trying to push their drugs on you, the lights flashing, strobing and pulsing, the howling music, the bodies bumping against each other, Malanga doing his whip dance, Edie bopping around the stage with her odd skip and step.  They talk about the Velvet Underground being loud but they must mean for the times.  Blue Cheer with its wall of Marshalls was just around the corner while the electronics improved almost daily until the sound passed the limits of endurance.  Created a whole generation of deaf Beethovens.  Musicians literally without ears.

I actually promoted the Underground once in either ‘68 ot ‘69, might have been pre-Blue Cheer.  BC’s main claim to fame was that they were the first mega blasters, loudest band alive for their brief moment.  Sort of a Great Divide in Rock music.

Things were still building but it wasn’t that the Velvets were that loud; they were just super strange.  Reed was the original one-note man, he played it over and over fast.  Sterling was there but he must have been background noise because I don’t remember much of an effect there.  Whatever Cale was doing passed over my head but it must have been some kind of La Monte Young dynamo hum, all the songs were.  I was most fascinated by Mo on drum.  Yeah, right, drum, in the singular.  She had a six inch deep tom with an under slung mallet.  The mallet hammered away at the bottom skin while Mo pounded the upper skin with the sticks.  In keeping with the dynamo hum she never varied the beat once but she was right on time just in case time was important.  Quite an experience.  You shoulda been there, and paid at the door.  I wouldn’t have lost as much money.

Andy made a bundle in the month long run and then he made what would have been the mistake of his life in leaving for Arizona, or would have been if he hadn’t been shot.  While he was out of it Hughes and Morrissey put together the means to put Andy over the top.

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out

Chaper 15 follows.

Edie Sedgwick
Maid Of Constant Sorrow
Chapters 9,10, 11, 12
R.E. Prindle
Chapter 9
Leavin’ On A Jet Plane
R.E. Prindle

The 707




There are arguments about the psychological duration of the sixties mentality.  The limits run from 1956  at the beginning to 1974 at the end.  There are reasonable arguments for those parameters.  I would argue that the sixties began on August  26, 1959 when Pan American World Airways inaugurated non-stop jet service from New York to London, and ending with Altamont in 1969.  Before was merely prologue and post-Altamont merely aftermath.
The sixties are unthinkable without the arrival of trans-Atlantic jet service.  With the jets, the Jet Set came into existence.  The Jet Set was the envy of the entire generation.  There’s little we wouldn’t have done to have been part of it.  Thus when Pan-Am put the first 707-320 into the air the conditions for the sixties were in place.
Boeing won the race to commercial jets and what a plane the 707 was.  In late 1956 I was sent from Philly to San Francisco via a DC6B.  The DC7 was the reigning prop plane at the time but the 6B was just behind.  The 707 not only added jets but dimension.  The DC 6B was just a flying cigar with about a 50 passenger capacity.  Very narrow, claustrophobic and I don’t suffer from claustrophobia.  At somewhat less than 300 miles an hour the 2600 miles from Philly to the West Coast took a major part of the day.  We left Philly at about 6:00 PM and arrried the next day just after sun-up.  The pressurization was terrible; I arrived with my ear drums bursting while the pain lasted well into the week.  I thought I was permanently damaged.  It wasn’t a great experience.
By contrast the 707 was twice as fast with a feeling of roominess and excellent pressurization.  Pan Am’s 707-120 flight that refueled in Newfoundland carried 111 passengers the most ever on a commercial flight.  So the modern era of flight was innaugurated.  A, if not The, future had arrived and it actually did work.  Not only worked but exploded.
The Jet Set could now commute between New York and London over the weekend, or even one could fly to New York, have lunch and be back in London to sleep in your own bed that night.  For people with money the expense was negligible.  All of a sudden travel posters appeared in everyone’s appartment.  London, Paris, Rome, Swiss skiing.  It was a sign of our desires, a longing to travel that was soon fulfilled whether you could afford it or not.  Along with the jet need came other needs that had to be fulfilled, a new outlook, new clothes, new hairstyles.  Whole new economic vistas opened up for the uninfranchised who had the vision: Mary Quant, Vidal Sassoon and a host of others.  Did we need advertising to create those needs?  Not by a long shot.
It took ages for the established firms to catch on.  Meanwhile the portals of opportunity were blown wide open.  Perhaps the phenomenal  response to the Beatles was merely a symptom of those new ideas.  The Beatles clothes, the haircuts, their naive insouciance.  They just epitomized the new attitude as the Rolling Stones nor any other group ever could.  It didn’t have anything to do with the music itself.
Thus by the time Andy set up his headquarters at the Silver Factory things were shifting into high gear of which he was a beneficiary, but then he had the style too.  The defining Pop moment for Warhol was the incredible visit of Pope John VI made possible by the big 707 jets.  But let Andy give his breathless account from Popism, pp. 134-135:
A week or so after Philadelphia I got a real lesson in show business and Pop style.  Just when you think you’re getting famous, somebody comes along and makes you look like a warm up act for amateur night.  Pope Paul VI, talk about advance PR- I mean, for centuries.
Definitely the most Pop public appearance tour of the sixties was that visit of the Pope to New York City.  He did it all in one day- October, 15, 1965.  It was the most well-planned media covered personal appearance in religious (and probably show business) history.  “Never Before in This Country!  One Day Only!  The Pope in New York City!”
The funny thing for us, of course, was that Ondine was known in our crowd as “the Pope,” and one of his most famous routines was “giving the papal bull.”
The (real) Pope and his entourage of aides, press and photographers left Rome early that morning on an Alitalia DC-8.  Eight hours and twenty minutes later, they got off the plane at Kennedy with the Pope’s shiny robes blowing in the wind.  They drove in a motorcade through Queens- the streets were lined with people- through Harlem crowds, and then down to the jammed- for blocks St. Patrick’s Cathedral area in the Fifties- where the Pope seemed to want to go out in “the audience” but you could see his aides talking him out of it.  After all the stuff in the cathedral he ran down the street to the Waldorf-Astoria where President Johnson was waiting.  They exchanged gifts and talked for a little under an hour about world troubles.  Then it was over to address the UN General Assembly (essentially he said, “Peace, disarmament and no birth control”) out to Yankee Stadium to say Mass in front of ninety thousand people, over to the closing World’s Fair to see Michelangelo’s Pieta in its Pop context before it went back to the Vatican, and back out to Kennedy and onto a TWA plane, saying, when the reporters asked him what he liked best about New York, “Tutti Buoni” (Everything is good”) which was the Pop philosophy exactly.  He was back in Rome that same night.  To do that much in that short a time with that kind of style- I can’t imagine anything more Pop than that.
Yes, left Andy breathless and why not?  I wasn’t there but as the motorcade passed by the Factory and Andy looked down on the scene perhaps it was the or a defining moment of the sixties.  Certainly it was a masterpiece of planning and execution for what would have been a small army.
Andy himself had joined the Jet Set back in May when he was summoned to Paris for an art exhibition.  Originally sent a ticket for an ocean voyage Andy asked his sponsors for a change to four air tickets taking a small entourage with him including Edie.  One can only imagine his elation as the big jet liner lifted off the tarmac.  Certainly a defining moment of the sixties for Andy.  By the seventies and eighties Andy and his entourage were part of the Jet Set flying back and forth repeatedly.
Chapter 10.
The System Of Dr. Tarr And Professor Fether

The Heyday Of Andy And Edie

For those of us out in the provinces Warhol and his Factory were an ongoing phenomenon.  It all seemed sort of crazy or insane but inescapable.  His movies while perhaps being experimental were too bizarre to contemplate.  The ‘superstars’ with names like Ultra Violent and International Velvet who were merely girls and not stars of anything were viewed with amazement.  Quite frankly, we didn’t know what to think but had the cool to act like we were with it.  If there was something happening here we thought we knew what it was.
Obviously New Yorkers themselves had different understandings of the phenomenon.  Unaware of the meaning of the rise of Warhol some were condescending to this outre individual and his entourages but curious.  Andy’s strengths were of course in the art world and the homosexual  community more than in the straight world.  Thus at the beginning of 1966 the New York Society For Clinical Psychiatry extended an invitation to Andy to speak at their annual banquet.
This was a dangerous invitation for them to make to a group of quasi-maniacs on dope, for Andy wouldn’t come alone while I suspect the invitation was made in bad faith.  I think the psychiatrists thought they would amuse themselves at Andy’s expense.  It’s not improbable that Andy suspected this intent.  As the program chairman, Dr. Robert Campbell, said post-banquet in a NYTimes interview:  Creativity and the artist have always held a fascination for the serious student of human behavior.  And we’re fascinated by the mass communications activities of Warhol and his group.  In that statement I think the tone of the question and answer segment would have been set.
It is not like certain people in the Warhol entourage hadn’t experience with the psychiatric establishment of New York.  Several of them may very likely have been in the hands of psychiatrists there they recognized.  While the psychiatrists considered their methods quite reasonable those who had suffered at their hands had somewhat different sentiments.  One of the more bizarre of their methods and one that Dr. Mengele would have envied was electro-shock therapy.

Edie And Andy- Sitting On Top Of The World

To a layman like myself the rationale of electro-shock seems quite absurd.  How sending electricity coursing through someone’s brain is supposed to change that someone’s psychology in the direction desired by the doctors is beyond my understanding.  In point of fact it didn’t change anyone’s psychology, not that of Edie Sedgwick nor that of Lou Reed, two of Andy’s entourage, anyway.  While Edie was more passive about it, Reed was enraged.  Andy sympathized with Reed which didn’t bode well for the psychiatrists.
Nineteen sixty-six was a swing year for the sixties.  At that time right at the peak things began to go sour leading up to the twin disasters of Stonewall and Altamont.  Drugs were at the heart of the problem.  As the year began the amphetamine users had been on the stuff for six years or more.  And they we’re taking massive doses.  Edie was already over the edge while Andy’s A-men like Ondine and Rotten Rita were at the point of unraveling.
This use of speed had been mixed with alcohol and marijuana.  In addition the psychedelics that had been gaining in prominence since the fifties were becoming ubiquitous and multiplying.  Aldous Huxley’s psychedelic bible, The Doors Of Perception, celebrating the virtues of mescaline had appeared in 1954 when it was well received by dopers.  Psilocybin and peyote were available for the more adventurous and knowledgeable while the greatest hit of all, LSD, had been increasing in popularity.  Already well established on the West Coast and in Hollywood well before Dr. Timothy Leary became its proselytizer after 1960, the psychedelic was becoming endemic.
Heck, in the fifties the CIA was using hookers in San Francisco to dose Johns with the stuff unbeknownst to the Johns.  Agents behind two way mirrors were doubling over in laughter watching the action.  And of course the chemists were busy rearranging molecules to create new sensations.  Look out below!
Along with the use of drugs came the inevitable separation from both reality and morality.  As Warhol said:  If you don’t like what’s happening to you pretend it’s a movie.  And people did.  All of a sudden people were walking around in buckskins like they were actors in a Western movie.  Don’t Bogart that joint was a tribute to Humphrey Bogart’s smoking style.  Bette Davis eyes….  I knew one guy who thought prison movies were a joke.  He got himself arrested on drug charges thinking it was a lark, just another scene in his movie.  Two or three years later he came back and found the joke was on him.  His former cronies who all seemed to have been in on the joke at the time now wouldn’t have anything to do with an ex-con.  The guy’s movie turned from a comedy into a tragedy.  It was painful to watch.
As people drugged out, subconscious desires rose to the surface, they attempted to become what they couldn’t be thus islolating themselves and destroying their lives.  As Andy also said:  During the sixties people forgot what emotions were supposed to be and he  didn’t think they ever remembered.  At the same time morality became confused with what the individual wanted at the moment.
The psychiatrists were no more immune to drugs than the street people.  Lou Reed wanted some kind of revenge for the suffering he had endured at the hands of the psychiatrists.  Of course when Dr. Campbell extended the invitation to Andy he had no idea what that would include.  Dr. Tarr was to meet Professor Fether.
One can’t be certain what the psychiatrists were thinking when they invited Andy to speak; it’s not exactly clear what they thought he would talk about although the banquet was billed as  ‘The Chic Mystique Of Andy Warhol.’  Andy on his part saw the invitation as an opportunity to ‘epater les pyschiatristes’, and he did.

Velvet Underground And Nico

The two chief accounts of the banquet are Andy’s own as recorded in POPism and a review published in the NYTimes ( )
The event took place on either 1/10 or 1/13 while the Times account was published on 1/14.  The writer, Grace Glueck, does not appear to have been present but relies on reports from other persons.  She quotes Dr. Robert Campbell, the organizer, as saying he ‘was fascinated by the mass communications activities of Warhol and his group.’
Miss Glueck goes on to record the reactions of some of the psychiatrists in attendance:  ‘I suppose you could call this gathering a spontaneous eruption of the id.
‘…a repetition of the concrete quite akin to the L.S.D. experience.’
‘Why are they exposing us to these nuts?’
And finally:  ‘Put it down to decadent Dada.  It was ridiculous, outrageous, painful.  It seemed like a whole (psycho) ward has escaped.’

Edgar Deep In Thought

Yes, the inmates had taken charge of the asylum.  The scene was quite reminiscent of the dinner in Edgar Allan Poe’s famous story:  The System Of Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether.  One might describe it as Lou Reed intended it, as shock treatment for the psychiatrists as well as the repetition of the concrete electro-shock therapy.  As John Cale, the violinist of the group, was to admit a few decades later:  That was revenge- Lou’s revenge…and I was all for it.  So evidently was Andy Warhol.
At the time Andy seemed to be enamored of his crowd but in his subconscious other feelings were stirring.  On page 370 of his diary referring to the Factory years Andy says:
I’d dreamt about Billy Name, that he was living under the stairs of my house and doing sommersaults and everything was very colorful.  It was so weird, because his friends sort of invaded my house and were acting crazy in colorful costumes and jumping up and down having so much fun and they took over, they took over my life.  It was so weird.  It was like clowns.
Everybody was a clown in a funny way, and they were just living there without letting me know, they’d come out in the morning when I wasn’t there and they’d have a lot of fun and then they’d go back and live in the closet.

Malanga and Dylan

It almost sounds like Andy confounded the banquet with Name and his friends actually living in the Factory inhabiting his life, or house psychologically.  So Andy was uncomfortable with his situation but as he equates terrorism of the sort inflicted on the psychiatrists as ‘having fun’ he was amused.  Nevertheless when the Factory moved in 1968 he cut these people off from him.
Andy’s account of the banquet was recorded in his memoir POPism pp.  146-147:
I was invited to speak at the annual banquet of the New York Society For Clinical Psychiatry by the doctor who was chairman of the event.  I told him I’d be glad to ‘speak’ if I could do it though movies, that I’d show Harlot and Henry Geldzahler and he said fine.  Then when I met the Velvets I decided that I wanted to speak with them instead, and he said fine to that too.
So one evening in the middle of January everybody in the Factory went over to the Delmonico Hotel where the banquet was taking place.  We got there just as it just was starting.  There were about three hundred pychiatrists and their mates and dates- and all they’d been told was that they were going to see movies after dinner.  The second the main course was served, the Velvets started to blast and Nico started to wail.  Gerard and Edie jumped up on the stage and started dancing, and the doors flew open and Jonas Mekas and Barbara Rudin with her crew of people with cameras and bright lights came storming into the room and rushing over to the psychiatrists asking them questions like:
‘What does her vagina feel like?’
‘Is his penis big enough?’
‘Do you eat her out?  Why are you getting embarrassed?  You’re a psychiatrist; you’re not supposed to get embarrassed!
Edie had come with Bobby Neuwirth.  While the crews filmed and Nico sang her Dylan song, (I’ll Keep It With Mine) Gerard noticed (and he told me this later) that Edie was trying to sing, too, but even in that incredible din, it was obvious she didn’t have a voice.  He always looked back to that night as the last she ever went out with us in public, except for a party here and there.  He thought she’d felt upstaged that night, that she’d realized that Nico was the new girl in town.
Edie and Nico were so different, there was no good reason to compare them, really.  Nico was so cool, and Edie was so bubbly.  But the sad thing was, Edie was taking a lot of heavy drugs, and she was getting vaguer and vaguer.  Her society lady attitude toward pills had changed to an addict attitude.  Some of her good friends tried to help her, but she couldn’t listen to them.  She said she wanted a “career” and that she’d get one since Grossman was managing her.  But how can you have a career when you don’t have the discipline to work at anything?
Gerard had noticed how lost Edie looked at that psychiatrists’ banquet, but I can’t say I noticed; I was too busy watching the psychiatrists.  They were really upset and some of them started to leave, the ladies in their long dresses and the men in their black ties.  As if the music- the feedback actually- that the Velvets were playing wasn’t enough to drive them out, the movie lights were blinding them and the questions were making them turn red and stutter because the kids wouldn’t let up, they just kept asking for more.  And Gerard did his notorious whip dance.  I loved it all.
And there we have Andy’s version recalled fifteen years later.     His account can be divided into two parts.  On the one hand the banquet and on the other Andy’s blighted relationship, call it an affair of the heart, with Edie.  Andy devotes 22 lines to the banquet and 15 to Edie.
Regardless of what Bob Dylan might now say there was intense competition between he and Andy for the possession of Edie.  That competition complicated by Warhol’s homosexuality and Dylan’s committment in marriage to so Sara Lowndes.  It is doubtful that Warhol could have maintained a relationship without paying physical attention to Edie although it is not impossible that some modus vivendi could have been worked out.  Certainly in the case of P.G. Wodehouse and his wife such an arrangement was worked out.
Dylan’s intentions were entirely dishonorable.  He was too self-centered to maintain a relationship with any woman except wholly on his terms.  Not only would he consider marriage only with a Jewish woman


and that solely to fulfull a religious obligation to be fruitful and multiply, but he divided women into two classes, Madonnas and sluts.  Sara was his Madonna and all other women were sluts to be used solely for his pleasure.  Thus he could not have respected Edie.
He also had a serious mother problem.  Sometime around puberty his mother told him that he had blighted her plans for living life as she wanted by being born.  In other words he was an encumbrance to her life as a free spirit.  Thus his attitude toward himself and life took a dark turn about the age of twelve.  For some reason, perhaps ‘her fogs, her amphetamines and her pearls’ Edie reminded Dylan of his mother’s wish for the high life.  Now, it is absolutely taboo for a man to punish his mother so men take out their animosity to their mothers  on other women, hence all these serial killers of women, mother surrogates.  So, Dylan was essentially punishing his mother through Edie.


Edie had walked out on Andy in December of ’65 when she jumped to the Dylan camp in the expectation that Dylan and Grossman were going to do something for her in the way of a ‘career’, especially something that involved a large paycheck.  As I have pointed out elsewhere there were many things that could have been done to capitalize on Edie’s extraordinary unearned fame.  There was money to be made there but either Grossman and Dylan lacked the imagination or they merely wanted to remove the girl from Warhol’s sphere and then to hell with her.
The latter is what was done.  Dylan had passed her to his sidekick Bobby Neuwirth and thus it was Neuwirth who escorted Edie to the banquet.  Warhol notes this then ruefully mentions that Nico, who was now in his camp, was singing the song Dylan wrote and gave to her.
Dylan had met Nico in Greece a couple years earlier when she was really depressed.  He wrote I’ll Keep It With Mine and gave it to her as her song.  In the video clip linked above the Velvet Underground are playing Venus In Furs.  The cacophany would have driven the psychiatrists out so I doubt they would have listened to more than one song.  Andy is misremembering and projecting.  Dylan had been a thorn in his side and would continue to be.  Indeed, after Neuwirth and Edie reported the spectacular doings at the banquet Dylan showed up at the Factory a couple of days later to get a fuller report.
Edie, on the the video clip, does look a little lost on stage but as it was crowded so does Malanga.  If Nico was trying to sing there was no chance she could have been heard.  Andy is clearly still suffering from Edie’s abandonment.  In his diary for 1977 he mentions meeting Neuwirth at a party where they discuss a couple of Neuwirth’s old girl firends, one of which was Edie.  As Edie was as close to love as Andy could get he had to resent Dylan for taking her away.
The situation with the psychiatrists was evidently secondary in his mind to Edie, but the event had been carefully planned, nothing that happened there was accidental.  This event would set the tone for the next few decades; a new direction in impolite social discourse had been established.  Nor was this an isolated event without consequences, the psychiatrists must have gone away steaming with vengeance on their minds.
Chapter 11
From Out Of The Looney Bin

The Man Of A Thousand Faces

In a different context Sam Cooke was singing A Change Is Gonna Come while Bob Dylan was singing The Times They Are A Changin’ and it may have been the Byrds who were chanting Change Is Now, all normal conditions.  Currently there’s a song which has a video that simulates an insane asylum in which the inmate screams:  ‘There’s nothing wrong with me, there’s nothing wrong with me, there’s nothing wrong with me and then the lead singer comes in screaming four times ‘Something’s gotta give, somthing’s gotta give, somethings’s gotta give, somethings gotta give.’  The banquet was where these two worlds collided…Worlds In Collision.  The irresistible force met the immovable object.
There was a premonition of this evolution  a year or so earlier when Dylan got up to receive the Tom Paine award from the pre-Khruschev Communists and roundly insulted them as old fogies.  Well, you know, the times they were a changin’.

Sigmund Alone Is His Study

Let’s take a look at the psychiatrists.  First it may be necessary to explain the difference between Depth or Freudian psychology and psychiatry.  You don’t need a medical degree to practice psychology, you do to practice psychiatry.  Freudians essentially believe that there is a gap between perception and reality in the mind caused by cognitive dissonance while psychiatrists believe the gap is caused by a physical malfunction somewhere in the brain that can be solved by surgical means, drugs or some external stimulation like electro-shock therapy, to what is an internal perceptual problem.
Hence Edie who really had nothing wrong with her except inexperience with the world was subjected to electro-shock therapy; Lou Reed whose homosexuality was beyond medical treatment was also subjected to electro-shock.  The psychiatrists at one time thought that teeth caused mental problems proposing to alleviate the symptoms by pulling all a poor wretches teeth.  In addition some perverted genius came up with the idea of pre-frontal lobotomies, and he wasn’t a Nazi doctor either, while one had a choice between electro-shock and the equally if not more bizarre insulin shock therapy.
In addition the drugs psychiatrists give to their patients have side effects more serious than the original ailment.  One has to remember that the Dr. Feelgoods such as Max Jacobson and Dr. Roberts, MDs while not psychiatrists, were giving super massive doses of amphetamines to everyone from the President of the United States on down.  Edie received massive doses from Dr. Roberts who was himself

Her Fogs Her Amphetamines And Her Pearls

befuddled by drugs.
Dr. Max Jacobson is a horror story.
Is it any wonder that the Factory hands were rebelling against the pyschiatrists?  Who were these psychiatrists?  As this was 1966 it must be true that over half were Jews, the so-called smartest people in the world, while of those Jews, I’m only guessing, fully half must have been Central and East European Jews who had emigrated during the Hitler years, many probably with very doubtful credentials.  The difference between Dr. Mengele and the Nazi doctors with these psychiatrists is minimal in my mind.
What sort of madmen would subject victims to massive electrical charges and expect beneficial results?  Besides these guys were probably all on drugs anyway.  And these psychiatrists had absolute authority, no different than the Nazi doctors, over those committed to their care.  I mean, there was no way for a patient to question or appeal his treatment.
Now, who were the Factory people.  What exactly are we dealing with here?  A bunch of loonies with Andy Warhol presiding as the Magister Ludi.  Andy, a pervert of the first magnitude.
When Warhol came to New York in 1950 from Pittsburgh he was no longer willing to conceal his homosexuality as he had had to do back home.  He arrived in New York an open homo.  Nor was he ever willing to compromise on what he was.  The avant garde of NYC was homo almost to a man.  The painters Warhol most wanted to impress were also homos but they abjured the lisp and mince not feeling the need to display their sexuality on their sleeves.  They rejected Andy because he did.
One, there’s nothing wrong with me.
Two, there’s nothing wrong with me.
Three, there’s nothing wrong with me.
Four, there’s nothing wrong with me.
Andy bore the insults but he patiently worked to impose his values as well as his art on society.
One, something’s got to give.
Two, something’s got to give.
Three, something’s got to give.
Four, something’s got to give.
In line with that approach he organized the Factory which was a homosexual clubhouse and promotional tool.  Essentially that is what the psychiatrists wanted to question.  While the posters, or paintings if you prefer, were more sexually neutral as soon as Andy had the necessary celebrity he began to make prodigiously boring movies that weren’t that good but avant gardists felt obliged to respect.  I mean, there are boring movies and then there are politically correct boring movies.  The audacity of his film Blow Job, the title was enough to undermine then morality, forced his notions on at least the college generation.  Whether the blower was seen, was male or female, was irrelevant;  Andy was promoting oral sex.  In his later years his pictures would become even more openly homosexually erotic.
The impact of that movie, whether you’d seen it or not, was enormous, liberating many repressed eyes.  So Warhol and his fellow fags, viz.  Rotten Rita, at the Factory were revolutionists leading up to the sharp, short battle of the Stonewall Tavern on Christopher Street, the ultimate fag street in the world, in 1969 that overthrew the entire restrictive attitude toward homosexuals in one fell swoop across the entire United States.  It was one of the worst things that ever happened.
The homo revolution didn’t stop there.  Pyschiatrists and psychologists still recognized homosexuality for what it is, a mental psychosis.
One, there’s nothing wrong with me.
Two, something’s got to give.
Three, let the bodies hit the floor.
The idea that they were ‘sick’ oppressed the homosexual psyche so they mau-mau’d psychiatrists in much the same manner Warhol had except that they were much more violent.  Just as the lesbians took over the feminist movement by showing up with baseball bats and threatening to beat the shit out of anyone who disgreed with them, so the homos treated the pyschologists compelling the wimps to drop the psychosis business.
Let the bodies hit the floor.
Let the bodies hit the floor.
Let the bodies hit the floor.
Let the bodies hit the floor.
So, as the psychiatrists let Warhol in the door he decided to take full advantage of them giving them a dose of their own medicine, so to speak.  At first he apparently intended to bore them to death with his stupid movies, but then, as he said, when he associated himself with the Velvet Underground a new plan took shape in his mind.  A new form of electro-shock therapy at 180 decibels.
The Velvets were a product of the avant garde.  John Cale the violinist was a protogee of the terminally boring ‘One Note’ La Monte Young.  Young was a devotee of the dynamo hum.  As a child he used to stand around the old transmission stations and listen to the transformers hum.   In those days the transformers used to spark and keep up a stead unvarying hum.  It was really something to hear.  The sparking and hum would probably have reminded Lou Reed of the juice flowing through him.  It was a great sound, very mesmerizing, but I never became as obsessed with it as La Monte Young.  Anyway Young’s avant gardism was based on the dynamo hum and the Velvets one chord music was based on La Monte Young.  I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere but I haven’t found it yet.  It is laughable though.
The good news is, through the wonders of the internet time machine you can listen to the Velvet’s

Lou Running A Temperature

performance (here).
While warhol informed Dr. Campbell of the movies and the Velvets he didn’t say anything to them about Jonas Mekas and Barbara Rubin or the mocking Factory hands.
Jonas Mekas is an interesting character.  He came to the United States after WWII.  He had moved through various Displaced Persons camps in West Germany in the vile post-war years before emigrating.  I’m not clear on his ethnicity but he’s probably Jewish.  Once in NY, arriving at nearly the same time as Andy, he associated himself with the avant garde eventually emulating the Cinematheque Francaise when the experimental film makers of NY began creating a body of work.
A cinematheque is a library of films.  The French version was begun in the 1930s by Henri Langlois.  After a period of vicisssitudes caused by the war the archives of the Cinematheque Francaise has become a major archive of tens of thousands of films.  Mekas began collecting avant garde NY films on a much smaller scale of course but Warhol’s films were so marginal that many thought Mekas should exclude them  Mekas stood up for Andy exhibiting his films without which help Warhol films would have been consigned then and there to the dustbin of history.   Even more so than they have been.
Mekas at this time was employing a Jewish woman named Barbara Rubin as his assistant.  Rubin was marginally sane exhibiting all the sexual obsessions of the unbalanced.  The previous year she had made a film entitled Christmas On Earth.  Her Christmas on earth was envisioned as a huge sexual orgy, not with a cast of thousands, but a lot.  A few stills are available on the internet but I haven’t found any video clips.   Interestingly Andy’s assistant and collaborator, Gerard Malanga, had a prominent role.
Mekas did film this psychiatric spectacle but the film is locked away from human eyes.  God only knows why.

John Cale as Old Hipster Contemplating The Dynamo Hum

It might be appropriate to say something here about Gerard Malanga.  I might have to repeat myself at some later date but, you know, I’m 73 and there might not be a later date so I’ll say it now and perhaps later if I’m still around to tell the tale.  Malanga at this time at the beginning of 1966 was being placed in a difficult situation.  Within New York circles he was considered a poet of some distinction, he wasn’t just Andy’s helper.  He added luster to the Factory being much more than one of Andy’s vagrant perverts.  He was instrumental in the success of Warhol’s silk screen period.  As I’ve mentioned before Andy’s silk screens are little more than posters.  Andy was very lucky in finding associates who could advance his projects.  I mean Malanga, Mekas, Edie, Bob Colacello, Fred Hughes, Paul Morrissey, how lucky can you get?
When modern (60s) posters began they were travel posters fostered by jet setting.  During the early sixties they were de riguer, everyone had a couple.  Then the big personality posters came in with the Ben Day dots.  These were really impressive and something more, 36×24, and only cost a dollar.  Of course, a dollar back then was really something too, but what a bargain.  Then the Fillmore and Family Dog posters began appearing coupled with the fabulous East Totem West.  These were all printed.  Now, when I emphasize these posters don’t think they were universally accepted, they pervaded only the hip or Bohemian culture.  The were looked on aghast by the straight world.  Strangely, as though from another planet.
By 1966-67 black light designs were becoming prominent, those were mostly silk screened in flourescent colors and then they added flocking a little later.  Under a black light you were talking mind blowing.  With fluorescent colors and silk screen paints some fabulous designs were produced, usually priced at 3.00 but big.  These things really flipped the straights.
So when Andy began silk screening about 1963 he knew next to nothing of the process, however Gerard


Malanga, who he now hired as his assistant, did.  There were mechanically operated screening machines capable of turning out unlimited quantities of copies but Warhol and Malanga used a manual method allowing for more variations in results.  At this stage then, Malanga became a collaborator making material suggestions as well as supplying knowledgeable labor.
Gerard also took Andy around to cultural events, poetry readings, and such thus broadening Andy’s rather limited cultural background.  Andy hired Gerard at the minimum wage and never over the years did he raise wages over the minimum wage level.
Gerard profited by his association with Andy becoming something of a figure in the avant garde scene without ever becoming the celebrity that Edie became.  He was in several of Andy’s movies as well as the Rubin sexcapade.  However as his fame and presence in the New York scene grew he faced the same problem Edie had.  He didn’t have the money to enjoy his celebrity.  Sixty dollars a week or so wasn’t going to take him very far.  So, what to do?
Andy ran off large numbers of impressions of his posters, none of these were originals.  For an exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in LA ( there’s a movie available on the Ferus and the LA avant garde)  he sent off a two hundred foot roll of Presleys advising them to cut it up as they saw fit.  He had a stack of Marilyns leaning against the wall that a women came in and put a bullet through Marilyns forehead through the whole stack.  Andy occasionally gave pictures away.  He either gave or let Bob Dylan appropriate one for his screen test.
There was value in these copies laying around so Gerard felt himself entitled to take some to supplement his income.  When he was stranded in Europe he even created an original, the Che Guevara Warhol and sold them.
How is one to view this?  In my estimation one has two types of Warhols.  One has on the one side Warhol-Malangas and on the other Malanga-Warhols.  In one case the screens are collaborative efforts, on the other Malanga originals.  While the Guevaras are considered fakes or counterfeits I think they have every claim to authenticity as Warhols even though they were conceived and executed in whole by Malanga.  Gerard also later either took or produced other posters which he sold.  These are now considered fakes by the Warhol Trust under Fred Hughes.  Maybe.  But Gerard was entitled to better compensation than Andy was giving him while the screens or posters were as much Gerard’s labor and input as Andy’s.
So, whatever, but beginning in 1966 and the move into the performance art of Andy’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable and trips to LA Gerard was woefully underpaid.  He was virtually a Warhol partner in my estimation.
At the banquet he performed his whip dance while Edie bopped around.
Thus, just as the waiters brought around the roast beef, string beans and new potatoes, and they called that a banquet, the inmates of the asylum burst through the doors, this is the entire Factory crowd of reprobates, to harass the unsuspecting psychiatrists.  They threw down their knives and forks streaming for the doors.
Miss Glueck in the NYTimes began spreading what was an amazing story via her commentary in the paper.  This was sensational.
Chapter 12
A Scandal In Bohemia

Andy And Gerard

I’m sure Andy’s audacious incivility was the talk of the town for a few days.  While not exactly getting away with a crime the whole fabric of civil discourse was shredded.  The word of what Andy had gotten away with quickly spread across the country in homosexual and/or revolutionary circles.  It was learned that you could disrupt anything without consequences and in the long run it would prove that these disrupters and obstructionists would profit mightily.  Certainly by the turn of the century there were few of them  who weren’t in enviable positions.  With the election of Obama the  Weather terror underground was in control of the country.  They had gotten away with it and pulled it off under the very eyes of the authorities.  Andy himself died in 1987 a very wealthy man.  Today his estate under the management of Fred Hughes is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
A plethora of people and organizations emerged who were quite willing to disregard everyone else’s rights and desires to impose their own on all.  This may have begun with the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, which had nothing to do with free speech, in which a small group of dissidents upset the University of California bringing education to a halt.  They were accommodated.  In the end the dissidents were in control, not the regents, temporarily at least.  Today, of course, the student body of UC is nearly entirely Asian and the whole brouhaha has absolutely no relevance.  It’s their university, now.  That magnficent library of the European heritage has absolutely no relevance to them.  The Asian library is terrific too.

Bomber Billy Ayers

The Free Speech Movement was expanded out into the terrorist organization Students For A Democratic Society, which had nothing to do with democracy, but the imposition of a narrow view of bigots,  and an assault was made on the entire university system of the country.  This attempt failed, most notably at the Chicago Democratic Convention of ’68 where they made fools of themselves, but from which came the criminal and evil Bomber Billy Ayers and his Weather Underground which today has captured the Presidency of the United States.  The dissidents are now distributing the largess in an authoritarian manner.
While symptomatic of the larger picture and part of that picture on the local level in New York, Andy was even more influential.  New York Bohemianism itself has managed to impose its ideals on the entire culture and that largely through Warhol’s efforts.  It is interesting however to note that George Du Maurier, the late nineteenth century author, thought that such an event would be beneficial.  Boy, did George get that wrong.
I haven’t read an account of Bohemia that wasn’t written by a Bohemian or someone sympathetic to Bohemia.  Thus the romance of Bohemia supplants the reality.  This is not recent either, the roots are deep into the nineteenth century.  Henri Murger’s The Bohemians Of The Latin Quarter celebrates Bohemianism in early nineteenth century Paris.  Puccini based his opera, La Vie Boheme on Murger’s book.  Dumas and Balzac both have a Bohemian outlook.  Perhaps the most famous celebrator and believer in Bohemianism was the late nineteenth century author George Du Maurier.  His three novels- Peter Ibbetson, Trilby and The Martian are a perfect example of sentimental Bohemianism and well worth reading.
Du Maurier’s Bohemia and Bohemianism was before drugs became ubiquitous or Freudian sexual attitudes became predominate although something like them existed at the time, but there was a civility of sorts that prevailed but has since disappeared.   As Warhol put it, in the sixties people forgot what emotions were and haven’t recovered them since.
With the sixties civility came to an end.  The criminal element and mentality prevailed in the Bohemia of Warhol’s time while Andy himself had a sadistic attitude.  His term for disruptive or anti-social behavior was ‘having fun.’
Perhaps Edie is symptomatic of the descent into madness, a modern day La Dame Aux Camellias.  the scene in the Village was an embarrassment for ‘respectable’ New Yorkers.  Underneath the antics of the Bohos real crime seethed, child brothels flourished, the drug scene was no laughing matter as movies like the French Connection attest.  The scene was mild compared to what it would become after Stonewall and the invasion of what New Yorkers called Eurotrash into the seventies and eighties.  The degenerate behavior was called ‘partying.’   As the saying goes:  they really did kick out the jams.
Still the early sixties was bad enough that the city authorized the police to clean up the Village for the ’64 World’s Fair so as not to offend the tourists.  So things weren’t just a little offbeat.  As I said, by ’66 the more destructive aspects of drug use was beginning to tell.  It’s not that people were beginning to lose self-control, Andy’s emotions, they had forgotten what controls were.  A process of devolution was in effect that would be recognized by the 70’s rock band, Devo.  They asked the musical question, echoing the refrain of the vivisected beasts on H.G. Wells’ Island Of Dr. Moreau, Are We Not Men?  the band Devo’s answer was no, we are not evolving we are devolving.  But, the country had a seemingly infinite capacity to assimilate any kind of outrageous behavior without making any move to correct it.  A moral paralysis had set in.  Everyone joined it, the money men would loot the entire Savings and Loan industry of every last dollar and nobody even seemed interested in who got that trillion dollars.  So what, hey?
Thus, when Andy mau-mau’d the psychiatrists in what was an unheard of way at the time without so much as a reproof the word rippled down the line and the rowdies, posing as revolutionists or whatever, sat up and took notice.  Their day had come.   The day of the locust.

Andy And Fred Hughes

In some ways the Stonewall Riot of ’69 in which the homos faced down the NYPD was an extension of Warhol’s mau-mauing the psychiatrists and from then on society had no method devised to counter it.  In reaction to this deviant and puerile behavior for which there was apparently no legal remedy a spirit of vigilantism invaded society compounding the chaos.  Dirty Harry, the lone avenger, made his appearance on the screen; Charles Bronson’s Death Wish movies captured the imagination of put upon society turning a legion of nut cakes loose.  Bomber Billy Ayers and his Weather Underground vented his and their personal frustrations on society.  But, then, society had already been corrupted.
I watched the corruption develop with Du Maurier’s sentimental Bohemianism in mind as partially seen through Maynard Krebs of the Dobie Gillis TV series and I recognized that the problems were emanating from New York but I wasn’t quick enough to see the difference between sentimental and practical Bohemianism.  Perhaps if I had read William S. Burroughs at the time I would have seen the danger more clearly.  As Dylan sang:  There’s something happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you.  He didn’t either although he may have thought he did.  Let the bodies the hit the floor.
For Warhol there must have been consequences to his insulting the psychiatrists.  When the inmates seize control there must be a reaction.  The Factory’s reputation was becoming more tarnished with every passing day.  Even Warhol tried to escape by leaving for LA  with the Velvets and then Arizona to make one of his porn movies.  Nineteen sixty-five had been the Factory’s apogee.  But as that party ended a new party was beginning but I suspect the offended psychiatrists used what influence they had to gain revenge.  When Warhol’s lease came up for renewel in 1968 the City condemned the building forcing Warhol out.  Fortunately for Andy New York was in decline with landlords walking away from unleaseable buildings.  These empty buildings created ‘squats’ which the indigents possessed as public property on ‘squatters rights.’  These empty buildings figure prominently in the movie Midnight Cowboy.
Warhol had no trouble finding other quarters.  Although an inconvenience, the forced move worked to Andy’s advantage.  Andy had already determined it was time to move on and leave the fantasy of the Silver Factory behind.  A new approach was evolving in his mind.  Fred Hughes knew there was money to be made from Andy’s reputation and he was going after it.  He should have been there when Edie was worth money.
Unfortunately at this time in mid-sixty-eight Andy’s dangerous sadistic game playing of the past rose up to haunt him in the form of Valerie Solanis.  She showed up at the new ‘White’ factory and put a bullet or two into Andy’s body.  The body hit the floor.  It was a terrible shooting.  A bullet managed to pass through nearly every organ  except the heart.  The shots from her gun actually did kill Andy.  He was legally dead for a minute and a half before the doctors got his electricity flowing again.
Nineteen sixty-eight was the year of the big revolution.  The only problem with that was that it only happened in the minds of the the so-called revolutionaries; still a change of direction did take place.  Andy departed one world and awoke in another.  He was born again.
For Edie 1966 ended her brief but glorious reign as The Girl Of The Year and began her terrifically horrorous spiral into oblivion.  Her fame would destroy her.

All The Fame Anybody Needs

Tell ’em Andy

Edie Sedgwick:  Maid Of Constant Sorrow

Chs. 6,7,8

Chapter 6

The Pillow That We Dreamed On


Revolt Of The Undermen

 While this is a history it is also a history I lived through.  Thus, while history from a distance in time loses much detail it gains in perspective.  While these events were transpiring in New York an interpretation of them was being dispersed throughout the country by magazines.  While I have no first hand knowledge of the scene in New York my reality at the time was formed by magazine reports.  I considered myself pretty well informed from those magazines and in an intra-social sense I guess I was although that only made me less superficial than some others.

The sixties was a fabulous time for magazines.  Endless specialized titles came and went after only a few issues, or even a single issue.  One of my favorites was the long lasting Horizon, a hard cover quarterly boasting a whole hundred thousand subscribers.  Obviously it was for the fortunate few.  Of the big bombers chief of all was Time-Life.  The two magazines were probably the backbone of American culture during the fifties and sixties.  Time lost its credibility during the sixties.

Time was founded by Henry and Clair Booth Luce in 1923.  By the fifties it was not only a money machine but gave the Luces a position from which they could actually direct the course of American culture.  A heady responsibility.  The Luce’s always claimed to be Conservatives but their publications always seemed to have a decidedly leftward bend.

For me the 60s was a most exciting intellectual period.  Things were moving fast and generally opening up the American mind.  Time-Life publications, all those mail order books.  I love mail order.  I especially love getting books through the mail.  The sixties was my time.   Horizon had annual volumes I cherish.  Time-Life published a series of paperbacks, actually linoleum like covers, called the  Time-Life Library, sent out four titles a quarter, complete set of 108.  I completed it.  They did delete one title replacing it with another that I don’t have.

However the titles seemed to further a Left agenda.  Biographies of Marx  and others with the explanation that it was important to know how the enemy thought.  True enough, I’m sure, and I bought it at the time but they issued precious little concerning other political angles.  I soured on Time-Life as it went.

I also discontinued subscribing to Time sometime in the mid-sixties although it was impossible to stop reading the magazine as there was always a copy lying around somewhere.  I became revolted when I read a marvelous piece describing Howard Hughes exit from Las Vegas.  It was an astonishing eye witness piece.  Then we learned that the whole account was fiction; it never happened.  Not only inaccurate but it never happened.  They just made it up.  That ended my fascination with Time.  Still it was where I continued to get most of my information while it had formed my mind for over a decade.

The magazines- Time, Life- were where I got my information on the NYC art scene.  Time was especially attentive to it.  Pop Art was covered pretty extensively by both magazines.  A complete collection of both Time and Life is available on line for reference.

On the West Coast where I was,  then, my personal knowledge of Warhol and the art scene pretty much came from Time-Life as did that of most others.  Probably not that many were actually interested.  Time was a big weekly magazine, how much of it could you actually read.  One looked at the magnitude of the weekend NYTimes, sniffed, and just walked away.  Who could even begin to read it.

When Edie hooked up with Warhol she gained a national recognition second to none for a nonentity, quite astounding in retrospect.

In August of ‘65 she and Warhol received a good write up in the Arts section of Time while as late as November she received a very nice photo essay in Life.  She hadn’t even done anything but hang out with Warhol.  Judging from what I read on the internet these articles impressed a number of people giving Edie a national reputation, at least in some circles.  This is quite startling because she was only a cute girl, nothing more.  She could never have achieved this without her association with Warhol.  And she was in a position to turn her allure and fame to account.

Warhol was not going to pay her for the movies.  His position was that he had given her this fame so that it was her responsibility to do something with it.  There were things she could have done to retrieve her fortunes.  Supposedly Chuck Wein was on the lookout  to make her into something.  He was useless.  He should have given his brain an enema and looked at things more clearly.  There were things that could have been attempted.  It wouldn’t have been impossible for her to set up an advice column such as Edie Says, or What Would Edie Do.  My god, she was in NYC.  The idea could have been sold to the NYTimes and from there perhaps syndicated.  She wouldn’t even have had to do anything but collect the money.  Others could have handled everything.

Edie had already modeled so she was in Fashion.  So…a line called Edie Sedgwick Party Clothes, Casual Fashion, you name it.  Heck, Warhol should have been on the ball and taken his cut, led the way, instead of stupidly taking Ondine’s chat for a novel called ‘a’.  Who bought it?

Having raised Edie then to near iconic status within just a few months Warhol, Wein and Edie let the opportunity of a life time slip through their hands.  Perhaps it was the drugs.

Chapter 7

Hatred In His Heart


But She Breaks Just Like A Little Girl

At the beginning of May Dylan left for a tour of England.  At the same time Warhol took Edie along with Gerard Malanga and Chuck Wein for a gallery show in Paris.   Warhol, Edie and Dylan were in Europe at the same time.  Whether this influenced Dylan’s rage or not isn’t known but in June shortly after his return he began to vent his rage as he began the composition of Like A Rolling Stone.

Now, Edie’s brother Jonathon told a story he says he got from Edie that she was impregnated by Dylan and carried his baby.  There is no time frame for this story.  According to Jonathon Edie was determined to have Dylan’s child.  As she told it it took four men to hold her down for the abortion to be performed.  If true, this is an interesting situation.  For one thing abortions were illegal at the time, so a rogue doctor was required.  Edie says that she was adamant about having the baby so that she would have had to have been either lured to the doctor or essentially kidnapped.  If she resisted and four men, who happened to be in attendance, were required to subdue her then we have a crime of some magnitude.

Bear in mind that all the alleged participants are whacked out of their minds on amphetamines so no one is thinking clearly.  At any event Dylan was committed to marry Sara if this is before the wedding or married to her if after.  Edie is a celebrity of some distinction who in all likelihood would tell everyone it was Dylan’s love child.  What effect this might have on Sara can’t be known but it might possibly have disturbed Dylan’s plans.  If he’s like the rest of us he would have held Edie responsible for getting pregnant.

The gist of it is Jonathon Sedgwick says Edie told him the story.  It is a possibility, after all if you’re having sex with somebody as she undoubtedly was with Dylan, the possibility of pregnancy is there.  But that’s in the background.

During the summer while Dylan stewed Edie and Andy’s star was rising.  New York dailies ran stories on the pair that told of Edie drawing Andy into uptown society; and then in late November Life ran its photo essay on Edie.  Let’s let Andy recap the period as he told it in his autobiography Popism, recalled in 1980, p. 107:

(At the party) There were a few guys in the latest velvets and silk shirts, but not too many- the boys were still mostly in blue jeans and button-down shirts.  Edie brought Bob Dylan to the party and they huddled by themselves over in a corner.  Dylan was spending a  lot of time then up at his manager Al Grossman’s place near Woodstock, and Edie was somehow involved with Grossman too- she said he was going to manage her career.

I’d met Dylan through the MacDougal Street/Kettle Of Fish/Café Rienzi/Hip Bagel/ Café Figaro scene, which Danny Fields claims got started when he and Donald Lyons saw Eric Andersen, they went up and asked if he wanted to be in an Andy Warhol movie.  “How many times did we all use that one?”  Danny laughed.  And after that Eric got interested in Edie and suddenly we were all around the Village together.  But I think Edie actually knew Dylan because of Bobby Neuwirth.  Bobby was a painter who originally started singing and guitar playing up in Cambridge just to make money to paint with, he told me once.  Then he hooked up with Dylan and became part of that group- he was something like Dylan’s road manager-confidant.  And Bobby was a friend of Edie’s.

At Sam’s party Dylan was in blue jeans and high-heeled boots and a sports jacket, and his hair was sort of long.  He had deep circles under his eyes, and even when he was standing he was all hunched in.  He was around twenty-four then and the kids were all just starting to talk and act and dress and swagger like he did.  But not many people except Dylan could ever pull that anti-act off- and if he wasn’t in the right mood, he couldn’t either. He was already slightly flashy when I met him, definitely not folksy anymore- I mean, he was wearing satin polka-dot shirts.  He’d released Bringing It All Back Home, so he’d already started his rock sound at this point, but he hadn’t played the Newport Folk Festival yet, or Forest Hills, the places where the old-style folk people booed him for going electric, but where the kids started getting really crazy for him.  This was just before “Like A Rolling Stone” came out.  I liked Dylan, the way he’d created a brilliant new style.  He didn’t spend his career doing homage to the past, he had to do things his own way, and that was just what I respected.  I even gave him one of my silver Elvis paintings in the days when he was first around.  Later on, though, I got paranoid when I heard rumors that he had used the Elvis as a dart board up in the country.  When I’d ask, “Why would he do that.”  I’d invariably get hearsay answers like “I hear he feels you destroyed Edie,” or “Listen to ‘Like A Rolling Stone’- I think you’re the ‘diplomat on the chrome horse’, man.”  I didn’t know exactly what they meant by that- I never listened much to the words of songs- but I got the tenor of what people were saying- that Dylan didn’t like me, that he blamed me for Edie’s drugs.

So it is quite clear from Andy’s recollection that he had known Dylan from the early Spring of ‘65 and that Edie was quite clearly dating him.  Whether the pregnancy story comes from this time would be an interesting question.  After the release of Highway 61 Revisited Dylan conceived a plan to take Edie away from Andy.  It would seem quite clear from the bags under Dylan’s eyes that he was no stranger to drugs.

Perhaps the August Time article on Andy and Edie was the high point of their relationship although the October art exhibit at UPennsylvania was still to come.  That show was astonishing in that Warhol was treated like a rock star with apparently the same crowd attending.  Of course, Andy’s pal Sam Green had masterfully whipped up enthusiasm with his promotion of the show preceding it by several weeks.  The show was probably the first time an artist received such adulation.

Though Andy was enough of a rage that a big crowd would come out for him.  I was in attendance at the UOregon lecture in Fall ’67 when Allen Midgette impersonated him and a crowd of about 1500 paid to see him.  It isn’t true that Midgette’s impersonation was that good.

I was standing at the end of the line waiting to enter when Midgette and Morrissey were brought in to the elevator just behind me.  The guy in front of me asked if that was him.

I was watching Midgette who was a midget, little skinny short guy.  There was a superficial resemblance but he seemed too short and he wasn’t wearing a wig.  I said, ‘It looks like him but I don’t think it is.’  Midgette raised his eyebrows while Morrissey looked like the jig was up but the admins ignored me.

During the so-called lecture there were several groups of us dispersed throughout the audience loudly debating the issue.  They got away with it but later the school learned they had been pranked and demanded their money back.  I always thought that was rude.  What did they expect of Warhol.  He had a reputation.  Didn’t the administration read Time?

In September of ‘65 Dylan began to court Edie with promises, one believes, of a good income from movies, recording or such.  One is amazed that geniuses like Dylan, Grossman and Neuwirth couldn’t come up with something more inventive to promote Edie.

Edie was torn between two lovers, Andy and Bob.  It must have been quite head turning to be the object of contention between the number one celebrity artist of the time and one of the most famous recording and performing acts at the same time as receiving national exposure in Time and Life.

Warhol, even though a homosexual, said that he was as close to in love with Edie as he had been with any other person in his life, he even took her home to meet his mother.  Mrs. Warhola who had been urging her son to marry would certainly have taken Edie’s appearance as an indication that Andy was serious about her.

Having committed himself even that far would mean that her receptiveness to Dylan was a crushing rejection of himself as, say, a male object, while her abscontsion to Dylan’s camp would be a traitorous act.  Unforgivable in his eyes.

Thus as Edie wavered between Dylan and Andy her life at the Factory became untenable.  Andy quietly brought in other superstars including Dylan’s old flame, Nico.  Whether conscious of it or not Andy was displacing Edie.  She was mocked and reviled.  While this was happening at the Factory Edie was evidently taken to Woodstock where Albert Grossman was talking contract to her as her manager.  Dylan had had his May gig in England filmed although it would be a while before it was released.  There was talk of another film of which Edie would have the starring role.  That film apparently wasn’t made for several decades until Dylan finally got it together to make Masked And Anonymous.  Perhaps the blond female lead was meant to remind the viewer of Edie.

So, rejected by her family who disapproved of her modeling as well as scorning her association with Warhol, desperately in need of money Edie was in an agonizing mental dilemma.  Remember that by this time she was a national figure having appeared in Time and even as her position disintegrated featured in Life, yet she had no money to back her celebrity status.    She couldn’t participate in the social life.

We don’t know what Dylan was promising her personally whether he hinted at marriage or stated it but it seems clear from the evidence of One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later) and Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine that Edie believed Dylan was serious about her.

Dylan married Sara in November of ‘65 secretly but how to keep a secret.  Warhol learned of the marriage tauntingly informing Edie of it in December.  Edie was incredulous.  It follows, and can’t be otherwise, that she confronted Dylan with the alleged fact.  This was undoubtedly a moment of triumph for Dylan as he could now reject Edie as he believed she had rejected him in March.

One can imagine Edie demanding of Dylan whether he was with her or Sara.  The intense mocking derision of Sooner Or Later when Dylan sings:  I couldn’t believe what I did hear- was I leaving with you or her?

At that time Edie’s game was up.  Warhol had destroyed her reputation; she could no longer get modeling jobs; she was broke with no hope of a good encore.  With a loud sneer Dylan passed her to his sidekick, Bobby Neuwirth then a song to commemorate it:  She’s Your Lover Now.

Chapter 8

Down The Trail Of Broken Hearts


Dylan Lifting Off

The motivations of the actors are difficult to determine.  However that insofar as any actions relate to the others than the actions of any of the others are interrelated.  Thus Andy had Edie and wished to keep her as she was as close to love as he ever came.  Perhaps he realized that he would need money to do so while perhaps his various activities from the Factory to filmmaking were keeping him financially strapped so that even if he wished to he couldn’t pay Edie.  He had expenses.

Of course today an authenticated Warhol may go for millions up to the one hundred millions paid for the Eight Elvises picture but at the time you could have scooped up several paintings for under ten thousand dollars that might have been worth tens of millions twenty to thirty years on.

Dylan is ridiculed for trading his Presley taken from Warhol for a sofa but at the time that wasn’t necessarily a bad deal depending on the sofa.  Warhol would give his actors the choice between a painting and a hundred dollars cash.  The Factoryites elected the cash over the picture.  So, it’s not like Warhol could just sell a painting anytime he needed to  raise the ready.  His question was how to raise some cash, he had overhead.

His adversaries were Dylan and Albert Grossman, one a recording artist the other a manager both swimming in cash.  There seemed like a pot of gold at the end of that particular rainbow.  Andy thought about it and came up with what he thought was a winning formula, and it actually was but he let it slip away.

Taking his cue from Bobby and Albert then Andy decided to manage a band.  He also conceived at the same time an artistic light show to create an even more unique and exciting ambience, The Exploding Plastic Inevitable.  When the student is ready the teacher will appear.  And so it was.  Andy’s scouts went looking for a band and came back with a group called the Warlocks who were renamed The Velvet Underground.  An SM band extraordinaire whose chief songs were Heroin and Waiting For My Man.  Only Andy could have shouted Eureka! at such a find.

The band came straight out of the avant garde.  The chief instrumentalist, John Cale, had belonged to the John Cage/La Monte Young musical circle.  The ostensible leader, Lou Reed, another survivor of electro-shock therapy, not much of a musician, was the group’s songwriter and lead singer.  Between Warhol, the Factory hands and the Velvets they were a Happening of the first order.

Andy now had his band and his concept but no venue.  No way to present the package for popular consumption.  But, that too appeared when someone suggested a hall called the Dom.  Andy rented the hall but, here’s the catch, he didn’t lease it.  He cautiously wanted to try it out first.  The trial was a major success, wowing hip New York while also bringing in an astonishing amount of cash for a three or four week run.  Should have been a hint.

Now, Andy negotiated a recording contract for the Velvet Underground and the band actually recorded its SM anthems Heroin and Waiting For My Man.  Remember the Velvets had no history and horrible songs but Andy’s influence was so great this unknown band was given a recording contract.  Not so bad.  Of course the record wasn’t released until 1967 but it fell flat as one would have expected with an eighteen minute song called Heroin.  Also the record was released as Andy Warhol Presents The Velvet Underground.  Andy’s credibility wasn’t too great outside NYC and I, for one, looked at the record as a probable joke, especially as the cover was a peel away banana.  After listening to the record I knew it was a joke.

A couple years earlier Dylan had been in Greece where he met a German woman going by the name of Nico.  They apparently had a short fling and he wrote the song I’ll Keep It With Mine for her.  Time passes and paths meander.  Having passed through London Nico showed up in New York City at this time where, as chance would have it, she hooked up with Warhol and became a Factory girl.  Andy in his usual way foisted her on the Velvets as a chanteuse, Nico And The Velvet Underground, did I mention that before?  So, not only did one ask what the hell was a velvet underground but who the hell was Nico?  We knew who Andy Warhol was.  And how.

Dylan undoubtedly thought of Nico as his, thus he showed up in Warhol’s scene to push songs on Nico with the intent no doubt to woo her away as he had done Edie.  The contest between Andy, Bobby and Albert was heating up.

I think it probably came to a head over the Dom.  Andy and the Velvets left for a gig in LA and when they returned they attempted to resume their shows at the Dom.  Lo and behold they found that Albert Grossman had leased the venue from under them.  They had the winning formula but once again no venue.  Albert called his place something stupid like The Balloon Farm but under different management it became The Electric Circus.  Andy was offered the light show but didn’t take it, but by then light show paraphenalia was being manufactured as a commercial product.

From my point of view the most astonishing and impressive thing Andy ever did was the Exploding Plastic Inevitable.  It had a long lasting effect.  Of course by this time the whole light show paraphernalia had turned into an industry and anyone could do it.

Toward the end of ‘65 Edie had become peripheral to both Andy and Dylan.

Chapters 9,10,11 and 12 are now up on one post.


A Review

The Last Days Of John Lennon


Fred Seaman

Part II

Review by R.E. Prindle

How The Fifties Became The Sixties

Yoko, Andy, John: The Fifties And Sixties United

     The sixties seem to have erupted by some process of autogenesis.  They seem to be a decade unrelated to the fifties but nothing could be further from the truth.  The sixties were very carefully structured in the fifties, that supposedly somnolent decade.  The fifties themselves evolved from the fantasy notion of  The United States Of America- the American Dream.  In truth there had never been a united America and an American Dream only in the mind of certain immigrants who believed they had reached the Promised Land of their dreams.  The country has always been one of conflict with conflicting peoples.  There was no mythological age as in distant times so no mythopoeic era preceded the scientific one.  America was born in science.

     The warfare against the aboriginal peoples to clear the land for the European invaders created the first layer of conflict.  The second layer of conflict was the importation of Africans as slave labor.  This created a second irreconcilable conflict that erupted in 1954 when the Black revolution began in earnest and began to accelerate in the sixties.  This was what Eric Foner described as America’s unfinished revolution in his writings.

     Each succeeding group of immigrants created its own friction but assimilation did go on with most peoples.  In the fifties the sort of ethnic identities in song and humor that makes the talkies of the thirties now seem quaint was coun

Levy's Jewish Rye- Subtle Form Of The Imposition Of Ethnic Superiority

teracted.  While visibly subdued ethnicism simmered below the surface until the sixties when it burst out again in a new form and triumphed.

     I am unable to tell the education received in schools of the twenties and thirties but by the time I was in high school from 1953-56 the whole concept of revolutiuon was romanticized and this continued through my college years in the sixties.  It was iterated over and over again that revolution was an absolute virtue.  To be revolutionary was to be a person in full.  Kids in the walls ran around saying are you revolutionary, I’m revolutionary.  Thus they embraced any idea that was the opposite of the status quo.  This notion of revolution was combined with the notion of the absolute virtue of being an American.  This would result in Kennedy’s idiotic    Peace  Corps begun in the sixties.   Raw American youths were supposed to be able to tell the less favored peoples how to run their lives.   The war in Europe was treated as a crusade against Germans, a war of absolute black and white, no shades of grey.  I truly believed that no American in either the European or Pacific war ever committed an act of wanton brutality no matter what the provocation.  I would have dismissed out of hand that as a matter of policy millions of Germans were exposed to Winter weather in the years following the war unprotected  while being denied any kind of nourishment and, yet, it was so.  In subsequent years this would have been described as ‘American’ brutality while in fact it was instigated by revolutionary American Jews seeking vengeance.  Americanism was not involved.

     At the same time the new medium of television exposed us to unprecedented doses of propaganda disguised as the truth, doses far in excess of anything the hated Nazis devised.  Chief among those TV shows was a cartoon called Crusader Rabbit.  Now, Crusader Rabbit in reality is a vigilante dispensing vigilante justice.  He acted on his own ‘righting’ what he perceived as wrongs.  Of course those of us who read comic books in the late forties had already been exposed to vigilantism in the form of comic book heroes like the Blackhawks.  Or, for that matter Batman and Robin and Superman among many others, Plastic Man.  I sort of thought of myself as Plastic Man.

     So this whole age cadre was stoked up on revolution  and vigilantism with no venues to express it.  The sixties then was a god send as the existing revolutions- the Undermen, the Jews, the Blacks, the Homosexuals, the Feminists, the Communists had merely to whisper the word REVOLUTION  to get a positive response for their ideologies.  The generation was primed for revolution of any sort- a revolution in bubble gum for instance.

     Thus at Berkeley in ’64’s so-called Free Speech Movement you had the spectacle of the most advantaged members of the generation participating in what was a part of the Jewish Revolution in the guise of voluntary Undermen.

     Thus as the sixties dawned the way was cleared of any resistance to revolutionary schemes as hordes of self-righteous vigilantes confident that their perception and judgment was received from god himself began to act on their assumptions taken from their misguided elders.


Little Miss Yoko

    The center of this maelstrom in the sixties was New York City.  The Bohemian life style stewing in Lower Manhattan since the Armory Show of 1913 was about to conquer the mind of the country.  Perhaps the leader of the sixties Bohos was Andy Warhol.  Certainly with a kind of genius he made himself the center of the storm.

     This most influential Bohemian attitude toward life was both stratified and diverse.  The first out of the box were the uptown Beats.  These men seized the attention of the country in the mid-fifties when Allen Ginsberg, a leader of the Jewish, Homosexual and Underman revolutions, gained prominence with his so-called poem, Howl.  He then dragged Jack Kerouac through with his On The Road and William S. Burroughs with his Naked Lunch.  All three works have been incredibly influential in creating a new Underclass of Undermen, in thought if not in fact.

     The Beats hung out in upper Manhattan around Kerouac’s alma mater, Columbia,  although Ginsberg gravitated downtown in an effort to pair up with the Beat musical epigone, Bob Dylan.  As Ginsberg represented four revolutions it could be said of him- Il est partout, a very important if disgusting figure.  Burroughs also gravitated to lower Manhattan before departing for the corn fields of Kansas.

    The well-to-do or rich Bohos, to which John and Yoko would belong, sometimes known as Cafe Society, were the upper crust of Bohemia.  And then there was the middle Bohemia and it Lower Depths.

     Running through all was the old avant garde which excluded the Beats who were not avant garde.

     Warhol, John Cage, La Monte Young and a host of artists and writers including Yoko Ono were part of the old garde.  Yoko dragged Lennon in but he was not constitutionally avant garde and probably not even a real Boho.  Fred Seaman seems to have had no affinity for Bohemia or revolution.

     As the sixties dawned Lennon coming from then obscure Liverpool was of the lower middle class but of the English art school background.  He spent a couple years in the German underworld before skyrocketing to super world fame with the Beatles  so that while he and the Beatles were instrumental in forming the sixties and subsuming the avant garde they were not actually of it.  Thus when Lennon came to earth around 1970 he was virtually a Rip Van Winkle who had slept through the decade.  The new reolutionary world he and Yoko entered in New York could have been barely understood by them.  It wasn’t even really understood by those in the thick of it.  Dylan’s ‘Something’s happening here but you don’t know what it is do you Mr. Jones’ could have applied to himself and everyone else.

     Yoko Ono was a committed Feminist and key member of that revolution.  In a world of eccentric and unusual characters she was a standout.  Her career as an avant gardist began as a ‘performance artist’.  Essentially a stunt man.  Back in the twenties and thirties would be celebrities used their bodies to gain fame performing stunts.  One going by the name of The Mighty Atom attached ropes to his hair holding back an airplane.  This is essentially what Yoko was doing as a ‘performance artist.’  Her ‘Cut Piece’ urged viewers to come up on stage and cut away a piece of her clothing.    She and Tony Cox crawling into a black bag?  Whew!

     But she was thereby connected to the avant garde.  She knew John Cage, Andy Warhol, Sam Green and the lot as early as 1960.  The friendships remained enduring as she maintained them throughout the seventies and eighties.

     As a performing artist Yoko was a sort of chameleon forming her art to suit the circumstances.  Having once captured John Lennon she first became a peacenik as peace was the prevailing notion- love and peace- returning to New York amid the wreckage of the peace, love and happiness bit she got up from her bed of peace and strapped a fully loaded bandolier of bullets around her hips and became a sullen revolutionary a la Bernardine Dorhn.  It all art and art is holy, isn’t it?

The Criminal Miss Dohrn

     The Ono-Lennon’s very serious looking revolutionary activities quite naturally brought the Heat down on them.  It should be clear that these were not lightweight posturings but she and John were financing the disruption of the Republican National Convention forcing a move of the site from San Diego to Miami.  There is small wonder the elected Nixon administration  sought to deport them.  Neither John nor Yoko were American citizens but essentially part of an international conspiracy, she being a Japanese and he an English national.  Thus in addition to being a leader in the Feminist and Sexual revolutions she lent herself to the Judaeo-Communist revolution.  Nearly all her revolutionary associates were of the Jewish revolution.  Plus John essentially represented the Undermen.  Thus Fred Seaman was employed by not only a celebrity household but a notorious one.  Nor was Fred an American but a German national.  No Americans involved.


Warhol And Bob Dylan

Down below the subway’s screamin’

As I lay here halfway dreamin’

And face the long evenin’

Layin’ close beside my radio

Imaginin’ the kisses of the girl who sings the song

Lookin’ at the ceiling

Wonderin’ where the dream went wrong.

Last Morning- Shel Silverstein

As sung by Ray Sawyer and Dr. Hook.

The Wizard Reveals Himself


     New York City was indeed a tough cold city.  It was enough to make you crazy as you ‘fought the crowds, avoided the traffic and watched the world turn grey.’  Coming from Pittsburgh Andy Warhol had no trouble with the skies turning grey, he was used to much worse.  For Dylan coming from Hibbing, Minnesota way, way out on the edge of civilization the change must have been traumatic.  Both men, however, were uniquely equipped to succeed in such a tough environment although it turned both crazy, cruel and mean.  Both became paragons of  the revolutions.

     Warhol, the older of the two, forged the revolution of the Undermen and the Homosexuals while acquiring great wealth.  Dylan, too, made his appeal to the undermen (the confused, abused, strung out ones and worse) basing his career on the misfits and malcontents.  At the same time he was a key player in fundamental Jewish revolution.  Both men affected  innocent harmless personas so as to deflect attention from what they were really up to.  As both had complementary strategies it is quite possible that each saw through the other.  Warhol certainly saw through Dylan but I’m not sure if the reverse was true.  Both were heavily into drugs which altered their perceptions.

     Warhol preceded Dylan on the scene by a decade arriving in NYC in 1950.  His homosexual agenda was clear to him from the start even if its implementation wasn’t.  He was immediately successful upon his arrival easily gaining entry into the commerical art field.  Dylan too would have no trouble gaining both entry and prominence within a year, phenomenal success  in two and preeminence in three.

     Warhol commanded a large perhaps even great income within a matter of four or five years.  He spent madly but invested wisely.

     He was always interested in mass production techniques where the original was merely a prototype like a car model.  His original drawings were mass replicated by the newspaper ads.  Amazingly, new in New York, he sent a letter to CBS asking if he could design record covers and received assignments by return mail.  While his record covers are not among his best known works he did design at least fifty while perhaps more remain to be discovered.  While his designs were for very low selling jazz and classical records they are obviously the work of a homosexual or, as they are described- fey.

Bob (I Know What's Goin' On) Dylan     Thus they advance the Homosexual revolution.  True, they are tiny drops but by the time he designed the Sticky Fingers cover for the Rolling Stones his design, it can be confidently asserted, was seen by every single member of two generations while selling in the millions.  The title and cover are an ode to masturbation, one of the favorite thems of both the Homosexual and Sexual revolutions.  The illustration was of a male crotch clothed in blue jeans with a workable zipper.  It was a retailing nightmare but effective in sexually conditioning the minds of his audience.  The zipper was irresistible to record fans who broke the plastic on every single cover making them nearly unsaleable.  Success actually unimaginable to Warhol in 1950.

     In addition Warhol designed ‘fey’ book covers, frequently for homosexually oriented titles thus adding a few additional drops, pushing toward 9cc.  Andy had his sticky fingers in everywhere- stationery, wrapping paper…all with his fey designs.

     While he gained great success as a commercial artist he had his eye on the fine arts; about 1960 he made his move into ‘serious’ art- painting.  He called his style Pop Art.  Pop Art had its antecedents in the fifties of which Warhol would have been aware.  Here are a couple examples by Ray Johnson from the mid-fifties.  Johnson is described as proto-Pop.

     Having made his splash in Pop Art, becoming a major celebrity, Warhol was ready to move into his next phase in the subversion of art and society.  In 1964 he established his famous atelier known as the Factory.  There he continued his paintings while beginning an influential if unremunerative secondary career as a film auteur.

Ray Johnson' James Deas With Lucky Strike Cigarette Logos

Ray Johnson's Mid-Fifties Elvis

     There seem to be revolutionary motives in the founding of the Factory.  Warhol gathered about him a collection of the Undermen.  These were all Homosexuals, druggies, hustlers and prostitutes.

     There is an interesting passage in the Weathermen founder’s autobiography Fugitive Days where the author, Bill Ayers, says:

     …the most interesting alliance to me was struck in the first months underground, and it was with a kind of eccentric shadowy group that would become fast and reliable friends for decades to come.

     The group was without a name, contained hundreds of members in half a dozen cities, and was organized by a charismatic leader and psychologist who called himself Kaz.  They were all former heroin addicts, former beatniks, former hustlers, and prostitutes, five, ten, twenty years older than us, now living in luxury and working downtown but thinking of themselves primarily as deep, deep underground, a kind of fifth column waiting patiently for the revolution.

     What Ayers appears to be describing is the Haut Boheme Cafe Society of New York.  Now, Warhol with the Factory created a place where all Bohemia, high and low, could gather under the reasonable pretext of partying which is what happened.  Many attendees would be innocents of course providing even better cover for the revos.  To get some idea of what the scene was like review the lyrics to Shel Silverstein’s Freakin’ At The Freakers Ball appended.  Silverstein seems to be describing the Factory exactly.

     The police had the Factory under surveillance as well as one supposes, the FBI.  The deep underground wasn’t deep enough to conceal these characters.  The Factory would be forced out by ’68 giving it a four year run.  Bereft of a gathering place Bohemia would have to wait until 1977 for another when Rubell and Schrager put together Studio 54.  54 was better than the Factory because attendance could be monitored allowing only the Haut Boheme and other chosen in; the undesirables could be left out.  54 was run in contempt of all existing laws and moral codes.  Suspicious from the beginning it took the Feds only eighteen months to shut it down.  Like The Factory however Studio 54 had its revolutionary effect especially along sexual lines- unisex toilets for instance.

     The multi-talented Warhol, a perfect Prince of Bohemia added authorship to his achievements with his novel ‘a’ while moving into publishing in the seventies when he established the successful magazine Interview.

     He added several notable record covers, while forming in ’66 the immensely influential Exploding Plastic Inevitable centered around ‘his’ rock band The Velvet Underground.

     So, in promoting several different revolutions- the Undermen, the drug culture, the so-called sexual revolution and undoubtedly many others Warhol was one of the most successful and important revolutionary figures of the decade.

      Along the way he formed a close relationship with the Feminist revolutionary, the Japanese citizen, Yoko Ono.  As a bona fide member of the avant garde she tried to enter Warhol’s entourage before she left for England in ’66.  However at the time she was outspokenly antipathetic to homosexuality which probably necessitated her retreating to London to think things over before returning in 1971.

     She returned in grand style leading the founder of the Beatles, John Lennon, as though by a rope around the neck.  She and Lennon immediately threw themselves into the revolutionary movement associating themselves with various members of the Jewish revolution.  they apparently gave large sums of  money while lending their personas and prestige to raise much larger sums.  It was the fear of their popularity being used to rouse young Americans in this first election in which eighteen year olds could participate that put him under surveillance, quite justifiably so, by the FBI and the Nixon White House.  Thus for the next several years they were harassed by deportation threats as undesirable aliens.

     Having achieved her goal of reentry into New York avant garde society even becoming an intimate of Andy Warhol Yoko lost interest in Lennon.  The two split up for eighteen months or so from 1973 to 1975 then reuniting.  Yoko had employed her Tarot reader John Green in 1974 while Fred Seaman was added to the entourage as Lennon’s personal assistant in 1979.

     While the memoirs of Green and Seaman have been disparaged by the faithful I see little reason to do so on an objective basis although Yoko Ono may find them offensive for personal reasons.

Part III follows


Freakin’ At The Freaker’s Ball

Shel Silverstein

As Performed By Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show


Well, there’s gonna be a freaker’s ball

Tonight at the Freaker’s Hall

And you know you’re invited one and all.

Come on Babys grease your lips

And don’t forget to bring your whips

We’re goin’ to the Freaker’s Ball.

Blow your whistle and bang your gong

Roll up something to take along

It feels so good it must be wrong

We’re freakin’ at the freaker’s ball.

Well, all the fags and dykes they’re boogie’n together

The leather freaks dressed in all kinds of leather

The greatest of the sadists and the masochists too

Screamin’ please hit me and I’ll hit you

The FBI dancin’ with the junkies

All the straights swingin’ with the funkies

Across the floor and up the wall

We’re freakin’ at the freaker’s ball y’all

We’re freakin’ at the freaker’s ball.

Everybody’s kissing each other

Brother with sister, son with mother

Smear my body up with butter

And take me to the freaker’s ball.

Pass that roach please and pour the wine

I’ll kiss yours if you kiss mine

I’m gonna boogie ’til I’m cold blind

Freakin’ at the freaker’s ball.

White ones, black ones, yellow ones, red ones

Necrophiliacs lookin’ for dead ones

The greatest of the sadists and the masochists too

Screamin’ please hit me and I’ll hit you.

Everybody ballin’ in batches

Pyromaniacs strikin’ matches

Freakin’ at the freaker’s ball, y’all

We’re freakin’ at the freaker’s ball.



A Review



Alan Clayson

Yoko Ono And The Men Who Influenced Her

Review by R.E. Prindle

Clayson, Alan: Woman: The Incredible Life Of Yoko Ono, Chrome Dreams, 2004.


Girlish Yoko- Warhol School by Richard Bernstein

     Yoko Ono involved herself with several of the most influential men in the arts during the sixties, seventies and eighties of the twentieth century.  She drew her inspiration from them patterning her own efforts after them.  At the same time she was one of the leading feminists of the day having her share in shaping and furthering the movement.  The mantra was female liberation, equality between men and women.  In fact women were equal to men in the West but only by acknowledging the biological differences between men and women.  The fact is the differences are real and not social constructs as women would have us believe.  The fact is women are women and men are men.   So, in seeking ‘female liberation’ feminists were seeking much more than ‘equality’ however the term may be defined.

     The fact is that in the Ages old war between the sexes feminists are seeking to restore the Matriarchy and destroy the Patriarchy.  That is why many men favor feminism, they prefer the Matriarchy.  Thus the feminists are atavistic.  Yoko and her cohorts wished, in her words, to restore ‘heart’ as she viewed the Matriarchy and eliminate ‘reason’ as she viewed quite rightly the basis of  Patriarchalism.  Nevermind that bilogical science has invalidated the concepts of Matriarachy and Patriarchy.  This is a post Matriarchy and Patriarchy world.

     Circa -2000 in the West men revolted against the mind stifling Matriarchy and the vaginal swamp of the ‘heart’ seeking to establish

Smilin' Jack Cage

the authority of the infinite power of the mind of Zeus on ethereal Olympus.  This is the story of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and the Greek myths in general recording the struggle.

     The Western male was able to impose the ascendency of reason over the heart for 3000 years until the disestablishment of the old order by science about mid-nineteenth century.  The center could not hold during this period of extreme change as W.B. Yeats put it as the rearrangement of the intellectual order moved into the twentieth century.

     Yoko Ono sought with her feminist fellows to return to the biological innocence of 2000 BC.  She herself had no talent.  Filled with audacity she pitted her ‘heart’ against the reason of John Cage, Andy Warhol and John Lennon.  I’m sure she had a mentor for her so-called performance art but I am as yet unaware of who he may be.  Perhaps Maciunas and the Fluxus group.

     Thus her first manifestation as an artist was based on the musical ideas of John Cage while her artistic efforts were at least based in the avant garde ideas of the Fluxus group.  Her first assault on the NYC art world failed so in 1961 she returned in defeat to Japan.  When she returned to NYC in 1964 she found an entirely different art scene.  On the musical side the focus was on Bobby Dylan and the Beatles while on the artistic side Andy Warhol and his Factory had destroyed the Abstract Expressionists and the old avant garde.  Dylan, the Beatles and Warhol had in fact usurped the avant garde which now had little meaning.  From my point of view held at the time the avant garde had ceased to exist.  Of course I didn’t understand exactly why or how.

     From 1964 when Yoko returned to NYC until 1966 when she left for London I’m sure Yoko was at a loss.  She developed her silly

The Bag Yoko And Tony Are In

notion of Bagism at this time even having a black bag on a stand in Max’s Kansas City that some one or ones were supposed to slide into.  This seems to have been thought a lame idea at the time as it seems now.

      At this time while retaining allegiance to John Cage’s musical ideas she was falling under the influence of Andy Warhol’s artistic notions.  Warhol’s intent had been to destroy the idea of ‘fine art’.  In this he pretty well succeeded.  As Yoko expressed it you didn’t need any talent to be an artist.  She seems to demonstrate this notion in her own artistic efforts.  Warhol had also redefined the notion of film with his static studies.  He then sought to combine his film ideas with live music, probably in competition with Bob Dylan who was also attempting to move in that direction.   Warhol adopted Lou Reed and his band the Velvet Underground as the Factory house band while creating a multi-media show called the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, innovative for its time.  Thus a concert at his hall, the Dom, was an ‘experience.’

     While Yoko makes no mention about how this, actually, incredible development affected her there can be no doubt that she was well aware of Dylan, the Beatles and the Warhol Experience and was affected by it.  Indeed, the first manifestation was the making of her Warhol style films such as Bottoms.

     The second manifestation was her removal to London to seduce either Lennon or McCartney of the Beatles, thus in the manner of Warhol’s adoption of the Velvet Underground she sought to co-opt the Beatles, the premier rock group in the world.  Real chutzpah and more than one upping Warhol.  I think it would be nonsense to think she had any other goal in mind.

     She undoubteldy learned that Paul McCartney was actively involved with John Dunbar and his Indica Gallery that opened in 1965. 

Psychedelic Dylan

Some say she first set her sights on McCartney but the more vulnerable Lennon showed up and the Spider Woman spread her web.

     She was still married to her second husband, Tony Cox, but, regardless of what she says she very aggressively pursued, or attacked, Lennon.  Lennon was emotionally under water unable to handle his success while drugging himself out of his mind.  He was unwillingly married to his wife Cynthia.  It appears that he married Cynthia out of duty when she became pregnant.  He doesn’t seem to have been happy in his virtue.  Yoko had no difficulty in capturing his affections.

      Now, just as Warhol had adopted the Velvets and imposed his female singer, Nico, on the band Yoko sought to imp[ose herself on the Beatles through Lennon.  At this time she was still musically completely in thrall to John Cage understanding nothing about Rock music.  She and Lennon had made a ridiculous LP called Two Virgins in 1968.  She combined her cagian screechings while using an avant garde ‘performance’ notion of the couple posing nude on the cover; full frontal on the obverse, full posterior on the reverse.  As no store would carry the cover the couple reverted to Yoko’s idea of Bagism placing the cover inside a plain manila envelope or bag.  While it didn’t sell the record this form of Bagism was actually a successful artistic statement.  The nude cover given an outer garment so to speak.

     Well, the public was prepared to forgive the Beatles anything but the other three Beatles weren’t prepared to forgive Yoko for forcing herself on them thus she broke up the most successful act of the sixties.  Still, she had succeeded according to her wildest dream.  Lennon and his wonderful reputation and fortune were hers.  She had gone from a neglected, nondescript ‘performance’ artist to center stage, not on her own womanly talents but by attaching herself to a talented man.   Yoko’s ‘heart’ was useless without the male intellect.   Yoko was now the most influencial feminist in the world.  She knew what to do with that.

     After several ‘performance’ acts such as the ‘Bed In For Peace’ the couple left England to return to the place Yoko wished to subjugate artistically, New York City.  She had raised herself to a par with Andy Warhol.  She now had to meld her musical and artistic goals through Lennon and Warhol.

     On the musical side she began to develop her rock n’ roll skills under  the tutelage of Lennon.  While not abandoning the avant garde notions of John Cage she now emasculated her husband.  Always semi-delusional or perhaps completely so, she fantasized that she was not only equal to Lennon in skill and popularity but superior to him.   She imagined herself more popular than Lennon.  Thus one has such travesties as the LP Double Fantasy.  It was only after Lennon’s death that she was forced to recognize than Lennon’s fans did not appreciate her efforts.  So she failed as a musician.

     She quickly tired of being Mrs. Lennon.  Thus she and Lennon separated for eighteen months or so during the years 1973-75.  She then realized that her financial well being and musical acceptance depended on Lennon.  In 1975 she called him back resuming their relationship until his death in 1980.  But, things had changed.

     She began to adopt Warhol’s life style on her return to NYC.  While she propagated the notion that she was some sort of business whiz Iam having difficulties discovering any such skills.  It appears that with the enormous income of Lennon she emulated Warhol in

Andy the Demon

spending her way to prosperity.

     She was in a position to not only match Warhol’s spending but exceeding it by many times.  Through the seventies and eighties Warhol came into his own as an artist while reaping a fortune doing portraits.  There appears to have been no effort on his part to invest in income producing vehicles.  Rather he bought stuff.  He purchased buildings in NYC and elsewhere while acquring undeveloped acreage in places like Aspen.  He shopped nearly every day buying antiques from furniture to objets d’ art by the bushel almost as though he were trying to excel the incredible W.R. Hearst.

     He usually didn’t even look at the stuff once he bought it merely filling rooms with his shopping bags.  At his death all this junk was auctioned off for 25 million dollars, a nice appreciation in value.

      Yoko followed the exact pattern buying apartments and houses as well as an extensive dairy farm with a herd of prize cows.  She not only had but has five apartments in her principal dwelling, the Dakota apartment building and many other houses scattered around.

     Like Warhol the Dakota apartments are stuffed with junk.  Valuable, but, you know, stuff.  She bought at good prices.  Her extensive collection of Egyptian antiquities was mostly purchased before a steep rise in value.

     Like the Rothschilds of old Yoko didn’t do all her own shopping but employed agents to search things out.  Chief among these was an associate of Warhol’s, Sam Green, and an Hungarian immigrant by the name of Sam Havadtoy.

Buddies- Yoko, John, Andy

     There should be no surprise then that she now has an extensive collection of  Warhol’s artwork as well as his portraits of Lennon.  The Warhols would have been purchased for form 25 to 50K while now being listed on her assets at tens of millions.  She also has been said to have a good collection of Magrittes as well as one assumes other artists.  So, much of her net worth is tied up in artwork purchased through Sam Green.

     Sam Havadtoy was an antiques dealer as well as an interior designer.  He appears to have been a somewhat shady character.  It is very difficult to find much about him, however there is a sharp portrait available from the notorious A.J. Weberman ( )

     …(the Lennons) hired a sleazy Eastern European bisexual to renovate the pad. (Dakota)  I had heard of this dude, whose name escapes me, from an asswipe named BRUCE KIRSH, who worked for him.   KIRSH told me that the dude, who worked for the King of Morocco, would form a dummy renovation company, hire employees like Kirsch who were willing to work under false names, then, when it came time to pay taxes, everyone would disappear.  I learned of him long before he was hired by John and Yoko, and I was taken aback when Yoko took up with him after John’s death.

     I know that Weberman is not particularly well thought of by fandom but this is because of his harassment of Dylan who did, after all, misrepresent himself to the revolutionaries like Weberman.  A.J. himself is an intelligent observer who was wading through it when it was deep.  I do believe he knows what he’s talking about although his interpretations of Dylan’s lyrics seem absurd.

     I would have to question Yoko’s judgment in taking him in.  Both he and Sam Green were candidates as successors to Lennon with

Lennon by Warhol

whom she consorted in front of  Lennon before he died while Yoko chose Havadtoy as his successor the day he died.

     Perhaps she selected Havadtoy over Green because he was more rough trade.  With Lennon while managing to reconcile revolution with peace and love with Havadtoy she discarded peace and love in favor of strong arm methods against her former employee Fred Seaman when it was totally unnecessary.

     Havadtoy was living in a homosexual arrangement with his business partner when Yoko beckoned him to switch to her.  Apparently an able switch hitter he was lured by the money to this much older woman.  The arrangement did last for twenty years before Havadtoy removed to his native Hungary taking a nice cash settlement and several of the Warhols.

     Thus, just as Warhol had his live-in homosexual arrangement so after Lennon’s death Yoko adopted the exact arrrangement.  Today she apparently lives alone, a seventy-eight year old woman.

     After Lennon’s death there was an accession of from 30 million to a possible 100 million dollars as their last album, Double Fantasy, sold into the millions while the rest of Lennon’s catalog and one assumes the Beatles’ catalog was reinvigorated while all things Lennon sold.   This is, of course, no reflection on Yoko but the inevitable result  with intellectual properties when the maker dies.

     Post-Lennon, then, Yoko realized that her recording and art careers were nil.  Heart without intellect is worthless.  She then became the caretaker of the Lennon legacy.  His recordings, of course, continued to sell, but even his artwork eclipsed that of Yoko.  So she suffered the humiliation of being a mere appendage to a man.  The feminine dismal swamp was eclipsed by the Olympian heights of the male intellect.   As in ancient times the God had trumped the Goddess.  And yet as with Hera and Zeus the Goddess gets her way.   Yoko came up with the money and goods while Lennon’s spirit was wafted into the stratosphere.

     As any reader of mythology knows Hera ruled the Lernean swamps of Argolis while Zeus ruled the gods on ethereal Olympus.  Thus one has the symbolism of the biological difference between the male and female.

     In ancient times the female had her share in magic.  She knew herbs and plants, was familiar with poisons and cures as with the arch witch of the ancient world, Medea.  The reputation of the female witch even as a consort of Satan persisted down through medieval and post-medieval times, indeed, even up to the dawn of the scientific enlightenment.  One would have thought that magic and witchery were a thing of the past in the 1960s and yet Yoko embodied the whole female swamp mentality.

     She established something called the Spirit Foundation attributing the direction to Lennon who in fact knew nothing of these matters but followed her lead.  The Spirit Foundation celebrated the ancient art of the Shaman or witch doctor.  Shamanism itself even preceded the Matriarchal swamps of Argolis.  It was a rich repository of magical tradition.  Further the Foundation was feminist in that it was dedicated to preserving the magical traditions of the women of the Pacific islands still living in such archaic societies.  The wealth generated by the male intellect was appropriated by the female vagina or ‘heart.’

     In her own life and that of Lennon’s Yoko was addicted to a variety of magical practices- astrology, numerology, Tarot readings, and indeed she traveled to the Caribbean to sell her soul to Satan through the offices of a female curandera.  Her Tarot reader, John Green, was a priest in the shamanistic, magical, Yoruban African cult of Santeria.

     Her feminism was more a magical effort to restory Matriarchal supremacy over the Patriarchy thus reversing the Patriarchal victory of three thousand years previously.  Indeed, what has been called the movement for female equality is nothing more than a covert campaign to restore the Matriarchy.

      Thus while Yoko o9riginatd nothing she usurped the abilities of the reason of men- Cage, Warhol, Lennon and male magicians such as John Green.  Indeed the Trojan War itself was a war of men in service of  women.

     In her associations with men she preferrred to deal with emasculated types such as homosexuals like Cage, Warhol, Sam Green and Sam Havadtoy.  Lennon claimed to have always been dependent of women for comfort and guidance while Yoko caught him at his most confused and vulnerable. 

     While she received direction from Cage and Warhol she was able to manipulate Lennon out of his talent somewhat as Vivian did that of Merlin of the Arthurian saga.  When Vivian had usurped Merlin’s magical knowledge she buried him deep much as Lennon was put out of the way.  Yoko  then appropriated his wealth and residual income after his death.   It was this constant inflow of cash that allowed her to propagate the notion that she was a financial genius.

      Then as the female of the ‘heart’ or vaginal swamp she managed and appropriated the reason of Olympus through Cage, Warhol and Lennon.  What she got from Havadtoy other than brute strength is not clear to me.

     As such Yoko is Woman.  In her case a seeming reversion to the archetypal Shaman of the most ancient times.



Mourning Becomes Yoko: Part I

The Passing Of John Lennon:

Part One


R.E. Prindle

Main Texts:

Goldman, Albert:  The Lives Of John Lennon, Chicago Review Press, 1988

Green, John:  Dakota Days, St. Martin’s, 1983

Norman, Philip:  John Lennon, Ecco, 2008

Pang, May:  Loving John

Seaman, Frederic: The Last Days Of  John Lennon, 1991

Warhol, Andy:  POPism:  Harcourt, Brace, 1980

Numerous internet sites of  the many thousands, most of which I haven’t investigated, concerning principal and minor characters of which Warholstars is most prominent. 

Yoko One in Lennon Cap And Glasses

       There were many changes that ushered in the sixties, changes that made the sixties possible.  Not least of these was the introduction of the commercial jet fleet.  Gone were the much smaller, less comfortable propeller planes, slow and relatively uncomfortable with limited range.  The Boeing 707s, DC 8s, mammoth in their time quickly evolved into the flying cities of the 747s and DC10s.  With the big jets came the envy of the sixties, The Jet Set.  Golden people off to the capitols of Europe so stunningly portrayed in Hollywood movies and travel posters.  One can’t imagine the effect of travel posters today but then they created unfulfillable desires.

     With ease not only were the capitols of Europe within spitting distance but also the exotic cities of the East- Tokyo.

     The entertainment industry was about to spike as technology revolutionized the recording studio as well as the stage.  Guitar amps as the sixties began were small, portable units.  Amplifiers rapidly grew in size.  Massive arrays of Marshalls rose behind the first of the heavy metal bands, Blue Cheer, like a low mountain towering above the group.  Greatful Dead took the stage in front of tens of thousands of dollars of electronic equipment.  Four guys could sound like Krakatoa on that fateful day.

     In those far off sunny days when our world began the old world crumbled before the onsllught of bold intrepid pioneers, and behind them came the leeches and parasites.

     The sixties started slowly almost imperceptibly changing until the Beatles stepped off one of those big jetliners in 1964.  Seemingly innocuous, their arrival was to change the whole paradigm.  Through the fifties and early sixties, before the Jet Set, was the Avant Garde, those bold experimenters moving in advance, well to the fore, of the dull plodding Middletown Babbitry and those mental habits the hip, the aware, the Avant Garde despised.   There were still such things as modern art, experimental novels, cutting edge jazz.  They were all swept away in ’64 when the Beatles led the British Invasion.  All of a sudden the Avant Garde was turned inside out as Pop took possession of the field.

     The first intimations of change took place in Art.  As the 50s ended the dominant art form was Abstract Expressionism.  From those ranks rose what would be known as POPart.  Roy Lichtenstein with his comic book panels, Jasper Johns with his flags, Robert Rauschenberg with his messy effort and, of course, Andy Warhol and his soup cans.  Interestingly they were all homosexuals.  With the exception of Warhol they were all discreet, in the closet, Warhol was a man with an agenda, he wanted to legitimize himself and

Yoko, John, Andy

whatever he liked or did.  He was an advocate.

     One of the big changes of the sixties was the rise of the cult of the homosexual.  Let Leroi Jones as a Negro spokesman rail against the cult as he might he was powerless to resist its course.  Homosexuality was then illegal all over America until the great homosexual revolt at Manhattan’s Stonewall Bar in 1969 as the decade drew to a close.  Homosexuals were aggressively out of the closet roaring for revenge.  One item on Warhol’s  agenda in fact.

     Warhol began his fine art career about 1960.  By 1964 when the Beatles deplaned he had completed another item on his agenda, the destruction of fine art.  Thus, although few of us realized it at that time POPism was overtaking Euroamerica like a tidal wave lifting the level of the sea.

     The Beatles would of course be the core, the heart of the sixties.  They defined the sixties and gave the decade its form.  While they were busy conquering the world a little Japanese woman who desperately wished to incarnate and represent the Avant Garde was beginning her career on the Lower East Side as a ‘performance’ artist.  Zany beyond description was Yoko Ono.  By 1967 she will have entrapped the leader of the free musical world and the Beatles, John Lennon.  Together they will dominate what became of the Avant Garde until Lennon’s passing in 1980.


Yoko Lisa- One of many facets,

     A description of Yoko to begin.  A Spider Woman, a self professed witch, a psychotic obsessive-compulsive who was driven and completely organized to realize her goals.  She however lacked the talent to realize those goals.  As she searched for a way the seemingly unrelated success of the Beatles fortuitously occurred.

     The success of the Beatles was uprecedented.  Once their success had been achieved then the parasites and exploiters moved in to get whatever they could steal.  While the Beatles were revered for their success one member, John Lennon, was selected to fill the almost messianic needs of the sixties.

     Needless to say succes on the order of the Beatles who were after all of lower middle class origins with no preparation for dealing with success of the magnitude they achieved were completely overwhelmed while nevertheless comporting themselves creditably.  Still, as Paul McCartney’s song Fool On The Hill demonstrates their heads were swimming.  John Lennon even issued a musical plea in his song Help! which was a forthright request for guidance for whoever might recognize it while being able to fill his need.

     As it was, this young Japanese avant garde artist, Yoko Ono, understood the plea and acted on it.  John Lennon was tailor made to fulfill her own needs and ambitions.

      Yoko Ono was born in Japan in 1933 as the Japanese were initiating their plan to impose the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere on the whole of the East from India through China to Japan.  In 1942 when she was ten the Japanese made their move to annex the oil reserves of Indonesia, bombing Pearl Harbor at the same time in the attempt to secure their ocean perimeter.  The invasion did not come off as planned so a short three years later in 1945 the B-29s unloaded their incendiary devices over the capitol city of Tokyo where Yoko Ono’s family lived.

     Now thirteen she was aware of what was happening.  Moved to the country outside Tokyo Yoko Ono witnessed the massive clouds of smoke obscurring the blue sky, one presumes, for hundreds of square miles.  Within a few days Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been wholly obliterated by atomic bombs.  Yoko imagined the blue sky over those two cities obscured as was the sky of Tokyo.  This made an indelible impression on her mind causing a psychological disturbance.  She would be haunted by the memory.  Thus having appropriated John Lennon in the late sixties she and he created the Plastic Ono Band whose LP was a picture of a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.  After 1973 she had her office in the Dakota painted in replica of the cover.   Thus she would always have a blue sky above her.

     Even though the Japanese had attacked the United States first in this instance, not without provocation to my mind, thereby acquiring guilt for beginning the war there can be little doubt that Yoko blamed the West for Japan’s shame.

     While Yoko experienced some discomfort after the bombing of Tokyo, as her father was a banking executive with experience in dealing with Westerners, she shortly after the war moved to the US where she lived in luxurious circumstances eventually attending Sarah Lawrence College from 1957 to 1960 but leaving without a degree.

     As of 1960 Yoko Ono had experienced little of the hardships caused by the Wars in Europe and Asia.  Indeed, as Philip Norman points out John Lennon’s England suffered greater hardship from 1945 to the sixties.  Japan, once defeated, was given extremely benevolent treatment by the US.  The paternalistic approach of the US can be seen in the picture of the tiny five foot Emperor, Hirohito, beside the relatively giant protective figure of Douglas MacArthur.  Efforts began immediatly to rebuild the Japanese economy.  The millions of Japanese soldiers throughout the Pacific and China were repatriated to Japan without consequences, forgiven as it were.  In contrast to Europe where the carnage had been enormous there was relatively little damge to the Japanese homeland.  If you watch Japanese movies of the late forties and early fifties there is only a slight indication that there has been a war.  A few references are made to soldiers who never returned but the landscape is intact and undisturbed.

     In Europe Germany had been flattened, German civilians slaughtered in the millions.  Armies of German soldiers disappeared into the Gulag never to be seen live again.  The allies exposed millions of Germans in the depth of winter while depriving them of food.   The entire continent was desolated, England itself had suffered terrific bombing damage that was still being repaired into the sixties.  POP star Marianne Faithfull in her biography tells of sitting aove a bomb crater in the mid-sixties.  Thus any complaits of racism against the Japanese are ridiculous.

     In 1957 when Yoko Ono was beginning her cushy life at Sarah Lawrence I was sailing into Tokyo Bay aboard a US Navy Destroyer Escort.  We docked in Yokosuka across the strait from Yokohama.  There was absolutely no evidence of there ever having been war damage to Yokosuka.  Looking across the strait to the shipyards of Yokohama one was astonished at the glittering brand new derricks of the most modern design.  The stuff made ours look positively medieval.  Twelve years after the war Japanese shipbuilders were becoming the dominant force in that industry displacing the West under the guidance of the US which complacently ceded the industry to them.

      In 1960 as Yoko Ono was beginning her career as an avant garde artist in NYC the first Japanese autos were being landed on the West Coast.

     Now, Philip Norman tut tuts the English for supposedly outrageous racist comments against Yoko Ono in the late sixties as though the English had no grievances against their own racial treatment by the Japanese in WWII.  In point of fact the Japanese Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere was a racist organization directed at the West.  The Pacific war was a racist war if you wish to put things in those terms. There are other definitions.   This isn’t the place to discuss the racial antecedents to the Co-Prosperity Sphere so I won’t but one should look into the historical background which is very complex.

     The question is, did Japanese racism end with their defeat and if it didn’t how was the war carried on by other means?  In 1964 Yoko Ono published a small book of haiku style statements called Grapefruit ‘which aimed to make words like the commands of musical notation’:  “Steal a moon on the water with a bucket.  Keep stealing until no moon is seen on the water.”  Norman, John Lennon p. 475.

     I have a feeling the image is not original to Yoko but is part of Japanese culture much as Bob Dylan used commonplace mid-western phrases like It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue appropriating them to himself.  Of interest here is that Yoko used the verb ‘to steal.’  Her mental state then was one of taking what doesn’t belong to oneself much as in the Jewish prophecy that they will live in houses they didn’t build.  While the command seems nonsensical the results will not be.  The reflection of the moon on the water is beautiful but is only the image of the moon.  Removing buckets of water will not destroy the reflection unless and until all the water or substance on which the image is reflected is removed.  Thus the substance has been stolen while the image is disappears.  At the same time, one imagines, the moon is flattered by the attempt not realizing what is being done.

      Yoko Ono will apply the method to John Lennon while the Japanese applied the method to the US and the West.  All those unpunished repatriated Japanese warriors lost none of the hatred of the West now reinforced by the ignominy of defeat.  They could even believe that they were better warriors than the Americans being defeated by greater American resources for which there was some justification.  So, in 1957 under American tutelage the Japanese had lost noe of their aggressive hatred when I and my shipmates came ashore.

     Now, as Americans we were never allowed to celebrate our victory thus relieving the hardships we endured.  After three years of being taught ourtrageous racial caricatures of demonic enemies we were now the day after victory forbidden to call them Japs, for instance, upon pain of disciplining.  We were commanded to believe that our victury had been evil and unjustified.  Shortly after the war the Hiroshima ‘maidens’ were brought over to receive free medical treatment.  You won’t find anything in history books but there was a strong murmur of protest.  Less than a decade after ‘The Day Of Infamy’ we were commanded to shut up or we would be shut up and we wouldn’t like it.  I don’t know what the exact effect of  what this was on the American psyche but their was a serious reaction.

     Now going into Japan in 1957, ostensibly as conquerors, remember the Korean War had only ended in 1954, we were told that if we had any confrontations with the Japanese we would automatically be considered the aggressors, judged guilty and punished regardless of the facts.  This was Tom Brokaw’s Greatest Generation speaking to its sons.  So, our fathers castrated their sons for whatever idiotic reason they had.  Is it any wonder we revolted against the bastards in the sixties?

     The Japanese knew of the conditions imposed on us and used them to aggrandize themselves at our expense.  Of course, as epigoni we were callow teenage boys rather than the fierce warriors who had driven them through the islands.  As an example of what we were compelled to endure being unable to resist on pain of punishment was something like this.  As might be expected the souvenir joints exploiting us were set up next to the docks.  I entered a booth where I was treated insultingly by the middle aged female clerk.  As I turned to leave the booth she slugged me with a shore patrol baton, which they sold, between the shoulders on the upper vertebrae.  the sound was terrific but I was unhurt.  Expecting me to retaliate a couple of repatriated soldiers of the Bataan Death March started moving toward me to pound me to dust while mah fellow Americans moved away from me as though poison.  Heeding the advice of my Captain I walked unconcernedly away to the jeers of the former Death Marchers trying to further provoke me.  This is what the Greatest Generation did to their sons.  I would imagine that the lesson to the Japanese was that they had nothing to fear from Americans, young or old, while my own feeling of betrayal left me with an abiding distaste even hatred for the fathers that would turn me, a victor, over to the mercies of the defeated.

     So, by flattering the Americans (the reflection of the moon on the unresisting water) the Japanese began to ladle out the American substance itself.  With the simple minded Americans there to instruct them the Japanese studied American technological achievements and began to reproduce them much more cheaply because of their lower wage differential.  At first the reproductions were clumsy, the first cars were laughable but they quickly honed their skills even, eventually, making improvements.

     Because of their relatively quick and easy victory over Japan the American veterans in Detroit refused to take the Japanese seriously even though they were warned by quicker witted countrymen.  The Japanese kept ladling the image out until today the
American auto industry is all but defunct today while Toyota has replaced GM as the dominant auto maker worldwide.  I won’t say the bastards of the ‘Greatest Generation’ didn’t have it coming but I still regret it for my country’s sake.

     In 1960 then Yoko Ono left Sarah Lawrence as I left the Navy to attempt a career as an artist in NYC.  In 1960 John Lennon was at the very beginning of his career as, actually, an avant garde musician although he may not have realized it.  It would be six years before their paths crossed in London.

     In the meantime Yoko attempted to storm avant garde New York demanding instant success and considering herself so talented that she couldn’t contemplate failure.  She took up with the unlistenable avant garde composers, John Cage, the premier electronic composer Robert Maxwell and people of that ilk.  At one time I wanted to be avant garde so I actually listened to people like Cage, Maxwell, Pauline Oliveros, Steve Reich and people like that.  If you want to you can make yourself listen to anything but I don’t want to make myself do it again.  Once was more education than I needed.

     So, Yoko was breaking into a very minority taste, even at the height of my enthusiasm I couldn’t make anyone sit through the stuff.  At the same time Yoko was trying to appeal to the uptown crowd who cut her cold creating deep resentment in her.

     Having stormed the gates and failed Yoko fled back to Japan awhere she had a psychotic reaction, nervous breakdown or depression.  At any rate she was committed to a mental hospital where she was heavily sedated, massive drugging.  Interestingly Norman say that before she went to  London she had never used drugs.  I don’t know what you would call the stuff given to her at the hospital but I’d call them drugs.  Just because a dentist gave me Nembutal doesn’t mean I never had drugs although I never used them otherwise.  As incredible as it may seem a fellow named Tony Cox heard stories about Yoko in New York that he found so intriguing he hopped a big jetliner and flew to Tokyo to find her.  Real fairy tale stuff.  Maybe he heard she came from a fabulously wealthy family.

     And Tony did find Yoko stumbling through the halls of the asylum under the influence.  He discovered a means to get her released then only had to deal with her Japanese husband Yoko had picked up along the way.  Apparently a smooth talker Tony convinced hubby to form a menage a trois.  This, of course, disintegrated the marriage 1964 finding Yoko and Tony back in New York.

     Now, back in 1960-61 Yoko had been sleeping around, she had a menage a trois in Japan while subsequently not taking the marriage vows to Tony overly seriously.  Yet in Norman’s biography she repeatedly tries to pass herself off as some virginal girl unable to deal with the rabid sexuality of her third husband.   Clearly Yoko suffers from cognitive dissonance, meaning her version of things is always questionable if not immediately dismissable.

     Yoko as a feminist wrote the song Woman Is The Nigger Of The World.  In rebellion of what she saw as the status of women she became what we boys call a man eater.  She emasculated the men of her life assigning them traditional female roles while she assumed the male role.  Thus all three of her husbands assumed the role of house husbands, housewife being a demeaning term in her lexicon while she tried to play the role of provider through her art although unsuccessfully.  Needless to say that she was a failure as a provider in all three marriages although in her last she proved an efficient money manager of the millions provided by her last house husband, John Lennon.

     Cox and Yoko left NYC for London in 1966.  By 1966 the decade was well along in its formation actually tipping into its demise.  By 1966 the British invasion of musical groups was entering its second phase.  A dozen or so groups had succeeded very well chief among them the Beatles and Rolling Stones.  They had pre-empted the avant garde becoming themselves an avant garde.   The chief American representative who had survived the British onslaught was Bob Dylan.

     The art scene Yoko was trying to influence had been taken over lock, stock and barrelo by POPart whose leading representative was

Andy In Full Are Mode

Andy Warhol who had a zoo of addicts and perverts known as the Factory.  Warhol, himself a homosexual, had always been a connoisseur of pop music playing 45s constantly.  He would have been aware, perhaps uniquely, of the significance of the British Invasion for POPart and the old Abstract Expressionist avant garde.  By 1965 he had aligned himself with the musical scene by adopting the Velvet Underground as the Factory house band.  He attempted to form connections with all the top musicians from Lennon, Mick Jagger, Dylan and on to Jim Morrison of the Doors not always successfully.  Most of the musicians waere as psychotic as he was, recotgnized him for what he was and were too canny to become involved with him.

     Yoko on her return from Japan, then, was dealing with a very different art scene than in her first foray.  She had to at some time between ’64-’66 make contact with Warhol.  As she left NYC in ’66 for London Dylan’s evaluation of her relayed through George Harrison  as quoted in Norman p. 671 must refer to this period:

     George by contrast, despite long marinading in soft-tongued Buddha-speak, was his most bluntly charmless.  “[He] insulted [Yoko] right to her face in the Apple office,”  John would remember.  “Just being straightforward, that game of  ‘Well, I’m going to be upfront because this is what I’ve heard, and Dylan and a few people said you’ve got a lousy name in New York and you give off bad vibes.’  That’s what George said to her and we both sat through it.”

     Dylan would have been speaking of Yoko in NYC from ’64 to ’66.  During the latter part of that period Dylan was in conrflict with Warhol and his Factory crowd because of Edie Sedgwick.  That Yoko Ono could have come within his ken is interesting.  Yoko wouldn’t have know of Warhol during her first assault on NYC but as she kowtowed to Warhol on her return after 1968 that might indicate that she might have visited the Factory, which was open to all, met and conversed with Warhol.  I haven’t found a mention of her on the main Warhol site, Warholstars, as yet but there must be a connection no matter how slight.  It is impossible to know what was said between them but as Yoko got into making Warhol style avant garde movies she must have at least made some notes.

     Whether music in relation to the avant garde came up with Warhol’s preference for Rock n’ Roll and possibly he Beatles isn’t known although she did drag Lennon down to do obeisance to Warhol when they eturned.  Then, too, she used Sam Green,  Samuel Adams Green had presented the Warhol exhibition at UPennsylvania a couple years previously, as her agent for acquistion of art.

     In 1980 she was thick with Sam Green leading Lennon to express discomfort because of Green’s association with the Warhol crowd.  There seems to have been a rather strong conection of Yoko to Warhol.  Certainly her husband of the time, Tony Cox, was well known around the Factory having stolen one of their cars and taken it to California.  Cox, who had criminal tendencies, is worth a little study too.  It would seem impossible that he knew nothing of the Beatles- I think Yoko Ono’s claim to have never heard of them can be dismissed too- as Cox seemed to have been always scheming he may have heard Lennon songs like Help and I’m A Loser and drawn the obvious conclusions.  Lennon in the right hands could be used.

     In 1966 then, Cox and Ono left for London presumably to take that art world by storm.  I think it quite probable that Yoko believed she could get inside Lennon’s head to use his wealth to further her art career.  Her bagism notion was well conceived by 1965 in NYC.  Her displays at London’s Indica gallery seem designed to get Lennon’s attention.  An apple on a stand priced at 200 pounds…how obvious can you get?  The tinyYES on the ceiling.  Yoko was very good at hypnotic suggestion.

     How did she find her way to the Indica anyway?  The gallery had just opened in 1965 and would only survive for two years, which isn’t to say Yoko’s exhibit  killed it.

     Her claim that she had never heard of Lennon before the show is contradicted by both John Dunbar, the owner, and Barry Miles, who wrote under the name of Miles.  He says that instead of coolly walking away not overly impressed with Lennon she actually tried to force her way into his car.  Certainly flooding his mailbox with cards and letters doesn’t indicate indifference.  No.  Yoko wanted access to Lennon’s money and she got it.

     There’s no need here to recount how she forced Cynthia Lennon out.  Suffice it to say that she quickly captured Lennon; by 1968 they were back in ‘her town’, NYC.  For a person who was there for maybe two years in 1960-61 and two more years in ’64-’66 I think it takes a certain amount of chutzpah to call New York ‘your town.’

     Once in New York she had Lennon dependent on her while with the acquisition of the Dakota Apartment in 1973 the real action began.  First let us do a character review of Lennon before beginning the denouement.

     I am assuming that any readers will be familiar with the main lines  of Ono’s and Lennon’s biographies.   If I’ve glided too quickly over certain points don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.  There are literally thousands of websites dedicated to all principals and minor characters, some of them very extensive so my exploration of all these sites is ongoing.





Exhuming Bob 23b

Of a & b.

Bob, Andy, Edie

And Like A Rolling Stone


R.E. Prindle

The System Of Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether

All the fags and dykes they boogien’ together

Leather freaks dressed in all kinds of leather

The greatest of the sadists and the masochists too

Screamin’  please hit me and I’ll hit you.

The FBI dancin’ with the junkies

All the straights are swingin with the funkies

Cross the floor and up the wall

Freakin’ at the Freakers ball,


Freakin’ at the Freakers ball.

–Shel Silverstein

Oh no!  Must be the season of the witch.



Don't Look Back, Something Might Be Gaining On Ya

     It may be true that the answer was blowin’ in the wind but, if so, as Donovan said:  You might as well try to catch the wind and nobody did.  Nobody even had a clue as the inmates poured out their cells and seized the asylum.  Even then it wasn’t so easy to tell the nuts from the Docs.

     His parents brought a seventeen year old to the asylum to be cured of homosexual tendencies.  The psychiatrists had an astonishing method for a cure.  Strapping the kid to the torture rack they fixed a couple of electrodes to his body and sent some serious voltage coursing the through his existence rearranging a few brain cells on the way.  As his body arched when the juice hit him one is reminded of the prisoner on death row when the steel cap was lowered on his shaved skull.  As maximum voltage coursed through his body he too convulsed but when the skull cap was removed the temperature of his blood in his brain was 212 degrees.  They’d boiled him to death.

     The kids temperature didn’t rise that high but they still managed to scramble his brain.  His memory was so blotted he got lost trying to walk around his own block.  The cure was worse than the disease.  The cure was in fact, no cure as he remained a homosexual.  And they call that medicine.

     As soon as the kids eyes uncrossed he picked up a guitar and began to wail.  Then he formed a band and began to formulate what he would call Metal Machine Music.  He hooked up with Doctor Filth who ran an asylum called The Factory that he filled with mental cases.  Unlike the psychiatrists Dr. Filth intended to create mental cases.

     The kid picked up a whip, donned his leathers and began to boogie.  Those leather freaks.  Uncomfortable in their own skins they wear the flayed skins of cows, a feminine skin not their own.  A guitar and a spike all anyone needed.  Jamming his spike in his arm the kid flew from the asylum Factory out to the Cuckoo’s Nest in Keseyland.

     Now known as the Velvet Underground, the kid, going by the personal of Lou Reed landed in a disused bowling alley where he and hisHigh Voltage Lou three bandmates gave a concert.  there were perhaps a hundred fifty people in the audience of which a hundred had been let in free by one of the promoters.  Imagine a promoter opening the back door for free.

     The audience in the bleachers stepped up to the ceiling where the top row required them to stoop to seat themselves edged into their seats.  Keep your eye on the right top corner, that’s where the action will be.  This was the first concert the promoters had done.  The band stood on the floor two thirds of the way down the alleys.  The spotlight was on their right directed across the group rather than down on them.  I thought it was an interesting effect.  The Cuckoo’s Nest had never seen anyhthing like this.  A girl drummer had what appeared to be a single snare drum with a mallet underslung so it hammered the bottom of the snare while she banged away at the top with the sticks.  Not exactly a beat more like a steady unvarying rumble, an effect almost as interesting as the lights.  The two guitars and the bass of the leather clad crew began to hammer out the sound which was just like what became Metal Machine Music although more articulated.  Not exactly as continuous am MMM but close.

     Then the singer began to chant something about heroin.  This wasn’t The Factory this was the Cuckoo’s Nest.  A disquieting murmur underscored the machine music.  Then some local agitators had a guy stand up to shout out incitements to a riot.    The light guy got uneasy.  The Velvets twitched, a note of panic came into Reed’s voice.  Without so much as a change of tone he incorporated ‘Turn off the light’ into the lyric as the crowd began to think of rushing the Velvets and they gave every indication of bolting.

     Turn off the lights, hell.  I knew who the agitators must be so I swung the light from the Velvets across the crowd to the right corner where I picked up the agitators.  I left the spot on them steadily.  Their anonymity stripped from them the crowd recognized them and quieted down.  The Velvets hadn’t missed a beat but they did get a little wobbly.

     I quickly picked out the ‘mastermind’ , who was who I thought he was and his stooge who had been loaded up with something.  With the spot on him he thought he was the star continuing to orate as Reed intoned on while the band chugged along like an assembly line gone berserk.

     The ‘mastermind’ now ordered me to turn the light off him.  The noise was too loud for him to hear me laughing.  At last he got his stooge to sit down and the light swung back to the Velvet Underground and they continued their chaunt to the glories of heroin as though nothing had happened.  Nothing had, just a variation on the show down on Desolation Row.  They left the Cuckoo’s Nest finding their way back to the Factory and Dr. Filth.

     Back home in The Factory the fags and dikes were cracking their whips, blowing their whistles and banging their gongs while the necrophiliacs were looking for dead ones.

     As we left them in part a, Dr. Filth had been castigated by the Man Of The Hour over the air for all to hear if not recognize in his musical rants, Like A Rolling Stone and Positively 4th Street.

     I’m not prepared to say it’s so but others have suggested that a few lines in Desolation Row refer to the Factory and Andy Warhol.  As Desolation Row was recorded on August 4th a few days after Stone and Street it is quite possible ill feeling lingered and found expression in Dylan’s lines.

     The lyrics are purposely written in obscure language meant to imitate poetry and mystify.  Without a key one can speculate all day ending up where you began.  Dylan does give us a clue as to his imagery in Chronicles where he says Pound and Elliot were fighting it out in the Captains’s tower.  The Captain’s Tower refers to Dylan’s brain  and the discussion of the two poets.

     There is a very large discussion of this stuff on the internet if anyone wants to go through it.  Anyway the lines thought to refer to Warhol are these.

     Dr. Filth, he keeps his world

Locked inside his leather cup

But all his sexless patients

They’re trying to blow it up.


Now, his nurse, some local loser,

She’s in charge of the cyanide hole

She also keeps the cards that read

“Have mercy on his soul.”


They all play on the pennywhistle

You can hear them blow

If you hang your head out far enough

From Desolation Row.

Contemporary Bob

     I think most commonly people take Dr. Filth to refer to Freud.  Multiple meanings are possible while the cast of characters in Row appear to be well known historical figures or characters from literature.  At the same time, as Warhol points out, the songs of this period are personal protests so the figures can stand in for people Dylan knows.   He changed their faces and gave them brand new names.

     On the other hand Dr. Filth could refer to Warhol whose reputation was suffering by mid-’65.  The society people had begun to avoid the Factory leaving Andy only the derelicts.

     As I said I can’t find anything totally convincing to pin Dr. Filth on Warhol but the next verse isn’t applicable to Freud and the verse after depending on how you interpet pennywhistle and blow might apply to the Factoryites.

     And then there are these lines:

Now, at midnight all the agents

And the supernatural crew

Come out and round up everyone

That knows more than they do.

Then they take them to the Factory…

     Like I say, it’s up to you.  What is clear is that there was serious competition between Dylan and Warhol and that Sedgwick was a bone of contention.

     As the late fall and summer progressed then, Dylan worked hard to draw Edie from Warhol.  This made Andy very, very jealous and he turned from Edie spurning her from him ‘with his foot.’  There is a possibility that in some weird homosexual way Warhol loved Edie.  According to the movie Factory Girl Warhol took her home to meet his mom.  It might mean that that was an actual declaration of love and that he considered her his girl.

     By this time Edie was broke having gone thorugh her inheritance whnile even having her stipend from her parents suspended because of her association with Warhol and the Factory crowd.  ‘In her prime when she dressed so fine’  she refused to use taxis having a white limo waiting at the curb for her use.   Now that she could no longer afford one Dylan rented a black one for her use.  Thus when she rode around town in Dylan’s limo she would be known as Dylan’s kept woman.  This would also have been a direct insult to Warhol who was penniless in comparison being unable even to pay Sedgwick for her roles in his films or even, her rent.  Thus as the Dylan figure in Factory Girl tells her:  You’re just one of Warhol’s props.

      Now, Dylan in his first English tour had Donn Pennebaker do a film verite that would be released in 1967 as Dont Look Back.  Dylan and his entourage who all had parts in the film just like the Factory crew did in  Warhol’s would have been talking up the film thus actually becoming direct competitiors of Warhol.  As an enticement to Edie Albert Grossman threatened to become her manager while promises were made to her that she would be Dylan’s co-star in a planned movie and even be paid for her services.  Remember she was stone broke at this time being desperately in need af an adequate income.  Rather than being Dylan’s girl friend she was passed to his gofer, stooge, right hand man, Bobby Neuwirth who became her possessor while she was living at the Chelsea.

     That November of ’65 Dylan married Sara Lowndes.  According to Bob Spitz in his biography Dylan met Lowndes in 1963 installing her in Grossman’s apartment where he ‘lived’ with her which I suppose means visited her from time to time as among his other duties he was living with Suze Rotolo and heavy with Joan Baez.

     Dylan attempted to keep his marriage secret, it was publicly revealed in April of ’66 but Warhol got word of it in December spitefully revealing the news to Edie.  The news was devastating to Edie who was nurturing her fantasies of being Dylan’s woman and future co-star.  Apparently at that time she was told that any movie role was in some very distant future.  At any rate with her relationship with Andy broken Dylan no longer had any use for her.   She was just a pawn in his game.

     Perhaps in competition or emulation of Dylan’s recording career Warhol decided he wanted to manage a band thus recruiting the

Nico, Andy And The Velvets

Velvet Underground.  To assist the Velvets he picked up on Nico who had just arrived from Europe.  As fate would have it Dylan had already had a fling with her during his 1962 visit to England when he worte I’ll Keep It With Mine for her.  Warhol now insisted she front the Velvet Underground, thus the Velvets first LP with Nico and the famous Banana cover.

     Apparently forgetting Edie Dylan renewed his acquaintance with Nico showing up with songs to give her.  Lou Reed of the Velvets is a great admirer of Dylan but I don’t believe any of his songs made it to the record.  In any event Nico was gone by the time of the second Velvets LP.  Possibly as part of the Dylan-Warhol feud.

     Dylan wasn’t finished with Edie yet nor was Warhol finished with Dylan.

     In the Spring of ’66 Dylan recorded his ultimate record Blonde On Blonde.  the songs of personal protest as Warhol pointed out revolved around this period.  There are two songs that are pointedly about Edie Sedgwick- Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat and Just Like A Woman while other references seem to be scattered about.  The two songs were unnecessarily cruel.

     In the Spring of ’66 Warhol began a film titled The Bob Dylan Story.  This was a derogatory depiction of the Folk Singer that Warhol thought better of releasing.  Giving Dylan’s reaction to Factory Girl, Warhol’s pockets weren’t deep enough to take Dylan on who by ’67 when the film first could have been released Dylan was worth millions while warhol was still essentially penniless.

     Anent the Bob Dylan Story I quote from the web site :

     Sterling Morrison speaking:

     “Dylan was always around, giving Nico songs.  there was one film Andy [Warhol] made with Paul Caruso called The Bob Dylan Story.  I don’t think Andy has ever shown it.  It was hysterical.  they got Marlowe Dupont to play Al Grossman.  Paul Caruso not only looks like Bob Dylan but as a super caricature he makes even Hendrix look pale by comparison.  This was around 1966 when the film was made and his hair was way out here.  When he was walking down the street you had to step out of his way.  On the eve of filming, Paul had a change of heart and got his hair cut off- close to his head and he must have removed about a foot so everyone was upset about that.  then Dylan had his accident and that’s why the film was never shown.”

     Although sterling Morrison suggested that the Bob Dylan film was never shown because of Dylan’s motorcycle accident, the accident occured at the end of July 1966 and Susan Pile was filmed for the movie in October 1966.

Susan Pile speaking:

     “Andy filmed The Bob Dylan Story, starring Paul Caruso…Ingrid Superstar and I were folkrock groupies who rushed in (to the studio), attacked his body and taped him to the motorcycle…  Paul Morrisey suggested all of Paul Caruso’s lines be from songs, but Andy, knowing it was a good idea (this is a direct relay from Paul Morrissey) vetoes….My one line (which I wasn’t supposed to say; I was to remain mutely sinister) was:  “You’re just like P.F. Sloane and all the rest- you want to become famous so you can get rid of those pimples.”  (accompanied by quick slaps to P. Caruso’s acne-remnanted cheeks)…

     The psychology is clear but noteworthy is the taping of Dylan to his ‘Chrome horse.’   When Dylan had his bike accident the rear wheel locked throwing him over the handle bars.  Thus taping him to the bike would prevent that.  Now, the animosity between the two was real and deep.  It may have seemed to Dylan that he had trumped Warhol.  While Warhol may have passively taken the humiliation it is also quite likely he would have retaliated.  The wheel locking would seem to indicate someone tampering with the bike.  Either Warhol had the bike tampered with and was gloating over Dylan here in his movie or else it is a cruel joke.   Whether Warhol was responsible for the bike accident or not he was certainly gleeful about it as evidenced here.  If the bike was tampered with then someone wanted to see him paralyzed.

     Thus matters stood at the end of ’66.  In 1971 Edie Sedgwick in circumstance of total degradation, shamefully abandoned by her parents and both Dylan and Warhol who both disclaimed any responsiblity died.

     In closing I quote Andy Warhol from his Philosophy Of  Andy Warhol From A To B:

Handy Andy

     “(Edie) drifted away from us after she started seeing a singer-musician who can only be described as the Definitive Pop Star- possibly of all time- who was then first gaining recognition on both sides of the Atlantic as the thinking man’s Elvis Presley.  I missed having her around, but I told myself that it was probably a good thing that he was taking care of her now, because maybe he knew how to do it better than we had.

     Snide, very snide.

There’s gonna be a Freaker’s Ball, tonight at the Freaker’s Hall

Ya know you’re invited one and all.