From the archive
JUNE 1964: LOU REED GRADUATES FROM COLLEGE.
Reed graduated from the Syracuse College of Arts and Sciences with a bachelor of arts degree and moved back to his parent’s home in Freeport. From September 1964 – February 1965 he worked for a bargain basement recording company, Pickwick International, in Long Island City, writing “made-to-order pop songs” for $25.00 a week and no rights to any of the material. (LR73/77)
At Pickwick Lou Reed met John Cale. Terry Phillips, one of the owners of Pickwick met John at a party and asked him to the studios with the possibility of being in a band with Lou to perform what Pickwick hoped would be a hit dance craze single, The Ostrich, which Reed had written for Pickwick. The single bombed, but Lou Reed and John continued their friendship.
“There were four of us literally locked in a room writing songs. They would say, ‘Write ten California songs, ten Detroit songs,’ they we’d go down into the studio for an hour or two and cut three or four albums really quickly which came in handy later because I knew my way around a studio, not well enough but I could work really fast. One day I was stoned and (after reading in Eugenia Sheppard’s column that ostrich feathers were big that season) just for laughs – I decided to make up a dance. So I said, ‘You put your head on the floor and have somebody step on it!’ It was years ahead of its time. And another thing called Sneaky Pete. And when they heard it they thought it could be a single, so we needed people who could be a group to out and promote it.”
Lou was still living with his parents in Freeport when he first started working at Pickwick – but would spend a lot of time at John Cale’s apartment at 56 Ludlow Street in Manhattan. Their mutual interests were music and heroin. When John Cale’s flatmate moved out, Lou moved in. (LR81-5) Their neighbour was Angus MacLise, a Scotsman who often played drums in La Monte Young’s Theatre of Eternal Music – who Cale also worked with. It was Angus who introduced Lou to methamphetamine hydrochloride (“speed”).
Lou Reed (from a tape made by Nat Finkelstein at the Factory in Autumn 1966):
“We were playing together a long time ago, in a $30-a-month apartment and we really didn’t have any money, and we used to eat oatmeal all day and all night and give blood… or pose for these nickel or 15 cent tabloids they have every week. And when I posed for them, my picture came out and it said I was a sex maniac killer that had killed 14 children and tape recorded it and played it in a barn in Kansas at midnight. And when John’s picture came out in the paper, it said he had killed his lover because his lover was going to marry his sister, and he didn’t want his sister to marry a fag.
And then we decided that since we were playing all the time anyway, why not try to get paid for it, so we ended up at a terrible coffee house working six sets a night, seven nights a week, $5 a man a night, and that lasted a week-and-a-half and we were fired, because they hated our music so much. And then we met Andy. And we’re now able to play the kind of stuff we really like to play….” (UT91-2)
Eddie arrived in New York in her gray Mercedes Benz in the company of GORDON BALDWIN and moved into her bedridden grandmother’s fourteen room apartment on Park Avenue and 71st Street. She modeled for a teen magazine and dined at L’Aventura, spending her nights partying at the “in spots – Harlow, Shepheard’s, Ondine, Arthur or Steve Paul’s The Scene.” (UV205)
JULY 25 – 26, 1964: ANDY WARHOL FILMS EMPIRE.
The Auricon was often used by journalists to shoot live events because the camera recorded sound directly on the film – a “single system” camera. The sound quality was primitive but it had sync sound.
Jonas Mekas: “He [Warhol] decided to shoot Empire, which was mostly John Palmer’s idea. And since it needed long takes – it’s a long film – he asked me what he should use, and I said, ‘Why don’t you use – you know – we can use Auricon. That’s the cheapest. I already had rented [one]. We can, you know, just take it.’ And he [Warhol] was interested because he wanted to get used to it because he wanted, he said, he wanted to go and shoot sound films with it. You know – in the way of The Brig. And since I knew how to operate it, I became the camera man for it.” (PS416)
JOHN PALMER who Mekas credited with the idea for Empire would later co-direct/write the non-Warhol film Ciao Manhattan, starring Edie Sedgwick.
Warhol and entourage shot the Empire State building from an office in the Time-Life Building that belonged to HENRY ROMNEY who was also trying to buy the rights to the book A Clockwork Orange so that Andy could film it using NUREYEV, MICK JAGGER and BABY JANE HOLZER. (POP80) Warhol would later make his own version of A Clockwork Orange – VINYL starring Gerard Malanga and Edie Sedgwick.
Gerard Malanga walks past the projector
during the Factory preview of Empire (1964)
(photo: David McCabe)
At the age of sixteen, Joe Dallesandro, living with his father in Queens, stole a car (one of many) and crashed through the toll gate at Holland Tunnel, pursued by six squad cars. The cops stopped the speeding vehicle with a road block. The officers came out of their cars with their weapons drawn.
When Joe opened the door and started to step out of the stolen car, one of the officers opened fire, the others followed, and Joe retreated back into the car which he then proceeded to drive straight at them. One of their bullets wounded him above the kneecap in his right leg. He managed to escape the cops, sinking the car in the Hudson River, and stole another car which he drove back to his father’s house.
His father took him to the hospital and he was arrested and charged as a juvenile. He was sentenced to four months in the Camp Cass Rehabilitation Center for Boys in the Catskills, where (according to him) he tattooed himself with the Little Joe tattoo.
He escaped from the center, returned to his father and received a “dishonorable parole” from the authorities stating that if he committed another crime before turning 21, he would have to finish the time he still had to do at Camp Cass, plus time for the new crime.
1964: JOE DALLESANDRO GOES TO MEXICO.
Joe and a friend named Stanley ended up going to Mexico (Ciudad Juarez) with money Joe stole from the safe of an RKO theatre in Brooklyn managed by a gay friend. In Mexico, Joe Dallesandro worked as a busboy and dishwasher in exchange for breakfast, lunch and cigarettes. (JOE16-7)
FALL 1964: EDIE SEDGWICK MOVES TO HER O
Edie’s apartment was on E. 63rd Street between Fifth and Madison. She hired a friend from Cambridge, TOM GOODWIN, as a chauffeur for $100 a week. After he crashed Edie’s car in front of the Seagram Building, she leased a limo from Bermuda Service, tipping the driver handsomely, but rarely paying her bills. (UV205)
1964: ANDY WARHOL THROWS A SURPRISE PARTY
Warhol hosted a surprise party at the Factory to celebrate the 1963 marriage of Billy Kluever and Olga Adorno. Kluever collaborated with Warhol on the Silver Clouds. Warhol filmed two Screen Tests of Olga – one of which was included in The Thirteen Most Beautiful Women. Olga was an artist and performer who appeared in early Happenings. She also appeared in Allan Kaprow’s presentation of Stockhausen’s Originale at the Judson in NY and had her leg cast in plaster by Jasper Johns for Watchman (1964) (AD110)
Warhol filmed Taylor Mead’s ass and appropriately called the 70 minute film, TAYLOR MEAD’S ASS (70mins/16 fps/black & white/silent). (UV157/SG145)
Andy Warhol shooting Taylor Mead
at the Factory on September 5, 1964
(photo: Fred W. McDarrah)
Kelly M. Cresap (Pop Trickster Fool: Warhol Performs Naivete (Chicago: U. of Illinois Press, 2004), p. 196):
“For the duration of the film, Taylor Mead’s Ass, Mead does indeed gamely sport his behind for the camera. In one sequence he pretends to remove a variety of items from his anal sphincter, including vacuum cleaner accessories, the torso of a mannequin, a roll of industrial tape, and a publicity still of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.”
OCTOBER 1964: BABY JANE HOLZER APPEARS IN VOGUE MAGAZINE.
Jane’s mane of big hair created a new fashion trend. (AD97)
OCTOBER 1964: THE ROLLING STONES HAVE A PARTY. (SO DOES BABY JANE.)
The party was arranged by NICKY HASLAM and friends at JERRY SCHATZBERG’s photography studio on Park Avenue South to generate publicity for THE ROLLING STONES who are in New York to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show and play at the Academy of Music on 14th Street. It was also JANE HOLZER’s 24th birthday and the event became a birthday party for her, with the Stones as the star guests. Jane had been modeling for Vogue magazine so TOM WOLF was sent to cover the event for the New York Herald Tribune Sunday magazine supplement. He wrote his Girl of the Year article about Jane which was included in his book Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. (POP80/81) The article was originally published in the December 1964 issue of New York magazine.
OCTOBER 26, 1964: HOLLY WOODLAWN IS ALMOST DRAFTED.
Holly was called up for the draft on her eighteenth birthday during the Vietnam War. (S)he showed up at the draft board wearing “hot pants and sandals, with a dab of blush for color,” and was excused from service when the doctor noticed that (s)he had breasts (as a result of hormone treatments). (HW83)