The Warhol Tapes

The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh put out a book that included a CD of excerpts from Warhol's private audio tape collection. The album is narrated by John Giorno, the poet who starred in some of Warhol's early films.*

Warhol used to carry tape recorders with him everywhere, and the Warhol museum has thousands of hours of 'em. This is but a wee sample, but a fascinating one, featuring goodies like a raw Velvet Underground jamming on "I'll be Your Mirror" with Nico, and some songs I don't recognize; Andy discussing a commissioned portrait of a guy with a hard-on that has never been exhibited in public; a campy Pope Ondine; a no-nonsense Edie Sedgewick; a Man Ray photo session; Holly Woodlawn on why it's a pain to be a drag queen; and a discussion of art featuring famous people's private parts. Yes, Mick Jagger and Studio 54 are here, but we also go shopping with Warhol at a grocery store. As Andy would say, "Oh, gee!"

The Andy Warhol Museum

The book/CD is way out of print and going for crazy sums on Amazon: $160 is a bit out of my price range. There is one (1) copy in the entire L.A. County Library system, and it's in the "closed stacks," meaning a librarian has to retrieve it for you and you can't take it out of the library. So I had to bring my wife's laptop to the library at a later date, they sat me in a special section, and I loaded in and copied the CD. Dang, the things I do for you people. Send me booze and chocolates! Remember me in your will!

But I know Giorno for the boss albums he put out in the late '70s/'80s on his own label that featured everyone from Laurie Anderson and William Burroughs to The Butthole Surfers. Good stuff.

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