To Pat Hackett, for extracting and redacting my thoughts so intelligently;
To beautiful Brigid Polk, for being on the other end; To Bob Colacello, for getting it all together; and To Steven M. L. Aronson, for being a great editor.


B and I
How Andy Puts His Warhol On. You Can't Argue with Your Scrapbook.

1 Love (Puberty)
Growing Up Czechoslovak. Summer Jobs. Feeling Left Out. Sharing Problems. Catching Problems. My Own Problem. Roommates. The Psychiatrist Never Called Back. My First Television. My First Scene. My First Superstar. My First Tape.

2 Love (Prime)
The Fall and Rise of My Favorite Sixties Girl.

3 Love (Senility)
Learning the Facts of Life at Forty. My Ideal Wife. My Telephone Dream Girl. Jealousy. Low Lights and Trick Mirrors. Sex and Nostalgia. Drag Queens. Romance Is Hard but Sex Is Harder. Frigidity.

4 Beauty
My Self-Portrait. Permanent Beauty Problems, Temporary Beauty Problems: What to Do About Them. Clean Beauty. The Good Plain Look. Keeping Your Looks. Beautiful Monotony.

5 Fame
My Aura. Television Magic. The Wrong Person for the Right Part. Fans and Fanatics. Elizabeth Taylor.

6 Work
Art Business vs. Business Art. My Early Films. Why I Love Leftovers. Living Is Work. Sex Is Work. How to Look a Maid in the Eye. A Roomful of Candy.

7 Time

Time on My Hands. The Times Between the Times. Waiting in Line. Street Time. Plane Time. Missing Chemicals. Why I Try to Look So Bad. Keeping Appointments. Elizabeth Taylor.

8 Death
All About It.

9 Economics
The Rothschild Story. All-Night Pharmacies. Buying Friends. The Desk-Model Checkbook. Pennies, Pennies, Pennies. Gina Lollobrigida's Pennies.

10 Atmosphere
Empty Spaces. Art as Junk. Picasso's Four Thousand Masterpieces. My Coloring Technique. The End of My Art. The Rebirth of My Art. Perfume Space. The Good Life in the Country and Why I Can't Take It. A Tree Tries to Grow in Manhattan. The Good Plain American Lunchroom. The Andymat.

11 Success
The Stars on the Stairs. Why Everyone Needs at Least One Hairdresser. Poptarts. Ursula Andress. Elizabeth Taylor.

12 Art
The Grand Prix. New Art. Slicing a Salami. Glamorous Risks. Noli Me Tangere. Cold Fish.

13 Titles

Continental Intermarriage. Ladies-in-Waiting. Who's Hustling Who. Champagne Chins and Beer Bellies.

14 The Tingle
How to Clean Up American Style.

15 Underwear Power
What I Do on Saturday When My Philosophy Runs Out.

A: Just a little piece...... smaller.....smaller

B and I

B and I: How Andy Puts His Warhol On

A: I have never called my answering service.

I wake up and call B.

B is anybody who helps me kill time.

B is anybody and I'm nobody. B and I.

I need B because I can't be alone. Except when I sleep. Then I can't be with anybody.

I wake up and call B.


"A? Wait and I'll turn off the TV. And pee. I took a dehydration pill and they make me pee every fifteen minutes." I waited for B to pee.

"Go on," she said finally. "I just woke up. My mouth is dry."

"I wake up every morning. I open my eyes and think: here we go again."

"I get up because I have to pee."

"I never fall back to sleep," I said. "It seems like a dangerous thing to do. A whole day of life is like a whole day of television. TV never goes off the air once it starts for the day, and I don't either. At the end of the day the whole day will be a movie. A movie made for TV."

"I watch television from the minute I get up," B said. "I look at NBC blue, then I turn to another channel and look at the background in a different color and see which way it looks better with the skin tones on the faces. I memorize some of Barbara Walters' lines so I can use them on your TV show when you get it."

B was referring to the great unfulfilled ambition of my life: my own regular TV show. I'm going to call it Nothing Special.

"I wake up in the morning," she said, "and look at the patterns of the wallpaper. There's gray and there's a flower and there're black dots around the flower, and I'm thinking: is it Bill Blass wallpaper? It's just as famous as a painting. You know what you should do today, A? You should find the best drawer-liner paper in New York and make a portfolio out of it. Or have it made into material and go to an upholsterer and have a chair covered with it. Have the flowers tufted. And you could put accent pillows. You can do so much more with a chair than you can with a painting."

"That forty-pound shopping bag full of rice that I bought in a panic is still sitting next to my bed," I said.

"So is mine, except it's eighty pounds and it's driving me crazy because the shopping bag doesn't match the curtains."

"My pillow is stained."

"Maybe you turned upside down in the middle of the night and got your period," B said.

"I have to take off my wings." I use five wings: one under each eye, one on either side of my mouth, and one on my forehead.

"Say that again."

"I said I have to take off my wings."

Was B making fun of my wings? "Every day is a new day," I said. "Because I can't remember the day before. So I'm grateful to my wings."

"Oh, Jesus," she sighed. "Every day is a new day. Tomorrow isn't that important, yesterday wasn't that important. I really am thinking about today. And the first thing I think about today is how am I going to save a buck. I wait in bed for whoever I want to call to call me. That way I save at least a dime."

"I pop right out of bed. I shuffle, I shuttle, I tippy-toe, I Cakewalk, anything to avoid the chocolate-covered cherries that are spread all over the floor like land-mines. But I always step in one. I feel the chocolate . . ."


"I said I realize it's a feeling I like." "I get up and I tip-toe. I'm afraid I'm going to wake up my houseguests it's so early, and then when I slip on a chocolate-covered cherry I really hate it, because it reminds me of putting honey on something, and then, God, the knife is dirty, and I get it on the carpet, you know how honey always drips. Honey should come out of something that squirts—like ketchup in a drive-in."

"I crawl to the bathroom because I can't shuffle, shuttle, tippy-toe or cakewalk, with a chocolate-covered cherry caught between my toes. I approach the sink. I raise my body slowly and brace my arms against the stand."

"I don't do that," B said. "I get the chocolate-covered cherry caught between my toes and then I sit in a yoga position and try to get my foot into my mouth so i can lick off the rest of the chocolate-covered cherry. Then I hop to the bathroom so I don't get any more chocolate-covered cherry on the rest of the floor. Once I get there I have to lift my leg up to the sink and take a foot-bath."

"I'm sure I'm going to look in the mirror and see nothing. People are always calling me a mirror and if a mirror looks into a mirror, what is there to see?"

"When I look in the mirror I only know that I don't see myself as others see me." "Why is that, B?"

"Because I'm looking at myself the way I want to see myself. I make expressions just for myself. I don't make the expressions other people see me make. I'm not twisting my lips and saying 'Money?'"

"Oh, not money, B, come on." This B is rich so of course she has a one-track mind.

"Some critic called me the Nothingness Himself and that didn't help my sense of existence any. Then I realized that existence itself is nothing and I felt better. But I'm still obsessed with the idea of looking into the mirror and seeing no one, nothing."

"I'm obsessed," B said, "with the idea of looking into the mirror and saying 'I don't believe it. How can I get the publicity I get? How can I be one of the most famous persons in the world? Just look at me!'"

"Day after day I look in the mirror and I still see something—a new pimple. If the pimple on my upper right cheek is gone, a new one turns up on my lower left cheek, on my jawline, near my ear, in the middle of my nose, under the hair on my eyebrows, right between my eyes. I think it's the same pimple, moving from place to place." I was telling the truth. If someone asked me, "What's your problem?" I'd have to say, "Skin."

"I dunk a Johnson and Johnson cotton ball into Johnson and Johnson rubbing alcohol and rub the cotton ball against the pimple. It smells so good. So clean. So cold. And while the alcohol is drying I think about nothing. How it's always in style. Always in good taste. Nothing is perfect— after all, B, it's the opposite of nothing."

"For me to think about nothing is just about impossible," said B. "I can't even think about it when I'm asleep. I had the worst dream of my life last night. The worst nightmare, I mean. I dreamt that I was at a meeting someplace and I had a plane reservation to come home and nobody would take me. They kept taking me to this house instead, to look at an art work for charity. I had to go up the stairs and look at all the paintings. And there was a man ahead of me and he kept saying 'Turn around! You haven't seen that!' I said, 'Yes, sir!' It was a curved wall going up a curved staircase, it was painted yellow, from the bottom to the top, and he said, 'Well, that's the painting.' I said, 'Oh.' Then I left with a man in a gray suit and a briefcase who went down to put another fifteen cents in the parking meter, but his car wasn't a car, it was a couch, so I knew he couldn't get me anyplace. That's when I tried to stop an ambulance. I wound up having to go to the party another time. Another man dragged me back to see the painting and he said, 'You haven't seen everything yet.' I said, 'I've seen everything.' He said, 'But you haven't seen the man downstairs putting the fifteen cents in his car.' I said, 'Ha. That's not his car, it's his couch. How am I going to get to the airport on a couch?' He said, 'Didn't you see him take a black notebook out of his pocket and write fifteen cents in it? He said it was the longest meeting he'd ever been to. It's a tax deduction. That's a work of art. That's his piece, putting the fifteen cents into the parking for his couch.' Then I realized I didn't have any money to pay for my plane reservation—I had made and canceled it four times. So I went to a shingled house near the beach and picked up sea-shells. I wanted to see if I could get inside this broken sea-shell, and I tried, A, I really tried. I got the top of my head in it and my barrette, through the hole. One strand of my hair and my barrette. I went back to the meeting and I said, 'Could you please put a propeller on this man's couch, so I can get to the airport.'"

This B had something on her mind. Why else would she dream like that?

"I had an awful nightmare last night too," I said. "I was taken to a Clinic. I was sort of involved in a charity to cheer up monsters—people who were horribly disfigured, people born without noses, people who had to wear plastic across their faces because underneath there was nothing. There was a person at the Clinic who was in charge who was trying to explain the problems these people had and their personal habits and I was just standing there and I had to listen and I just wanted it to stop. Then I woke up and I thought, 'Please, please let me think about anything else. I'm just going to roll over and think about anything else that I can,' and I rolled over and I dozed off and the nightmare was back! It was awful.

"The thing is to think of nothing, B. Look, nothing is exciting, nothing is sexy, nothing is not embarrassing. The only time I ever want to be something is outside a party so I can get in."

"Three out of five parties are going to be a drag, A. I always have my car there early so I can leave if they're disappointing."

I could have told her that if something is disappointing I know it's not nothing because nothing is not disappointing.

"When the alcohol is dry," I said, "I'm ready to apply the flesh-colored acne-pimple medication that doesn't resemble any human flesh I've ever seen, though it does come pretty close to mine."

"I use a Q-tip for that," B said. "You know, one of the things that gets me hot is having a Q-tlp in my ear. I love to clean my ears. I really find it exciting if I find a little piece of wax."

"Okay, B, okay. So now the pimple's covered. But am I covered? I have to look into the mirror for some more clues. Nothing is missing. It's all there. The affectless gaze. The diffracted grace . . ."


"The bored languor, the wasted pallor . . ." "The what?"

"The chic freakiness, the basically passive astonishment, the enthralling secret knowledge . . ." "WHAT??"

"The chintzy joy, the revelatory tropisms, the chalky, puckish mask, the slightly Slavic look . . ." "Slightly . . ."

"The childlike, gum-chewing naivete, the glamour rooted in despair, the self-admiring carelessness, the perfected otherness, the wispiness, the shadowy, voyeuristic, vaguely sinister aura, the pale, soft-spoken magical presence, the skin and bones . . ."

"Hold it, wait a minute. I have to take a pee."

"The albino-chalk skin. Parchmentlike. Reptilian. Almost blue . . ."

"Stop it! I have to pee!!"

"The knobby knees. The roadmap of scars. The long bony arms, so white they look bleached. The arresting hands. The pinhead eyes. The banana ears . . ."

"The banana ears? Oh, A!!!"

"The graying lips. The shaggy silver-white hair, soft and metallic. The cords of the neck standing out around the big Adam's apple. It's all there, B. Nothing is missing. I'm everything my scrapbook says I am."

"Now can I go pee, A? I'll only be a second."

"First tell me, is my Adam's apple that big, B?"

"It's a lump in your throat. Take a lozenge."

When B got back from peeing, we compared makeup techniques. I don't really use makeup but I buy it and I think about it a lot. Makeup is so well-advertised you can't ignore it completely. B went on for such a long time about all her "creams" that I asked her "Don't you like to have people come in your face?" "Does it rejuvenate?"

"Haven't you heard about these ladies who take young guys to the theater and jerk them off so they can put it all over their face?"

"They rub it in like face cream?" "Yes. It sort of pulls it tighter and makes them younger for the evening."

"It does? Well, I use my own. It's better that way. That way I can do it at home before I go out for the evening. I shave my underarms, spray them, cream my face, and I'm all set for an evening."

"I don't shave. I don't sweat. I don't even shit," I said. I wondered what B would say to that.

"You must be full of shit, then," she said. "Ha ha ha." "After I check myself out in the mirror, I slip into my BVDs. Nudity is a threat to my existence."

"It's not a threat to mine," B said. "I'm standing here now completely naked, looking at the stretch marks on my tits. Right now I'm looking at the scar on my side from my abscessed breastbone. And now I'm looking at the scar on my leg from where I fell in the garden when I was six." "What about my scars?"

"What about your scars?" B said. "I'll tell you about your scars. I think you produced Frankenstein just so you could put your scars in the ad. You put your scars to work for you. I mean, why not? They're the best things you have because they're proof of something. I always think it's nice to have the proof."

"What are they proof of?"

"You got shot. You had the biggest orgasm of your life." "What happened?"

"It happened so quickly it was like a flash." "What happened?"

"Remember how embarrassed you were in the hospital when the nuns saw you without your wings? And you started to collect things again. The nuns got you interested in collecting stamps, like you did when you were a kid or something. They got you interested in coins again too."

"But you haven't told me what happened." I wanted B to spell it out for me. If someone else talks about it, I listen, I hear the words, and I think, maybe it's all true.

"You were just lying there and Billy Name was standing over you and crying. And you kept saying to him not to make you laugh because it really hurt."

"And . . .? And . . .?"

"You were in a room in the intensive care unit, getting all these cards and presents from everybody, including me, but you wouldn't let me come and visit you because you thought I'd steal your pills. And you said you thought that coming so close to death was really like coming so close to life, because life is nothing."

"Yes, yes, but how did it happen?"

"The founder of the Society for Cutting Up Men wanted you to produce a script she'd written and you weren't interested and she just came up to your work studio one afternoon. There were a lot of people there and you were talking on the telephone. You didn't know her too well and she just walked in off the elevator and started shooting. Your mother was really upset. You thought she'd die of it. Your brother was really fabulous, the one who's a priest. He came up to your room and showed you how to do needlepoint. I'd taught him how in the lobby!"

So that's how I was shot?

For some reason the idea of B and me needlepointing . . . "After makeup, clothes make the man," I said. "I believe in uniforms."

"I love uniforms! Because if there's nothing there, clothes are certainly not going to make the man. It's better to always wear the same thing and know that people are liking you for the real you and not the you your clothes make. Anyway it's more exciting to see where people live than what they wear. I mean, it's better to see their clothes hanging on their chairs than on their bodies. Everybody should just have all their clothes hanging out. Nothing should be hidden except the things you don't want your mother to see. That's the only reason I'm scared of dying."


"Because my mother will come up here and find the vibrator and find the things in my diary that I've written about her."

"I believe in bluejeans too."

"The ones made by Levi Strauss are the best-cut, best-looking pair of pants that have ever been designed by anybody. Nobody will ever top the original bluejeans. They can't be bought old, they have to be bought new and they have to be worn in by the person. To get that look. And they can't be phoney bleached or phoney anything. You know that little pocket? It's so crazy to have that little little pocket, like for a twenty-dollar gold piece."

"French bluejeans?"

"No, American are the best. Levi Strauss. With the little copper buttons. Studded for evening wear." "How do you keep them clean, B?" "You wash them." "Do you iron them?"

"No, I put fabric softener. The only person who irons them is Geraldo Rivera."

This talk of bluejeans was making me very jealous. Of Levi and Strauss. I wish I could invent something like bluejeans. Something to be remembered for. Something mass.

"I want to die with my bluejeans on," I heard myself say.

"Oh, A," B said impulsively, "you should be President! If you were President, you would have somebody else be President for you, right?"


"You'd be just right for the Presidency. You would videotape everything. You would have a nightly talk show—your own talk show as President. You'd have somebody else come on, the other President that's the President for you, and he would talk your diary out to the people, every night for half an hour. And that would come before the news, What the President Did Today. So there would be no flack about the President does nothing or the President just sits around. Every day he'd have to tell us what he did, if he had sex with his wife . . . You'd have to say you played with your dog Archie—it's the perfect name for the President's pet—and what bills you had to sign and why you didn't want to sign them, who was rotten to you in Congress . . . You'd have to say how many long-distance phone calls you made that day. You'd have to tell what you ate in the private dining room, and you'd show on the television screen the receipts you paid for private food for yourself. For your Cabinet you would have people who were not politicians. Robert Scull would be head of Economics because he would know how to buy early and sell big. You wouldn't have any politicians around at all. You'd take all the trips and tape them. You'd play back all the tapes with foreign people on TV. And when you wrote a letter to anyone in Congress you would have it Xeroxed and sent to every paper.

"You'd be a nice President. You wouldn't take up too much space, you'd have a tiny office like you have now. You'd change the law so you could keep anything anybody gave you while you were in office, because you're a Collector. And you'd be the first nonmarried President. And in the end you'd be famous because you'd write a book: 'How I Ran the Country Without Even Trying.' Or if that sounded wrong, 'How I Ran the Country with Your Help.' That might sell better. Just think, if you were President right now, there'd be no more First Lady. Only a First Man.

"You'd have no live-in maid at the White House. A B would come in a little early to clean up. And then the other Bs would file down to Washington to see you just like they file in to see you at the Factory. It would be just like the Factory, all bulletproof. Visitors would have to get past your hairdressers. And you'd take your extra-private hairdresser with you. Can't you see her in her inflatable jacket, ready for war at any moment? Do you realize there's no reason you couldn't be President of the United States? You know all the bigwigs who could get you in, all of society, all the rich people, and that's all anyone's ever needed to get to be President. I don't know why you don't declare yourself in the running right away. Then people would know you weren't just a big joke. I want you to say every time you look at yourself in the mirror, 'Politics: Washington, D.C.' I mean, quit fooling around with the Rothschilds. Forget about those long trips to Montauk in the Rollses. Think about a little helicopter to Camp David. What a camp it would be. You'd have such a camp. Do you realize the opportunity of the White House? A, you've been into Politics since the day I met you. You do everything in a political way. Politics can mean doing a poster that has Nixon's face on it, and says 'Vote Mc-Govern.'"

"The idea was you could vote either way." "So, I could vote for Andy Warhol if you put Jasper Johns' face on it." "Sure."

"So from now on, it's 'Support Andy Warhol.'" "Well, write it in."

"We can start the country over from scratch. We can get the Indians back on the reservations making rugs and hunting for turquoise. And we can send Rotten Rita and Ondine out to pan for gold. Can you see the Blue Room with Campbell's Soup Cans all over the walls? Because that's what Foreign Heads of State should see, Campbell's Soup Cans and Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. That's America. That's what should be in the White House. And you would serve Dolly Madison ice cream. A, see yourself as others see you."

"In the Presidency?"

"Oh, it would be so nice, with your brown hat in the wintertime and Archie in your office lying on your coat." "Mm hmm."

"Just think of yourself doing all the things you do in the morning—like taking off your wings—but doing it in the White House."

"Oh, come on. We've been talking for so long I still haven't taken my wings off."

"Flush them down the toilet."


"A, if you don't make it to the Presidency, you can become a Customs Official." "What? Why?"

"Remember the time you were searched at Customs. Your airline bag was loaded with candy bars, cookies, chewing gum. And they laughed. You used to eat nothing but sweets. You really have the sweetest tooth of anybody I've ever known. Now you have gall-bladder problems and have to take those large white pills before every meal. I keep telling you to have it out."

"I have to go and dye. I haven't done it yet today."

"You spend so much time at home fiddling around with the color of your hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows. When we talk on the phone, I'm always hearing some other B yelling, in the background, 'I'm going to throw out the Clairol 07!' I don't think you should throw out your dye, but I think you should dye both eyebrows the same color. When you stay home from the Factory I think it's because your wig is out being dry-cleaned or dyed. It's always the same in back, that fluffed-up back that I always want to pat down. Sometimes I'd like to pull your wig off but somehow I can't ever do it. I know how it would hurt you."

"Bye, B."

1. Love (Puberty)

A: I like your apartment.

B: It's nice, but it's only big enough for one person

—or two people who are very close.

A: You know two people who are very close?

At a certain point in my life, in the late 50s, I began to feel that 1 was picking up problems from the people I knew. One friend was hopelessly involved with a married woman, another had confided that he was homosexual, a woman I adored was manifesting strong signs of schizophrenia. I had never felt that I had problems, because I had never specifically defined any, but now I felt that these problems of friends were spreading themselves onto me like germs.

I decided to go for psychiatric treatment, as so many people I knew were doing. I felt that I should define some of my own problems—if, in fact, I had any—rather than merely sharing vicariously in the problems of friends.

I had had three nervous breakdowns when I was a child, spaced a year apart. One when I was eight, one at nine, and one at ten. The attacks—St. Vitus Dance—always started on the first day of summer vacation. I don't know what this meant. I would spend all summer listening to the radio and lying in bed with my Charlie McCarthy doll and my un-cut-out cut-out paper dolls all over the spread and under the pillow.

My father was away a lot on business trips to the coal mines, so I never saw him very much. My mother would read to me in her thick Czechoslovakian accent as best she could and I would always say "Thanks, Mom," after she finished with Dick Tracy, even if I hadn't understood a word. She'd give me a Hershey Bar every time I finished a page in my coloring book.

When I think of my high school days, all I can remember, really, are the long walks to school, through the Czech ghetto with the babushkas and overalls on the clotheslines, in Mc-Keesport, Pennsylvania. I wasn't amazingly popular, but I had some nice friends. I was't very close to anyone although I guess I wanted to be, because when I would see the kids telling one another their problems, I felt left out. No one confided in me—I wasn't the type they wanted to confide in, I guess. We passed a bridge every day and underneath were used prophylactics. I'd always wonder out loud to everybody what they were, and they'd laugh.

I had a job one summer in a department store looking through Vogues and Harper's Bazaars and European fashion magazines for a wonderful man named Mr. Vollmer. I got something like fifty cents an hour and my job was to look for "ideas." I don't remember ever finding one or getting one. Mr. Vollmer was an idol to me because he came from New York and that seemed so exciting. I wasn't really thinking about ever going there myself, though.

But when I was eighteen a friend stuffed me into a Kroger's shopping bag and took me to New York. I still wanted to be close with people. I kept living with roommates thinking we could become good friends and share problems, but I'd always find out that they were just interested in another person sharing the rent. At one point I lived with seventeen different people in a basement apartment on 103rd Street and Manhattan Avenue, and not one person out of the seventeen ever shared a real problem with me. They were all creative kids, too—it was more or less an Art Commune— so I know they must have had lots of problems, but I never heard about any of them. There were fights in the kitchen a lot over who had bought which slice of salami, but that was about it. I worked very long hours in those days, so I guess I wouldn't have had time to listen to any of their problems even if they had told me any, but I still felt left out and hurt.

I'd be making the rounds looking for jobs all day, and then be home drawing them at night. That was my life in the 50s: greeting cards and watercolors and now and then a coffeehouse poetry reading.

The things I remember most about those days, aside from the long hours I spent working, are the cockroaches. Every apartment I ever stayed in was loaded with them. I'll never forget the humiliation of bringing my portfolio up to Carmel Snow's office at Harper's Bazaar and unzipping it only to have a roach crawl out and down the leg of the table. She felt so sorry for me that she gave me a job.

So I had an incredible number of roommates. To this day almost every night I go out in New York I run into somebody I used to room with who invariably explains to my date, "I used to live with Andy." I always turn white—I mean whiter. After the same scene happens a few times, my date can't figure out how I could have lived with so many people, especially since they only know me as the loner I am today. Now, people who imagine me as the 60s media partygoer who traditionally arrived at parties with a minimum six-person "retinue" may wonder how I dare to call myself a "loner," so let me explain how I really mean that and why it's true. At the times in my life when I was feeling the most gregarious and looking for bosom friendships. I couldn't find any takers so that exactly when I was alone was when I felt the most like not being alone. The moment I decided I'd rather be alone and not have anyone telling me their problems, everybody I'd never even seen before in my life started running after me to tell me things I'd just decided I didn't think it was a good idea to hear about. As soon as I became a loner in my own mind, that's when I got what you might call a "following."

As soon as you stop wanting something you get it. I've found that to be absolutely axiomatic.

Because I felt I was picking up the problems of friends, I went to a psychiatrist in Greenwich Village and told him all about myself. I told him my life story and how I didn't have any problems of my own and how I was picking up my friends' problems, and he said he would call me to make another appointment so we could talk some more, and then he never called me. As I'm thinking about it now, I realize it was unprofessional of him to say he was going to call and then not call. On the way back from the psychiatrist's I stopped in Macy's and out of the blue I bought my first television set, an RCA 19-inch black and white. I brought it home to the apartment where I was living alone, under the El on East 75th Street, and right away I forgot all about the psychiatrist. I kept the TV on all the time, especially while people were telling me their problems, and the television i found to be just diverting enough so the problems people told me didn't really affect me any more. It was like some kind of magic.

My apartment was on top of Shirley's Pin-Up Bar, where Mabel Mercer would come to slum and sing "You're So Adorable," and the TV also put that in a whole new perspective. The building was a five-floor walk-up and originally I'd had the apartment on the fifth floor. Then, when the second floor became available, I took that, too, so now I had two floors, but not two consecutive ones. After I got my TV, though, I stayed more and more in the TV floor.

In the years after I'd decided to be a loner, I got more and more popular and found myself with more and more friends. Professionally I was doing well. I had my own studio and a few people working for me, and an arrangement evolved where they actually lived at my work studio. In those days, everything was loose, flexible. The people in the studio were there night and day. Friends of friends. Maria Callas was always on the phonograph and there were lots of mirrors and a lot of tinfoil.

I had by then made my Pop Art statement, so I had a lot of work to do, a lot of canvases to stretch. I worked from ten a.m. to ten p.m., usually, going home to sleep and coming back in the morning, but when I would get there in the morning the same people I'd left there the night before were still there, still going strong, still with Maria and the mirrors.

This is when I started realizing how insane people can be. For example, one girl moved into the elevator and wouldn't leave for a week until they refused to bring her any more Cokes. I didn't know what to make of the whole scene. Since I was paying the rent for the studio, I guessed that this somehow was actually my scene, but don't ask me what it was all about, because I never could figure it out.

The location was great—47th Street and Third Avenue. We'd always see the demonstrators on their way to the UN for all the rallies. The Pope rode by on 47th Street once on his way to St. Patrick's. Khrushchev went by once, too. It was a good, wide street. Famous people had started to come by the studio, to peek at the on-going party, I suppose—Kerouac, Ginsberg, Fonda and Hopper, Barnett Newman, Judy Garland, the Rolling Stones. The Velvet Underground had started rehearsing in one part of the loft, just before we got a mixed-media roadshow together and started our cross-country in 1963. It seemed like everything was starting then.

The counterculture, the subculture, pop, superstars, drugs, lights, discotheques—whatever we think of as "young-and-with-it"—probably started then. There was always a party somewhere: if there wasn't a party in a cellar, there was one on a roof, if there wasn't a party in a subway, there was one on a bus; if there wasn't one one a boat, there was one in the Statue of Liberty. People were always getting dressed up for a party. "All Tomorrow's Parties" was the name of a song the Velvets used to do at the Dom when the Lower East Side was just beginning to shake off its immigrant status and get hip. "What costumes shall the poor girl wearI To all tomorrow's parties ..." I really liked that song. The Velvets played it and Nico sang it.

In those days everything was extravagant. You had to be rich to be able to afford pop clothes from boutiques like Paraphernalia or from designers like Tiger Morse. Tiger would go down to Klein's and Mays and buy a two-dollar dress, tear off the ribbon and flower, bring it up to her shop, and sell it for four hundred dollars. She had a way with accessories, too. She'd paste a ditsy on something from Wool-worth's and charge fifty dollars for it. She had an uncanny talent for being able to tell which people who came into her shop were actually going to buy something. I once saw her look for a second at a nice-looking well-dressed lady and say, "I'm sorry, there's nothing for sale for you here." She could always tell. She would buy anything that glittered. She was the person who invented the electric-light dress that carried its own batteries.

In the 60s everybody got interested in everybody else. Drugs helped a little there. Everybody was equal suddenly— debutantes and chauffeurs, waitresses and governors. A friend of mine named Ingrid from New Jersey came up with a new last name, just right for her new, loosely defined show-business career. She called herself "Ingrid Superstar." I'm positive Ingrid invented that word. At least, I invite anyone with "superstar" clippings that predate Ingrid's to show them to me. The more parties we went to, the more they wrote her name in the papers, Ingrid Superstar, and "superstar" was starting its media run. Ingrid called me a few weeks ago. She's operating a sewing machine now. But her name is still going. It seems incredible, doesn't it?

In the 60s everybody got interested in everybody.

In the 70s everybody started dropping everybody.

The 60s were Clutter.

The 70s are very empty

When I got my first TV set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships with other people. I'd been hurt a lot to the degree you can only be hurt if you care a lot. So I guess I did care a lot, in the days before anyone ever heard of "pop art" or "underground movies" or "superstars."

So in the late 50s I started an affair with my television which has continued to the present, when I play around in my bedroom with as many as four at a time. But I didn't get married until 1964 when I got my first tape recorder. My wife. My tape recorder and I have been married for ten years now. When I say "we," I mean my tape recorder and me. A lot of people don't understand that.

The acquisition of my tape recorder really finished whatever emotional life I might have had, but I was glad to see it go. Nothing was ever a problem again, because a problem just meant a good tape and when a problem transforms itself into a good tape it's not a problem any more. An interesting problem was an interesting tape. Everybody knew that and performed for the tape. You couldn't tell which problems were real and which problems were exaggerated for the tape. Better yet, the people telling you the problems couldn't decide any more if they were really having the problems or if they were just performing.

During the 60s, I think, people forgot what emotions were supposed to be. And I don't think they've ever remembered. I think that once you see emotions from a certain angle you can never think of them as real again. That's what more or less has happened to me.

I don't really know if I was ever capable of love, but after the 60s I never thought in terms of "love" again.

However, I became what you might call fascinated by certain people. One person in the 60s fascinated me more than anybody I had ever known. And the fascination I experienced was probably very close to a certain kind of love.

2. Love (Prime)

A: Should we walk? It's really beautiful out.

B: No.

A: Okay.

Taxi was from Charleston, South Carolina—a confused, beautiful debutante who'd split with her family and come to New York. She had a poignantly vacant, vulnerable quality that made her a reflection of everybody's private fantasies. Taxi could be anything you wanted her to be—a little girl, a woman, intelligent, dumb, rich, poor—anything. She was a wonderful, beautiful blank. The mystique to end all mystiques.

She was also a compulsive liar; she just couldn't tell the truth about anything. And what an actress. She could really turn on the tears. She could somehow always make you believe her—that's how she got what she wanted.

Taxi invented the mini-skirt. She was trying to prove to her family back in Charleston that she could live on nothing, so she would go to the Lower East Side and buy the cheapest clothes, which happen to be little girls' skirts, and her waist was so tiny she could get away with it. Fifty cents a skirt. She was the first person to wear ballet tights as a complete outfit, with big earrings to dress it up. She was an innovator—out of necessity as well as fun—and the big fashion magazines picked up on her look right away. She was pretty incredible.

We were introduced by a mutual friend who had just made a fortune promoting a new concept in kitchen appliances on television quiz shows. After one look at Taxi I could see that she had more problems than anybody I'd ever met. So beautiful but so sick. I was really intrigued.

She was living off the end of her money. She still had a nice Sutton Place apartment, and now and then she would talk a rich friend into giving her a wad. As I said, she could turn on the tears and get anything she wanted.

In the beginning I had no idea how many drugs Taxi took, but as we saw more and more of each other it began to dawn on me how much of a problem she had.

Next in importance for her, after taking the drugs, was having the drugs. Hoarding them. She would hop in a limousine and make a run to Philly crying the whole way that she had no amphetamines. And somehow she would always get them because there was just something about Taxi-. Then she would add it to the pound she had stashed away at the bottom of her footlocker.

One of her rich sponsor-friends even tried to set her up in the fashion business, designing her own line of clothes. He'd bought a loft on 29th Street outright from a schlock designer who had just bought a condominium in Florida and wanted to leave the city fast. The sponsor-friend took over the operation of the whole loft with the seven seamstresses still at their machines and brought Taxi in to start designing. The mechanics of the business were all set up, all she had to do was come up with designs that were basically no more than copies of the outfits that she styled for herself.

She wound up giving "pokes" to the seamstresses and playing with the bottles of beads and buttons and trimmings that the previous manager had left lining the wall. The business, needless to say, didn't prosper. Taxi would spend most of the day at lunch uptown at Reuben's ordering their Celebrity Sandwiches—the Anna Maria Alberghetti, the Arthur Godfrey, the Morton Downey were her favorites—and she would keep running into the ladies room and sticking her finger down her throat and throwing each one up. She was obsessed with not getting fat. She'd eat and eat on a spree and then throw up and throw up, and then take four downers and pop off for four days at a time. Meanwhile her "friends" would come in to "rearrange" her pocketbook while she was sleeping. When she'd wake up four days later she'd deny that she'd been asleep.

At first I thought that Taxi only hoarded drugs. I knew that hoarding is a kind of selfishness, but I thought it was only with the drugs that she was that way. I'd see her beg people for enough for a poke and then go and file it in the bottom of her footlocker in its own little envelope with a date on it. But I finally realized that Taxi was selfish about absolutely everything.

One day when she was still in the designing business a friend and I went to visit her. There were scraps and scraps of velvets and satins all over the floor and my friend asked if she could have a piece just large enough to make a cover for a dictionary she owned. There were thousands of scraps all over the floor, practically covering our feet, but Taxi looked at her and said, "The best time is in the morning. Just come by in the morning and look through the pails out front and you'll probably find something."

Another time we were riding in a cab and she was crying that she didn't have any money, that she was poor, and she opened her pocketbook for a Kleenex and I happened to catch sight of one of those clear plastic change purses all stuffed with green. I didn't bother to say anything. What was the point? But the next day I asked her, "What happened to that clear plastic change purse you had yesterday that was stuffed with money?" She said, "It was stolen last night at a discotheque." She couldn't tell the truth about anything.

Taxi hoarded brassieres. She kept around fifty brassieres —in graduated shades of beige, through pale pink and deep rose to coral and white—in her trunk. They all had the price tags on them. She would never remove a price tag, not even from the clothes she wore. One day the same friend that asked her for the scrap of material was short on cash and Taxi owed her money. So she decided to take a brassiere that still had the Bendel's tags on it back to the store and get a refund. When Taxi wasn't looking she stuffed it into her bag and went uptown. She went to the lingerie department and explained that she was returning the bra for a friend—it was obvious that this girl was far from an A-cup. The saleslady disappeared for ten minutes and then came back holding the bra and some kind of a log book and said, "Madame. This bra was purchased in 1956." Taxi was a hoarder.

Taxi had an incredible amount of makeup in her bag and in her footlocker: fifty pairs of lashes arranged according to size, fifty mascara wands, twenty mascara cakes, every shade of Revlon shadow ever made—iridescent and regular, matte and shiny—twenty Max Factor blush-ons . . . She'd spend hours with her makeup bags Scotch-taping little labels on everything, dusting and shining the bottles and compacts. Everything had to look perfect.

But she didn't care about anything below the neck.

She would never take a bath.

I would say, "Taxi. Take a bath." I'd run the water and she would go into the bathroom with her bag and stay in there for an hour. I'd yell, "Are you in the tub?" "Yes, I'm in the tub." Splash splash. But then I'd hear her tip-toeing around the bathroom and I'd peek through the keyhole and she'd be standing in front of the mirror, putting on more makeup over what was already caked on her face. She would never put water on her face—only those degreasers, those little tissue-thin papers you press on that remove the oils without ruining the makeup. She used those.

A few minutes later I'd peek through the keyhole again and she'd be recopying her address book—or somebody else's address book, it didn't matter—or else she'd be sitting with a yellow legal pad making the list of all the men she'd ever been to bed with, dividing them into three categories— "Slept," "Fucked," and "Cuddled." If she made a mistake on the last line and it looked messy, she'd tear it off and start all over. After an hour she'd come out of the bathroom and I'd say, gratuitously, "You didn't take a bath." "Yes. Yes I did."

I slept in the same bed with Taxi once. Someone was after her and she didn't want to sleep with him, so she crawled into bed in the next room with me. She fell asleep and I just couldn't stop looking at her, because I was so fascinated-but-horrified. Her hands kept crawling, they couldn't sleep, they couldn't stay still. She scratched herself constantly, digging her nails in and leaving marks. In three hours she woke up and said immediately that she hadn't been asleep.

Taxi 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 fast 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 know how to do it better than we had.

Taxi died a few years ago in Hawaii where an important industrialist had taken her for a "rest." I hadn't seen her for years.

3. Love (Senility)

B: Why didn't you show up last night? You've been in a funny mood lately.

A: It's just—I can't meet new people. I'm too tired.

B: Well, these were old people and you didn't show up. You shouldn't watch so much TV.

A: Oh I know.

B: Is that a female impersonator?

A: Of what?

A: The most exciting thing is not-doing-it. If you fall in love with someone and never do it, it's much more exciting.

Love affairs get too involved, and they're not really worth it. But if, for some reason, you feel that they are, you should put in exactly as much time and energy as the other person. In other words, "I'll pay you if you pay me."

People have so many problems with love, always looking for someone to be their Via Veneto, their souffl6 that can't

fall. There should be a course in the first grade on love. There

should be courses on beauty and love and sex. With love as the biggest course And they should show the kids, I always think, how to make love and tell and show them once and for all how nothing it is. But they won't do that, because love and sex are business.

But then I think, maybe it works out just as well that nobody takes you out of the dark about it, because if you really knew the whole story, you wouldn't have anything to think about or fantasize about for the rest of your life, and you might go crazy, having nothing to think about, since life is getting longer, anyway, leaving so much time after puberty to have sex in.

I don't remember much about puberty. I probably missed most of it being sick in bed with my Charlie McCarthy doll, just like I missed Snow White. I didn't see Snow White until I was forty-five, when I went with Roman Polanski to see it at Lincoln Center. It was probably a good thing that I waited, because I can't imagine how it could ever be more exciting than it was then. Which gave me the idea that instead of telling kids very early about the mechanics and nothingness of sex, maybe it would be better to suddenly and very excitingly reveal the details to them when they're forty. You could be walking down the street with a friend who's just turned forty, spill the birds-and-the-bees beans, wait for the initial shock of learning what-goes-where to die down, and then patiently explain the rest. Then suddenly at forty their life would have new meaning. We should really stay babies for much longer than we do, now that we're living so much longer.

It's the long life-spans that are throwing all the old values and their applications out of whack. When people used to learn about sex at fifteen and die at thirty-five, they obviously were going to have fewer problems than people today who learn about sex at eight or so, I guess, and live to be eighty. That's a long time to play around with the same concept. The same boring concept.

Parents who really love their kids and want them to be bored and discontented for as small a percentage of their lifetimes as possible maybe should go back to not letting them date until as late as possible so they have something to look forward to for a longer time.

Sex is more exciting on the screen and between the pages than between the sheets anyway. Let the kids read about it and look forward to it, and then right before they're going to get the reality, break the news to them that they've already had the most exciting part, that it's behind them already.

Fantasy love is much better than reality love. Never doing it is very exciting. The most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet.

I love every "lib" movement there is, because after the "lib" the things that were always a mystique become understandable and boring, and then nobody has to feel left out if they're not part of what is happening. For instance, single people looking for husbands and wives used to feel left out because the image marriage had in the old days was so wonderful. Jane Wyatt and Robert Young. Nick and Nora Charles. Ethel and Fred Mertz. Dagwood and Blondie.

Being married looked so wonderful that life didn't seem 'livable if you weren't lucky enough to have a husband or wife. To the singles, marriage seemed beautiful, the trappings seemed wonderful, and the sex was always implied to be automatically great—no one could ever seem to find words to describe it because "you had to be there" to know how good it was. It was almost like a conspiracy on the part of the married people not to let it out how it wasn't necessarily completely wonderful to be married and having sex; they could have taken a load off the single people's minds if they'd just been candid.

But it was always a fairly well-kept secret that if you were married to somebody you didn't have enough room in bed and might have to face bad breath in the morning.

There are so many songs about love. But I was thrilled the other day when somebody mailed me the lyrics to a song that was about how he didn't care about anything, and how he didn't care about me. It was very good. He managed to really convey the idea that he really didn't care.

I don't see anything wrong with being alone it feels great to me. People make a big thing about personal love. It doesn't have to be such a big thing. The same for living— people make a big thing about that too. But personal living and personal loving are the two things the Eastern-type wise men don't think about.

I wonder if it's possible to have a love affair that lasts forever. If you're married for thirty years and you're "cooking breakfast for the one you love" and he walks In, does his heart really skip a beat? I mean if it's just a regular morning. I guess it skips a beat over that breakfast and that's nice, too. It's nice to have a little breakfast made for you.

The biggest price you pay for love is that you have to have somebody around, you can't be on your own, which is always so much better. The biggest disadvantage, of course, is no room in bed. Even a pet cuts into your bed room.

I believe in long engagements. The longer, the better.

Love and sex can go together and sex and unlove can go together and love and unsex can go together. But personal love and personal sex is bad.

You can be just as faithful to a place or a thing as you can to a person. A place can really make your heart skip a beat, especially if you have to take a plane to get there.

Mom always said not to worry about love, but just to be sure to get married. But I always knew that I would never get married, because I don't want any children, I don't want them

to have the same problems that I have. I don't think anybody deserves it.

I think a lot about the people who are supposed to not have any problems, who get married and live and die and it's all been wonderful. I don't know anybody like that. They always have some problem, even if it's only that the toilet doesn't flush.

My ideal wife would have a lot of bacon, bring it all home, and have a TV station besides.

I was always fascinated when I watched old war movies where the girls get married by proxy over the phone to husbands across the sea and they'd say, "I hear you, my darling!" and I always thought how great it would be if they just stayed that way, they'd be so happy. I guess they wanted the monthly check, though.

I have a telephone mate. We've had an on-going relationship over the phone for six years. I live uptown and she lives downtown. It's a wonderful arrangement: we don't have to get each other's bad morning breath, yet we have wonderful breakfasts together every morning like every other happy couple. I'm uptown in the kitchen making myself peppermint tea and a dry, medium-to-dark English muffin with marmalade, and she's downtown waiting for the coffee shop to deliver a light coffee and a toasted roll with honey and butter—heavy on the light, honey, butter, and seeds. We while and talk away the sunny morning hours with the telephone nestled between head and shoulders and we can walk away or even hang up whenever we want to. We don't have to worry about kids, just about extension phones. We have an understanding. She married a staple-gun queen twelve years ago and has been more or less waiting for the annulment to come through ever since, although she tells people who ask that he died in a mudslide.

The symptom of love is when some of the chemicals inside you go bad. So there must be something in love because your chemicals do tell you something.

I tried and tried when I was younger to learn something about love, and since it wasn't taught in school I turned to the movies for some clues about what love is and what to do about it. In those days you did learn something about some kind of love from the movies, but it was nothing you could apply with any reasonable results. I mean, the other night I was watching on TV the 1961 version of Back Street with John Gavin and Susan Hayward and I was stunned the whole time because all they kept saying was how wonderful every precious moment they had together was, and so every precious moment was a testimonial to every precious moment.

But I always thought that movies could show you so much more about how it really is between people and therefore help all the people who don't understand to know what to do, what some of their options are.

What I was actually trying to do in my early movies was show how people can meet other people and what they can do and what they can say to each other. That was the whole idea: two people getting acquainted. And then when you saw it and you saw the sheer simplicity of it, you learned what it was all about. Those movies showed you how some people act and react with other people. They were like actual sociological "For instance"s. They were like documentaries, and if you thought it could apply to you, it was an example, and if it didn't apply to you, at least it was a documentary, it could apply to somebody you knew and it could clear up some questions you had about them.

In Tub Girls, for example, the girls had to take baths with people in tubs, and they learned how to take baths with other people. While we were doing Tub Girls. They met in a tub. And the girl would have to carry her tub to the next person she'd have to take a bath with, so she'd put her tub under her arm and carry her tub . . . We used a clear plastic tub.

I never particularly wanted to make simply sex movies. If I had wanted to make a real sex movie I would have filmed, a flower giving birth to another flower. And the best love story is just two love-birds in a cage.

The best love is not-to-think-about-it love. Some people can have sex and really let their minds go blank and fill up with the sex; other people can never let their minds go blank and fill up with the sex, so while they're having the sex they're thinking, "Can this really be me? Am I really doing this? This is very strange. Five minutes ago I wasn't doing this. In a little while I won't be doing it. What would Mom say? How did people ever think of doing this?" So the first type of person— the type that can let their minds go blank and fill up with sex and not-think-about-it—is better off. The other type has to find something else to relax with and get lost in. For me that something else is humor.

Funny people are the only people I ever get really interested in, because as soon as somebody isn't funny, they bore me. But if the big attraction for you is having somebody be funny, you run into a problem, because being funny is not being sexy, so in the end, near the moment of truth, you're not really attracted, you can't really "do it."

But I'd rather laugh in bed than do it. Get under the covers and crack jokes, I guess, is the best way. "How am I doing?" "Fine, that was very funny." "Wow, you were really funny tonight."

If I went to a lady of the night, I'd probably pay her to tell me jokes.

Sometimes sex doesn't wear off. I've seen cases of couples where the sex for each other didn't wear off over the years.

Couples do become like each other when they're together for a long time, because you like the person and you pick up their mannerisms and their little good habits. And you eat the same food.

Everybody has a different idea of love. One girl I know said, "I knew he loved me when he didn't come in my mouth."

Over the years I've been more successful at dealing with love than with jealousy. I get jealousy attacks all the time. I think I may be one of the most jealous people in the world. My right hand is jealous if my left hand is painting a pretty picture. If my left leg is dancing a good step, my right leg gets jealous. The left side of my mouth is jealous when my right side is eating something good. I'm jealous at dinner that somebody else will think of something better to order than I did. I'm jealous of somebody's blurred Instamatics even when I have my own sharp Polaroids of the same scene. Basically, I go crazy when I can't have first choice on absolutely everything. A lot of times I do things I don't want to do at all, just because I'm on stand-by jealousy that somebody else will get to do it instead. As a matter of fact, I'm always trying to buy things and people just because I'm so jealous somebody else might buy them and they might turn out to be good after all. That's one of the stories of my life. And the few times in my life when I've gone on television, I've been so jealous of the host on the show that I haven't been able to talk. As soon as the TV cameras turn on, all I can think is, "I want my own show ... I want my own show."

I get very nervous when I think someone is falling in love with me. Every time I have a "romance" I'm so nervous I bring the whole office with me. That's usually about five or six people. They all come to pick me up and then we go to pick her up. Love me, love my office.

Everybody winds up kissing the wrong person good-night. One of my ways of thanking the office for coming with me to chaperone is to make myself available to chaperone their dates. One or two of them like to take advantage of that service, because one or two of them are a little like me, they don't want anything to happen. When I'm there, they tell me, nothing happens. I make nothing happen. Wherever I go. I can tell when one of them is glad to see me walk in the door, because something's happening and they can't wait for me to make nothing happen. Especially when they're stranded in Italy, because you know how the Italians like to make something happen. I'm the obvious antidote.

People should fall in love with their eyes closed. Just close your eyes. Don't look.

Some people I know spend a lot of time trying to dream up new seductions. I used to think that only the people who didn't work had time to think about those kinds of things but then I realized that most people are using somebody else's time to dream up their new seductions. Most of the people in offices are actually getting paid while they day-dream up their new seductions.

I believe in low lights and trick mirrors. A person is entitled to the lighting they need. Plus, if you learn about sex when you're forty, as suggested earlier, you'd better believe in low lights and trick mirrors.

Love can be bought and sold. One of the older superstars used to cry every time somebody she loved kicked her out of his loft, and I used to tell her, "Don't worry. You're going to be very famous someday and you'll be able to buy him." It worked out just that way and she's very happy now.

Brigitte Bardot was one of the first women to be really modern and treat men like love objects, buying them and discarding them. I like that.

The most fashionable girls around town now are the girls of the night. They wear the most fashionable clothes. They were always behind the times, looking old-fashioned, but now they're the first ones on the street with the new clothes. They wised up. More intelligent girls are girls of the night now, too. More liberated. But they all still use those ugly shoulder pocketbooks.

Sex-and-nostalgia is funny to think about. I was walking on the West Side in the Forties, around the honky tonks and I was looking at the 8 x 10 glossies of girls that they put out front. One window-case display had a very 50s look but the pictures weren't yellow with age or anything, so I couldn't tell if those exact girls were inside right then or if that was an old picture left over and the girls inside, instead of being Mamie Van Doren types, were tired ex-hippies. I didn't know. The establishment might have been catering to a crowd who were nostalgic for all the girls they'd tried to pick up in the 50s.

With everything changing so fast, you don't have a chance of finding your fantasy image intact by the time you're ready for it. What about all the little boys who used to have fantasies about girls in beautiful lace bras and silk slips? They don't have a chance of finding what they'd always looked forward to, unless the girl had just made a trip to the local thrift shop, and that's worse than nothing.

Fantasy and clothes go together a lot, but the times and mores have thrown that off, too. When clothes-makers were making good clothes out of good materials, an ordinary guy who bought a suit or a shirt without giving too much thought to anything except "Does it fit?" would be likely to come away with a nice-looking suit with good detailing out of a nice piece of material.

But then labor got expensive and the manufacturers began giving a little less good workmanship for the money every year, and nobody really complained, so they pushed— and they're still pushing to the limit—how little they can give before people will say, "Is this a shirt?" The moderate-priced clothes-makers really are giving people junk these days. On top of the awful way the clothes are made—long stitches, no linings, no darts, no finished seams—they're made out of synthetics that look awful from the first to the last wearing. (The only good synthetic is nylon, I think.)

No, a person has to be very careful about what he's buying these days or else he'll wind up buying junk. And paying a lot for it too. So this means that if you see a well-dressed person today, you know hat they've thought a lot about their clothes and how they look. And then that ruins it because you shouldn't really be thinking about how you look so much. The same applies to girls but not as much—they can care a little more about themselves without being unattractively self-interested, because they're naturally prettier. But a man caring about how he looks is usually trying very hard to be attractive, and that's very unattractive in a man.

So today, if you see a person who looks like your teenage fantasy walking down the street, it's probably not your fantasy, but someone who had the same fantasy as you and decided instead of getting it or being it, to look like it, and so he went to the store and bought the look that you both like. So forget it.

Just think about all the James Deans and what it means.

Truman Capote told me once that certain kinds of sex are total, complete manifestations of nostalgia, and I think that's true. Other kinds of sex have nostalgia in varying degrees, from a little to a lot, but I think it's safe to say that most sex involves some form of nostalgia for something.

Sex is a nostalgia for when you used to want it, sometimes.

Sex is nostalgia for sex.

Some people think violence is sexy, but I could never see that.

"Love" used to have a good number always in Mom's dream book. When I was little Mom used to play the numbers and I remember she used to have a dream book and she'd look up her dream and the book would tell her whether it was a good dream or not, and there were numbers after it which she played. And "Love" dreams always had a good number.

When you want to be like something, it means you really love it. When you want to be like a rock, you really love that rock. I love plastic idols.

People with pretty smiles fascinate me. You have to wonder what makes them smile so pretty.

People look the most kissable when they're not wearing makeup. Marilyn's lips weren't kissable, but they were very photographable.

One of my movies, Women in Revolt, was originally entitled Sex, I can't now remember why we changed its name. The three female leads were three female impersonators— Candy Darling, Jackie Curtis, and Holly Woodlawn. They played women in varying degrees and various stages of "liberation."

Among other things, drag queens are living testimony to the way women used to want to be, the way some people still want them to be, and the way some women still actually want to be. Drags are ambulatory archives of ideal moviestar womanhood. They perform a documentary service, usually consecrating their lives to keeping the glittering alternative alive and available for (not-too-close) inspection.

To get a private room in a hospital you used to have to be very rich but now you can get one if you're a drag queen. If you're a drag queen they want to isolate you from the other patients, but maybe they have enough for a ward now.

I'm fascinated by boys who spend their lives trying to be complete girls, because they have to work so hard—double-time—getting rid of all the tell-tale male signs and drawing in all the female signs. I'm not saying it's the right thing to do, I'm not saying it's a good idea, I'm not saying it's not self-defeating and self-destructive, and I'm not saying it's not possibly the single most absurd thing a man can do with his life. What I'm saying is, it is very hard work. You can't take that away from them. It's hard work to look like the complete opposite of what nature made you and then to be an imitation woman of what was only a fantasy woman in the first place. When they took the movie stars and stuck them in the kitchen, they weren't stars any more—they were just like you and me.

Drag queens are reminders that some stars still aren't just like you and me. For a while we were casting a lot of drag queens in our movies because the real girls we knew couldn't seem to get excited about anything, and the drag queens could get excited about anything. But lately the girls seem to be getting their energy back, so we've been using real ones a lot again.

In Women in Revolt, Jackie Curtis ad-libbed one of the best lines of disillusionment with sex when he-as-she, portraying a virgin schoolteacher from Bayonne, New Jersey, was forced to give oral gratification—a blow-job—to Mr. America. After gagging and somehow finishing up, poor Jackie can't figure out if she's had sex or not—"This can't be what millions of girls commit suicide over when their boyfriends leave them . . ." Jackie was acting out the puzzled thoughts so many people have when they realize that sex is hard work just like everything else.

People's fantasies are what give them problems. If you didn't have fantasies you wouldn't have problems because you'd just take whatever was there. But then you wouldn't have romance, because romance is finding your fantasy in people who don't have it. A friend of mine always says, "Women love me for the man I'm not."

It's very easy to make faux pas when you're talking to a person who's in love, because they're more sensitive about everything. I remember once I was at a dinner party and I was talking to a couple who looked so happy together and I said, "You are the happiest-looking couple I've ever seen." That was okay and then I went that little bit further to score my nightly faux pas. "It must have been like a storybook dream love story. I just know you were childhood sweethearts." And at that point their faces fell and they turned away and avoided me for the rest of the evening. I found out later that they had deserted their husbands and wives and families to go after each other.

So you really have to watch what you say to people about their love lives. When people are in love all their problems are in strange proportions and it's hard to know when you're saying the wrong thing.

To think about the love problems of people you know is really strange, because their love problems are so different from their life problems.

A drag queen I know is waiting for a real man to fall in love with himI her.

I always run into strong women who are looking for weak men to dominate them.

I don't know anybody who doesn't have a fantasy. Everybody must have a fantasy.

A movie producer friend of mine hit on something when he said, "Frigid people can really make out." He's right: they really can and they really do.

4. Beauty

B: Does she wear someone's clothes or does she just get them herself?

A: Oh no no no no. She wears her husband's clothes—she goes to the same tailor. That's what they fight about. I've never met a person I couldn't call a beauty.

Every person has beauty at some point in their lifetime. Usually in different degrees. Sometimes they have the looks when they're a baby and they don't have it when they're grown up, but then they could get it back again when they're older. Or they might be fat but have a beautiful face. Or have bow-legs but a beautiful body. Or be the number one female beauty and have no tits. Or be the number one male beauty and have a small you-know-what.

Some people think it's easier for beauties, but actually it can work out a lot of different ways. If you're beautiful you might have a pea-brain. If you're not beautiful you might not have a pea-brain, so it depends on the pea-brain and the beauty. The size of the beauty. And the pea-brain.

I always hear myself saying, "She's a beauty!" or "He's a beauty!" or "What a beauty!" but I never know what I'm talking about. I honestly don't know what beauty is, not to speak of what "a" beauty is. So that leaves me in a strange position, because I'm noted for how much I talk about "this one's a beauty" and "that one's a beauty." For a year once it was in all the magazines that my next movie was going to be The Beauties. The publicity for it was great, but then I could never decide who should be in it. If everybody's not a beauty, then nobody is, so I didn't want to imply that the kids in The Beauties were beauties but the kids in my other movies weren't so I had to back out on the basis of the title. It was all wrong.

I really don't care that much about "Beauties." What I really like are Talkers. To me, good talkers are beautiful because good talk is what I love. The word itself shows why I like Talkers better than Beauties, why I tape more than I film. It's not "talkies." Talkers are doing something. Beauties are being something. Which isn't necessarily bad, it's just that I don't know what it is they're being. It's more fun to be with people who are doing things.

When I did my self-portrait, I left all the pimples out because you always should. Pimples are a temporary condition and they don't have anything to do with what you really look like. Always omit the blemishes—they're not part of the good picture you want.

When a person is the beauty of their day, and their looks are really in style, and then the times change and tastes change, and ten years go by, if they keep exactly their same look and don't change anything and if they take care of themselves, they'll still be a beauty.

Schrafft's restaurants were the beauties of their day, and then they tried to keep up with the times and they modified and modified until they lost all their charm and were bought by a big company. But if they could just have kept their same look and style, and held on through the lean years when they weren't in style, today they'd be the best thing around. You have to hang on in periods when your style isn't popular, because if it's good, it'll come back, and you'll be

a recognized beauty once again.

Some kind of beauty dwarfs you and makes you feel like an ant next to it. I was once in Mussolini Stadium with all the statues and they were so much bigger than life and I felt just like an ant. I was painting a beauty this afternoon and my paint caught a little bug. I tried to get the paint off the bug and I kept trying until I killed the bug on the beauty's lip. So there was this bug, that could have been a beauty, left on somebody's Up. That's the way I felt in Mussolini Stadium. Like a bug.

Beauties in photographs are different from beauties in person. It must be hard to be a model, because you'd want to be like the photograph of you, and you can't ever look that way. And so you start to copy the photograph. Photographs usually bring in another half-dimension. (Movies bring in another whole dimension. That screen magnetism is something secret—if you could only figure out what it is and how to make it, you'd have a really good product to sell. But you can't even tell if someone has it until you actually see them up there on the screen. You have to give screen tests to find out.)

Very few Beauties are Talkers, but there are a few.

Beauty sleep. Sleeping beauty. Beauty problems. Problem beauties.

Even beauties can be unattractive. If you catch a beauty in the wrong light at the right time, forget it. I believe in low lights and trick mirrors. I believe in plastic surgery.

At one time the way my nose looked really bothered me— it's always red—and I decided that I wanted to have it sanded. Even the people in my family called me "Andy the Red-Nosed Warhola." I went to see the doctor and I think he thought he'd humor me, so he sanded it, and when I walked out of St. Luke's Hospital I was the same underneath, but I had a bandage on.

They don't put you to sleep but they spray frozen stuff all over your face from a spray can. Then they take a sand-paperer and spin it around all over your face. It's very painful afterwards. You stay in for two weeks waiting for the scab to fall off. I did all that and it actually made my pores bigger. I was really disappointed.

I had another skin problem, too—I lost all my pigment when I was eight years old. Another name people used to call me was "Spot." This is how I think I lost my pigment: I saw a girl walking down the street and she was two-toned and I was so fascinated I kept following her. Within two months I was two-toned myself. And I hadn't even known the girl—she was just somebody I saw on the street. I asked a medical student if he thought I caught it just by looking at her. He didn't say anything.

About twenty years ago I went to Georgette Klinger's Skin Clinic and Georgette turned me down. It was before she had a men's department and she discriminated against me.

If people want to spend their whole lives creaming and tweezing and brushing and tilting and gluing, that's really okay too, because it gives them something to do.

Sometimes people having nervous breakdown problems can look very beautiful because they have that fragile something to the way they move or walk. They put out a mood that makes them more beautiful.

People tell me that some beauties lose their looks in bed when they don't do the bed things they're supposed to. I don't believe those things.

When you're interested in somebody, and you think they might be interested in you, you should point out all your beauty problems and defects right away, rather than take a chance they won't notice them. Maybe, say, you have a permanent beauty problem you can't change, such as too-short legs. Just say it. "My legs, as you've probably noticed, are much too short in proportion to the rest of my body." Why give the other person the satisfaction of discovering it for themselves? Once it's out in the open, at least you know it will never become an issue later on in the relationship, and if it does, you can always say, "Well I told you that in the beginning."

On the other hand, say you have a purely temporary beauty problem—a new pimple, lackluster hair, no-sleep eyes, five extra pounds around the middle. Still, whatever it is, you should point it out. If you don't point it out and say, "My hair is really dull this time of the month, I'm probably getting my friend," or "I put on five pounds eating Russell Stover chocolates over Christmas, but I'm taking it off right away"—if you don't point out these things they might think that your temporary beauty problem is a permanent beauty problem. Why should they think otherwise if you've just met them? Remember, they've never seen you before in their life. So it's up to you to set them straight and get them to use their imagination about what your hair must look like when it's shiny, and what your body must look like when it's not overweight, and what your dress would look like without the grease spot on it. Even explain that you have much better clothes hanging in your closet than the ones you're wearing. If they really do like you for yourself, they'll be willing to use their imagination to think of what you must look like without your temporary beauty problem.

If you're naturally pale, you should put on a lot of blush-on to compensate. But if you've got a big nose, just play it up, and if you have a pimple, put on the pimple cream in a way that will make it really stand out—"There! I use pimple cream!" There's a difference.

I always think that when people turn around to look at somebody on the street it's probably that they smell an odor from them, and that's what makes them turn around and on.

Diana Vreeland, the editor of Vogue for ten years, is one of the most beautiful women in the world because she's not afraid of other people, she does what she wants. Truman Capote brought up something else about her—she's very very clean, and that makes her more beautiful. Maybe it's even the basis of her beauty.

Being clean is so important. Well-groomed people are the real beauties. It doesn't matter what they're wearing or who they're with or how much their jewelry costs or how much their clothes cost or how perfect their makeup is: if they're not clean, they're not beautiful. The most plain or unfashionable person in the world can still be beautiful if they're very well-groomed.

During the 60s a lot of people I knew seemed to think that underarm smell was attractive. They never seemed to be wearing anything washable. Everything always had to be dry-cleaned—the satins, the sewn-on mirrors, the velvets—the problem was that it never was dry-cleaned. And then it got worse when everybody was wearing suedes and leathers, and those really never got cleaned. I admit to having worn suede and leather pants myself for a while, but you just never feel clean, and it's degenerate, anyway, to wear animal skins unless it's to keep yourself warm. I'll never understand why they haven't invented something yet that's as warm as fur. So I went back to bluejeans after that degenerate period. Very happily. Bluejeans wind up being the cleanest thing you can wear, because it's just their nature to be washed a lot. And they're so American in essence.

Beauty really has to do with the way a person carries it off. When you see "beauty," it has to do with the place, with what they're wearing, what they're standing next to, what closet they're coming down the stairs from.

Jewelry doesn't make a person more beautiful, but it makes a person feel more beautiful. If you draped a beautiful person in jewels and beautiful clothes and put them in a beautiful house with beautiful furniture and beautiful paintings, they wouldn't be more beautiful, they'd be the same, but they would think they were more beautiful. However, if you took a beautiful person and put them in rags, they'd be ugly. You can always make a person less beautiful.

Beauty in danger becomes more beautiful, but beauty in dirt becomes ugly.

What makes a painting beautiful is the way the paint's put on, but I don't understand how women put on makeup. It gets on your lips, and it's so heavy. Lipstick and makeup and powder and shadow creams. And jewelry. It's all so heavy.

Children are always beautiful. Every kid, up to, say, eight years old always looks good. Even if the kid wears glasses it still looks good. They always have the perfect nose. I've never seen an unattractive baby. Small features and nice skin. This also applies to animals—I've never seen a Dad-looking animal. Babies by being beautiful are protected be-cause people want less to hurt them. This applies also to all animals.

Beauty doesn't have anything to do with sex. Beauty has to do with beauty and sex has to do with

If a person isn't generally considered beautiful, they can still be a success if they have a few jokes in their pockets. And a lot of pockets.

Beautiful people are sometimes more prone to keep you waiting than plain people are, because there's a big time differential between beautiful and plain. Also, beauties know that most people will wait for them, so they're not panicked when they're late, so they get even later. But by the time they arrive, they've usually gotten to feel guilty, so then to make up for being late they get really sweet, and being really sweet makes them more beautiful. That's a classic syndrome.

I'm always trying to figure out whether if a woman is funny, she can still be beautiful. There are some very attractive comediennes, but if you had to choose between calling them beautiful and calling them funny, you'd call them funny. Sometimes I think that extreme beauty must be absolutely humorless. But then I think of Marilyn Monroe and she had the best funny lines. She might have been a lot of fun if she'd found the right comedy niche. We might be laughing at skits on "The Marilyn Monroe Show" today.

Someone once asked me to state once and for all the most beautiful person I'd ever met. Well, the only people I can ever pick out as unequivocal beauties are from the movies, and then when you meet them, they're not really beauties either, so your standards don't even really exist. In life, the movie stars can't even come up to the standards they set on film.

Some of the very beautiful film stars of the past decades have aged beautifully and some have aged not-so-beautifully, and sometimes you see two stars together today who were once beautiful together in the same movie a long time ago, and now one of them looks and acts like an old woman and the other still looks and acts like a girl. But all of that doesn't matter very much, I think, because history will remember each person only for their beautiful moments on film—the rest is off-the-record.

A good plain look is my favorite look. If I didn't want to look so "bad," I would want to look "plain." That would be my next choice.

I always think about what it means to wear eyeglasses. When you get used to glasses you don't know how far you could really see. I think about all the people before eyeglasses were invented. It must have been weird because everyone was seeing in different ways according to how bad their eyes were. Now, eyeglasses standardize everyone's vision to 20-20. That's an example of everyone becoming more alike. Everyone could be seeing at different levels if it weren't for glasses.

In some circles where very heavy people think they have very heavy brains, words like "charming" and "clever" and "pretty" are all put-downs; all the lighter things in life, which are the most important things, are put down.

Weight isn't important the way the magazines make you think it is. I know a girl who just looks at her face in the medicine cabinet mirror and never looks below her shoulders, and she's four or five hundred pounds but she doesn't see all that, she just sees a beautiful face and therefore she thinks she's a beauty. And therefore. think she's a beauty, too, because I usually accept people on the basis of their self-images, because their self-images have more to do with the way they think than their objective-images do. Maybe she's six hundred pounds, who knows. If she doesn't care, I don't.

But if you do watch your weight, try the Andy Warhol New York City Diet: when I order in a restaurant, I order everything that I don't want, so I have a lot to play around with while everyone else eats. Then, no matter how chic the restaurant is, I insist that the waiter wrap the entire plate up like a to-go order, and after we leave the restaurant I find a little corner outside in the street to leave the plate in, because there are so many people in New York who live in the streets, with everything they own in shopping bags.

So I lose weight and stay trim, and I think that maybe one of those people will find a Grenouille dinner on the window ledge. But then, you never know, maybe they wouldn't like what I ordered as much as I didn't like it, and maybe they'd turn up their noses and look through the garbage for some half-eaten rye bread. You just never know with people. You just never know what they'll like, what you should do for them.

So that's the Andy Warhol New York City Diet.

I know good cooks who'll spend days finding fresh garlic and fresh basil and fresh tarragon, etc., and then use canned tomatoes for the sauce, saying it doesn't matter. But I know it does matter.

Whenever people and civilizations get degenerate and materialistic, they always point at their outward beauty and riches and say that if what they were doing was bad, they wouldn't be doing so well, being so rich and beautiful. People in the Bible did that when they worshiped the Golden Calf, for example, and then the Greeks when they worshiped the human body. But beauty and riches couldn't have anything to do with how good you are, because think of all the beauties who get cancer. And a lot of murderers are good-looking, so that settles it.

Some people, even intelligent people, say that violence can be beautiful. I can't understand that, because beautiful is some moments, and for me those moments are never violent.

A new idea. A new look. A new sex.

A new pair of underwear.

There should be a lot of new girls in town, and there always are.

The red lobster's beauty only comes out when it's dropped into the boiling water . . . and nature changes things and carbon is turned into diamonds and dirt is gold . . . and wearing a ring in your nose is gorgeous.

I can never get over when you're on the beach how beautiful the sand looks and the water washes it away and straightens it up and the trees and the grass all look great. I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.

The most beautiful thing in Tokyo is McDonald's.

The most beautiful thing in Stockholm is McDonald's.

The most beautiful thing in Florence is McDonald's.

Peking and Moscow don't have anything beautiful yet.

America is really The Beautiful. But it would be more beautiful if everybody had enough money to live.

Beautiful jails for Beautiful People.

Everybody's sense of beauty is different from everybody else's. When I see people dressed in hideous clothes that look all wrong on them, I try to imagine the moment when they were buying them and thought, "This is great. I like it. I'll take it." You can't imagine what went off in their heads to make them buy those maroon polyester waffle-iron pants or that acrylic halter top that has "Miami" written in glitter. You wonder what they rejected as not beautiful—an acrylic halter top that had "Chicago"?

You can never predict what little things in the way somebody looks or talks or acts will set off peculiar emotional reactions in other people. For instance, the other night I was with a lady who suddenly got very intense about a person we both knew and she started to tear apart his looks—his weak arms, his pimply face, his bad posture, his thick eyebrows, his big nose, his bad clothes, and I didn't know what to say because I didn't see why she would be seen with me if she wouldn't be seen with him. After all, I have weak arms, I have pimples, but she didn't seem to notice my problems. I think that some little thing can set off reactions in people, and you don't know what it is in their past that's making them like or not like somebody so much and therefore like or not like everything about them.

Sometimes something can look beautiful just because it's different in some way from the other things around it One red petunia in a window box will look very beautiful if all the rest of them are white, and vice-versa.

When you're in Sweden and you see beautiful person after beautiful person after beautiful person and you finally don't even turn around to look because you know the next person you see will be just as beautiful as the one you didn't bother to turn around to look at—in a place like that you can get so bored that when you see a person who's not beautiful, they look very beautiful to you because they break the beautiful monotony.

There are three things that always look very beautiful to me: my same good pair of old shoes that don't hurt, my own bedroom, and U.S. Customs on the way back home.

5. Fame

B: What did those record people want?

A: They want me to cut a record. They'll make my voice sound like it's singing.

A: I love your Daily News commercial on television. I've seen it fifteen times.

Some company recently was interested in buying my "aura." They didn't want my product. They kept saying, "We want your aura." I never figured out what they wanted. But they were willing to pay a lot for it. So then I thought that if somebody was willing to pay that much for my it, I should try to figure out what it is.

I think "aura" is something that only somebody else can see, and they only see as much of it as they want to. It's all in the other person's eyes. You can only see an aura on people you don't know very well or don't know at all. I was having dinner the other night with everybody from my office. The kids at the office treat me like dirt, because they know me and they see me every day. But then there was this nice friend that somebody had brought along who had never met me, and this kid could hardly believe that he was having dinner with me! Everybody else was seeing me, but he was seeing my "aura."

When you just see somebody on the street, they can really have an aura. But then when they open their mouth, there goes the aura. "Aura" must be until you open your mouth.

The people who have the best fame are those who have their name on stores. The people with very big stores named after them are the ones I'm really jealous of. Like Marshall Field.

But being famous isn't all that important. If I weren't famous, I wouldn't have been shot for being Andy Warhol. Maybe I would have been shot for being in the Army. Or maybe I would be a fat schoolteacher. How do you ever know?

A good reason to be famous, though, is so you can read all the big magazines and know everybody in all the stories. Page after page it's just all people you've met. I love that kind of reading experience and that's the best reason to be famous.

I'm confused about who the news belongs to. I always have it in my head that if your name's in the news, then the news should be paying you. Because it's your news and they're taking it and selling it as their product. But then they always say that they're helping you, and that's true too, but still, if people didn't give the news their news, and if everybody kept their news to themselves, the news wouldn't have any news. So I guess you should pay each other. But I haven't figured it out fully yet.

The worst, most cruel review of me that I ever read was the Time magazine review of me getting shot.

I've found that almost all interviews are preordained. They know what they want to write about you and they know what they think about you before they ever talk to you, so they're just looking for words and details from here and there to back up what they've already decided they're going to say. If you go into an interview blind, there is absolutely no way of guessing what kind of article the person you're talking to is going to write. The nicest, laughingest people can write the meanest articles, and the people you think are hating you can write the funniest, nicest articles. It's harder to tell with journalists than with politicians.

When somebody writes a really mean article, I always Just let it go by because who are you to say it isn't the truth?

People used to say that I tried to "put on" the media when I would give one autobiography to one newspaper and another autobiography to another newspaper. I used to like to give different information to different magazines because it was like putting a tracer on where people get their information. That way I could always tell when I met people what newspapers and magazines they were reading by the things they would tell me I had said. Sometimes funny pieces of information come back to you years and years later when an interviewer says, "You once said that Lefrak City was the most beautiful place in the world," and then you know that they've read what you once told Architectural Forum.

The right story in the right place can really put you up-there for months or even years. I lived next to a Gristedes grocery for twelve years, and every day I would go in and drift around the aisles, picking out what I wanted—that's a ritual I really enjoy. For twelve years I did this just about every day. Then one afternoon the New York Post ran a color picture of Monique Van Vooren and Rudolf Nureyev and me on the front page, and when I next went into the store all the stockboys started yelling "Here he is!" and "I told you it was him!" I didn't want to go back there ever again. Then after my picture was in Time, I couldn't take my dog to the park for a week because people were pointing at me.

Up until a year ago I was a real nobody in Italy. I was somebody—maybe—in Germany and England—which is why I no longer go to those countries—but in Italy they couldn't even spell my name. Then L'Uomo Vogue found out how to spell my name from a superstar of ours who started going with one of their photographers—pillow talk I guess—but anyway, he leaked the correct spelling of my name to L'Uomo and then he leaked the titles of my movies and photos of my paintings and now I'm a fad in Italy. In fact, I was just in a very small town called Boissano, on the wrong side of the Riviera, and I was having an aperitif on the terrace of the local newsstand and a young fellow, a high school student, came up to me and said, "Hi, Andy, how's Holly Woodlawn doing?" I was shocked. He knew about five words of English and four of them were FLESH, TRASH, HEAT, and DALLE-SANDRO, which maybe doesn't count because it's Italian.

I'm always interested in talk-show hosts. A person I know told me he can look at people who do interviews on television and know where they're from, what kind of schools they went to, what religion they are, just by seeing what kind of guests they have on their show and by hearing what kind of questions they ask their guests. I'd love to be able to know everything about a person from watching them on television—to be able to tell what their problem is. Can you imagine watching a talk show and knowing immediately things like—

"This one's problem is HE WANTS TO BE A BEAUTY." "This one's problem is HE HATES RICH PEOPLE." "This one's problem is HE CAN'T GET IT UP." "That one's problem is HE WANTS TO BE MISERABLE."

"This one's problem is HE WANTS TO BE INTELLIGENT."

And maybe you'd also be able to figure out—


I would also be thrilled to be able to know what color eyes a person has just from looking at them, because color TV still can't help you too much there.

Certain people have TV magic: they fall completely apart off-camera but they are completely together on-camera. They shake and sweat before they go on, they shake and sweat during commercials, they shake and sweat when it's all over; but while the camera is filming them, they're poised and confident-looking. The camera turns them on and off.

I never fall apart because I never fall together. I just sit there saying "I'm going to faint. I'm going to faint. I know I'm going to faint. Have I fainted yet? I'm going to faint." When I'm on television I can't think about anything they're going to ask me, I can't think about anything that's going to come out of my mouth—all I can think is, "Is this a live show? It is? Well then forget it, I'm going to faint. I'm waiting for a faint." That's my live television appearance stream-of-conscious-ness. Taped is different.

And I always thought that talk-show hosts and other television personalities could never know what it's like to feel that nervous, but then I realized that some of them might actually have a variation of the same problem—maybe every minute they're thinking "I'm going to blow it, I'm going to blow it . . . there goes the summer house in East Hampton . . . there goes the Park Avenue co-op . . . there goes the sauna . . ." The difference is that while they're thinking their version of "I'm going to faint," they can somehow— through their TV magic—keep pulling out the lines and stuff they have stored somewhere.

There are some people who just begin performing when they're "on." "On" is different things to different people. I was watching a young actor accepting his Emmy on television and he went up there on the stage, and he turned right on, he went right into his acting to say, "I want to say thanks, thanks to my wife—" and he was doing a "meaningful moment" scene. He was having a ball. I started thinking what a big fantastic moment getting an award like that must be for a person who can only turn "on" when he's in front of people. If that's what turns him on, when he gets that chance, he has to be up there feeling fine, thinking, "I can do anything, anything, ANYTHING!"

So I guess everybody has their own time and place when they turn themselves on. Where do I turn on?

I turn on when I turn off and go to bed. That's my big moment that I'm always waiting for.

"Good performers," I think, are all-inclusive recorders, because they can mimic emotions as well as speech and looks and atmosphere—they're more inclusive than tape recordings or videotapes or novels. Good performers can somehow record complete experiences and people and situations and then pull out these recordings when they need them. They can repeat a line exactly the way it should sound and look exactly the way they should look when they repeat it because they've seen the scene before somewhere and they've shelved it away. So they know what the lines should be and the way the lines should come out of them. Or stay in them.

I can only understand really amateur performers or realty bad performers, because whatever they do never really comes off, so therefore it can't be phoney. But I can never understand really good, professional performers.

Every professional performer I've ever seen always does exactly the same thing at exactly the same moment in every show they do. They know when the audience is going to laugh and when it's going to get really interested. What I like are things that are different every time. That's why I like amateur performers and bad performers—you can never tell what they'll do next.

Jackie Curtis used to write plays and stage them on Second Avenue, and the play would change every night—the lines and even the plot. Only the name of the play would stay the same. If two people saw the show on different nights and started talking about it to each other, they found out that nothing was the same in the two shows. The runs of these plays were "evolutionary," as the play kept changing all the time.

I know that "professional" is fast, and it's good, and people are on time, and they show up, and they do it right, and they're on key, and they do their numbers, and there are no problems. You watch them perform and they look so natural you just can't believe they're not ad-libbing—it looks like the funny line just occurred to them at the moment they said it. But then you go to see them the next night and the same funny line is just occurring to them all over again.

If I ever have to cast an acting role, I want the wrong person for the part. I can never visualize the right person in a part. The right person for the right part would be too much. Besides, no person is ever completely right for any part, because a part is a role is never real, so if you can't get someone who's perfectly right, it's more satisfying to get someone who's perfectly wrong. Then you know you've really got something.

The wrong people always look so right to me. And when you've got a lot of people and they're all "good," it's hard to make distinctions, the easiest thing is to pick the really bad person. And I always go after the easiest thing, because if it's the easiest, for me it's usually the best.

I was doing a commercial the other day for some sound equipment, and I could have pretended to say all the words they gave me that I would never say that way, but I just couldn't do it.

When I played an airport person in a movie with Elizabeth Taylor the lines they gave me were something like "Let's go. I have an important date," but it kept coming out of my mouth, "Come on, girls." But in Italy they dub everything in afterwards, so no matter what you don't say, you say it anyway.

I did an airline commercial once with Sonny Liston— "If you've got it, flaunt it!" I liked saying that, but then later they dubbed my voice, although they didn't dub his.

Some people say that you're only impressed with somebody famous if you've known about them since you were little or for a long time before you met them. They say that if you've never heard of an individual and you meet them, and then afterwards somebody comes over and tells you that you've just met the richest, most famous person in, say, Germany, you would not be so impressed at having met them, because you yourself had never put any of your own time into thinking about how famous they are. However, I feel just the opposite: I'm not impressed with all these funny people that everybody thinks are famous, because I always feel they're the easiest to meet. What I'm most impressed with is when I meet somebody I thought I could never meet— that I'd never dream I'd be talking to some day. People like Kate Smith, Lassie, Paloma Picasso's mother, Nixon, Mamie Eisenhower, Tab Hunter, Charlie Chaplin.

When I was little I used to listen to The Singing Lady on the radio all the time while I was in bed coloring. Then in 1972 I was at a party in New York and I was introduced to a woman and they said, "She used to be The Singing Lady on the radio." I was just incredulous. I could hardly believe that I was really meeting her, because I never dreamed that I would ever meet her. I'd just assumed that there was no chance at all. When you meet someone you never dreamed you'd meet, you're taken by surprise, so you haven't made up any fantasies and you're not let down.

Some people spend their whole lives thinking about one particular famous person. They pick one person who's famous, and they dwell on him or her. They devote almost their entire consciousness to thinking about this person they've never even met, or maybe met once. If you ask any famous person about the kind of mail they get, you'll find that almost every one of them has at least one person who's obsessed with them and writes constantly. It feels so strange to think that someone is spending their whole time thinking about you.

Nutty people are always writing me. I always think I must be on some nutty mailing list.

I always worry that when nutty people do something, they'll do the same thing again a few years later without ever remembering that they've done it before—and they'll think it's a whole new thing they're doing. I was shot in 1968, so that was the 1968 version. But then I have to think, "Will someone want to do a 1970s remake of shooting me?" So that's another kind of fan.

In the early days of film, fans used to idolize a whole star—they would take one star and love everything about that star. Today there are different fan levels. Now, fans only idolize parts of the stars. Today people can idolize a star in one area and forget about him in another. A big rock star might sell millions and millions of records, but then if he makes a bad movie, and when the word gets around that it's bad, forget it.

New categories of people are now being put up there as stars. The sports people are making themselves into great new stars. (Something I think about when I'm watching things like Olympic meets is "When will a person not break a record?" If somebody runs at 2.2, does that mean that people will next be able to do it at 2.1 and 2.0 and 1.9 and so on until they can do it in 0.0? So at what point will they not break a record? Will they have to change the time or change the record?)

Nowadays if you're a crook you're still considered up-there. You can write books, go on TV, give interviews— you're a big celebrity and nobody even looks down on you because you're a crook. You're still really up-there. This is because more than anything people just want stars.

Good b.o. means good "box office." You can smell it from a mile away. The more you spell it out, the bigger the smell, and the bigger the smell, the more b.o. you get.

Working for a lot of money can throw your self-image off. When I used to do shoe drawings for the magazines I would get a certain amount for each shoe, so then I would count up my shoes to figure out how much I was going to get. I lived by the number of shoe drawings—when I counted them I knew how much money I had.

Models can sometimes be very rude. Because they get paid by the hour and put in their eight-hour day, when they go home they think they should still be getting paid. Movie stars get millions of dollars for nothing, so when someone asks them to do something for nothing, they go crazy—they think that if they're going to talk to somebody at the grocery store they should get fifty dollars an hour.

So you should always have a product that's not just "you." An actress should count up her plays and movies and a model should count up her photographs and a writer should count up his words and an artist should count up his pictures so you always know exactly what you're worth, and you don't get stuck thinking your product is you and your fame, and your aura.