Andy Warhol proved an exception to his own celebrated epigram that “In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes.” For nearly a quarter of a century he was known not only as the world’s most prominent Pop artist, but also, with his silver wig, chalk-white skin and Instamatic camera, as an instantly recognizable, ubiquitous figure on the international party circuit. Even the opening of a new escalator in a department store merited an appearance by Warhol, who sometimes attended four or five parties a night. A voyeur in public who seldom spoke, the private Warhol was a dedicated gossip, a man who adored every scrap of news about his famous friends.
In 1976 he began to record his observations in a diary. Almost every morning, he would talk on the phone with Pat Hackett, co-author of POPism, Warhol’s 1980 memoir of the ’60s, and recount the events of the previous day. Later, she would transcribe the material and give Andy a copy. Ostensibly, Warhol began this practice as a way to keep track of his personal expenses for the IRS. Yet, notes Hacktt, his motives went deeper. “People had this perception of Andy as a ninny. He never wanted to offend anyone because he owned a magazine [Interview] and was also doing portraits. So he always said everything was wonderful, “says Hackett. “Yet he had a singularly critical eye and needed an outlet for it.” Although Warhol never specified what should be done with his diary, he would ask Hackett: “What are you going to do with these when I pop off?” Invariably, she would answer: “I’ll die before you will.”
On Feb. 22, 1987, at age 58, Warhol suffered a fatal heart attack after gall bladder surgery. Warhol’s journals became part of his estate (reportedly worth more than $50 million)—and the basis for The Andy Warhol Diaries to be published by Warner Books in May. A massive, 800-page work that chronicles the period from late 1976 to his death in 1987, the book provides extraordinary insights into a man and an era. At that time American nouveau café society reached its fullest flower, populated by the actors, rock stars, models and hangers-on of Manhattan’s nighttime demimonde. Studio 54 was in its heyday, fueled by cocaine, a blatantly gay sensibility and very self-conscious attempts at decadence. Andy was always center stage.
By the time the diaries began in 1976, Warhol, the son of an immigrant Czech coal miner and a homemaker, was already world famous for his silk screens of Campbell’s soup cans and other everyday objects, his underground films (Trash, Chelsea Girls,) and his stark, multiple-image celebrity portraits. A shrewd businessman, he had an unerring instinct for promoting himself, and keeping up his commissions, by befriending the stars of the moment—Mick and Bianca, Jerry Hall, the designer Halston, Liz and Liza. He was a dedicated observer. “I learned,” Warhol once said, “that you actually have more power when you shut up.” A trusted companion, he witnessed his celeb friends’ private world of drugs and sex, storing his observations in his diary. In the following excerpt, the first of two from The Andy Warhol Diaries, the author shows himself to be an acerbic social chronicler with strong opinions and a remarkable ability to see through the glitter he coveted.
MONDAY, DEC. 6, 1976
Walked over to Halston’s. Victor [Hugo, an artist friend of Halston’s] had said there was room for me at Halston’s table at the Metropolitan [Museum] opening we were all going to, of Diana Vreeland’s [Russian costume show].
We were all waiting for Marisa [Berenson] and her new husband [industrialist James Randall] and Bianca [Jagger] and her date. The acupuncture doctor they all use was there. [Actress] Barbara Allen was there, the only one of the ladies not wearing a Halston. She had on a beautiful off-the-shoulder Christian Dior.
Marisa came and she had her hair piled all on one side of her head like a beautiful old-time star. At the dinner table Bianca took off her panties and passed them over to me and I faked smelling them and then tucked them in my handkerchief pocket. I still have them.
SATURDAY, DEC. 25, 1976
Went out to Westbury [L.I.] to [socialite and gardening columnist] C.Z. Guest’s for lunch. You’d think with all C.Z.’s involvement with flowers and gardening that she’d have real stuff, but when you looked close the wreaths and things were half plastic. C.Z. gave everyone her bug repellent for gifts.
It started to snow a little. Said thanks and left to go home to get ready for the Jaggers’ [part]. We were one of the first to arrive. I gave Jade [Jagger, Mick and Bianca’s daughter] a grey kitten from Rusty Holzer [Baby Jane Holzer’s son]. I felt sorry for the cat, though, because I think it’s going to have a horrible home.
[A couple of people] put a lot of “pick-me-up” in a covered dish on the coffee table and when someone they liked would sit down they’d tell them, “Lift it up and get a surprise.”
MONDAY, DEC. 27, 1976
Got the invitation to President Carter’s inaugural. It was addressed to (laughs) “Mr. and Mrs. Andy Warhol.” Don’t you love it?
TUESDAY, JAN. 11, 1977
At 6 o’clock everyone was still at the office waiting around to go to my opening down at Castelli [the Leo Castelli Gallery where Warhol showed his works], so we went and at first it was empty, but then it started getting jammed. Bianca wanted poppers, but nobody had any. Halston came in with a little painting Elizabeth Taylor had done for me because she didn’t come down—he’d just been with her. I’m really disappointed—it would have been so great if Liz Taylor had come. That would have made it something, wouldn’t it?
MONDAY, JAN. 31, 1977
Worked until 7:30. Went to Regine’s. Warren Beatty was there looking a little older and heavier. Jack Nicholson was there looking a little older and heavier. Anjelica Huston and Apollonia the model were there. I like Apollonia now, she’s really sweet. Warren was dating Iman, the black model.
Barbara Allen and her beau Philip Niarchos were there, too. A 15-year-old girl Philip knew from St. Moritz was there with her father and she was talking to Philip, and Barbara was nervous because when you saw them together you could really see that girls like Barbara and Apollonia had lived—they looked old—and this 15-year-old’s charm was that she was so young and like a little girl, like she hadn’t been used yet.
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 2, 1977
At 11 p.m. Catherine [Guinness, a brewery heiress and member of Warhol’s staff] and I went over to Regine’s to interview Michael Jackson of the Jackson 5. He’s very tall now, but he has a really high voice. The whole situation was funny because Catherine and I didn’t know anything about Michael Jackson, really, and he didn’t know anything about me—he thought I was a poet or something like that. So he was asking questions that nobody who knew me would ask—like if I was married, if I had any kids.
SUNDAY, FEB. 20, 1977
Supposed to have lunch with Bianca, but Wendy Stark [daughter of producer Ray Stark] said we could all have lunch at [movie producer] Coco Brown’s, and I didn’t want to but Fred [Hughes, Warhol’s business manager, close friend and later executor of his estate] thought it was a good idea. We got to the house and Bianca was there. She’d had a fight with Mick and he’d left that morning for New York—she’d accused him of an affair with Linda Ronstadt.
Walked down the beach with Bianca past the house of Larry Hagman, and he was standing on the beach in a funny uniform like a foreign-legion outfit, doing funny hand things, and I guess he’s gone off his rocker.
FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 1977
Cabbed with Vincent [Fremont, a member of Warhol’s staff] down to Frank Stella’s studio ($2.75), a party for Leo Castelli’s 20 years in the business. Fred said I’d have to go—just the kind of party I hate because they’re all like me, so similar, and so peculiar, but they’re being so artistic and I’m being so commercial that I feel funny. I guess if I thought I were really good I wouldn’t feel funny seeing them all.
FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 1977
Fred and I went back to the hotel to get ready for [Hollywood agent] Sue Mengers’ dinner party in Bel Air. Picked up Diana [Vreeland]. Ryan and Tatum were at Sue’s, and Barbra Streisand and Jon Peters. Diana went over and told Barbra off about something. Candy Bergen and Roman Polanski were there. It was a party for Sidney Lumet. He hates me. Sidney runs around kissing everybody and then stops when he gets to me. Film directors used to be such macho guys, and now they’re these little fairy-type guys running around French-style double-kissing but still thinking they’re macho.
Then went to Alana Hamilton’s party for Mick Flick [the Mercedes-Benz heir], and she had everybody there. Diana was getting drunker and drunker, and Fred, too.
MONDAY, MARCH 28, 1977
Alana Hamilton called to invite us to an Academy Awards party at Dani Janssen’s. Got picked up at 7:45 by Alana. Drove to Century City. Brand-new apartment building, very rich, overlooking all of Hollywood. Dani’s getting a divorce from David, Alana’s getting a divorce from George.
Brenda Vaccaro was upset because her ex-fiancé Michael Douglas was there with his brand-new wife [Diandra] that he met at the Inauguration. James Caan was there with his boyish wife, a beauty. They’re all marrying younger girls who look like they’re 13, the Hollywood thing. Roman was there, he’s out on bail now for [statutory rape of] the 13-year-old girl. He jumped on Alana’s ass and said he was going to rape her.
Martin Scorsese with his wife, Julia. Jackie Bisset, Lee Grant. Burt Young from Rocky. A girl from Big Valley, Linda Evans, really beautiful. Tony Curtis was giving people puffs on his marijuana.
TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 1977
LOS ANGELES-NEW YORK
Got the American 1:00 plane to New York. Lots of people from the Academy Awards getting on the plane. John Travolta from Welcome Back, Kotter walked by, sort of said hi to me, sat in front of me. Paddy Chayefsky told the stewardess he wanted to sleep all during the trip, not to wake him up, but he woke up five minutes after the plane was in the air.
John Travolta kept going to the bathroom, coming out with his eyes bright red, drinking orange juice and liquor in a paper cup, and he put his head in a pillow and started crying. I saw him reading a script, too, so I thought he was acting. Really cute and sensitive-looking, very tall, comes off looking too fairy-ish, like too many people around now, but very good-looking. You can see the magic in him. I asked the stewardess why he was crying and she said “death in the family” so I thought it was a mother or father, until I picked up the paper at home and found out that it was Diana Hyland who’d died of cancer at 41, soap-opera queen, his steady date.
FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 1977
Went to see Sissy Spacek in Carrie (cab $2.50, ticket $3). Loved it. Finally somebody did slow motion right.
TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 1977
Mick wants me to do the cover on his next album. I’m trying to think of ideas, how to do “Rolling Stones,” one of those little plastic games where you have to roll the stones into the holes.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, 1977
I was going up for cocktails and then dinner at Susan Shiva’s [wife of producer Gil Shiva] apartment in the Dakota. The first person I saw when I walked in the door was Jackie O., looking beautiful. Then Norman Mailer.
I had the first really nice talk with Jackie O. but I don’t remember too much what it was about. The Magic of People in the Movies, or something. Sue Mengers was running around this party bragging the same thing that she always brags—that she could offer President Carter a three-picture deal at $3 million a picture and that he’d take it, because everybody wants to be in the movies. So I pointed at Jackie and told Sue to go prove it, but she was afraid, she wouldn’t go over and make the offer.
THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 1977
Got to the St. Regis at 11:30 for the Jewish Anti-Defamation League testimonial to Elizabeth Taylor. Liz and Halston weren’t there yet. There were two or three Liz lookalikes there, one introduced herself to Liz. It was rotten food—gold salmon. Then they gave Liz the plaque which had raw amethyst all over it—the stuff ashtrays are made of—it was of Mt. Sinai and at the top in gold was the Ten Commandments. Liz got up and gave a little speech, very breathy and sincere, like, “I’m just like all of you—when I care about something, I do something about it, we’re all like that, thank you so much.” John Warner was there. Then she and Halston got up off the dais to make a trip to the bathroom and one of the ladies wondered, “Why are they both going to the bathroom?” And another lady said, “Maybe she ripped her dress and Halston’s going to sew it for her.”
TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 1977
Went down to the office where Interview was having a lunch for the Schenley’s liquor people. I was in and out of the lunch because I was painting with the sponge mop in the back. I haven’t peed on any canvases this week. This is for the “Piss Paintings” [the ‘Oxidations,’ a series of paintings in copper pigments done in the late ’70s]. I told Ronnie [Cutrone, Warhol’s painting assistant] not to pee when he gets up in the morning—to try to hold it until he gets to the office, because he takes lots of vitamin B so the canvas turns a really pretty color when it’s his piss.
Cabbed to “21” ($5.50). People were streaming upstairs for a dinner that Diane von Furstenberg was giving for [then husband] Egon’s birthday. Then Mick in a lime suit came in with Jerry Hall. I thought things were fishy with Mick and Jerry, and then the plot started to thicken. Mick was so out of it that I could tell the waiters were scared he’d pass out. His head was so far back and he was singing to himself. The top part of his body was like jelly and the bottom half was tapping 3,000 taps a minute. He was putting his sunglasses on and off. Mick started going after Vincent, but it was just a ruse, because I found out later from Fred he’s really passionately in love with Jerry, and it looks like there’s trouble for Bianca.
THURSDAY, JULY 7, 1977
Bob [Colacello, executive editor of Interview] and I cabbed to the Hotel Pierre for the lunch in honor of the Empress of Iran. Later cab to [fashion consultant] Marina Schiano’s for dinner ($3). Barbara Allen told Bob that Mick is very unhappy, he says it’s over with Bianca, that he has no feelings for her. He thinks she uses him, and he doesn’t want to go to St.-Tropez where she is. Barbara says she just thinks of Mick as a friend, and that she has sex with him only because he’s lonely now.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 20, 1977
I haven’t been feeling well for the past two weeks. I think it’s the pimple medicine. I’m going to the pimple doctor again early in the morning.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 18, 1977
My opening at the Folk Art museum is tomorrow night. Everybody who’s been giving me freebies all over town now expects to be invited to this, but it’s so embarrassing because the museum isn’t giving me any free tickets, it’s a $100 benefit. It’s just so horrible, these people let you in free all over town and you can’t even invite them. I just kept telling them that it isn’t anything and that it’s going to be boring. Which it is.
TUESDAY, OCT. 11, 1977
[Producer] Lester Persky called and invited me to a screening of Equus. I loved Peter Firth, he was wonderful and Richard Burton was wonderful. The movie has the longest nudity.
Peter Firth came over to me, and we had a good time. Then we walked over to Studio 54 for the Elton John thing. Stevie [Rubell, Studio 54’s co-owner] invited us all up to the booth where Michael Jackson was and Michael was sweet—in his high voice he asked me about art. The photographers were there and wanted Elton and me to pose for pictures together so I asked Elton if I could kiss him, but he didn’t answer me so I didn’t. Maybe he didn’t hear me. He was wearing a hat because of his hair transplant.
In order to get out of Studio 54 alone, I had to avoid all the boys I’ve been accepting rides and dates from lately. I had to look nervous and run around so no one would follow me—you know, the “frantic” technique.
SUNDAY, OCT. 30, 1977
At Elaine’s Stevie Rubell told me he’s very rich, but that all his money’s in assets or hidden away. People on drugs, you think they don’t notice things, but they notice everything: Elaine had new menus and Stevie noticed the new prices right away. I only noticed because [the menus] were clean.
Oh, and after he confessed how rich he was, he started to worry that I only liked him for his money, and I mean, what can I say?
MONDAY, JAN. 2, 1978
Bianca and Halston seem like they’re a couple now, they really do. It’s like a romance. But Bianca is so upset about Mick, and I’m surprised that she is, because she could get somebody rich in a minute. Somebody said to Halston, “Why don’t you marry Bianca?” and he put his hands on his hips and said, “Because I’m the hostess here.”
TUESDAY, JAN. 3, 1978
Went to Halston’s. Halston and Bianca were in the kitchen together cooking, and he said he had so much energy he wanted to go dancing. He told me lots of gossip—he said that the night before when the doorbell rang it was Liza Minnelli. Her life’s very complicated now. Like she was walking down the street with Jack Haley, her husband, and they’d run into Martin Scorsese, who she’s now having an affair with, and Marty confronted her that she was also having an affair with Baryshnikov and Marty said how could she. This is going on with her husband standing there! And Halston said that it was all true, and he also said that Jack Haley wasn’t gay. You see? I was right, I didn’t think so. Halston said Jack likes Liza but that what he really goes for is big curvy blonde women. So when the doorbell rang the night before, it was Liza in a hat pulled down so nobody would recognize her, and she said to Halston, “Give me every drug you’ve got.” So he gave her coke, a few sticks of marijuana, a Valium, four Quaaludes, and they were all wrapped in a tiny box, and then a little figure in a white hat came up on the stoop and kissed Halston, and it was Marty Scorsese, he’d been hiding around the corner.
TUESDAY, JAN. 10, 1978
Bianca was telling her side of the marriage story. At first she was saying that she never cheated on Mick, but then she said he was splitting from her because she had so many a Hairs. But she said she never Haunted it publicly. She told me that she wanted to be somebody on her own, and that she’d always wanted to make it on her own so that (laughs) she could buy any waiter. She said she’s giving Mick his divorce and I told her that they shouldn’t break up. She said she and Mick had hit rock bottom, that she can’t go to bed with him because she just doesn’t think he’s attractive.
SUNDAY, JAN. 22, 1978
Sam Beard was giving a 40th birthday party for his brother Peter [the photographer who later married Cheryl Tiegs] in his apartment on 92nd and Park. It was an exciting party. Jackie O. and Caroline were there. Caroline asked me what I thought of totalitarianism and I couldn’t pronounce it so I tried to joke about it and she said, “No, I’m serious.”
Then we all went over to Studio 54, and they had an elephant cake for Peter come down from the ceiling because Peter took all those great African elephant pictures. Arnold Schwarzenegger was there. I left around 2:00 just as Halston and Bianca were coming in. They were both in elephant masks, but the photographers didn’t care, they’re tired of Bianca. She better get out of town for a while.
SATURDAY, JAN. 28, 1978
Picked up Bianca and went over to the Dakota for Susan and Gil Shiva’s party ($2.50). When we left, Bianca wanted to stop back at Halston’s to pick something up. When we got there, there was a pretty boy in a fur coat standing outside, and when we walked in, there was Liza Minnelli talking to Halston. She wanted to know if she and Baryshnikov—it was him outside—could spend some time at his place. So we weren’t supposed to see this. And it was so exciting to see two really famous people right there in front of you, about to go make it with each other.
TUESDAY, FEB. 14, 1978
Paulette [Goddard] picked me up to go over to the “I Love New York” party at Tavern on the Green. There were a lot of empty spaces at our table. Stan Dragoti was there and he is married to Cheryl Tiegs the model. He made it sound like they were really together, and I had to catch myself every time I started to say something about Vitas [Gerulaitis, the tennis player], because Cheryl and Vitas are the hot couple lately around town, but I didn’t slip.
Picked up Catherine [Guinness] to go over to Vitas’ Valentine’s party at Le Club. Jerry Hall was there and she said she was looking for a house for Mick and that she and he were going to live together for six months. I think I told that later to a reporter but I don’t care. Nobody likes Jerry Hall, they think she’s plastic. But I like her. She’s so cute.
We went over to Studio 54 and just everyone was there.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 1978
Picked up Diana Vreeland and went to Doubles [a private club] (cab $2). I was with Diana and Lee Radziwill and Peter Tufo [Radziwill’s beau and then Chairman of New York City’s Board of Correction]. Mrs. Vreeland was fighting with Peter Tufo. Then she started screaming and belting me, and she really hurts. And she does the same thing to Fred. She screamed at me, “You should know better than to OPEN YOUR MOUTH!” I just didn’t know what to do. She beats you to a pulp. She said that she just couldn’t stand being around old people, including herself.
MONDAY, MARCH 6, 1978
When we got to Studio 54, I thought it was just going to be about 15 or 20 people for Liz Taylor’s party, but it was more like 2,000. Liz looked like a—bellybutton. Like a fat little Kewpie doll. John Warner said hello to me. Truman Capote was there and he and Bob [Colacello] were dancing all night. Truman looks so thin. Diana Vreeland was there, and people were being brought over to Liz—she was the queen. I met a quarterback.
Bob was watching Bianca take poppers and he said to Diana Vreeland, “It really becomes more like pagan Rome every day.” And she said, “I should hope so—isn’t that what we’re after?”
MONDAY, APRIL 3, 1978
I hated the Academy Awards, I hated the whole thing. I hated every nominee and I hated everything that won. I must be really out of it. But nobody good like John Travolta won. I mean, Richard Dreyfuss? I mean, if he’s a sex symbol, I don’t know what the world is coming to. And there was Vanessa Redgrave doing her same stupid Communist routine up on stage that she did for us at 860 once [860 Broadway, Warhol’s headquarters]. And I can’t stand Woody Allen movies. I guess that says something. Bob came and told us that all the people who counted were down in the basement [of Studio 54]—Halston and Apollonia and Margaret Trudeau and Barbara Allen with Ryan O’Neal who’s in town shooting Oliver’s Story with Candice Bergen. I introduced Ryan and Margaret, and she seemed interested.
SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 1978
Bob said let’s take Mick and Jerry out, so we invited them for dinner at La Grenouille. We had a good time, we got drunk (dinner $320). Then we went with Mick back to the Pierre because he wanted to take his sneakers off—why is everybody wearing sneakers?
We went to Studio 54 and when we got there it was already so late, I didn’t realize it. And by the way, Bob says he saw me put a little coke on my gums when we were in Mick’s [hotel] room, but I didn’t really. I mean, my finger was in my mouth, but, uh…okay, so I didn’t leave there until 4:00.
SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 1978
The gossip from Saturday night at Studio 54 was that Jack Nicholson came in and Ryan O’Neal was there with Barbara Allen and everyone was trying to keep Jack and Ryan apart so they wouldn’t see each other. Barbara thought it was because of her, but it was the situation with Anjelica—she’s been seeing Ryan lately. And Stevie [Rubell] called and said how hard he worked, that it was so much fun keeping them apart. And Tatum was dancing with [model] Mona Christiansen. And Stevie said that Liza was dying for Marty Scorsese to get back to town, because Baryshnikov just sees too many girls.
MONDAY, JUNE 5, 1978
Walked along Madison handing out Interview. People really know me now, they think I’m the regular newspaperman (cab $3.50). Worked till 6:40 then went to the Carlyle (cab $2.25) to pick up Jerry Hall to take her to dinner.
I told Jerry I thought Mick had ruined the Love You Live cover I did for them by writing all over it—it’s his handwriting, and he wrote so big. The kids who buy the album would have a good piece of art if he hadn’t spoiled it. And Stevie [Rubell] got it into Earl Wilson’s column that Bianca was “so touched” by the “Miss You” song that she “slowed down divorce proceedings,” but Jerry said the song was really written about her. She was wearing the same green Oscar de la Renta dress she wore the last time I went out with her, and when we got into the elevator I noticed that she had underarm b.o., like she hadn’t taken a shower before she got dressed. So I guess Mick must like b.o.
FRIDAY, JULY 7, 1978
Went over to meet Truman at U.N. Plaza at 11:00 (cab $3). Truman told me that his fantasy is to make it with his psychiatrist, that that would get their relationship to a “new level”—that then he would be “in power.” I was going to ask him didn’t he think it was so old-fashioned to be thinking that way, but I didn’t, I’ll save that for (laughs) another session. Then he told me about Humphrey Bogart. He said that Bogart was “reeeally scared” of him and that one night he carried Bogart up to bed, and tucked him in and said to him, “You’ve got to let me do it, Humphrey.” And (laughs) he said Bogart was really nervous. So then Truman said to him, “Listen, Humphrey, we went to the same school, Trinity, and I know you must have done it there.” But I don’t think they did both go to Trinity. Truman makes up so much.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 21, 1978
Fiorucci sent a limo in-exchange for us going to their opening. We went to pick up Ursula Andress first. She’s staying with Linda Evans. The house is very big, English country-style, a pool and tennis courts. Ursula was wearing a YSL scarf over the cast on her broken arm. She was surfing in Malibu with Ryan O’Neal when Hurricane Norman hit her and broke her arm. Joan [Quinn, a West Coast art collector] whispered that everyone in L.A. wonders if it was Hurricane Ryan that actually did it.
Then we went back to the hotel and Sue Mengers and everyone else waited for Mick Jagger to call. Sue is really fat again. And God, her attitude is so cheap. There was no dinner, so she suggested we stop at Burger King on the way to Diana Ross’s. It was so abstract, you talk into a machine. She ordered a double Whopper but then she worried that maybe two separate hamburgers would have been cheaper.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 30, 1978
You know, I was thinking the other day about commercial movies and then all the great art movies, and I’ve decided something: Commercial things really do stink. As soon as it becomes commercial for a mass market it really stinks. I know I always rave and say my favorite movies are things like The Other Side of Midnight and The Betsy, but I guess I’m…going to change my tune. You have to do stuff that average people don’t understand, because those are the only good things. And even though the arty foreign movies are boring to sit through at least they try to do creative things. So I’m going to start seeing strange movies again.
SATURDAY, OCT. 28, 1978
So Halston and I went to his house together, Liz [Taylor] sneaked in later and he gave her some coke and she got high and happy. I told her, “Look, you’ve got nine days until the election [her then husband John Warner’s bid for the U.S. Senate]. You’ve got to really get down and talk to the Negroes.” I said, “This lady stuff isn’t going to work.” And she said, “Oh lawdy lawdy lawdy.”
Then I went into the kitchen and Halston and Liz were talking intimately in the other room and he told me later that John Warner wasn’t f—-ing her.
I told her, “Elizabeth”—you really do have to call her Elizabeth—I said, “Elizabeth, it would be so great to see you in the White House.” And she was cute, she said, “Oh, but I just want to be a senator’s wife. I mean, can you imagine me in the White House? A Jew and married seven times?”
FRIDAY, JAN. 5, 1979
Bianca had invited so many people down to the office to see the pictures I’m doing of her that it turned into a big lunch. And I’d invited all the kids who come after me in Studio 54. I figured that when you see somebody in the light all the glamour’s gone so it’d be a good way to end it all, let them get a hard, cold look at me in the daylight.
Bianca had tickets for the John Curry ice ballet show at the Minskoff Theater. After the show we went backstage to see John Curry. Jade was with us. There’s something so good-looking about John Curry, he’s so adorable, and when I was leaving he kissed me on the mouth.
SUNDAY, FEB. 11, 1979
After church [Warhol, a Roman Catholic, attended church regularly] cabbed to Mortimer’s ($2). Jerry Hall was there, she was putting down Bianca now that Bianca is suing for half of what Mick’s got. The case is in the California courts where all the live-in suits are going on now—like that’s where the Hunt girl [Marsha Hunt, by whom Jagger had a child in 1970], got support from Mick for the illegitimate kid. [Ahmet Ertegun, chairman of Atlantic Records] and I were thinking of dumb ideas for musicals, like jogging—Jogging! And they’re all surprised that I’m talking so much lately, they think I’m a new person.
MONDAY, MARCH 12, 1979
Went to Lester Persky’s Hair premiere. Then got into the limo and went over to the building where the party was and it was the biggest party in the world—they had trees hanging and the whole place looked like Central Park, but without the muggers.
Oh, and the weirdest thing. Oh, this was so ridiculous. This old man comes running over to me and kisses me on both cheeks and my lips and it was just disgusting and it turned out to be Leonard Bernstein, and he was carrying on, everyone was looking, saying he’s been desperate to meet me for 25 years and that we had to get together and talk, and that we desperately must see each other tomorrow. Really, everybody was staring. And he was hugging me and kissing me more. Then putting me down at the same time. Like he’d say a big compliment and then the next sentence would be a put-down. Things like, “I always wanted to meet you but everyone told me you’re a creep.” I finally got away from him.
MONDAY, OCT. 22, 1979
Priscilla Presley came to the office and we interviewed her. Her boyfriend was with her, Michael Edwards, the model. She admitted she’d never had caviar in all her years with Elvis because he hated fish and would have thrown her out of the house if he saw her eating any. God, what a beauty. I wonder if she had her nose fixed, though. It looked a little wider in the early pictures you see of her.
MONDAY, DEC. 31, 1979
I decided to make it easy and just go to Halston’s for New Year’s Eve. Then at 3:00, Bianca wanted to go to Woody Allen’s party at Harkness House.
Woody’s was the best party, wall-to-wall famous people, we should have gone earlier. Mia Farrow is so charming and such a beauty. Bobby De Niro was there and he’s so fat. Really, really fat. I know he gained weight for the boxing movie, but wouldn’t it be funny if he could never lose it? Mick came in with Jerry, and Bianca ran over and was charming. I don’t know how she did it but she got it over with, she broke the ice, they talked for about half an hour. She wanted to get Jerry nervous, which she did.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 9, 1980
Studio 54 was empty, but fun. Sly Stallone was there, looking around the place for how to shoot a movie there. Susan Anton wasn’t with him, he was after Bianca and it seemed like they were going to go f—- in the basement. Anyway, they disappeared, we couldn’t find them. Stallone looks good, he’s lost weight and he looks really handsome.
FRIDAY, FEB. 22, 1980
We went to where Stallone was shooting on First Avenue, they had about 300 extras. The movie’s called Hawks [later changed to Nighthawks], I think. Stallone is so cute, so adorable. He’s sexy.
I said to him how could he go and tell the papers the truth—that he wasn’t having an affair with Bianca. I told him he should have said he was, that he should have gone for the glamour. He said he and Bianca were “just breaking each other’s balls.” I don’t know what that means. He told us that he’d gone over to pick her up and she was wheezing and had a cold and she looked so horrible that the romance fell apart right there. But he probably doesn’t like Latin types. I think he likes big blondes.
SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 1980
We went over to Halston’s and had a little supper. It was just Martha [Graham] and Bianca and me and Diana and John Bowes-Lyon [nephew of the Queen Mother of England and an art connoisseur]. And Liza and Mark Gero came over. And an English guy who said he wrote songs for Charles Aznavour. And he had a girl with him—Filipino, I think—and this girl said she’d lived with Michael Caine, and since Bianca had lived with him, too, the girl poured her heart out to Bianca and Bianca dished, too. She said she’d never talked about him before. They agreed that if he got drunk, he’d scream for hours. And this girl said she would just do everything for him, get up at 5:00 and make him breakfast, and then she’d go to the set, and then leave half an hour before he did to go home and make him dinner. They both said that sex with him was “memorable,” but I don’t know if they meant really good or really bad.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 1980
There’s so much in the papers about Ronald Reagan and it looks like he’s on his way to become President, it does look scary. I voted once. In the ’50s, I don’t remember which election. I pulled the wrong lever because I was confused, I couldn’t figure out how to work the thing. There was no practice model outside. And then I got called for jury duty and I wrote back: “Moved.” I’ve never voted again.
TUESDAY, OCT. 21, 1980
I ran into a boy whose job is to go shopping for John and Yoko, to buy them clothes and things. I asked him if they’d ever made him bring anything back and he said just once. I asked him if they wore any of the clothes they bought since they don’t go out, and he said, “They’re going to make a comeback. They’ve been wearing them to the studio.” Oh, and the best thing he said was that when he started to work for them he had to sign a paper that said, “I will not write a book about John Lennon and/or Yoko Ono.” Isn’t that great?
THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 1981
Got up early and it looked beautiful out, but I’m in this period where I think, What is it all about? You do this and what does it mean, and you do that and what does it mean?
Really I’m in a strange period, I put off telling the Diary about my emotional problems because last Christmas when I was having all the fights with Jed [Johnson, director of Warhol’s film Bad] and he moved out, I couldn’t face talking about it, and now I’m living alone and in a way I’m relieved, but then I don’t want to be by myself in this big house. I’ve got these desperate feelings that nothing means anything. And then I decide that I should try to fall in love, and that’s what I’m doing now with Jon Gould [a Paramount V.P. who died in 1986], but then it’s just too hard. I mean, you think about a person constantly and it’s just a fantasy, it’s not real, and then it gets so involved, you have to see them all the time and then it winds up that it’s just a job like everything else, so I don’t know.
FRIDAY AUG. 28, 1981
Paramount was having a screening of Mommie Dearest (cab $6). Faye [Dunaway] was really good. Really. Oh, this movie affected me so much. And you do root for Joan [Crawford]. Like when Louis B. Mayer just dumps her, tells her she’s too old and to leave quietly. And then when Pepsi dumps her. Oh, gee, it was great. I think I identified with Joan, is what it is.
Then went home, watched TV and took a sleeping pill and woke up at 9:00 feeling so depressed and miserable. Oh, God, I feel like I did when I first came to New York. I’m going through the same things, being afraid to live alone and…oh, what should I do? I’m down to 115 pounds, but that’s not the problem, it really isn’t. I look better thin.
Despite ever-worsening health problems, Warhol remained a fixture on the party circuit and faith fully reported the juiciest tidbits to Pat Hackett nearly every morning. Next week’s concluding excerpt from the Warhol Diaries is packed with revealing anecdotes about Jane Fonda, Tony Perkins, Ryan O’Neal, Jerry and Mick, Madonna and more.