Daily Archives: February 3, 2009

Bob Dylan Screen Test by Andy Warhol

From The Village Voice Letters To The Editor, July 27, 1982:

Dear Editor:

I first met Edie Sedgwick in
1965 when Andy Warhol was making a film of my play – The Bed – which had been
having a stage-run at Caffe Cino. After a successful screening at the
Cinemateque on 41st Street, there followed a quarrel with FuFu Smith, the
producer, about who owned the film. Andy put The Bed into his secret vault
though he later spliced portions of it into Chelsea Girls.

During this
period I conferred with Andy about writing The Death of Lupe Velez for Edie
who was anxious to play the role of the “Mexican Spitfire,” found dead in her
Hollywood hacienda with her head in a toilet bowl. I met Edie at the Kettle of
Fish on MacDougal Street to talk over the project. When I got there Edie was
at a table with a fuzzy-haired blond Bob Dylan whose shiny black limousine was
parked outside. I mentioned the script I was working on and Edie said
innocently, “Oh, we already filmed that this afternoon. It’s in the can… in
Technicolor.” Nothing more was said when Andy arrived, although he did
astonish me that evening by asking, “When do you think Edie will commit
suicide? I hope she lets me know so I can film it.”

Dylan turned up at
the Silver Factory that same week for a filmed portrait by Andy – a 15-minute
study in stillness, silence, and emptiness. Dylan decided his payment would be
a giant Warhol silk-screened canvas of Elvis Presley in cowboy attire firing a
revolver. Andy was livid when he saw Dylan taking his “payment” though he
opted for cool silence. Mr. Tambourine Man did not sit for

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