July 30, 2005

Let it All Hang Out

Paul Morrissey on Andy Warhol:

“I really have to explain who Andy was,” says Morrissey. “He was a disabled man who was autistic, and dyslexic to a degree that he couldn’t read one word. He was frightened and timid, had no artistic instincts, and no interest in anything other than making money.

"Someone once asked me: ‘What did it mean to be Andy’s manager?’ I said: ‘I had to think of things that he might do, I had to do them, and then I had to pretend that he was involved!’”

And on The Sixties:

“Everyone wanted to glorify the Sixties,” he says, sneering, “and talk about Ho Chi Min and being against the war, and having sex, and isn’t it great? They wanted to make it look like a movement of well-meaning people, when in fact it was just a movement of irresponsible selfish children!”
Posted by Dr. Frank at July 30, 2005 05:07 PM | TrackBack

If you don't believe that second quote, just watch any documentary on The Mamas and Papas. 60's hype is a sham to say the least.

Posted by: dan at July 30, 2005 07:43 PM

There's a passage in Herbert Gold's book, Bohemia, where he recounts, second-hand, an episode with Joan Baez:

"A friend remembers Joan Baez crooning softly on a bench in front of the church [of Peter & Paul, on Washington Square in SF] while an admirer brushed her long, dark glossy hair. It was a scene of peace and love until Joan said to her fan, 'Get your sticky fingers the fuck away from my guitar.'"

The "selfish irresponsible children" quote made me think of that--gives me a chuckle.

Posted by: sheckie at July 30, 2005 08:01 PM

Morrissey's such a sourpuss. Warhol provided a space for things to happen, including one of the the best and most influential things to come out of the 60s: The Velvet Underground. I'm not the biggest Warhol fan but I did love reading about the Factory when I was in my teens (I am a child of punk) and it was definitely Warhol's Factory and not Morrissey's.

Posted by: KevinG at July 30, 2005 10:27 PM

Warhol was a very successful commercial artist in the late 50's, before moving into the fine art world. While I'm sure he was a social retard, (as are MOST artists!) it's clear that his fine art was his own. Many of his most famous paintings were done well before Morrissey even made the scene. The aspects of Warhol's career that Morrissey takes credit for are the weakest and by-now-most-dated parts of Warhol's legacy, (has anybody actually WATCHED those snoozer movies?) with the notable exception of the Velvet Underground. And shouldn't Lou Reed and John Cale get the credit for that?

Posted by: COOP at July 31, 2005 12:04 AM

What COOP said. Those nifty little drawings and prints from the 50s are really rather nice.
I think the films have been influential - the idea of them rather than the reality usually - but influential all the same. They always look fantastic when you see snippets in documentaries but are rather wearing to sit through in their entirety.
Yeah, Cale and Reed would have come to prominence anyway but I love the whole pizaz (sp?) of the Plastic Exploding Inevitable and the banana cover etc. But they wouldn't have met up with Nico ...

Posted by: KevinG at July 31, 2005 12:28 AM

Well, the second quote isn't really surprising. Didn't Lou Reed despise "flower power and their corny messiah, Bob Dylan"?

Posted by: Max at July 31, 2005 12:35 AM

Max - nice quote (although I love Dylan too).

Posted by: KevinG at July 31, 2005 01:19 AM

Sha nah nah live for today....You still see that in their politics.

Love Billy,

Posted by: Billy Noodle at July 31, 2005 09:42 AM

Morrisey's quote on the 60's is so stupid its not even worth the time to argue about. One wonders why Dr. Frank thinks its worth reproducing.

Posted by: Drydock at July 31, 2005 08:31 PM

I don't know anything about the Lou Reed quote (if he said it, where it's from) but the fact that Dylan is held up as the voice of the sixties or "a generation" or whatever is half the joke. Artistically he spoke to hippies ZERO. Sure there was all the folk crap which was like the birth of hippie-dom, but once you reach 65-66 he'd left all that so far behind. The man was touring Europe during the Vietnam war playing balls out rock and roll in front of a huge American flag. I believe the hippie thing to do would have been to turn the flag upside down, where it as a toga, or maybe burn it? And "protest songs" were definitely out of the question. And when "his people" needed him most...he just freaking disappeared, started playing country music, and tried to raise a family. So yeah, I would definitely call a guy who didn't want anything to do with you a "corny Messiah."

He did like him some drugs though.

But that second quote about the 60's, outstanding. For more 60's bashing I like Zappa's FREAK OUT. "Let's all get high and sleep on Owsley's floor!" "Oooooo, my hair is getting good in the back!" Etc.

Posted by: DNB at July 31, 2005 08:59 PM

Dylan always had a perverse knack for doing the opposite of what his fans expected from him, which is only one of the reasons why he's still way more interesting than any of his contemporaries. His biography was amazing!

Posted by: COOP at July 31, 2005 10:10 PM

Umm, that's from an Andy Warhol bio I read ages ago . I believe the quote dates to approximately '65 or '66, but it's been awhile.

And 60s bashing is wonderful. C'mon, Morrissey is right on the money. It's an absurdly overglorified, self-important era, force-fed to countless generations of impressionable teens as a paragon of cultural achievement. Can't wait till the last boomer draws his final breath.

Posted by: Max at July 31, 2005 11:36 PM

60s bashing is wonderful? aw come on. every generation slags off what went before and it's easy to pick out the ephemeral and silly. it was also the time of civil rights and feminism, the beatles and the stones. it was rich culturally and politically.

'it was just a movement of irresponsible selfish children' - he says that like it's a bad thing! hasn't each successive movement been, in some respects, the same? we're talking about youth movements for heaven's sake and that liminal period between youth and maturity. irresponsibility has its merits as well as its drawbacks. the 60s threw up more things to cherish than to despise.

Posted by: KevinG at August 1, 2005 01:28 AM

"hasn't each successive movement been, in some respects, the same?"

Perhaps this is what is so lamentable about the 60s.

Posted by: Matt at August 1, 2005 03:29 AM

I always thought the 1970s were just about as good as the ‘60s. Much of what people remember from that time is from the early 1970s or the last year of the 1960s. I made this case on my blog:

Posted by: Steve Otto at August 1, 2005 03:57 AM

At least past generations had the good grace to eventually drop dead, so the rest of us could move ahead. With all the considerable advances in medicine and longevity, it's entirely possible that the goddam babyboomers will be with us FOREVER, comparing every musician to the Beatles, and every conflict to Vietnam.

Posted by: COOP at August 1, 2005 06:31 AM

After Dylan wrote "My Back Pages" around '64 or'65, it was clear that he had outgrown the selfish children movement. Then he just rocked out with the band for a while and wrote "songs about girls."

Posted by: josh at August 1, 2005 01:27 PM

Billboard Top Pop Hits, from the culturally rich 1967 (The Summer of Love).

1. A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum

2. San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers in Your Hair) - Scott McKenzie

3. A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You - The Monkees

4. To Sir With Love - Lulu

5. Sweet Soul Music - Arthur Conley

6. (We Ain't Got) Nothin Yet - The Blues Magoos

7. Never My Love - The Association

8. Sock It To Me-Baby! -Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels

9. Ode to Billie Joe - Bobby Getry

10. Dedicated to the One I Love - The Mamas & the Papas

Is the Monkees the best song up there?

Posted by: josh at August 1, 2005 01:37 PM

I hate all that hippie shit. I like the Monkees and liked the Beatles until they became hippies too.

par-ce que peux de cheveaux
peut faire beaucoup de difference
de plus en plus que ce que
tu essais de prouver
je sais que tu as l'orgeil
et on croit alors
tu penses que c'est une declaration
que tu as le droit a posseder
ta laideur la beaute c'est un epiderme
et tout le monde est coquet
a l'interieur et je crois en ca,
alors ne pas le pousser
se tu ne le fais pas pour moi
fais ca pour l'amour
fais ca pour les petits enfants
fais ca pour la paix et l'humanite
et fais ca pour la republique de la belle France
et cherie si tu te raserais les jambes
le monde serait un meilleur monde
pour moi et toi et pour les.......

Posted by: Zaphod at August 1, 2005 03:49 PM

::But that second quote about the 60's, outstanding. For more 60's bashing I like Zappa's FREAK OUT. "Let's all get high and sleep on Owsley's floor!" "Oooooo, my hair is getting good in the back!" Etc.::

I believe that's from the third Zappa/Mothers of Invention album, "We're Only In It For The Money," the one whose cover is a takeoff on "Sgt. Pepper's."

Posted by: llivermore at August 2, 2005 11:29 AM

Yeah, that song is called "Who Needs the Peace Corps?"

Posted by: E Hayden at August 2, 2005 02:33 PM

There wasn't one "Sixties". The Sixties of the New York art and drug scene was probably exactly like the second quote. Much of the hippie flower power thing was the same way -- rich kids slumming, or middle class kids who could call Mom when they hit bottom, and did.

The short-haired "Sixties" which lasted form most people all the way through was the Sixties of JFK and MLK and a liberal dream of social justice, etc. That same "managerial" 60s gave us the Space Program, the 747 and mass, cheap air travel, the first glimmering of the Internet, and the beginnings of the computer world we all know now. Moore's law was articulated in the 60s. The guys in short-sleeved dress shirts and pocket protectors were the 60s in a way that people forget too often. They were laying the foundation for the here and now and tomorrow, then.

Another 60s was the rise of a mass Conservative movement, which was also a youth movement, which grew out of the Goldwater campaign. That is a part of the picture which is often ignored, but it was huge and had a huge impact.

Yet another 60s was the massive economic expansion which put a cool Mustang convertible in reach of ordinary kids. Amazing. And which put a Sears Silvertone under millions of Christmas trees, and this led to the most insanely huge outpouring of demotic talent we have ever seen, with tens of thousands of rock bands all over the place, a process which came and went in a twinkling between 1964-68, cut off by kids being drafted or going to college or getting real jobs.

There are way more slices of the Sixties, which are not part of the typical Lefty or Righty narrative. Even what most people supposedly know about the anti-War movement is wrong.

The Sixties as actual history is a subject which is far too often sacrificed to the Sixties as symbol.

Thank God some recent scholarship is digging in to find out what actually happened.

I'll stop now.

Posted by: Lexington Green at August 2, 2005 10:09 PM

dr. frank, lookout records is going under. where will you go? not that you will have a problem finding a new home...but. this is just wierd. they may even have to sell the building! they laid off all the employees. yowza, what a bomb. a sad day.
luke black


Posted by: luke black at August 4, 2005 05:21 AM

Saying andy warhol had no artistic instincts or implying he was not an artist and had no hand in his work is a popular stance among many. but it is no more than sour grapes, or jealousy. andy was an artist in every sense of the word in that his whole life was his art, not just his paintings or films or "happenings". i think paul morrissey is one of many thick ordinary people who were entranced by warhol's world but had no clue as to what it meant, and begrudged his seeming dissaffection with it all, at the same time he was cultivating it (brilliant). as if to say "that guy warhol is a simpleton who doesn't know what to do with his money, man if I had that money..."

blah, blah, paul.

Posted by: mike at August 5, 2005 07:34 PM

Couldn't anybody say there whole life is their art?

Posted by: josh at August 5, 2005 09:04 PM


Posted by: josh at August 5, 2005 09:05 PM


Posted by: mike at August 6, 2005 09:12 AM

I don't care how long you wait, I'm not opining on Andy Warhol. You can go ahead and just make another post, Dr. Stubborn.

Posted by: Melody Chest at August 8, 2005 08:53 PM

y dol em tesh c?

Posted by: clyde barkwoode IV at August 8, 2005 11:42 PM

Andy Warhol was one of America’s most important artist in the 1900s. If studied correctly, he reveals that America is a land of commercial clutter, movie star worship and just plain cheap plastic crap. He is the opposite of Norman Rockwell, who painted us, here in the US, the way we wanted to see ourselves. Warhol painted us as we really looked. Italy has the Sistine Chapel, the US has McDonalds. Warhol got it right

Posted by: Steve Otto at August 11, 2005 04:22 PM