Andy Warhol: Facts, Figures, and Favorite Things

Andy Warhol and Bette Midler in November 1974.

Twenty-five years after his death, Andy Warhol’s influence is everywhere—from his constantly copied pop-art paintings, to his famous “15 minutes of fame” quote, to the continued existence of Interview, to his seemingly glamorous New York social life with the Superstars, and, a little later, Studio 54. We rummaged through Andy’s interviews for Interview from the ’70s for some fun, little-known Andy facts.


HOMETOWN: Pittsburgh, PA

AGE: n/a

[Andy Warhol by Glenn O’Brien, June 1977]

FAVORITE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE: Jack Daniels is my favorite drink.
[Louise Fletcher, May 1977]

WHEN DRUNK… I tell everyone they can be on the cover of Interview.
[Andy Warhol by Glenn O’Brien, June 1977]

PAINTING HABITS: [I paint] everyday. Saturday and Sunday, too. From 3:00 to 7:00 in the afternoon, but it’s always dark where I paint anyway.
[Paul Delvaux, October 1981]

FAVORITE ANDY WARHOL PAINTING: I guess the soup can. Campbell’s Soup were really upset [about my paintings] and they were going to do something about it, and then it went by so quickly I guess there really wasn’t anything they could do. But actually, when I lived in Pittsburgh, the Heinz factory was there, and I used to go visit the Heinz factory a lot. They used to give pickle pins. I should have done Heinz soup. I did the Heinz ketchup box instead.
[Andy Warhol by Glenn O’Brien, June 1977]

POLITICAL VIEWS: I went to vote once, but I got too scared. I couldn’t decide whom to vote for.
[Andy Warhol by Glenn O’Brien, June 1977]

EDUCATIONAL VIEWS:  I think kids should go to high school until they’re 30. No, really, because people are staying younger now and there’s nothing to do. If you stayed longer, then it would be really great.
[Cher at the Pierre, December 1974]

MAKING IT IN NEW YORK: If you’re very poor or very rich—middle class don’t make it—but if you’re very poor you can get as good medical care as the rich. It’s true, honest. Candy Darling was in a private room and she didn’t have a penny. In New York. You just have to be really poor. If you’re middle class, you can forget it. You can die.
[Interview Presents the Bianca Jagger Tapes, September 1975]



TRAVEL: I don’t want to go anywhere, it takes so much time. But then traveling makes time go by so fast. That’s about the only thing that makes life worth living. I guess—the days traveling around. They make time go by so fast. But I’m tired… I just want to stay home. I like everything about everything but that’s what I like best.
[Louise Fletcher, May 1977]

ENTERTAINMENT: I’m always worrying about bombs in movie theaters, though. My favorite movies are the unsuccessful ones because there’s no one there.
[Shelley Duvall before The Shining, September 1977]

GRAFFITI ART: What’s so good about [Jean Michel Basquiat] is he can go and take his art with him and do it there.
[Art: from I.R.T. to ART Keith Haring with Halston and Philip Johnson, December 1985.]

RESTAURANTS: I think they should have movies in restaurants. I can’t believe that so many people get together just to sit there. It’s so abstract… isn’t it abstract? What are these people sitting here watching?
[Andrea de Portago, June 1977]

STORE OPENINGS: Yesterday morning we went to the Elsa Peretti jewelry opening at Tiffany’s and it was mobbed. I never saw so many people before, it was like a meat counter. Like a fruit stand… I mean, people were standing in line! For jewelry!
[Cher at the Pierre, December 1974]

THE WHITE HOUSE: I’ve been invited to the White house about five times. I think the greatest thing would be if they actually invited everybody to the White House every night… they’d just take about 500 people a night. Everybody would just love this country because it’s so thrilling to go there. It really is. I went to Ford’s White House and Rockefeller’s Vice-President house. Rockefeller took us upstairs to see that great Max Ernst.
[Picasso by Persky, September 1980]

TELEVISION TALES: The only thing is, they don’t use too much storyline in a lot of [TV series], and so everything is always “chasing.” They’ll have programs where one night a girl sees a guy kill somebody and then all during the show they’re chasing around, going up and down elevators… the next night a guy sees a girl kill somebody and they go chasing around in cars and then on the subway and then in boats. The situations are the same, but the people and the vehicles change.
[Cher at the Pierre, December 1974]

VIOLENCE ON THE NEWS: Right on TV yesterday they showed the dismembered body of a policeman who was killed and then chopped up! They showed it in a plastic bag! Then they said on television, “Authorities say that it looked like the work of an amateur,” and that makes you think, “You mean there’s a professional way to do it?” And then it turns out that the next guy they arrested the next day was an ex-convict who’d had vocational training as a butcher while he was in Attica State prison.
[Bette Midler, November 1974]

BALLET SETS: I did some for Merce Cunnigham…After the ballet was finished everyone would take a shower on stage. You know how you dance in the shower. Everybody would get wet. It didn’t work out.
[Cream of Carrot Soup, Sauteed Frogs’ Legs and Beer with Andy Warhol, November 1980]



ENCOURAGING OTHERS: [To Ronald Reagan Jr.] It’s easy to be an artist. I’ll teach you how. Don’t you want to be a famous painter? It’s really easy…You could be a dancing artist. Just put paint on your feet. You could put canvas on the stage. You should do that. Did you ever think of doing that? You can create a new painting every night.
[Cream of Carrot Soup, Sauteed Frogs’ Legs and Beer with Andy Warhol, November 1980]

ON JOAN CRAWFORD: We met Joan Crawford a couple of nights ago. It was really exciting. The idea. Seeing Joan Crawford, you sort of understand why a person is still around—because she really works hard. She’s really working every minute. Seems a shame. I just think she should be married to someone really rich that would let her just do whatever she wanted to do.
[Cher at the Pierre, December 1974]

ON RAQUEL WELCH: You have the best shoulders, gee.
[Raquel, January 1975]

ON JACKSON POLLOCK: I almost bought a painting from Sidney Janis, a Jackson Pollack, and they were only $700, but at the time I didn’t understand them. I understand them now… The art now is all so good; that’s why it’s so hard to know what direction it’s going in.
[Leo Castelli, February 1982]

ON PICASSO: Somebody called me up and asked me what I thought of Picasso and I said I never think about Picasso, I just think about Paloma.
[Picasso by Persky, September 1980]

ON HIS DOG, ARCHIE: His stage name is Amos. Since his picture was in the Daily News and the New York Post, when I take him out people say, “Oh look, there’s Andy Warhol’s dog.”
[Cher at the Pierre, December 1974]

ON E.T.: He looks like one of my dachshunds.
[Steven Spielberg, July 1982].


GLENN O’BRIEN: Do you believe in flying saucers?
WARHOL: My mother used to believe in them.
O’BRIEN: Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone?
WARHOL: Perhaps.
O’BRIEN: Do you think Nixon got a raw deal?
WARHOL: That’s for sure.
O’BRIEN: Do you think the pope is infallible?
WARHOL: How dare you ask me that?  [Andy Warhol by Glenn O’Brien, June 1977]