New Again: Grace Jones

This Friday, The Black Rock Coalition Orchestra will host a tribute to Grace Jones at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in New York. Curated by musician Gordon Voidwell, the evening is titled “State of Grace.” Ms. Jones will join an impressive list of artists previously celebrated by the BRC, including Nina Simone, James Brown, Betty Davis, Curtis Mayfield, and Gil Scott-Heron.

Grace Jones first appeared in Interview in January of 1977, and in October of 1984 she graced our cover. At the time, Ms. Jones was a mother (to Paolo, her son with Jean-Paul Goude) and dating Dolph Lundgren (before Rocky IV made him semi-famous, when he was still known as Hans). She’d already released six albums (she’d go on to release another four) and was starting a side gig as a film actress.

Grace Jones
By Andy Warhol & André Leon Talley

She’s positively jet-propelled. Since 1974, when Grace Jones began her entertainment career lip-synching on tabletops at Club Sept in Paris, she’s transcended the stigma of disco diva and captured true stardom. Having released her sixth album, Living My Life (on Island Records), and made a wicked film debut in Conan the Destroyer, Grace is now working on a James Bond flick (A View to Kill) in which she’s slated to jump off the Eiffel Tower in a cape that becomes a parachute.  

Even when she had no money, long before her one-woman show was a sellout around the world, Grace Jones had indefatigable style. She would sweep into New York in August to vacation on Fire Island with only a Swiss Army knapsack slung over her shoulder. In that sack, she had a sea of silk squares and pounds of Kenzo knits (all gifts of the designer) to create the Wrap Esthetic. Her one big dress for years was a chenille bedspread anchored with golf-ball sized Victorian upholstery fringes, which the clergyman’s daughter converted into a Parisian sine qua non of sophistication—from poolside to all night romps with LouLou de la Falaise.

Her gift is for visual originality. To appreciate it, one must witness Grace thrashing around onstage, or in her “A One-Man Show” video—an Academy Award nominee directed by Jean Paul Goude—crashing a dozen cymbals into orchestrated revolt on stage. Or in Paris, swinging over a throng of 2,000 at Le Palace. Or taking three hours to pin in a white foxtail to the back of her Azzedine Alaïa ensemble to create a city savage suit.  Designers Montana, Kenzo, Miyake, and Alaïa come to Grace with gifts as if to an altar incarnate. At last count (by Grace’s own arithmetic), she has over 1,000 pairs of designer shoes. “I keep them organized by taking Polaroids and taping them on each box,” she says. “I’ve been in my apartment only two years and already I have to build a new closet.”

Graffiti impresario and artists Keith Haring came along to Interview‘s Union Square office to watch this month’s cover story in action, as did physical maintenance technician Lydia Cengic if the SoHo Fitness Center. Amazing Grace was three hours late, going over the inventory in her fur vaults uptown before her escape from Manhattan into the movies.

ANDRÉ LEON TALLEY: Grace, now hit it! Right from the top, they want to know about the glamour bit. How many furs do you own at this moment?

GRACE JONES: Around 35. I’m having a new yellow fox made by Clause Montana. I buy them with my play money, money I make from the Honda TV commercial, and the new Citroën car commercial I will begin shooting in Paris next week with Jean-Paul [Goude]. In that, my hairdo will become the headlights of the car. And I start running like Superwoman. Soon, I guess they will have me in airplane commercials, reflecting speed.

ANDY WARHOL: Why don’t you buy a house instead of all those furs?

JONES: I’ve got that, too. I’m living in my own condominium in the West Village. I am going to build a house soon in Jamaica. I don’t wear jewelry, so I wear furs. I don’t have diamonds.

WARHOL: You should.

JONES: I couldn’t wear them.

WARHOL: Diamonds would look great on you.

JONES: Well, I don’t think I could get away with it. I would be held up in the street. But no one comes over to me and says, “Give me that fur coat.”

WARHOL: But your furs are in the fur vault, right?


TALLEY: At Bergdorf’s.

WARHOL: Your diamonds could be in the diamond vault.

JONES: That’s true. It’s a bit harder, I think, to find a good diamond. You’ve really got to know where you’re getting them from.

TALLEY: But a good fur is easy to find?

JONES: I can look at a fur and tell if it’s good or not. You don’t have to dissect a fur.

TALLEY: But does dyeing the fox fur purple do something to the fur?

JONES: Oh, definitely. You dye the hair red, bright orangey red…

TALLEY: Do you have a red fur?

JONES: I have a red one, I have an electric blue, and a purple one. You put a hat on and you’ve got all this color coming.

TALLEY: Well, with a fur coat you don’t have to wear a dress very often. In the winter you can just wear a leotard or your body stocking.

JONES: Or backless tight dresses. I wear my furs all the time. I wear like three different ones in a day.

TALLEY: And when you travel how do you pack them?

JONES: I never check them on an airplane. I wear and carry as many as I can. Sometimes they tell me I can’t carry them on board and I say, “What do you mean I can’t carry them on board?”

TALLEY: Furs are a big investment. How many do you buy a year?

JONES: I buy the whole collection if I like it. I only started getting into furs when the designers I liked started making them.

TALLEY: Remember we went to the first show of Claude Montana’s at Bergdorf’s and you tried on the furs?

JONES: I went crazy. I had some cloth coats from Montana and Kenzo, and I was always saying, “I wish they would make these coats in fur,” and when they started doing them I went absolutely crazy. Usually the first collections are really good.

TALLEY: I was uptown going to church and on the 95th and Broadway “Grace Jones” was above the title of Conan on the movie marquee. They didn’t even have Arnold [Schwarzenegger]’s name.

JONES: Maybe Schwarzenegger was too long.

TALLEY: In that neighborhood you must be a big celebrity. In Conan you upstaged everyone.

JONES: I didn’t try to. I mean it’s a normal thing to do. I really wanted to be an animal in this. I wanted a lot of animalism to come out of it, and when you come out with a tail that’s wet, it’s just natural—

TALLEY: To shake it.

JONES: Yeah.

TALLEY: Did you design your own costumes?

JONES: I brought along all my stuff and said, make this cut, copy the belt…

WARHOL: In the James Bond film you’re doing, are you going to play the same kind of character?

JONES: No. It will be more feminine. Also tough, but feminine tough, lethal. I’m the bad guy, and then, of course, after Bond makes love to me, like all the other women, I wake up out of my hypnosis, and I turn good in the end.

WARHOL: Who is James Bond now?

JONES: It’s still Roger Moore, but I wish it were Hans [Lundgren, GJ’s bodyguard beau now known as Dolph Lundgren]. He should be the next James Bond. I don’t think Roger has much more…

TALLEY: This is his last film.

JONES: I don’t think he can go anymore. Hans is going to be coaching me for the kickboxing scenes. I’m a kickboxer in the movie and Hans is a champion kickboxer, so it’s perfect.

WARHOL: He’ll be in the movie, too?

JONES: Yeah, I don’t know anyone who could coach me any better.

WARHOL: I think you’re a really good comedienne.

JONES: Bette Midler told me that. She said, “My god, you say the funniest things.”

WARHOL: Actually, you should start to buy all the Rosalind Russell pictures. The Front Page, the early ones that she did as sort of a tough comedienne with Cary Grant. I think Chris Reeve would be a great person to play against you, or Eddie Murphy. He’s a good comedian.

JONES: He doesn’t have any style though, does he? Who has a Cary Grant that could pull it off?

WARHOL: Chris Reeve. I saw him in Aspen a couple of days ago. He really hasn’t had a good comedy part yet.

JONES: This is also a very glamorous role. I dictate my wardrobe.

TALLEY: In Conan, when you hit Wilt Chamberlain all the time, did you actually knock him off the horse?


TALLEY: And leap on him? That’s not a stuntwoman?

JONES: That was me.

TALLEY: Was it a real stick?

JONES: Yes, but he’s padded.

TALLEY: So you wouldn’t hurt him.

JONES: I had to hit him right on the mark, right in one area. What happened is they had such a hard time finding a double for me.

TALLEY: That’s impossible, darling!

JONES: They don’t want to cut their hair. Can you imagine people freaked-out over a lousy haircut? The hair is going to grow back. I had a guy double for me. He chewed tobacco and spat all the time. It was like seeing myself chewing tobacco and spitting every two seconds. 

TALLEY: What things did he do as your double?

JONES: He did the really dangerous stuff, like climbing… down the waterfall. He did the stunt when both Wilt’s and my horse collided. That’s when the horse fell on his leg. After that he disappeared. He took off and didn’t say a word. We were looking for him; all the police were looking for him. He left all his clothes in the hotel, and we thought he’d gotten mugged or something. Here you bring somebody from Mexico, and he was wild, really animalistic, much more than I was…

TALLEY: Was he the same color as you?

JONES: Yes. Same size. He rode a horse very well.

TALLEY: Is your father very proud of you?


TALLEY:  Did he go to see Conan?

JONES: Oh no, he doesn’t go to the movies.

TALLEY:  But his daughter is in a movie.

JONES: I know, but he can wait till it comes on Home Box Office.

TALLEY: Did your mother go?

JONES: My mother hasn’t seen it yet either.

TALLEY: Why not?

JONES: I don’t know.

TALLEY: But you see your mother all the time. I always see you with your mother. 

JONES: I think I wanted to go with her. Why don’t we take her tonight, or when she comes back on Thursday?

TALLEY: Okay, I’ll go with you.

JONES: I’ve never really gone and seen an audience’s reaction.

TALLEY: I saw it at 49th and Broadway… you give your mother furs at Christmas, don’t you?

JONES: I give my mother a fur every year.

TALLEY: And yourself five.

JONES: Seven, eight, nine, 10.

TALLEY: Remember Steve Rubell’s old club—it was like a country club in Queens.

JONES: And we went on that bus with [fashion illustrator] Antonio, [models] Pat Cleveland and Alva, and I sang “I Need A Man.”

TALLEY: You wore a gold tutu and gold cowboy boots. That was probably your first live appearance in New York.

JONES: Can you imagine?

TALLEY:  How do you write your songs? How do you compose lyrics? Where do they come from?

JONES: They come from real-life experiences. I write them in five minutes. Something happens and you start writing. I like writing them rather than talking on tape. When you write you can see it.

KEITH HARING: Do you type or write by hand?

JONES: I write by hand.

TALLEY:  At this point of your life, what do you not have that you’d like to have?

JONES: Oh, just more of what I have. I want to create really good work and have fun with it.

TALLEY: Do you remember the great moments like when we were in Paris and you opened at the Palace and Yves [Saint Laurent] and LouLou [de la Falaise] were sitting in the balcony, and they freaked out, they though the costume was inappropriate.

JONES: It was the most awful costume. The people were wild. The audience ripped off my clothes. I was stark naked. Yves took LouLou’s scarf and wrapped it around my waist, and he took off his belt, put it around my breasts and carried me back out on the stage.

TALLEY: But don’t you remember the great moments you also had when there were rumors in Paris that Yves was very ill and you did this great show, one of his best, the Carmen collection, and at the end of it—after 300 outfits—everyone has to hold Yves up. All the models were supporting him as he was having a breakdown, and you were the only one where—

JONES: “Darling, it’s all right, it’s fine.”

TALLEY: “It’s fine,” and you were smiling. You were the only one with a sense of humor about it. Everyone else was in mourning—very sad. It was so natural for you to have this upbeat moment. Where do you think it comes from?

JONES: I think it’s just my natural talent. They used to call me firefly when I was a little girl and I always tried to figure out why I was being called a firefly. I was really black, black, black from the sun. After being in Jamaica for 13 years, my eyes were really beady and white and my skin was really black. I must have really looked like a fly. My eyes looked like lights, like stars.

TALLEY: But born from a minister.

JONES: There’re lots of musicians in my family, too. My mother sings incredibly well. I’ve got to make a record with my mother’s voice on it. She sings a lyric soprano. We do the opposite. I’m a baritone. She’s a star singer in her church. She always does her solo.

TALLEY: Do you realize that there are still people who think that you are a sex change?

JONES: Oh, I love it.

TALLEY: Or that you never had Paulo as a child.

JONES: Oh, I adopted, huh? So what does that make Hans?

TALLEY: You were one of the first with your style to cross over in your way of dressing.

JONES: Androgynous.

TALLEY: There are people who say to me, “Grace Jones, she’s not a real woman, she’s a man, a drag queen.” How do you feel about that?

JONES: I don’t care. I like dressing like a guy. I love it. When I was modeling I used to do pictures where I would dress up like my little brother. No makeup and I looked like a boy.

TALLEY: Don’t you think it’s passé the way society puts these sort of stigmas and labels, “boy,” “girl”?

JONES: Very passé. The future is no sex.

TALLEY: You can change your personality.

JONES: You can be a boy, a girl, whatever you want. I have a lot of man in me.

TALLEY:  And you have a lot of woman in you too, darling.

JONES: I have just as much woman in me as I have man. It’s just a matter of channeling the energy into which way you use it.

TALLEY:  How do you feel about people that cross over? Are there any crossover people that you like? Marlene Dietrich has a very wonderful sort of crossover style.

JONES: I love Dietrich.

TALLEY: Greta Garbo?

JONES: They’re all the people I love.

TALLEY: Michael Jackson?

JONES: More and more now than ever. Well, Annie Lennox, she’s doing a number.

TALLEY: Is there any drag queen that you thought had great style? Can you think of a great drag queen, one who had a true style and originality?  

JONES: I think Amanda Lear came the closest.

TALLEY:  She even wears Chanel slings.

JONES: There’s this other one that used to run around all the time dancing. We had a fight once.

TALLEY: Potassa.

JONES: Potassa is really wild. Gorgeous still, and bones, cheekbones. People think I have silicone cheekbones, they think I had a nose job or something. My god, I feel like I’m completely remade. Why couldn’t I have been born looking like this? But I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me.

WARHOL: You were a very famous model, you’ve always had good looks. What was your first job?

JONES: My first modeling job was for Essence. Remember that makeover? They did a before and after and I looked better before.

WARHOL: Were you with an agency then?

JONES: Yes, I was with Black Beauty.

WARHOL: That was a great agency.

JONES: They had trouble booking me, though. I couldn’t do any commercials… I looked a lot freakier than I do now.

WARHOL: Then you went to Europe and you just became very big there.

JONES: I took the same look that I was pounding the streets with. I mean, I’d come on my motorbike.

WARHOL: You lived in Philadelphia—

JONES: For a year.

TALLEY:  And you took the bike from Philly?

JONES: Yeah. A Honda. I went to Paris, and in three months I was on four covers. My timing was jus right. I went there and everyone went, “We found her—Josephine Baker.” They went wild. Then I started working with Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin and Hans Feurer, and I started getting incredible pictures. I was wild there. I went in for this Elle cover. I just went to see them, and I got hot. I said, “Do you mind if I take off my stockings?” because I hated stockings. I don’t even know why I had them on. They said no, and I guess they thought that I was going to the ladies’ room to do it, and I did it right there in front of all the good actresses. They gave me the cover right away. You do that here and they’d say, “This girl, never send her to our office again.”

TALLEY: Do you ever want to design clothes? You could make a lot of money with a Grace Jones collection.

JONES: I think I would let my sister do it. My sister lives in Colorado and she designs. She has a store. She has wonderful taste, like mine. I would let her do it and let it come through her. That way you keep it in the family.

TALLEY: You’re going to bring out a lipstick, aren’t you?

JONES: Well, I’m working on that.

TALLEY: You’ve been working on that lipstick for a long time. The Grace Jones lipstick. 

JONES: I was going to do it by myself… then do it with a company that can take more of the responsibility. I don’t want to put my own money into it.

TALLEY: Weren’t you going to so a sunglasses collection?

JONES: That also is going to be a whole line. I’m gathering a lot of stuff so that when I do it, it will be a whole line, like 15 items.

TALLEY: Wigs, scarves, sunglasses—

JONES: Accessories.

TALLEY: And your calendars.

JONES: I thought I’d do a couple calendars with some of Richard Bernstein’s stuff if we can gather it up in the next few years, and some of Antonio’s drawings. A really nice calendar.

TALLEY: Do you see yourself as a role model for black women?

JONES: No, I don’t think in color.

TALLEY:  Do you see yourself as a role model?

JONES: They think of me as a role model, but I don’t. When I’m doing something like Conan, for example, just before I did it I had questions like, “Do you think this is a role that people are going to be proud of you for?” This is something like my mother or father would ask me. Do you know what I mean? Don’t put that responsibility on my head. I said, “My body will look gorgeous.” I just have to say, “Hey, I’m going to have to worry about politics now at this point? Forget it.” I see myself as no color. I can play the role of a man. I can paint my face white if I want to and play the role of white. I can play a green, I can be a purple. I think I have that kind of frame and that kind of attitude where I can play an animal. If you think in color, then everyone around you is going to think in color and that puts limits on the way you think. I don’t think like that. A lot of the roles that I’m doing are roles that a man or a person of any color can do.

TALLEY: Have you ever come up against prejudice in your career?


TALLEY: You never had to curse someone out for making rude remarks?

JONES: I curse people out, but not for remarks, not racial remarks. Maybe they’re too scared of me.

TALLEY: Do you know what Karl Lagerfeld said once? There was a period when he had gone off you for a while, this was before you went to by his big fan hats. LouLou and I were saying, “Grace is so fabulous,” and he said, “Grace Jones, she looks so fierce I could have her as a guard dog in my castle!”

JONES: [laughter]

WARHOL: But you’re always nice, Grace.

JONES: Aren’t I? I can just sit there, though, and people get really scared just to come up and say “Hi.” They think I’m some kind of witch or something.

TALLEY: Where do you get the stamina to go through all of the style thing? When we were in Paris, you made us stay with you for 10 hours at Azzedine Alaïa’s for personal fittings, but Alaïa loved it.

JONES: Three days in a row. You have to do it.

TALLEY:  You always loved clothes. You used to make Givenchy couture dresses to wear to high school from Givenchy patterns you got at Woolworth’s.

JONES: Yeah. I don’t cook, but I can sew.

TALLEY:  When you didn’t have much money in Paris, you used to have the best outfits. Like dresses that looked as though they were made from chenille bedspreads and a nice pair of gold sandals. Remember when you used to dance around with LouLou?

JONES: Underneath the table.

TALLEY:  On the table and falling down.

JONES: Those crazy parties at Kenzo’s. Oh, my God. I don’t know what happened, I was supposed to do his show and something happened… Oh yes. This girl insulted me in Paris. I remember it was a racial thing, too. She was working for Kenzo, and he had booked me for the show and she just thought, “No way.” I know it wasn’t Kenzo’s fault, but I got so mad that night. We had this ceremonial dance on the floor and I whipped him, I beat him.

TALLEY: Well, you’re good at that.

JONES: I whipped him.

TALLEY: Did you really?

JONES: Yes. Whipped him, stripped him naked in front of the whole party. Everybody was there.

TALLEY: But you and LouLou and Kenzo used to have some wild moments at the Club Sept under the tables and stools, my dear.

JONES: LouLou only comes out when I go to Paris.

TALLEY: She’s fantastic. She’s one of the true originals.

JONES: They wait for me to come once a year to drag them out of their holes.

WARHOL: I met you through LouLou the first time—we were in an elevator at a party.

JONES: Oh wow, God, you remember that.

TALLEY: Well, LouLou is a great person for putting people together under some sort of weird circumstance.

JONES: She has a beautiful soul. I love her. She’s one of the first women I could really love.

TALLEY: Me, too. She’s fabulous. How do you keep your body so beautiful?

JONES: I pump iron with Hans.

TALLEY: Every day?


WARHOL: You don’t have varicose veins.

JONES: I never do that much.

WARHOL: Where do you workout?

JONES: Madison Avenue Muscle. Great name, isn’t it? It’s beautiful, all new black gorgeous machines. I cant wait just to lay there and do a leg curl on it. You just want to stay in there and go from one machine to the other. It’s really like making love to them.

TALLEY: When you go to your father’s church don’t they just go crazy?

JONES: I sign autographs. Every church I go to all the kids come around with their paper.

TALLEY: With your fur coats and your limousines and all the glamorous trappings, don’t they just go mad when they see you coming?

JONES: Oh yes. It’s like a dream.

TALLEY: Deep down you are also very much a home person. You’re very close to your mother, and you’re a wonderful mother to Paulo. What is it like being a mother?

JONES: I had him in half an hour—I didn’t suffer, so it’s great. If I’d suffered longer than that I don’t think I would have appreciated it as much. He’s wonderful.

TALLEY: How old is he?

JONES: Four.

TALLEY: Does your son give you a balance after all the hard work on the road and films?

JONES: No, he’s so wild. It’s nice to have moments when I can cuddle up with him and lie down with him and fall asleep with him. He’s so passionate. He kisses me the way they do on The Guiding Light. I say, “Where did you learn to kiss like that?” and he says, “As The World Turns and The Guiding Light.” And I figure my mother must be watching a lot of soap operas when he’s with her. His eyes become like bedroomy and he hugs me and sticks his tongue in a little bit. I say, “Paulo, what are you doing?” and he says, “That’s how they kiss on television.”

TALLEY:  Would you ever want to have your own television program like those half-hour sitcoms?

JONES: We were just approached to go The A-Team. I said, “What is this, Mr. and Mrs. T?” Give me a break. No way!

TALLEY: Darling, you have to do Dallas.

JONES: On Dallas their lighting is awful. I wouldn’t do it, never. If you can go in there, and if they can let you light—

TALLEY: Light yourself?

JONES: Not just yourself, but the whole scene. I mean, I come from that world and I can’t see myself thrown into these day-bright hot lights every day. I don’t see myself doing television until they improve their quality of lighting.

TALLEY: What is the most incredible memory you have onstage live?

JONES: Being handcuffed.

TALLEY: That night at the Savoy?

JONES: Yes. That and the Palace. And also a live performance in San Remo was incredible. I tore up the whole set. I took all the flowers and threw them to the audience. The audience went crazy. The next day the director came on his knees with a bucket of flowers for me and said, “God, please, here are some flowers you can throw. You can destroy the whole state.” That was pretty wild.

TALLEY: Do you think you have matured from five years ago with all this work? You said you’re much nicer.

JONES: I don’t know what “mature” means. I still keep my mind open. It’s not stagnant. I’m still very childlike, and I keep a certain naivety as far as being able to receive information. Once you think you’re mature and you know everything, then you don’t put up the antenna, it’s no longer out there receiving for you…

TALLEY:  Do you think that shock value is very important?

JONES: I think you’ve got to come in and bang them over the head. I don’t spend all that time putting on my makeup and big dragonish clothes from Japan to get on television. You have to create a lot of energy in one second. Otherwise it’s a waste of time.

TALLEY: I know you like to travel, and you’ve had some strange experiences.

JONES: I’ve been to Africa. I used to vacation in Tunisia a lot. And Abidjan (Côte D’Ivoire), I worked there for a long time. That was my nightmare experience.

TALLEY: Did you ever eat ants for lunch?

JONES: No, worse than that, they put me in jail. They said my papers weren’t in order and they wanted a payoff. We came in really late with this Italian photographer. It was the first time I turned down a job with Saint Laurent, and he never hired me again until the show you talked about before. I turned it down to go on this gig in Africa, and then I get there and this little creep tells me my papers aren’t in order. They isolated me and put all my clothes back on the plane. I thought I’d take enough Valium so I could pass out in the airport and they wouldn’t send me back on the plane. So that’s what I did. By the time the police came to get me the plane was leaving. I just lay on the floor. They lifted me up like a sack of potatoes and put me right on the floor of the entrance to the plane. The stewardesses came over and they were blabbering away in their African French. The stewardesses decided they couldn’t take me in that condition, so they had to lift me up again. They threw me in this jail for undesirables. I was there one night and some guy tried to rape me in the middle of the night.

TALLEY: And what did you do?

JONES: I spat up all over myself is what I did. I went into convulsions. Finally I woke up crying. Good trick, crying. You cry and you get anything you want. Finally, it all came out who I was and they were asking me to marry them in the end. I went through a whole night of hell. They wanted some money. They were a little jealous. The next day the bosses changed and the new boss was nice. He snuck me out to the airfield.

WARHOL: How long ago was this?

JONES: That was in 1972. Yves got really pissed, saying, “Who does she think she is, cancelling on Yves Saint Laurent,” but I said, “I’ll never get another opportunity to go to Africa.” I swear I should have never gone to Africa. I should have stayed right in my house in Paris.

TALLEY: Grace, what qualities do you seek in a man?

JONES: I like sensitive men. They have to be able to understand themselves.

TALLEY: Real men also show weakness, they can cry.

JONES: Crying is not a weakness. It’s something that should be able to work for you. It should also be a strength. I think if you can cry when you feel like crying it’s a strength. If you feel like crying and you can’t cry, that’s a weakness. That means you’re holding all that stuff inside. It’s a physical thing. You make yourself sick if you can’t have that release. I think its great if a man can cry. I cry all the time when I sing “La Vie en Rose.” I always cry. Paris and all of that, all my French lovers.

TALLEY: Don’t you think that Paris is the greatest place to begin a career? 

JONES: It’s wonderful.

TALLEY: There’s no sky like the Paris sky.

JONES: It has all the romance. Everywhere you look it’s a picture. It’s so inspiring. You put a lot more effort into what you’re doing. It’s definitely an incredible culture there for stimulation of one’s art.

WARHOL: How do you fight off all the groupies?

JONES: They follow me all over the place. They follow me on tours. I don’t know where they get the money. They’ll be at every town, the same people throughout the whole tour. This one clone from Jamaica was following me everywhere and so I told him to wait and I’d invite him in for a drink. But then he wanted to feed me. Finally, I had the club guy come in and say we had some business to do. Otherwise it’s like I adopted a son. They write, call, send paintings. It’s amazing how many paintings are done. There was a student that does architecture that wanted me to come to his graduation. He was doing his thesis on me.


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