Saturday, March 03, 2007

She Shot Andy Warhol

Lou Reed vehemently opposed the making of I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) and Factory Girl (2006). Because of his loathing for these projects, neither could use Velvet Underground music in their soundtracks. So they made do and are interesting films in their own right.

Reed despised Valerie Solanas (1936-1988) for having shot his friend and mentor and refused to participate in something he saw as a glorification or partial vindication of the would-be assassin. He had previously completed, with fellow Velvet Underground veteran John Cale, Songs for Drella (1990), a haunting and powerful homage to Warhol (1928-1987) and his influence.

Reed's thoughts on Solanas are clearly laid out in the song, "I Believe:"

Valerie Solanas waved her gun pointing at the floor
From inside her idiot madness spoke and bang
Andy fell onto the floor

And I believe life's serious enough for retribution
I believe being sick is no excuse and I believe
I would've pulled the switch on her myself

Songs for Drella

When this album was released, Solanas was already dead. John Cale later worked on the soundtrack for I Shot Andy Warhol.

Today's Rune: Growth.


JR's Thumbprints said...

Lou Reed's decision not to allow the Velvet Underground's music for either film lends to his artistic integrity and hasn't hurt his career.

Danny Tagalog said...

No mercy from Lou then, and quite rightly so....

Charles Gramlich said...

I like Reed's stand there, although I have to admit to not being a particularly big fan of his music. I'm afraid I'm more of a headbanger's ball type of guy.

Johnny Yen said...

I loved how Lou stood up for Andy-- there was a lot of shit flying around because of the release of Andy's diary. Lou was grateful for the help Warhol gave their careers.

Charles-- you might want to check out some of Lou's Velvet Underground stuff if you haven't already-- "White Light/White Heat," "Sister Ray"-- a lot of that stuff was borderline metal.