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Andy Warhol Contemplates Edie Sedgwick’s Death

Andy Warhol Contemplates Edie Sedgwick’s Death

Around the time Edie Sedgwick was splitting from Andy Warhol and sinking deeper into drug addiction, the artist asked Robert Heide to bring him to the spot where Freddie Herko killed himself on Cornelia Street. Andy was affectless as he asked Heide to point out exactly where he landed, then looked up at the window and thought aloud, “I wonder when Edie will commit suicide. I hope she lets us know so we could film it.” Bibbe Hansen acknowledged that Warhol’s comment sounds dreadful, if taken out of its context. “But that was Andy’s way of processing it,” she said. “Because to show emotion, none of that was acceptable for men in that age. I mean, cool was the number one thing. The whole post–World War II guy thing—it was emotionally kind of stalwart. It was a thing that was very prominent in the Village, a kind of game that the bohemians would play.” Playwright Robert Heide felt the specter of death surrounding Warhol, and there was always a feeling that something terrible could happen. “At a certain point, I didn’t hang out so much with Andy at the Factory,” Heide said. “I did feel a kind of danger. I couldn’t keep up with everybody else because I knew I would go out the window, so I was more careful about it. And at a certain point, I had gone as far as I could go.”

From Chapter 12 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore