Like many who were part of the Factory scene, Bibbe Hansen had a chaotic childhood. Her mother was, at times, an amphetamine and heroin addict who had troubling alliances with men. By the time Hansen was fourteen, an escalating series of troubles landed her at the notorious Spofford Juvenile Detention Center in the South Bronx. After serving several months in 1965, she was released into her father’s custody on a Friday. The next day, Bibbe and Al Hansen resumed one of their weekend rituals: walking the uptown art gallery circuit that stretched from Fifty-Seventh Street to Seventy-Ninth Street. After their visit to Castelli Gallery, they wound up at a restaurant-bar called Stark’s, where her dad’s artist friends asked them to join their table. “Roy Lichtenstein offered to buy us burgers, and after a few months in the youth house, that was really a wonderful thing, let me tell you,” Bibbe said. “They’re all talking artist-guy stuff, which is pretty uninteresting to me, but I’m very happy with my burger. Suddenly, eyes are peering at me from across the table, and it’s Andy Warhol.” He was a familiar sight from Jonas Mekas’s underground screenings, which she attended with her dad and where she would sometimes nap on a pile of coats, and soon she would be spending many of her days at the Factory.
From Chapter 11 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore