Jackie, Candy, and Holly

Jackie, Candy, and Holly

Agosto Machado remembered Holly Woodlawn as a very open, childlike, and loving playmate and friend. “One of the things people noted was her vulnerability,” he said. “She didn’t have that protective armor, but Holly was so much fun and so good-spirited.” Woodlawn, Candy Darling, and Jackie Curtis were sometimes homeless and crashed where they could, making their destitute surroundings glamorous through sheer force of will. Sometimes they were allowed to stay in a place behind Slugger Ann’s, a little studio apartment with crumbling concrete steps that led to the door. Aside from a mattress for Curtis, it was filled with books, photos of movie stars tacked to the walls, and notebooks of Curtis’s writings. “I’m a loner,” Curtis said. “I hate hangouts! But I do haunt old bookshops and music stores, because you never know who or what you might find there.” Despite a very visible exhibitionist streak, Curtis remained fairly private while at home. “Jackie didn’t like to receive anybody if she wasn’t shaved or put together,” Machado recalled, “but for us, we’d all seen each other when we didn’t look our best or had slept over and our beards grew out.” Amid the crumpled bed sheets and pillows that were smeared with makeup, the friends would relax and dish about the previous night’s shenanigans.

From Chapter 17 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore


Slugger Ann's
192 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003