Posts Tagged ‘Andy Warhol’

When John Cale left the influential iconic The Velvet Underground it was mostly because of his tense relationship with the late great legend Lou Reed. But in 1990 they both teamed up again to honour their inspirator Andy Warhol, with the masterly album ‘Songs For Drella‘, released over 30 years ago, on 11th April 1990.
Warhol had died three years before, in 1987. Drella was his nickname, a contraction of Dracula and Cinderella.

Lou Reed & John Cale forgot about their intolerable differences that drove The Velvet Underground apart back in 1968. Well they did as long as it toke to create this exceeding album in honor of versatile artist Andy Warhol who died in 1987. The fact that Reed & Cale became musical friends again, at least temporarily, proves that Warhol must have had an enormous impact on the giant duo when they picked up an instrument for the first time.

Even more than we knew. In return the pair created this beauty of an album. The warm and charismatic voices of both Reed and Cale are upfront all the time. They tell stories about their relationship with Warhol, they sing to celebrate their inspirer, they play intimate in respect for an eccentric and stirring mind. Even after his death Warhol pushed the legendary duo to produce an especial work of art.

This memorable record shows, once again, how brilliant these two splendiferous artists could be together. Thanks to their huge songwriting skills and imposing voices they made out of each of the 15 songs a compelling experience. A masterpiece indeed!.

Rolling Stone magazine wrote: “Both now nearing fifty, Reed and Cale are the survivors Warhol wasn’t fated to become. In popular music, only bluesmen and country greats have managed the maturity these two display. Fashioning a litany out of Warhol’s off-kilter pantheon Edie Sedgwick, Billy Name and Valerie Solanis (whose attempted murder of Warhol prefigured the shooting of John Lennon)  “Drella” memorializes an era the way narrative folk music generally has done. Reed and Cale add rare intelligence to their nostalgia, but it’s on a more soulful level that Drella finally hits. The subtle values of modesty, hesitance and loving observation dignify this sweet and knowing tribute to these men’s mentor, prod — and friend.”

Top Tracks: “Nobody But You / Open House / Style It Takes / Small Town”

Release date: April 11th, 1990,

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Sean Lennon recorded a song in honor of Andy Warhol to support a new exhibit, “Letters to Andy Warhol,” Exhibition which opened on Monday in New York City. “Being raised by a single mom, I was always looking for some kind of paternal influence,” the singer/songwriter says of Warhol, whom he met as a child. “Andy was like an eccentric uncle to me. He taught me a lot about art and humor.”

Despite his familiarity with his subject, Lennon was initially reluctant to pen a track inspired by Warhol. “When they asked me to write a song about him, I was hesitant at first, since [David] Bowie already wrote the quintessential Warhol song,” Lennon explains. (Bowie included “Andy Warhol” on his 1971 album Hunky Dory.) When Lennon eventually agreed to write the song, he enlisted the help of girlfriend and bandmate Charlotte Kemp Muhl and “tried approaching it more like a surreal biography.”
The resulting tribute, “Love and Warhol,” revolves around a sharp, loping beat and lightly strummed guitar. Warhol’s penchant for signatures makes it into the lyrics – “he collected every autograph” – as do other biographical details, like Warhol’s Pittsburgh birthplace and his connection to the famous New York City club Studio 54. The chorus serves as a breathy reminder of the Pop Art pioneer’s artistic impact: “He knows that they won’t forget the man/ Who could hold the whole world in a can.”

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Andy Warhol freaked out Sean Lennon by giving him a taxidermied pet cat for his eighth birthday. When asked what Warhol was “going for” when he chose the gift, Lennon said, “I really don’t know.”

The singer revealed that when he unwrapped the gift, his mother, Yoko Ono, was “kind of disturbed despite her love of cats” and that the family’s (living) felines were “immediately enraged.” In the story — revealed for the first time included in an new “Letters To Andy Warhol” exhibit that just opened at the Cadillac House. Lennon writes, “After a brief time on a shelf in my bedroom, it was decided that Andy’s cat should reside permanently in the window of the office on the ground floor,” where it stayed until “neighbours complained and we had to take it down.”

He added, “Each day on my way to school I would walk by the office and wonder why it was that Andy gave me that cat.”