Andrea Feldman in a publicity still for Heat
Shooting began in Los Angeles for Heat in the last week of June 1971 for a two week period. It starred Joe Dallesandro, Sylvia Miles, Pat Ast, Andrea Feldman and Eric Emerson. Warhol did not go to Los Angeles for the shoot, but stayed in touch with cast and crew by telephone.
Andy didn't go to Hollywood for the filming... But he had his ways of keeping a degree of control. Paul called the Factory every morning before they started shooting. And Jed called Andy every night at home with a private report of the day's activities. What's more, Andy barraged Sylvia, Andrea, and Pat with late-night calls from New York, stirring things up long distance. As usual, he knew exactly what he was doing. The three actresses were meant to hate each other - they were all, in the typical Paul Morrissey schema, after Joe - and after Andy's calls they did. He made Sylvia jealous of Pat's Halston muumuus. He made Pat jealous of Sylvia's star billing. And... it didn't take much to drive poor Andrea crazy." (BC131)
"Poor Andrea" was Andrea Feldman who had first appeared in Warhol's Imitation of Christ in 1967 and, then, in Trash as the person looking to score some acid off Joe Dallesandro. Like most of the Warhol stars, she hung out at Max's Kansas City and was well known for her "show time" performances. Another Max's regular, Leee Black Childers, was a friend of Andrea's:
Leee Black Childers:
"Andrea was rich already-born rich. Unfortunately, she was also born crazy. Her real name was Andrea Feldman, and she lived alone in a huge, luxurious penthouse on upper Park Avenue, complete with terraces, statuary, and even a waterfall. Her parents set Andrea up in the penthouse, provided her bank account with a gigantic monthly deposit, and sent a doctor around every few months to see if Andrea was any crazier. If the doctor decided she was, they would put her away in a 'rest home' for a while, after which she would return to Park Avenue...She entertained often, and Wayne County and I became frequent guests. Once, when we arrived she had completely taken apart the air-conditioning system and had the parts scattered all over her living-room floor. She explained that she was looking for microphones planted there by the nuns from the Catholic school across the street, who she believed were watching her. She went to Max's back room nearly every night with Geraldine Smith, her best friend and star of Flesh. Frequently, at Geraldine's instigation, Andrea would suddenly shout, 'Show time!' and jump up on a table and take off all her clothes... Her performance in Heat was very well received. So much so that some very powerful producers asked to meet her. She invited them to her penthouse for dinner, which she said she would cook herself. Dinner was champagne and Hershey's chocolate bars. The producers stayed less than half an hour before making their excuses and fleeing." (HR165)
The last scene of Heat was filmed after Morrissey and cast returned to New York in July 1971. It was filmed in the New York apartment of Brooks and Adriana Jackson and it was their pet ocelot, Trumba (Italian for mixed-up), who appeared in the film. A few nights after the scene was shot, an electrical fire engulfed the apartment. Brooks saved Trumba, Adriana saved their Picasso gouache but suffered third degree burns on both hands from the red-hot gilt frame. She did not blame the film crew, even though, according to Bob Colacello, "the fire might have somehow been caused by the film equipment." (BC114)
Warhol's boyfriend at the time, Jed Johnson edited Heat during the Summer of 1971. In September of that year, Warhol received the news that Edie Sedgwick had died in California.
Edie had been in and out of mental hospitals since leaving the Factory. During one stay she had met another patient, Michael Post, who was there to "quit the drug world." (EDIE380). They stayed in touch after leaving the hospital and got married on July 24, 1971. On the evening of November 15, 1971 Edie attended a fashion show at the Santa Barbara Museum - a segment of which was filmed for the television series An American Family, featuring Lance Loud. At the party afterwards one of the guests accused Edie of being a heroin addict and an argument ensued. Edie had been drinking at the party and would sometimes combine the barbiturates she had been prescribed by doctors with alcohol, but she was no longer taking heroin. Upset by the guest's comments, Edie rang her husband who took her home. Michael had been looking after her prescription medicines and doling out the prescribed amount in order to prevent her from taking too much. After they arrived home, Michael gave Edie her meds and they both went to bed. Edie never woke up. The official time of death was 9:20 am on November 16, 1971. The cause of death was "acute barbiturate intoxication" which was "potentiated by ethanol intoxication."
"The alarm went off. It was seven-thirty... I looked over and I noticed Edie was still in that exact same position... on her right side with her head facing down on the corner of the pillow. It was odd because usually she would flop the pillow on the floor and lay flat on the bed. Well, I thought... well, I had done that once or twice in my life... woken up in the same position I'd gone to sleep in. But that morning I touched her on the shoulder... and she was just... just cold. I sort of freaked out. My whole body lifted off the bed. I fiddled with the phone and started screaming and yelling, 'I think my wife's dead! Get someone over! Haul ass!' Then I rolled her over and tried resuscitation. Her jaw was locked... cold and stiff. I kept at the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until I heard the doorbell ring and a policeman came in... no one did anything. I was running around... no clothes on... tears streaming down my face..." (Edie 419)
Edie was buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Ballard, California after a short informal ceremony. Nobody from the Factory attended the funeral.
Edie Sedgwick and Michael Post
on their wedding day July 24, 1971
John Anthony Walker [friend of Edie]:
"Living in Auroville, India - twenty thousand miles from anywhere - is a very attractive person called Mike Brady from Boston. He's Irish, a fireman and a very high being... and a beautiful drunk. We were sitting one night in Pondichery in an Indian drinking place... We set up a glass for Edie, which is an Indian thing... a way of honouring some spirit that was killed. So there was a glass for Edie sitting on the other side of the table from my friend Mike and I. I remembered that Edie smoked, so I put a cigarette in the ashtray there. The cigarette wasn't lit and it just sat there. And the drink sat there. And I talked about Edie... I remember spending one whole night with Edie drinking coffee in Cambridge... this was sort of splendid because she didn't have the seventh party to go to. As cup of coffee after cup of coffee kept mounting, she described her sense of the big dimensions, of multitudes... the mass and the multitude. Edie disliked rules; she disliked boxes; she disliked the door locking behind her in Silver Hill [psychiatric hospital]; she disliked going to sleep. She had to try for the biggest stage possible, and that's why she moved to New York... You want to know how I feel about Edie. That night in Pondichery I think I spilled it all out... that night at the bar in Pondichery I told Mike Brady all about her, and the drink sat there and the cigarette sat there. It was really weird, she came down so solidly. Twenty minutes later, I looked across the table and the cigarette was lit and smoking. Edie was there." (EDIE428)