Andy Warhol and the Dom
back to APRIL 1966: THE VELVETS PLAY THE DOM
Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey had originally intended to have The Velvets play at a nightclub that Broadway producer Michael Myerberg was opening. Myerberg had met with Warhol and Morrissey at Sardis and offered to pay Warhol to hang out there with people like Edie Sedgwick to generate publicity for the club. According to an account by Paul Morrissey, it was Morrissey who suggested that rather than just getting paid to sit there, they should present a group that Warhol managed a la Brian Epstein. Myerberg agreed, but Warhol did not yet have a band to present. It was then that they started looking for a band and 'discovered' the Velvet Underground when Gerard Malanga took Warhol and Morrissey to see them at the Cafe Bizarre in December 1965. Warhol suggested calling Myerberg's club, Andy Warhol's Up.However, as time passed, other people became involved with the disco and Myerberg's influence over the project decreased. His interest had also waned after seeing the Andy Warhol, Up-Tight show at the Cinematheque during the second week of February. (UT36) Eventually, about a week before they were supposed to open, Morrissey was informed that the people behind the club had decided to open it with The Young Rascals instead of The Velvet Underground.After Morrissey found out about the club's decision, he went down to the Cafe Figaro in Greenwich Village where Warhol had gone with Gerard Malanga It was while he was telling Andy what happened that their conversation was overheard by Jackie Cassen and Rudi Stern who were sitting at the table behind them and told them about the Dom:
Paul Morrissey:I kept trying to press Myerberg, though our lawyer Sy Litvinoff, to sign an agreement that Andy's group would open and be paid a certain amount of money. What happened is there was... let's say an Italian influence in this club and I think they had their own plans for the opening. Somehow, even Myerberg lost control of it a little bit. About a week before they were scheduled to open, this lawyer said, 'they've changed their minds, they're going to open this weekend with 'The Young Rascals', starring Felix Cavalieri of Syracuse managed by Sid Bernstein who promoted The Beatles in the U.S." (UT43)Sterling Morrison: "Murray Kaufman ('Murray The K') was involved in this thing [Myerberg's club] too - if not initially, then certainly at the end. The place was full of gangsters; one night we all went out there to look at the place and a limo full of them spilled out to challenge our right to enter... The Rascals were a better band to open the place anyway, especially since it was closed down on opening night for liquor violations and never re-opened. Eventually the club, which had finallly been called Murray The K's World burnt down under the usual mysterious circumstances. Still, the price offered us to play there and hang out was $40,000 for the first four weekends. That would have been good pay for one night if we had collected it in advance. I don't know whether the Rascals got any money out of it." (UT43-44)Paul Morrissey: "I remember going down to the Care Figaro in the Village where Gerard had taken Andy to see Allen Ginsberg, who was about to go to Europe. I said, 'Andy, they're [Myerberg's people] not going to sign the agreement, we don't have a club for The Velvets'. Andy had already invested this money in their equipment. I think we even got a management contract out of them... For presenting them and financing their equipment and supporting them and making them famous we got 25 percent of their earnings." (UT44)
Sterling Morrison: "Our agreement with Warvel, Inc., which was set up with Andy, called for our sharing in his many sources of revenue. After the initial purchase of a Vox Super beatle and a vox Westminster bass amp, we soon were able to make an endorsement deal with Vox and got all of their stuff free (even guitars)... Paul, in other words, is not talking about major expenditures." (UT44-45) Paul Morrissey: "The idea was that they could've become very famous from being presented in this night club. Now, suddenly, my plans for presenting them fell through. But as I was telling Andy this at the Figaro, sitting at the table behind me was Jackie Cassen and Rudi Stern and they heard me talking. They said... 'We present dance concerts with light shows and we know a wonderful place...'I went over with them and I saw the Dom and I came back and arranged a rental deal through Sy Litvinoff on Wednesday. It was only signed on Friday and that afternoon The Velvets and Faison moved their equipment in. They never saw the place before... Andy paid the money for the lease for the month of April... I had to put the ad in the Village Voice the previous Monday... The term Exploding Plastic Inevitable came from sitting around with Gerard and Barbara Rubin thinking of a name. I picked up a record album with Barbara on the back massaging Bob Dylan's head (Bringing It All Back Home). There were some amphetamine Bob Dylan gibberish liner notes. I looked without reading and saw these words appear: something was 'exploding', something was 'plastic', something was 'inevitable.'
I said, Why not call it Exploding Plastic Inevitable, The Velvet Underground and Nico. We moved in on Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock and at 8 o'clock that night all these people showed up. It was packed. It was an enourmous success from its very first night." (UT45-46)
back to APRIL 1966: THE VELVETS PLAY THE DOM