Andy Warhol Takes Drugs

Bob Colacello:

"... Andy [Warhol] flirted with coke, though he was really sneaky about it...Andy wasn't taking anywhere near as much as the rest of us because he knew that he had the most addictive personality of all. It came out in his shopping, collecting, painting, pill taking - and in the way he'd throw back four or five straight vodkas in a row when he wanted to 'get good and drunk'. Of course, he always denied taking coke. I even heard him deny taking it as he was sticking it up his nose...

One night in April 1978, Andy and I had dinner at La Grenouille with Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall, and Barbara Allen. Then we all went back to Mick and Jerry's suite at the Pierre Hotel to listen to an advance tape of the new Rolling Stones album... Mick rolled some joints and poured some coke out on the coffee table.

'Should I try it?' said Andy. 'Just this once to see what everybody's doing? Oh, I can't, I just can't.' Then he quickly stuck his finger in it and rubbed some on his gums. 'It's not really taking it,' he said. 'It doesn't get inside, does it? It's just making my mouth feel funny, like going to the dentist.'

Andy had obviously done this before, and he had figured out a way in his mind to take it without taking it... Then when he thought I wasn't looking, he stuck his finger in the pile and sniffed the coke up his nose.

'You took it, Andy', I said.

'I did not Bob. You're making it up.'

Everyone laughed, including Andy, and when Mick went into the bedroom for a minute, he nudged me and said, 'Do you think Mick will mind if we take some more?' He rubbed some more on his gums, saying again, 'This isn't really taking it.'

Later that same evening, we stoppped off at a small party on our way to Studio 54, and another guest took out some cocaine.

'Oh, I've never had it' Andy told him. 'Can you teach me how to use it? Explain every step to me. It's so fascinating.'

So he showed Andy how you chopped it up, put it in lines... and then most of us dipped in, including Andy.

Finally, at three in the morning, we made it to 54, where Andy ended up in the basement, playing pinball with a press scion in a boiler room.

Andy asked me to get more coke, and when I came back with a gram, he said, 'Oh, let's take it here, so nobody sees us.' I told him that everybody had seen him take it at the Pierre and the party, and he said, 'but I didn't take any anywhere, Bob.'

Then he rubbed his white-tipped fingers across his gums. 'I'm not taking it, Bob. I'm really not. You can't say I did.' " (BC374-5)