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back to 1966: Andy Warhol meets RONNIE CUTRONE

Andy Warhol and Ronnie Cutrone


Ronnie Cutrone lived in the back part of the Velvet Underground's apartment on 3rd Street in the West Village. He also danced in the EPI shows.

Many of the Factory regulars hung out at the 3rd Street apartment, having “Glitter Festivals”. Stanley Amos, who was sub-leasing the place from Tom O’Horgan, kept a drawer full of glitter and half the people there would drop acid and the other half “would be paranoid on amphetamine, staring at the half that was tripping on LSD,” according to Warhol. (POP157-60)

Andy had actually run into Ronnie Cutrone for the first time “at a sort of folksy party the year before” - Andy was leaving the party and Ronnie was coming in and they collided, “stepping over Bob Dylan who had happened to be lying on the stairs looking smashed and having a great time, reaching up under the girls’ skirts when they walked over him to the party.” (POP161)

Ronnie Cutrone:

“I tried being a queen once... I tried to be gay. A young straight guy could never get laid... Half of my friends at that time where gay... And then I couldn’t do it. I was such a miserable failure. I couldn’t get it up... so I became a dyke and got all the girls... My ex-, ex-wife, Gigi,and I used to hang out at the Ramrod... I had easy access to all the transvestites. At 3 in the morning, I would chase a transvestite down the street, yelling, 'You’re wonderful; we want you to pose for Warhol.' "(UW68)

Cutrone had actually started hanging out at the Factory in 1965:

"I started coming around the Factory and just hanging out in 1965. Not working really - I was still in high school. But in 1966, I became part of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable... I was actually getting paid to hang out. I got a paycheck to fuck groupies and stuff. In 1968, I went off on my own for four years to teach myself how to paint. i went into isolation basically. That was the period when Jimmy Smith, a 'second-story' thief and action painter banned from the Factory, was my only friend." (UW55)

Ronnie pulled himself together and returned to the Factory in 1972 to work on his own photos:

"I was doing a photo project of my own where I shot soap-opera stars and then put different colored gels on top of the photos according to the emotion: green with envy, tickled pink, blue was sadness... and so on... While I was working on this project, I found out that Andy was working on a soap opera and Vincent was shooting it. So I asked if I could come up and do some stills. I started going up three times a week to spend time on the soap opera sets with Brigid Polk [Berlin], Charles Rydell, Maxine McKendry, Daryl Foyes, and that whole gang; they were wonderful. And then some pretty young things that Vincent or I would find to drag in and be the little heroines." (UW56/7)

After finishing his photo project, Ronnie Cutrone was offered a job at Interview magazine which had started up in 1968:

"And then in 1973, Andy and Fred pulled in Rosemary Kent, and Glenn and I decided to leave. Fred and Andy didn't want me to leave, so Andy asked me to be his assistant... I worked as Andy's assistant from 1972 to 1982... My first job was to hand-paint four thousand Japanese flower arrangement prints. I painted around thirty-five hundred of them or something. Hand Tinted Flowers, I think, was their official name..." (UW57)

back to 1966: Andy Warhol meets RONNIE CUTRONE

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