Don Munroe meets Andy Warhol

Don Munroe:

The first time I ever met Andy was at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum where he had curated a show called Raid the Icebox. The show was perfect for Andy, who was fond of rummaging through flea markets and collecting off-beat objects like cookie jars. He rummaged the museum's basement and mounted an exhibit of obscure antiques. Everyone was pretty excited about his visit and he arrived by charter bus with a little entourage that included film director Paul Morrissey and a very exotic tall black model. This being the '60s, a lot of the students were involved in varous protest movements, and to some of us Andy stood for New York, the very center of the art world and freedom - social, political, artistic, and sexual freedom.

A few of us, including our own campus radical, Jinx Rubin, hatched a plan to interrupt Andy's news conference with the local papers and TV stations. We would make a statement - a loud protest to end the war in Vietnam. We thought Andy would love this, Andy would be with us.

As the TV cameras rolled, the local anchor man... was becoming very frustrated with Andy's non-response to his questions. Andy's interview technique at that point was to have anyone but him answer the questions. The black model was speaking for Andy was giving the newsguy what we now call "attitude" and he was becoming angry. He started yelling at Andy, "Why don't you answer my questions? Did you come all the way here to say nothing? Don't you care?"

All of a sudden Jinx jumped up and screamed, "Well, we've got something to say - Out of Vietnam Now! Strike, Strike, Strike!" Andy was so startled, he almost fell over backwards. You could see his whole entourage's hair stand on end. They fled that scene faster than you could say, "Power to the People." (UW133)