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Cocaine Cowboys

Victor Bockris:

"[Tom] Sullivan had blown into town several months earlier with $2 milllion in cash to have some fun. Young, naive and uneducated but good-looking and romantic, he was perfect fodder for the new york hustlers who moved in on him like sharks in a feeding frenzy. Soon Sullivan found himself renting three connecting suites at the Westbury Hotel on Madison Avenue shared with the anthropologist Peter Beard and the actress Carol Bosquet.

According to Catherine Guiness, 'We met Tom in Studio 54. We were there one night and he just sort of picked me up and carried me off.'

Andy introduced Tom to Margaret Trudeau, who had recently left her husband to have some fun herself. Swept off her feet by the charismatic Tommy, whose pirate-king image was topped off by pockets overflowing with wads of cash and a black-leather-gloved hand disfigured in a fiery plane crash, Margaret Trudeau soon found herself at the centre of the Factory's night life. Andy felt sorry for Catherine, who continued to see Sullivan on the side..." (LD422)

Brigid Berlin, who was working as the Factory secretary rang at the time, rang Bob Colacello to complain about Catherine's behavior:

Brigid Berlin:

"You've got to get back to the office... It's just going to hell. Catherine's running wild, giving all-day lunches, falling asleep on the couch in the dining room after lunch. And the other day, when I walked into the dining room to help her clean up, you know, she was making out with that boyfriend of hers who wears those gloves to cover up his burned hands. It was really disgusting." (BC371)

Shortly after renting the Montauk estate, Sullivan was joined by "a team of two German geeks, an actor turned director, Ulli Lommel, and a borderline producer named Christopher Gierke." They proposed to make a film "with Sullivan's bank roll, starring Tommy himself of course and, they eagerly suggested, somebody like Bianca Jagger." (LD423)

Victor Bockris:

"Sullivan and Lommel cooked up a story about a drug smuggler who tries to get out of the business by turning himself into a rock star. A band was rounded up and, in imitation of the Rolling Stones, Montauk was used as a base for their rehearsals. The veteran actor Jack Palance was made a cash-in-advance offer he could not refuse to star as the band's manager and shooting commenced in June." (LD423)

Albert Goldman on Tom Sullivan:

"The spring the movie was conceived was the climax of his long career as a drug smuggler. That spring was a disastrous season. First he broke up with Margaret Trudeau in London. Then there was a horrible plane crash in Florida in which his closet friend was incinerated, and then hard on the heels of that a great big shrimp boat full of contraband came in but Tommy cracked up and couldn't handle it. But he owed for the merchandise." (LD423)

Vincent Fremont:

"We were never told they were going to make a movie... Mr. Winters [the caretaker] called me and said, 'There are all these cars parked all around.' There were unmarked police cars and the East Hampton police did a high-speed chase and they were arrested for gun possession." (ibid)

Albert Goldman:

"When the police came up to the house, they grabbbed $25,000 in cash... but that wasn't anything because the night before the Colombians had shown up and threated to kill him and he gave them a million in cash." (Ibid)

Warhol appeared in a a cameo role in Cocaine Cowboys for an extra $4,000 on top of the three month Montauk rental. But when Vincent Fremont went to collect Warhol's fee, the film's "ersatz producer" pulled a gun on him. (LD424)


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