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Susan Blond (aka Susan Blonde) in Phoney

Phoney (1973): 1/2" videotape/Black and white/Sound/50 min. (AWM30)

According to the head of the video and film department of The Warhol museum, Greg Pierce, Phoney was one of three "unreleased video projects" (the other being Vivian's Girls (1973) and Fight (1975) "that were being worked on around the same time and with the same equipment as the Factory Diaries." All were filmed on half inch reel-to-reel tapes lasting 30 minutes each. Vivian's Girls consists of ten tapes, Phoney consists of 23 tapes and Fight consists of 7 tapes. (OV02.13.00)

Vincent Fremont who is credited, with Warhol, as producer and director of the videos, began working for Warhol in the fall of 1969. When asked by an interviewer about the projects "that were being videotaped in the early 70s" Fremont recalled that "All we did in those days was develop ideas. Andy was not interested in gettting on cable television; he was more interested in pursuing ideas." (UW73)

Vincent Fremont:

"I worked on some early videos with Ronnie Cutrone in the early '70s. Then I started developing what became known as the Soap Opera project, using Halston models like Nancy North and Karen Bjornson. It was modeled after the film Stage Door and Andy's Chelsea Girls. As we added more people to the cast - Candy Darling, Maxime de la Falaise, John Richardson, and Brigid Berlin - Andy decided to call it Phoney (1973), a play on words - phonies and people who are always on the phone. Andy also wanted to develop a TV show about a couple continuoulsy fighting. And and I cast Brigid Berlin and Charles Rydell in the tape that was titled Fight (1975). This tape and parts of Phoney were eventually shown at the Whitney in Andy Warhol's Video a& Television Retropspective (1991). (UW73)

According to Bob Colacello, the idea for Phoney came about when Bob told Andy Warhol of Marshall McLuhan's observation that "the word phony entered the language after the invention of the telephone, and that 'People are phony on the phone'." Warhol suggested doing a television show on the phone, saying "It can be people calling each other up and fighting." (BC141)

Bob Colacello:

"Once they started videotaping, with Charles Rydell and Brigid Berlin as the fighters, Andy soon had a new idea for a title, Nothing Serious, and a new idea for combining the fight with interviews, soap opera with a talk show. And instead of just fighting on the phone, why not fight over the dinner table, and have celebrities come to dinner to talk about their new projects, while the regulars fought. And the dinner table could be Maxime de la Falaise McKendry's, because she was writing a food column for Vogue, which she had hopes of expanding into a TV show, a la Julia Child. Andy's idea was that Maxime could give recipes, when she wasn't interviewing and fighting... The day after each shooting when it was all played back at the Factory, we'd realize that it was just too amorphous and amateurish to make it into anything viable. Nothing Serious was really nothing serious." (BC141)

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