The original Poor Little Rich Girl film (not the 1987 film of the same title) featured Andy Warhol’s 1965 muse Edie Sedgwick (April 20, 1943 – November 16, 1971). she would star in eighteen of Warhol’s films in just one year before they fell out.
Her story is real tragedy. She was born into a rich aristocratic American family, whose roots could be traced back to the Pilgrim Fathers. Her father was mentally unstable married to her shy retiring mother. Edie was the next youngest of eight siblings. Edie lost her virginity when she was twenty and got pregnant and had an abortion. She received a trust fund of $80,000 from her grandmother and moved in with her in New York, moving to her own apartment a few months later. In 1964 two of her brothers died. Minty committed suicide aged 25 and Bobby, aged 31, killed himself by crashing his motorcycle into a bus. Edie was experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
Andy Warhol’s superstar “Baby Jane” Holzer had been 1964’s Girl of the Year and on March 25th, 1965 film producer Lester Persky hosted a party for Tennessee William’s birthday and, knowing that Andy was looking for 1965’s Girl of the Year introduced him to Edie. As Lili Anolik writes in the December 2017 edition of Vanity Fair (the whole article is beautifully written and worth reading:
“They were one of the great romances of the 1960s. Pop art’s golden couple, even if silver was their signature color. Romeo and Juliet with kink. Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick. The two were opposites. Were, in fact, radically, diametrically, almost violently opposed. So how could the attraction between them have been other than irresistible? She was the beauty to his beast, the princess to his pauper, the exhibitionist to his voyeur. They were also, of course, opposite sexes, which should have made their pairing all the more inevitable, only it did, well, the opposite since he preferred the same. As impediments to heterosexual unions go, homosexual impulse is a biggie. Edie got around it, though, no problem because she intuited that Andy’s gayness was incidental. Fundamental was Andy’s narcissism. No, fundamental was Andy’s frustrated narcissism. He was the boy who didn’t like what he saw when he gazed into the pool, and thus was doomed, in a permanent state of unfulfilled desire. Edie’s method of seduction was to take her shoulder-length dark hair, chop it off, bleach it a metallic shade of blond so that it matched his wig, and dress herself in the striped boatnecked shirts that had become his uniform. In other words, to turn herself into the reflection of his dreams. At long last—oh, rapture! oh, ecstasy!—his self-love was requited.”
Edie and Andy had begun to fall out towards the end of 1965. She had met Bob Dylan in the autumn and they had a brief relationship which Edie thought was serious and believed that Dylan was going to get his manager Alan Grossman to sign her for a professional film career. When Edie told Andy that she was leaving the Factory to sign with Grossman (and hopefully continue the relationship with Dylan), Andy coldly told her that Dylan had just got married–which Edie hadn’t heard. She was devastated!
In 1967 Edie started filming her story with producer David Weisman but the filming broke down. Weisman made a second attempt in early 1971 with Edie recounting her life story and the film was finally released in 1972, just weeks after Edie had died of a barbiturate overdose.
The soundtrack of the film was released as a limited edition (3000 copies) coloured vinyl LP for 2017’s Record Store Day with Weisman’s portrait of Edie on the front cover.
I didn’t recognise this photo but assumed it was taken at the Factory from one of Warhol’s screen tests or from a still from one of Warhol’s films. I should have looked at Edie’s hair in this picture, which is dark with strands hanging over her forehead. In her Factory days Edie had died her hair blond and had it combed back off her forehead. So this photo obviously wasn’t a Factory image.
The LP cover photo was the same one as The Cult had used on their 1989 single “Edie! Ciao Baby”, sort of Warholised with a coloured aura round her head. You can listen to it here.
There was also a 12″ version with a more “artistic” version of the cover image.
Some Ebay sellers try to sell the “Edie! Ciao Baby” singles as Warhol covers, but now I know they definitely are not Warhol portraits at all but photos from the “Ciao! Manhattan” sessions.
The “Ciao! Manhattan” LP, pressed on red/white vinyl, comes in a gatefold sleeve and includes a 20-page booklet with more photos of Edie from the film sessions.
The gatefold’s inner spread has yet another alluring photo of Sedgwick.
The French music magazine “Les Inrockuptibles” issued a compilation CD together with their January 2017 magazine with DAvid McCabe’s famous photo of Warhol and Sedgwick on the cover.
3 thoughts on “Edie Sedgwick on Record Covers.”
Richard, you can watch the whole movie on Youtube, in five parts. It starts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5d4lyAiISI
It’s kind of sad to watch, though.
The photographer of the cover picture is Terry Stevenson. There are a lot more more pictures you can find from this session, with Edie in the light blue Betsey Johnson zipper dress.
In the film there is a scene with a photo session where Betsey Johnson is present, and you can see Terry Stevenson at work. (On YT in the third part, around 10:40)
Thanks Guy! I started watching the film some time ago (long before I thought of writing this post) but gave up. Perhaps I’ll go back to it. I just read David Bourden’s version of Andy’s and her relationship.
Thanks for shaaring