The Burroughs Warhol Affair, by Victor Bockris

Here’s the jacket image for the Spanish edition (Libros Crudos) of Victor Bockris’s The Burroughs Warhol Affair.

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And this is taken from Victor’s introduction to the English edition…

Across the span of 1980 I tape recorded four meetings between William Burroughs and Andy Warhol. It all began when I was under a stiff deadline to finish my book, “With William Burroughs: A Report from the Bunker,” (Seaver Books, N.Y.C. 1981). After several years of contributing to Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, I had picked up on his idea of introducing two celebrities and taping their conversation. In this manner I recorded William in conversation with some fifteen figures, including Lou Reed, Christopher Isherwood, Terry Southern and Allen Ginsberg. I had just added Susan Sontag and Debbie Harry.

Warhol and Burroughs was the ultimate combination. Particularly because they had only met once in 1965 over dinner in a Chinese restaurant. When one of Warhol’s louche entourage plunked his unfinished plate of food on somebody else’s table, Burroughs walked out. Now, however, fifteen years later with me as the go between it wasn’t hard to get Bill to accept an invitation to dinner with Andy. It was Andy who had initially appeared apprehensive. When I suggested we could tape the meeting for my book, he responded, “Oh, yeah! That would be great! But I never know what to say to him. I mean, does he talk?”

Both men thought they were going to meet the other man’s image.

This transcript “Oh Andy!” of the first dinner was recorded at Warhol’s favorite restaurant near the Union Square Factory, 65 Irving just below Gramercy Park on February 4, 1980. It is completely different than the official transcript, “Dinner with Andy and Bill,” published in the 10th Anniversary edition of Blueboy in September 1980 and here in chapter three. The Blueboy version was organized around the kind of topics you might expect Burroughs and Warhol to discuss, whereas this recently discovered transcript captures the affectionate, playful atmosphere of the evening. It’s a reflection of the flowers of friendship blooming. That night Andy and Bill became friends for the rest of Warhol’s life, 1980 – 1987.

Apart from the three of us, the party included the charming and attractive fashion consultant and writer, Andre Leon Talley, who helped considerably by spreading the conversation equally between Andy and Bill. He had recently left Woman’s Wear Daily and was just beginning to consult for Vogue. We sat at Mr. Warhol’s favorite table in the near left hand corner as we came into the room. Andy sat with his back to the wall, which gave him the best view available of the whole room. Bill sat to his right, Andre to his left, with me opposite, in the best position to record and photograph the conversation.