15 Minutes-20 Years Later

Article excerpt

He died 20 years ago this month, and I went to his funeral as stoned as most of his entourage. Bianca Jagger made a ridiculously theatrical entrance. So did Cornelia Guest, the deb of the decade as the tabloids had dubbed her, who burst into tears as soon as she approached the waiting cameras. Everyone who was anyone among the freaks and groupies of the period attended.

The service was in St Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, and many of us had stayed up through the night drinking and smoking exotic cheroots. Andy Warhol was hardly a friend, and I only got wrecked because some awfully cute young groupies were upset at his sudden death. I thought I'd stick around to give them moral support. The party following the service was a real gas, to use long ago parlance. The freaks were openly injecting drugs or taking cocaine, others got sick all over the floor, and some gays were feeling each other up for the rest of us to admire. In other words, it was a typical Warhol party. Too bad he wasn't around to enjoy it.

Andy Warhol was a unique American phenomenon. When his infamous diaries came out-the first bestseller purposely had no index so that fame groupies could not read about themselves in the bookstore and not buy the opus-I was surprised to find myself mentioned almost as many times as some minor celebrities. Warhol knew more about what was going on in nightclubs than any of us because he didn't drink or take drugs. He also did not look for sex; it was simply always on his mind. He sat for hours at a time in Studio 54 and simply observed, engaging in absolutely no conversation except for "Gee!" and "Wow!"

When I was featured in his Interview magazine-the piece, entitled "A terrorist among the rich," was accompanied by a Bruce Weber portrait that made me look like a film star-he threw a dinner for me at the trendy Nicolas restaurant in New York's Upper East Side. I sat next to him for sometime without exchanging words. Out of the blue he told me that I should sleep with actress Elizabeth Ashley, someone I had never met. "She really digs you, she's always calling me asking about you," he whispered conspiratorially.

Now I am not the naïve type, but I fell for it. When I asked my friend Bob Colacello, who worked for Andy's magazine, I got the bad news. "Andy likes to get people involved," said Bob. "Apparently Elizabeth is angry about your conservative politics. …