Warhol’s Screen Tests of Lou Reed, Dennis Hopper, Nico & More

Between 1964 and 1966, Andy Warhol shot close to 500 short movies of friends, celebri­ties, mod­els, and any of the oth­er love­ly young things who passed through his stu­dio known as The Fac­to­ry. The indie-rock duet Dean and Brit­ta recent­ly com­posed songs for 13 of the videos, which they’ve been per­form­ing live as part of a mul­ti­me­dia con­cert for sev­er­al years. “13 Most Beau­ti­ful… Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests” is avail­able on DVD, CD, and of course, YouTube.

We espe­cial­ly loved “I’m Not A Young Man Any­more,” fea­tur­ing an icy cool Lou Reed, so hip and desir­able that even his Coke bot­tle looks as if it’s wear­ing sun­glass­es. There are oth­er gems as well, start­ing with the doomed Edie Sedgewick, one of The Fac­to­ry’s ear­li­est stars, who died of an over­dose in 1971.

The 5′10″ Ger­man mod­el Nico, before she began record­ing with the Vel­vet Under­ground.

The preter­nat­u­ral­ly beau­ti­ful Paul Amer­i­ca, star of Warhol’s film “My Hus­tler,” who even­tu­al­ly hired lawyers to seek pay­ment for his role in the movie that made him a reluc­tant gay icon. He died after being hit by a car in 1981.

And final­ly, the late Den­nis Hop­per, extra­or­di­nary on screen even by Fac­to­ry stan­dards. Accord­ing to Dean and Brit­ta, he was the first to buy one of Warhol’s soup can paint­ings.

On a some­what unre­lat­ed note, the Dean is of course Dean Ware­ham of Galax­ie 500 and Luna. If you’re a fan of his music, or even just nos­tal­gic for 90’s era pre-Nap­ster indie rock, you might want to check out his dry, thought­ful mem­oir, Black Post­cards: A Rock & Roll Romance.

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Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.

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