I was a transkid from small town America. I was alone and miserable in a burned out mining town about 300 miles from New York City.
People had been telling me I ought to go to Greenwich Village because that was where freaks like me belongs.
Funny thing was they acted like going to live in some place like “The Village” was some sort of horrible fate.
Before I was a hippie, I was a folkie and I read everything I could find about Greenwich village and in the process I learned about the mad poets and abstract expressionist painters who lived there.
When I went away to college I was introduced to auteurs like Bregman, Truffaut, Fellini, Antonioni, Kurasawa….
I read Ginsberg, and di Prima, Burroughs, Kerouac.
I read about an artist named Andy Warhol who was making movies that were different.
I started hanging out in The Village, I saw Chelsea Girls, The Velvet Underground’s Banana Album “Andy Warhol Presents “The Velvet Underground”” became one of my all time favorite albums.
I was fascinated by what Andy was doing.
David Hockney, another artist said in one of his books that the difference between an artist some one studies art is that the student of art asks “What does it mean?” and the artist asks, “How did they do that?”
I was more fascinated by what Warhol was doing than I was in the personalities involved.
In the early 1970s Warhol Films were the work of Paul Morrissey. Morrissey made several films with Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling and Jackie Curtis.
While Candy was the prettiest I always like Holly best because she was not only funny but had a resilience to her. As far as I know only Holly is still alive.
I had a super good friend in the early 1970s. We went through Stanford together. She ran the NTCU after I left. Her name was Leslie StClair and she died last year. she was a fan of Candy Darling. she taught me some of the magic of glamor even though I liked being the one behind the cameras even better.
Leslie and I went to movies together and she talked about the glamorous actresses of the past. She modeled herself on Jean Harlow but I saw her as more like Kim Novak, Candy Darling’s role model. We saw a campy Kim Novak movie, “The Legend of Lylah Clair” and Leslie gained the nick name
We were saddened to learn Candy Darling had cancer and even sadder when she died.
A Warhol ‘Superstar,’ Closer to Earth
By STEPHEN HOLDEN
Published: April 21, 2011
“Beautiful Darling,” James Rasin’s touching documentary biography of Candy Darling, the transsexual Andy Warhol “superstar,” is a sad, lyrical reflection on the foolish worship of movie stars. Jeremiah Newton, who is a producer of the film and narrates the story, was Candy Darling’s closest friend and onetime roommate who appointed himself guardian of her legacy after her death in 1974 from cancer at 29. The movie shows him arranging her burial beside Mr. Newton’s mother in Cherry Valley, N.Y.
His reverence for Candy Darling, who appeared in a number of Warhol movies and inspired songs by Lou Reed, is not unlike her adolescent worship of Kim Novak. When Candy Darling was still a boy named James L. Slattery, experimenting with cross-dressing while growing up on Long Island, he sent away for an autographed picture of Ms. Novak. The day it arrived was one of the most important moments of his life, an acquaintance recalls.
In the days when Slattery was growing up, Ms. Lebowitz recalls, wallowing in movie-magazine images of untouchable gods and goddesses was an irresistible escape from the rejection and scorn of straight society. Even after becoming a downtown celebutante, Candy Darling, who took female hormones, resisted having the surgery to complete gender reassignment. “I’m not a genuine woman,” she said. “But I’m not interested in genuineness. I’m interested in being the product of a woman.”
Candy Darling, who naïvely regarded Warhol as her Louis B. Mayer and protector, was bitterly disappointed when he lost interest in his triumvirate of cross-dressing “superstars,” which also included Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis.