60s Drama

I’ve seen the movie 'Factory Girl' a long time ago, but kept being curious about Edie Sedgwick's life, and her relationship with Bob Dylan, possibly because the whole thing made me so sad about Edie(even though it seems like she brought most of it on herself). Then last week, D was listening to a Joan Baez song, 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down', and I was reminded of another one of her songs, which I used to listen to years ago, 'Diamonds and Rust'. And when I searched to see what the song could be about (other than what I think it to be), I found out that the song is most probably about Bob Dylan. Ha! All this 60s gossip made me even more curious and I read on.
I’ve been doing some research on the internet and at the local library (kidding) and I can’t say I have the most accurate information, but it’s the juicy gossip of the 60s, so why not? Even Patti Smith has something to say about the subject. I’ve seen both Patti Smith and Joan Baez in the stage by the way. Bob Dylan, his music is somewhat dull to me but maybe I didn’t listen enough.
Edie Sedgwick meets Bob Dylan while she is an inhabitant at the Chelsea Hotel. According to her brother and many other people, she falls in love with him, or has a crush on him. Around this time, Dylan’s lover of record is Joan Baez, but he is also secretly married, who also lives at Chelsea Hotel and Baez discovers her in Dylan’s room and leaves him. Edie on the other hand, is hoping to be in a movie with Dylan, and is growing apart from Andy Warhol circles, and even sighs a contract with Albert Grossman, Bob Dylan’s manager. Sadly, at a dinner at Gingerman Restaurant, Warhol lets it slip during an argument, annoyed that Edie keeps talking about 'Bobby', that Dylan is married. We later see her together with Bob Neuwirth, Dylan’s friend, to whom she is claimed to be sexually addicted.
Even though Dylan doesn't have much to report on Edie, she is said to be a huge inspiration for his album Blonde on Blonde, possibly the song Like a Rolling Stone, along with references in the songs "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" and "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again".
There is a part in the article I posted below from the Independent that says, “American aristocracy ruled that a lady's name should appear in the papers only three times: when she was born, when she married, and when she died. Edie Sedgwick changed that. As well as publicizing her appearances in underground movies, her numerous committals for mental illness and drug addiction were widely reported.” She seems to have made it into songs, as well. Here’s what Patti Smith says:
I don't know how she did it. Fire
She was shaking all over. It took
her hours to put her make-up on.
But she did it. Even the false eye-lashes.
She ordered gin with triple
limes. Then a limousine. Everyone
knew she was the real heroine of
Blonde on Blonde.
oh it isn't fair
oh it isn't fair
how her ermine hair
turned men around
she was white on white
so blonde on blonde
and her long long legs
how I used to beg
to dance with her
but I never had
a chance with her
oh it isn't fair
how her ermine hair
used to swing so nice
used to cut the air
Patti Smith, Seventh Heaven (1972), Telegraph Books, Boston, MA, USA
(Thanks to Searching for a Gem.)

On the other hand, this is what Bob Dylan says in an interview by Scott Cohen: ‘I never had that much to do with Edie Sedgwick. I've seen where I have had, and read that I have had, but I don't remember Edie that well. I remember she was around, but I know other people who, as far as I know, might have been involved with Edie. Uh, she was a great girl. An exciting girl, very enthusiastic. She was around the Andy Warhol scene, and I drifted in and out of that scene, but then I moved out of the Chelsea Hotel. We, me and my wife, lived in the Chelsea Hotel on the third floor in 1965 or '66, when our first baby was born. We moved out of that hotel maybe a year before Chelsea Girls, and when Chelsea Girls came out, it was all over for the Chelsea Hotel. You might as well have burned it down. The notoriety it had gotten from that movie pretty much destroyed it. I think Edie was in Chelsea Girls. I had lost total touch with her by that time, anyway. It may just have been a time when there was just a lot of stuff happening. Ondine, Steve Paul's Scene, Cheetah. That's when I would have known Edie if I would have known her, and I did know her, but I don't recall any type of relationship. If I did have one, I think I'd remember’. Either he is being vague and evasive (like many men), or he really didn’t have that much with her.
This is what I've been able to come up with until now. I don't think I'll keep dwelling on the subject- after all, I have a big move to plan and execute, but it kept my mind off the stress of that for a while, which is good and bad. Maybe I'll watch Factory Girl once more and be sad.


Anonymous said…
I just watched Factory Girl this last year for the first time. Before I saw it, I didn't know much about Edie Sedgwick but I read up about her online afterward. She was a pretty fascinating woman.


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