Billy Name's toast at the book party:
"I propose a toast to Steven Watson. Hereís to all the down and dirty work he has been doing for the past several years. He has the right spirit and he knows where itís at. It's a beautiful book and itís very authentic and I endorse it."
From David Maxim:
Many years ago I remember you asking "just how is it that so many
famous people seem to know each otherbe at the same place at the same
time." or something to that effect. You found it to be THE pressing mystery of
creative temperaments. Your attempts to answer your own question has
clearly resonated in your publications. The literal mapping of
creative persons physical juxtapositions in Strange Bedfellows is the only
other of your books I have read, and while I greatly enjoyed your novel
approach to creativity's social and physical links, it was difficult for me to
sustain interest because so many of the people covered meant little or nothing
to me. With Factory Made, it is a different matter all together.
As I read I frequently found myself going "ah ha!"the sixties
belongs to many of your readers of this new book and it was as though little
pieces came together page by page to put the puzzle into a broad picture that
also clarified bits of my own life. 1. I saw the show at Ferris Gallery in
Westwood in 1962; I found myself in a restaurant called Max's Kansas
City in June of 1966 (the most fun I think I've ever had to this day in public
diningand I was by myself!); 3. I saw Andy Warhol and what must have
been the Velvet Underground entourage sitting in an open air cafe doing
nothing just hanging out in West LA (you explain why). 4. My
sister-in-law was a nurse at Cottage Hospital. She was treating this
"complete crazy "named Edie Sedgewick. Had I heard of her? She kept
talking about Andy Warhol.
So you see, although my references are very oblique indeed, they
nevertheless are my references and stand out clearly in my youth, and
you have given them meaningful, unified context. I thank you for that and
When you mentioned last year in LA that you were researching a book on
Andy Warhol, I thought,"Oh, my! another book on Andy Warhol." Well, as
far as I'm concerned you have written THE book on Andy Warhol, and it is
much, much better than good.
I know the praise is flooding in for your accomplishment, and so
before it becomes a tidal wave, I want to praise your efforts,too!
First of all, the book is physically a beauty. Really good graphic
design, clear typeface, large format, but light physical weight, wonderfully
paced and descriptive photos, and engaging footnote material in the margins.
Your taking only to 1968 impacts on the concept of the brevity of
"periods" and volcanic creativity. The "map" at the beginning I found myself
referring to again and again.
It is truly amazing how descriptively you writededucing people's
thinking and social intereaction from several lines of interview material. Your
writing style was amazingly fresh and fun, yet serious at the same
Simply a marvel.
Everything else I've read on Warhol never clarified the man from the
mystique of the artisthe was always shrouded in mystery and contradiction.
Your text removed the mystique and legend almost completely. Now THAT is a
great accomplishment. FINALLY!
I found myself looking for one or two character's I liked best in the
Factory mob. They turned out to be Billy and Gerard. At a deep level your book revealed
how much Warhol relied on collaboration. You give plenty of deserved
credit to other members of the Factory. At the deepest level your book deals
with the topic of the potential that lies simply in meeting people. And
that is something we should all never forget.
From Susan Bachelder (12/28/03):
Just finished the book and have found it to be a masterful combination of good historical research and good disswhy people write boring histories I do not know since they would not be writing about their subjects if they were boringanyway, it was really fun to read and recall all those eveningsI myself am rather well endowed and I remembered as I read that Brigid Polk wanted to do a tit pix at Max's one niteI declined
From Jeff Abell:
Now that I don't have 170 emails facing me, I can say that the new book is different from the others, in terms of unfolding in time, but that was clearly the only reasonable way to organize the diverse materials. What you always excel at is showing how one thing (say, Gertrude Stein, Miss Thing herself) is related to something that it might not occur to one to relate it to, like the opening of a museum in Hartford CT. Yet you show quite clearly how those things are indeed related together. The Andy book ultimately does the same thing, demonstrating how one set of trends and ideas and events (like the whole Fluxus thing) is related to what was happening at the factory (just the intense connection of the Cinematheque, which was a venue for both Andy's crew and the Fluxers). And again, I know Art History, not FILM history, so getting the skinny on how all these films fit into the already much vetted paintings; what collaboration meant at the Factory; how people like Malanga were involved; what distinguishes a Morrissey film from Warhol, etc. etc. etc. And the info on the Velvets was also invaluable: I love the idea of John Cale as LaMonte Young's drug delivery boy!
From Gerald Howard, editor at Doubleday Broadway, part of Random House: