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Andy Warhol (song)

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"Andy Warhol"
Song by David Bowie
from the album Hunky Dory
Released17 December 1971
RecordedTrident Studios, London, summer 1971
GenreGlam rock, art rock, psychedelic folk
Songwriter(s)David Bowie
Producer(s)Ken Scott, David Bowie

"Andy Warhol" is a song written by David Bowie in 1971 for the album Hunky Dory. It is an acoustic song about one of Bowie's early artist inspirations, the American pop artist Andy Warhol.

The album track opens with a series of strange electronic tones which fades into studio chatter in which producer Ken Scott mispronounces Warhol's name and Bowie repeatedly demonstrates how to say it properly. Scott then solemnly reintroduces the take with the correct pronunciation, and Bowie asks if the tape is rolling. Upon realising he is indeed being recorded, Bowie bursts into laughter and the song proper begins.

The song is memorable for a distinctive repeated flamenco-sounding riff played by Mick Ronson on acoustic guitar.

Originally the song was written for Dana Gillespie, who recorded it in 1971, but her version of the song was not released until 1973 on her album Weren't Born a Man. Both versions feature Mick Ronson on guitar.

Bowie, an admirer of Warhol, sent the artist an advanced copy of Hunky Dory and performed Andy Warhol for him in person at Warhol's The Factory in New York in September 1971, before the album had been released. But due to Warhol's typically minimal reaction, Bowie was never sure if he liked it or not.[1]

Other releases[edit]

  • It was released as the B-side of the single "Changes" in January 1972.
  • It also appeared on the Japanese compilation The Best of David Bowie from 1974.
  • An edited version, with the dialogue in the introduction cut, features on the 2015 release of Five Years (1969–1973).


Live versions[edit]

  • A performance sung by Dana Gillespie was recorded for BBC Radio's In Concert strand on 3 June 1971, presented by John Peel and first broadcast on June 20 that year.[2]
  • A performance recorded at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on October 20, 1972 has been released on Santa Monica '72 and Live Santa Monica '72.
  • Bowie played this song at BBC's Sounds of the 70s with Bob Harris May 23, 1972. This was broadcast June 19, 1972, and in 2000 released on the Bowie at the Beeb album.
  • The song was a 1972 regular performance, but it was not played again until the 1995 Outside Tour with Nine Inch Nails.[3]

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ TheBestOfVoxPop (25 February 2013). "David Bowie: On Andy Warhol (Interview - 1987)" – via YouTube.
  2. ^ "11/01/2016, Marc Riley - BBC Radio 6 Music". BBC. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  3. ^ "Andy Warhol: David Bowie". Retrieved May 5, 2011.
  4. ^ "Spooky Ghost Tour Statistics -".

External links[edit]