Bob Colacello recruited me to work for Warhol’s Interview magazine. After drinks at the Polo Lounge and in their suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel, I went with them to a party at Wendy Stark’s house. Wendy is the daughter of producer Ray Stark of RASTAR fame (Funny Girl, West Side Story, The Night of the Iguana, Steel Magnolias). We walked into the house, and guess who was sitting in a high-back chair being revered and admired? It was Bette Davis. Wide-eyed yet trying not to look star-struck, I smiled, looked into her eyes, and shook her hand. No words were exchanged—no words needed to be.
I declined the job offer, and after what had been an hour-long interview for a story about me for Interview (and a night on the town), the result was two lines in the magazine. Both lines had what I continue to suspect were intentional errors.
That Warhol group didn’t take “no” nicely.
To set the record straight, there were four errors in their 33 words of coverage: 1) My first name is spelled “Stephen,” 2) the “NORELCO computer system” they mentioned was my Norelco Idea Machine, the personal recorder that I always carried with me and was on the table next to my cocktail, 3) I didn’t write dialogue—I wrote ad and promo copy, and 4) I didn’t work for “Norman Lear Productions,” I worked for Norman Lear’s Tandem Productions and TAT Communications.
No, they didn’t take “no” well. No, not well at all.
Oh, and one other thing—the icing on the cake. In the elevator ride from the Polo Lounge to their suite before heading off to the party, one of the Warhol gals looked at my tie and said, “Are you sure you want to wear that tonight? We probably have something better upstairs.”
She was, to quote Michael in Boys in the Band, “…a sunt—that’s a ‘C’ with a cedilla.”
I love the twists and turns my life takes. And I still enjoy a Campari and soda and walking down a long hotel hallway with a bunch of swells.
What a fabulous story! And I agree, no such thing as bad publicity. Enjoy your drink!