Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Remembering Whips

Her catch phrase was “It’s Showtime!” She would announce it before she'd get on a table in the back room of the famous club Max’s Kansas City in Manhattan to start her song and dance routine.

Born and raised in the city, Andrea “Whips” Feldman was a character in Andy Warhol’s 1960’s scene. A Warhol Superstar who acted in three classic Paul Morrissey films: Imitation of Christ, Trash, and her greatest performance- Heat. Her bizarre disposition and heavy NY accent along with crazy improvised dialogue made her a stand out weirdo- in a cast full of freaks. Besides being a wild partier who loved drugs, she struggled with depression and insecurity. In 1972 on the 10th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death, everybody was hanging out in the back room when she jumped on a table, and uncharacteristically, silently held Marilyn’s photo above her head. After a while she said “Marilyn is dead, love me while you can” and jumped down. No one thought too much of it at the time.

A few days later she called up a bunch of her ex-boyfriends and told them to come over to witness “her final performance.” As they gathered on the sidewalk out side of her aunt’s ritzy apartment in mid-town, Whips jumped from the 14th floor to her death. She held a can of coca-cola in one hand and a rosary in the other. She was 24. Her suicide note was addressed to everyone she loved and ended with the proclamation “I’m going for the big time, I hit the jackpot!”

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