Index Magazine Interview
VAGINAL DAVIS: What is the name of this restaurant we are at?
Sean Carrillo: "Le Petit Four"
Bibbe: Don't tell anyone
VD: Le Petit Four on Glamorous Sunset Plaza on the Sunset Strip
SC: I don't want it to become trendy like all our other favorite places.
VD: I'm eating here with Bibbe Hansen, the starina of starinas and her sexy husband Sean Carrillo, who is much younger then her--she robbed the cradle. She snatched him at the age of 15 from his parents in East LA, basically kidnapped him. Bibbe is a female pedophile. . .
SC: She took me across state lines . . .
BH: I took him to New York.
VD: Bibbe was running a Brown slavery ring at the time for horny white ladies who like chorizo. That's why you removed Sean from his very close knit Latin family
SC: She introduced me to Andy Warhol.
VD: Warhol, the art and movie world. They have been together since the late 1970's. Sean has been her child husband/bride for almost 20 years. He is still a radiant youth. Bibbe is, of course, an ageless wonder. One of the 77 wonders of the world. A former Warhol star. The youngest of the Warhol firmament. You come from Bohemian Royalty. You've been the salon/madam/mistress to all the movers/shakers/filmmakers and artists/musicians in LA since the dawning of the punk rock era, into the post punk era to the present. You are a modern day Gertrude Stein.
BH: A better looking version of Gertrude Stein hopefully. Poor Gertie, she wasn't exactly a looker.
VD: During the first wave of LA punk you encouraged a lot of bands here. You inspired, you were the muse, you suckled them and gave them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
SC: The Screamers were one band. And then--The Controllers.
BH: Al Hansen, my dad managed the Controllers. He was into punk rock before I was. He was the one that turned me on to it. I was a Hollywood wife then. Married to Beck and Channing's dad, David Campbell. I always had a wild streak, but I was in wild recovery living with my staid husband--a wonderful, musician, arranger and composer. I needed a rest from being a maniac wild child. I had the children, Beck and Channing, and things were very calm for me for about five or six years and then my father--
SC: She lived in Marlon Brando's old house in Laurel Canyon. This house had marvelous stairs up and down and everywhere. In the book "Breakfast With Brando" Anna Kashfi is always talking about falling down these stairs. The house had 15 different sets of stairs on all crazy different levels.
VD: So you gave up that world and that life and took a teenage Chicano lover and left Beck's father for him
BH: Oh yeah, I gave it all up for love. I've always been like that. That's my pattern.
SC: When she left David all she took was the pearl's around her neck. And the rings that she later had to pawn.
BH: Yeah that about sums it up, I've lost almost all the good jewelry. The Bulgari stuff is all gone. All I have left is some Robert Lee Morris. Maybe a few good pieces left.
SC: But we survived.
VD: You've always lived a life of art. Taking risks, with places and situations where it wasn't always the most comfortable, but you went with your instincts in where you had to be. You were even doing art as a child and involved in art movements as a child and performing..
BH: Janet Kerouac and I had an all-girl band together as children. We grew up together in New York and went to school together on the lower east side. We ran around the city getting into incredible amounts of trouble.
SC: They were both juvenile delinquents.
BH: We were stealing things, drugs, scams; you name it. We did wind up with a recording contract though. We hung with this other girl, Charlotte, and we were like the Three Musketeers.
VD: You were frisky, a libertine from birth
BH: Well, pretty serious jailbait, at least. I'm talking 12 or 13 here. We hustled our way into a recording contract on Columbia's Colpix label with Don Rubens. The people who wrote our A-side song were the ones who wrote "Denise". You know? "Oh , Denise, doo be doo"? And Murray the K's mother who co-wrote "Splish Splash I was Taking a Bath", she wrote the flip side of our record.
VD: What was your all-girl group called?
BH: The Whippets? With Janet Kerouac. We put out a record that was the answer to the Beatles "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." Ours was called "I Wanna Talk With You". This was with me, Janet and Charlotte. I was also doing Happenings with my dad and experimental theatre. With my father, I was involved in the whole downtown experimental theatre thing at Judson Church and LaMama and Living Theatre. I also had a traditional theater background where I went off and did summer stock in upstate New York. The Adirondacks. I did summer theatre in Saranac Lake, then later at the Lake Placid Playhouse--both well-respected. I did several seasons with them as a kid, that was my summer job. I would go up and play the juvenile leads. Diary of Anne Frank, The Bad Seed, Helen Keller.
VD: I don't think many people are aware that you had this background.
BH: I started working acting on film for the first time at age 13.
VD: Was that when you did your Warhol screen tests?
BH: I made several films with Andy. The first was Prison. I was 13.
VD: That's why you are known as the youngest of Andy Warhol's superstars. How was it working with Edie?
BH: I loved working with her. She was kind to me. And she taught me a lot of make-up tricks. Like the big sister I never had. We'd do speed and play with cosmetics for hours. Andy was wonderful, He made an enormous impression on me and set a certain tone that has followed me all my life. I understand in later years, things changed, but at that time in life he had this wonderful tolerance, acceptance and inclusiveness. In a world that was very exclusive and standoffish, he was very welcoming, and I was just a little kid. A child.
VD: You weren't like any regular little kid. You were innately sophisticated. I've never seen the movie Prison. I've only read about it. I did read that you are very authoritative in the film, your complete stance is that of someone much older than 13. You are telling your story in the film very matter-of-factly.
SC: It had a very short release when it first came out. Callie Angell at the Whitney is working on restoring it and re-releasing it.
VD: How long has it been since you've seen it.
BH: Ages and ages.
VD: What year did it come out?
BH: 1964, 1965 somewhere along there
VD: What other films did you do with Andy?
BH: They weren't called screen tests then. What I was told was the film was 10 Beautiful Girls and then the second one was 10 More Beautiful Girls. This was after I made Prison. I did "Andy Warhol's L'Avventura" which takes place at the L'Avventura Restaurant on 2nd Avenue.
VD: I love the Antonioni film with my favorite Italian actress Monica Vitti. I love her in Modesty Blaise.
BH: We'd be hanging out and somebody would say, "Let's go to dinner at Blabity-Blah" and in most circles, they would have dumped the kid off, but not with Andy. Of course I was going. It was very embracing. My age did not exclude me. You are like that too. You won't be ghetto-ized, not by a black ghetto or sex ghetto. You mix it up. Gay/straight young/ old
VD: Lowlifes and highlifes
BH: Andy believed in that
VD: It's the perfect mix.
BH: That's something that has had a profound influence on me
VD: Yeah, you cultivate that. It's a perfect balance.
BH: It's a shared aesthetic that brought us together instantly. I've been a fan of yours since the minute I met you.
VD: And I knew you were a woman of substance immediately. I knew you'd be a part of my life. And that's what has connected you to so many people. You have this wonderful sense of whimsy and youthful abandon. You are a true libertine in the sense that you don't see any boundaries. You live life to its utter fullness. You're the ultimate modern woman. I remember that time when you ran Troy Café and I brought Ghislaine, that hot boyish French girl...
BH: Hush! my husband is right here listening to all this.
VD: We're giving away her lesbianic tendency secrets.
SC: Well I had the hots for Ghislaine too.
VD: You are one progressive couple. You two have such a complete understanding of each other.
SC: We both can appreciate a hot buttered bull dyke.
VD: Gotta get a dyke to work for you. They can build you one mean bull dagger deck.
SC: Have you seen them driving a fork lift?
VD: Back in the Warhol days, you weren't thinking in terms of a career. You weren't careerist?
BH: No, I was just hanging out. We also abused vast amounts of substances.
VD: Did you do a lot of drugs back then?
SC: Her attorney advises her not to answer that question.
BH: It was very much the times. It's a shame so many adorable wonderful people, people I've loved so very much, gave their lives to all that. I'm lucky to be a survivor.
VD: The difference with you is that while you partook, it never ruled you. The main part of your concsciousness has been fueled through art not narcotics. Art is in your blood. On your mother's side and on your father's side.
BH: I was fortunate enough and blessed enough to have something to hang on to.
VD: How long were you in New York doing projects.?
BH: I took some sojourns. I went to the Virgin Islands. I wound up in reform school. Jail. I was in and out of reform school. Finally they locked me up. I was a wild teenager. Beyond out of control. I can't imagine having a girl child like me now. I got in trouble with the law doing illegal things. Probably best not to talk about those things.
VD: There is a statute of limitations I don't think they can prosecute you now, dear.
BH: I was involved with shady dealings. There were some scams that blew up, dicey stuff, you know--the usual: murder & mayhem, a big drug bust and a few sex scandals, and at the same time I wasn't going to school and I wasn't at home. It all got me a lot of the wrong kind of attention. So there wasn't a lot my family could do to protect me at that point.
VD: Your dad was an artist, he was a wild bohemian.
BH: It was a crazy wild madcap time. They eventually put me someplace for a very long time and this was in upstate New York. Basically--well, it was hard to get out. Then crazy summer when everyone died Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy--my mother died that year too.
VD: Audrey Hansen. Your mother was another great beauty. She was a stripper.
BH: She was quite a character. My mother was originally supposed to play Sabrina in the movie. The Audrey Hepburn role. She was a dancer on the old Perry Como Show. She was the one who did the Thumbalina dance in Perry Como's hand. She was in those old commercials that were done live. One of the famous ones was the one she goofed up, where the girl comes onscreen in elegant profile and gets her cigarette lit. Then she turns to the camera to exhale and coughs half a lung out. She could be very silly and fun. She was also in a couple of movies.
VD: You inherited her aesthetics.
BH: She loved to play; she loved to go out. Her big pals were two gay brothers Donald and Harold. She would go out cruising with them and their friends, but she would be dressed in drag as a little sailor boy and they would go all over the city picking up guys together in gay bars.
VD: That's very Last Exit to Brooklyn.
SC: Its very Querelle.
VD: I heard a story about your mother tutoring gangsters.
BH: Real gangsters, New York toughs. After she divorced her third husband she went through her official gangster period. Jimmy Shapiro my stepfather, he was from a very important New York Jewish family. His mother, Rose Shapiro, was Chairman of the Board of Education of NYC for 12 years. She owned Fabrege Perfume with her half-brother Sam Rubin.
After that relationship was ended she came back to New York and got an apartment on the upper west side and started hanging out at these cafe society nightclubs like 21, The Pompeii Club, and the Stork Club. And meeting all these characters. One of them was Charlie Walker, the heir to the Hiram Walker whiskey fortune. My Uncle Charlie. He was hilarious and he moved in with us for a while. My mother would be off in Boston scoring cocaine for " Uncle Charlie" and he would babysit me. He was always snockered, sloshed out of his mind. Constantly inebriated. He would read me Wuthering Heights with a real Yorkshire dialect, I loved that; and he would take me to school. He drove a black Jaguar. He'd pick me up we'd eat pizza and he'd read to me.
VD: My mother use to read out loud to me and act out stories from the Bible. That made me become this theatrical person.
BH: During this period my mother met a lot of different characters.
VD: Well you took from your mother all right, associating with all the dregs of society. That's a trait in your family.
BH: At one point she was enamored with hanging out in cafes and niteclubs where she met these strange New York underworld figures. Thieves, society degenerates and gangsters. All these different characters she was hobnobbing with. Hi-life and lo-life types. One of the lasting images I have as a child, is waking up early one morning to go to school and hearing music in the distance. I went out into the hall and saw my mother's door ajar. I stood in the shadows and peeked in. She's is in bed dressed like Jean Harlow wearing a lilac pegnoir. She's got a long cigarette holder and she's waving it around like she's conducting an orchestra. She's talking non-stop, "If you listen right here, listen very carefully to this part, it sounds like a beer bottle going through the window--Now! Ah! There it is! Do you hear it?" At the foot of her bed are these four thugs, sitting in straightback chairs. It's 7:00 in the morning and she's giving music appreciation lessons to these guys. I remember one of these characters was Man Mountain Dean.
VD: Who is that?
BH: He was a wrestler. And they are really concentrating hard.
VD: How "Brush up on Your Shakespeare".
BH: It was right out of Damon Runyon. They were trying so hard to stay awake and pay attention. And all of these guys were so nice to me. They would always slip me $10 or $20 dollar bill. And there was this one character named Bobby very tall and very thin very Jimmy Stewart lanky and pale. He was quiet and watery and he gave me this huge stuffed bunny rabbit and some cash money and he said, "Youse a cute kid--here get yourself and your friends some soda or somethin." then he pointed at the rabbit and warned: "And don't tell nobody I give it to you. I got a reputation, you know!"
VD: Your mother was half Swedish and Jewish.
BH: Yeah, her mother was Jewish. My father is Norwegian--a Viking. We are the black sheeps of black sheeps of black sheeps in our family. This has been going on for a very long time. When it came time for my kids to rebel they did they only thing that they could--they became successful in both their personal lives and careers. That's all they could do to really act out against me.
VD: Well your eldest is what could be described as the epitome of success. Most mothers would dream of their child becoming that successful, admired and respected.
BH: Yes, he's sober, stable, hardworking, has a fantastic relationship, and he is understanding, considerate, a decent human being, My other son is, amazingly enough, a college grad. From the Art Institute in San Francisco.
VD: Yeah, Channing is more like you. He has that Hansen thing going strong.
BH: Well, he's an artist.
VD: He is a rebel. He has a good job right now but I can see him dropping it in a second and going off into the hills with his four lovers . . .
BH: Well that's the gene from my side of the family.
SC: He has a child now, and he is an amazing father.
VD: You've never lived a traditional life for very long.
BH: I did for a little while. I wanted to know what it was like.
VD: When you lived with your first husband, you lived more of a traditional life after the struggling days before your husband became well known. Some hippy dippy times.
BH: Oh, I was never a hippy.
SC: She doesn't know what "Inna Gadda Da Vida" means. She has never worn anything tie-dyed.
BH: David actually was a bit hippy and maybe there is one photo of me looking a little hippy but it was a costume, a joke, and I was made up to look like that.
VD: That makes sense since you didn't have to go through any middle class rebellion. You grew up in a non-traditional counter cultural, bohemian environment. You never needed that kind of affectation. You've always been very sophisticated.
BH: I went from beatnik to mod to punk to international cultural bourgeoisie with no stops in between.
VD: I've seen pictures of you from the 60's and you pretty much look and dress the same now as you did then. Very streamlined, sleek and modern. You had a clean aesthetic, clean lines. You've never gone with trends, you have always had the same amazing style. Since being a teenager. You know what looks good on you....
SC: When you see pictures of her at age 13 and 14 she looks hot then--
VD: And now
SC: Most people are embarrased by old pictures of themselves, mainly because of the hair. Not Bibbe.
VD: She knew intuitively what worked for her. She always looked good. You had your own mind set from an early age. You took a lot of risk along the way, no whining, no excuses. You lived your life to its fullest. Took responsibility. Like leaving your husband and capturing a teenage Chicano lover. You never worry about what people think. You don't compromise. You stay completely true to yourself. That is what has made you stand out. That's what keeps you young.
BH: Stop! I'm blushing!
VD: We jump to the part where you met Sean and got involved with the punk scene. Sean was the youngest member of Asco. The art collective. Sean was making movies too.
SC: Yeah, when I met Bibbe I was just this teenage kid, and she already knew everything about me and everyone in Asco in the group and the Chicano art movement of that time. She knew our history, where we came from, what we were about. She knows her shit. She is with the trends before they happen in the art world. When I first met her I said I'm going to marry that bleep. I grew up Catholic so that's all I could say. I still go to confession once a week.
VD: That's good. I'm not Catholic and I go to mass every day. I find it comforting. I love the rituals involved in Catholicism.
BH: I like the frankincense
SC: Honey, its drag queen heaven. I don't really go to church--only to confession because I like being in a creepy dark booth with a priest. It's sexy. I loved being an altar boy. All of the Catholic rituals are like a Genet story. I mean, come on . . . once a year the highest priest in your area washes the feet of ten bums, is that like shrimping or what. Everybody shows up for that one, even people who don't go to church come for that spectacle.
VD: I was obsessed with Catholic ritual as a child though I was raised a Jehovah's Witness. Our church was too modest. My mother though wasn't the best Witness because she didn't obey all the rules. She was too rebellious. She believed, but didn't obey everything to the letter. She was what was considered disfellowshipped. She was a bad Jehohah's Witness. We didn't celebrate Christmas or birthdays, but that was more because she was cheap, and since we were on welfare that was a good excuse not having presents and things, and my mother thrives on excuses. And she likes when people feel sorry for her. She did buy Christmas cards and send them to people. There was something about buying the funky cards she liked. And I got to address them all and put on stamps, which I loved. I got to show off my excellent penmanship, my beautiful cursive handwriting and she had this old fashion fountain pen that I loved using.
We didn't celebrate our own birthdays but once in a while depending her mood, if someone invited us to a birthday party she would let us go. And when we lived in the projects she would buy candy to give to the kids on Halloween, but she never let us trick or treat because Halloween was a demonic holiday that glorifed satanic doings. We lived in such a religious household and my mother read the bible out loud to me and re-enacted things elaborately like your Uncle Charlie. I don't deny my religious upbringing because that helped shape me into becoming this creature known as Ms. Davis.
SC: Its part of who you are. One of my brothers is a priest.
BH: I come from a very old Jewish family--the Rosenbergs. Abraham Rosenberg was my great grandfather, and he was actually the first president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.
VD: So you come from Jewish activist union stock. No wonder you get along so well with Harold Meyerson, who is a political writer and specializing in labor & union issues.
BH: Abe is mentioned in a lot of books and he wrote a book called "My Life as a Cloak-Maker". Unfortunately, I don't know that side of the family. My mother had a certain Jewish identification in speech and mannerisms And my stepfather was Jewish. She never was actually very religious, except for the period when she was having an affair with the abbot of a monastary--a Catholic priest. That was her Catholic period. Actually, as a youngster, I went to Presbyterian Sunday school. I spent the first couple of years in an all black community in Novia Scotia called Africatown. The matriarch of this community was a wonderful woman named Old Rose and she had a daughter--Rowena--and I was left in their care for the first several years of my life. I sort of went between them and Chickie Lantini. Chickie slept at the foot of my mother's bed and she took care of me when I was in NYC with my mother. She was bartender at a dyke bar. I don't think they slept with each other. I think it was just a worship relationship where she was in awe of my mother and was in her service. There were several people of different sexes who slept at the foot of my mother's bed at different times. She had quite a following. So between my lesbian Catholic/Italian nanny Chickie and Old Rose, the black lady in Nova Scotia who took me to a Holy Rollers Baptist Church every Sunday, I had some pretty heavy Christian influences. I still remember that Baptist church to this day. The singing, the energy, the enthusiasm.
VD: How could you forget?
BH: I loved playing with the other little kids, after church and Sunday School. We played games like Little Sally Saucer outside in the church yard.
VD: You don't look Jewish, you look Waspy with your strawberry blonde hair. You didn't live the Jewish girl life that much did you?
BH: In a way I did, because my stepdad was Jewish. And there were all those Theodore Bikel records in the house. It was the Fifties and we weren't allowed to join the country club because we were Jews. My mother got into a bar brawl in a little upstate town . It was a catfight with some woman who started yelling, that the "Lousy kikes are messing up our town". So my mother hauled off and decked her. I remember getting turned away from hotels back then--they were "restricted" which meant "no Jews". So we were Jewish enough to be discriminated against. Meanwhile my father Al Hansen and many of his pals were into Zen--that was a Fifties thing. Sixties too. So because of all this, I was opened to different religious ideas. As a teen I was an atheist, of course. Then suddenly, somewhere in there, I realized I was really Jewish.
VD: Were Beck and Channing raised Jewish?
BH: Yeah, a bit. More than I was anyway.
SC: Yeah, when Jewish girls find out Beck is Jewish the just go crazy, cuz they feel that they can now bring him home to meet the folks. Its really important to his Jewish girl fans.
BH: Jewish men always liked me because I looked kind of aryan. Though not entirely quite. I've always had the not-quite-caucasian thing about me. Even the Swede in me is part Lapp. As in Lapplander. Same (pronounced: Sah-mee). That's what they call themselves over there. In Sweden, I'm related to Bibi Lindstrom. Ingmar Bergman's art director and set designer. During the Persona period. The early to middle Bergman period. She was an artist, well-known in her time. She was an inspriration to my mother. My mother's family was a bit dark and serious. Her step-mother and father were pretty horrendous and abusive people from what I've heard.
We're going to Sweden and Norway with the Beck & Al Hansen: Playing with Matches exhibition. The show started in Santa Monica Museum of Art, then it went to New York City to the Thread Waxing Space, and then Winnipeg at Plug-In Editions.
SC: Hot art town, Winnipeg; it's our kind of town, just too cold.
BH: Then Vancouver Art Beatus Gallery. So hip! They first introduced to the West many of the fabulous hot new Asian artists that are now appearing in that wonderful Asian art show that's touring now--"Inside Out". Art Beatus is based in Hong Kong with galleries there and in Vancouver. But they do shows all over the world. They discover what is new and hot everywhere. Not just Asian either. They did a full-on Basquiat show with catalogue. And they did the "Beck & Al Hansen Playing With Matches" show. They're like us--they like to "mix it up".
Next we are going to Japan to open Playing With Matches at the LaForet Museum in Tokyo as well as Fukuoka and Nagoya. The show is booked through the year 2000 with shows in Banff, Canada; Cleveland, Ohio; Kingston, Ontario; PA; Kentucky--on and on. We're going to be in Canada and the US right after Japan; then Europe, the Scandinavian countries and Germany.
SC: Where Al is already huge. And Scandinavia
BH: Some of these galleries mightn't have done the show if there wasn't the Beck connection, but once they see the work, it stands on its own.
VD: They need the exposure to Al's work.
BH: Critics have said that Al deserves a major retrospective.
SC: That is what Roberta Smith of the New York Times said in her review of the show; her last line was that Al Hansen deserves a major American museum retrospective.
VD: Well they give it up to all these lame people, Al really deserves it.
BH: A lot of what happens in the world in any circumstance is political. It boils down to money and power and the distribution of that and how it's gonna work and underneath all that, are real ideas, are things of substance and value for the ages that transcend styles and trends and who's friends with who, who's investment is in this kind of art or that kind, and who gets to become a player and who doesn't. When the dust clears from the 20th Century, I believe that Al's body of work will really stand out. Not just the art, but also his philosphies of art education and art process and theory.
SC: He wrote a book in 1965 on performance art. It's called, "A Primer of Happenings and Time/Space Art"
BH: How he lived his life was completely consistent with his ideas.
VD: He was the consumate artist. That was passed down to you and you passed it on to Beck and Channing. Your kids couldn't help but be artists.
BH: Al had that inclusiveness that we were talking about earlier. He wasn't precious about what he did and how he did it. He was endlessly fascinated by other people's work and how they did it and young people and children and the developing artist and emerging artist and artist in embryo
VD: I know he was very supportive of me. Very generous. True artists aren't selfish. It wasn't all about him. He really gave back.
SC: He was a big fan of yours. He would play videotapes he made of you rehearsing at Troy with Cholita to me in Germany. He had a TV but it had no antenna and no cable, so he couldn't watch TV. All he did was play tapes on theVCR and you were his favorite entertainment. He had hours of footage
VD: I remember he'd have that funny look on his face.
BH: He loved your songs-- "Size Has Nothing To Do With Performance" and "I'm Not A Puta; I'm A Princess"
VD: He recognized everything that was new. That's why he got into the punk scene.
SC: Then he made sure that Bibbe got into the scene.
BH: He came to LA from New York one year. Brought all these records with him and got me to go to these shows here. And in 24 hours I had punks living in my garage, sleeping on the couch, in the driveway, hanging out on the porch. Darby Crash, KK, DOA Dan, Kid Spike, Alice Bag, Carla Mad Dog... It was Scout Troop 666.
SC: Bibbe instantly embraced all of this.
BH: They were all a bunch of sweet kids. My father did a punk zine and I took pictures of all the bands for him: The Screamers with KK, Tomato and Tommy Gear, the Germs, the Dils, the Controllers.
SC: Gorgeous pictures. That's the common thread running through her life and career. Why did her kids grow up to be these incredible musicians and artists--because there were punk rockers sleeping in the house day and night.
VD: They got it through osmosis.
SC: From an early age Beck and Channing were not these little kids, but little artists.
VD: I've learned from Bibbe and Al Hansen. When you got together with Sean he opened a whole new world for you. The east LA punk art scene and you opened a new world for him with the international art world. You guys have an art union. It's a complete art marriage.
SC: We're slackers
VD: You guys never worry about money.
BH: When you don't have any, there's nothing to worry about. One question that amazed me that journalists would ask around these recent shows? How did I feel, or how did I imagine my father would feel, that Beck is so wildly famous, while Al never had that kind of fame in his life? How silly! Al was into "Fine Art" and was an avant garde artist, and fine artists don't get that kind of fame. It's not in that program. Not like show business. Beck is a "pop musician". Fame is part of that.
VD: Al never compared himself to others people and Bibbe doesn't compare herself.
SC: Al never said a negative thing about other artists. When he died he had all this art from other artists. Lichtenstein, Takako Saito, Ben Patterson, Ben Vautier and other people. After he got paid from his art dealer he'd take the money and buy other people's work.
VD: Bibbe lives for art, taking the time, spending hours talking to people. Café Troy and those marathon sessions of talking.
BH: During the riots, we were ground zero for all the art scene protesters. When they had the demonstration at Parker Center, everyone was overturning cop cars and burning things down--then they would all run back to Troy, grab a coffee and critique themselves on TV. Then they'd dash back out to re-join the action. Nowhere in this country has civil disobedience been performance art more than with the artists and kids hanging around Troy Café during the LA Riots.
VD: Your hand-picked beauties.
BH: You took them over and made "black fag" with them.
VD: But I found them at Troy. Gorgeous Chicano boys, and hot pieces of rice: Chinese, Japanese, Korean
SC: Innocent beauty.
VD: And the cute white boys too. That New Republic article about Troy and you and Bibbe and the Café really captured what was going on and what you guys were all about and doing.
SC: A natural blending of different races and ideologies. Nothing forced. It was multicultural in its true sense not just a pat phrase. It wasn't some tired art grift. Art, music, sex brought all these people together--it was beautiful. People in their 80 and 90's to toddlers. We even had the homeless people in the area involved. I sometimes go down there for old time sake and smoke a lil crack with them.
BH: Just a lil crack.
VD: Your oldest son is a critical and commercial success. He cultivated having a long career.
BH: I am his fan and his mother. I'm proud of him.
VD: Yeah, he knows how to back his excrement up. The body of works he created. People haven't seen even half of it.
SC: Yeah, he's not out getting drunk every night; he's too busy for that.
VD: Beck and Channing are first generation children of punk.
BH: They were born in Pico-Union district. During the punk scene we were living in the "Hollywood Flats"
VD: You're little Miss New York. A child of the streets and you brought that sensibility to Los Angeles. Now it's ready for your comeback.
BH: I owe that to you. I've worked with Andy Warhol, Jonas Mekas, Brian De Palma. I have never enjoyed working with someone more than when I've worked with you in The White To Be Angry and of course doing the band "black fag" together.
BH: You're my favorite director, but Brian DePalma gave better head.
VD & SC: Break out laughing.
BH: Your're very nurturing. I'm doing this movie next with John Aes-Nihil.
VD: I've done two films with him.
VD: You are a theatre and video and film director yourself.
SC: Bibbe does it all.
VD: Bibbe is the surrogate mother to so many people.
BH: I enjoy people.
VD: I know that Bibbe has always nurtured me, being a neurotic talent, I'm always in denial and doubt.