John Cale/Lou Reed ‘Hedy The Shoplifter’ st

Hedy Lamarr (1913–2000)w-montez-shedy-sscreentest-s

A side from ‘Screen Test: Falling In Love With The Falling Spikes’ LP
01 Hedy Film Soundtrack (excerpt)+Interview (14:10)

John Cale: viola, organ, piano
Lou Reed: guitar
Recorded 1966. Shining Star Records LP, DOM 001, UK, 1985

Plot [from IMDb]: Egotistical faded star Hedy Lamarr visits a plastic surgeon to be transformed into the “14-year-old girl” she believes herself to be. She is then caught shoplifting by Mary Woronov and is put on trial, with Tavel as the judge and her five ex-husbands the jury. Hedy remains self-centered and detached throughout, posing and primping and bursting out renditions of “I Feel Pretty” and “Young at Heart.”

Screen Test refers to a series of short b&w films in which Warhol submitted friends to close-up interviews ca 1965-66.  Hedy is part of a film trilogy shot by Andy Warhol in November 1965, about the fascination and mystique of Hollywood, also including the films More Milk Yvette and The Chelsea Girls. In 1966, Warhol shot a film on The Velvet Underground in rehearsal at The Factory called ‘Symphony Of Sound’ – the session was famously broken up by the NYC police after complaints about the noise. Both Symphony Of Sound and the present Hedy soundtrack were later issued on bootleg LPs and this is the A side from ‘Falling In Love With The Falling Spikes’ LP. The 14mns sequence also include John Cale’s introduction and interview. Cale & Reed provided a total of 26mns of music for Hedy. Their soundtrack is reminiscent of early experiments with Angus McLise and work with LaMonte Young. The music was apparently recorded in 1966, after the film’s completion in November 1965. A few sounds are distinguishable amid a cornucopia of noise: amplified viola recorded from a distance and/or with heavy reverb, producing ghost-like sounds ; extremely low bass drones, possibly from bass guitar ; menacing electric guitar notes and grating feedback ; any kind of bowed guitars ; starting at 11:00, de-tuned piano distorted through feedback amplification and heard from a distance ; all the above interspersed with dialog excerpts, for instance the voice of Jack Smith is heard saying: ‘She was tragic and noble’. According to J. Hoberman’s ‘Flaming Creatures and Other Secret-Flix of Cinemaroc’ (Granary Books, 2001), Hedy was an hommage to ‘Flaming Creatures’ and Warhol a disciple of Smith, not to mention the fact that Hedy included Mario Montez, Arnold Rockwood and Smith himself, all involved in Flaming Creatures.


Film info:
Hedy The Shoplifter

aka The 14 Year Old Girl
aka The Most Beautiful Woman in the World
B&w, 1966, directed by Andy Warhol (67 minutes)
Script by Ronald Tavel with semi- or totally improvised dialogues

Cast: Mario Montez (as Hedy Lamarr), Mary Woronov (The Policewoman), Harvey Tavel (The Judge), Ingrid Superstar (saleslady), Gerard Malanga, Rick Lockwood, James Claire, Randy Borscheidt, David Meyers (the 5 husbands), Jack Smith (the soothsayer), Arnold Rockwood (surgeon), Roderick Clayton, Ronald Tavel.
Additional info on WarholStars.

6 Responses to “John Cale/Lou Reed ‘Hedy The Shoplifter’ st”

  1. 1 JJ February 18, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Your mediafire links do not work.

  2. 2 continuo February 18, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
    Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho, 1983.

  3. 3 Dougie March 7, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Hey thanks for all the great art you present to us here. This Lou and Cale is great, I didn’t even know this one at all. What could have been if those two would have handled things differently, huh!
    thanks again


  4. 4 continuo March 7, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Thanks Dougie.

  5. 5 Grk! July 6, 2009 at 3:50 am

    Thanks for this. Just read about it in Peter Doggett’s Reed bio ‘Growing Up in Public’.

  6. 6 continuo July 6, 2009 at 9:11 am

    I might need to read this as well. Thanks for dropping by.

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