Emerging from the New York art scene in the 1960’s, Susan Blond quickly found herself absorbed in Andy Warhol’s inner circle. “I like your name. I like your voice. You’ll be in all our movies,” promised Warhol upon their first meeting. Warhol was a man of his word—Blond picked up a couple of collaborative Warhol/Morrissey movie credits, including the gritty punk tale “Madame Wang’s” and the black comedy, “Bad,” in which Blond played the small but infamous role of throwing a screaming baby out of an apartment building window.
For decades since, Blond has been embedded in the fabric of New York City’s cultural and entertainment landscape. She performed on the television show “Anton Perich Presents,” directed by downtown nightlife photographer and artist Anton Perich and co-starring fellow Warhol figures Taylor Meade and Tinkerbelle. The show featured uncensored and controversial skits along with candid appearances by icons like The Clash, Grace Jones and The Who. The now-legendary program pioneered the rich legacy of the hip New York City cable shows that followed.
After holding posts at Interview magazine and United Artists, Blond became the first female VP of Epic Records and played an instrumental role in the success of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. She later formed her own company, Susan Blond Inc., a top public relations company that’s represented the likes of Prince, The Grateful Dead, Iggy Pop, Puff Daddy, Julian Schnabel and just about every other superstar on the planet.
Andy Warhol - "I met Andy through my cabbie boyfriend when I was an art school girl in Boston. He picked up Ed Hood (from Chelsea Girls) and Ed introduced me to Paul Morrissey, who introduced me to Andy. Andy was always asking questions and was always nice. The day I got my job at United Artists, after Interview Magazine, he would introduce me to people saying, 'Oh, this is Susan Blond and she runs United Artists, you know'. That was my first job there, so I obviously wasn't running the place, but he always made me feel like I could run the place. He wasn’t too playful, but he was always fun and always listened, and took my phone call no matter when I called."
Keith Haring & Jean-Michel Basquiat - "We'd all encourage their independence when we would all meet up. They made it on their own, but Andy was really helpful to them in the beginning. I always found Andy supportive, opposite of what that Edie Sedgwick movie was all about."
Anton Perich - "Anton is a good friend of mine and we had one of the first cable access shows with Taylor Meade and Tinkerbell. It was the first time there was no censorship, so the New York Times wrote about us, Geraldo Rivera had us on, and it was a big thing in New York. Everyone covered it. Now they're playing tapes of the show again on TV. I still have one episode called Mr. Fix It, which was my most famous appearance. Anton really got the best out of us. I mean he couldn't get us to stop performing but he really got good stuff."
Patti Smith - "I have a self-portrait of Patti and what she wrote on it was just so sweet. She wrote, 'To Susan, better than a blonde' which was really a nice thing to say. Very endearing. People sometimes think blondes are a certain thing, so she was saying like 'Susan Blond was better than that'; I guess...I don’t know. I thought it was lovely of her."
Michael Jackson - "When I first met Michael Jackson, we would go to Studio 54. And I would say, "Michael let’s dance". And he would say, "No, dancing is work." He was childlike and inquisitive. He always wanted to know things; he would ask Andy Warhol why he didn’t have children. He was so naïve you know."
James Brown - "James Brown was a showman and a show biz perfectionist. Even more of a perfectionist than me. When I went to the Grammys with him he made me feel so special, he really respected me.”
The Clash - "There's a lot of music out there now, but none of it really seems to be like The Clash. I remember when I'd watch them play, I really felt like I was seeing something that was really important and that mattered."
Danny Fields - "Danny Fields is just one of the most interesting people. I would definitely consider him one of my favorite New Yorkers. I would always be hanging with him at like 2 or 3 in the morning and he was always with the most interesting people in the world."
Sylvia Miles - "I remember Andy paired us up. Andy liked great beauties but he also liked people that talked a lot. He said Sylvia talks a lot and Susan talks a lot so there it was. She was in Heat and I remember she rescued me off the streets at the Venice Film Festival."
Vincent Fremont - "Vincent and I are still friends. He was Andy's right hand guy who kind of ran everything. He was always real businessy but really down to earth and unbelievably sweet."
Julian Schnabel - "Julian and I came out of the Whitney program together. That program didn't really work for me but it worked for Julian because he became one of the most famous artists on earth."
William Randolph Hearst III - "I'll always love William Randolph Hearst III because after I left art school in Boston, he became one of the first people that started collecting my work."
The Metropolitan Museum of Art - “Filmmaker Paul Morrissey called modern art "modren art" and made fun of the art that I had believed in my whole life. He opened my mind and I started really appreciating classic and traditional art.”
The Whitney Museum - “I’ve been especially connected to the Whitney ever since I came out of art school. The MoMA is certainly a place to see Warhol but the Whitney does some incredible exhibitions featuring Andy’s work.”
Museum of Modern Art - “I can remember so many great shows over the years. It’s really just a great place to experience art. It’s in my work neighborhood and ever since they remodeled it a few years ago I try to visit regularly.”
New Museum - “The New Museum just feels right. It's downtown, it's young, and it's exciting.”
Marlborough Gallery - “The art world is still so glamorous in New York. I saw this again at the Marlborough Gallery recently when I was there to see a show by artist Will Ryman. This is a great Chelsea gallery that represents the greater art scene well.”
Tevere - “Tevere is on 84th and the east side. It's Kosher cuisine of Rome and just so delicious.”
Michael's - “Michael's is always great for lunch. You can always expect to see media celebrities like Charlie Rose and Paula Zahn. It’s really exciting.”
Ouest - “Ouest has a great food and these beautiful, glamorous French banquettes. I saw Leslie Stahl there recently from 60 Minutes.”
Hummus Place - “You can eat a whole meal there for under $10 and it’s just delicious. There are only 4 or 5 things on the menu and each one is perfect. In fact, we went to dinner with one of our biggest clients and they would have taken us anywhere and they were so surprised that I chose this place that was just so funky. It was fun.”
Solo - "The best kosher restaurant, although anyone would like it, is Solo in the Sony building and they have a chef that won Top Chef. So that’s delicious food that anyone would like."
Loehmann's - “Loehmann's has all the designer brands at 1/100th of the price. I just love it.”
Bergdorf Goodman - “Walking through Bergdorf's is just one of the most exciting and glamorous experiences. I always think everything must be ok if all this is happening and all these people are here.”
MOVIES & BOOKS
Madame Wang's - "I had a great part in this movie that was directed by Paul Morrissey. It was a lot of fun to be in it at the time."
Bad - "This was an Andy Warhol movie I was in. I had a big role, it wasn't a starring role, but it was an important role, which was throwing a baby out of a window. It was also Andy's last movie."
The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit - "This is a really fantastic book. It really took me away and it's just an amazing read."