Andy's Chest

Album: Transformer (1972)


  • "Andy's Chest" is about the American artist Andy Warhol. Those who aren't art enthusiasts may know him for both his 1968 prediction that everyone will be famous for 15 minutes, and for his iconic prints of Campbell's Soup cans. He was a wildly successful creator and businessman, and he remains an influential cultural figure. He was also instrumental in launching Lou Reed's music career.

    In 1966 and '67, Warhol held a series of multimedia events called Exploding Plastic Inevitable. He gave Reed and Reed's band, The Velvet Underground, their first big break by featuring them in the Plastic Inevitable. Reed was always grateful to Warhol and expressed respect and appreciation for him for the rest of his life.

    In 1968, a woman named Valerie Solanos tried to kill Warhol in his studio, firing three shots into his chest - she had beef with Warhol because he didn't produce one of her scripts. Solanos was later deemed to have paranoid schizophrenia; Warhol nearly died, but a five-hour surgery saved him.

    The attack left a large scar on Warhol's chest, which is referenced in this song. The rest of the song is a humorous but sincere salute to Warhol.
  • Reed wrote this while still with The Velvet Underground in 1969. They recorded it, but the first version released was on Reed's solo Transformer album.
  • David Bowie produced this track and sang background vocals. Longtime Bowie associate Mick Ronson assisted with the production and played guitar.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Rosanne Cash

Rosanne CashSongwriter Interviews

Rosanne talks about the journey that inspired her songs on her album The River & the Thread, including a stop at the Tallahatchie Bridge.

Women Who Rock

Women Who RockSong Writing

Evelyn McDonnell, editor of the book Women Who Rock, on why the Supremes are just as important as Bob Dylan.

John Parr

John ParrSongwriter Interviews

John tells the "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" story and explains why he disappeared for so long.

Boz Scaggs

Boz ScaggsSongwriter Interviews

The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.

Judas Priest

Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton talk twin guitar harmonies and explain how they create songs in Judas Priest.

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real Group

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real GroupSong Writing

The leader of the Modern A Cappella movement talks about the genre.