Very few people know the firsthand details of Bob Dylan’s alleged falling out with Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick in the 1960s, but it’s clear that Dylan is still strongly opposed to being associated with that scene.
First there was Dylan’s lawsuit against the 2007 film Factory Girl, claiming that the film defamed him when a character named Billy Quinn (originally named Bob Dylan) gets Edie Sedgwick pregnant and then abruptly leaves her. Sedgwick’s brother and others supposedly validated the events, but the film’s suggestion that Dylan caused Sedgwick’s downfall is highly debated, so Dylan brought out the big guns and demanded his team view the film before its release.
A recent statement made by Douglas Brinkley, the author of this month’s Rolling Stone cover story, however, seems to validate one aspect of the film that depicts Dylan as having disdain for Warhol’s art and the Factory scene that Sedgwick introduced him to. Speaking to NPR’s Tom Asbrook, Brinkley talked about a conversation he had with Dylan recently about American art that did not make the article. “When I raised the name of Andy Warhol he gave me a look like I had just said something rotted from high heaven,” he said. “[Dylan] said ‘Warhol as a cultural figure, but not an artist.’”
Perhaps there is some truth to the rumor that Dylan used Warhol’s Elvis painting as a dartboard.