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Factory Boys

Andy Warhol and Richard Dupont  

Robert: Holly Woodlawn, one of Andy’s superstars, said we had to have a famous name. And I thought that was a good idea, because what if our names got in the paper? I didn’t want everybody in Fairfield to figure out that we were gay. So one time when I was on a train in Fairfield, I saw a sign for DuPont, and I just thought it sounded right.

Richard: Andy told Robert, “Bring your brother into the city, and we’ll have dinner out at Regine’s.” So one day we showed up, and there was Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli, Mick Jagger. Oh my God. I adore Diana Ross. And Mick Jagger. I couldn’t believe that I was sitting with these people, and that they all wanted to meet me. They were there for Andy, of course, but I didn’t know it at the time. All I knew was that Regine’s had a tiny dance floor, and there I was, dancing with Diana and Liza. Andy introduced us as the du Pont twins from the Delaware family. We said we were from Connecticut. Everybody laughed.

I was excited to meet Andy because I heard that his boyfriend, Jed Johnson, was a twin. I wanted Andy to like me. I later read in his diaries that the publicist Susan Blond had told Andy that I was in love with him. His response was mean: “All I do is hold his hand and feel him up.”

When I read that, I was like, No! It was more than that. He would kiss me, and yes he touched me—he would sometimes jerk me off—but I think he did genuinely like me. Brigid Berlin, who was the receptionist and gatekeeper at the Factory, says so.

He said he worked as a silk-screener for an artist named Andy Warhol. When I told him about Richard, he said, “Oh, you’re a twin? Andy loves twins.”

I mean, I did piss on his “Piss” paintings, but that was later, and he wanted me to. I would bring cute friends of mine, and Andy would watch. He didn’t touch himself, but he did this moaning. “Oh!…Oh!…” It was like he was having an orgasm while he watched us. Or at least faking one. And then he would take us to lunch and give us $100, or some of his silk-screen wallpaper of the cow or of Mao.

Robert: At the end of a night out with Andy, we would say, “Good night, Andy,” and give him a hug or a kiss. He would ask, “Are you okay tonight?” We would say, “Oh, I don’t know…” And he would give us each $100.

Richard: Like in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Robert: —where she says, “Any gentleman will give a girl $50 for the powder room…”

Richard: And he always had an Altoids tin full of quaaludes that people had given him hoping to hang out with him, so he would give them to us too.

One day, Andy asked both of us and Rupert to lunch at Quo Vadis off Madison Avenue. He was thinking about putting pictures of us in Interview, but after lunch he told us he didn’t want to anymore. He said, “It’s not that I don’t like you, but Joanne du Pont said that you’re not du Ponts. Who are you?” When we told Andy and Rupert why we changed our name and how Robert came up with it, he said, “A lot of my superstars changed their names. Holly Woodlawn took the name of a cemetery.” Which obviously we knew, but we didn’t say that.

Robert: Andy always wanted to know everything about what Rupert and I did in bed together. Later he wanted to know everything about every man that Richard or I slept with. He would ask, “Was he ugly?” “Did you fuck him?” “What’s his apartment like?” “Does he have any money?” “Did he buy you anything?” “What secrets did he tell you?”

Richard: He’d always be trying to get us to help him get commissions for portraits. At Studio, he’d ask, “Can we get one of those rich men you’re sleeping with to buy a portrait?” And later it was more like, “Why don’t you go sleep with that one, and then talk him into getting a portrait.” We did that a lot.

Men would give us gifts like Cartier lighters and David Webb cuff links, and when I showed them to Andy, he would take them away from me. “You’ll lose them,” he’d say. Later, when I asked him what he did with all those things, he couldn’t remember.

Andy liked porno, and he liked porno stars. On Monday nights, when Studio was closed, we would go to this discothèque called the Ice Palace on 57th Street that was full of prostitutes and porno stars. I remember meeting two of them, and Andy saying, “You and your brother should do it with them.” Even the thought of doing it with Robert—in the same bed with my brother—God no!