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killing andy warhol

Written by: Kerr / Burchill

© EMI Music Publishing: (1998 - 2007)
© JKMC-Bucks Music Group Ltd / Hornall Music: (2008 - 2014)
© BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd: (2015 - 2019)
© Universal Music Publishing Group (2019 - 2023)
© BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd: (2023 -)

"Art mythology has run amok."

"New York ARTWORLD of superstars and supergroupies is rancid. Only greed and jealousy reign. Nature is dying the most blackened death, only egos are booming. One vanity fair too many - this lonely WANNABE would do anything to be on the front covers - the problem being... no known charisma - does a talent for murder count?"

"Poor Andy; poor everyone!"

11th March 1998

"I knew the title would gather attention." - Jim, WDTDN #5, 1998

Killing Andy Warhol was one of the earliest songs to emerge for Neapolis and was jammed by Jim, Charlie, Derek and Brian at Loch Earn in January 1996. At this point, it was an eerie synth melody and didn't have lyrics.

"I think there's a soft spot with Andy Warhol and that whole period. We're a direct lineage Andy Warhol if it's true that Andy was responsible for The Velvet Underground. I'm more of a fan of Andy Warhol's throwaway lines, 'Everyone's famous for fifteen minutes' and such. And his whole thesis of everything is art. As opposed to being a big fan of Andy Warhol. There was a movie come out last year called Basquiat and I went to see it . And it was about a New York painter. In the movie Warhol was played by David Bowie in a sort of cameo. I went to see it and as I was standing a coffee aftwards, a couple - I think they were Andy Warhol freaks, or wannabees, or lookalikes. And they started to have this raging argument or debate with each other about Andy Warhol and the mythology of Andy Warhol. And this guy kept saying 'They're killing Andy Warhol. They're killing Andy Warhol.' The line stuck in my head and a week later, when we had the track, and I didn't have the words. Sometimes you just go in and throw some things out and see what sticks. And that phrase came up. And then we built the song around the phrase. But in my head, it was more about the guy in the cinema, and it was about wannabees and lookalikes and fetishists and those things."


Basquiat was released in August 1996, so the track would've gained lyrics as the final Loch Earn demo sessions came to an end.

The song was largely completed during the Olympic sessions of May 1997. Like all the Olympic mixes, it was over-crowded and cluttered with too many ideas including an Omnichord (its haunting tones being the signature of Glitterball.) This early mix also revealed more of Derek Forbes' bass lines. (The bassist later expressed dissatisfaction with the final mix of the album, claiming his contributions couldn't be heard).

Why the fascination with Andy Warhol?
The usual things. Iconography. Art as a testament. I was in the museum of Modern Art in New York checking out a few paintings, no big deal. But in the coffee shop afterwards, these two guys sat next to me, and I noticed that one of them was an, er, Andy Warhol lookalike, and that was intriguing. I did a double-take. I couldn't help but hear what was going on, because they got quite animated. And it became apparent they were having a huge disagreement on what they'd just seen, and it also became apparent they were lovers, so there was more at stake. One of them said: "They're killing Andy Warhol, killing his name, killing the mythology." Very intense. I improvised around the idea.

VOX Interview

Despite being one of more conventional tracks from the album, and one of the most discussed thanks to its title, Killing Andy Warhol remained committed to just the album and was never played live.

Did you ever see the sun rise up,
Above this blackened hole?
Did you ever feel that what you want's,
Not under your control?
Ever think that how you feel,
Is not quite what you are?
Some of us are satellites.
Some are superstars.

They're killing Andy Warhol.
He's a saint and he's a thief.
We'll all die a million times.
That's what I believe.
Killing Andy Warhol.
Killing Andy Warhol.

They say the rain in Europe,
Cools you down and helps you think.
Water, water everywhere,
Nothing you can drink.
Kissing Andy Warhol,
His skin feels like a shark.
White hair sits so beautiful,
Eyelids are so dark.
And I'm trying to get ahead,
Like any boy or girl.
There'd be no dictators anywhere,
If I could rule the world.

Killing Andy Warhol.
Killing Andy warhol.

That's impossible - he got all that money.
Adorable - having all that money.
Feasable - that it's all black money.
It's so criminal - making all that money.

All I want, is what I'd want,
But I don't want that now.
They're dressing Andy Warhol up,
If only thay knew how.
Jesus on the neon sign,
Turns and starts to laugh.
And I'm thinking about this oxygen,
And how I'll make it last.

Killing Andy Warhol.

He's a saint - yeah he's a thief.
Motorways are everywhere,
With no clean air to breathe.

Killing Andy Warhol.
Killing Andy Warhol.

Till the end of time,
Till the end of time.

Having all that money.
Killing Andy Warhol.
He's got all that money,
And it's real black money.
Making all that money.
Killing Andy Warhol.
Killing Andy Warhol.

Album Version (5:15)
Produced by: Charlie Burchill and Pete Walsh
Engineeed by: Pete Walsh

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