Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Alamy)

Music

The bizarre erotic music video Andy Warhol made for The Cars

@SamWKemp

Andy Warhol’s obsession with female beauty is well documented. As a sickly child living in the industrial centre of Pittsburgh, he pored over glamour magazines, searching for photos of Hollywood actresses for his scrapbook. In adulthood, this fascination went on to inspire many of his most iconic artworks, including The Marilyn Diptych (1962), a technicolour silkscreen painting depicting Marilyn Monroe. In this censored music video he made for The Cars, we see Warhol take his fixation into the realm of the surreal.

Andy Warhol was an artist with a range of creative outlets. As well as being a painter and provocateur, he was also a band manager and, notably, a director. His film Kiss, a 50-minute silent film which features various couples kissing for three and a half minutes each, was utterly revolutionary in its day. The inclusive eroticism of that piece, which depicts same-sex couples as well as heterosexual ones, was one of the first films Warhol made at The Factory in New York. The music video he made for The Cars’ 1984 single ‘Hello Again’ isn’t quite as subtle as Kiss, but it proved to be just as successful.

The video for ‘Hello Again’ was the second Warhol made for The Cars. Taken from their 1984 album Heartbeat City, the artistic polymath previously crafted a highly eroticised video for ‘You Might Think’, which was one of the earliest MTV video hits and one of the first music videos to utilise computer graphics. The video is the epitome of ’80s sleaze. The half-clothed glamour models, the clunky animated sequences, the cocktails – it’s all there.

Warhol’s next directorial effort saw him elaborate on the aesthetics he established on ‘You Might Think’, indulging in his fixation on the female form even more than before, to the extent that it’s hard to tell whether he is participating in beauty worship or satirising it. Warhol actually has a cameo in this particular video, playing the part of the nervous bartender to brilliant effect. It also features a young Gina Gershon, who recently starred in Don’t Look Up! alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence.

For obvious reasons, the video was censored when it appeared on MTV – removing much of the nudity and many of its more Warholian elements. Considering Warhol died in 1987, the video represents one of his last works. In it we see Warhol create some pretty unusual animations using Amiga Computers, the same he employed to paint the first computer artwork, a portrait of Blondie frontperson Debbie Harry.

You can check out the full uncensored original video for ‘Hello Again’ below.