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Illustrator and Writer James Warhola

His new book is Uncle Andy's: A faabbbulous visit with Andy Warhol. It's a children's story about going to visit Warhol, in which Warhola chronicles one of the many trips he took with his family from Pittsburgh to New York City. This interview first aired May 20, 2003.


Other segments from the episode on July 16, 2003

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, July 16, 2003: Interview with Michael Lewis; Interview with James Warhola; Review of Mariza's new music album "Fado em mim."


TIME 12:00 Noon-1:00 PM AUDIENCE N/A

Interview: Michael Lewis discusses his new book "Moneyball: The
Art of Winning an Unfair Game," which describes how baseball's
Oakland A's managed to be successful despite its low payroll

This is FRESH AIR. Terry Gross is out sick today. I'm Dave Davies.

The major-league baseball All-Star Game was last night. Going into the second
half of the season, the Oakland A's are second behind Seattle in the American
League West. When Michael Lewis started researching his book, "Moneyball," he
had a simply question: How did the Oakland A's, a motley collection of
baseball misfits and utility players with the second-lowest payroll in all of
baseball, win so many games? The answer lies, as it often does in baseball,
with statistics; but in this case, a very creative and unusual use of
statistical analysis on the part of the A's general manager, Billy Beane.
Beane paid attention to numbers collected over the years by a group of
baseball enthusiasts, including software engineers, physics professors and
Wall Street analysts, numbers that most everyone else in baseball ignores.
These stats enabled Beane to discern the unique talents of undervalued players
no one else wanted. He then assembled and regrouped them on the field,
eventually pulling together a winning team last year.

Michael Lewis followed the A's through the 2002 season. Terry spoke to Lewis
at the beginning of this baseball season and asked him to talk about the
prevailing wisdom that teams with the most money to spend on players win the
most games.

Mr. MICHAEL LEWIS (Author, "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game"):
Well, the American League West--which has Oakland, the Seattle Mariners, the
Anaheim Angels and the Texas Rangers in it--finished in exact inverse relation
to the amount of money the teams spent on players. I think Oakland spent $40
million and won 103 games, Anaheim won a few games less and spent $20 million
more, Seattle won a few games less than that and spent $20 million more than
Anaheim, and Texas won 20 or 30 games less than everybody and they spent, I
don't know, $110 million, $115 million or some vast sum of money. So anybody
who believed that money bought success in baseball would have been perplexed
by how the American League West finished.


You attribute a lot of the Oakland A's success to its general manager, Billy
Beane. What kind of shape was the team in when he took over the team?

Mr. LEWIS: It was a losing team when he took over in 1997, and it's gotten
better every year under his stewardship. And Billy Beane came into the
organization and embraced the idea that there was such a thing as new
knowledge in baseball, and you could research baseball and find out
interesting things about it by researching it, and that the way baseball teams
were conventionally run had all sorts of inefficiencies in it that could be
exploited for profit. And so you've got, essentially, one team that's living
purely by its wits and making a good run of it.

GROSS: So the new knowledge, as you put it, that he was trying to find or to
create in baseball was based, in part, on new baseball statistics and new ways
of measuring the performance of players. What made him look at statistics
more carefully and look for new ways of creating statistics?

Mr. LEWIS: Well, his predecessor in the job at Oakland, a fellow named Sandy
Alderson, who now works in the commissioner's office, had discovered Bill
James, the baseball writer, who in the late '70s and early '80s, published a
series of what he called abstracts, where he systematically challenged the
conventional wisdom of baseball, the traditional way baseball was played on
the field, the traditional ways of evaluating baseball players.

And while the Oakland A's have not sort of aped Bill James and taken
everything he said and applied it to their system, they had embraced the idea
that is sort of central to James' work, that just because everybody does it a
certain way doesn't mean it's right, and that you can use statistics to sort
of dig below the surface of baseball and find the hidden game, find
attributes, for example, in players that are very important but not highly
valued in the marketplace, and also find attributes in players that teams pay
a lot for that actually aren't worth that much when it comes to victory and

GROSS: What are some of the Bill James statistical creations that changed the
thinking of the A's?

Mr. LEWIS: Well, they say it's the spirit of James more than the specifics,
but in his early works, James does something, you know, which seemed
commonsensical. He builds a statistical model to explain where runs come
from, you know, how important is a walk or a single or a double or triple in
creating runs. And what he would do it take all the singles and doubles and
triples and walks that, say, the Boston Red Sox in 1975 had and try to predict
how many runs the Boston Red Sox would score on the basis of that.

And so he developed this predictive model that was actually quite good. I
mean, he could see how important these offensive attributes were, these
offensive statistics were, and he quickly came to the conclusion that batting
average, for example, which is held out--was maybe the chief way to evaluate
the effectiveness of a hitter, was less important than on-base percentage, and
the big difference between batting average and on-base percentage is how often
a player walks.

And so then the Oakland A's take this and they go out and look for players who
walk a lot but don't have gaudy batting averages. So they aren't very
expensive, but they generate this thing that's very valuable called on-base
percentage. But an awful lot of what the Oakland A's do is actually now
proprietary to the Oakland A's. They sort of embrace this spirit of James and
they created their own kind of research and development program within the
organization to generate proprietary information.

GROSS: Why don't you describe how one of the players signed to the Oakland
A's became a big success with the A's, but hadn't been thought of as a great
player before joining the A's?

Mr. LEWIS: There are plenty of examples, but--well, let's take one of the
characters in the book, Scott Hatteberg. Scott Hatteberg had spent 10 years
in the Boston Red Sox organization; four of them in the minor leagues and I
guess almost six of them in the big leagues. He'd been a catcher, and the Red
Sox viewed him as a catcher who, you know, wasn't a disaster as a hitter and
that was because they didn't value what he did really well. What he did
really well was he got on base at a rate way above the big-league average,
which is the single most important thing that a player can do. And in
addition--and this is a more subtle virtue in a hitter--each of his plate
appearances were inordinately drawn out. He would always see more pitches per
plate appearance than just about any player in the league. And he rarely
swung at pitches that were out of the strike zone. Now the effect of this is
to subtly wear down the opposing pitching. It's good for the team to have a
team full of guys who don't swing at balls and who force the opposing pitcher
to throw lots of pitches, but it's even better to have a team full of guys who
get on base a lot.

Anyway, the Oakland A's had seen these qualities in Scott Hatteberg because
they measured things like the number of pitches he saw per plate appearance
and they watched very closely for on-base percentage. And so they had been,
for several years, praying they could some way get their hands on Scott
Hatteberg. Well, Scott Hatteberg had an accident during spring training with
the Boston Red Sox and ruptured a nerve in his throwing elbow, and it
basically meant he couldn't feel his hand. He had to relearn how to throw the
baseball. He was finished from that moment on as a catcher because you have
to be able to throw as a catcher. And the Red Sox then tossed him on the
scrap heap. They had no sense that he was valuable as a hitter.

Well, Scott Hatteberg ends up becoming a free agent and no one wants him. I
mean, it was actually extraordinary. He becomes a free agent, I think, it's
two days before Christmas at midnight, and at 12:01, Paul DePodesta, the
assistant GM of the Oakland A's is on the phone to his agent saying, `We got
to have this guy.' And as his agent said, `Look, we were looking at a market
where 29 teams regarded Scott as useless, and one team desperately wanted
him.' So Hatteberg became the first baseman of the Oakland A's last year, and
he's been terrific. He's been a subtle but extremely important offensive
player, and the reason they got him is that no one else saw the value in him.
And because no one else saw the value in him, he was cheap. They didn't have
to pay him very much.

GROSS: If you're just joining us, my guest is Michael Lewis, and his new book
is called "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game," and it's about
money in baseball, looking specifically at the Oakland A's and its manager,
Billy Beane.

Mr. LEWIS: And, you know--but to get back to--just to finish off a thought
about Scott Hatteberg that--to me what was great about this story, as I say,
is that you have this collection of junk yard dogs; these are underdogs that
nobody else wanted, coming together to be a really great team. And often what
was valuable about them as baseball players was hidden to the wider world.
There was traits that were discerned by the Oakland front office that other
people hadn't seen, but they were often also character traits. I mean, one of
the questions--the sort of the open question that they discuss often in the
Oakland front office is whether this quality that Scott Hatteberg had, and
has--plate discipline, they call it--which is so important in an offensive
player, whether it can be taught or whether it's in some way innate. And
Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's, has come to the
conclusion that it's innate, that basically unless they could get a guy in
diapers, by the time they become professional baseball players, they're almost
hard-wired to approach hitting the way they approach hitting.

So the question I had when I, you know, get to know Scott Hatteberg and spend
some time in his life is: What is it about him that makes him so patient,
that makes him so disciplined and composed when he's in the batter's box,
which in turn leads to his value? And this wonderful stuff comes out of him,
you know. When I would spend an hour before every game with him reviewing
tape of his performances and of the pitchers he was about to face, and I
remember there was one tape where he's facing a pitcher from the Seattle
Mariners named Jamie Moyer. And he's already seen seven or eight pitches,
there's a full count and he's fouling off pitches, and Jamie Moyer, in
disgust, steps off the mound and shouts something to him. And I said, `What
on earth is that about?' And he said, `Well, it's a little weird,' he said,
`but he was asking me what I wanted.' And I said, `What do you mean?' He
said, `Well, he said, "Just tell me what you want, and I'll throw it."'

His approach to hitting absolutely frustrated opposing pitchers, because
everything he did--he drew out their encounter for far too long in the eyes of
the opposing pitchers. And I spent an awful lot of time just trying to get to
the bottom of what it was inside of Scott Hatteberg that led him to do this.

GROSS: And do you think you figured it out?

Mr. LEWIS: I think I figured out that what it was inside him had been inside
of him since was a little boy, because since he was a little boy, baseball
coaches, Little League baseball coaches, high school baseball coaches, college
baseball coaches had tried to beat out of him this valuable approach. There
is this strain of thinking in the game that if you're going to be a great
hitter, you have to be aggressive. And people were always screaming at him to
swing at things he didn't want to swing at.

And he took refuge in a tape that the Yankees' famous first baseman Don
Mattingly had made when Hatteberg was a boy, and it was a tape called "How to
Hit .300." And on this tape, Mattingly explains that it's important to be
patient at the plate, that drawing lots of walks is a good thing for a hitter,
that swinging at things that you can't hit hard, even if they're strikes, is a
bad idea. This was the one thing that Hatteberg heard as a young baseball
player that gave him the courage of his conviction. But he wanted to believe
it anyway. As he said, `I've always felt uncomfortable, say, swinging at the
first pitch. I need to slow the game down before I can really play it, and
have always thought'--and another time he said, `Even when I was a little kid,
when I'd swing at something that, you know, I really couldn't hit hard and I'd
ground out to second base, it just struck me as a worthless experience.' And
it was an insistence that the game conform to his idea of what it should be,
that to slow the game down, to kind of give it a kind of meaning.

DAVIES: Michael Lewis talking with Terry Gross. His new book "Moneyball," is
about the Oakland A's baseball team. We'll be back after a break. This is

(Soundbite of music)

DAVIES: If you're just joining us, Terry's guest is Michael Lewis. His new
book is "Moneyball: The Art of Winning An Unfair Game." It's about money and
baseball and new strategies of measuring players' abilities. It tells the
story of the 2002 Oakland A's and their manager Billy Beane.

GROSS: You know, in talking about how Billy Beane signs new players, he gives
you his rules for a shopping spree. What are some of his rules?

Mr. LEWIS: The first and most important rule, violated by many, many teams
in big-league baseball, is that the minute you feel like you have to do
something, you're screwed; that you can always recover from the player you
didn't sign, but you may never recover from the player that you did sign that
you shouldn't have. And baseball is littered with teams that have signed
punitive superstars to huge contracts who then don't pan out. And the
franchises are wounded or sometimes severely crippled by the fact that they
don't have any money left to go and pay other players, and they're left with
this superstar who's not performing and earning $80 million. In baseball, it
makes much less sense to do this than in most sports because one guy on a
baseball team rarely makes that much difference. It really is a team sport.
So the notion that you've got to sign this superstar or that superstar is
really a little silly, and that's the first principle of Billy Beane's school
of management.

GROSS: What's another one of his rules?

Mr. LEWIS: Number two is identify exactly who you want and go and get him. I
mean, what they do is they use statistics to identify Scott Hatteberg or the
pitcher named Chad Bradford who they got or any number of guys, and they say,
`This is the guy who has the value, the hidden value, that we can afford. And
I am going to relentlessly pursue the team he plays for until I get that guy.'
You know, so they don't go into trades with a kind of loose notion of what
they want. They're very, very focused about what they want. And this is a
big problem for them because Billy Beane has been so successful in the trades
he's made in the last three or four years, he always seems to get so much more
than he gives, that other teams have become instinctively very wary about
doing business with him. So if he wants a guy, he'll often find that the guy
is magically not available. So he's had to find all kinds of clever ways to
get the players that he wants, because once he wants them, they're not his.

GROSS: What's a clever way he found?

Mr. LEWIS: Well, what he does, he goes fishing. What he'll do, I mean, he
did this--there's a long section in the book about a very improbably
successful pitcher named Chad Bradford, who's a submariner--he throws
underhand, basically--who was in AAA, in the minor leagues, with the Chicago
White Sox and who had been just deadly, had been just wiping out opposing
hitters, and yet the White Sox were refusing to move him to the big leagues.
And Billy knew that he if called the White Sox GM and said, `What do I have to
give you to get Chad Bradford?' that the price would have gone up to the point
where he didn't want to do it. So instead, what he does is he calls the White
Sox GM and he talks about how he has this catcher he might like to move
because he needs to get a pitcher who might be a kind of--as he said, a 12th
or 13th man on the staff, a guy who might be in the bullpen or might be
shuffled between AAA, but he just needed another arm, he said. And he asked
the White Sox GM to recommend some names, and the first set of names didn't
have Chad Bradford in it, so he goes back and he says, `Can you recommend
any more guys?'

And so eventually the White Sox general manager says, `Well, you know, I hate
to even mention him because, you know, he only throws 82 miles an hour, and
he's called recently and said that his back's not feeling so good, but there's
this guy named Chad Bradford who's in AAA,' and, you know, Billy says, `Oh,
he'll do.'

GROSS: One last question. Since the Billy Beane approach to signing new
players takes into account talents that they have or abilities that they have
that other people haven't really noticed, once they join the A's, that talent
does get noticed, therefore they become more valuable, therefore another team
might want to sign them, therefore the A's might not be able to afford to keep
them anymore, or the player might just, you know--because the player might
demand a higher salary that the A's can't match. So have they already lost
players or do you think they're in danger of losing players because the
players have become more valuable?

Mr. LEWIS: Oh, that's a great question and it's completely true. I mean,
let's take an example: Jason Giambi, who they identified as an amateur player
and drafted in the second round, who they identified as a good natural hitter
but he didn't actually have a lot of power, didn't hit a lot of home runs, and
then comes to the A's and develops into this slugger. And the way baseball is
structured is the team that drafts a player basically has him as an indentured
servant for the first three years of his career. The second three years
there's a kind of negotiation called arbitration where they get him at below
his market value. But in the seventh year he can auction his services; he can
become a free agent.

And Jason Giambi did just this after the 2001 season, and he ended up getting
about $120 million from the New York Yankees for seven years. And the A's
didn't even begin to compete for him. I mean, they pretended in the media as
if they wanted to re-sign him, but they knew that if they invested this kind
of money in a single player, they were putting the entire franchise at risk.
It would be in violation of Billy Beane's first rule of management: Don't put
yourself in a position where one bad contract can ruin your future. So...

GROSS: Has he done as well with the Yankees as he did with the A's?

Mr. LEWIS: The interesting thing is that when he left at the end of 2001,
everybody was saying, `Ah, this proves that poor teams can't compete. This
proves that the A's are doomed. Now they've lost one of their stars to free
agency.' They had won 102 games in 2001. They came back without Jason Giambi
in 2002 and won 103 games.

What they understand is that superstars can be replaced if you understand what
exactly it was that they contributed to your baseball team. You can often go
and find those pieces in other players and reconfigure the team so that it is
just as successful without him as it was with him. And you try to replicate
the team you had, the aggregate statistics you had with the star on the team.
So it may mean moving a couple of other--replacing three players and upgrading
the team in other places. But they've done this now over and over again, and
they will--you're right--continue to lose stars, but it looks like they can
survive it.

GROSS: Well, Michael Lewis, thank you so much for talking with us.

Mr. LEWIS: Thanks for having me.

DAVIES: Michael Lewis' new book is "Moneyball." I'm Dave Davies and this is

(Soundbite of music)


DAVIES: Coming up, visiting Uncle Andy Warhol. We talk with artist James
Warhola about his new children's book which describes a 1962 visit to his
uncle's home. Also, music critic Milo Miles reviews a recording of fado music
by Portuguese singer Mariza.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Interview: James Warhola discusses his new children's book "Uncle
Andy's: A Faabbulous Visit with Andy Warhol"

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies. Terry Gross is out sick today so we're
listening back to some of our favorite recent interviews.

Imagine how surprised Andy Warhol must have been when his brother,
sister-in-law and their seven kids paid one of their surprise visits to his
Manhattan home and moved in for a few days. Our guest, James Warhola, was one
of those seven kids. He loved those visits to Uncle Andy's house and now he's
written and illustrated a book called "Uncle Andy's: A Faabbulous Visit with
Andy Warhol." It's in the form of a children's book, but it's probably even
more interesting to adults. Warhola is a children's book illustrator who's
also done the cover art for many paperbacks and has drawn for Mad magazine.
James Warhola's father, Paul, is Andy Warhol's oldest brother.

The new book is set in 1962, the year that Andy Warhol made his first soup
cans. James was about seven. Terry spoke with James Warhola last spring. He
said his uncle's house was like a giant amusement park, filled with art and
found objects like carousel horses.

Mr. JAMES WARHOLA (Author, "Uncle Andy's: A Faabbulous Visit with Andy
Warhol"): When we would first come into the house we'd go up a few steps and
there was this giant crumpled piece of metal, and it was a John Chamberlain
sculpture of a wrecked car. And it was kind of stuck in the hallway, and
you'd always have to make a right into a smaller room, which was his studio.
And that was always a centerpiece we'd kind of look at. And he was always so
proud of that piece. He'd always say it was by a famous artist, and we'd kind
of look at it and seem to, like, question it. You know, what was it? And
he'd say it was a part of a car. And, of course, we always saw a lot of that
back home at my dad's junkyard.

But throughout the house he had a lot of early--I guess you'd call them
advertising objects, such as large Coke bottles and Pepsi-Cola signs, and they
would be intermixed throughout the house. And I think he had a--he actually,
you know, thought all that was art in some way, and he started collecting that
all through the '50s.


Now you said that your Uncle Andy's house, and some of the art in it, reminded
you of your father's junkyard. Your father ran a junkyard, and it's just such
an interesting comparison between the kind of pop art and found art that Andy
Warhol was interested in, the kind of junk that you father collected and sold.
You want to make that comparison a little more for us?

Mr. WARHOLA: Oh, yeah. For one thing, it's hard to believe that my dad, who
was his older brother, came from the same family. And we lived a life in
Pittsburgh--actually in the countryside of western Pennsylvania, not far out
of Pittsburgh--and my dad ran a junk business. And there were seven in our
family, and the boys were expected to kind of help out in the junkyard, and
we knew the junk business pretty well. So every once in a while my father
would announce these visits, that it was time to go visit Uncle Andy and
Bubba in the big city, Bubba being my grandmother.

And he'd always take things from the junkyard when we'd go up on these trips.
He'd take things that he thought that my uncle would appreciate, 'cause my dad
was almost a frustrated artist in his own right, and he had a good eye for
things. And, in fact, early on he was always bringing objects home for me to
kind of make art out of, and I was a bit more of a traditionalist in certain
ways, and I couldn't see it the same way as my father.

But anyway, my dad--you know, he'd bring this stuff home from the junkyard and
he would kind of do different types of sculpture, and when he had the time he
would fool around. But in general he had to just make a living and support
our family.

GROSS: So what kind of objects would your father take from his junkyard to
bring as gifts for Andy?

Mr. WARHOLA: Oh, well, if it wasn't crumpled-up metal, the one object I
remember, and I show in the book, was this giant magnet that has this mass of
bolts and screws attached to it. And it was kind of like you could sculpt the
mass of bolts into different shapes. And he brought that up, and my uncle was
quite impressed and put that near the doorway.

And there was many other odds and ends, even like old arcade, like, vending
machines and things that he thought that Andy would appreciate. And my uncle,
he was always impressed. I mean, he saw something interesting in everything.
So it wasn't too hard to make him happy with some object that we would bring

GROSS: What great eyes to be able to see out of. Do you know what I mean?
To, like, see things through your uncle's eyes who found so many discardable
objects really fascinating and beautiful and important.

Mr. WARHOLA: Yeah. Yeah. I kind of wondered how, you know, he got that. I
always attribute it to my grandmother, who he lived with for some 20 years.
She had an interesting kind of artistic sense, and, of course, she was quite
an important foundation for him, living there in New York with him.

GROSS: Yeah. And you know what? It's so hard to think of Andy Warhol living
with his mom. You know, you think of Andy Warhol as like this kind of
detached, cool, you know, hip artist surrounded by, you know, gender-bending
artists who are high on drugs and creating this really, you know, nearly
perverse scene. You don't think of him as living with his mom.

Mr. WARHOLA: I know. I know. That's been the usual perception. Most people
are quite surprised that he had his mother there. And she took care of him,
and I think, you know, a lot of his success he owes to his mother. And, of
course, having two brothers, you know, each of them having a lot of kids, was
another aspect that people didn't realize. And it was quite an interesting
contrast that was quite a surprise to a lot of people.

GROSS: How long did he live with his mother?

Mr. WARHOLA: It was probably from the early '50s to 1970, so it was almost 20

GROSS: So even after he was famous, he was living with her.

Mr. WARHOLA: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Actually, he didn't really have too
many people come to his house, so I think that's, you know, the reason maybe
some people didn't realize it.

GROSS: So the scene was at the factory, but that was separate from his house.

Mr. WARHOLA: Yeah, definitely. The factory scene came about, I think--well,
his first studio was an old firehouse, and that was in 1963. And then a year
or two later he got a place in Midtown, and I think that's when the word `the
factory' got coined, and that's where all the stories come of the wild
going-ons. And most of the time, up on 89th and Alex, he was always hard at
work. There wasn't really--if anything, they protected us from the city
itself. We were kind of isolated there.

DAVIES: James Warhola speaking to Terry Gross. He'll be back after a break.
This is FRESH AIR.

(Soundbite of music)

DAVIES: Our guest is James Warhola, author of the book "Uncle Andy's: A
Faabbulous Visit with Andy Warhol." He spoke to Terry Gross last spring.

GROSS: Now your father ran a junkyard. The junkyard was about a mile away on
a dirt road from your actual home but judging from the illustrations in the
book, the lawn of your home was filled with junk.

Mr. WARHOLA: Oh, yes.

GROSS: Describe what your lawn typically looked like.

Mr. WARHOLA: Well, it always had a few junk cars. I think when my dad found
it convenient, instead of taking some truckloads of things up to the junkyard,
he would just dump them off at the house. And it was quite a sight at times.
And, you know, with seven kids and, you know, having a busy family, it just
was really a sight with all kinds of objects strewn about. Occasionally we'd
clean things up, and then slowly but surely it would get back to quite a mess.
And, of course, it was an old, shingled, ramshackled house before we got it
sided and made it a little bit more presentable, but the illustration I did of
that scene is pretty true.

GROSS: Let me ask you to describe one of the illustrations in your book that
is among my favorite. And this is the illustration of one of your siblings
walking into Andy Warhol's bedroom.

Mr. WARHOLA: Yes. That's my little sister Maddie and we kind of put her up
to it. Usually my uncle, he would go out late at night. He'd come back very
late, and he'd sleep in during the morning till around 10. And when the door
would crack open, it was time that he could have visitors, and we'd be waiting
on the steps anxiously wondering who he had seen that was famous, and he'd
love telling us.

And I think during that specific time we told our little sister Maddie that
Andy was ready, our uncle was ready, to have guests, and she went in ahead of
us. And, of course, he didn't have his wig on yet, and there was a bit of a
shriek. And he grabbed, I think, a handkerchief to throw on his head for that
moment. But it was quite funny, and I was able to work it into the story. I
don't think any of my other siblings have seen him without his wig, so I think
my sister Maddie was the lucky one there.

GROSS: It's a great picture. So there's a picture of your sister shrieking
because she realizes she's shocked Andy. And Andy has his hands over his
head, and he's kind of screaming because he's so surprised and embarrassed.
His wig is flying through the air. He's jumping in surprise so that there's
magazines falling off the bed, his tape recorder, cassette recorders falling
off the bed. The cats are falling off the bed. There's cats all over this
picture. There's a couple of cats falling off the bed. There's cats
underneath the bed. There's cats in the canopy over the bed. There's cats
under the night table. There's cats on the rug. Cats all over.

Mr. WARHOLA: Yeah. The cats actually--he had a lot of Siamese cats going in
through the house. I think they were friendly to him and my grandmother, but
they were very mysterious animals. They hid a lot, so we didn't get to see
them very much, but they were always around.

GROSS: You say he had wigs for every occasion, and then when he was done with
wigs, he'd give them to your family. And then there's another picture of
everyone in your family wearing an Andy Warhol wig. It's a great picture.

Mr. WARHOLA: Yeah. Of course, my father was bald, and he thought my dad
would, you know, be able to use his old wigs. And, of course, we brought
boxes of wigs back to Pittsburgh. But little did my uncle know that we kind
of masqueraded through the house with these wigs. And my dad, of course, he
didn't use them that much except to entertain people, when we'd have guests.
So I don't think my uncle would have appreciated that.

GROSS: There's a great picture of you sleeping at your Uncle Andy's town
house. And you're in a room sleeping, you know, on this cot, and you're
surrounded by rows and rows of cartons piled up to the ceiling of Campbell's
Soup cans. And tell us about this illustration.

Mr. WARHOLA: On the top floor he had this room where he had nothing but soup
boxes, and they were stacked like skyscrapers. And I remember on one of those
visits he'd bring us to the rooms at night, and we wouldn't know quite what
was in it, but in the morning we'd wake up and there'd be these huge columns
of these soup boxes. And, of course, they weren't just cardboard boxes. They
were made out of wood and silk screened very carefully, and it was quite a
sight. I mean, we always questioned, like, what it was, but we knew it was
important. He always told us not to touch them. And it was certainly a
sight, especially when you have to sleep amongst them.

GROSS: Your family used to own one of Warhol's soup cans. How did you end up
owning it, and how come you no longer own it?

Mr. WARHOLA: Well, early on, in late '61, my dad was in New York, and I think
it was just at the very beginning when my uncle was coming up with the idea of
the soup can. And he gave my dad a small 16-by-20 can that was hand painted,
and my father brought it home, and we cherished it for many years. Of course,
it was important to us. He didn't give us too many things, a few things, a
few small things, but that was one of our prized possessions. And we jointly
owned it for all these years, and it just got to be kind of impractical to
kind of keep it, and I think last year we all decided that it was probably the
best time to try to sell it.

And we did sell it. It sold at Christie's for a little over a million
dollars, which was quite an amazing amount to all of us considering we took it
to school endlessly on the bus in a brown paper bag, showed it to our
teachers, our classmates. Each of us had a turn with it, and it was always in
the family. It was tough to see it go, but it was the only way of kind of
sharing it at this point in time when most of us, most of my siblings, are in
their 40s and 50s and 60s.

GROSS: You said it became impractical to keep it.

Mr. WARHOLA: Yeah. I think occasionally one of us would have it for a few
years, and then it would get passed on to, you know, another family member.
I mean, we kind of shared it, so I think it was hard to keep as a family

GROSS: What kind of reactions from people do you get when they see that your
name is Warhola? Do they guess that you're a relative of Andy Warhol's? And
then if so, what kind of questions do you get asked?

Mr. WARHOLA: Well, I guess it's only since he passed away that most people
make the connection, but most people never made the connection that his name
was Warhola. So, you know, nowadays most people do make the connection. And
I guess sometimes they think that maybe we inherited a lot of paintings and
maybe we're very wealthy, but I sometimes have to tell them that it's not
quite that way. Most of his paintings were left to a giant foundation, and
it's a foundation for the arts. And it's quite an important foundation, and
it does a lot of good for institutions and artists. So I usually tell them
that. And then, quite often, they want to know if I ever met him and, you
know, how I knew him and if I met any famous people. And occasionally I say,
`Yeah, I occasionally did, and it was quite a lot of fun.'

GROSS: Did your family feel cheated at all that he didn't leave more to the

Mr. WARHOLA: Well, I think there's always been a little question there. I
mean, it would have been--his will was, of course, very concise and very
brief. I don't think he ever expected to die as suddenly as he did. He died
from, you know, a bad gall bladder back in '87. So even though he had
premonitions that if he went into a hospital that he wouldn't come out, he
just wasn't prepared for it. So I think he may have--you know, if he had
lived longer, he may have, like, thought it through and been a little more
considerate, I think, to the family.

GROSS: Are you preparing another book?

Mr. WARHOLA: I have a few ideas. It's either going to be a book about race
cars or a runaway pig. I'm not quite sure what it's going to be. Ultimately,
I would love to do another book about my growing up. I think that my
grandmother--I couldn't show her fully in this book because it was limited to
32 pages, and actually, she would have just taken over because she was such a
character. She was a very magical character in our family. And I think that
if I was to do another book, I'd probably want to highlight her more.

GROSS: Well, James Warhola, thank you so much for talking with us.

Mr. WARHOLA: You're welcome.

DAVIES: James Warhola wrote and illustrated the new book, "Uncle Andy's: A
Faabbulous Visit with Andy Warhol."

Coming up, fado music. This is FRESH AIR.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Review: New album by fado singer Mariza

The style of song called fado began in Portugal early in the 19th century.
According to popular myth, its first superstar was a mysterious woman who
operated a lowly tavern but sang bewitching songs, fados. She even won the
hearts of royalty with her voice and fado became famous because of her
forbidden love affair with a count. Much like tango and flamenco, the
romanticism of fado remains undiminished. It's still simple music with simple
instrumentation from the streets of Lisbon. Music critic Milo Miles has a
review of a new album by the fado singer Mariza.

(Soundbite of song)

MARIZA: (Singing in foreign language)

MILO MILES reporting:

Listening to Mariza sing fado means dealing with the mystery of the human
voice. Right now we are going through a new wave of young female fado
singers, or fadistas, all beautiful with beautiful voices--Christina Branco
and Misia. But for me, Mariza comes first. The voice that moves you, defeats
all rational resistance. The right voice can make you listen for hours to
music you know is saccharine tripe and, of course, you'd rather respect

With Mariza's voice, I don't have to worry. Her songs are brave and smart and
worldly. I'm not being bamboozled by my subconscious. Mariza has two CDs.
The new one, "Fado Curvo," was produced by Carlos Maria Trindade, who has
worked with the most famous Portuguese group Madredeus. But Mraiza is far
more robust and less new agey than they are. In the title song, Mariza notes
that neither life nor fate nor music are formed of straight lines. And she
also takes Curvo to mean `inclined forward.'

She put in time as a teen-ager with rock bands. And though there's nothing
fusiony about her music, her attitude is all intense, immediate modernity.
This is true whether she performs fados associated with the legendary singer
Amalia Rodrigues or new numbers created expressly for her with Celtic and
African touches.

(Soundbite of song)

MARIZA: (Singing in foreign language)

MILES: But on stage is where Mariza becomes the fadista to beat, as is clear
at a recent show at Boston's Berklee Performance Center. She embraces the
tragedy and yearning of fado, but she hammers home that the music is also
joyous, funny and sassy. And that that, too, makes it the essence of
Portuguese soul. She has excellent English and an actress's timing in a show
that builds passion without getting faster and louder. Mariza appeared with a
brilliant sympathetic and wide-ranging trio of two guitars and bass. Special
mention must be made of bassist Fernando Sousa, who gave the pulse of a
tortured heart to the lament "Bairco Negro."

(Soundbite of song)

MARIZA: (Singing in foreign language)

MILES: The show also cleared up something that seemed peculiar to me. In
many songs of this style, the fado becomes a character, rather like the blues
in blues tunes. It waits for you around every corner. It is in the bread
people eat. And, of course, their dreams. On record this can seem
narcissistic, the singer projecting herself over the world. But in concert,
it's populist. We are all immersed in fado and see the world through its lens
and Mariza's passions become not just the essence of Portuguese soul, but

DAVIES: Milo Miles is a contributing writer to Rolling Stone magazine.
Mariza begins a North American summer tour on July 20th.

(Soundbite of song)

MARIZA: (Singing in foreign language)


DAVIES: For Terry Gross, I'm Dave Davies.

(Soundbite of song)

MARIZA: (Singing in foreign language)
Transcripts are created on a rush deadline, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of Fresh Air interviews and reviews are the audio recordings of each segment.

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