In his Reddit AMA on Wednesday, longtime Hollywood insider Bill Murray shared some stories about the role that got away (in Peter Weir’s “The Year of Living Dangerously”), working with Wes Anderson (“he loves to eat”) and why he’d want to be on “Flavor of Love,” Flavor Flav’s short-lived reality series (“really nutty”).
But this one story takes the cake. In the ’70s, Murray wrote, he crashed an event “called the subway party,” thrown for the premiere of “Tommy,” a musical film starring Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed and The Who’s Roger Daltrey. This is the event where the wildly popular, Andy Warhol disses Bill Murray.
It was Gilda Radner, Belushi, Harold Ramis, Joe Flaherty, Brian Doyle Murray, and we were all plus 1, probably. It was biggest party ever in NYC at the time. You couldn’t get into this party. It was an inner circle thing. It was at an enclosed subway stop, it was a roar. It was a scream. If you made an airport movie with everyone on the plane is a celebrity, it was like that times 10. We were doing a show in the restaurant cabaret, the guys catering were the same guys who gave us left over french fries, we went into the backdoor to the subway with everyone. Everyone saying hi, hello. And we felt like we didn’t belong at all. It was so fantastic. I have compassion when people say dumb stuff to me. I said to Andy Warhol “I love the soup can” and he looked at me like “You don’t belong here.” What a time that was.
An old subway stop. Andy Warhol. Bill Murray. Soup. (Paging Stefon!)
The “Tommy” event, a dinner with an after-party conveniently attached, happened in March of 1975, according to an old newspaper article that called it “one of the great evenings of the generation” (H/T Reddit user LouisXGonzalez). Around 1,000 guests showed up — the article names Elton John, Ann-Margret, Angela Lansbury, Sylvia Miles, Barbra Streisand and Audrey Hepburn, although it’s unclear whether the latter two were present or simply gossiped about. Regardless, a blend of actors, agents, businesspeople, artists, musicians, writers and groupies mingled at the 57th street subway station long past 2 a.m.
“It wasn’t conscious — I was scared shitless,” the event organizer, Bobby Zarem, told New York Magazine. “What I did was combine a conventional sit-down dinner with a bizarre setting. And I invited Pat and Bill Buckley, D. D. and John Ryan, Marion Javits, everyone I felt meant something, based on quality, character, intelligence, culture, and class.”
What a time, indeed.
Leave A Reply