Eric Emerson aka Eric "Love" Emerson

Andy Warhol Super Star, Patron Saint of Max's Kansas city, the guy who introduced me to Abbie Hoffman (Chicago Seven Defendant), a father, nice guy, bicyclist, an all round crazy artistic dude who had a babe or two in his life.

Andy Warhol:

"Some of those kids who were so special to us, who made our sixties scene what it was, died young in the seventies... They found Eric Emerson one early morning in the middle of Hudson Street. Officially, he was labeled a hit-and-run victim, but we heard rumors that he'd overdosed and just been dumped there - in any case, the bicycle he'd been riding was intact." (POP299)


Chelsea Girls

Lonesome CowboysMovies:       

Books To Read:

 "Andy Warhol Diaries"

"Velvets to the Voidoids"

"Too Much Too Soon"


"Primordial Soup"

Eric leaps while Ronnie Cutrone watches 

Eric Emerson (1945 – May 28, 1975) was a musician, dancer, and actor. Emerson is best known for his roles in films by pop artist Andy Warhol, and as a member of the glitter rock group, The Magic Tramps.

* 1 Career
* 2 Personal life
* 3 Death
* 4 References
* 5 External links


Growing up in New Jersey, Emerson trained as a classic ballet dancer. It was this talent that caught the eye of artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol. After seeing Emerson dancing at The Dom in April 1966, Warhol asked Emerson to be in one of his underground films. Emerson made his film debut in 1967's Chelsea Girls, and soon became a Factory regular. Emerson would go on to star in other Warhol films, most notably: Lonesome Cowboys, San Diego Surf, and Heat. Heat would be Emerson's last film.[1]

Emerson began his musical career with the band, The Magic Tramps. The band, which began in Hollywood in 1969, relocated to New York City in 1971 after Emerson joined as lead vocalist. The Magic Tramps played under various names, including Messiah and Star Theater, and would go on to play gigs at Max's Kansas City, a favorite hangout among Factory regulars. Later that year, Emerson appeared in Jackie Curtis' play Vain Victory: Vicissitudes of the Damned, with Ondine, Holly Woodlawn, and Candy Darling. The Magic Tramps, along with Lou Reed, provided the music.[2]

Personal life

Emerson's bisexuality was well known within Warhol's circle and he had relationships with many of the Factory regulars. When Emerson's father accused his son of being "a little sweet", Emerson responded by saying, "What he don't understand is that my generation can swing both ways".[3] On July 21, 1969, Emerson agreed to marry transgendered Warhol star, Jackie Curtis. When Emerson failed to show up, Curtis married a wedding guest. The wedding, which was a publicity stunt arranged by Curtis, was covered by The Village Voice.[1]

Emerson had a long relationship with Elda Gentile, founding member of the band The Stilettos, whom he met in 1968. The two had a son, Branch Emerson, in 1970. Around 1970, he began a relationship with model and actress Jane Forth, who appeared in Warhol's film Trash. Together, the two had one child which they named Emerson Forth.[2]

At the time of his death, Emerson was living with Barbara Winter, ex-wife of musician Edgar Winter.[2]


On May 28, 1975, Emerson's body was found next to his bicycle, near a highway he was attempting to cross in Manhattan. Emerson's death is listed officially as a hit and run. Eric Emerson was 31 years old.[2] To date, no one has been  arrested or charged in connection with his death.

After Emerson's death, various reports surfaced that Emerson was not killed in a hit and run accident, but rather overdosed on heroin in a different location, and was dumped as staged hit and run.[4]These reports have never been substantiated, and Emerson's official cause of death has never been changed.

Following a weekend-long wake hosted by Max's Kansas City owner Mickey Ruskin[4], Emerson was buried in Wharton, New Jersey.[2]


Andy Warhol noticed Eric Emerson dancing at the Dom - “...a small, muscular blonde kid made a ballet leap that practically spanned the dance floor". (POP212) Eric Emerson’s mother had sent him to ballet school as a youngster, while his father worked as a construction worker in New Jersey. Both Ronnie Cutrone and Gerard Malanga already knew Eric before Andy Warhol noticed him at the Dom. Eric had got married two years previously to someone he met at a party in Los Angeles. He fell in love instantly and they drove to Las Vegas the same night for a quick wedding.
Eric Emerson:
“I got really attached to my wife, and when she went out free-loving the way I did, I got crazy and went through a heavy gay scene for awhile...” (POP212)

The Exploding Plastic Inevitable played the Chrysler Art Museum in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Steve Sesnick, who would later become the manager of The Velvet Underground after they were dropped by Warhol in 1967, arranged the dates. In addition to The Velvet Underground (consisting of Maureen Tucker, John Cale, Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison) and EPI regulars Gerard Malanga, Ronnie Cutrone, Mary Woronov, road manager Faison, Warhol assistant Paul Morrissey and Andy Warhol, the group also now included Susan Bottomly (aka International Velvet), her boyfriend, fashion illustrator David Croland - and Eric Emerson who stayed with Nico in Provincetown.

EPI Poster

The police interrupted one of the performances and untied Eric Emerson from a post (which he was strapped to in preparation for being whipped by Mary Woronov) in order to retrieve some belts and whips that were stolen from a leather store in Provincetown. (UT83)

There was also a problem with the landlord of the house that Warhol's entourage had rented in Provincetown. The toilets in the house had stopped up and Warhol's stars were throwing shit out the window.

And Eric Emerson stole a work of Art from the town's museum "just to see if he could get away with it. Paul Morrissey had to act as a liaison between Eric and the Museum, restoring the painting in order to avoid having charges pressed." (UT84)

Gerard Malanga expressed his displeasure with direction that the EPI show was taking in a letter to Warhol that he wrote in his diary, but never sent. (UT82)




"People like Eric couldn't exist in the

climate of today's world.

One foot on the earth

the other in the heavens

Living on the edge

Diving over it

Dying in it

Taking some of Evil with him

Leaving some behind

Taking some of Beauty along

Alluviums of melancholy flourish in the dust of memory

People like Eric couldn't exist in the climate of today's world

One eye in the heavens

the other on the earth

Seeing this

Way before he ever left

the Planet"


Universally Copyrighted, All Rights Reserved (copyright 1955-2006 Andrew Stergiou use at your own risk, contact for author's consent to fair use (fascists only have rights to drop dead, die, or be killed!)