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"This book preview contains selected pages from Great, Grand & Famous Hotels. If you wish to purchase the book or find out more, please go to
Hotels : Sample NY
NEW YORK: POWER & PROMINENCE GREAT, GRAND & FAMOUS HOTELS 135 THE CHELSEA RESIDENTS By the 1950s the Hotel Chelsea had become the place to stay for any ambitious artist arriving in New York. Actors, writers, artists and musicians, many of them long-term residents: Sarah Bernhardt, Lillian Russell, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Cartier-Bresson, Mary McCarthy, Brendan Behan, Vladimir Nabokov, William Burroughs, Claes Oldenburg, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Virgil Thomson, Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti Smith, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jack Kerouac, Joni Mitchell, Milos Foreman, Allen Ginsburg, Nico and others of the Warhol Factory crowd and Jim Morrison. The great Irish author of Under Milkwood, Dylan Thomas, fell into a coma in one of the Chelsea's rooms, having returned a few days earlier from a record drinking binge of eighteen scotches. A few extra beers over the next few days did not help. Thomas Wolfe wrote Look Homeward Angel, William Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch and Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001:A Space Odyssey. Leonard Cohen penned 'Chelsea Hotel No 2'; Andy Warhol filmed Chelsea Girls; and some of 9½ Weeks was also filmed at the Chelsea. Musicians, writers, rock groups and painters got to know each other waiting for the elevator. Parties were regularly organised in their rooms, and they were always visiting each other. After marrying at a secret ceremony, Bob Dylan and his wife Sarah moved into apartment 211 at the Chelsea in 1965. Leonard Cohen and a gang of Warhol cohorts were already familiar faces at the front desk. During the day Dylan worked on his next album Blonde on Blonde which includes his haunting masterpiece, 'Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands' which was directly influenced by his feeling for Sarah. Blonde on Blonde, released in 1966, can also be said to have been 'born' of the Chelsea Hotel's nurturing environment. Punk anti-hero, Sid Vicious, fatally stabbed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen in their Chelsea room in 1978 before dying of a drug overdose not long after. Above left: Bob Dylan and wife Sarah. Above right: Sid Vicious on stage with his American girlfriend Nancy Spungen, 1978. Right: Art surrounds the front desk of the Hotel Chelsea, much of it created by residents and guests of