Monday, May 18, 2020

Phyllis George (1949-2020) the Woman who came between Pete Rose and Andy Warhol

Phyllis George and Bill Kurtis (1985 Jan 18/ Getty Images)

While researching "The Andy Warhol Triple Play" for SABR48 in Pittsburgh one of the fun tidbits that I found out that got dropped from the final presentation involved 1971 Miss America Phyllis George.
Andy Warhol "Pete Rose" Test Print

Carl Solway had conceived the ides of having Andy Warhol painting a portrait of Pete Rose in April of 1985. To produce the painting in a timely (thus "pop") manner meant that for Pete Rose to sit for Warhol the meeting would need to happen during the baseball season.

The Reds only traveled to New York once during the remainder of the 1985 Season. That was a week day series from July 22 through 24th.

1985 Cincinnati Red Schedule (RedsCardCollector 2015 Oct 06)

Unfortunately for Solway and Warhol, Rose had a lot going on. In addition to the normal rigors of playing AND managing for the Reds Pete Rose also maintained a very busy press schedule.

Rather than sitting with Warhol while in New York Rose elected to spend his free morning on the CBS Morning News with Phyllis George.  And we know about it because Rose covered in his journal of the 1985 season "Countdown to Cobb" Co-Written with Philadelphia based author Hal Bodley.

 Countdown to Cobb - Rose/Bodley

The interesting passage above is the 2nd paragraph (click to enlarge) where Rose mentions he already was familiar with Phyllis from guesting on "NFL Today"

"I took the Greek’s (Jimmy the Greek) spot and talked about each of the NFL games."

Certainly not a shock, but it is a bit comical to know that Pete Rose was handicapping games on NFL Today.

So that is the story of how Phyllis George came between Pete Rose and Andy Warhol.

Getty Images
Getty Images / SI - Chuck Solomon (1985 JUL 24)

Amazingly Getty Images has photos of Rose playing in the 3rd game of the Red Mets Series.  

Andy Warhol
Getty also has Photos of Warhol during this time frame.
Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry demonstrate the Amiga Computer (Allan Tannenbaum 1985 Jul 23)

Warhol also has his own journal for 1985, The "Warhol Diaries" confirms that he and Debbie Harry were doing a promotion for Commodore Computers at Lincoln Center that day.

The Diaries also states Warhol thought his "drawing" of Harry was "terrible".

Scheduling Conflicts
There you have it. Rose was in NYC for 3 days. Monday Rose elected to appear on CBS - previewing his upcoming book. Tuesday Warhol was busy at Lincoln center and Wednesday was a day game.

That was the one chance for the two icons to meet, Warhol ended up doing the painting from photographs. You can read more about that here.

Sources and Links
Phungo Andy Warhol - Pete Rose Index
Countdown to Cobb - Pete Rose / Hal Bodley
Carl Solway
Getty / CBS (1985 Jan 18
The Andy Warhol Diaries

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a thousand words

a thousand words
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