This article tells the story of a cassette tape housed in the Andy Warhol Museum Archives, a set of never-released (and rarely heard) songs by Lou Reed, and the tape’s intended audience: Andy Warhol. Warhol and Reed are giant figures in the history of twentieth-century Pop Art and popular music, and their collaboration from 1966 to 1967 resulted in the acclaimed album The Velvet Underground and Nico. Based on extensive archival research and interviews, I discuss how this tape reflects Warhol’s and Reed’s failed attempt to collaborate on a stage version of Reed’s album Berlin (1973); Reed’s reaction to Warhol’s book, THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) (1975); and how elements of Warhol’s own audio aesthetics and taping practices find their way into Reed’s recordings around 1975. I also place this cassette in the context of the emerging common practice of creating and gifting homemade mixtapes of curated music, and demonstrate how such mixtapes function as a type of “closet media” (to quote theater scholar Nick Salvato) marked by private audience, disappearance, and inaccessibility. Drawing on William S. Burroughs’s conceptual spliced-tape experiments and their challenge to unified subjectivity, I explore the epistemological and ontological ramifications of sonically entangling the self with another person, and the queer intimacies of doing so on cassette tape.

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