If you are trying to figure out where you have heard that name before, you are not alone, for Candy Darling was a real person who was a seminal figure in the music and arts world of the 1960’s and early 70’s, even though she never wrote a song. But where have you heard her name? Well Lou Reed’s Walk on The Wild Side was most likely where her name first came into your memory banks”Candy came from out on the island,In the backroom she was everybody’s darling”.
But Candy’s story is not a simple one, for you see she was truly more than just a women, she was actually considered a muse for Lou Reeds 1960’s classic group The Velvet Underground, the song Candy say’s from their début album was about her,and as well the classic Kinks Song LOLA was, according to rumour was written about her as well. The Rolling Stones song Citadel has Candy Mentioned in the Lyrics as well. She starred in Andy Warhol’s films Flesh (1968) and Women in Revolt (1971) as well as appearing in the mainstream movies Klute with Jane Fonda and Lady Liberty with Sophia Loren and appeared as herself in a number of movies chronicling the Andy Warhol era and she also appeared on Broadway in her short life. Beside her musical connections she has also been portrayed in both film and Broadway, a bust was made of her,Candy Darling’s letters, sketches and journal entries were compiled into a book titled My Face for the World to See by Hardy Marks publications. Both the English rock Group The Smith’s And Antony and The Johnsons have used images of Candy for Record Album covers, and in 2010 a Documentary called Beautiful Darling was released about her. However, she had a short life for in 1974 at the age of 29 she died of Lymphoma, a picture of her on her deathbed by artist Peter Hujar became a famous photograph that is still haunting to this day.
Her funeral, while low key did have the usual suspects attending and is remembered by those who were there for Gloria Swanson Saluting Candy’s Coffin. So, why is Candy remembered so fondly, perhaps the answer is in her birth name,James Lawrence Slattery. You see Candy was born a Man but became a male to female Transsexual, and in an era where it was usually not promoted, she let everyone know who and what she was.