Monday, September 22, 2008


Nico - The life and lies of an icon by Richard Witts.

Another Nico biography I having an obsession?...

Unlike Songs they never play on the radio, by James Young which is about the last (predominantly down and out) years in Nico's life, this book is as close as you can get to an "official bio", written by her personal acquaintance Richard Witts and covering her entire life from her birth in pre-WWII Germany to her death on the Island of Ibiza in 1988.

If you have an interest in Nico this is definitely the one to get, but unfortunately it is long out of print and a good second-hand copy comes with a surprisingly high price tag starting around £ 40 and going as high as £ 262!

I managed to pick up an acceptable (wine and coffee stained...) specimen at £ 25.

I won't delve too much into the contents of the book but leave its pleasures to future readers. Naturally a woman who filmed with Fellini and Warhol, had a child with Alain Delon (which he has denied ever since) recorded with The Velvet underground and dated Brian Jones and Jim Morrison had a more than interesting life.

Unfortunately, most of the people involved come out as Freudian monsters who spent a large part of their short lives being mean and miserable to each other while greedily munching down every conceivable type of narcotics and alcohol available to them.
This was initially done in a search for inspiration, spiritual enlightenment, etc, but it progresses to become a seemingly tireless effort to destroy themselves, their talents and everybody around them.

After reading about Nico's life with some of the top players of the European and US avantgarde and her determined struggle to become an artist in her own right, you end up asking yourself if they are artists doing drugs or druggies doing art?..somewhere in between probably...and you no longer wonder why the concept of the free and independent artists living out side of society in "bohemia" has been replaced by the jet-lagged, continent hopping "corporate artists" of today. As the book progresses you realise that bohemia simply self-destructed in the sixties and seventies... leaving nothing but the "dole art" schmaltz of the eighties which stands out as the poorest and saddest epitaph an era can possibly acquire.

All tomorrows parties, Nico famously sang in the sixties,

by the eighties it had become all tomorrows hangovers.

Retro babe"...nice gloves..."
Panzer Pzkpfw I, Ausf B
A nice photo of a Panzer I moving up the line. Note the early type small vehicle number seen on the side of the hull. The numbers were painted on a detachable metal plate in the shape of a rhomboid, the tactical symbol of Panzer units.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I never comment on blogs, but this one is awesome! Thanks. haircuts
You nicely summed up the issue. I would add that this doesn’t exactly concenplate often. xD Anyway, good post…