New Nico biography released 15th July

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DaveyJones
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New Nico biography released 15th July

Post by DaveyJones » 16 Jul 2021 13:55

"You are beautiful and you are alone" by Jennifer Otter Bickerdike (Faber Books).
There is an expansive review in this months Mojo - worth a read.
The Daily Mail (UK) did a two page spread on it the other day although their reviewer only focussed on the personal relationships she had with various people at the time (Reed, Cale, Dylan, Morrison etc.) Bit of a sleazefest really and not the considered review offered by Mojo.

gazatthebop
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Re: New Nico biography released 15th July

Post by gazatthebop » 29 Jul 2021 13:52

i read it. I felt like i'd read an awful lot of it before. Maybe the early stuff in Germany is new but holds little interest for me

peppergomez
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Re: New Nico biography released 15th July

Post by peppergomez » 03 Aug 2021 03:06

Can't muster any interest in this. If it weren't for her guest spot on the banana album nobody would care about her as an artist.

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Sheila Klein
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Re: New Nico biography released 15th July

Post by Sheila Klein » 03 Aug 2021 03:44

That is absurd.

peppergomez
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Re: New Nico biography released 15th July

Post by peppergomez » 03 Aug 2021 15:06

Not in my opinion but different strokes for different folks. John Cale is the one who gets credit for making some of her earlier albums interesting, not her.

If she hadn't been on the Banana album nobody here would know who she was and there would be no discussion of her.

dial4
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Re: New Nico biography released 15th July

Post by dial4 » 08 Aug 2021 18:48

She wrote many good songs and sings well, better than a lot of female singers in muzic biz (if not all). M. Faithfull or P.Smith come to mind when speaking about nonsense boredom.

CRJ
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Re: New Nico biography released 15th July

Post by CRJ » 09 Aug 2021 15:51

Nico - 2 pages in the Daily Mail, I'm shocked.

--peppergomez - Your 2 posts are confusing.
First it's "nobody would care about her", then as a reply to Sheila Klein it's "Not in my opinion but different strokes for different folks"
What you first said, "Can't muster any interest in this", was all that you needed to say.

falconwhit
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Re: New Nico biography released 15th July

Post by falconwhit » 28 Aug 2021 03:54

80% feels like copy-pasted from previous books, articles, or transcribed from tv documentaries. The first 100 pages (from childhood in Germany to the VU days included) are filled w mistakes too numerous to list. It gets a little better afterwards, but there are many holes - basically whatever hasn't been documented in previous bios, like her years of touring in France in the 70's, etc.
The author is clearly not a life-long VU (or Nico) fan, and has little empathy or feelings towards her music - it's a bio without any new insights, and she really has nothing to say about Nico as a musician.
The only redeeming qualities were her interviews w Danny Field (always a treat), and a few wonderful quotes from Iggy Pop about Nico.

This was an excuse for me to re-read Richard Witts' book which is 100% better.

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DavidH
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Re: New Nico biography released 15th July

Post by DavidH » 28 Aug 2021 11:18

falconwhit wrote:
28 Aug 2021 03:54
80% feels like copy-pasted from previous books, articles, or transcribed from tv documentaries. The first 100 pages (from childhood in Germany to the VU days included) are filled w mistakes too numerous to list. It gets a little better afterwards, but there are many holes - basically whatever hasn't been documented in previous bios, like her years of touring in France in the 70's, etc.
The author is clearly not a life-long VU (or Nico) fan, and has little empathy or feelings towards her music - it's a bio without any new insights, and she really has nothing to say about Nico as a musician.
The only redeeming qualities were her interviews w Danny Field (always a treat), and a few wonderful quotes from Iggy Pop about Nico.

This was an excuse for me to re-read Richard Witts' book which is 100% better.
That's a shame, but at least I'll save a few dollars not bothering to buy it. Prior to the Witts book, there was just mostly misinformation around - it would have been nice to have some genuine new info. I'd love for someone to do a serious book about her music, but even this thread is an illustration of how underrated she still is as an artist.

bobbydriver
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Re: New Nico biography released 15th July

Post by bobbydriver » 15 Oct 2021 11:42

Have to agree that this largely a terrible book

So much of the narrative is pieced together from pre-existing books and interviews, it struggles to find it's purpose

The author clearly has a strong aim to reclaim Nico as a person beyond the standard depiction of the "great beautiful model, turned rock star, turned helpless junkie" - which is fair enough, but we get it - she was a human being too, and there are some glimpses of that (which are quite touching)

However - the Nico story is what it is. The author taking every opportunity to bang home the point about how she was judged on her looks by an institutionally misogynistic patriarchal music biz is valid, and worth making - but not incessantly

Oh and the old adage "you can't libel the dead" is strongly in play here as she lays into Alan Wise with some pretty serious sexual assault allegations

I should have expected the worst, given that the author was the editor of the Will Sergeant autobiography "Bunnyman" - one of the most boring rock books I've ever read. It literally stops at the point where the band forms. A decent editor who understands what makes a good rock biog would have said "let's lose the 350 pages about things you did at school and the nicknames of your mates that no one knows, and concentrate on the bit that people actually want to read"

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