Nico: The Life and Lies of an Icon

Richard Witts

    Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


    She called herself ‘a Nazi anarchist junkie’, and they thought she was joking. As the cover girl of the fifties, the Siren of the sixties, the moon Goddess of the seventies and the eighties’ High Priestess of Punk, Nico drifted through society like a phantom. All her life she fought against the idolatry of men to assert her independence as a performer, first with The Velvet Underground and then in her own right, and as a composer of dissident songs. Her Garboesque veneer disguised a lonely woman attempting to stand autonomous in a fast-changing world and to cope with her tormented mother and her troubled son, his existence denied by his film star father. This extraordinary biography, which Nico asked Richard Witts to write shortly before her death, uncovers the reasons for her subterfuge. Exclusive contributions from David Bailey, Jackson Browne, John Cale, Fellini, Iggy Pop, Siouxsie Sioux, Viva and others – friends, relatives and enemies – make this the definitive account of a woman whose influence on popular music and style is only now acknowledged.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherVirgin Digital, New Edition
    Number of pages334
    ISBN (Print)9780863696558
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2017


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