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You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone : The Biography of Nico

Bickerdike, Jennifer Otter
Format: Hardback
Publisher: FABER & FABER
Published: July 15, 2021
ISBN: 9780571350018
512 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom

£20.00

The real story of Nico is one of determination, self-destruction and belief in one’s artistic vision, at any cost.

Nico was an ever-evolving myth, an enigma that escaped definition.

Born Christa Päffgen, Nico grew up in war-torn Berlin before being scouted by a fashion photographer in her early teens. At age twenty-seven, she became Andy Warhol’s newest Superstar, securing the position of chanteuse for the Velvet Underground. Though she is primarily remembered for contributions to their seminal debut album – and her relationships with Brian Jones, Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison – her own artistry and influence have often been overlooked.

Nico spent most of her career as a solo artist on the road, enduring empty concert halls, abusive fans and the perilous reality of being a drug addict. Yet beneath the superficial denigrations and one-dimensional myths was a complicated visionary determined to make art that was truly her own.

In You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone, defying the sexist casting of her life as the tragedy of a beautiful woman losing her looks, youth and fame, Jennifer Otter Bickerdike cements Nico’s legacy as one of the most vital artists of her time, inspiring a generation of luminaries including Björk, Morrissey and Iggy Pop.

Containing over a hundred new interviews and rare archival material, this is an empowering reappraisal of an underappreciated icon.

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