NICO ICON, MY LOVE PART 2

The tone was set: her deep narcotic monotone voice became one of her trade-marks, as well as her low moans, high cheekbones and heavy make-up, a style resurrected by the goths, who anticipated the ‘Nico From The Grave Look’. With John Cale as her producer she made three albums full of mysteries, loaded with strange sounds and feelings and she started touring in a small scale, mostly in France and Spain, sometimes in the early Seventies in New York’s CBGB’S. Her performances in those times were unforgettable experiences; her singing, her playing on the old Indian pump organ, almost in a mystical intensity, echoing around the mind of the listener.

1976—1979 found Nico more or less down and out in New York, she even had lost her manager and friend Lutz Ulbrich. She moved to London to record the Drama of Exile album in 1981, a record with an history of stolen master-tapes, re-recorded versions and most of all an unhappy Nico. But from that time her touring was more regular, mostly with young musicians, who brought a universal mystical oriental sound on stage, sometimes in contradiction with Nico’s cool and static approach, always smoking and drinking, but always very intense and fragile in her performance. During this nowhere really at home. She loved things that were part of that.

After nearly a decade’s wait she released in 1985 a new album, Camera Obscura, once again produced by John Cale. It was an album that placed Nico right in the middle of all the experiments that took place in the eighties. Some of the younger audience saw her as the return of a ‘punk goddess’, singing about the dark side of the street, but her performances became more and more a tribute to dead friends, a requiem-like atmosphere.

On 18 July 1988, she went for a bike-ride on the isle of Ibiza, she was visiting again, a bike rider of a healthy-living woman, almost clean of her narcotic past. people found her unconscious by the side of her bike, and took her to the Cannes Nisto Hospital, where she died at 8 pm of a brain hemorrhage. Not the thing we expected from the woman who always was living in places the sun couldn’t reach, she remained in fact where she was, her whole life a mystery!

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