Strange life of a doomed groupie

NICO’S STORY TOLD IN NEW BOOK

A German model known as Nico who was nearly six feet tall and had the baritone voice of a man bedded some of the biggest rock and movie stars of the 1960s.

“She acquired the reputation of a gothic Garbo or punk Dietrich, by turns mysterious and aloof,” writes Ian Thompson in The Guardian.

Nico had affairs and serious relationships with Lou Reed, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Andy Warhol, and French film star Alain Delon. She also is said to have had lesbian affairs with French actress Jeanne Moreau and fashion icon Coco Chanel.

After a glamorous, weird, heroin-addicted life, Nico died relatively unknown in 1988 after falling off a bicycle and hitting her head. She was 49.Nico bedded rock stars

Her story has been told in a new book ‘You Are Beautiful And You Are Alone: The Biography Of Nico’ by Jennifer Otter Bickerdike.

She was born Christa Päffgen in Cologne in 1938. Her father was killed in the war when she was four. The little girl and her mother struggled to survive in a small flat in Berlin as bombs exploded all around them.

In 1954 at the age of 16 she changed her name to Nico and moved to Paris to become a fashion model, appearing in such glossy mags as Vogue.

When she was 21 she met the Italian film director Federico Fellini who gave her a cameo role in his film ‘La Dolce Vita.’ Other small roles followed, during which Nico had affairs with Alain Delon, and a relationship with Jeanne Moreau.

In New York she hung out with Andy Warhol, who produced the debut album of Lou Reed’s band The Velvet Underground and worked her into the album as the lead vocalists on three tracks.

Nico bedded rock stars
Nico and Lou Reed

The album, ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico,’ was panned by critics because of its lurid lyrics on sadomasochism and drug abuse, but in later years it was regarded as one of the most influential rock albums ever.

Nico’s 1968 solo album ‘The Marble Index’ was praised for its “doom-laden, Germanic atmospherics and dirge-like harmonium playing.”

Nico spent the last years of her life in squalid flats in London and Manchester, venturing outside in a long black cape and biker boots.

“Her days were often spent in bed, shooting up, or trying to score drugs,” writes the book’s author, as reported by Tom Leonard in the Daily Mail.

Her death was as offbeat as her life. While on vacation on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, she fell off her bike and hit her head, and died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Her life was characterized by doom and gloom. A friend once described living in Nico’s house as like “living in a funeral parlour.”

Nico bedded rock stars


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First novel published, then a bend in the road at 90 mph

This is a nervous little decade we’re playing with.—Richard Fariña

Remembering Richard Fariña, counterculture songwriter and author who wrote the cult classic of the 1960s, ‘Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me.’

BOOK SIGNING
Mimi and Richard Fariña

UNEASY RIDER

On April 30, 1966, two days after the publication of his first novel, Richard Fariña attended a book-signing ceremony at a bookstore in Carmel, California.

Later that day, he was at a party to celebrate the twenty-first birthday of his wife Mimi Baez Fariña, a folksinger-activist and sister of Joan Baez.

One of the guests at the party had a motorcycle that caught Fariña’s eye and the newly-minted author asked the guy to take him for a ride.

The rode up winding Carmel Valley Road, hitting a speed of 90 miles an hour (140 km). At an S-curve in the road, the driver lost control and the motorcycle crashed through a barbed wire fence into a field.

Fariña was killed instantly. The driver survived.

GREENWICH VILLAGE

GREENWICH VILLAGE
Richard Fariña with Bob Dylan

The Brooklyn-born Fariña drifted into the counterculture scene in Greenwich Village, hanging out with a little known singer named Bob Dylan.

He met 18-year-old Mimi Baez on a trip to Europe and they got married in Paris. Back in the U.S., they lived in a small cabin in Carmel and composed songs. They performed as Richard & Mimi Fariña at the Big Sur Folk Festival and signed a contract with a record company.

Fariña’s novel, a counterculture classic based on his college days and travels, chronicles the comic adventures of a modern-day Odysseus, Gnossos Pappadopoulis, as he travels from an Upstate New York College to the American West and to Cuba during the Cuban Revolution.

The reclusive writer Thomas Pynchon,  now 83, described the novel as “hilarious, chilling, sexy, profound, maniacal, beautiful, and outrageous.”

SIMPLE MARKER

GRAVE MARKERFariña was buried in a simple grave in the city cemetery in Monterey, California, identified only by a marker with his name, dates and a peace sign.

Mimi Baez Fariña died of cancer in 2001 at the age of 56.

Demarcation

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‘There’s a battle outside and it’s raging’

PEACEFUL PROTESTS? LIKE HELL THEY ARE!

Racial hatred and violence tore America apart in the 1960s, and it’s doing it again in 2020, as history repeats itself and the Un-united States of America fights for its life.

The current surge of violence is led by thugs supposedly massing under the banner of Black Lives Matter in what the mainstream media laughably labels “peaceful protests.” There’s nothing peaceful about protests that kill innocent people, burn down the shops and businesses of law-abiding citizens and wipe out their livelihood.

If the protesters genuinely cared about black lives, or any lives, their protests would be peaceful, as advocated by Martin Luther King. Every time their protests cause death and destruction they are violating, not only the law, but the fervent teachings of their spiritual and motivational leader. They bloody the peaceful crusade for which, on April 4, 1968, he gave his life.

NEWS HEADLINE

BIDEN’S RACIST CRIME BILL

America is in trouble. And don’t look to a weak old white man like the Democrat presidential candidate to save the country. He helped create the problem.

In 1994, then Senator Joe Biden worked closely with segregationists, most of them personal friends, to put a new crime bill into law that led to mass incarceration of Black people, many of them innocent. Biden referred to Blacks at the time as “predators,” adding, “Lock the S.O.B.s up.”

Now of course, at the doddering old age of 77, as he tries to prolong his white power career in Washington, he sings a different tune.

HYPOCRITE AND RACIST

To which columnist Michael Goodwin replies: Yes you do!

Meanwhile, the mainstream media blithely go on the air and talk about “peaceful protests” amid live-camera footage of raging fires and people running in fear of their lives as gunshots shatter any illusion of peacefulness. Do they think we’re stupid?

The Democrat candidate and his followers said nothing about all the mayhem and murder until it was shown to be hurting his poll numbers — and then, and only then, did he start speaking out against it. In his vernacular, Come on, man, cut the bullshit.

SHAKE THE WINDOWS, RATTLE THE WALLS

Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call,

Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall.

For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled,

There’s a battle outside and it’s raging.

It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls,

For the times they are a-changing!

 — Bob Dylan


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