FOUR YEARS OF EXHAUSTIVE RESEARCH AND 100 NEW INTERVIEWS. THE REAL STORY OF THE ENIGMA THAT IS
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.
"It's the ritual element of it. It's running your finger down the side of the record, trying to open the plastic wrap, and then pulling it out, seeing if there is an inner sleeve, hoping for a gatefold. Nowadays, you just walk over to your computer, you click three times, and you have 140,000 songs at your fingertips. Vinyl was just a different kind of thing - and it still is." Lars Ulrich, Metallica.
In 2015, vinyl sales in the US increased by 30% - a raise for the tenth year in succession - and 1.29 million vinyl albums were sold in the UK in 2014, the first time the million mark has been surpassed since 1996. Vinyl, once thought to be a dying market, is now facing a major revival.
Pop culture writer and historian Jennifer Otter Bickerdike interviews some of our most iconic artists, including hip-hop stars, Indie legends, DJs, producers, album cover designers, photographers, label founders and record store owners. Each superstar and superfan talks about their own experiences of vinyl and what it means to them, and the importance of its re-emergence - seemingly against all odds - as a physical format in the era of the digital economy.
Why Vinyl Matters is part history, part future forecasting, part nostalgia and all celebration. A collection of more than 25 interviews, all illustrated with photos, sidebars, quotes, album covers, outtakes and much more. This is the book for anyone who has ever gone to the store and bought music on vinyl.
Includes interviews with: Fat Boy Slim; Tim Burgess (Charlatans); Henry Rollins (musician, actor, writer, comedian); Gaz Coombes (Supergrass); Lars Ulrich (Metallica); Maxi Jazz (Faithless); Rob da Bank (DJ and founder of Bestival); Clint Boone (Inspiral Carpets); Mike Ness (Social Distortion); Chief Xcel (Blackalicious); Cut Chemist (Jurassic 5); Fab 5 Freddy (hip hop pioneer, visual artist); Fat Mike (NOFX); Julia Ruzicka (Future of the Left); Steve Hackett (Genesis); Nick Hornby.
Joy Devotion: The Importance of Ian Curtis and fan culture explores the lasting legacy in the fan, post-punk and dot.com economy of Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis, and what such dedication says about the larger issues facing us in a modern world.
Essays on Curtis, exploring ideas of memory, death, technology, fandom and secular religion will be complemented by photos taken at the Ian Curtis Memorial Stone every month for a year, beginning fall 2009 through 2010.
Stakeholders in the Curtis legacy, from fans to artists, contribute their personal insights, allowing for intimate and never before allowed access to the very people who Curtis has continued to influence and inspire long past his untimely death in 1980.
With a foreword by Kevin Cummins. Preface by Stephen Morris.
Media pilgrimage has become a booming business in the 21st century. Fans of television shows, rock groups and books flock to places associated with their favorite series, artist or writer, trying to embody and perhaps understand what inspired the beloved piece of work, and, more importantly, to cobble together their own personal identity, seeking meaning in an ever-more divergent and fast-paced world.
At the same time, participation in organized group activities are dropping. One of the largest down turns in the US and the UK can be seen in the steep decline of attendance at traditional religious venues. This trend dovetails with the radical uptick in on-line sites dedicated to pop culture and celebrities, as well as an array of niche-focused real-time tours allowing fans to experience the spaces, places and scenery featured in their favorite entertainment medium.
The Secular Religion of Fandom: Pop Culture Pilgrim examines the function of fandom, specifically the visiting of spaces which have been recently deemed worthy of sanctification and a newly elevated status of importance. It examines how such pilgrimages are used as a means for forming and maintaining a common language of culture, creating a replacement apparatus based on more traditional frameworks of religious worship and salvation, while becoming an ever more dominant mechanism for constructing individuality and finding belonging in a commodified culture.
Looking at television shows such as The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, bands like The Stone Roses and Joy Division, and authors like J.K. Rowling and the Brontë sisters, The Secular Religion of Fandom: Pop Culture Pilgrim delves into these issues by examining spaces, fan communities and rituals, providing a unique and provocative investigation into how technology, media and humanistic need for guidance are forming novel ways of expressing value, forging self and finding significance in an uncertain world.
Kurt Cobain and Ian Curtis. Through death, they became icons. However, the lead singers have been removed from their humanity, replaced by easily replicated and distributed commodities bearing their image. This book examines how the anglicised singers provide secular guidance to the modern consumer in an ever more uncertain world.