You are Beautiful and
You Are Alone
The Biography of Nico

The definitive biography of the woman
who dared to live by her own rules.

 

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FOUR YEARS OF EXHAUSTIVE RESEARCH

 

100 NEW INTERVIEWS

THE EXHAUSTIVE BIOGRAPHY OF NICO

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.

"Nico, in her life and times, straddled the worlds 

of post-war European and American

decadence like an alternative Colossus; or 

perhaps an Albatross.

Here is a scholarly and 

detailed chronicle of this brilliant artist, who 

was spurned and tortured for her trouble."

- Iggy Pop 

on You Are Beautiful You are Alone

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Reviews

"Sometimes truculent, often uncompromising, Nico was not an easy person to know, and Jennifer Otter Bickerdike does not shy away from exploring the difficult sides to her character in this biography. But it's a compassionate portrayal of a musician whose artistry has often been overlooked, a woman who channelled horrific childhood experience of war-blasted Berlin into a kind of sonic poetry."

4 stars 

Lucy O'Brien / Mojo

"A gripping portrait of one of the

most fascinating figures in late 20th-century music."

Will Hodgkinson / The Times

"The book that Nico’s real devotees have been waiting for, and this unique lady has long deserved, deserves to sit with the great biographies."

5 stars

Kris Needs / Record Collector 

"Nico’s life has been documented before, but rarely with such clarity, and this biography once again reinvents the statuesque singer, painting her troubled portrait from a more empathetic, 21st-century perspective"

4 stars

Ben Graham / Shindig

"You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone grimly absorbs from start to finish."

Ian Thomson / Observer

"Nico’s life has been documented before, but rarely with such clarity, and this biography once again reinvents the statuesque singer, painting her troubled portrait from a more empathetic, 21st-century perspective"

Publishers Weekly 

"75 Nonfiction Books You Should Read This Summer"

Lit Hub

"Rock ’n’ Roll historian Jennifer Otter Bickerdike comes to the Bureau to set matters straight and talk about her upcoming book 'You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone: The Biography of Nico’(Faber).  We dig into fandom, fables and why female musicians, junkies and artists in the counterculture have been treated differently, even mythologised differently, than their male counterparts; and why Iggy Pop is still so cool and why Nico still matters."

                     Click to listen:

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