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In Focus: Nico

Berlin, 15.12.17

Focus on Nico

At one time billed as the Moon Goddess, singer Nico's dark, avante-garde music and deep, hypnotic voice were first heard in the Velvet Underground. She continued to work as a solo artist after leaving the Velvets.

Nico was described by some friends and colleagues as racist. Her friend Danny Fields, the American journalist who helped her sign to Elektra Records, described her as "Nazi-esque", saying: "Every once in a while there'd be something about Jews and I'd be, 'But Nico, I'm Jewish,' and she was like 'Yes, yes, I don't mean you.' She had a definite Nordic Aryan streak, [the belief] that she was physically, spiritually and creatively superior", a view she appears to have continued to maintain throughout her later years. During a performance in Berlin, the audience rioted after Nico performed the German national anthem "Deutschlandlied", including a verse omitted since 1945 for its nationalist associations. However, Nico dedicated this performance to militant Andreas Baader, leader of the anti-fascist Red Army Faction.

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