NICO Biography - Craftmen, artisans and people from other Occupations


Biography » craftmen artisans and people from other occupations » nico


Name: Christa Paffgen                                                                   
Born: 16 October 1938 Cologne, Germany                                                 
Died: 18 July 1988 Ibiza, Spain                                                         
Genre(s) Art rock, Folk music                                                           
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter                                                         
Christa Paffgen (October 16, 1938? - July 18, 1988) was a German singer-songwriter,     
fashion model, actress, keyboard player and Warhol Superstar, best known by her         
pseudonym Nico.                                                                         
As a musician, she is remembered for both her time in The Velvet Underground and       
her solo work.                                                                         
Nico made her early fame as a model. After leaving school at 13, she started           
selling lingerie and soon was spotted by fashion insiders. A year later, her           
mother found her work as a model in Berlin.                                             
At the age of 15 Nico was raped by a US Air Force sergeant who was tried and           
shot for his crime. Her song "Secret Side" from her album The End... is said to         
be about this incident.                                                                 
While on a modelling assignment in Ibiza, she met the photographer Herbert             
Tobias, who christened her "Nico" after his ex-boyfriend, filmmaker Nico               
Papatakis. She soon moved to Paris and worked for Vogue, Tempo,                         
Vie Nuove, Mascotte Spettacolo, Camera, Elle, and other fashion magazines in the       
late 1950s.                                                                             
She also claimed to have been briefly hired by Coco Chanel. Despite having             
dropped out of school at an early age, Nico eventually became fluent in English,       
Italian, Spanish, and French, in addition to German.                                   
In 1965, Nico met The Rolling Stones' founder and guitarist Brian Jones and             
recorded her first single, "I'm Not Sayin'" for Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate         
Actor Ben Carruthers introduced her to Bob Dylan in Paris that summer. It is           
said that Dylan wrote the song "I'll Keep It With Mine" for her shortly                 
She began working with Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey on their experimental             
films, including Chelsea Girls, The Closet, Sunset, and Imitation of Christ.           
For over twenty years, Nico was a heroin addict. Biographer Richard Witts               
speculated that the habit was caused by her traumatic experiences of war and of         
being an illegitimate child.                                                           
In his book Nico-Songs They Never Play on the Radio, James Young, a member of           
her band in the 1980s, recalls many examples of Nico's fiendish behaviour due to       
the addiction. But just before her death, she had managed to kick the habit and         
had embarked on a regimen of exercise and healthy eating.                               
On July 18, 1988, while on holiday with her son in Ibiza, Spain, Nico had a             
minor heart attack while riding a bicycle, and hit her head as she fell. A             
passing taxi driver found her unconscious, and had difficulty getting her               
admitted to local hospitals. She was incorrectly diagnosed as suffering from           
exposure, and she died the next day. X-rays later revealed a severe cerebral           
hemorrhage as the cause of her death.                                                   
Nico was buried in her mother's plot in Grunewald Forest Cemetery in Berlin. A         
few friends played a tape of "Matterlein", a song from Desertshore, at her