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Songs They Never Play on the Radio: Nico the Last Bohemian Hardcover – 3 Sep 1992

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (3 Sept. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747511942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747511946
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,159,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By colin sharp on 15 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the last great biographys which reads like a William Burroughs novel of low life characters, addiction, pop art and the original authentic factory -scene- Andy Warhol's circus of actors, artists,dancers and musicians among whom was the genius Velvet Underground and chanteuse, ice maiden Nico.
This book is mainly about the later/last phase of Nico's life by when she'd moved to Manchester, England and their own little 24 hour party Factory.
By then, as explored so vividly in the book, Nico's heroin addiction had escalated and her singing had diminished as her voice became increasingly difficult to control.
The book describes in real detail the sordid surroundings, the cast of charismatic and crazy friends- JCC, Toby the drummer, John Cale and others.
There's little mention of her flagging career, the few recordings with Martin Hannett and sporadic live outings. By then Nico preferred to stay inside, in darkness, in squalor,palying games involving spurting blood at the walls from hyperdermics- all of which is captured with wit, panache and compassion and real understanding.
Nico's life ended tragically in a bike accident, a tawdry end to the femme fatale and to all tomorrows parties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a masterpiece of both style and content. It explores the life of Nico post Velvet Underground, covering her life in London and tours in Europe and the USA. I found myself devouring the text in utter fascination. It includes descriptions of bizarre performances, wild parties, weird tour experiences, eccentric characters like Dr Demetrius, encounters with luminaries like John Cale, a visit to the motel where Tom Waits used to stay and much much more. One of the funniest parts is the narrative of Nico's first experience with angel dust in Los Angeles. Underneath the humour there is a lot of sadness too but it is a strangely inspiring read. Songs They Never Play On The Radio certainly transcends the genre of rock writing. You don't have to be a fan of Velvet Underground to enjoy this classic work, as it stands on its own feet.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pagan Ronnie on 28 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
What a great little book!

I bought this mainly because of the numerous John Cooper Clarke references in it. I had never heard any of Nico's music before. However - since finnishing the book I am now a Nico fan and have most of her music that is currently available.

The book is very amusing and entertaining. I found that I was repeatedly chuckling aloud to myself - not a bad recommendation considering that I was convalescing after an operation and not feeling particularly jovial! The Nico quotes are particularly hilarious, as the author manages to capture her strong Germanic accent absolutely perfectly with his unique spelling of it.

Of course all this humour and light heartedness is contrasted by the dark side of what is being disclosed: the last years of Nico's life as a heroin addict and ultimately her early death. Yet this is strangely juxtaposed by your subconscious acknowledgement as you read, that she made her own choices & lived as she wanted.

The John Cooper Clark bits are well worth the entire read, even if you're just a fan of his & not Nico - like I WAS!

All in all: A highly recommended read!

P.S. I think the negative reviewer probably lacks a sufficient command of the English language - which probably explains their failure to comprehend much of the humour & irony that this book provides.
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Feb. 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you happen to be a fan of the Velevt Underground and its associations eg Warhole, Studio 54 etc.. then this book is a must read. An insight of the crazy world of the 60s and 70s.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Riveting read 24 Mar. 2005
By Peter Uys - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is a masterpiece of both style and content, and one of the very best rock biographies in existence. It explores the life of Nico after the Velvet Underground, covering her life in London and tours in Europe and the USA.

I found myself devouring the text in utter fascination. It includes descriptions of bizarre performances, wild parties, weird tour experiences, eccentric characters like her one-time manager Dr Demetrius, encounters with luminaries like John Cale, a visit to the motel where Tom Waits used to stay and much much more.

One of the funniest parts is the narrative of Nico's first experience with angel dust in Los Angeles. Underneath the humor there is a lot of sadness too but it is a strangely inspiring read. Songs They Never Play On The Radio certainly transcends the genre of rock writing. You don't have to be a fan of Velvet Underground to enjoy this classic work, as it stands on its own feet.
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