Young, Nico's keyboard player, recounts the final years of the fantastically strung-out chanteuse who sang with the Velvet Underground. (Aug.)
In the late 1960s, Andy Warhol formed a rock band called the Velvet Underground, featuring the songs of Lou Reed and occasional vocals by German-born Christa Paffgen, who was dubbed with the alluring stage name Nico. After the Velvet's breakup, Nico recorded a few solo albums and drifted into a nasty heroin habit. The author entered her life in 1982, when he was recruited by a demented promoter (here referred to only as ``Dr. Demetrius'') to play in Nico's band during a tour of Italy. Predictably, the venture was a disaster. Over the next five years, Nico, Young, and company hopscotched the globe, wherever the flames of her fame still flickered. As good as Young's writing is, that's about all this sordid tale has going for it. A bigger star would have given the book broader appeal. For large music collections.-- Thomas Wiener, formerly with ``American Film''