Celebrate Nico – In the Shadow of The Moon Goddess @ Lichtblick Kino
By John Perye . October 16, 2015
Nico would have been 77 years old today. Born Christa Päffgen in Cologne, Nico moved to downtown Berlin in 1946. To celebrate her birthday, Lutz Graf-Ulbrich of Lüül & Band, 17 Hippies, Ash Ra Tempel, and Agitation Free, has organized an event this Saturday at the Lichtblick Kino. Lutz worked with Nico for many years, as well as sharing a romantic relationship with her. His new ebook, Nico – In the Shadow of The Moon Goddess, recounts his up-close and personal memories of one of Germany’s most intriguing beings.
(Photo: Michael Hoenig. Nico at Opéra Comique, Paris, 1972)
BLY spoke with Lutz to find out more about Nico:
For people out there that may not know Nico, can you fill them in on who she was?
Well, she started her career as one of the few first German super models along with Veruschka back in the 50ties and sixties. Berlin-Paris-London-Rome-New York. Took part in the Fellini Movie „La dolce Vita“, became singer with The Velvet Underground and started a solo career with mystic and never heard before compositions in the late sixties. Her unique way of songwriting, performing with her indian organ and her mystical appearance gave her a worldwide reputation among artists and music fans. There also is a very long list of great artists she had known, lived with or inspired as Brian Jones, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Marianne Faithfull, Patti Smith, Leonard Cohen to name a few!
You were very close to Nico, collaborating with her for years. You even organized her last concert ever, which happened to be in Berlin, correct?
Yes, true. We got to know each other in Paris at a concert with Agitation Free. Later in the 70ties I became her lover and guitar player and we toured in Europe, Canada and the USA until 1979. I also wrote a song for her „Reich der Träume“ which she sang on my first solo Album „Lüül“. It was recently covered by Kadaver – a rock band from Berlin. I organized her last concert at the Planetarium in West-Berlin in 1988. I also produced her last record taken from that concert „Fata Morgana“.
(Photo : Lutz Graf-Ulbrich. Arles, France, 1975)
How strong was Nico’s connection with Berlin?
Yes, having grown up during and after the World War II had a huge impact on her life I think. But I think Berlin became a bit too small for her and she was a bit too over the top as she put it in her last interview that will be shown at my multimedia-based reading. She always liked to come back here also because some of her relatives still lived here and still do.
Nico – In the Shadow of The Moon Goddess is your new multimedia-based ebook about Nico. Can you tell us about that?
The ebook itself is only an ebook, but the show will be multimedia based. It is about my time as lover, guitar player and drug addict with her between 1974 and 1979 and more encounters later on until she died in 1988 and I organized her funeral.
(Photo: Unknown. Lutz, Nico, and John Cale. CBGB 1979.)
What is going down at Lichtblick Kino this Saturday the 17th?
I will read in english some chapters from my ebook, play some songs I wrote for her, show some Musicclips among them the sensational and never shown before video from her first appearance in Berlin in 1974 with John Cale and Brian Eno. This clip from video artist Michael Geissler has been found recently and had been edited by the ZKM which gave me the permission to show it.
For people wanting to discover Nico, what in your opinion are the top five piece of music they should check out?
I personally like The Velvet Underground song „All Tomorrows’s parties“, Janitor of Lunacy, You forget to answer, The End and „DAs Lied vom Einsamen Mädchen“.
Nico’s Birthday Party:
Saturday the 17th at 8 PM
Plus at 10 PM, a showing of Le berceau de cristal
For more information about Lutz visit here.