Day 12

July 18th 1988
Death of Nico

“I do not feel connected enough…to throw stones at a policeman. I want to throw stones at the whole world.” – Nico

Nico’s place in this SydArthur Festival was assured when she fired up her newly-purchased harmonium and declared to her gaggle of swooning devoted super-hip songwriters: No More. Jackson Browne, John Cale, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan – all would have been quite content to continue writing material for this beautiful former Fellini Queen and Warhol Superstar. That she dared and demanded to jump off this fabulous conveyer belt, and that the results were of such an extraordinary high quality, obliges us to read her actions as having been nothing less than Total Personal Revolution.

Nico’s was a career of two halves. From having formerly offered in her songs well-organised and charming observations about the Factory scene, suddenly the New Nico presented us with deeply avant-garde art that inhabits Jungian dreamscapes of unspecified times and places. Desertshores. Borderlines. “Where land and water meet.” Across these barren landscapes, Nico’s low-church harmonium drones again and again, offering us clandestine meditations and underworld murmurings. Everything becomes merged and somewhere between the alpha and theta state. Whereas her Warhol vocal contributions are specific, her revolutionary work occupies an entirely different consciousness. She goes from trite to timeless. She becomes shamanic.

As evidenced by the fact that she often drove the Velvet Underground’s tour bus, it is clear that Nico was hands-on whenever she really wanted to be. But it took Jim Morrison’s challenge to goad her into becoming the seeress that so many adore. Once that gauntlet had been thrown down, Nico committed herself utterly to summoning her own magic. To demand to become the magician and not the magician’s assistant: this was her goal, and how highly it was achieved. In this Festival of the Mind, Nico provides for us all a blueprint for total mind transformation. She gave herself permission to become a poet. Her actions show us all that there are secret formulas to fathom and codes to break – but only for those intrepids who dare.

Sun Sunday
Mon Monday
Tue Tuesday
Wed Wednesday
Thu Thursday
Fri Friday
Sat Saturday
Day 1: Sunday Jul 7th
Day 2: Monday Jul 8th
Day 3: Tuesday Jul 9th
Day 4: Wednesday Jul 10th
Day 5: Thursday Jul 11th
Day 6: Friday Jul 12th
Day 7: Saturday Jul 13th
Day 8: Sunday Jul 14th
Day 9: Monday Jul 15th
Day 10: Tuesday Jul 16th
Day 11: Wednesday Jul 17th
Day 12: Thursday Jul 18th
Day 13: Friday Jul 19th
Day 14: Saturday Jul 20th
Day 15: Sunday Jul 21st
Day 16: Monday Jul 22nd
Day 17: Tuesday Jul 23rd
Day 18: Wednesday Jul 24th
Day 19: Thursday Jul 25th
Day 20: Friday Jul 26th
Day 21: Saturday Jul 27th
Day 22: Sunday Jul 28th
Day 23: Monday Jul 29th
Day 24: Tuesday Jul 30th
Day 25: Wednesday Jul 31st
Day 27: Friday Aug 2nd
Day 28: Saturday Aug 3rd