I’ll Keep It With Mine

Nico may have been one of the coolest looking girls of the 60s  (Exhibit A, the shots of her with The Velvets). Despite her looks and Teutonic cool she was shoe-horned into the group against their will by manager Andy Warhol. She was deaf in one ear and often struggled singing in key but her voice on the banana album works perfectly as a foil for Lou Reed’s nasal drawl. Her solo albums can possibly be best described as an acquired taste. She got to know the big shots of the 60s scene too- Jim Morrison, Brian Jones and Bob Dylan all stepped out with her at some point, Dylan writing I’ll Keep It With Mine for her, a lovely little song that you can find below.

Addicted to smack for fifteen years she lived with Salford’s number one punk poet John Cooper Clarke, flitting between London and Didsbury, Manchester, walking distance from where I grew up (which seems a bit odd now I think about it. How did we all live near a member of the Velvet Underground?). Nico died in 1988, suffering a minor heart attack while cycling in Ibiza, cracking her head on the pavement. A life less ordinary, even if it was ‘brushed by the wings of something dark’ (to quote Nigel Blackwell).

I’ll Keep It With Mine

4 Responses

  1. have you read "Nico, Songs They Never Play on the Radio" by james Young?Possibly the best book about being in a band written. Quite squalid

  2. It freaked me slightly when I first read Nico lived in Prestwich for a bit, the thought that the five year old me might have stood in the same queue at the newsagents or something. But no, looking up the dates, we'd moved away before she arrived.On the music front, I bought Chelsea Girls and only ever listened to the title track (excellent flute solo) until, I heard The Fairest Of The Seasons in The Royal Tenenbaums and then got into the whole album. Still far prefer Dylan's version of I'll Keep It With Mine though, at least the version on Biograph.

  3. I prefer Dylan's version on Biograph as well. Not read the book H but keep meaning to look out for it.

  4. There's a lovely Sandy Denny-sung version by Fairport Convention too.

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