During the later years in Manchester, Nico lived in the top flat of a run down house in Prestwich Park Road South, just off Bury New Road, and when Mark and Janet Wraeg bought the house in 1988 they had no idea who the strange German woman was…“She wasn’t the chatty type, monosyllabic really, just ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ answers” recalls Janet “We didn’t know who she was at first, just this mad woman upstairs in the attic. We didn’t have a clue; it was only as time rolled on that we realised who she was. She just had a mattress on the top floor, it was an horrendous mess. There were no visitors that we were aware of, although we weren’t living here at the time as it was uninhabitable – there was no heating at all, just a 30s gas fire and water coming in everywhere, I mean it really was grim.
“We bought the house in April ‘88 and it needed fully renovating and lots of building work doing” she explains “We told Nico that this was going to happen and that there were builders coming in who would be smashing walls apart, and basically she just shrugged her shoulders. In fact, when the building work did start she walked down the stairs, said ‘Wow’. It was almost meant to be for us this house, it was up for sale, falling down. I said ‘I don’t care it’s just got something’; we didn’t even look inside.”
They didn’t try to evict Nico – “we’re not that ruthless” – but Mark says she told them that she was just staying until her travel documents and methadone scripts arrived, and that she was going to Ibiza to see her mum…“She had a bike in the hall and that’s what she left with one day” says Janet “I was here with the builders and heard some noise and there she was. She came downstairs with two bin bags, got the bike and walked out of the door to a black cab, and that was the last I saw of her. Six to eight weeks later we found out that she had died in Ibiza.”
While clearing out Nico’s room, the couple found a letter from January 1988 to iconic French actor Alain Delon, the father of her son Ari. Although he always denied that he was the father, Ari lived with Delon’s mother while growing up. The heartfelt letter that Nico wrote to Delon was either never sent or returned…
“I will never understand that you systematically won’t speak to me” she writes, asking him to let Ari make a movie, while bemoaning how her manager (Alan Wise) has has taken her for a ride, “who cheated me out of a thousand pounds again”…
“I would love to keep Ari here with me in this big house, big and empty” she adds “It is the right kind of atmosphere to create, composing as well as writing. The house is for sale and costs £55,000. Perhaps by the end of the year I will be able to buy it. Not that I am a materialist, but to simply not live on the street when I am older. There is still much time before I do…”
My Mum Was Nico’s Driver!
A band/singer called Hann has released an ace song with the chorus…
‘1985 to 1987/my mum was Nico’s driver/pick her up in Prestwich/off to Yugoslavia…my mum was Nico’s driver…’
It’s a smart claim to fame set to song with a catchy chorus! “Everything in this song is completely true” states the record company, Wooden Records “All we had to do was rhyme the facts…”
dunno.. is my response to any of you hipsters who are in it, in with it, are it, and are steeped in it…
i reckon, like most attractive women of the theatrical espionage bent, she must have had a burlesque double, a trans who did her parboiled bidding.
probably a good job re: my seeming uninterest in all things manchester/prestwich/ macclesfield and beyond – as they all seem to be latent mass murderers, anyhow.
just listening to anton newcombe. who? a hipster a cat a new waaave psych merchant. he who will be coming to your town soon to teach you the ways of musical discord and dissonance and harmonious ambiance.
it’s all in the magnets, anyway, sir. so don’t believe this hype about resonances.
…taking a shit with christ merely meant having to clean up yer dog mess – after said christ had had a turn out on the lawn of some disreputable cove with intolerance for all things neighbourly… that’s cos he’d had it up to here with their retarded musings on how to keep things resonantly clear and cordial ie: they expected some chaffing half-wit or brow beaten pleb to do all their dirty work or clean up their filthy mess for them.
the northern scam, as that all the north is, is to have a true native of the soil or some half wit southern dope move in to be saddled with some chuckling ham shank’s debts. it’s a tradition all over the north west, north east and yorkshire – where, i feel, such a tradition began.
they’ve never heard of yer so……………. that’s a plus!
a plus in your favour… but, sadly, a self-serving dupe came along 20 years prior to yourself and used all yer best gear re: social intercourse and savaged the life out of your wife and, now it seems, yer life.
the only saving grace re: that little jaunt of sticking the boot in – is that she has aids and he’s been jacking up with her and her boys and sharing her needles. ha haa ha haa!
they’re in denial.
about a great many things.
i don’t think much of yours and i really must make it plain that you only need mention fame and a famous ape of some repute and she’s all ears. she may even make an appearance if you wish hard enough. thinking about jean harlow hard enough seemed to do the trick.
what was this originally about, this argument…? erm… where nico was buried. other than that… i have no idea what else you folks are harping on about.
it then morphed into various other tawdry skits – such as being terminally unemployed, being bored, not gettin’ laid, listening to music, engaging the brain – which basically does amount to listening to music lest you end up a Romanian orphan child banging yer head against a brick wall… watching this morning with rich and jude. who they say were spliced together for cosmic effect.
if yer gonna laugh, laugh!!! so i did.
tell who john cooper-clark reminds me of – keith! no idea why, he just does.
it all boiled down to a battle of the breweries and the slags won out when they closed strangeways Boddingtons brewery.
holt’s is pish!!!
they keep making that point in the beer that i drink.
i am yours, i am you / cool minds, breezy feelings – Burgess / Newcomb – is a song that has just begun airing on you tube. maybe he will play it when he comes to town for you?
i allus thought mark e.smith was off bury old road? his mural is.
not much to say about this northern thing. and the old signage, even though madchester was not my thing, seems kindda comforting as i walk past the part of manchester which has nothing to do with it, with manchester.
…you’ve ruined the eastern bloc yerv ruined the sunken gardens and the pubs…
…i hung about with none of these pricks!!! so, no, i aint taking on their woes…
manchester was good for something. but can’t rightly recall what.
-regards Mott Leigh-Phaaart Snr