Nico

7.00PM

This was the final night of a three night residency for Nico at Band on the Wall. Former Band on the Wall manager Steve Forster discussed her three night residency at the venue in his archival memoir.

Nico was a former international superstar. The former model who appeared in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and sang on one of the most influential rock records ever made, the first Velvet Underground album, was now living in North Manchester as a hopeless drug addict. She could still pull a crowd though and we booked her to play 3 successive nights, one night solo and the other two with different bands. She arrived mid afternoon in a taxi with no money to pay for it and her famous harmonium in her arms. After I’d paid the cab driver she strode into the club and asked to borrow a screwdriver. As she dropped the wooden instrument onto the stage it promptly fell apart, the sides spreading out as though in a cartoon. For the next 2 hours this former top catwalk model and musical inspiration to a generation sat cross legged and fumbled with a bag full of screws and a borrowed posidrive screwdriver to reassemble it. Steve Morris climbed onstage near the end of her set to play on a classic Lou Reed song that he’d never heard before, it went down so well that Nico asked him to join the band on a permanent basis for the tour that would be documented in keyboard player James Young’s book ‘Songs They Never Play On The Radio’. The thought of Steve amongst the chaos of the collection of junkies, incompetents and perverts that Young describes sends the imagination into freefall.’