"It was too difficult to get in [to see Bowie in The Elephant Man]. I don't want to pay 20 bucks to get in there. I mean in Paris I always had free tickets very easily, but over here I don't know, he protects himself too well I guess."
Nico (1983), cited in The Velvet Underground Companion (1997)
taken from http://smironne.free.fr/NICO/drama.php
"My record is called Drama of Exile", said Nico, "Because my life has been a drama of exile. I've become a total stranger to myself." The album would chart her travels, through time Genghis Khan, Henry Hudson — and space... the self-prophesying New York of Lou Reed's I'm Waiting For the Man, the bitter Paris of Orly Flight, the suffocating Berlin of David Bowie's Heroes. Keyboard player Andy Clarke cemented the Bowie connection — he was engineer on Scary Monsters; The Sphinx reiterated Nico's German origins: it was dedicated to terrorist Andreas Baader.
The band, too, reflected intransigence. Quilichini was Corsican; guitarist Mahammad Hadi was Middle eastern; Davey Payne was an English pop star, headline hustling saxophonist with Ian Dury's charp-topping Blockheads. Soaring in all directions from Steve Cordona's solid thunderbolt percussion, each played the praise of his homeland. Eastern rhythm coupled with western roots, the mystic melody of the snake charmer plying his trade in a New Jersey mall. And above it, Nico sang the void.
"Having been a member of the Velvet Underground, rock'n'roll is something I have to do at one point, even if only for one album," Nico explained . "All that quiet stuff I did before... it was really boring!"
She continued: "I always wanted to sing I'm Waiting For the Man, but Lou wouldn't let me. Anyway, I know more about the subject now than I did then." Her voice trailed off. "I find it something to occupy yourself with, running up and down the city."
And: "Heroes was written for me. I know that as a fact. I was living in Berlin at the same time as Bowie was there. He recaptured my past, I guess. I can hear it from the lines 'Standing by the wall, the gun shots above our heads and we kissed.' That didn't happen of course. That was his fantasy."
In 1983, Nico's version of Heroes was released as a single in the UK. it didn't sell, and Nico joked, "that was a fantasy as well." Her keyboard player, James Young later wrote a book about Nico called Songs They Never Play on the Radio.
- Dave Thompson / Contributing Editor, Alternative Press