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Episode 106 : Jennifer Otter Bickerdike on Nico + Jackson Browne + Britney Spears

26 July 2021

In this episode, Mark and Jasper are joined by the excellent Dr. Jennifer Otter Bickerdike to talk about her new Nico biography, You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone. Jennifer explains where the idea for the book came from and discusses comparisons of Nico with Marianne Faithfull. The trio also consider her remarkable music from Chelsea Girl to Camera Obscura and the stint in the Velvet Underground that led to a long-lasting collaboration with John Cale...

They then listen to two excerpts from the week's audio interview, a 2014 conversation between Jackson Browne and Adam Sweeting, in which the poster-boy for Southern Californian sensitivity and political conscience reminisces about learning to play piano and cheap rents in Los Angeles. Following the sad news of rapper Biz Markie's death, the trio pay tribute to his infectious humour and joyful singing...

Talk turns to what's new in the library, with Mark highlighting pieces about Bob DylanDebbie Harry and M People's Mercury Prize success among other articles, and Jasper selecting David Kamp's oral history of the Brill Building and an early Britney Spears review, which sparks discussion of Jennifer's next book Being Britney: Pieces of a Modern Icon and the horrors of Britney's guardianship.

Watch a video clip from this recording.

Many thanks to special guest Jennifer Otter BickerdikeYou Are Beautiful and You Are Alone: The Biography of Nico is published by Faber and available now. Visit Jennifer's website at