Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

9. NicoDesertshore

Speaking of proper artists… Desertshore is almost her feel-good album out of the three [Desertshore, The End and The Marble Index]. Some of it is terrifying, we don’t really know what ‘Janitor of Lunacy’ is about, it could be about an abortion, she could be singing about her son who she wishes she had aborted or hadn’t had, it could be about general madness, or it could be the idea that Jim Morrison told her to write down her dreams, and they were her songs. Normally the idea of a girl writing down their dreams is… well nowadays it would be… yes exactly, girls in cardigans with ukuleles. I came back to Desertshore a few years ago when I saw Throbbing Gristle do their version of it at the ICA. It was amazing, it really worked with Gen in his new guise of whatever it is, a 55-year-old Northern housewife. The voice was not unlike Nico on a particularly poor night, and it worked. Hats off to them for having a go. So that brought me back to Desertshore. I saw her with John Cale, it must have been one of the last tours she did, she was behind the weaving machine. It was bloody awful.

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