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About Nina Antonia
“The Smartest Chick I ever met.” – Johnny Thunders
“Nina Writes, Seen her Riot.” – Peter Doherty
“Priceless Books for One Such as I.” – Morrissey
“Nina Antonia Makes a fascinating Story, Irresistible.” – Uncut
Nina Antonia (Liverpool, 1960) is a former music journalist, who has contributed to Uncut, Mojo, Classic Rock and Record Collector. Her first and best known book Johnny Thunders – In Cold Blood is currently being made into a feature film, with Jonas Akerlund set to direct. Johnny described Nina as ‘The smartest chick I’ve ever met.’ Of her book The New York Dolls – Too Much Too Soon (Omnibus, 1998), Uncut magazine commented ‘Nina Antonia makes a fascinating story irresistible.’ Antonia is also featured in the Sundance Film Festival’s nominated documentary New York Doll about Arthur “Killer” Kane alongside Morrissey, Mick Jones, David Johansen, Clem Burke, and Iggy Pop and Nina appears in Danny Garcia’s poignant documentary Looking For Johnny. As well as appearing on Radio One and Radio Six, Nina has performed at spoken word events and enjoyed a retrospective of her work at the Barbican curated by Jay Clifton. Jay Clifton commented that ‘The special value of Nina’s oeuvre lies not so much in her subjects, but in her personal commitment to both the documentation of them and a search for the truth about both their character and their cultural significance. Like the best writers, she begins from personal fascinations. But with a balance of personal feelings and objective contemplation, combined with a fluid literary style, she writes books that resonate beyond the parameters of the surface material.’ Nina lectured on Glam at Tate Liverpool in 2013 which can be seen via YouTube in Parts 1 and 2. In 2016, Nina had her first supernatural piece South-West 13 published in an Egaeus Press anthology Soliloquy for Pan which sold out within days. She has continued to contribute to Egaeus, penning a novella length essay How Shall Dead Men Sing about Lord Alfred Douglas and Oscar Wilde. Another essay Bosie and The Beast appeared in Fenris Wolf 8 in 2017. Nina’s first supernatural novel The Greenwood Faun is currently available for purchase via Egaeus. In 2019, she edited and wrote a detailed biography for Incurable: The Haunted Writings of Lionel Johnson, the Decadent Era’s Dark Angel that was published by Strange Attractor Press.
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Titles By Nina Antonia
Nina Antonia discovered Johnny Thunders and the New York Dolls when a young teenager and spent her formative years as a dedicated fan. Writing was her other passion and she commenced his biography in the early 80’s. Then Johnny came to London, he and his manager read her drafts, decided the book should be an authorised biography, and uniquely gave her full access to Johnny’s life.
The book covers Johnny from his early life through the New York Dolls, Heartbreakers and solo, with interviews of many of the characters involved in his career. It then changes tone and the story is continued in the present tense as Nina describes her first-person experiences of mixing with the real-life Johnny and his associates.
First published in 1987, it was updated and revised in 2000 after Johnny’s death and with further insights gained from Nina's biography of the New York Dolls (Omnibus). ‘In Cold Blood’ has also been published in Italy and Japan.
Johnny died in mysterious circumstances in New Orleans in 1991, leading to much speculation.
This new e-book edition contains over 120 pics and illustrations, including unseen photos.
Book length: over 80,000 words.
Dancing with Salomé unmasks the occult aspects of Oscar Wilde’s celebrated tome The Picture of Dorian Gray, whilst exploring how the unseen manifested not just in the famous author’s life but in that of his love interest, Lord Alfred Douglas. The gilded backdrop to their ill-fated liaison was the Decadent movement, a literary and artistic feast of the divine and debauched which redefined the lines of male beauty. Curiously, Aubrey Beardsley, the most renowned illustrator of the Decadents, refused to keep any of Oscar Wilde’s books in his home, as he believed, like many of his friends, that the playwright was accursed. Beardsley’s theory is not as far-fetched as it seems if one takes into account the doomed lineages from which both Oscar and Lord Alfred Douglas were descended.
Through a series of interlinking essays, Nina Antonia takes us to meet the Decadent demi-monde of the 1890’s with whom Wilde and Douglas mingled. Whilst eroticism and mysticism were key themes of the Decadents, there was also a surge of interest in ritual magic, enabled by the flowering of the “Golden Dawn” – the most significant esoteric order in England’s history. Wilde’s wife, Constance, was a member, as was W.B. Yeats, alongside Aleister Crowley and Arthur Machen. All would play a part, directly or indirectly, in the drama of Oscar Wilde’s enchanted & accursed life.
The Prettiest Star: Whatever Happened to Brett Smiley? (previously out of print) is now available as an ebook on Kindle. The epitome of Fey, ‘Beautiful’ Brett Smiley was primed for fame in the frenetic era of Glam but success was illusory. A former child actor, Brett had everything including a Mephistophelean manager, Andrew Loog Oldham who had steered the Rolling Stones to mega-stardom. Meanwhile, in Liverpool, Nina Antonia, a disenfranchised teenager witnessed Smiley’s sole television appearance in the UK. Interviewed by a concerned Russell Harty, the fate of the young singer was already in jeopardy. With a one way ticket to the boulevard of broken dreams, Brett was to become a missing piece of Nina’s childhood, until their paths crossed, almost 30 years later.
The Prettiest Star by Nina Antonia: authorised glad-rags & ephemera (limited edition t-shirt and prints) by all the colours of the dark.
For almost three decades, Nina Antonia has chronicled the lives and misadventures of the wayward yet enticing, including Johnny Thunders, the New York Dolls, Peter Perrett, Brett Smiley and more recently, doomed Victorian Poet, Lionel Johnson. Achieving critical acclaim for her books, Ms Antonia who previously contributed to Mojo & Uncut, appeared in ‘Arthur Kane ‘New York Doll’ and was interviewed extensively by Danny Garcia for his documentary ‘Looking For Johnny’, has since graduated from the stormy shores of rock n’ roll to explore decadent and supernatural themes. As well as having her work published in Fortean Times, 2017 saw the release of a haunting novel ‘The Greenwood Faun’ which is available via Egaeus Press and is ‘Shot through with decadence, poetry, opium and incense’ according to David Tibet of Current 93. It has been mooted that Nina has changed direction in her work and yet the themes follow the same, often fatal trajectory as her latest project ‘Incurable’ The Haunted Writings of Lionel Johnson, the Decadent Era’s Dark Angel’ attests. Published via Strange Attactor, ‘Incurable’ includes extensive biographical notes by Ms Antonia who also collated and edited Johnson’s wistful, candlelit verses. Nina Antonia would like to live in a secluded castle or an elegant tree-house (with plumbing) where she can continue to ponder the wistful & candlelit, whilst learning to play the Theremin. https://ninaantoniaauthor.com
These in-depth Johnny Thunders album liner-notes chart his recording career and life, in Nina’s enlightening and engaging style. It also includes a bonus essay on Nico, the bewitching and dark female voice of the Velvet Underground. The e-book comprises notes for these eleven album releases: -
New York Dolls 'Manhattan Mayhem'; Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers 'L.A.M.F. - the lost '77 mixes; 'L.A.M.F. - the definitive edition'; 'Live at Max's Kansas City Vols 1 & 2'; 'Down To Kill'; Johnny Thunders & Wayne Kramer 'Gang War'; Johnny Thunders 'Que Sera, Sera'; 'Que Sera, Sera - Resurrected'; 'Looking For Johnny' soundtrack; 'Born Too Loose - the best of'; Nico 'Femme Fatale'.
This e-book includes interactive links to Spotify, Apple and Amazon to stream or download each album. Size: over 26,000 words; 75 pages.