Nick Drake
British singer-songwriter
Nick Drake
Nicholas Rodney "Nick" Drake was an English singer-songwriter and musician, known for his gentle guitar-based songs. He failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime but his work has gradually achieved wider notice and recognition. Drake signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and a student at the University of Cambridge, and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded two more albums—Bryter Layter and Pink Moon.
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Michigan State Football: Camps of Green Under Friday Night Lights - Bleacher Report
Google News - over 5 years
Who would win in a fight between Walt Whitman and Nick Drake? Those familiar with the logistics of football practice will most likely follow me here on the pain and reward of “two-a-days.” This team during the heat of the summer has been getting up for
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The Magic Numbers On Mountain Stage - NPR
Google News - over 5 years
The latter featured string parts written by frequent Nick Drake collaborator Robert Kirby, who passed away shortly after the project's completion. The Magic Numbers are followed by Julie Adams, backed by the Mountain Stage band, with her own rendition
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Western, Utah and Eastern Focuses Continue this Weekend; Kostecki Sweeps ... - WhoWon.com
Google News - over 5 years
Nick Drake and Cole Custer won USAC feature events Wednesday night at Concord (NC) Motor Speedway. Drake, of Mooresville, NC, led all 75 laps of the Eastern Ford Focus race to beat Chris Lamb, Austin Prock, Nic Davidson and Jarett Andretti
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Drake concert puts new spin on haunting classics - Sydney Morning Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Eccentric English folk-rocker Robyn Hitchcock, our own Shane Nicholson and others pay tribute to the genius of Nick Drake. During his short lifetime, he was a tortured musical genius. Yet in death, Nick Drake has found an avid cult following
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Nick Drake Tribute - Tone Deaf
Google News - over 5 years
Famed UK balladeer Nick Drake is set to have tribute concerts to him take place at the Sydney Opera House on November 11 and the Melbourne Recital Centre on November 14 and 15. An evening entitled “Way to Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake”,
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Something Real: An Interview with Thomas Dybdahl - PopMatters
Google News - over 5 years
The Norwegian folk singer has been dodging Nick Drake comparisons all his life, but now, with his first-ever US release (despite a ton of albums to his name), Thomas Dybdahl feels like he's breaking through for the first time
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USAC Eastern Ford Focus Results from Concord Motor Speedway - WhoWon.com
Google News - over 5 years
NT FEATURE: (75 laps) 1. Nick Drake, 2. Scott Hunter, 3. Chris Lamb, 4. Nic Davidson, 5. Austin Prock, 6. Rick Fedrizzi, 7. Tyler Corriher, 8. Amanda Quinones, 9. Jarett Andretti, 10. Scorr Gordon, 11. Shane MacMillan (#44 Fedrizzi). NT
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Way to Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake - FasterLouder
Google News - over 5 years
In November the acclaimed tribute “Way to Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake” curated by Nick Drake's original producer, Joe Boyd will be presented in Australia, with a cast of Drake's admirers and contemporaries. Boyd was at the helm for two of Drake's
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Nick Drake Tribute Concert Coming To Australia - Undercover Music News
Google News - over 5 years
Nick Drake tribute concert Way To Blue will hit the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne's Recital Centre in November. The hit UK show Way To Blue: The Songs Of Nick Drake is set to come to Australia, with an eclectic selection of musicians
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Focuses at Concord, Stanley, SLC & Santa Maria; Wins go to Drake (2), Rankine ... - WhoWon.com
Google News - over 5 years
Nick Drake of Mooresville, NC and Ross Rankine of Willard, Ohio were the winners in last Wednesday's final USAC Midwest Ford Focus features of the 2011 Elite 8 Series presented by IUPUI at the Bryant Heating & Cooling Indianapolis Speedrome
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Amy Winehouse, 1983-2011 - The Arts Desk
Google News - over 5 years
It will be noted she is a tragic member of the "27 Club" - the brilliant fireworks who burned out at that age include Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Nick Drake and Brian Jones. Of course, as far her legacy is concerned, her death will only add to
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USAC Midwest Ford Focus Results from the Bryant Heating & Cooling Indianapolis ... - WhoWon.com
Google News - over 5 years
Kent Kriegbaum (#12 Kriegbaum). NT SECOND FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Ross Rankine, 2. Jarett Andretti, 3. Nick Hamilton, 4. James Robertson, 5. Toby Alfrey, 6. Jessica Bean, 7. Joey Greening, 8. Kent Kriegbaum, 9. Nick Drake, 10. Davey Hamilton Jr.. NT
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Focuses at Speedrome, Roseville, Concord and Stanley; Drake, Kuhn, Kostecki ... - WhoWon.com
Google News - over 5 years
The Eastern series visits Concord (NC) Motor Speedway Sunday and makes a rare Monday night appearance at East Lincoln Speedway in Stanley, NC Nick Drake of Mooresville, NC and Stevie Kuhn of Indianapolis, Ind. won Tuesday night's “Elite 8 Series” USAC
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BOOKS OF THE TIMES | 'FIRE AND RAIN'; Why 1970 Deserves Its 15 Minutes of Fame
NYTimes - over 5 years
FIRE AND RAIN The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970 By David Browne Illustrated. 369 pages. Da Capo Press. $26. The Beatles broke up, the Weathermen accidentally torched a Greenwich Village brownstone, and pop music went really soft. (Except when it didn't.) That's the tale, in a nutshell, told by ''Fire and
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Nick Drake
    TWENTIES
  • 1974
    Age 25
    On 2 December 1974, after a service in the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Tanworth-in-Arden, Drake's remains were cremated at Solihull Crematorium and his ashes later interred under an oak tree in the graveyard of St Mary's.
    More Details Hide Details The funeral was attended by around fifty mourners, including friends from Marlborough, Aix, Cambridge, London, Witchseason, and Tanworth. Referring to Drake's tendency to compartmentalise relationships, Brian Wells observed that many met each other for the first time that morning. His mother Molly recalled "a lot of his young friends came up here. We'd never met many of them." There were no documentaries or compilation albums in the wake of Drake's death. His public profile remained low throughout the mid and late 1970s, although occasional mentions of his name appeared in the music press. By this time, his parents were receiving an increasing number of fans and admirers as visitors to the family home in Far Leys. Island Records, following a 1975 NME article written by Nick Kent, stated "we have no intention of repackaging Nick's three albums (which remained available), either now or at anytime in the foreseeable future", but in 1979 Rob Partridge joined Island Records as press officer and commissioned the release of the Fruit Tree box set. Partridge was a fan of Drake's, and had seen him perform early in 1969: "The first thing I did when I got to Island was suggest we put together a retrospective—the studio albums plus whatever else was there. I wasn't necessarily expecting massive vaults with millions of tunes, live recordings or whatever, but there was very little". The release brought together the three studio albums as well as the four tracks recorded with Wood in 1974 and was accompanied by an extensive biography written by the American journalist Arthur Lubow.
    At some time during the night of 24/25 November 1974, Nick Drake died at home in Far Leys, Tanworth-in-Arden, from an overdose of amitriptyline, a type of antidepressant.
    More Details Hide Details He had gone to bed early after spending the afternoon visiting a friend. His mother said that around dawn he left his room for the kitchen. His family was used to hearing him do this many times before but, during this instance, he did not make a sound. They presumed he was eating a bowl of cereal. He returned to his room a short while later, and took some pills "to help him sleep". Drake was accustomed to keeping his own hours; he frequently had difficulty sleeping and often stayed up through the night playing and listening to music, then slept late into the following morning. Recalling the events of the night, his mother later said: "I never used to disturb him at all. But it was about 12 o'clock, and I went in, because really it seemed it was time he got up. And he was lying across the bed. The first thing I saw was his long, long legs." Although the verdict has been disputed by some of his friends and members of his family, there is a wide view that, accidental or not, Drake had by then "given up on life." Rodney described his son's death as unexpected and extraordinary; however, in a 1979 interview he admitted to "always being worried about Nick being so depressed. We used to hide away the aspirin and pills and things like that."
    By autumn 1974, Drake's weekly retainer from Island had ceased, and his illness meant he remained in contact with only a few close friends.
    More Details Hide Details He had tried to stay in touch with Sophia Ryde, whom he had first met in London in 1968. Ryde has been described by Drake's biographers as "the nearest thing" to a girlfriend in his life, but she now prefers the description "best (girl) friend". In a 2005 interview, Ryde revealed that a week before he died, she had sought to end the relationship: "I couldn't cope with it. I asked him for some time. And I never saw him again." As with the relationship he had earlier shared with fellow folk musician Linda Thompson, Drake's relationship with Ryde was never consummated.
    In February 1974, Drake contacted John Wood, stating he was ready to begin work on a fourth album.
    More Details Hide Details Boyd was in England at the time, and agreed to attend the recordings. The initial session was followed by further recordings in July. In his 2006 autobiography, the producer recalled being taken aback at Drake's anger and bitterness: "said that I had told him he was a genius, and others had concurred. Why wasn't he famous and rich? This rage must have festered beneath that inexpressive exterior for years." Both Boyd and Wood noticed a discernible deterioration in Drake's performance, requiring him to overdub his voice separately over the guitar. However, the return to Sound Techniques' studio raised Drake's spirits; his mother later recalled, "We were so absolutely thrilled to think that Nick was happy because there hadn't been any happiness in Nick's life for years."
  • 1972
    Age 23
    Early in 1972, Drake had a nervous breakdown, and was hospitalized for five weeks.
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  • 1971
    Age 22
    Although Island neither expected nor wanted a third album, Drake approached Wood in October 1971 to begin work on what would be his final release.
    More Details Hide Details Sessions took place over two nights, with only Drake and Wood present in the studio. The bleak songs of Pink Moon are short, and the eleven-track album lasts only 28 minutes, a length described by Wood as "just about right. You really wouldn't want it to be any longer." Drake had expressed dissatisfaction with the sound of Bryter Layter, and believed that the string, brass and saxophone arrangements had resulted in a sound that was "too full, too elaborate". Drake appears on Pink Moon accompanied only by his own carefully recorded guitar save for a single piano overdub on the title track. Wood later said: "He was very determined to make this very stark, bare record. He definitely wanted it to be him more than anything. And I think, in some ways, Pink Moon is probably more like Nick is than the other two records."
    His frustration turned to depression, and in 1971 Drake was persuaded by his family to visit a psychiatrist at St Thomas's Hospital, London.
    More Details Hide Details He was prescribed a course of antidepressants, but felt uncomfortable and embarrassed about taking them, and tried to hide the fact from his friends. He knew enough about drugs to worry about their side effects, and was concerned about how they would react with his regular cannabis use. Island Records was keen on Drake promoting Bryter Layter through press interviews, radio sessions and live appearances. Drake, who by this time was smoking what Kirby has described as "unbelievable amounts" of cannabis and exhibiting "the first signs of psychosis", refused. Disappointed by the reaction to Bryter Layter, he turned his thoughts inwards, and withdrew from family and friends. He rarely left his flat, and then only to play an occasional concert or to buy drugs. His sister recalled: "This was a very bad time. He once said to me that everything started to go wrong from this time on, and I think that was when things started to go wrong."
  • 1970
    Age 21
    His attitude to London had changed: he was unhappy living alone, and visibly nervous and uncomfortable performing at a series of concerts in early 1970.
    More Details Hide Details In June, Drake gave one of his final live appearances at Ewell Technical College, Surrey. Ralph McTell, who also performed that night, remembered that "Nick was monosyllabic. At that particular gig he was very shy. He did the first set and something awful must have happened. He was doing his song 'Fruit Tree' and walked off halfway through it. Just left the stage."
  • 1969
    Age 20
    In August 1969 Drake recorded five songs, only three of which ("Cello Song", "Three Hours", and "Time of No Reply") were broadcast – for the BBC's John Peel show.
    More Details Hide Details Two months later, he opened for Fairport Convention at the Royal Festival Hall in London, followed by appearances at folk clubs in Birmingham and Hull. Remembering the performance in Hull, folk singer Michael Chapman commented: The folkies did not take to him; they wanted songs with choruses. They completely missed the point. He didn't say a word the entire evening. It was actually quite painful to watch. I don't know what the audience expected, I mean, they must have known they weren't going to get sea-shanties and sing-alongs at a Nick Drake gig! The experience reinforced Drake's decision to retreat from live appearances; the few concerts he did play around this time were usually brief, awkward, and poorly attended. Drake seemed reluctant to perform and rarely addressed his audience. As many of his songs were played in different tunings, he frequently paused to retune between numbers.
    Drake ended his studies at Cambridge nine months before graduation, and in autumn 1969 moved to London.
    More Details Hide Details His father remembered "writing him long letters, pointing out the disadvantages of going away from Cambridge... a degree was a safety net, if you manage to get a degree, at least you have something to fall back on; his reply to that was that a safety net was the one thing he did not want." Drake spent his first few months in the capital drifting from place to place, occasionally staying at his sister's Kensington flat, but usually sleeping on friends’ sofas and floors. Eventually, in an attempt to bring some stability and a telephone into Drake's life, Boyd organised and paid for a ground floor bedsit in Belsize Park, Camden.
    Drake signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and was a student at the University of Cambridge, and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969.
    More Details Hide Details By 1972, he had recorded two more albums—Bryter Layter and Pink Moon. Neither sold more than 5,000 copies on initial release. Drake's reluctance to perform live, or be interviewed, contributed to his lack of commercial success. No footage of the adult Drake has ever been released; only still photographs and home footage from his childhood. Drake suffered from major depression, and this was often reflected in his lyrics. On completion of his third album, 1972's Pink Moon, he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural Warwickshire.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1968
    Age 19
    Drake began recording his debut album Five Leaves Left later in 1968, with Boyd assuming the role of producer.
    More Details Hide Details The sessions took place in Sound Techniques studio, London, with Drake skipping lectures to travel by train to the capital. Inspired by John Simon's production of Leonard Cohen's first album, Boyd was keen that Drake's voice would be recorded in a similar close and intimate style, "with no shiny pop reverb". He sought to include a string arrangement similar to Simon's, "without overwhelming... or sounding cheesy". To provide backing, Boyd enlisted various contacts from the London folk rock scene, including Fairport Convention guitarist Richard Thompson and Pentangle bassist Danny Thompson (no relation). He recruited John Wood as engineer, and drafted in Richard Hewson to provide the string arrangements. Initial recordings did not go well: the sessions were irregular and rushed, taking place during studio downtime borrowed from Fairport Convention's production of their Unhalfbricking album. Tension arose between artist and producer as to the direction the album should take: Boyd was an advocate of George Martin's "using the studio as an instrument" approach, while Drake preferred a more organic sound. Dann has observed that Drake appears "tight and anxious" on bootleg recordings taken from the sessions, and notes a number of Boyd's unsuccessful attempts at instrumentation. Both were unhappy with Hewson's contribution, which they felt was too mainstream in sound for Drake's songs. Drake suggested using his college friend Robert Kirby as a replacement. Though Boyd was skeptical about taking on an amateur music student lacking prior recording experience, he was impressed by Drake's uncharacteristic assertiveness, and agreed to a trial.
    A four-track demo, recorded in Drake's college room in the spring of 1968, led Boyd to offer a management, publishing, and production contract to the 20-year-old, and to initiate work on a debut album.
    More Details Hide Details According to Boyd: In those days you didn't have cassettes—he brought a reel-to-reel tape me that he'd done at home. Half way through the first song, I felt this was pretty special. And I called him up, and he came back in, and we talked, and I just said, "I'd like to make a record." He stammered, "Oh, well, yeah. Okay." Nick was a man of few words. In a 2004 interview, Drake's friend Paul Wheeler remembered the excitement caused by his seeming big break, and recalled that the singer had already decided not to complete his third year at Cambridge.
    He began performing in local clubs and coffee houses around London, and in February 1968, while playing support to Country Joe and the Fish at the Roundhouse in Camden Town, made an impression on Ashley Hutchings, bass player with Fairport Convention.
    More Details Hide Details Hutchings recalls being impressed by Drake's skill as a guitarist, but even more so by "the image. He looked like a star. He looked wonderful, he seemed to be 7 ft tall." Hutchings introduced Drake to the 25-year-old American producer Joe Boyd, owner of the production and management company Witchseason Productions. The company was, at the time, licensed to Island Records, and Boyd, the man who had discovered Fairport Convention and been responsible for introducing John Martyn and The Incredible String Band to a mainstream audience, was a significant and respected figure on the UK folk scene. He and Drake formed an immediate bond, and the producer acted as a mentor to Drake throughout his career.
  • 1967
    Age 18
    In September 1967, he met Robert Kirby, a music student who went on to orchestrate many of the string and woodwind arrangements for Drake's first two albums.
    More Details Hide Details By this time, Drake had discovered the British and American folk music scenes, and was influenced by performers such as Bob Dylan, Josh White and Phil Ochs.
    He delayed attendance to spend six months at the University of Aix-Marseille, France, beginning in February 1967.
    More Details Hide Details While in Aix, he began to practice guitar in earnest, and to earn money would often busk with friends in the town centre. Drake began to smoke cannabis, and that spring he travelled with friends to Morocco, because, according to travelling companion Richard Charkin, "that was where you got the best pot". Drake most likely began using LSD while in Aix, and lyrics written during this period—in particular for the song "Clothes of Sand"—are suggestive of an interest in hallucinogens. On returning to England, Drake moved into his sister's flat in Hampstead, London, before enrolling at Cambridge University that October to study English Literature. His tutors found him to be a bright student, but unenthusiastic and unwilling to apply himself. He did not perform well at Cambridge and was awarded a third, the lowest honours-pass. Dann notes that he had difficulty connecting with staff and fellow students alike, and points out that official matriculation photographs from this time reveal a sullen young man. Cambridge placed much emphasis on its rugby and cricket teams, yet by this time Drake had lost interest in playing sport, preferring to stay in his college room smoking cannabis, and listening to and playing music. According to fellow student (now psychiatrist) Brian Wells: "they were the rugger buggers and we were the cool people smoking dope."
  • 1966
    Age 17
    In 1966 Drake enrolled at a tutorial college in Five Ways, Birmingham, from where he won a scholarship to study English literature at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge.
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  • 1965
    Age 16
    In 1965, Drake paid £13 for his first acoustic guitar, and was soon experimenting with open tuning and finger-picking techniques.
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  • 1963
    Age 14
    In 1963 he attained seven GCE O-Levels, fewer than his teachers had been expecting, failing "Physics with Chemistry", a fall-back for students who struggled with science.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1957
    Age 8
    In 1957, Drake was sent to Eagle House School, a preparatory boarding school in Berkshire.
    More Details Hide Details Five years later, he went to Marlborough College, a public school in Wiltshire, attended by his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He developed an interest in sport, becoming an accomplished sprinter over 100 and 200 yards, representing the school's Open Team in 1966. He played rugby for the C1 House team and was appointed a House Captain in his last two terms. School friends recall Drake at this time as having been confident and "quietly authoritative", while often aloof in his manner. His father Rodney remembered, "In one of his reports headmaster said that none of us seemed to know him very well. All the way through with Nick. People didn't know him very much." Drake played piano in the school orchestra, and learned clarinet and saxophone. He formed a band, The Perfumed Gardeners, with four schoolmates in 1964 or 1965. With Drake on piano and occasional alto sax and vocals, the group performed Pye International R&B covers and jazz standards, as well as Yardbirds and Manfred Mann numbers. Chris de Burgh asked to join the band, but was rejected as his taste was seen as "too poppy" by the other members. Drake's academic performance began to deteriorate, and while he had accelerated a year in Eagle House, at Marlborough he began to neglect his studies in favour of music.
  • 1948
    Born
    Born on June 19, 1948.
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