1.25.2013

Nick Drake - Pink Moon



Nick Drake was a complicated soul. Born in Rangoon, Burma in 1948 - Drake's parents then moved to Warwickshire, England where Nick was raised to appreciate music by his mother. He learned to play piano at an early age and began to compose his own songs which he recorded on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. In 1965, he formed a band, The Perfumed Gardeners with schoolmates. 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. In 1966, Drake won a scholarship to study English literature at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge. He delayed attendance to spend six months at the University of Aix-Marseille, France, beginning in February 1967. 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.

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. 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.

Drake suffered from depression, particularly during the latter part of his life. 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. There is no known footage of the adult Drake; he was only ever captured in still photographs and in home footage from his childhood. On 25 November 1974, Drake died from an overdose of amitriptyline, a prescribed antidepressant; he was 26 years old. Whether his death was an accident or suicide has never been resolved.

http://www.nickdrake.com/
http://www.myspace.com/nickdrake

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