on 19 April 2011
This compilation from the labour-of-love fanzine Pink Moon is well-considered and gives fascinating and fresh insights into the enigmatic Nick.
Its great advantage over the biographies by Patrick Humphries and Trevor Dann is that it has no particular agenda -- it presents first-person testimonies by the likes of John Martyn, Island Records employees, Robin Frederick and Drake's Cambridge contemporaries, his family, a psychiatrist, among many others and allows you to draw your own conclusions about what sort of a person Drake was, how much success meant to him, what kind of success he was interested in, his mental health and so on. Some of the essays and reminiscences are very touching. One of the many intriguing aspects of the book is that, on occasion, the same events are seen through different eyes.
As editor, Jason Creed rarely intrudes, when he does have something to say, he comes across as modest, concise and to the point. The book is also well proofread -- unlike some recent music books I can think of. Trouble has been taken. [If the book is ever updated, there are a couple of people whose thoughts on Nick Drake I'd like to hear - Bridget St John and Beverley Martyn, both of whom knew him well...and John Cale, who worked with Drake on Northern Sky]
Read this book and Ian Macdonald's brilliant analysis of Nick Drake's muse in his book The People's Music and that's the closest you'll get to unraveling and understanding something of the Nick Drake story.
on 23 December 2011
I love Nick Drake's music and wanted to read more. I'd heard the two biographies had mixed reputations, but chanced upon Jason Creed's compilation. It's clearly edited and divided into sections. It has details like early reviews, BBC files on Drake, articles on particular questions (from recording and imprint history to Drake's psychology). The guy doesn't seem to have any axe to grind, likes the subject enough but doesn't smother ND with his own theories or obessions.
on 18 June 2014
There are many articles in here that I knew of, but only read just now. A real treat is one account of Nick Drake in Morocco, heading back to Spain and France. We know of their time in Morocco; the meeting with the Rolling Stones for example, but this is something else. There are no agendas, no egos in here; at least none apparent. It was with an agenda that Trevor Dann wrote "Darker than the Deepest Sea", and i really didn't like his tone at all.
This is far better.