Today, Sunday 25th November 2018 marks 44 years since the death of Nick Drake. When he died he was virtually unknown but the few who knew him were wowed by his incredible guitar playing, his laconic but melodic vocal style and his unique song-writing. He made his 3 albums in the Sound Techniques, Chelsea studio, all with engineer John Wood and 2 of those with producer Joe Boyd.
The subject of Nick Drake is close to the hearts of The Parts You Don’t Hear‘s Directors Nick Turner & Neil Innes.Nick recalls first hearing Nick Drake as a teen listening to Mark Radcliffe‘s late night show on BBC radio 1 back in the mid 1990’s. Mark played Which Will from album Pink Moon and having first thought that this was a new artist, the next day Nick went to HMV to buy the album which instantly became an all time favourite. Many years later, Nick noticed that a lot of records in his music collection bared the words Recorded at Sound Techniques and Engineered by John Wood. Interest piqued and a google search later led to an article on Sound On Sound by Sound Techniques founder Geoff Frost‘s son Matt Frost. This excellent article followed by a brief email conversation with John Wood enquiring whether he was writing a book, formed the beginning of the journey for Nick and co-Director Neil Innes.
For Neil he first heard Drake’s Fly on JJJ in Australia in 1998 but never knew/heard/remembered the name of the artist or the song. It wasn’t until many years later in 2002 that it would crop up on the soundtrack to Wes Anderson‘s The Royal Tenenbaums. Neil searched for all he could find. Floored by the viola and harpsichord, which he would later find out were John Cale’s (who also made 3 solo albums at Sound Techniques, Chelsea), Neil became a die hard fan of Drake’s miracle finger picking and crazy tunings and snapped many a string retuning his old guitar attempting to play along.
These days, even given the history of British music, folk or otherwise, there isn’t a name which lands with the power of Nick Drake. We hope you enjoy this brief artist specific preview on Nick Drake that we have compiled from our interviews for the upcoming The Parts You Don’t Hear.