Taken from The Unthanks album Diversions Vol. 4 – The Songs And Poems Of Molly Drake, which can be ordered from www.the-unthanks.com
HAD HE LIVED, NICK DRAKE would have been 70 this year, and fêted as one of our greatest songwriters. Yet, as friends and peers explore in the latest MOJO magazine (in UK shops from Tuesday, January 23), he wasn’t made for his times, or built to withstand the pressures of the music business.
In MOJO magazine’s 17-page celebration, Richard Thompson, Bridget St John, Joe Boyd, Linda Thompson, producer Joe Boyd and engineer John Wood talk about their friend’s music and explore his enigmatic personality, while MOJO writers tell the stories behind his magical songs.
“It’s fashionable now to believe Nick was gay,” Linda Thompson tells MOJO’s Andrew Male, “but I think, he couldn’t really relate to either sex. Affection from him was hard won. If he kissed you, you never forgot it. You’d wake up in the night and remember it. Every fibre of his being seemed to be sunk into his music.”
“If He Kissed You, You Never Forgot It. You’d Wake Up In The Night And Remember It.” LINDA THOMPSON
Drake died in 1974, of a tragic overdose of antidepressants, long before his records were widely known. In fact it wasn’t until the mid-’90s that recognition truly dawned, as a new generation of artists, including Paul Weller, Beth Orton and others began a posthumous booster campaign, fuelled by MOJO magazine’s first Nick Drake cover story in January 1997 and sealed when the title track of Drake’s 1971 Pink Moon album appeared in a Volkswagen VW Cabrio advert in 1999.
Since his suicide 30 years ago, Nick Drake’s legend has grown and now the discovery of his final recorded song has cast new light on that fateful night in 1974. Family, friends and Drake’s former lover reveal for the first time the inner life of an other-worldly singer.
By Peter Paphides THE GUARDIAN April 2004.
Sheltered by a mighty oak tree in the village of Tanworth-in-Arden, Nick Drake’s headstone lies beside a well-beaten path. In accordance with the notice on the tree – ‘fans are requested to pay their respects by leaving only small tokens or flowers’ – the stone is surrounded by all manner of tiny ephemera. In March, 2004, these included a harmonica, two bracelets, a ring, a framed picture of a girl dancing on the brow of a hill and the reminder from a packet of Swan rolling papers that prompted Drake to call his first album Five Leaves Left.Continue reading
Olivia Chaney performs River Man (Nick Drake Cover) at the Radio 2 Folk Awards 2018.