Nick Drake: The Biography

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9781582340357: Nick Drake: The Biography

Nick Drake was barely 26 years old when he died in 1974 following an accidental overdose of prescribed drugs. The British singer-songwriter made only three albums during his short life - Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter and Pink Moon. All are now recognized as classics.

Since his death, Nick has been cited as a seminal influence by stars as diverse as REM, Elton John, and Paul Weller. While the lives of other musicians who died before their time, such as Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Gram Parsons, have been amply documented, there has never before been a biography of Nick Drake. Patrick Humphries' illuminating text includes exclusive interviews with friends, colleagues and musicians who knew and worked with Nick. It provides an unprecedented insight not only into the life and work of Nick Drake, but also into the music scene of the 1960s that formed his backdrop.

If a week is a long time in politics, then the 23 years since Nick's death represents a lifetime in the transitory world of pop. But the music of Nick Drake has never lost its place in his fans affections, and still its haunting beauty reaches out of fresh generations. This book is for all of them.

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About the Author:

Writer and journalist Patrick Humphries is the author of acclaimed biographies of Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Richard Thompson. He lives in London, England.

From Publishers Weekly:

English singer/songwriter Nick Drake was a nearly unknown cult figure when he died from an overdose of antidepressants in 1974, but the number of his admirers has grown steadily ever since. Musicians in particular are drawn to his delicate, melancholy folk tunes and to the legend of his depressive isolation and suicide at age 26. Humphries, Drake's first biographer, faced difficult working conditions without the cooperation of Drake's producer, Joe Boyd, or of Drake's family, and without even permission to quote Drake's lyrics. Still, he has done his legwork, although exact causes of Drake's decline remain unclear. Interviews with schoolboy chums reveal that, far from being withdrawn, Drake engaged in normal boyish hijinks. And although he was frustrated by his lack of success, it appears that Drake was doomed to obscurity by his own refusal to allow Island records to promote him, rather than by the indifference of the music world. Futhermore, although Drake certainly was drawn into the drug culture surrounding the London music scene of the late '60s, his involvement was apparently not enough to explain his downfall. Though a skillful and engaging writer, Humphries tends to go overboard with setting the scene: he manages to discuss the sinking of the Titanic, the British role in Burma and the Brontes before getting to Drake's birth. Although unable to solve the mystery of his death, Humphries does manage to make the singer seem more human, albeit at the expense of Drake's romantic myth. Photos.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Patrick Humphries
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