I’ve been in the car quite a bit this week mainly listening to John Martyn Live in Leeds and an old Free album. John Martyn amazes me. He came across as the complete opposite of the man his songs illustrate.
As my friend Binaryward pointed out, John wrote the beautiful song Solid Air for his friend Nick Drake. Nick’s songs appear to illustrate his persona far more accurately. I started re-listening to his three released albums last year and whilst the media seems to put him across as an artist for introverted teens there is a lot there that bears repeated listenings.
So today I’ve got the following bits and pieces for anyone interested.
First, here’s part one of a good documentary called ‘A Skin Too Few’. There are a further four parts all on You Tube. There are some interviews with family & friends and it paints a picture of a talented and loved individual, missed by those who knew him.
Second is a BBC radio documentary narrated by Brad Pitt. The accompanying text reads…..
“Nick Drake is the quintessential cult hero, and you can hear again why as Radio 2 presents another chance to hear 2004’s acclaimed documentary, presented by Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt.
Pitt was approached by Radio 2…after the network learned he was a huge Nick Drake fan. Pitt says: “I was introduced to Nick Drake’s music…and am a huge admirer of his records. “When Radio 2 approached me to get involved in this project, I was delighted to be asked and pleased that I was able to fit it into my schedule.
This documentary looks to explore Drake’s life through the words of those who knew him – collaborators such as producer Joe Boyd and arranger Robert Kirby, his family (including his sister, actress Gabrielle Drake) and his friends.”
Finally, here are two volumes of outtakes. Nick only released three studio albums, rarely played live and was never filmed playing so any artifacts are precious. I don’t think any to content has been released but if it turns out that there are officially released items here I will remove the links on request.
Recorded at The Music Room, Far Leys,
Tanworth In Arden, 1967-1968
1. Get Together
2. Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right
3. Courting Blues
4. Strolling Down The Highway (alt. take)
5. Here Come The Blues (alt. take)
6. Tomorrow Is Such A Long Time (alt. take)
7. Cocaine Blues (alt. take)
8. Milk And Honey (alt. take)
10. Black Mountain Blues
11. Nick’s Monologue
12. Joey (alt. take)
Island demos. Rejected arrangements, engineered by
John Wood. Recorded at Sound Techniques, Chelsea,
London, between July 1968 – December 1968
13. Time Has Told Me
14. Saturday Sun (first take)
15. Thoughts Of Mary Jane (alt. take)
16. Day Is Done (alt. take)
Recorded by Brian Wells, Hampstead, London, 1969
Probably recorded between 1968/1969.
Chaotic section of the home tapes.
1. Fly (second take)
2. Place To Be (alt. take)
3. Hazey Jane I (alt. take)
4. Parasite (first take)
5. Parasite (second take)
6. Brittle Days I
7. Brittle Days II
8. Poor Boy (alt. take)
9. Time Has Told Me (alt. take)
10. Work In Progress 3
11. Voice From The Mountain (demo)
12. Brittle Days III (variation)
13. Far Leys
14. Brittle Days III
15. Work In Progress 7
Engineered by John Wood at Sound Techniques,
Chelsea, London. February 1974 or July 1974
16. Impromptu Sound Check
17. Black Eyed Dog (guitar track, alt. take)
18. Rider On The Wheel (guitar track)