Tag Archives: Nick Drake

Tanworth In Arden – Nick Drake’s Grave

A couple of weeks ago I saw a Twitter link to a book review. It was for ‘Pink Moon: A story about Nick Drake’, a biography of Nick Drake. First published in 1980 and written by Danish author & poet Gorm Henrik Rasmussen it’s a good read for anyone interested in Nick and his life and music. Whilst reading it I listened again to his albums which contain so many personal and illustrative songs which the author of ‘Pink Moon’ places so well in the short cycle of Nick’s life.

Whilst the information was already hanging around in the back of my mind, I was reminded that Nicks early life and final months were spent in Tanworth in Arden, a small village in Warwickshire between Solihull & Stratford. As I spend some time in the area (in being only 30 minutes from my parents house) I decided to pass through and take a few photographs. I’m not really one for pilgrimages but Nick’s short life and the tragedy of his lack of success during his life have a real resonance.

Since the publication of ‘Pink Moon’ Nicks parents have passed away so that the grave in grounds of St Mary Magellan Parish Church are now a family grave. Whilst there are small signs of tributes from fans there is above all discretion.

Photography needs light but unfortunatly last Friday was a grey and rain soaked day. The down pour abated for the hour or so I spent in Tanworth so I took quite a few pictures. So many in fact that rather than just posting a small selection I have made a short film using a guitar track from one of Nick’s late demo’s for Black Eyed Dog. Whilst they could be better they have an atmosphere that only that day could provide.All the other images here are post processed using a variety of apps, all on iPhone & iPad.

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Nick Drake

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.”

Nick Drake – Lost Boy – In Search of Nick Drake 

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.

Volume One (88.8MB)

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)

9. Summertime

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)

Volume Two (82.31MB)

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)

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