Thursday, 19 June 2014


Like a lot of people, I discovered Nick Drake late, too late really both for him and me. By the time I got around to listening to his music he was long dead, killed by his lack of success, depression, and an overdose of amitriptyline. Nick was born in Rangoon, Burma, 66 years ago and I can’t help wondering, today on his birthday, just how many wonderful songs death cheated us out of all those years ago. Just three albums, over four brief years, then the ultimate silence at only 26.

Talented, educated, privileged, insecure, camera shy, reclusive by nature, and ultimately one of those doomed young men that we do so well in Britain. You can read about him on Wikipedia, watch the documentary his sister Gabrielle made about him, even listen to his music, but ultimately I don’t think you’ll get close to knowing him. Perhaps that’s what draws me and so many others to him.

A waste? Definitely.
A loss? For certain.

Potentially he was one of the greatest folk rock songwriters of all time, maybe up there with Bob and Leonard. Unfortunately, we’ll never know, will we? If you’ve never heard of him, don’t worry, just listen to his music. It’s as close to him as any of us are going to get.



  1. Neil Barrett on FB
    I watch a documentary about him recently, they interviewed his sister. Apparently he would come up with a riff on his guitar then play it continually for hours. You can feel that with the riff that goes though River Man.

  2. Andrew Height
    She used to be in the Kelly Monteith Show on BBC2 over 30 years ago. I fell in love with her, that's how I discovered Nick Drake's music.

  3. Richard Shore on FB
    I too found him far too late. A lyrical master, but funnily enough I discovered him because of his guitar playing.

  4. Andrew Height
    Can you imagine the jamming sessions he and John Martyn must have had Richard Shore?

  5. Andy Brewer on FB
    He's up there with Dylan and Richard Thompson.

  6. Andrew Height
    Yep, he is Mr Andy Brewer

  7. Catherine Halls-Jukes on FB
    I love his music and like many people matured into the music. ..

  8. Andrew Height on FB
    Don't be silly Catherine Halls-Jukes you are not at all mature.

  9. Stephen Entwistle on FB
    Prince Morikuni, Japanese shogun would have been 713 today - unfortunately he died at the age of 32 in 1333

  10. Andrew Height
    As always Stephen Entwistle you are the voice of raisin.

  11. Stephen Entwistle on FB
    Always on the mark when it comes to currant affairs...

  12. Andrew Height on FB
    Hey, Richard Shore he shared your tastes in knitwear.
    Andrew Height's photo.

  13. Kingsley Roberts on FB
    I first discovered him through an article in Vox magazine in the late 80's - I listen to his music weekly - I say that because he pops up on my iPod continuously - and there are times that I feel I really need to listen - through times of reflection (maybe you're the only one who'll understand what I mean Andy). When I meet people and establish a common ground in music it is his that I tend to share and introduce people to.

    Northern Sky - for me - but then that's a hard choice to make - I'll just have to take some time out to listen again today

    But then Andy - you know my taste in music

  14. Lynda Henderson shared

    Andrew Height
    Chris a fan Lynda Henderson?

    Lynda Henderson
    Yes indeed! WE both are. Terrible loss.

    Andrew Height
    Such a sad boy and such a pity.

  15. Andy Brewer on FB
    To discover more about Nick Drake read Joe Boyd's brilliant book 'White Bicycles; Making Music in the 1960's'

  16. Clare Pritchard on FB
    Have been to Nick Drakes grave many moons ago with an old flame of mine...i tried so hard to get to appreciate him, but to no avail. I think as i am now older i might have to give him another go...

  17. Andrew Height
    Sadness and beauty. Listen hard. Try Riverman, can't fail to get you.

  18. Ricardo Listeretti on FB
    Or Northern sky or hazy jane 2 or countless others