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Nick Drake: The Life

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I’m just wondering, have you yourself been through a period of acute mental illness for two years or longer? You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. But by the summer of 1971, when that compilation album came out, Nick wasn’t in a position to perform, or even to travel, really.

And in the last quarter or so of the book I wanted, without being depressingly grim myself, to convey a sense that the outcome was, in a sense, inevitable, and that the counter-narrative that has arisen that there could have been a different outcome, that Nick’s overdose was possibly accidental and so on, just wasn’t the case.Obviously, it’s a tragedy for him, as he says, that the success didn’t come when Nick was around to enjoy it. At Cambridge you have a chance to fight your weaknesses and overcome them (and fight like hell you MUST), to discipline yourself from inside, and take a more active interest in your fellows (another weakness of yours – I am being very blunt, aren’t I?

And a final thing: Joe Boyd deserves an enormous amount of credit for making sure that Nick’s records were still in print, and that a boxed set was still in print. But I’ve never inferred the opposite extreme – that Nick’s parents wanted him to be a ‘career man’ and have letters after his name in a patrician, pompous, Empire-building way – and I don’t think that view is supported by any evidence, easy though it is to assume because of his social background and because there was a degree of tension between him and his parents about his not particularly wanting to go to Cambridge in the first place, and then wanting to leave it quite quickly. But I think his influence is often overlooked, partly because he perhaps hasn’t helped himself with the way he has spoken about that era in recent years.So let’s just keep going, because if we don’t he might end up just being at home without much idea of what to do with his future next summer’, or whatever the timeframe was when they started worrying about this.

The first half of the book sets out to establish just how normal and, indeed, biddable and cheerful Drake was as a child. I don’t think anyone ever anticipated John Cale being a good fit for Nick, it was just an inspired coincidence that he heard some of Nick’s recordings without adornments and thought, ‘I want to adorn them! Nick Drake: The Life sets out to finally provide a detailed account of his life as the first biography of Drake to have the blessing and involvement from his sister and estate. Obviously it is a step which we have to consider carefully, because it is an irrevocable one,” he began, going on to pose two vital questions: “Are you more or less likely to succeed at your chosen career if you leave now? but he loved the Beatles and George Martin, and understood the difference between writing classical music and pop arrangements, and that you had to have a pop sensibility.Firstly, he had been led to believe by all of those on the inside of his career, and with all the right motives, that he was going to be very successful.

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