Friday, June 11, 2010

: Nick Drake: The Real Im Not There

In light of the semi-recent Bob Dylan film Im Not There in which six individuals represent the spirit of Bob Dylan I want to bring up a story that should be told. Nick Drake's Pink Moon is an album everyone should listen to at least once before they die. It is a beautiful glimpse into a shattered mind of a man who felt he was "the parasite of this town". In reality he was a quiet , somewhat shy artist suffering from depression in a time when anti-depression medications were extremely strong and relatively untested. Eventually this depression lead to an early death of such a promising young man.
At the time he was writing Pink Moon, Nick Drake was so deep into depression he was hardly speaking to anyone. When he finished the album he simply left on a desk at the record company where it remained unseen for days. Legend has it, he recorded pink moon in just a couple of hours with only one trusted friend to engineer the sound. The legend also says that he recorded this mostly acoustic album (with only one overdub) while facing a wall, unable to look at his friend. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant, because the product of this session is breathtaking. Nick Drake's Guitar Playing is simply exquisite. His timing is perfect while he explored the boundaries of many unique tunings. The lyrics are wonderfully sparse, mostly beautiful fragments of thought about life love and nature. Lyrics that are so unlike most I listen to and every song from this album will stay with me for the rest of my life.

In His Song Know he sings just these words

Know that I love you
Know I don't care
Know that I see you
Know I'm not there

Nick Drake, the real Im Not There. The album is very short, you will probably be able to finish it twice during your morning commute. Because of this i have listened straight through this album hundreds of times never skipping a track.

It is fucking shameful that recently AT&T used Nick's song "From the Morning" in their commercial. That song isnt about cellphones, its about life. If you ever in a bad mood , light up a joint or whatever and just put "from the morning"on repeat and i gurantee you'll feel a bit better.

5 comments:

  1. I agree, 'Pink Moon' is just about perfect. Nick's story is so sad but he left us some incredible music. As for his songs being used in ads - at least two now, I believe - we can only blame his estate. It seems a real shame because in the past they have looked after his legacy so well. Surely, no one needs the money? Nick certainly doesn't. Keep up the good blog work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's not shameful at all that the song ended up in a commercial. It's time to stop with that old, often silly notion that if something is used in a different way its not useful. Countless people heard that song that had never heard it before and I can almost guarantee that more people went out and bought Nicks music than bought a car. Doesnt devalue the song, just make it more accessible to the masses. Nick isnt around to promote his music, so its a means to an end. The money doesn't hurt either.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Who's getting the money? Gabrielle?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes while the commercial does introduce Nick to a wider audience, don't you think it would be more effective to release a re-issue of the album or something of that sort? Paul McCartney felt the same way when sony was using his Beatles tunes (the ones michael jackson outbid him on) in commercials and I agree with him, It is not right especially when the Original Artist has no say in the decision. Nick wasn't even promoting his albums when he was alive, he rarely played live shows I think that the song is "useful" enough on its own. If they wanted a happy song they should of just grabbed a Jack Johnson Album and left the real good music to people who actually can appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. His songs are are perfectly beautiful.

    ReplyDelete