Nick Drake

Nick Drake Artistfacts

  • June 19, 1948 - November 25, 1974
  • Nick Drake became interested in music at an early age. Both of his parents were musicians and he began playing piano as a little kid. His one older sister, Gabrielle, also entered the entertainment industry and went on to become a successful film and TV actress. Drake began recording as a child as well, using a reel-to-reel tape machine his mother kept in the family room.
  • In the later '50s, Nick Drake became heavily involved in sports while attending public school at Marlborough College in Wiltshire, England. He became an accomplished sprinter and set the record for the 100-yard dash. As of 2012, Drake's record still stands at the school.
  • Nick Drake formed his first band, The Perfumed Gardeners, in 1964 with several of his classmates. The band played originals as well as covers by bands like The Yardbirds and Manfred Mann, which were popular at the time. One notable member of The Perfumed Gardeners was Chris de Burgh, who later went on to record the successful 1986 hit "Lady In Red."
  • In 2004, actor Brad Pitt hosted a radio show dedicated to late English musician Nick Drake. Pitt said he was a "huge admirer of his records" and added: "I was delighted to be asked and pleased that I could fit it into my schedule." The radio documentary aired on BBC Radio 2 and featured a lost track called "Tow the Line" that finally aired for the first time.
  • Even though he only released three albums during his career, Nick Drake has influenced dozens of musicians since his unfortunate death in 1974. Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder, Norah Jones, and R.E.M. have all cited Drake as an influence on their songs.
  • By 1970, Nick Drake had lost his passion for life and music. Island Records decided to stop paying him and he turned to prescription drugs and pot. His management said Drake smoked "unbelievable amounts of marijuana" and by 1974, the singer was completely out of the public eye. The last song Nick Drake wrote was called "Black Eyed Dog," supposedly written about Winston Churchill's description of depression. In 1974, Drake was found dead in his room at age 26, apparently from an overdose of antidepressant medication.
  • A biography of Nick Drake was published by his sister Gabrielle in November 2014. She recalled that he was elected head boy at school, but according to his father, Rodney, he had no interest in "being in charge."
  • After giving up on music, Drake took a job as a computer programmer, but walked out before the end of the first day.
  • Nick Drake's cremated remains lie under an oak tree on the churchyard of St. Mary's Magdalene, in the small Warwickshire of Tamworth-in-Arden, where he was born. The headstone inscription - "Now we rise. And we are everywhere" - is a line from "From The Morning," the last track on his final album, Pink Moon.


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