A lovingly curated scrapbook biography of the late Nick Drake

Remembered for a While
by Nick Drake and Gabrielle Drake
Little, Brown and Company
2014, 448 pages, 8.2 x 10.8 x 1.5 inches
$32 Buy a copy on Amazon

When English singer/songwriter/musician Nick Drake tragically died in 1974 (ironically from an overdose of anti-depressant medication), he was not tremendously well-known. But in death, his hauntingly beautiful compositions have transformed him into a highly influential musical figure who’s inspired generations of musical artists. In Remembered for a While, his sister,  Gabrielle Drake (perhaps best known as the purple-haired Lt. Ellis in the cult-fave 70s British TV series, UFO), has put together a touching and beautiful anthology of all things Nick Drake.

This hefty 448-page hardbound book is not an attempt at a definitive biography, but rather an extensive scrapbook companion to the life and work of this troubled and brilliant artist. The book is full of photos, postcards, letters to/from family and friends, hand-written lyric sheets, newspaper clippings, and all sorts of other ephemera from Nick’s all-too-short life and career. There are also dozens of essays too, from Gabrielle, friends and colleagues of Nick, music critics, and others. One of my favorite sections is the brief song-by-song analysis of Nick’s three albums, Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter, and Pink Moon.

In the book, Gabrielle Drake goes to great pains to impress upon the reader that this is not a definitive biography, even quoting Keats’ concept of “negative capability,” or the ability to live within “uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact or reason.” But despite that caveat, when you put all of the puzzle pieces of this book together, one is left with the most hi-res portrait of Nick Drake to date, and one that might actually be more satisfying and resonant than any straight-up bio. 
– Gareth Branwyn

January 28, 2015

I must own this.

Want to see my 1st thesis reading of the Spring? March 20th in LA/Glassell Park. Come down for food, drinks and all sorts of honesty & literary realism.

Note after this, my final #Calarts thesis reading event will be on May 14th 2015 at RedCat Disney Hall theater/concert hall.

#LiteraryLA #LAliteraryevents #memoir #mfalife #thesislife #lawriters #redcat #redcatheater #calarts

Probably the greatest Jimi Hendrix quote of all time…

Jimi Hendrix: It’s not about being better, you know, or anything-anything like that. You know, it’s about being inspired. And I’m inspired by everybody. I’m inspired by all kinds of people. You know, it’s art to me. You know, and with art- it’s just showing something that you’ve never seen before. Or-Or even if it’s something that you see every day just showing it in a new way, you know. So I should-I should be able to take, like, any song and- I should be able to take Auld Lang Syne and do it in a new way you’ve never even heard it before. You know what I mean? So- it’s all inspiration and inspiring other people.

(And yeah Andre 3000 made that Jimi Hendrix movie oh so very special and intimate…)

Probably the greatest Jimi Hendrix quote of all time…