This Day In Music. NICK DRAKE
Today marks the 42nd anniversary of singer-songwriter Nick Drake’s untimely death.
He remains one of music’s most revered songwriters, his life and promise cruelly cut short. He was found dead on his bed at Far Leys, the Tanworth-in-Arden, Warwickshire home of his parents on November 25, 1974. He was just 26 years old, and had spent his later lifetime battling depression, later diagnosed as schizophrenia.
Nick died from an overdose of amitriptyline, a prescribed antidepressant. Whether his death was an accident or suicide has never been resolved.
Over the course of three albums – ‘Five Leaves Left’, ‘Bryter Layter’ and ‘Pink Moon’ – he left an influential musical legacy. Although none of them initially sold well, he was to become a cult hero and fans still travel from afar to visit his grave.
A sumptuous book, “Nick Drake: Remembered For A While”, compiled by his actress sister, Gabrielle Drake, contains a wealth of material never seen before, including extracts from the diary their father Rodney kept, as he and Molly battled desperately for three years to help their son.
Here the entry covering November 25, 1974.
MONDAY NOVEMBER 25
“The worst day of our lives. Naw (the Drakes’ housemaid) had looked in on Nick at 11.45, found him lying across the bed and called to Molly. She went in and found him dead. After desperate phone calls we got Ackroyd and, shortly after, an ambulance which was, of course, too late. Ackroyd had declared Nick to be dead and to have been so for some hours. The contents of a Tryptizol were missing.
So ends in tragedy our three-year struggle”.