Yes Kevin Ayers is wonderful. And strangely I first heard of him through Nick Drake.
The first album I ever purchased was an Anitilles budget label copy of Five Leaves Left, in 1981. On the back of album was a blurb by one Bruce Malamut wherein he described Nick's voice as being a `combination of Astrud Gilberto's breathiness and Kevin Ayer's charm'. At the time I'd never heard of Kevin Ayers or Astrud Gilberto, or John Martyn or anyone else referenced in this blurb, but made my way to obtain all and listen to, if they were in some way related to the music I was hearing on Five Leaves Left.
(A strange sidenote to this is that I ended up smashing my copy of John Martyn's Solid Air because I decided it was `satanic' because of the song `I'd Rather be the Devil' ... I was just a stupid teenage kid, still in the thrall of fundamentalist christianity, egads)
Here's Kevin Ayers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUvG5-UB7_0
with an early song of his I like and have learned to play. (Dig the groovy guy on the alto sax)
And here's a recent (2008) comment by Bruce Malamut, whom I don't think I've seen referenced before re: Nick.
(Another mystery contact in the Nick Drake story).
Posted July 19, 2008 at 7:53 am | Permalink
I loved Nick. He was a friend, a brother, an icon introduced to me by Bev and John Martyn one summer in the late 1960′s at their summer place in Winchelsea. His music, lyrics, got better with the years. His Mother asked I write the liners for his eulogy album on Island. I told some asides none of which were fit for print, so we settled on something acceptable that danced around the point, but could never aptly do Nick’s music and life justice.
I reviewed my own compilation album for Crawdaddy! and in that brief review said what I had wanted to say on those liners.