Greetings Nick Drake fans. It's nice to finally make my way over here… I've known about the site for awhile but for some reason never joined up.
I first became a Drake fan in February 1990 while living in Brighton, a part of Boston in between Boston College and Boston University where I lived in a grand old house on top of a hill that overlooked a well-treed and busy Commonwealth Avenue, with a train stop right in my line of vision (the train runs down the median), and brownstones all one up against each other. It was an absolutely spectacular view. I know the date because I bought Fruit Tree on vinyl right after leaving the hospital from a weeklong stay thanks to a bout of pneumonia. I read a blurb about Nick in the old Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of RnR, and noted some strong positive adjectives about his songwriting, and his style of playing. I asked a lot of people about him, including a large number of musical friends, and to a head, no one had ever heard of him. So I bought Fruit Tree while never having heard the artist, figuring I'd probably like it.
I did. I spent the next 9 months listening to almost nothing else in my room overlooking the street scene described earlier, late at night. It became my regular custom after saying goodnight to the roommates to continue drinking Jim Beam (handles were $12 at my local liquor store) and smoking Camel or Export "A" cigarettes, and 2 AM became my regular bed time after listening to about half the Drake catalogue. It wasn't till November that I finally started listening to other music once in awhile. And this led to an exploration of Sandy Denny as well, who seemed to have a similar back story and reverence as Nick.
You couldn't buy CDs of Nick's yet in the states, and there was no public internet, but I worked at a company where I had access to usenet. I found a collector in England who was willing to trade me Nick's CDs for various CDs here that weren't available there. I remember he asked for Ennio Morricone and They Might Be Giants, among other things.
I also traded cassette tapes of Nick's music with people that I figured would like him, even if they had no idea who he was. Pretty much everyone I did that with either liked Nick a lot, or, in once case, his wife had stolen the tape and wouldn't give it back because now she was obsessed with Nick.
I've been a part time musician my whole life. Nick's guitar playing was and still is highly influential to me. I recently came across a couple of recordings of me in 1990 playing Nick's songs. Even though they're old and flawed, I feel like sharing them - hope that's alright.
Here's Clothes of Sand done on a half inch 8 track TEAC 80-8 that weighed a ton. I used a borrowed set of drums for this track - and drove my room mates crazy for the couple of days I had them. This was probably recorded in the summer months of 1990.
And here's a more informal recording - probably a boom box with built in mikes, or a 4 track cassette deck, with a live take of "Road", dated May 29, 1990. Standard tuning made for quite a stretch on my fingers…would love to find out about Nick's own tunings on some of these pieces.
I also know that I recorded versions of Fruit Tree, Parasite, Which Will, and Cello Song, the last of which I've performed live several times but none of the recordings I have are without flaws - out of tune or out of time… if you are adventurous you can listen to this one where my guitar's out of tune, as is my backing vocalist, and the audience was indifferent as we were playing next to a pool and they were serving cocktails, ah the life of a pro musician:
http://www.glennfink.com/blackfinks/tbf ... -cello.mp3
If you are curious about what I've written or recorded lately, you can visit the home page of my site glennfink.com. Here's one original song that's particularly Drake-like, I think…
and another original that's more a rave-up…
Thanks for listening and I look forward to perusing the board!