Saw it written and I saw it say
Pink moon is on its way
And none of you stand so tall
Pink moon gonna get ye all
—-Nick Drake Pink Moon
I was driving in to work, the morning sun still a burning ball stuck to the horizon, listening to the local eclectic FM radio station. I wasn’t paying much attention until a song I don’t think I had heard before came on – the speakers let loose with some amazing excellent guitar finger picking. For a second, I though maybe Trace Bundy or Nils Lofgren… but then the singing started. The voice was delicate and unique – the lyrics mysterious and elegiac. The arrangement was simple – guitar, bass, congas. Perfect. An amazing song.
That’s why I listed to that station in the car (or Radio Paradise at home) – to discover something that I had missed before… a new rabbit hole to fall down. At the next red light I grabbed my phone and checked the station’s playlist. It was a song called Three Hours, by Nick Drake.
That evening I sat down and listened to all of Nick Drake’s discography (only three albums). I read all I could find about his heartbreaking story – he struggled with depression and died at 26 of an overdose of anti-depressants (maybe suicide, maybe not).
As his depression worsened he moved back in with his parents. He could not perform live (he was always shy and remote on stage – even at his best). There are no films or live recordings, no nothing other than the three strange and wonderful albums he cranked out – plus a few outtakes and oddities.
His last album, Pink Moon, spoke to me particularly. He was the only performer on the album, singing and playing acoustic guitar with a single piano overdub on the title track.
Nick Drake was almost completely unknown during his life. His music was liked by those in the know but it didn’t fit any category (too jazzy for folk, too folky for jazz, too unique for anything else). But after his death, his popularity began to slowly grow. He gained a bit of posthumous fame when Volkswagen used Pink Moon in one of their commercials for the Cabriolet. Sales in the U.S. of the album grew from a measly 6,000 copies, to 74,000 copies in 2000. As of 2004 it had sold 329,000 copies in the United States.
The music sounds familiar to me, though I don’t remember the commercial:
I’ve been listening to this song over and over.
That’s sad about Nick Drake, incredible music though. I really like your photo as well. I recently took a photo of the moon over the Dallas skyline too on my post here: https://matthewtrader.com/dallas-skyline-panoramic-photos-at-night-and-during-dramatic-sunsets
Thanks for the comment! That’s really impressive skyline photography. I’m still trying to figure out a good way to carry a decent tripod on my bicycle.
Thank you! Yeah that would be challenging because all the decent ones are kinda big and heavy. Maybe Velcro or tie it along the top tube.
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