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Nick Drake: Made To Love Magic

Nick Southall, Stylus, 3 June 2004

PRECIOUS. TRAGIC. BEAUTIFUL. SENSITIVE. DELICATE. DOOMED. These are some of the words that people use about Nick Drake, born in Rangoon, died in Tamworth-In-Arden. Drake knew he was going to sell more records when he was dead than he did while he was alive. So well, in fact, that he wrote a song about this very certainty on his first album, and he called it 'Fruit Tree'. The lyrics could be a gospel for how his myth has slowly prospered over the last thirty years; "fame is but a fruit tree, so very unsound / It can never flourish till it's stalk is in the ground / … safe in your place deep in the earth / That's when they'll really know what you were really worth". As rock 'n' roll myth-making goes, it's rather prescient. Nick Drake knew he was too fragile for the world he lived in, knew that, because of the way he did what he did, people would find it hard to love his work knowing that he was a man, and all too easy to love his work knowing that he was a ghost.

Total word count of piece: 1062

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