It’s hard to say whether or not this biography would have been so enjoyable had I not been such a complete and total Nick Drake disciple. Less of a tabloid recounting than most rock bios, this is the story of an artist whose happy life suddenly turned very dark at the moment when his prospects, as a musician, became the brightest. Preoccupied at first with describing the physical places and social environments where Nick had lived, Patrick Humphries has written a story that seems to intentionally mirror the darkness and fragility of the music.
As a child we learn that Nick Drake was happy and popular, having attended one of the more prestigious prep schools in Britain and excelling at almost everything that he attempted. He was a star athlete, a good student, and a regular cigarette-sneaking teenager. He led a band in high school, had a good relationship with his parents and generally appeared to be upbeat and excited about every new day.