Nicholas Rodney "Nick" Drake (19 June 1948 – 25 November 1974) was an English singer-songwriter and musician, known for his acoustic guitar-based songs. He failed to find a wide audience
during his lifetime, but his work has gradually achieved wider notice and recognition. Drake signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and was a student at the University of
Cambridge, and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded two more albums—Bryter Layter and Pink Moon. Neither sold more than 5,000 copies
on initial release. Drake's reluctance to perform live, or be interviewed, contributed to his lack of commercial success. There is no known footage of the adult Drake; he was
only ever captured in still photographs and in home footage from his childhood.
Drake suffered from major depression. This was often reflected in his lyrics. On completion of his third album, 1972's Pink Moon, he withdrew from both live performance
and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural Warwickshire. On 25 November 1974, at the age of 26, Drake died from an overdose of approximately 30
amitriptyline pills, a prescribed antidepressant. His cause of death was determined to be suicide. Source
Keith Morris was the photographer who took Nick Drake's photo for the cover of Bryter Layter (1970) and he was commissioned to photograph Drake for the
cover of Pink Moon. However, the photos were not used as Drake's rapidly deteriorating appearance, hunched figure and blank expression were not
considered good selling points. Island's creative director Annie Sullivan, recalled the difficulty in making a decision around the cover of the LP:
"I remember going to talk to [Nick], and he just sat there, hunched up, and even though he didn't speak, I knew the album was called
Pink Moon, and I can't remember how he conveyed it, whether he wrote it down. . . he wanted a pink moon. He couldn't tell me what
he wanted, but I had 'pink moon' to go on." Island picked a piece of surrealist Dali-esque art by Michael Trevithick, who was
incidentally a friend of Drake's sister Gabrielle. Although Drake was not outspoken in his opinion on the cover art of
Pink Moon, many close to him felt that he approved.
David Sandison, Island's press officer stated that he found the original framed artwork for Pink Moon in among the
debris of the basement room that Island later allocated to him as his office, and he took it home and hung it
on the wall of his house for several years, before eventually presenting it to Drake's parents. An
undated photo of Drake's music room at his parents' house in Tanworth-in-Arden shows what appears
to be the artwork hanging on the wall. Full article
Pink Moon. It's so quiet and peaceful now.