Nick Drake is my Friend
PopWatchers, I initially approached this post with the intention of writing a confessional. I’ve been moping about my apartment, depressed and disillusioned. The reason? Nick Drake didn’t want to be my friend. Not even my MySpace friend.
Let me back up a bit here. I know you don’t know me very well yet — I’m new to PopWatch, so hello! Great to be here; be nice to the new kid — but FYI, I’m pretty much the diametric opposite of a MySpace junkie. Despite the fact that working with computers at EW.com helps me pay the bills, I assiduously avoid them when life allows for it. I never even buy stuff online, save the occasional movie ticket. It took me years to finally join Friendster, the social networking site for people who don’t like to network very much, or competently, it seems. Finally, after feeling like I was missing out on the biggest phenomenon of the 21st century, I logged into the social networking alpha-dog site, MySpace, and got an account, mostly so I could check out new bands, which I heard was a cool thing you could do on MySpace. And, boom! Like magic, my whole world opened up. I could type the name of any band under the sun, and lo and behold, there they were! I was agog and a-grog and dizzy with delight.
Now, here’s where my story gets a little bit sad. I’ve been so busy listening to music and reading about cool new bands, that I never bothered to add anything to my own profile. If you visit my page — and you should! PLEASE. VISIT. ME. — you’ll see that I only have one friend, Tom, and he’s been there since day one, so I’m fairly sure he comes bundled with the software. So I was beside myself with excitement when I stumbled upon a page for none other than my teen-years idol, Nick Drake.
Nick and I go waaaaaay back. I bought all of his albums: Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter, and Pink Moon.I bought his box set for the rarities and b-sides. I read his biographyby Patrick Humphries, all 288 pages of it. His mournful yet oddlyuplifting dirge, “The Road,” was the soundtrack for long drives on thehighway up to college; his anguished vocals on “Black Dog” got methrough a terrible breakup. I felt like he really understood me. Andeven though we had never met, that we were friends.
It behooves me to mention, for those of you who are not so familiarwith this great man’s oeuvre, that he passed away in 1974 at the age of26, after OD’ing on antidepressants. So you can only imagine my joywhen I found he alive and well, kickin’ it with 34,497 friends onMySpace. Holy Resurrection, Batman! So what did I do, PopWatchers? Iapplied to be Friend No. 34,498. And waited. And waited. And waited.And waited.
Silence became the roar of rejection in my ears. It became a game of,if you watch the pot, will it not boil? I realized that Nick, afterlooking over my pathetic, losery, non-peopled sans-photo page, haddecided to take a pass. *Sob.*When it got too painful, I tried avoiding my computer, which didn’tmake my boss here too happy. It had become an obsession, an unhealthyone, I admit. I was in a really bad place.
But you know what, folks? All that’s changed now. I think thatsometimes you just have to go ahead and tempt fate, because when Ilogged into MySpace this morning, I saw something that nearly made mefaint. To quote Nick on “At the Chime of a City Clock,” “See how yourfriends come in twos/Or threes or more/For the sound of a busy place/Isfine for a pretty face/Who knows what a face is for.” He was chillin’there right next to Tom, holding his acoustic guitar aloft like he wasabout to strum me a ballad. And not only that, he had written me amessage too!
Okay, so it wasn’t the most personalmessage. I mean, the guy has 34 thousand + friends to entertain, andI’m pretty sure he only has that one guitar. But it made me dance withglee anyway. My sexy, heartthrob, lovelorn hero has a new album comingout! And you know what’s better than even that, PopWatchers? He’s myFRIEND.
Of all the stars on MySpace, who would you like to befriends with the most? Dead or alive, it’s open season on PopWatchtoday, folks! Weigh in below…