Nick Drake: the Strange Face Project at Idea Generation Gallery

A selection of Keith Morris’s photographs of Nick will be exhibited and on sale in an exciting new exhibition called The Strange Face Project: Adventures with a Lost Nick Drake Recording.  The exhibition is the story of a lost Nick Drake recording and how the man who found it chose to share it in an extraordinary way. In the 1970s, when working as a post-boy at Island Records, television composer Michael Burdett was asked to throw some tapes in a rubbish skip. Thinking he could use them in the studio he was setting up, he got permission to take them. One in particular caught his eye. “I picked it up because it had ‘Nick Drake, Cello Song’ and ‘with love’ written on the box. The words ‘with love’ made me think that it had to be Nick’s handwriting and on that basis I couldn’t let it go to the dump.”

It was over 20 years before Michael played the tape. When he threaded it on to a tape machine, he was astonished to hear an unknown version of Cello Song, one of Nick’s greatest works.

We will be presenting a unique set of photographs which illustrate what happened next, when Michael set off on his adventure. With a CD player and headphones in hand, he traveled the length and breadth of Britain with the aim of offering individuals an exclusive opportunity to hear the recording. Of the 200 people Michael approached 167 said yes; city workers, farmers, scientists, hairdressers, musicians, tattooists – he asked them all. Randomly stopping them in the street, at their places of work and in their homes, whether they knew of Drake’s material or not.

Among the people he approached were some well-known faces, including Billy Bragg, Sir Tom Stoppard, Tracy Chevalier, Danny Baker, Alan Yentob, Martin Freeman, Noel Fielding, Richard E Grant, Jonathan Pryce, Fearne Cotton, Ross Noble and Paul Whitehouse.

The Strange Face Project: Adventures with a Lost Nick Drake Recording is open to the public from 27/01/12 – 12/02/12

The gallery is open Monday to Friday 10.00am – 6pm and Saturdays & Sundays 12-5pm.
Idea Generation Gallery located in the heart of Shoreditch, near the bustle of Brick Lane: 11 Chance Street, E2 7JB.