Warwickshire as a county is known for embracing the arts, and Shakespeare undoubtedly looms large over the county. He is, of course, not the only cultural icon associated with the county.
Nick Drake may have been a pop musician, but his status follows a stereotypically high cultural progression. Unsuccessful commercially during his lifetime, his untimely death has seen a surge in interest in his work and, indeed, a fascination with the life of the personality behind it. Drake’s work has also influenced later pop music, with artists such as Paul Weller and Peter Buck of R.E.M. citing him as an influence.
Drake, then, has attracted a whole series of fans who were not even born when he created his music. Appreciation of an artist’s life and music is not just limited to listening to their songs however, and people can demonstrate their fandom in other ways.
And Drake’s grave is one way in which people do indeed show their fandom. After his death, his ashes were interred under an oak tree in the graveyard of the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Tanworth-in-Arden.The churchyard has become a site of pilgrimage for fans wishing to pay their respects. People have been known to leave tributes such as guitar picks, and the vicar of the parish asked in 2008 that an appropriate tribute might be for visitors to plant a crocus bulb around the oak tree near to Drake’s resting place.
The annual Nick Drake Gathering
For the past dozen years, a gathering has been held at Tanworth-in-Arden to celebrate Drake’s life and music, along with paying their respects. People have been known to travel from across the globe to visit and the gathering is small and intimate, a way for fans to both keep an artist’s memory alive, and show their respects.
If anybody’s been, do please get in touch and tell me about it!