Amanda Petrusich - “Pink Moon”

It’s a little unclear to me what this book wanted to be. It’s part a detailed story on the album’s creation and cultural influence, and part a memoir by the author and others on how they first heard Nick Drake, as well as what his music and this album meant for them.

The book is split into six chapters with rather non-descriptive names, taken from the title song’s lyrics. There’s a lot of interesting information in it, I’d say it’s worth a read. But its somewhat chaotic narrative makes it harder to return later to the book to check on a particular fact. For instance, the book mentions Nick’s alternate tunings. How do you find where this was in the book? Unless you have the Kindle version, good luck 🤠

The chapters don’t only focus on “Pink Moon”, a lot is spent on earlier Nick Drake career. I guess that’s fair enough given that it’s unlikely we’ll be having a 33 1/3 book on “Five Leaves Left” or “Bryter Layter”. But the weirdest thing in the book is that one of its six chapters is entirely spent on a Volkswagen commercial which helped raise mainstream interest in Drake. It’s a great topic for a few pages but spending 20% of the book felt like too much. Especially that it sends a strong pro-advertising message, including quotes from artists like Moby who used advertising soundtrack licenses for raising his own artist brand awareness.

All in all, if you read this book like a novel, you’ll find interesting quotes from Nick himself and other people on him, you’ll learn more about his story and about “Pink Moon” in particular. But if you expected a book that might be used as reference material on the album, you might end up disappointed.