THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD
493) Nick Garrie — “David’s Prayer”
Today is the great Nick Garrie’s birthday. I have had the honor of featuring more songs of his than anyone else’s on my blog (see #3, 19, 41, 65, 104, 137, 245, 362). “David’s Prayer” is a miraculously gorgeous song with lyrics to match which seem as if they are a lost psalm of King David set to music.
Jason Ankeny tell’s Nick’s story:
Nick Garrie is renowned in psychedelic collectors’ circles for his 1970 debut, The Nightmare of J.B. Stanislas, a Baroque pop masterpiece effectively buried by nonexistent distribution and promotion. Born June 22, 1949 in Yorkshire, England to a Russian father and Scottish mother, Garrie . . . . began writing songs while attending Warwick University, but his interests primarily lay in surrealist literature and poetry; he didn’t mount a performing career until 1968, playing bars and restaurants while backpacking through the south of France. After playing several high-profile Amsterdam gigs, Garrie returned to St. Tropez, where he signed to cut an LP in Brussels. The project was unreleased, and in late summer of 1969 he finally returned to Warwick to resume his studies. A few months later, a friend of his mother arranged for Garrie to meet with the Paris-based label DiscAZ, which extended a contract offer. [Garrie] teamed with producer Eddie Vartan to begin work on [Nightmare]. Against Garrie’s wishes, Varyan hired a 56-piece symphony for the sessions, and the artist (if not the record’s admirers) later bemoaned the detrimental effects of such lush orchestration on his delicate, uncommonly literate songs. Far more damaging, DiscAZ president Lucien Morisse committed suicide within days of [the album’s] release[,] guaranteeing [it] never even left the starting blocks. A crestfallen Garrie returned to school, abandoning the music business for several years. . . . When the Stanislaw track “Wheel of Fortune” appeared on . . . [t]he influential psychedelic pop obscurities compilation Circus Days, the legend of Nick Garrie grew . . . .https://www.allmusic.com/artist/nick-garrie-mn0000528894
I in fact first heard Nick Garrie’s music on Circus Days, and I have been in love with it ever since. With my wife’s indulgence, I once made a pilgrimage to Gstaad, Switzerland, to meet him (I also hoped to run into Madonna there, but that didn’t pan out)! While I haven’t spoken to Nick in years, Happy Birthday and well wishes!
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