LES ESSENTIELS DE NICK ELLIS
1. Guitar ‘The Swede’ – The is the essential item in my life. It gets played everyday and has been used at every gig i’ve played over the last 6 years. It has travelled thousands of miles with me. It’s strong, loud and never goes out of tune. I once hit someone over the head with it when they tried to steal it while I was busking, and afterwards, still, it stayed in tune. I picked this guitar up in Stockholm, Sweden one Summer when I was busking around Europe. The Swede is not just a guitar, it is a voice. Or, maybe it’s a weapon?
2. A blank page and a pen – With a simple pen and a blank page, the smallest seed of an idea can become an important work of art. Essential for any thinker.
3. Photograph of my Uncle, Gerrard Parker – This man was the catalyst and inspiration for the greatest journey I ever took: life.
4. Book ‘Journey to the end of the night’ by Celine – Louis- Ferdinand Celine was the pen name for Louis-Ferdinand Auguste Destouches, a French novelist. Not only is this novel one of the greatest stories put to paper, but it’s magic is in it’s style. It broke the mould in the 20th Century. The style of writing in this book paved the way for many other great writers. No Celine – no Kerouac, no Dylan, no 60’s.
5. Love ‘Forever Changes’ – I found this record in a bin when I was 16. I knew nothing about them, went home and put it on. Forever changed. It was the first ‘hippy’ record I ever saw that had both black and white people on. I liked that. They looked like serious fucking dudes. For me, it is the greatest album ever written. Beautiful arrangements, fantastic writing, timeless sounds. A cross between classical and folk. Poetry of youth. The soundtrack of lives lived. There is nothing else quite like it. These guys were so young when they made this, 19 or 20 and the subject matter that they write about asks such big questions for such young minds. There is magic in this record that no other album seems to possess. i’ve never heard anything as good, since.
6. The Rolling Stones ‘Sticky Fingers’ – I like to fuck to this record and so does every woman I’ve ever met. If you don’t believe me, try it.
7. An English Dictionary – A Dictionary is the only book you’ll ever need. It’s works in a very simple way. If you don’t know what something means, look up the word and there’s your answer. Any other research can develop from there. Essential for any writer, thinker or word-lover. To know words is to understand language, to understand language is to know how to communicate. And communication is the essential thread of life.
My essentials for Stereographics by Nick Ellis / Photography by Robin Clewley Photography.
© Nick Ellis / All rights reserved / Reproduction prohibited without permission of the author