Nicholas Abson was born as Michael Nicholas Drinan in England on 22 December 1946. Born to parents Pamela Mileece Drinan (née l’Anson) and Michael Patrick Drinan, after emigrating to Canada in 1956, Abson was adopted by his then step-father and re-christened Nicholas Michael Abson. In 1961, Abson moved to New York City, where he attended Brooklyn Technical High School. He then went on to attend the City University of New York CUNY Manhattan and Richmond College. In 1978, his daughter Mileece was born, a recording artist and advanced music composer, followed by his son Miles, and then Lancelot.
In 1970, Abson returned to Britain and launched Freerange Sound Studios using funds earned from documentaries. He worked with the British Film Institute on productions including The Stonemen and The Earthmovers, which document St. Paul’s Cathedral’s masons and the reclamation of Britain’s largest coal tip (respectively).
Abson went on to make many music concert films during the 1970s, starting with Dr. Feelgood’s ‘Going Back Home’ and ending with the Ramones’ New Year’s Concert. He pioneered music videos with artists such as Stevie Wonder, The Damned, Queen and Lene Lovich. For Kate Bush, he directed and produced the ‘red dress’ video of Wuthering Heights.
In 1979, he closed Freerange to pursue careers outside of the music industry after his longtime business partner Neville Wills died in 1981, following health issues.
In 1991, Abson started a series for the BBC centering on a Belgian fuel cell company, Elenco. After becoming engrossed with the technology, he rebuilt Elenco when it entered administration from 2 employees to 200 and re-branded it as ZeTek Plc. ZeTek would go on to become Europe’s largest fuel cell company pioneering fuel cell London Taxis in 1998 and a second generation fuel cell designed for automated production, ending the hand production previously required. The first planned expansion began in Porz, near Cologne, early August 2000 and the second plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2001, and a third in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, until it lost its investors immediately following the World Trade Center tragedy later that same year. He resurrected the company as Cenergie Plc and provided shares for all but a few of the 500 ZeTek shareholders. Following a series of cyber and other commercially driven attacks, Abson resigned. Abson continues work on fuel-cell development by publishing papers while working pro-bono for a number of organisations and universities.
In 2022, Abson made himself heard on YouTube when fans posted the ‘red dress’ video of ‘Wuthering Heights’.
I directed and produced this film and did not release the copyright. It was made for promotional purposes at the time of production not for general distribution. The use of this film by others is in breach of my copyright which is now registered in the US 1-11595753271 but is worldwide under copyright law and international agreement. Any use of the film without authority from me will be vigorously prosecuted. This film has been exploited by copyright theft without my permission which has resulted in distress and loss of income and breach of the law.
Around the same time, Abson posted the video on YouTube himself.
- Nick Abson. Wikipedia, retrieved 11 February 2024
- Nicholas Abson goes on a rampage taking down all videos of the red dress version of Wuthering Heights. KateBushNews.com Forum, retrieved 11 February 2024.