Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Syd Barrett (1946-2006)

Play it: Essential Syd Barrett

The troubled genius and Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett passed away at his home this past Friday. As the original songwriter and lead singer for Pink Floyd, Roger (Syd) Barrett penned several hits (nearly handling all the songwriting the debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, 1967) for the group before his erratic behavior (as a result of drugs) had the band bring in David Gilmour to play second guitar. At live shows Syd would wander the stage and occaisonally join in, until one performance the band just decided not to pick him up. Pink Floyd attempted initially to keep him on as a songwriter (ala The Beach Boys with Brian Wilson) but it never panned out. Barrett contributed many songs to the A Saucerful of Secrets sessions, but only "Jugband Blues" made the release.

Barrett's two solo albums were recorded and completed shortly after leaving the band and were a fascinating look into the mind of a deeply troubled genius. After that, Barrett disappeared, barely sticking his head out for 20 years, until it was he was found living with his mother.

It can be said that Barrett's experimentation w/ acid (along with early fame) led to his downfall, but likewise it could be said that he unconsciously sacrificed himself for the good of music, as his influence on other artists like David Bowie, Robyn Hitchcock and Andy Partridge of XTC & Dukes of Stratosphere (to name a few) spread his gospel of sound far and wide.

Shine on, you crazy diamond... shine on.

Video of Barrett:
Syd documents an early acid trip
Video for Pink Floyd's "Arnold Layne"
Video for Pink Floyd's "Jugband Blues"
Pink Floyd performing "Astronomy Domine" and interviewed for BBC's Look of the Week in 1967
Pink Floyd lipsyncing "Apples & Oranges" on TV

tags: , , , , ,

1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Essential: Syd Barrett

* "Arnold Layne" - Pink Floyd
* "See Emily Play" - Pink Floyd
* "Astronomy Domine" - Pink Floyd
* "Lucifer Sam" - Pink Floyd
* "Scarecrow" - Pink Floyd
* "Bike" - Pink Floyd
* "Jugband Blues" - Pink Floyd
* "Terrapin" - Syd Barrett
* "Dark Globe" - Syd Barrett
* "Octopus" - Syd Barrett
* "Golden Hair" - Syd Barrett
* "Baby Lemonade" - Syd Barrett
* "Rats" - Syd Barrett
* "Gigolo Aunt" - Syd Barrett
* "Effervescing Elephant" - Syd Barrett
* "Wouldn't You Miss Me (Dark Globe)" - Syd Barrett
* "Two Of A Kind" - Syd Barrett