I guess most of my friends already know how much I love Syd Barrett (born Roger Keith Barrett – 6 January 1946 – 7 July 2006). He would have been 64 today, so I thought I’d write a little about him, and why I like him so much.
It’s not just his music, which is awesome, or his innocent whimsical lyrics (which became much darker after the onset of his mental illness), but it’s also the fact that he started one of the greatest bands of all time: Pink Floyd (and then they kicked him out of his own band WTF). Here’s a line drawing I made of Syd:
I think the thing that bothers me most about the whole Syd Barrett-acid casualty story is how everyone says, “oh yeah Syd blew his mind by taking too much acid” when possibly he was (unknown by him) being dosed with huge amounts of acid by 2 fuckers named Mad Jock and Mad Sue on a 2 month vacation (they deny this now, of course) – but there is no denying that when he came back from that vacation Dave Gilmour said he was “changed” and “didn’t seem to recognize me”.
It’s just a sad story, whatever the truth – but some of the music like Arnold Layne and See Emily Play will endure, it’s truly great and showcase his magnificent talent far better than his solo efforts (which nevertheless still show flashes of brilliance, but are an acquired taste to be sure).
Anyway, R.I.P. Syd – I think you were truly one of the greats.