Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Syd RIP

Just heard the news about the sad demise of Roger Keith 'Syd' Barrett, psychedelic explorer, childhood hero and...oh fuck it, I can't go on with a eulogy in this type of forum. Within hours the blogosphere will be filled with tributes by 20 year old whippersnappers from Italy about 'ze genius madcap. Shine on...etc etc' and none will come close to WHY this man was special. And why I'm so sad about his passing...
Let's face it, he was deeply disturbed and didn't want our attention for most of his life. But for a very brief coupla years Syd made this world a better place. Piper At The Gates Of Dawn has remained in my top 5 albums of all time since I first heard it at about the age of 13. I'm so old I can just remember seeing the Floyd on Top Of The Pops when I was 7, doing See Emily Play. Even at that age I knew it was better than most things. Syd was one of the very first stars who proved you didn't have to sing in a fake American accent. He was Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll and the Tibetan Book of the Dead rolled into one totally English psychedelic experience. Without him there would be no David Bowie, Julian Cope, Kevin Ayers or Andy Partridge. His guitar-playing influenced such luminaries as Daevid Allen and Fred Frith. And me ;-)
His solo albums were semi-baked documents of weary doom and bewilderment, but still completely original and precious.
I'm too sad to write much more. When I was a teenager I wanted to be him. Now I just hope he's at peace. Bye Syd...

4 comments:

Dan said...

Nice tribute, mate.

Peter said...

"semi-baked documents of weary doom and bewilderment".

ooh. nicely put.

pedro, haringey said...

Sid he has gone to the Great Gig in the Sky. He changed my life with his album about the Wall and the songs about the pigs. I think very much that he is poetry. Shine on you Crazy Diamond!

Garuda said...

Err...thanks for that 'Pedro'. Also thanks Dan for pointing out this erudite summation.