Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Live Fast, Flame Out Young, and Die of Diabetes at 60

Ok, that doesn't sound like the sexy glamorous swan song we typically script for our most star-crossed rock stars. But that's how it went for Syd Barrett, founder and original visioneer for Pink Floyd, before Dark Side of the Moon and well before the band became a therapy session for Roger Waters' post-WWII abandonment and mother issues.

But, I generalize.

Syd was a huge influence (you can hear it everywhere, but early David Bowie is probably the most flagrant, if imperfect, example). The mostly Barrett-written first Floyd album, Piper at the Gates of the Dawn, is a hugely underrated LP, and along with the early singles, show a unique whimsy all too often missing from rock music (and all too often mistaken for drug-addled nonsense).

Well ok, drug-addlement was the main ingredient of Syd's life story. It appears LSD and his pre-existing mental chemistry did not co-exist happily-- who knew?

After his fall from the band, the main marvel of Syd Barrett's life is that he was able to preserve his privacy, with the help of family and former bandmates, for nearly 40 years (well maybe closer to 35, depending on when you date his total dropout from public life.

Anyway, rest in piece Syd (ok, Shine on you Crazy Diamond-- I believe we are all required to say that today).
(Barrett in 2001)


At 2:39 PM, Blogger Adam Zand said...

Dude, you stole my comment "SOYCD" with your signoff. Dude, look what happends if you take out the O and C in that great song title. Dude!

Seriously, here's the real tribute:

Arnold Layne had a strange hobby
collecting clothes, moonshine washing lines
they suit him fine

On the wall hung a tall mirror
distorted view, see through, baby blue
he got it

Oh Arnold Layne, it's not the same
it takes two to know, two to know, two to know, two to know
why can't you see
Arnold Layne, Arnold Layne,
Arnold Layne

Now he's caught a nasty sort of person
they gave him time, doors bang chaingang
he hated

Arnold Layne, Arnold Layne
Arnold Layne
Arnold Layne
don't do it again


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