April 17, 2007

Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughed

"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here
And I'm most obliged to you for making it clear
that I'm not here"
(Jugband Blues)

Now there’s a look in your eye’s,
like black holes in the sky
(Shine On You Crazy Diamond)

The story of Syd Barrett is pretty well known at this point. The mad genius who founded Pink Floyd and departed the scene (thanks to drugs and insanity) before their commercial triumph.

Roger (Syd) Barrett founded “The Pink Floyd Sound” (named after 2 blues musicians) in 1965. Originally, the Floyd’s sound was more blues based, but with the increasing popularity of mind altering drugs, Syd’s song writing became more adventurous.
Along with Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, Pink Floyd became the preeminent Psychedelic band of swinging 1966-1968 London. Syd experimented with various techniques in both Pink Floyd’s live and recorded output, utilizing feedback and delay gear to great effect.
Virtually all of Pink Floyd’s first album Piper At The Gates Of Dawn as well as all of the early singles were written by Syd.
Unfortunately, drug abuse would prove to be destructive for Syd. His bizarre behavior in live settings would prove to be increasingly untenable for the rest of Pink Floyd. Episodes of Syd standing motionless on stage and unable to play or playing completely against what the rest of the band played became increasingly unacceptable to the rest of the band.

The rest of the band brought in David Gilmour as a second guitar player. The plan was to go with a 5 member Pink Floyd. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out, as Syd went further out into the dark globe.

Eventually, it got to the point that the rest of the band didn’t bother to include Syd in recording songs or live shows and he officially left the band in 1968.

Syd recorded two solo albums (enlisting the help of the rest of Pink Floyd, especially David Gilmour, who produced many tracks). The Madcap Laughs and Barrett are full of whimsical visions with often child-like lyrics. Most of the material reportedly was written by Syd during his time with Pink Floyd.

Syd did a handful couple of live performances between 1969 and 1972 and virtually disappeared from the Public eye until his death in 2006.

Syd Barrett's effect on Pink Floyd looms large. Entire portions of later day Pink Floyd masterpieces such as Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall were written about or directly influenced by Syd.

His departure from music and sanity was truly a loss.


Dawn Of The Piper – this is a wonderful compilation of 20 Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd demo’s, live performances and rarities. Courtesy of the “Harvested” web site.

Dark Globe
Baby Lemonade
Golden Hair

Syd Barrett website
Syd Barrett Wiki
Buy Syd Barrett music

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youri said...
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