Syd Barrett is dead

by Harry on July 11, 2006

BBC obit here.



pp 07.11.06 at 5:28 pm

The most influential ex member of a band ever!


Iain Coleman 07.11.06 at 7:33 pm

My obit here. I really am terribly saddened by this news. Not because there was ever going to be a new Syd Barrett album, or a farewell reunion tour, but simply because it demonstrates so forcefully that some things, once broken, can never be unbroken.


Tom T. 07.11.06 at 10:28 pm

Roger Barrett is dead. Syd died a long time ago.


bob mcmanus 07.12.06 at 3:48 am

Syd Barrett Story

The best page I have found today, a chronology in quotes from interviews, some from Syd, the rest from friends, band members. A long and comprehensive history. And candid:three quotes from the end

“Roger Water: (1975) I’m very sad about Syd, I wasn’t for years. For years I suppose he was a threat because of all that bollocks written about him and us. Of course he was very important and the band would never have fucking started without him because he was writing all the material. It couldn’t have happened without him but on the other hand it couldn’t have gone on *with* him. He may or may not be important in rock’n’roll anthology terms but he’s certainly not nearly as important as people say in terms of Pink Floyd. So I think I was threatened by him.

Gilmour: I last saw him around Christmas in Harrod’s. We just said ‘hi’, you know. I think actually of all the people you’ve spoken to, probably only Storm and I really know the whole story and can see it all in the right focus. I don’t know what Syd thi nks or *how* he thinks. Sure I’d be into going back into the studio with him, but I’m into projects like that anyway. Period.

Roger Waters: (1987) I could never aspire to Syd”s crazed insights and perceptions. In fact for a long time I wouldn’t have dreamt of claiming any insights whatsoever. I’ll always credit Syd with the connection he made between his personal unconscious and the collective group unconscious. It’s taken me 15 years to get anywhere near there. Even though he was clearly out of control when he making his two solo albums, some of the work is staggeringly evocative. It’s the humanity of it all that’s so im pressive. It’s about deeply felt values and beliefs. Maybe that’s what ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ was aspiring to. A similar feeling.”


stevenH 07.12.06 at 8:00 am

Strictly speaking this is off topic but if anyone needs a good laugh get over to Harry’s Place immediately and check out Brett’s piece on the significance of the slice of Palestinian pizza. Its absolutely hilarious.


Bruce Baugh 07.12.06 at 8:51 am

I’m very sorry to read of Mr. Barrett’s passing. I was reflecting recently on contigency, and it seems like his work is a good demonstration of it not taking a huge body of work to make a lasting influence, if you’re in the right place at the right time. He did enough, with the right people.


Thlayli 07.12.06 at 8:54 am

I admire your restraint in not titling this post “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, the way EVERY SINGLE OTHER BLOGGER did.


Gorkle 07.12.06 at 9:34 am

Ok…how ’bout “Crazy Diamond shifts carbon form.”


harry b 07.12.06 at 9:43 am

I think there’s a template for all our death announcements — “X is dead”…. Abrupt, but unambiguous.


dale 07.12.06 at 10:35 am

sad thing.


david 07.12.06 at 3:33 pm

The end of truth that lay out the time

spent lazing here on a painting dream

a mile or more in a foreign clime
to see farther inside of me

And looking high up into the sky
I breathe as the water streams over me


Dell Adams 07.13.06 at 2:20 am

He was right there in the studio when they recorded “Shine On…”!??


okir 07.14.06 at 12:32 am

Pink Floyd (and thus Barrett) was an integral part of my crazy youth. My tour guides to interstellar space. I only wish that Syd had a better guide of his own…but he’s traveling now…

I thought you might be interested in hearing an excellent cover of Astronomy Domine that I found, by Gary Lucas (who wrote the music for Jeff Buckley’s “Grace” and “Mojo Pin.”

By the way, Lucas was in Mumbai when the bombs hit recently.



Jason 07.14.06 at 8:59 am

The interesting thing about Syd – taking Piper at the Gates of Dawn together with the solo recordings – is how it clarifies how sloppy a lot of talk about the genius-madness link is. There are people who are just crazy, who think they are being watched by the UN or believe themselves to be Jesus Christ, and they don’t really produce art. Similarly, a lot of people produce great art and are personally (and artistically) very weird: William Blake, Frank Zappa, et cetera. But they’re not crazy, not in the same way the homeless guy who hangs out at my church and insists that the Nazis actually sent all the Jews to Mexico is. Syd was actually one of the very, very few examples of somebody in the middle, who actually was mentally dysfunctional (I don’t know whether the drugs were a cause or effect; little bit of both, probably) and managed to be artistically productive. When I listen to his records I find I have a combination of aesthetic (“that’s really cool”) and clinical responses. Are there actually that many people like that? Christopher Smart, maybe?

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