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Sunday, July 16, 2006

R.I.P. Dear Piper

I was formally chastised via e-mail a few days ago by Phreak, who also cc'd Joe, Crackin' Rosey and Mescalito about there being no love on the blog for Syd Barrett (may he rest in peace). So, after (ahem) gathering my thoughts and whatnot, I decided to come on tonight and pay homage to the man who co-founded, and then dropped out of, Pink Floyd. This was prior to Dark Side of the Moon, way before The Wall, but it was after the band had already begun to acquire some commercial success. (And many of those "pop-psychedelic gems" of the early days were written by him. 'Course, it just goes to show you how good that band was, both with and without Syd. Very different, too.)
Anyway, he went on to record and produce (with help from some of his former bandmates) two solo efforts: The Madcap Laughs (which you can read more about here in a Backspin I wrote back in March) and Barrett.
I can't say I was into Syd until Phreak herself gave me copies of both of those albums a few years ago (she's also responsible for my love of Ween and Modest Mouse). Granted, I was a pretty big Pink Floyd fan, but I'd never explored Barrett's sad, quirky music until then.
So now, he's gone, passing from life as he lived it, quietly, and with very little fanfare, and good for him; he did what he wanted, and when he didn't want to do it anymore, he stopped. Yes, he was a bit loony toons, but hey, you gotta draw the line somewhere.