have you got it yet?
pink floyd founder and lasting musical inspiration syd barrett has reportedly died. the man is seen as single-handedly starting the psychedelic movement in pop music with the release of floyd's 'the piper at the gates of dawn', hot on the heels of the beatles' 'sgt. pepper' at the start of the summer of love in 1967. the lp, almost solely written by barrett, is laced with songs about fairy tales and space travel. it is whimsical and menacing, light and dark, full of imagery, fantasy and sonic de-construction, and to this day remains a true cornerstone of psychedelia in pop rock culture... that, plus a few really great singles, were the only thing he really ever did, well all that, and being a beacon of inspiration for millions for the last 40 years.
syd barrett, he of the promise of the future, the leader of a new sound and movement, was one troubled individual. within less than a year of the summer of love syd was a complete wreck. probably the product of too much fame, drugs and his own demons. he became a babbling idiot during interviews and almost catatonic at gigs. syd thought of bringing in a banjo and sax players but the band nixed that and allowed syd's school-mate, dave gilmour, to take his spot. the idea was to let syd become a sort of 'brian wilson' for the band. to just write and be the creative force, while the band carried on in person. it was apparent that not even anything remotely short of psycotic intervention would make that possible, so that idea was soon abandoned...
the members of pink floyd recall:
"So we were teaching Dave Gilmour the numbers," Nick Mason told Zigzag, "but Syd came in with some new material. The song went `Have You Got It Yet?' and he kept changing it so no one could learn it." "It was a real act of mad genius," added Roger Waters. "I didn't suss it out at all. I stood there for an hour while he was singing… trying to explain that he was changing it all the time so I couldn't follow it. He'd sing 'Have you got it yet?' and I'd sing `No, no!'"...
yep, a fuckin' mad genius alright...
he went on to move into his mother's basement during the summer of 1968, from which it is said he never left. he made two critically acclaimed, but commercially ignored albums in 1970 using the floyd, friends and such, but the sessions were the same mess that ended his stint with floyd and it showed in the scattered-brained songs that made it to the records. but inside of those two lp's are some real jewels of pop schizophrenia, songs that tread the line between have you got it and yeah that's it. he set the bar for every other tourtured genius for the duration of rock and roll (cobain couldn't deal, knocked himself and left others, at least syd took care of his mum).
and of course pink floyd went on to conquer the world (singing about syd), and the rest is what legends are made of...
pink floyd - 'arnold layne'
here are some mp3 samples of the wackiness and genius that was syd barrett, via yousendit for about as long as it takes to make 15 minutes of fame last a lifetime, or less:
w/ pink floyd:
see emily play
apples and oranges
it would be so nice
baby lemonade (peel sessions)
rest in peace syd barrett.