Thursday, July 7, 2011

Crazy Diamond

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the passing of another one of my favorite music men Roger "Syd" Barrett who was an original member of Pink Floyd.
Though Syd's time with them was all too brief, he nonetheless co-founded the band and was hugely influential on their early sound (it's been said his specter loomed large over the band throughout their career together afterwards) as well as many musicians that came later. They had two hit singles, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play", with him, and in fact "Emily" was number two in the UK charts that infamous summer of 1967. Unfortunately, the good times didn't last for long, and in early 1968, Syd was outst from the band due to mental instability from drugs and (as it was found out later) schitzophrenia. He was replaced by friend David Gilmore and they, of course, went on to be one of THE bands of the '70's  Syd (with their help) put out two albums: The Madcap Laughs in 1969 and Barrett in 1970 before famously leaving it all behind for good to focus on painting. Though there were sightings from time to time, he was mainly a recluse until he died in his hometown of Cambridge, England in 2006. He, so far, is the only person not close to me who made me cry when I heard the news. Though his solo stuff is not for everybody, I highly recomend listening to the Pink Floyd debut Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and those two singles I mentioned earlier on the Floyd best of Echoes and revel in the pure genius that is Syd. Shine on, you crazy diamond we'll never forget you...

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