mercredi, juillet 12, 2006

Syd Barrett passes away

Syd Barrett Dies At 60

Syd Barrett

by Tim Cashmere & Daniel Zugna

July 12 2006

Former Pink Floyd vocalist Syd Barrett has died aged 60 from complications arising from diabetes last Friday.

Pink Floyd today released a statement saying “The band are naturally very upset and sad to learn of Syd Barrett's death. Syd was the guiding light of the early band line-up and leaves a legacy which continues to inspire.”

“He died peacefully at home. There will be a private family funeral in the next few days.” His brother Allan said.

Barrett’s later life had been a sad tale after he plunged into insanity after taking too much LSD in the 60s (although many claim the LSD simply enhanced a preexisting condition).

His erratic behavior was blamed for his sacking/quitting of Pink Floyd.

“I suppose it was really just a matter of being a little offhand about things.” He told Melody Maker at the time.

Barrett was one of the most important figures in 1960s popular music. He helped usher in a new era of psychedlia, an era of vast sonic experimentalism, which openly questioned what constituted ‘pop’ music. The music he created with Pink Floyd was at once unsettling and engrossing, combining traditional pop melodies with unnatural soundscapes.

He emerged from quiet beginnings in Cambridge as a promising classical pianist and visual artist. It wasn’t until Barrett moved to London with Roger Waters that Pink Floyd started to take shape, with Nick Mason and Richard Wright completing the line-up. Barrett was one of the first popular artists to sing in an unequivocally British accent.

Adventurous, bizarre and progressive, the band’s debut album, ‘Piper At The Gates Of Dawn’, remains a seminal pop release. Composed almost entirely by Barrett, the chaotic nature of the album would tragically reflect the failing mental condition of its creator. Barrett would become one of the first high-profile LSD victims. He became unable to cope with the rigours of nascent fame, developing an increasingly erratic personality.

He released two solo albums, both in 1970, ‘The Madcap Laughs’ and ‘Barrett’, the former with production credits from former bandmate Roger Waters and his replacement in Pink Floyd David Gilmour, the latter produced entirely by Gilmour.

He never released another album, although various bootlegs appeared over the years.

His ingenuity on the guitar showed with simple tricks such as using a cigarette lighter as a slide on his track ‘Late Night’ or reversing the tape for ‘No Good Trying’.

In December 1971 Barrett told Rolling Stone magazine that he was “totally together”, although he had begun to slip into his reclusive state. He returned to Abbey Road studios in 1974, but no album came of these sessions.

Musically, he had inspired countless musicians from all walks of life. David Bowie covered Pink Floyd’s ‘See Emily Play’ on his 1973 covers album ‘Pin Ups’ as well as joining Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour on stage in May this year (06) at London’s Royal Albert Hall to sing ‘Arnold Layne’.

Barrett was also an avid painter, with pictures showing fish swimming through the sky and blue hands reaching towards the rainbow tinged heavens.

Pink Floyd later in life paid tribute to Barrett, with his madness inspiring their legendary album ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’, as well as the epic song ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’, with the lyrics “Remember when you were young? You shone like the sun!”