photography by Mick Rock
Fall is the time of year when people start to revert into this sort of sleepy cocoon of life. We crave the lovely comfort of coziness whether it is your fav sweater, cups of tea, curling up with a good book or snuggling with someone you love. So I wanted to share with you the music that makes me feel happy, comforted, relaxed and inspired all at the same time…and that would be Syd Barrett.
If you don’t know Syd the short version is that he was the lead singer/guitarist/main creative force/founding member of Pink Floyd and was kicked out of the band after their first 2 studio albums for supposedly going crazy from too much acid. He produced some solo albums before retreating to a life of solitude and painting. Some people say that Syd chose to play a little crazy in order to cope with the band’s increasing popularity or that he had a pre-existing mental condition that was elevated due to his acid use. I remember someone telling me about how Syd had tried to go clean but at the time acid was so prevalent that he ended up taking it without even knowing and that thinking he was straight while he actually wasn’t may have done him in.
Now I really discovered 60s-80s music during my uni years as I had older parents that missed that whole trippy hippie movement. My dear friend Froggy (an English man on exchange to Canada) introduced me to Syd in first year and from that instant my love affair with Syd Barrett began. I feel like if I had met Syd that we would’ve got on perfectly, I think our brains would’ve meshed. His music is filled with such wonderful worlds of imagination and whimsy yet at times they can be dark and melancholy (but always with a sparkle). I actually don’t care for the Pink Floyd that most people know; my fav album of theirs is The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Without Syd the band is just boring dad music to me. There’s something so inexplicable about Syd’s music to me that when I do meet another dear fan it’s a special thing. Syd’s not for everyone I definitely know that…and I don’t think I’d like it that way…and I think Syd wouldn’t have either. See he was a true artist. He wanted to create music and art because it was so filled up inside of him. But to put yourself out there and share with the world can be rather claustrophobic and so that’s why I want to believe that Syd wanted to leave Pink Floyd because the success they were headed for was not the life he wanted to live. He wanted to live in the world inside his head and make his art, and that’s what he did.
So I wanted to share with you some of my fav Syd songs that maybe you’ll love or hate or have already heard or maybe, just maybe you never have and I can open your mind up to such a cherished artist just like how Froggy did for this bizarre girl from the prairies.
*my all time fav song ever