13.7.06 | Goodbye, Mr Barrett






I first heard Syd Barrett as a child, through listening to choice parts of my brothers record collection. Amongst the goddawful wankfest (to me) of his 70's rock and metal collection there were some gems that an 8yr old boy could dwell on. I remember the very first song anywhere that truly held me rapt with awe and fascination. And it was a Syd Barrett song. The second and third songs were also Syd Compositions, from the very first Pink Floyd album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

There was a big drawback for me in being able to listen to these songs, though. I hadn't a clue how to operate my brothers very daunting and large looking hi-fi seperates. He was also the kind of person who would keep the radio from a Lancaster Bomber in his room. I guess you could say he was a huge knobs and dials kinda guy. When you turned his hi-fi on, the room practically hummed with all that energy, and i was certain the local elctricity generator would go into a meltdown. Or at least feel a little faint. I was also nearly as certain that to activate the "power-on" switch would near instantaneously electrocute me, or something equally sticky and with an end to it.

Much to my brothers dawning horror and rising sibling hatred, i then discovered that i was able to turn the records manually, and let my fingernails run along the grooves, stirring very faintly the beautiful songs from their vinyl slumber. The tunes vibrating into my fingertips. Naturally, of course, there were some "little" problems with scratching. My poor bruv. I did it to quite a few records... thinking in my innocence that because some of them sounded so awful anyway, that he'd never notice if anything was wrong with them, as surely he wouldn't want to listen to such crap.

I noticed that a lot of people in their personal obits of Syd, have quoted a couple of lines from the later Pink Floyd song about him (A song i cannot even bring myself to name as i loathe it so much). A song i find just as turgid and self-absorbed as most of the band output after he left... And everything after Meddle is bombastic toss. It is! Don't argue! Especially those famous and best-selling albums.

So instead i'm going to quote Syd himself and that first song i loved in my now very distant childhood. In some way... i think it's far more perfect for the man.

Scarecrow
(Barrett) 2:10

The black and green scarecrow as everyone knows
Stood with a bird on his hat and straw everywhere.
He didn't care.
He stood in a field where barley grows.

His head did no thinking
His arms didn't move- except when the wind cut up
Rough and mice ran around on the ground.
He stood in a field where barley grows.

The black and green scarecrow is sadder than me
But now he's resigned to his fate
'Cause life's not unkind - he doesn't mind.


He stood in a field where barley grows.



Think i'll quote his last Floyd song, too... it goes rather well...

Jugband Blues
(Barrett) 2:59

It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear- that I'm not here.
And I never knew the moon could be so big
And I never knew the moon could be so blue
And I'm grateful that you threw away my old shoes
And brought me here instead dressed in red
And I'm wondering who could be writing this song.

I don't care if the sun don't shine
And I don't care if nothing is mine
And I don't care if I'm nervous with you
I'll do my loving in the winter.

And the sea isn't green
And I love a queen
And what exactly is a dream
And what exactly is a joke...


Sweet.

10 comments :.

  1:11 pm :. Blogger Max hollered thusly:

Sh!t! No way! We used to sing this in school assembly.

Altogether now!

# Oats, peas, beans, and barley grow


  4:31 am :. Blogger Keshi hollered thusly:

Long live Syd's memory!

He was a legend and most legends die in weird ways and in an anwfully short time.

Keshi.


  7:12 pm :. Blogger dr.v (Not a narcotic Pez dispenser) hollered thusly:

i love the image of you as a
young boy trying to "play" your brother's vinyl....i find it adorable. Bet he didn't find it adorable ;)


  8:48 pm :. Blogger Starbuck hollered thusly:

Shit - I didn't even realise he'd died.


  2:32 pm :. Blogger De.vile hollered thusly:

I dont think ALL of the post-Meddle albums are crap BUT Barret, well, is remembered. And if I were you, I'd quote something from Madcap Laughs.


  11:14 am :. Blogger Teufel hollered thusly:

A Minute of Silence and Respect for Barret... may rest in Peace.


  7:49 pm :. Anonymous Dan Ashworth hollered thusly:

Scarecrow is simpy the greatest PF song ever written. Dan in London.


  9:25 pm :. Blogger The Saturnyne hollered thusly:

DAn you twat!

Email me asap!

It's very funny to hear from you today... i was just thinking of putting a post up entitled:

"OI!! Dan!!! Where the fuckin' 'ell are you!!"

S.


  12:50 am :. Blogger Teufel hollered thusly:

Where... the hell... is Sat? :'(


  5:02 am :. Anonymous Anonymous hollered thusly:

I've been listening to Syd recently, and honestly, I touch not one drop of Pink Floyd without Mr Barrett's input. Ppier at the Gates of Dawn and Saucerful of Secrets are wonderful, but anything after that I find pretentious and vastly over-rated.

Janine x



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