Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Year by year: 1970


Summer of 2006. Early July. I actually remember the day that he died. At that time I thought that no one could love the demented melody of “Terrapin” as much as I did. I had no problem singing along to “Bike” and I had long memorized every second of “Interstellar Overdrive”. But none of it mattered, of course, as we were driving through sunny Southern England and someone said Syd Barrett had died.

Not quite a shock if you had seen those blurry photos from the streets of Cambridge. Too tragic to describe. It became unbearable next time I played The Madcap Laughs and “Love You” started to sound insane rather than infectious. And now, years later, you are just happy to have another chance to delve into the tuneful madness of one man. The experience is both challenging and strangely rewarding. Try not falling in love with Joyce’s poetry after hearing “Golden Hair”. Try falling asleep to “Late Night”

I was once pleasantly surprised reading some Syd Barrett biography. Roger Waters (whatever your opinion of Roger Waters might be) said something to the extent that Syd Barrett is in top three of his favourite songwriters. I have no idea who those three others are, but what does it matter when you have this singular, odd, charming, painfully unforgettable songwriting.