Shine On


Pink Floyd's original frontman Syd Barrett is dead at age 60.

The Guardian has learned that the singer, 60, who suffered from a psychedelic-drug induced breakdown while at the peak of his career, died last Friday from complications related to diabetes.

His brother Alan confirmed his death, saying only: "He died peacefully at home. There will be a private family funeral in the next few days."

The normal next step would be to link anything Reason's written about Barrett and Pink Floyd, but I can't find any of it at a glance. So the floor's open to discussions of Barrett's influence, whether "Piper" is the only good Floyd album, and anything else that approaches respectable nostalgia.


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  1. whether “Piper” is the only good Floyd album

    I don’t know, I really like Mettle.

  2. I’m on the Mettle bandwagon. I have a certain high-school nostalgia for Wish You Were Here, but the only one I really listen to at all any more is Mettle.

    Of the post-Floyd solo work, I only ever liked Syd’s.

  3. Meddle is good, but for rambling sides full of animal noises, nothing beats Animals itself. And that stuff about Piper at The Gates of Dawn, I never understood.

  4. Piper is certainly one of a kind, the work of a very different band, compared to all that came after it. It’s hardly the only good Floyd album, of course. Lately I reach for Animals the most.

    For someone who shuffled off into obscurity by about 1972, Syd Barrett’s influence is enormous and wide. To me, probably the clearest successor to the Barrett-led Floyd is Mission of Burma. Some of the tunes on Signals, Calls, and Marches would slot in quite well on Piper.

    Today’s a sad day. Raise a toast and rub some crushed quaaludes into your hair in memory of a mercurial genius.

  5. Though I’m solidly in the Waters camp, RIP Syd.

    Perhaps it is just as well that there wasn’t a big Floyd “reunion” tour. It probably would’ve been a disaster.

    Several years ago I saw Peter Green, who also suffered a severe breakdown many years ago. It was simply the most depressing show I’ve ever been to, and I’ve witnessed some real stinkers (coughcoughBOWIEcoughcough). Green was incoherent. He hardly played his guitar, and when he did, he just noodled on it. Obviously some sick fuck promoters were exploiting this man, and the fans who remembered him. Bummer.

  6. Syd’s stuff was the only Floyd I could stomach. I’d always hoped that he would return & put those boring old crab-ass fogeys to bed.

    It’s no good trying to place your hand
    where I can’t see because I understand
    that you’re different from me

  7. That cat’s something I can’t explain.


  8. So if he’s cremated, and the urn is sealed in a columbarium, would that make him just another brick in the wall?

  9. I had no idea there were so many early-Floyd fans. I’ve tried to get into Piper a few times but it hasn’t taken hold. I’ll have to give it another shot.

  10. The lyrics to Astronomy Domine alone should earn him a place in heaven.

  11. Makes Waters’ Live 8 shout out to Syd very touching.

  12. Syd;

    Wish you were here.


  13. I’m a bit of a heretic; I think Gilour-led Floyd is the best of the incarnations.

    I’ll now stand by for the torrents of abuse.

  14. “See Emily Play” is a hell of a song.


  15. My dog howled for the first time last weekend while I was listening to Seamus (Mettle) in the car…Love Mettle, Animals and The Final Cut.

  16. You were caught on the cross fire of childhood and stardom, blown on the steel breeze.
    Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!

  17. This hawk secretly listens to Amused to Death and The Final Cut all the time, although Animals made the rotation this morning. It’s all about the guitars. Syd’s stuff was a little too strange for me.

  18. “…you reached for the secret too soon….”

  19. Set The Controls For the Heart Of The Sun Syd.

  20. Those who like Brit-pop should check out such Barrett solo tunes as Here I Go, Love Song, Gigolo Aunt, Effervescing Elephant, and Octopus, and such Barrett-penned Floyd songs as See Emily Play, Arnold Layne, and Apples and Oranges.

    His solo song Dark Globe is also hauntingly beautiful.

    “Won’t you miss me? Wouldn’t you miss me at all?”

  21. Mr. Nice Guy,

    I am really sorry to hear that about Green. He was the best british blues guitarist ever, period. Clapton at his best can’t hold Green’s jock and the early Fleetwood Mac records are perhaps the best blues ever made by white men not named the Allmon Brothers. When I heard that he was playing again, I thought maybe things had turned out okay for Green. I guess not.

  22. I think Gilmore Floyd fans outnumber Barrett Floyd fans by at least 90 to 1, but they’re not “cool.” I suppose they’re really not even the same band, there seem to be very few real fans of both incarnations. I’d count myself a Gilmore fan, although I admit “Careful with that Ax, Eugene” is one of the great song titles of all time.

  23. I never much cared for Barrett-era Floyd, but have always recognized that without him Floyd never would have put out what I consider their greatest album, Wish You Were Here. The Final Cut is my least favorite of the post-Syd albums, with the exception of the absolutely killer, completely Roger Waters-styled “Not Now John.”

  24. Condolences to Syd’s family and fans. I was never much of a Floyd fan, but de gustibus.

    What’s got me bummed is that Micheal ? Domhnaill (The Bothy Band, Nightnoise) passed this weekend at 54.

    Wurra, wurra.


  25. Somewhere, Syd is off with Several Species of Small Furry Animals, Gathered Together in a Cave and grooving with a Pict….

    or not.

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