Guardian intern Michael Harkin throws down on the occasion of Syd Barrett's passing, announced today, July 11:
The "Madcap" back in the day.
Alas! Word around the hood is that Syd Barrett has passed away—sad news for Pink Floyd fans and psych enthusiasts everywhere. Nobody was expecting new material anytime soon from Barrett, who never attempted to reappear after vanishing into an unproductive, drug-induced haze. It was, however, always oddly reassuring to know that he was around…somewhere.
Bless him for avoiding reunion cash grabs and cameos at laser-light shows, but one has to wonder what it’d be like if he ended up even half as productive as, say, Robyn Hitchcock. There’s no question that his epic silence is a large part of what makes him legendary: he burned out damn quick, but left what is perhaps the best of Floyd’s output in The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. You can also thank Barrett for thematically fueling what followed in Floyd’s bombastic concept-album parade, but it seems more appropriate to remember him for his actual tenure with the group, as well as his stellar solo records.
Older Syd out to grab some air -- rather than cash?
Okay, so if Barrett and Howard Hughes were to get in a fight, I’m pretty sure that SB would emerge the prizewinner for the title of “most awesome departed recluse of the century.” Hats off to you, Syd.