Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Midweek Mad Geniuses: Syd Barrett

The following took place at a Pink Floyd Band Meeting in early 1967, just prior to the release of their debut album Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

Rick Wright walked into the room with a tray of tea and scones, placed them on the rickety coffee table Roger Waters had bought for a fiver at the Camden market, and took a seat next to Syd Barrett. Nick Mason, who had brought along a batch of his mum's homemade hedgehog, was lazing in a beanbag near the heater, tapping his foot in time with its regular clicks. Waters was idly picking his nails with a plectrum, tightly pursing his lips, while Barrett was eating buttered kippers while standing on his head.

Waters: Thanks Rick.

Wright: So where are we with the album title?

Waters: Oh! Syd has a great one. Really nice suggestion. Where did it come from, Syd?


Mason: Syd?

Wright: Syd!

Barrett: For God's sake, Syd!

Mason: Mate, you're Syd!

Barrett: I'm Roger!

Waters: No, I'm Roger.

Barrett: You sure?

Waters: Positive.

Barrett: Cos I'm pretty sure I'm Roger.

Wright: No, you're Syd. Roger's Roger. I'm Rick and that's Nick.

Barrett: Well then where's Daryl?

Wright: There is no Daryl.

Barrett: I'm sure there's always been a Daryl.

Barrett's pants fall off. He is wearing no underpants. There's an a
wkward silence. Mason coughs.

Waters: So, ah, where did the title come from?

Barrett: Sausages.

Waters: What?

Barrett: Schmoozlepop.

Waters: What the hell are you talking about?

Mason: Syd told me the title was from Wind in the Willows.

Barrett: Yeah, that's it!

Wright: Oh groovy. I love that book.

Barrett: Especially when the zombies rise up from the mud and fuck mole in the arsehole.

Wright: That never happened!

Barrett: And then they ate Ratty's balls and beat up that fucking fat cunt, Toad.

Wright: There aren't any zombies in Wind of the Willows!

Barrett: How's this for an opening line for a song about bikes: "I've got a bike, you can ride it if you like..."

Waters: Do you want to have a lie down?

Barrett: I'm feeling fine. And I still reckon I'm Roger.

Mason (whispering to Waters): You know my mate Dave? He's a great guitar player and a handy singer.

Waters: (whispering back): Syd founded this band, man! We can't kick him out, no matter how weird he gets.

Mason: Maybe we should just pencil in Dave for the second album.

Waters: I always get this feeling of impending doom when I meet Dave.

Mason: He's alright.

Barrett: Are you talking about Copernicus?

Waters: Um, yes.

Barrett: Copernicus fixed my bike. Listen to this: "It's got a basket and bell and rings and things to make it look good..."

Waters: Nick?

Mason: Yeah?

Waters: Call Dave.


Anonymous said...

Barrett is standing on his head and his pants fall off?

Something doesn't seem right about that.

Perseus said...

I have one of his solo albums, made in about 1970 (interestingly: produced by Dave Gilmour)and it's fucking shithouse. And so is 'Bike'. And so is every song he wrote for Pink Floyd, even the hits. He is unlistenable.

I challenge the 'genius'. I reckon he was just 'mad'.

And yet... and yet. Why do I keep playing his music? And why does he fascinate me so?

He's no genius, but his madness was entertaining, I spose.

Anonymous said...

Ahh drugs, you gotta love 'em.

Fad MD said...

I'm a bit (OK a lot) of a Pink Floyd tragic and have albums, demos, bootlegs etc. Some of Syd's stuff is actually pretty good, but some is, as Pers says, completely unlistenable. Vegetable Man is a prime example. I quite like Bike though. The early Floyd/Barrett stuff while pretty fucked up, also has a very peculiar Englishness to its fucked-uptedness.

shitbmxrider said...

Which one from Pink Floyd has the unfeasably large classic car collection?