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?
Barrett: For God's sake, Syd!
Mason: Mate, you're Syd!
Barrett: I'm Roger!
Waters: No, I'm Roger.
Barrett: You sure?
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 awkward silence. Mason coughs.
Waters: So, ah, where did the title come from?
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: Call Dave.