Saturday, October 28, 2006

Goodbye Syd...

I know it's late for this. Obituaries are supposed to be written sooner. But I guess for some legends who can't die, you don't really call it an obit. It's more of an eulogy than anything else. A kind of Thank You note that you leave on the pillow. Knowing very well that the note also has GoodBye written somewhere over it.

I am talking about Syd Barrett. 6-Jan-1946 to 11-Jul-2006. The band he created wrote songs about him. They knew exactly what they were saying when they called him a painter, a prisoner, and a martyr. And Crazy Diamond.

They called themselves the T-Set, till he named them Pink Floyd. In a spur of moment. Like all good things, absolutely randomly out of the names of two blues singers. And the name stuck. Almost 40 years now and there are enough people who can vouch that "See Emily Play", "Arnold Layne", and infact the entire "Piper..." still sound as haunting as they perhaps did all those years ago.

Not to mention his singles, songs such as "Bob Dylan Blues" and "Gigolo Aunt" which were written when he had reached advanced stages of vegetation. A numb, white-washed brain that could still create strange rhythms, often forgetting what he wrote or sung. Thanks to Dave for recording all that. I guess that's the least he could do. After all, he probably wouldn't be in the band if it weren't for Syd cracking up one fine January morning in 1968.

He lived for music. He also died for it perhaps. We don't know whether he consumed LSD or did the LSD consume him. I guess being a legend is about leaving notes on pieces of paper, for others to figure and complete. And the Floyd did a pretty good job of it.

Everybody wonders what would Floyd be had he remained. We don't know. We don't want to know infact. It's a bit like asking how much sense it would make if fireflies could glow incessantly for an hour, and not just for those flickering moments. They wouldn't be fireflies then, would they? Syd was just like that. And that's how we want to remember him.

"Here today, gone yesterday". That's what it feels like. Hope you are good wherever you are. They knew everyone would miss him when they labeled his greatest hits "Wouldn't you miss me...?"

Thanks Syd for all the music. And the images. And the themes. And the words.
And for Floyd. Shine on...

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