7.12.2006

You only have to read the lines; They're scribbly black and everything shines.

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.


People are mentioning other people all the time. Especially rockers. Especially legendary rockers, who've burned out. And people are dying all the time. Especially legendary rockers who've burned out.

Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
blown on the steel breeze.


Its only natural that occasionaly someone may mention a legendary, burned out rocker and then find out later in the day that he's just died.

Come on you target for faraway laughter,
come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!


Of course, that doesn't make it any less weird for the person who did the mentioning and the finding out.

Syd Barrett is dead. He died as a result of diabetes.

We all knew it was going to happen eventually. Diabetes, severe mental illness, overuse of LSD. There was just too much wrong with him. But of course that doesn't mean I was quite ready to hear it.

You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.


For those who don't know, Syd Barrett was the original frontman of Pink Floyd. Not many heard his voice; not even all Pink Floyd fans; he suffered a mental breakdown before the band would ever complete it's most famous material; but it would be hard to escape the mark he left on rock music. His influence shaped Pink Floyd's development as a band, and he was the inspiration for several of their later works, including the entirety of the album Wish You Were Here.

Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!


In fact, he happened to wander into the studio during a recording session for Shine On You Crazy Diamond. At first, no one recognized him as he'd shaved off his hair and eyebrows and gained a lot of weight. But eventually they noticed his eyes and knew who he was. They asked how he'd gotten to be the way he was and he said, "I have a rather large fridge in my flat and I've been eating pork chops." After the session the band wanted Syd to join them for a party, but he was gone.

Nobody knows where you are, how near or how far.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Pile on many more layers and I'll be joining you there.
Shine on you crazy diamond.

If you haven't heard any of his tunes I absolutely recommend them. They're odd and quirky, but then again if that isn't your thing then I have doubts as to what it is you're doing here.

And we'll bask in the shadow of yesterday's triumph,
sail on the steel breeze.
Come on you boy child, you winner and loser,
come on you miner for truth and delusion, and shine


Rest in Peace, dude. I'm more than grateful for what I've experienced as a result of your brilliance.

But now he's resigned to his fate
'Cause life's not unkind - he doesn't mind.

Things cannot be destroyed once and for all...

(All lyrics are from Pink Floyd. Title and last two quotes taken from seperate songs writen by Barrett on Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The first paragraph is a paraphrase of a passage from Douglas Adams' The Long, Dark Tea-time of the Soul)

10 comments:

  1. we don't love our poets enough. thank you for doing so.

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  2. Someone asked me if I wanted to kill Barret and I said, no. If only he'd known he neednt bother with the killing.

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  3. cooper1:40 PM

    Nice Wombat.

    I only found this out late last night.

    ;(

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  4. I love the structure here. It really works. Poignant.

    Although I've always been aware of the Barrett-Floyd, it's not an avenue I've submerged myself in. Since I'm excessively fond of SOAD and Mars Volta, I'm wondering if I should.

    I killed off shouty British Rock DJ Tommy Vance with a careless reference to him one evening. The guilt is terrible. These days I'm more careful how I

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  5. speak.

    Sorry I got distracted mid-sentence.

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  6. Jrhomer: Too true. Perhaps we should all take some time each day to love a poet. How one does so is left to interpretation.

    De.Ville: Did he mean as in the concept of rockstar euthenasia? Like the theory that we'd be better off if someone had shot Elvis before he turned into a fat slob so that he left on a good note? Don't think it'd apply here, if that's what he meant.

    Cooper: What surprised me the most was seeing a flame war on a forum with some people trashing Roger Waters and others Syd. Fucking Internet.

    JvS: Actually I first got the structure from Cooper, and I've put it to extensive use since, as I absolutely love it.

    Ooh another SOAD/TMV fan! (squeeeeee!)
    I'd definetley reccomend it. I do like Dark Side and Wish You Were Here more than Piper, but it's clear the way Floyd progressed that it wasn't until they let Barrett's influence back in that they took off.

    It's hard to guage, isn't it? And yet no matter how many time's Cris Martin comes up offhand (which is too many times, if you ask me) his heart beats on.

    JvS again: yeah, that happens to me too.

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  7. Beautiful post Wombat! Yes, their work is amazing and uyour choice of song all too fitting! Shine on indeed!

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  8. Nice, man.

    While I've never been a PF fan myself, I respect the influence they've had on people throughout the years.

    Great tribute to someone who has obviously influenced ya.

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  9. I have to admit... Pink Floyd is one of those groups I really use to like... until the ex-hubby wore out their CD over and over and over... made me hate them.

    I really enjoyed your tribute... :)

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  10. Miz B: I don't know how many times I listened to that song in the past few days ^_^

    Jason: Thanks, man. Barrett's work specifically, both solo and for his stint with Floyd also has had a rather wide influence, though often not as overt or obvious. For instance, At The Drive In broke up in part because Cedric Bixler-Zavara and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez wanted to do an album that sounded like Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and the rest of the band just wanted to keep playing punk rock. The result was the two frontmen breaking off and forming The Mars Volta and recording Deloused in the Comatorium, and album that I like better every time I listen to it. And I've listened to it a lot

    Shayna: I always hate to hear that a band has worn out their welcome on someone. A good friend of mine couldn't listen to Bob Dylan for the longest time because of a guy. Though I would guess that he didn't spin much of Barett's stuff, which is, well, different. I would suggest giving Piper like one more chance.

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