Saturday, December 28, 2013

Madcap: The half-life of Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd's lost genius by Tim Willis.

Madcap: The half-life of Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd's lost genius by Tim Willis.  Hardcover book published by Short Books 2002, 175 pages with some colour and black and white photographs as well as a few illustrations.

“Beautiful, charismatic, and talented, in 1966 Syd Barrett invented the British Psychedelic scene—founding Pink Floyd—before collapsing into madness two years later. This book traces the history of rock's lost genius, through exclusive access to those closest to Syd throughout his life.”

“…Syd Barrett invented the British Psychedelic scene.”  Really?  That’s a fairly bold statement and I’m sure that there are those out there who would dispute it… but what would I know about 1960s British Psychedelia, for all I know Syd Barrett did invent it.  Regardless if he did or didn’t, it’s a great story to add to the myth and legend of Syd Barrett.

‘Like a plangent wah-wah guitar chord, this book bends the Syd myth in new and exciting ways’ Will Self

I know a few Pink Floyd fans.  Yes, they are still out there in very large numbers.  I’ve even heard Dark Side of the Moon pumping out of my neighbours back door and I know of someone who excitedly bought the recent multi disc reissue of the same album and then returned it a few days later in complete disgust (… his amazon review seems to have disappeared).  I once worked with an obsessive obsessive for whom Pink Floyd and related musics could do no wrong.  It’s hard trying to sound interested in something that whilst of interest is not really my thing.

Syd Barrett only actively contributed to the first Pink Floyd album and then left after indulging in a little too much Psychedelia.  A couple of solo albums and then really, that was it.  Which is I guess where the story, legend and myth really begin to kick in.  Where was he and what was he doing for all those years whilst his former band mates made more music and money than any rock band should ever realistically do?  Was his brain really that befuddled that he couldn’t somehow reignite that spark he once had?  The answer is possibly in this book.

No comments:

Post a Comment