Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tribute to Syd Barrett

I was very sorry to hear the death of Syd Barrett announced on Virgin radio as I was driving home. He was the "first creative force" behind Pink Floyd in the sixties.

The first thing I would pay tribute to him for is "See Emily Play". It is one of the greatest pop singles ever produced. I am very proud of my vinyl 45 original copy of it. As well as being a mind-blowing recording, it is one of the finest examples of how vinyl can enhance a song. After years of playing, my copy has an extra "zing" which enhances the original recording. You don't get that with CD or MP3!

If you click on the arrow below you can see the video for "Arnold Layne", Floyd's first single which was written by Barrett, as was "See Emily Play". Below that, another click will get you to a superb selection of clips and photos of Syd, with "Shine on you crazy diamond" in the background. This was put together by "ChriscoMI" on YouTube.com.

I have always been very struck by the great respect shown towards Syd by the members of Pink Floyd. Of course, their tribute to him "Shine on you crazy diamond" says it all.

Reading the coverage on the BBC web site I was particularly touched by the heartfelt tribute from David Bowie. (He did cover versions of "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play", by the way).

Bowie described Barrett as a "major inspiration", saying:

"I can't tell you how sad I feel. The few times I saw him perform in London at UFO and the Marquee clubs during the '60s will forever be etched in my mind. He was so charismatic and such a startlingly original songwriter. Also, along with Anthony Newley, he was the first guy I'd heard to sing pop or rock with a British accent. His impact on my thinking was enormous. A major regret is that I never got to know him. A diamond indeed."

I don't think you can add to that.
Arnold Layne video:

A tribute to Syd by "ChriscoMI" on YouTube.com:


  1. Excellent tribute - and good to see these videos - and several others from YouTube

  2. Many thanks Peter - much appreciated.