Syd Barrett: Genius or Madman?

“Paagol chaara duniya chole na (The environment does not perform devoid of mad adult men).”

– Lalon Fakir

Roger Keith Barrett, much more famously regarded as Syd Barrett, is the gentleman credited for bringing psychedelic rock songs from cult status to globally fame. As the frontman of the particularly eccentric and experimental Pink Floyd, he gave delivery to psychedelic delights this sort of as ‘Interstellar Overdrive’, ‘See Emily Play’ and ‘Bike’ among the numerous other people. As is regarded, his serious use of drugs, specially the hallucinogen LSD, afflicted his currently fragile mental wellbeing, resulting in mental breakdowns and he turned “mad”, nevertheless essentially he was borderline schizophrenic. But there are two sides of a coin generally the insanity appeared to have fuelled his creativity to an exponential extent.

Prior to his departure from Floyd, a great deal of stories about his insanity have been heard. He generally just stood onstage devoid of executing in one concert, he just played a solitary be aware through the moment he went up onstage following emptying a entire tube of Brylcreem gel on his hair, and thanks to warmth of the lights on the stage, the gel began to melt and tumble down throughout his face, generating it seem to be as if his face was melting! All these incidents helps make one be positive that he was a mad hatter, but what one fails to recognize is that his head labored in a distinct way and he lived in his possess environment. In other text, fact was a little bit distinct for Syd. Although this sort of antics ended up a strike with the audiences, it did not strike excellent notes with his bandmates, who ended up resenting it. Right until lastly, one fine day in January 1968, when Roger Waters was driving to a show at Southampton College, the band elected not to choose Barrett up. Just one individual in the vehicle stated, “Shall we choose Syd up?” and one more stated, “Let us not hassle.” That is how Syd Barrett stopped appearing on the internet pages of history (as a Pink Floyd member) anymore.

Ahead of we delve into the head of this unusual character, we really should reflect upon the signals that confirmed his mental disbalance. Unreleased tracks this sort of as ‘Scream Thy Final Scream’ (which was supposedly a very last ditch effort for sanity) and ‘Vegatable Man’ are eerie tracks. Most disturbing is the monitor ‘Jugband Blues’ from Floyd’s 2nd album ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’, the only contribution of Barrett in that album. The truth that he was floating over to the darker facet of the moon was apparent to him, is very clear in the song, as nicely as his bandmates’ increasingly antagonistic conduct. The very last few of strains “And what just is a desire/ And what just is a joke?” is a reflection of his state of head. He could not differentiate in between irrespective of whether he was dreaming, or irrespective of whether his head was actively playing tricks on him, and he could do nothing at all about it. Picture the sheer horror and despair! And comprehend the depth of all those text.

The final straw nevertheless was a exercise session which turned out to be Syd’s very last session with the band. He had arrive in with a new song named “Have You Obtained It But?” The band discovered the rather easy composition, and they began jamming. Barrett nevertheless changed the arrangement and melody a little bit. They again had to understand it anew. But Barrett retained on modifying it with every single new exercise. This resulted in the band users attempting to capture up with Syd, and the songs was all helter-skelter! If this was not more than enough, in the song, Syd would talk to “Have got it however?” and all the other users had to shout “No! No! No!” as a reply to the concern. The astounding revelation in this article is that Syd Barrett had not arrive up with a song at all. He arrived up a concept! The song was the concept by itself! The song would have an ever-modifying framework, and the other users would not get the song correct, or “Have you got it however?” would not be legitimate! This was what the schizophrenic head generated. Now you can contact it ‘sheer madness’ or ‘absolute genius’, but it will make you believe and ponder. You can marvel at it or dismiss it, but you will value the concept, and regard the truth that he experimented with to implement it. It nevertheless can in no way be regarded irrespective of whether he did this out of spite, or irrespective of whether it was one more truthful generation, but this token of his idiosyncratic sense of humour did not bode nicely with the other users. They lastly had more than enough of him! Roger Waters put down his bass, walked out of the place, and in no way attempted to engage in with Barrett again. He termed it “a genuine act of mad genius”.

Now its upto you to decide irrespective of whether you look at Syd Barrett to be essentially mad or a genius, but who are we to judge? Apart from, there is a pretty slim line in between insanity and genius. As for me, I’ll leave you with a small assumed: Can you ponder what essentially went on in that attractive head?

Resource by Shaswata Kundu Chaudhuri

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