Syd Barrett has died


Staff member
Site Owner
May 30, 2000
Syd Barrett died on Friday, it was just reported today. Syd was the founding front-man of Pink Floyd, and created lots of great music until he became a recluse shortly after 1971.

His song, Octopus, from his first solo album was always a favorite of mine (well, they all were). I've quoted it on our Site FAQ page for a long time now...

“So trip, to, heave and ho, up, down, to and fro'... you have no word. Please leave us here, close our eyes to the octopus ride...” -- Syd Barrett

I still have the very rare "Octopus" vinyl 45 with an illustration of an octopus on the sleeve, one of the early impressions made on me that made me realize, "hey, octopuses are kinda cool."

To put it into perspective,

Neil Diamond is to Steve as
Frank Zappa is to Colin as
Syd Barrett is to Tony

RIP Syd!
it seems that the band was interested in the ocean quite a bit...

"overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air
and deep beneath the rolling waves in labaryths of coral caves"

One of the great geniuses of modern music, whether appreciated or not. I'll always miss Syd Barret. RIP, octo-buddy.
Let us hope he's finally found the peace denied him the last thirty-plus years. It's a bad, bad thing to drive your roommate insane out of boredom.
Yeah, exactly -- well put, everyone.

Genius is definitely the right word.

I understand Johnny Depp had expressed interest in doing / producing a biographical feature film on his life. That should ABSOLUTELY be done.

Would love to get one of his paintings.

There is another GREAT Syd song which is very much about the ocean called Opel. Incredible, really. Something you really need to listen to -- it's essential Syd.
On a distant shore
miles from land
Stands the ebony totem
in ebony sand
A dream in a mist of grey
On a far distant shore

The pebble, it stood alone
And driftwood lies half buried
Warm, shallow water sweeps shells
So the cockles shine

A bare, winding carcas stalk
Shimmers as flies scoop up meat
An empty way,
Dry Tears

Crisp flax squeaks
Tall reeds
Make a circle of grey
In a summer way, around man
So don't drown

I'm trying
I'm trying
To find you
To find you
I'm living
I'm giving
To find you
To find you

I'm living
I'm living
I'm trying
I'm giving
Oh, and here's another great water reference that within the past month or so I told my wife was one of my favorite Syd lyrics, from a song called "She Took A Long Cold Look":
I'm looking high up into the sky
I breathe as the water streams over me...
...and here's an interesting review from someone on Rhapsody about a couple of the songs mentioned in this thread...

Scientists have theorized that there are thousands of tiny black holes throughout our solar system, each leading to a fifth, invisible dimension. If you listen closely to Syd Barrett's "Opel," you can hear a dispatch from this realm. His phrasing is trembling and his tempos slushy as he recounts the story of "a bare winding carcass" stranded "on a far distant shore." Recorded a year before the first official moonwalk, "Octopus" almost borders on gleeful before it becomes a litany of discordant imagery. Barrett's work is mainly nonsense, but themes of desolation and confusion do emerge, making this surprisingly universal.

- Sam Chennault
I only disagree with his claim that it's "maily nonsense". Keep listening!
tonmo said:
...and here's an interesting review from someone on Rhapsody about a couple of the songs mentioned in this thread...

I only disagree with his claim that it's "maily nonsense". Keep listening!

Dude, I was, like, listening to Floyd, and I like, suddenly, understood the whole universe, and I was like "wow, man, black holes," and then I was like "hey, dude, are there any more of those cheetos," but then when I woke up in the morning, I couldn't remember it well enough to send Stephen Hawking a letter explaining it, so I like, put it on the internet.

Or, in other words, I think any association with black holes is way more nonsensical than the lyrics in the first place. But maybe I'm just not tuned in to the cosmic vibe.

edit: this seems to be what dude is talking about, but I still don't see how it relates to the song.
Don't be mistaken...I'm a huge Syd Barrett fan and not a hippie. I don't normally write about rock n' roll (I'm rhapsody's R&B and hip-hop guy) but I was reading about black holes a week before he died and was inspired. The whole lost light/ 5th dimensional presence thing seemed like an appropriate metaphor considering Syd's invisible influence over music of the past thirty years. Definitely agree with everyone here.

This is a cool web site...and sorry to swoop in like this to defend my syd fandom.


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