Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Eli Polonsky fill-in 7/11 - R.I.P. Syd Barrett

The first Pink Floyd album "Piper at the Gates of Dawn", 1967.
Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett, right center and upper right.

As I was picking music Tuesday morning for this show, my original theme was to be songs about going to the country, enjoying nature, mountains and cool water, and escaping the global warming pollution-socked continuously humid urban atmosphere that we're experiencing here in the northeast, something I haven't had time to do yet this year at all.

However, when I checked the internet about an hour before the show, I saw reports had just been released that Syd Barrett, founding member, lead guitarist, songwriter, and original visionary of Pink Floyd, had passed away at age 60 last Friday, July 7'th. The cause of death was not reported though it's known that Barrett had suffered diabetes for many years, and there are also reports of a possibility of cancer as well.

Syd's music on Pink Floyd's first 1967 album "Piper at the Gates of Dawn", Barrett's only full album with the band, is arguably the most stark of the original psychedelic era of the 60's. While most psychedelic music was an abstract musical portrait of the artists impressions of the experience, psychedelic music pioneer Barrett provided sonic glimpses directly into the core of an altered and precarious mind, which were capable of causing an eerie simulation of the essence of his experience within the listeners own physiology.

There's no need for me to describe his degeneration and exit from the band in 1968, and the reclusive anonymity that he chose for more than the last three decades of his life. As much as is known about that is well documented.

If not for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which limits the number of songs which can legally be played by an artist or group during a given time period on a radio station which also streams on the internet, I would have devoted the entire show to Barrett's music with the early Pink Floyd, and his solo efforts circa 1969-70 which were his last recordings.

Memorial tribute to Syd Barrett:
("YouTube" video links require broadband, or extreme patience).

01. Pink Floyd - Interstellar Overdrive (Long version from soundtrack of British film "Tonite Let's All Make Love In London" - January 1967)
02. Pink Floyd - See Emily Play (U.K. Top Ten Hit - 1967) - Video
03. Pink Floyd - Astronomy Dominé ("Piper at the Gates of Dawn") - Video
04. Syd Barrett solo - Terrapin ("The Madcap Laughs" - 1969)
05. Syd Barrett solo - Baby Lemonade ("Barrett" - 1970)
06. Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond - Parts I-VII
(Edited version from "Echoes" CD compilation. Full version originally on two sides of the 1975 album "Wish You Were Here" which was intended to be an ode to Barrett, and coincidentally the only time Barrett showed up, unannounced, at a Pink Floyd session since his departure from the band in 1968. Barrett did not perform).

Other stuff, some remnants of my original theme:
(R) = By request, (N) = New release or reissue

07. Jimi Hendrix - 1983 A Merman I Should Choose To Be/Moon Turn The Tides Gently, Gently Away
08. Hot Tuna - The Water Song (R) - (N) = (New compilation - "The Very Best of Hot Tuna - Keep On Truckin'" - BMG/Legacy)
09. The Beach Boys - Feel Flows
10. The Byrds - Ballad Of Easy Rider (R)
11. Bob Dylan - Watching The River Flow
12. Leon Russell - Back To The Island
13. Van Morrison - The Way Young Lovers Do (R)
14. ("Lost & Found" concert report w/background music):
- Country Joe & The Fish - Eastern Jam
15. Canned Heat - Goin' Up The Country (R) (Live at Woodstock)
16. The Band - Jemimah Surrender
17. Donovan - Oh, Gosh

Eli Polonsky


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