October 6th, 2008

Syd Barrett

Last week, Syd and I went to see Rock & Roll at A.C.T. Go see it. Now. It was amazing. The power of individuality and the importance of personal resistance to totalitarian forces shone through in this story of communism in Czechoslovakia. Plus: really good soundtrack.

Syd got his first name from one of his dad’s heros, Syd Barrett, founding member of Pink Floyd, and inspiring genius of this play. So it was particularly appropriate to see the show with him. When Rick and I divorced, I lost access to the Pink Floyd albums, and there were a lot of them: over 100 just in bootleg editions. I didn’t mind. It’s only about now that I am no longer sick to death of all things Pink Floyd.

A word about bootlegs: they aren’t published through regular channels for a reason. The actual albums of Syd Barrett are not bad listening and often charming. The outtakes and blooper reels may shed light into the workings of creativity and may gladden the hearts of true fanatics, but I can live happily without hearing them again. I did get a good laugh at the excitement of the characters in the play when Opel was released because Rick felt that way, exactly.

Because of Syd Barrett’s sad story, fans have always been protective of him. The wreck he became was an object of pity, honored for what he managed to create before it all fell apart. And yet, he changed the world. He did his work, made his art, lived his life, and we are different for it, more blessed.

May my Syd do as well.