Shine on you crazy diamond. Today is the birthday of Syd Barrett, born Roger Keith Barrett in 1946.

Shine on you crazy diamond. Today is the birthday of Syd Barrett, born Roger Keith Barrett in 1946.

• Barrett, who died in 2006, founded Pink Floyd with bass guitarist Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Rick Wright in 1965. In1967, Pink Floyd released the singles Arnold Layne (banned by the BBC) and See Emily Play , both written by Syd, and the album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn , again mostly composed by Syd and considered to be one of the greatest British psychedelic albums.

• Sadly, Syd’s fall was as meteoric as his rise. His behavior became increasing erratic and he eventually spent the last 35 years of his life away from the public eye.

• A self portrait of the singer was stolen from the London Idea Generation Gallery, but returned unharmed after a plea was made by the late singer’s girlfriend.See it here:

Wish you were here , Syd! Watch this birthday tribute:

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,

blue skies from pain.

Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?

A smile from a veil?

Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?

Hot ashes for trees?

Hot air for a cool breeze?

Cold comfort for change?

And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.

We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,

Running over the same old ground.

What have we found? The same old fears.

Wish you were here.

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17 Responses to Shine on you crazy diamond. Today is the birthday of Syd Barrett, born Roger Keith Barrett in 1946.

  1. Daniel Mery says:

    He was a great guitar player and Pink Floyd leader


  2. Floyd is my favorite band of all time. Syd was crazy, but he was also the genesis of it all. And that is saying a lot in my book.

    I think I have purchased Dark Side of the Moon at least 10 times in my life, including 3 vinyl copies that I literally wore out from overuse 🙂

  3. Rajini Rao says:

    That’s awesome, Jeff Jockisch ! Dark Side was my constant companion growing up. There is a new boxed set out, have you checked it out? Wondering whether to invest in it. I heard that they may be getting back together (Waters + Gilmour) for the London Olympics!

  4. Wonderful post Rajini Rao 🙂 true music nostalgia and Pink Floyd has always been around and one of my favorite groups …none can do a show like Floyd. Perhaps only Queen 🙂

  5. Rajini Rao I haven’t bought the boxed set yet, but I no doubt will 🙂 Might have to visit London if they do get back together… sad to say that I never saw them live in concert.

  6. Gregory Esau says:

    Pink Floyd, and their music, will be one of the relics from this age that are studied, and played, and followed by music buffs ad historians 100, 200, 300 years from now.

    I’m like Jeff Jockisch , except I’ve lost track of how many copies of Dark Side of the Moon I’ve gone through.

    When Roger Waters toured a few years back, playing Dark Side of the Moon, it was my must see show of that year. Now that he is touring with The Wall, that will be my must see show of this year.

    Thanks, Rajini Rao ! I’ve now found my fellow Pink Floyd fans!!

  7. I wasn’t born in that time period but I definitely grew up listening to their music. Great stuff, I love The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon albums.

  8. its been like an anthem for me, i would listen to their albums every day,

  9. Tom Lee says:

    Rajini Rao Nice post. PF is one of the greatest of all time in U.K. rock scene as well as their traction here in the States as one of the best. I have many of their albums in my collection. Wish you were here was a successful one in their album with the same name. Barrett was a great guitarist for the band. Didn’t know that Waters and Gilmour may be getting back together. I would be fantastic if they would. Thanks for sending your reminder about this post!

  10. josem mo says:

    Having EMI copyright problem when opening video, but I could search and watching other videos of him. Ty.

  11. Andrew Stockall Peter Green may be better at guitar than Syd, but Gilmour is better than both and Page than all three (and I love Fleetwood Mac) :P. He really was mad though; have you read this anecdote on his wikipedia page?

    “According to Roger Waters, Barrett came into what was to be their last practice session with a new song he had dubbed “Have You Got It, Yet?”. The song seemed simple enough when he first presented it to his bandmates, but it soon became impossibly difficult to learn and they eventually realised that while they were practising it, Barrett kept changing the arrangement. He would then play it again, with the arbitrary changes, and sing “Have you got it yet?”. Eventually they realised they never would and that they were simply bearing the brunt of Barrett’s idiosyncratic sense of humour.[17]”

    Pretty amusing, but for all his insanity he really was beautiful in every sense of the word. The video gave me chills… what a guy! Awesome post, and Gregory Esau I saw Roger Waters do The Wall last year and it was excellent. Only wish I could have seen him do Dark Side; I bet that was a real treat!

  12. Thanks Rajini Rao – truly wonderful (once I had found a UK-friendly version). Very nostalgic.

    Lovely anecdote, José P. Llongueras – hilarious.

  13. Great to see Syd’s name honoured, Rajini. Remember “Granchester Meadows”?

    Hear the lark – harken to the barking of the dog-fox gone to ground

    See the flashing of the kingfisher as it splashes through the water

    And a river of green is sliding unseen beneath the trees

    Laughing as it passes…

  14. Who can live without Pink Floyd in their life? Loved the video tribute. Thanks.

  15. Rajini Rao says:

    “On this day in 1968, David Gilmour officially joined Pink Floyd, making the band a five-piece until April that year.” Posted today on PF’s Facebook page, which is very nicely maintained. Great b&w pic of them:

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