Syd Cheese

by

Infamous lost soul Syd Barrett died last week at his Cambridgeshire, England home; he was 60. Pink Floyd's early leader managed one genius album — 1967's Piper at the Gates of Dawn — and a couple of brilliantly frustrating solo efforts before the onset of narcotics-assisted mental oblivion. Though some would argue he died decades ago, it's nice to think of him whiling away the past 30 years at his pleasant country home, like an extended coda to the poetry, children's books and fantasy that had always inspired him. The Floyd said it best on Wish You Were Here — shine on, you crazy diamond. Here are the Metro Times staff's Barrett-inspired monomanias:

5. Don't freak out: The guy who wrote bleary, shattered-glass noise collages like "Bike" and concocted song titles as elegantly perfect as "Baby Lemonade" was exactly six months older than George W. Bush.

4. The Mustaine Connection: The band that would become Pink Floyd was for a time known as the Meggadeaths. It seems their influence on thrash metal runs deeper than psychedelic poster art and roach clips in late '70s shop classes.

3. Ad wizards: Now that he's gone, will the Madcap Laughs jewel "Terrapin" drift lazily over some slick spot for a car or digital device? Probably; Volkswagen tapped Nick Drake's "Pink Moon," after all.

2. Lucifer Sam: It's probable that the career inspiration for both Sebadoh and the Flaming Lips — maybe even most of indie rock's formative years (Robyn Hitchcock, anyone?) — can be traced directly to this one Piper track.

1. Dark Globe: And finally, Syd himself — I'm only a person with Eskimo chain/I tattooed my brain all the way/Won't you miss me?/Wouldn't you miss me at all?

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