Thursday, April 28, 2005

Syd Barrett

How does Syd Barrett comes up with such strange questions? "What color is sound" is this a real question? Well, for Syd it really is or was. In the article called "Syd Barrett" by B. Hogg and published in January 1993; the author writes about how Syd has always been concerned about such philosophical nature of colors and sounds. Because Syd was an artist, besides being an extraordinary composer, he was also a great painter. Although he has been apart from Pink Floyd long ago, he has been the subject of fervent debate since before living the band.

The author starts out his article by saying how the Pink Floyd begun. Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett was born in Cambridge on January 6 1946. He attended the city High Scholl, where he met Roger Waters and David Guilmour. They said that Barrett had obsessions for music, painting and religion, but suddenly he stopped. He started to shut himself off slowly. That's what drugs can do to you. Too bad Syd couldn't resist it. We would've had a lot of him still.

While he was attending London's Camberwell School of art, Waters was studying architecture at regent Street Polytechnic, where he formed a band with Nick Mason and Rick Wright. Then, Waters invited Syd to join them. By 1965 they reconvened as The Pink Floyd Sound, a name Syd had coined from an album by Georgia blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. And within weeks they started recording in a tiny studio sited in the basement of a house, for a company called Thompsan Private Record Company.

Pink Floyd made their great debut on October 15 1966, at a party at the Roundhouse. They had a lot of power in their songs because they were very original. Syd was the one who had the most inspiration. His influences were the Stones, Beatles, Byrds and Love. The song that confirmed them as national attraction was Arnold Layne, which was from Syd, of course. The author states in the rest of the article, the dates of all their releases and the best albums and songs that made Pink Floyd to be in the Top lists.

Hogg says that Syd started with his drug problems and stopped composing songs. Syd begun to slip into the life or recluse, he declered himself "Totally together."Syd failed the rest of them on many concerts, and many show had to be canceled. But as the autor says, Barrett nonetheless remained the subject of interest and speculation about his future activities. The Pink Floyd track "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" was an unequivocal tribute, from the Floyd to Syd. "And Syd may never record again, and while it's now difficult to divorce the fragile images from the creator's personal traumas, there was a time when many enclosed songs were viewed simply as beguiling. Approach them now in a similar spirit."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Paranoid Floyd

That's why people likes Pink Floyd. They need no propaganda in order for them to continue being that famous band that they are. Stephen Demorest, author of the article Paranoid Floyd, which was written for the magazine Hit Parader, the spring of 1977; he published this article to inform the audience about Pink Floyd's new album released in that year, which was titled "Animals." He describes this album as a thinly-disguised sliced of weighty social commentary such as only the concerned English people can do, like the well known Ray Davis, who came to the author's mind as a good example.

The author says that Pink Floyd is a classic rock band who has the first place of acting like recluses, they have always lived apart from society. Because this article was written in 1977, when the Pink Floyd was still working together, the author says that when Pink Floyd vanishes, they woud make sure nobody would care that they were missing. He also says that Pink Floyd made their millions on a ninth album which hung in the charts almost as long as George Blanda hung on with the Oakland Raiders.

Stephen Demorest was told by Roger Waters about some of the problems they had when they did tours. Waters admitted he thought that some of their last tours were 'unpleasant, unnerving and upsetting.' He felt alienation from his fans. He says that "the quality of life is full of stress and pain in most of the people I meet--and myself." As a matter of fact, because of all these thoughts that he has had throughout his entire life, he is the one who writes almost all the lyrics of Pink Floyd.

In past albums, Waters has been ciynical about the business world. He has also criticized the self-deception and idleness of the "mature." This album wouldn't be the exception to stop his criticism. In Animals he makes his distressing observations more powerful by makingmore coherent allegorical quality of the lyrics, which figure more prominently than past albums. He introduces the idea that if we all didn't care about one another, life would be lonely, miserable and frightening. He says that we need to care about eachother afterall, because it is only in this common humanity that we can find shelter. I think that this is true, and I agree with him.

Demorest says that there are only three major tracks on Anomals--Dogs, Pings and Sheep--but each fable has plenty of telling remarks about inhumanity among the beasts of the earth, along with the fabulously rich instrumentals Pink Floyd is known for. For the author, "Dogs" is Waters' most effective indictment yet of the predatory ruthlessness of modern commercial society which destroys souls, where the music isn't particularly harsh, but it's the lyrics that really deliever the goods, though, describing the horror of being sucked into the web.

Pigs introduces three varieties of gluttons. One of them is a token patriot who is despised for his greed. The second is a sadistic older woman, and the third is a Britain's official censor. In this song the music is a strongly visual mixture. It is a muscular track, but the author says that its lyrics are even more slashing. The Sheep section is somewhat more confusing, says Stephen. These cowards (the Sheep) are no better off than the Dogs or the Pigs. Sheep are meek and obedient people who don't want to get involved, who "prentend the danger's not real... Only dimly aware of certain unease in the air." Ultimately, though, they have to wake up to reality.

That's what Demorest wrote in his article. These three animals represent every person. All people act like animals sometimes, and this album is an example of what Waters have seen in everyone. He has seen dogs, people who bite other people; pigs, who are interested in mistreating others; and sheep, afraid of being themselves. Which animal does Waters acts like? Which of these three animals do we act most like? This question is one that we should ask ourselves and find why are we behaving that way.

Friday, April 15, 2005

New Musical Express

What a life! Who would imagine that the brilliant song-writer from the Pink Floyd band, Syd Barrett would turn out into a schizophreniac, dement and crazy guy, which is basically the same thing. In the article called "New Musical Express" written by Nick Kent and published on April 13, 1974; the author talks about the strange tales, stories and anecdotes which surrounded the life of the legendary classic rock musician from the classic rock band Pink Floyd: the unforgotten Syd Barrett.

Some of this tales, anecdotes and stories are only fiction, while others are fact. But the author took the time to interview a lot of people who were close to Syd. Some of them are David Gilmour, from the Floyd, Peter Jenner and Jonh "Hoppy" Hopkins, Pink Floyd's managers. Storm, a fellow townsman who was a well respected record-sleeve design company who had a close and solid relationship all along with the Floyd.

Storm told the author that he remembers Syd as a bright, extrovert kid, smoked dope, pulled chicks, the usual things. He had no problems on the surface. He was no introvert as Storm could see back then. Storm also told Nick Kent that Syd wanted to get involved in an obscure form of eastern mysticism known as "Sant Saji" which involved heavy bouts of meditation and much contemplation on purity and inner light. Syd attempted to involve himself in faith, but he was turned out for being too young. According to Storm, this affected Syd quite deeply.

The thing with religion was responsible of the great phobia about age, that Syd always had. As soon as he lost his interest in spiritualism, he also gave up his painting. Gilmour said that even though Barrett's painting showed exceptional potential, because he was a great artist, he just stopped. First the religion, then the painting. Syd was starting to shut himself off slowly then.

But Syd was amazingly a great artist. His inventiveness was quite outstanding. All the songs they had when they first started, where written by him in no more than six months. His influences were very much of the Stones and the Beatles. But strange things started to happen when "See Emily Play" was on Top Five and the manager wanted to take it to the Top of The Pops. One time Jonh Lennon stated publicly that he wouldn't appear on Top of The Pops. Syd seemed to envisage Lennon as some sort of yardstick by which to measure himself, and he always complained that John Lennon owned a house, while he only had a flat.

The author states that after those things happening to Syd, there were far darker manifestations of a definite impending imbalnace in the Barrett psyche. Syd had a relationship with girl named Lynsey, and he would beat her up and lock her in a room. After Syd was more in drugs, his head would tilt back slightly, the eyes would get misty and bloated. They would stare right at you and right through you at the same time.

The boy genius was fast becoming mentally totally unhinged. Perhaps it was the drugs. But Syd dilemma streched back to certain chidhood traumas. Peter Jenner said in this interview that he thinks the managers tended to underrate the extend of his problems. Jenner himself regrets to have made demands on Syd to pressure him into a state of paranoia about having to come up with another hit single. His madness was too much to handle. He just couldn't be communicated with. Syd actually knew what was happening to him, and Jug Band Blues was the ultimate self-diagnosison a state of schizophrenia.
During nationwide tours Syd often wouldn't turn up on time, sometimes didn't play at all, sat by himself on the tour coach. Did't talk to anyone. He was into this thing of total anarchistic experiment and never really considered the other members of the band.

What happened to the Pink Floyd is history, they survived and flourished off on their own more electronic tangent, while Syd didn't. All the stories told to Nick Kent were from semi-authentic sources. More than likely, most of them are total fabrications. One thing though appears to be clear; Syd Barrett was unable to write songs or like Jenner said:"Either that or he wrote songs and wouldn't show them to anyone." And it's ironic, he's much bigger now as the silent cult-figure doing thenothing than he was when functioning.

Still, some people claim that Syd was on a higher cosmic level, but basically there was something drastically wrong, and it's a tragedy- a great tragedy because he was an innovator. One of the three or four greats along with Dylan. Jenner knew it was something definately wrong with Syd because he wasn't happy. But it was all part of being a "legend i n your own lifetime."

Monday, April 11, 2005

Floyd's 'Pulse' is weak

Why is it that some people think that Pink Floyd's albums are not strong anymore as they used to be? Or at least that is what Tirzah Agassi thinks and what he published on his article called "Floyd's 'Pulse' is weak." This is a Jerusalem Post from 06-13-1995. In this article, Agassi wants to tell the audience why he thinks that this album from Pink Floyd titled 'Pulse' is not good enough for him.

The author says that the cover of the album it's really pretty. He even described it to his audience. Supposedly it shows a dilated blue iris with a globe about to role into or out of it's pupil, -he doesn't even know if it's into or out of. He also described a sea, some sand, clouds and angels. Oh, and a band of swishing-tailed sperm emerging from sea-spary. This is the fascinating about the album. Only it's cover.

For Agassi, the bad thing about the album, is that the music inside the package is less 'fascinating' than it's cover. Well, that's almost nothing. But he still, encourages everyone who likes Pink Floyd's music, to listen to Pulse. Although he didn't like this album, he recognizes the Pink Floyd is a super group. Good for him.

Agassi thinks that probably Pink Floyd blowed all up because they needed Waters' help in order to make things better. Maybe he sees that, because he liked Pink Floyd better when Waters was with them. I don't really see why he didn't like Pulse. I think this recopilation of good songs is what all the fans really wanted to have. All our favorite songs in one single album. For me it is good.

The writer says that Pink Floyd's fluidity makes them sound creakily dated. The sound is always mixed up with a strange satellite beeps and bleeps. He also says that this new disc is an example of a powerful new musical form, between raw rowdiness and sophisticated poetry, which is compared to the same kind of music Jim Morrison, from The Doors band, used to make.

At the last paragraph he makes a reminder that sometimes the best and the brightest are actually dumb when it comes to self-preservation, a fact that makes Pink Floyd's staying power look pretty good. This is what this author thinks about Pink Floyd and their 'Pulse' album. Now is up to us if we want to believe in him, or if we want to judge for ourselves.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


What has happened to those past years when the Pink Floyd used to create such a good music? In the article called Weighty taken from Q Magazine, published in May 1994 and transcribed by Zobiezee, the author does an album review of the Pink Floyd's album titled The Division Bell. The author wants to present this album to the audience and let them know about everything related to each song, and talk about the good and bad things from the album.

The Division Bell is an album where David Gilmour, Rick Wright and Nick Mason worked on. These three members of the band started improvising together because they wanted to have the Floyd again doing something new. They thought that their new album took them to back to their Golden Age; a long time ago, when they did not have any kinds of problems as the ones they had with Waters, and before they separated from Barrett.

The author says that the recovery of the past is more than a matter of propaganda. This is because Wright had first lead vocal since 1973. Dick Parry, the band's old sax associate, re-emerged like a synbolic seal on the moddle aged Pink Floyd's retrospective yearnings, since his last appearance in 1975. After Parry was apart from the music for so many years, he decided he wanted to play again with the Great Pink Floyd.

For the author the music of Pink Floyd is hallmaked because they are unmistakable. They sure are. They can make music and sounds from different kinds of thing, even from some eggs frying. Their music sounds terrific. They just sort of stand there and do it. Audience speculation is encouraged, and that's very well the point. The writter says that there's a song from the album called What Do You Want From Me, where Gilmour the rock star, being striden and angry, bitches at his audience. But with his guitar in a most atately fury and the girls soul-choiring along, it's just plain weighty. There's also another song addressed to a friend now distanced, but it depends on the people who listen to the song, to decide to whom is referred to, if Waters or Barrett: "Why did we tell you then/You were always the Golden Boy." This song makes the whole album to fall from grace.

The author blames Gilmour to be the respnsible one who leaded the band to lose their intensity. He thinks that his guitar playing falls too often into the expected patterns, those patterns are indetifiable, but not distinguished. Maybe it is true, but I think that no matter what, Gilmour is one of the best guitarists of all times, and t doesn't matter how often he moves into the routine. Everyone knows that he's capable to whatever he wants to do in his solos, he is really quality.

There's another song where Gilmour groans that he's drowning in a sea of failed communication, it's probably with his wife, or perhaps with Waters yet again? Loss for Words is another song that survives the loss brand identify very well, it seems that Gilmour adopted a distinctly Dylanish drawl.

Still the Division Bell is musically immutable Pink Floyd style, awash with reminders and back references. At the end of the article, the author makes an open question to everyone, "Consider how peculiarly hard is to imagine what reactions this album would've proveked if Pink Floyd were unknown and this were their debut"? Now, this album might have been withheld from public. I still liked it.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Film of the 80's

What a film! The Pink Floyd band released their first film based on their succesful rock album called "The Wall." On the article "Pink Floyd The Wall" which was taken by Magill's Survey of Cinema, 06-15-1995; we can see that the main purpose of this article is to tell what this film is all about. The director of the film was Alan Parker, who with his creativity in motion, was capable to fashion a film out of the music and lyrics written by the Pink Floyd bassist: Roger Waters, who we all know by now.

Pink Floyd The Wall began as an album originally planned by Roger Waters, to be both a stage show and a film. Waters was the one who composed all the original music. He was inspired by the isolation he has experienced throughout his life on stage. This film presents a violent, disturbing insight into a burned-out rock star. Through flashbacks and hallucinations, Pink explores the conveyor belt regimentation of his school days, his power over his audience and fans, which became a dictatorial hold similar to the power Hitler had over his race. Pink also experienced an extreme fearfulness toward women, which he saw as rapacious devourers.

The author noticed that as Pink is having all kinds of hallucinations, he's constructing a wall. This metaphorical wall also comes tumbling down while he explores his self-alienationhe has constructed around him. We can easily underatnd that Pink became a mouthoiece for Waters' opinions and an instrument through which he could exorcise his demonds. Although this film was all Waters' idea, he couldn't play Pink, because he was too close to the material. The one chosen to play Pink's role was Bob Geldof, the lead singer of the Irish group "The Boomtown Rats." He was chosen because of his thetrical quality of his live performances. Geldof, who wasn't a Pink Floyd fan, thought that "Pink" was a pathetic figure who was full of self-pity, which is true.

The character of Pink is a man who is self-consciusly destroying himself. He had lots of problems and issues throughout his entire life. At the very moment his father was killed in Italy during World War II, Pink was being born in London, so he grew up fatherless. At school Pink was intellectually repressed by the schoolmasters, the teachers. But that wasn't all. As we can see in the film he feels hatred of an hostility toward women. And on the video, there are no tender moments between men and women. The author states that for Pink, women are repressive mothers, cheating wives, devouring monsters, insipids and immorals. I wonder if, that's what Waters really feels?

The article says that Pink's private world is frought with grotesque memories and hallucinogenic sequences. When he is alone, which is most of the time, he begins to explore the horrors of his public world as a rock-and-roll demagogue. During his concerts he appears as an unfeeling tool of the music, he feels his emotions slipping away. That's what drugs can do. The good thing about drugs or its good side is that one would never feel alone, because of the hallucinations and all those strange things one can see. Now, can you imagine the bad side?

The author says that it was hard to secure the backing for Pink Floyd The Wall. The backers were wary of still another concert film, and were not sure if it was a good idea to sign the checks to cover the eleven-million dollar budget. Once they signed, and the financial backing was secure, they started their filming project. Many people probably think that Pink Floyd The Wall is simply another "concert film," but it is not. Pink Floyd The Wall is, like the author says on his last paragraph, "an agonized story of postwar decadence, a fable marred by confused intentions, a film which encourages many of the excesses against which it is ostensibly directed."

I personally liked this film. I've watched it a lot of times and I don't grow tired of it. Although this film has a problem, and could be bad for some people, because of its tone; which lacks of humor and self-mockery. But over all it's okay, and I hope everyone would get a chance to watch it and try to enjoy it.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Manager's Tale

Who would imagine that Peter Jenner, manager of Pink Floyd, didn't have any faith in the band members; except for Syd Barret, so if that's true, then what happened to him when Syd left the band? On the article called "The manager's tale" which is taken from an interview by Robert Sandall made to Peter Jenner; the author says that the first edition of Pink Floyd was a six-way partnership, and that Peter Jenner was very important to it. What the writer really wants to inform his audience is what Jenner thought about the band when he first met them and also what happened with him after Syd left the band.

Peter Jenner says that the first time he saw the band playing during mid-60s at the Marquee, he was fascinated with their music, and he didn't know how could they play such a good music. Their music had weird breaks and espectacular solos. So he instantly thought of working with them, supposedly a "pop band", and like everyone knows, pop can sell more records than anything else.

Jenner mentioned working with Eric Clapton before working with the Floyd. But he says that Clapton was harder to work with than the Floyd. Why? Because Eric didn't have a 'comfortable background' as the Floyd did. These guys didn't care about money, they were all middle-class boys, and for Peter it was better to work with people with no financial needs. Peter claims to be the one to build the Pink Floyd's first light show, which wasn't as good as those that came after when they had more money to produce better shows. He also gave them ideas of how to do their new materials and stuff like that.

Jenner says that when he first met them, they didn't do drugs. Well, only Syd, but he only used to smoke marijuana. But that was only the starting point of damaged life like his. Then he started doing acid, and Jenner says that Syd even got into the religious aspect of it. Meanwhile, the rest of them were clean of everything. No alchohol, nor drugs. He also says the reason why he got on with Syd, was because they used to smoke "a lot" of pot together. No wonder they liked eachother!

Peter talked about the qualities, weaknesses and stregths of the band members. For him, Syd was the main artist. The one with the most creativity to write songs; with drawings and paintings with different coloured circles Syd represented his his songs, Peter says. The lyrics of his songs would just poured out. Without difficulties. It was Syd's best quality.
Roger. Peter wasn't very friendly with him as with the rest, even though Roger was very argumentative, very intelligent, they didn't have too much communication between them. But he respected him as a businessman. Also because he was the only one in the band with the courage to kick Syd out of the band, because he knew that syd wasn't contributing to the group's work. We know how bad drugs can take us.
As for Rick Mason, he was the best, 'strongest' musician. But he was very weak, fragile and a shy, private person; whom fame was very hard to handle with.
By that time Peter didn't know David Gilmour yet. The only think Dave was know for was because he was a very good guitarist, he could do Jimi Hendrix.

Jenner says that when the band asked him what he thought about the idea of being without Syd, he wanted to start laughing, because in reality he never thought that they would do it without Barrett. He never imagined Waters as the leader of the band, but he actually might have put miney on Rick as leader. Peter Jenner says that after all he is happy to admit that he was "absolutely wrong." Since then he has been taking care of the Floyd, and he recognize that they're incredibly honourable. We all know that.