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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006
    That cat's something I can't explain
     
    In a way the mad and maverick visions of Syd Barrett were my musical first love. My youthful awakenings came listening to early Pink Floyd; the first album I bought was that majestic paean to the Madcap, Wish You Were Here; and though I had access to the wealth of fantastic material provided by punk's first wave, the songs which most delighted me in my teens were Syd's very English absurdities - Bike, Scarecrow, Matilda Mother ... I bought a tatty copy of Relics off Tiff Kazeem (not his real name but how he signed the lp) for 50p in 1976 and played it almost non-stop for at least a decade.

    In some ways, there has always been a sense of death about Syd ever since that momentous day in 1968 when he walked out of the music business. A sense of bereavement, certainly, on which the further career of his band was founded. A groundbreaking set of artists producing timeless classics of built-in melancholy and nostalgia, psychedelic pastorales of Albion recalling someone most of us never knew but grew up deeply missing. His legacy is well-established; we feel his loss all the more keenly today.