by Robert Wilkinson
Today would have been Syd Barrett’s birthday. A legendary and tragic figure in the history of pop music, he was the original genius behind Pink Floyd. We have lots of videos and early tunes! Today we also send up a big happy to the globally loved comedian Mr. Rowan Atkinson, aka “Mr. Bean.”
First, Big Syd! From Wikipedia: Syd Barrett (6 January 1946 – 7 July 2006) “was an English singer, songwriter, guitarist, and painter, best remembered as a founder member of the band Pink Floyd. He was the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter during the band's psychedelic years, providing major musical and stylistic direction in their early work. He is credited with creating their name, but left the group in April 1968 amid speculations of mental illness…”
Here are some early Syd Barrett tunes. Definitely psychedelic!
The very first "The Pink Floyd" recording session in the UFO Nightclub from 1966-67 in very Mod, very gear fab Swinging London, via a trailer for a movie! If you want a slice of what life was like when I was young, check it out! Tonite Let's All Make Love in London featuring The Pink Floyd
From Feb 1967, also at the UFO Club, a b/w performance of “Interstellar Overdrive”
From the BBC in 1967, a fantastic early live performance on television with a very snooty commenter up front commenting on how loud they were. Here are Syd and Pink Floyd doing “Pow R Toc H” and “Astronomy Domine”
From French TV in 1968, a live performance of Syd and Pink Floyd doing “Set the Controls”
The original studio version of their first hit, “See Emily Play” (this was on the US release, but not the UK)
Also from their first album, “Piper At The Gates of Dawn,”
“Pick Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk” (written by Roger Waters, but psychedelic nonetheless!)
And so of course, after assembling all of the previous tracks, I found a link to the entire album! For your enjoyment, all 42 minutes of the debut album of one of the most psychedelic groups ever to take the stage!!
From 1967, an audio-only live performance in Copenhagen by Syd and Pink Floyd! “Stoned Alone”
From November 1967, a 43 minute audio-only live performance in Rotterdam by Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett
Last year I had Syd and Pink Floyd in a 1967 one hour 18 minute audio-only “Live at the BBC” clip, but this year it’s disappeared. I gave you 9 minutes further upstream, and I’ll continue with some more clips from that session.
From 1968, the entire Pink Floyd album “Saucerful of Secrets”
Here’s a 1994 tribute documentary film called “Pink Floyd 1967 – Live With Syd Barrett”!
Here’s the entire 57 minutes of Syd Barrett’s first solo album from 1970, “The Madcap Laughs”
Here’s all 46 minutes of Syd Barrett’s 1988 album “Opel”
Here’s an interesting 50 minute film called “The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story”
Here’s a solid one hour documentary on Syd Barrett! The Life of Syd Barrett
For our encore, here's Pink Floyd in 1987 doing a great live performance of their tribute to Syd, "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"
Thanks for kicking the doors open to psychedelia! Your music was definitely weird then, and still holds up to the test of time. You wrote some great tunes, opened the doors to some pretty creative chaos in the studio, and your genius is still honored around the world. RIP, most tripped out brother.
Jan 6 is the birthday of the singular Rowan Atkinson (January 6, 1955), aka "Mr. Bean." This actor-comedian is said to be one of the 50 greatest comedians of all time, and from what I've seen, he's pretty iconic, right up there with Chaplin. So here's a big happy and merry to you, Rowan! Happy retirement, Mr. Bean. I suppose we'll be seeing more of Johnny English. And I hope you'll look up the Pythons, since you're a winning combo!
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson