Syd goes 'postal' on American Bandstand.

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Syd goes 'postal' on American Bandstand.

Post by my breakfast. »

I've read all sorts of stuff about this video. But to me Syd seems okay on it. The only strange part is where he stares blankly, but he finishes lip synching, and Roger Waters doesn't have to take over, nor do the rest of the band look worried, as they all seem to smile! Watch Roger after the "Thought you might like to Knowwwww" line for example. Also Syd answers questions, so he isn't gone with the faries. My guess is that he is Jet Lagged as he hasn't been in America for more than two days apparently.

Anybody else like to comment?
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Post by countfloyd »

When Dick Clark asked Syd a question, Syd didn't answer, so Clark quickly moved to the other members. There were a couple moments when the camera caught Syd with a blank stare, not lip-synching, so the shots for the duration of the performance were only on Rick, Nick, and Roger. I actually saw this live as a kid (although it took a long time to recall) - my sis caught him not moving his lips. Also, it was originally broadcast in color (but only recorded in black&white). [AB had switched to color only a few months before, for the new fall season of 1967, which is also when all major network shows in the U.S. switched to color (a select few had been color the year previous).]

Of course the other members were not going to appear to be worried during a live TV performance they knew was only going to last under 5 minutes. They could certainly have hid any discomfort for that short of a time, whether they were worried or not.

On the Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd Story, Roger Waters says it was on the Pat Boone Show when Syd wouldn't lip-synch. Also, other accounts state that Syd would not answer any questions on this other show. Unfortunately there does not appear to be any surviving video of the Pat Boone show appearance.
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Post by my breakfast. »

countfloyd wrote:When Dick Clark asked Syd a question, Syd didn't answer.
Not to my knowledge, Syd isn't talkative, but he wasn't a bloody TV celebrity, he was an artist! He is asked something about the duration of the tour, and how long he has been here, and also asked to confirm that he wrote most of the Piper material.

Possibly he was irritated at the inane nature of the questions. After all he asks Roger "What do you make of American food?".
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Post by Chris Moise »

countfloyd wrote:When Dick Clark asked Syd a question, Syd didn't answer, so Clark quickly moved to the other members..
Not true. Syd does answer Clark's questions. See below. The interview is at the end of the clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIR7CbPr3VE
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Post by 2066 »

I see them all glancing at Syd in a way that to me says "Is he going to get through this alright? Will I have to start covering for him at any moment?" I especially picked up on those withering glances of contempt that Roger was sending his way. I can see the daggers coming out of his eyes. He looks really angry.
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Post by zag »

2066 wrote: He looks really angry.
Yes he does. Syd ate all the sugar.
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Post by my breakfast. »

2066 wrote:I see them all glancing at Syd in a way that to me says "Is he going to get through this alright? Will I have to start covering for him at any moment?" I especially picked up on those withering glances of contempt that Roger was sending his way. I can see the daggers coming out of his eyes. He looks really angry.
I completely missed that!
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Post by cymbaline212 »

my breakfast. wrote:
2066 wrote:I see them all glancing at Syd in a way that to me says "Is he going to get through this alright? Will I have to start covering for him at any moment?" I especially picked up on those withering glances of contempt that Roger was sending his way. I can see the daggers coming out of his eyes. He looks really angry.
I completely missed that!
i wouldn't say roger looks angry, i think he is just waiting for syd to do something wrong. right before syd's "thought you might like to knowwww" part the camera focuses on nick and he's smiling at roger and it looks like he is thinking "o god how off is syd gonna be lip syncing this line" and then after the part you can see roger smiling from nick's smile and then it shows nick laughing again ( also looks like he is looking at roger when he laughs ). I think this just shows the light hearted communication between nick and roger. I think syd's lack of motivation to lip sync gives humor to the whole situation, not anger from roger
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Post by mosespa »

I was slightly disappointed when I first saw this, because I was expecting Syd to be completely uncooperative with the lip synch.

I did notice Roger glaring menacingly in Syd's direction...but everything I'd read about this clip seemed to indicate much less involvement on Syd's part than there actually was.

However, you can still see in his eyes that he's checked out. It's just a wee bit disturbing, I feel.
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Post by 2066 »

I wonder how many takes it took just to get that one usable performance? In the Omnibus doc Roger says that they had to do more than one take.
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Post by mhspiper »

There were two performances on "American Bandstand" that night:
"See Emily Play" came first, in which Syd acted supposedly normal, as the footage for that part of th eshow has been deleted. That was followed by Q&A with Dick Clark. They then performed the video of "Apples and Oranges" that we see live floating around in black and white. It was actually originally broadcast in color, but, after the "American Bandstand" archives were wiped, a black-and-white recording was all that remained, along with a few seconds of the interview. Syd actually went "postal" on "The Pat Boone Show," where he hung his arms at his sides and refused to mime. Roger stepped in to save the show. No footage of this show is known to exist. It's a shame, as Syd's descent into madness is one of the most fascinating stories in rock and roll history.
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Post by countfloyd »

It makes me wonder if the loss of the Pat Boone show appearance was intentional. Perhaps Pat Boone and/or his producers found it embarrassing, so they made sure it would disappear permanently.
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Post by mhspiper »

Very, very possible. Even probable.
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Post by snifferdog »

Back in those days, it wasn't uncommon for television stations to erase their tapes and reuse them or just chuck them out. Lots of stuff was lost forever - there wasn't as much value placed on archiving material back then. I think I read somewhere that none of Pink Floyd's appearances on Top of the Pops from the 60s exist anymore. Correct me if I'm wrong on that.
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Post by my breakfast. »

A lot of tape stock was reused, also, it was badly stored, or mislabled. Jimi Hendrix's performance on the Lulu show whereby he changed the song he was playing into Sunshine of Your Love, was missing until the mid 1970s, then only the audio surfaced, later the video surfaced as well, but frankly it shouldn't have needed to surface in the first place! I imagine it would be because Hendrix would be unfashionable in the couple of years after his death, same with Syd Barrett, as Pink Floyd wouldn't want Syd footage themselves (as they changed musical direction completely) and teenyboppers would much rather see Marc Bolan doing Get it On, than Syd doing See Emily Play.