"Irregular Head" book

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zag
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"Irregular Head" book

Post by zag » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:22 pm

Julian Cope review´s "Irregular Head" book
http://www.headheritage.co.uk/addressdrudion/131/

"Okay, let’s move to the reviews section where there’s cause for a huge celebration due to the impending release of the very excellent 400+ page biography SYD BARRETT: A VERY IRREGULAR HEAD by Rob Chapman, whose impeccable research herein is nothing short of that of a Culture Hero. Again and again, Chapman trawls up specific poems and children’s rhymes whence came Syd’s endless lyrical plunderings, until you begin to groan at your hero’s Muse being so spectacularly outed. Specifically? Well, I’m not sure I wished to learn that this section of ‘Octopus’ was a direct lift from Sir Henry Newbolt’s 1931 poem ‘Rilloby Rill’:

‘Madam, you see before you stand,
Heigh ho! Never be still!
The Old Original Favourite Grand
Grasshopper’s Green Herbarian Band,
And the tune we play is Rilloby-rilloby…’

Eventually, Chapman traces a large proportion of Syd’s lyrics to, get this, THE LAUREL & GOLD ANTHOLOGY, first published in 1936. Shit, there goes the charabanc! I’ll not let you down with any more mythbusters: read the book – it’s compelling. Better still, after you’ve finished this book, you’re gonna hate the rest of Pink Floyd even MORE than you already do. Many conspiracy theorists had long suspected (and since before Punk, you young’uns) that R. Waters, N. Mason and R. Wright had railroaded Syd out of his own band because he was no longer capable of ‘playing the game’. Author Rob Chapman, however, presents us with four cynics with such a taste for pop success (and such a fear of impending architect futures should they lose their success) that they arbitrarily changed the rules of the group without informing their leader. So Syd’s one-note-freakouts and refusal to play ‘See Emily Play’ at provincial gigs – an anti-commercial attitude regarded so positively throughout 1967 – are turned against him as evidence of madness when he performs similarly on their US tour. The spineless Richard Wright even admits to sneaking out of the flat he shared with Syd in order to play Pink Floyd gigs. With the abortion that is ‘Wish You Were Here’, these energy vampires demanded that we should feel sorry not for Syd but for THEIR loss of Syd, after it was their goalpost-changing and hiding from him that precipitated his slide into oblivion. Read this book and you’ll agree that Syd’s increasingly plaintive yearning for lost love in the BARRETT and THE MADCAP LAUGHS collections were directed not at some ex-girlfriend but at his former musical partners. “I’m trying to find you”, sang Syd on the MADCAP-outtake ‘Opel’. But his cohorts were actively hiding from him, even his organist flatmate: each so suffocatingly English and proper, so ingrown and unconfrontational that their betrayal became Syd’s only Muse. Read the book, just read the book. Rob Chapman, Sir Rob Chapman, you’re a heartbreaker, sir, but what a heroic piece of Cultural Retrieval. Kiddies, file this sucker next to Paul Drummond’s equally heroic 13th Floor Elevators biog EYE MIND and get trawling eBay for a copy of THE LAUREL & GOLD ANTHOLOGY … The torture never stops!"

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by Stephen » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:30 pm

Might have to buy this.

I agree with him on this point as well, 'With the abortion that is ‘Wish You Were Here’, it always struck me as some mawkish cleansing of their consciences rather than a true regret over Syd not being there.

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by zag » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:45 pm

"energy vampires" LOL (and so true too)

Great interview imo. And yeah, I ordered mine already =P~

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by Jimi Dean Barrett » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:54 pm

I was so-so about buying this book... but Cope's review has made it appear more interesting! I loved the Crazy Diamond but this looks like a better read. Given that it's one man's interpretation of events and not chapter and verse.

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by oldperfume » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:34 pm

I've read enough to know(as some of you probably have!) it wasn't just drugs & that the bottom line is that they were sneaky bastards(R. Wright should be up there apologizing NOW...
In front of God!). These guys never had the guts to do ANYTHING! Waters wrote "The Wall" & boo-hooed about audiences not listening to the music. Try playing a more intimate place than a fucking stadium & we might listen.Tour every couple of years, you pretensious ASSES!! I understand they were all very young at the time but Waters grew up with Syd. Maybe it's me, but I care more for friends, especially when you KNOW something is seriously WRONG with a CHILDHOOD friend, not a fucking acquantance!. Sorry, I'm pissed but they were very cruel to Syd & basically even ganged up on him in the studio, from what I've heard. Pre-ordered my copy today & told my oldest friend that I'll pass on Waters' tickets in Sept when he comes here. He truly is a parasite.....

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by my breakfast. » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:48 pm

Its a viewpoint that is not going to please the "Pink Floyd is not pop" crowd... I am interested in this book a lot having read Julian Cope's assessment.

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by zag » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:54 pm

from sydbarrett.com

Rob Chapman's new, 400-page biography of Syd has already been favourably reviewed (a 'sympathetic, fascinating book' – The WORD; 'the most diligent yet' – Q Magazine), and we are pleased to be able to offer you a glimpse of it, by kind permission of Rob and publishers Faber & Faber.

Like his brothers and his father before him, Roger was a keen Scout, and it was here that school friends remember him first taking an interest in the guitar. 'I remember Roger from when he joined our school in September 1957,' says Geoff Leyshon. 'He joined the school Scout group, of which I was a member. I think he was in Mick Taylor's patrol. Mick and I could claim to have taught Roger his first chords on the guitar,' says Leyshon. 'One Saturday morning, we were sorting out equipment prior to summer camp. Mick had brought his guitar along (a Hofner acoustic, I think) and we were having a strum. Roger expressed an interest as any thirteen-year-old would so we showed him how to shape chords. E, A and D, I recollect, good enough for most twelve-bar R&R numbers.'

According to Leyshon it was also during this period that Roger became Syd. 'The "Syd" nickname came from that era,' he maintains, 'bestowed around about 1959, when Roger turned up in a flat cap instead of his Scout beret for a field day at Abington Scout site. Some of our more senior and pretentious members thought this was very working-class and promptly nicknamed him "Syd" as this was felt to be a lower-class name, I suppose, and it stuck.' Leyshon's recollections pre-date all previous accounts about how 'Roger' became 'Syd'. The most commonly aired theory was that there was a jazz musician in Cambridge, a bass player known as Sid 'the beat' Barrett, who used to play at the Riverside Jazz Club in the early 1960s, which the young Roger used to frequent.

This latter account is of course a more attractive and eminently more hip option, but the truth is that the nickname was bestowed upon Roger by his school seniors and not by the denizens of a jazz club. There is no evidence to suggest that Roger was unhappy with the nickname, and he used both his real name and his nickname interchangeably for several years, although it is significant that he was referred to solely as Roger or 'Rog' in the Barrett household. 'He was never Syd at home,' maintains Rosemary. 'He would never have allowed it.'

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by Damn!t » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:57 am

It's seems I'll have to buy this book.
The reviews are very good.

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by oldperfume » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:54 pm

I was wondering if anyone actually knows WHEN this book is coming out? I thought it was to come out this month but when I look at Barnes & Noble or Borders websites it says that the book is coming in October!? I wanted to get it by the end of the month as I'm having major surgery & want something good to read & what better than a new Syd book!? Please let me know...Thanks everyone!!

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by zag » Sat May 01, 2010 8:32 am

oldperfume wrote:I was wondering if anyone actually knows WHEN this book is coming out?
Well, some people are reading it already and Amazon told me this book has been dispatched so my wild guess is anytime soon.

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by zag » Sat May 01, 2010 8:44 am

Here´s another review
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/ap ... ead-review

"Barrett's story has often shaded into mythology. Chapman aims to put the record straight. He pinpoints journalist Nick Kent's epic 1974 NME feature, "The Cracked Ballad of Syd Barrett" as the beginning of the myth of Syd. Among the second-hand stories that Kent passed on was the one about Barrett appearing on stage with his hair smeared in Brylcreem and ground-up Mandrax tablets that then melted over his face under the stage lights. That story, like the one about an acid-addled Syd locking his girlfriend in a cupboard and feeding her water biscuits, were both made up but went unquestioned over the years. Both speak of our need to embellish the lives of even the most extreme characters."

"Chapman has unravelled the skeins of rumour, exaggeration and anecdote that have been wound so tightly around Barrett. He questions, for instance, the received wisdom concerning the momentum of Barrett's descent into mental turmoil and offers persuasive evidence that his many acts of sabotage with the suddenly famous Pink Floyd in 1967 were designed to derail what he saw as the group's artistic compromise."

"In Chapman's words: "Syd was exploring sardonic gestures of defiance." These included his insistence on playing one note constantly during live shows and the recording session in which he introduced a new song called "Have You Got It Yet?", the structure of which he kept changing each time he played it to them."

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by Duckboy » Sat May 01, 2010 10:46 am

my breakfast. wrote:Its a viewpoint that is not going to please the "Pink Floyd is not pop" crowd... I am interested in this book a lot having read Julian Cope's assessment.
I don't think anyone could rightfully argue that they weren't trying to be, with their singles at the time, (eg Point Me at the Sky, See Emily Play, Arnold Layne, It Would Be So Nice) so really who cares about their opinion?
I'd be interested to read it to see if Cope has got genuine evidence against the popular belief that Syd wasn't "with it" and that's why he got kicked out.

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by zag » Sun May 02, 2010 2:12 pm

Duckboy wrote:I don't think anyone could rightfully argue that they weren't trying to be, with their singles at the time, (eg Point Me at the Sky, See Emily Play, Arnold Layne, It Would Be So Nice) so really who cares about their opinion?
I'd be interested to read it to see if Cope has got genuine evidence against the popular belief that Syd wasn't "with it" and that's why he got kicked out.
Well, Normal Smith said Syd wasn´t happy about recording singles, in fact Waters told to Disc and Music Echo: "I lie and I´m rather aggressive. I want to be successful and loved in everything I turn my hand to".

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by oldperfume » Mon May 03, 2010 6:05 pm

Unfortunately, I live in the US & I was wondering why the "Irregular Head" book is out for the UK but in the US it's not being released till October of this year? Why don't they release it at the same time for Syd freaks like me?? Please help!

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Re: "Irregular Head" book

Post by gnomish » Mon May 03, 2010 6:45 pm

I think you can buy the book from amazon uk and have it sent to the states or you can wait for ebay like me.