Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

All discussion related to Roger Keith (Syd) Barrett.
TrainCarBike
Embryo
Embryo
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:48 pm

Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by TrainCarBike » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:22 pm

Who broke his heart? Who do you think was the love of his life? You can sense his heartbreak in songs like Jugband Blues.
Why was he so lonely?
I read some of his lyrics from time to time, they really make me feel sad for him.

Oh and this is my first post! Hi!!!
Last edited by TrainCarBike on Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TrainCarBike
Embryo
Embryo
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:48 pm

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by TrainCarBike » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:33 pm

anyone? Thats a lovely way to treat a newcomer!

TrainCarBike
Embryo
Embryo
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:48 pm

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by TrainCarBike » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:15 pm

bump!

User avatar
my breakfast.
Supreme Lord!
Supreme Lord!
Posts: 10913
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 8:17 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Edinburgh - Scotland

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by my breakfast. » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:25 pm

You waited a whole 11 minutes before your follow up post. :?

Syd was probably not so much heartbroken by a girl so much as how the music scene he had been a part of ended up going. In early 1967 he was in an experimental rock band playing noisy gigs to a small selected lucky few, whilst mainline pop music was playing on the radio with no regards to the LSD movement.

Firstly, the good Sandoz LSD ran out as the police cracked down on the distribution of the stuff, so whatever higher consciousness or spirituality glimpsed by those psychonauts was quickly shelved as the good LSD was all but gone.

Secondly, Pink Floyd became popular with the song See Emily Play, but they became silly popular. They lost their thinking man's cred right away and instead had a teeny-bopper anthem. Syd was the pinup poster boy for this bubblegum psychedelia he had little or nothing to do with.

Thirdly, they had to tour the band around the UK. Most people at their gigs would have heard See Emily Play, and instead went to see the band who would play experimental long and winding instrumental passages onstage, quite the opposite of the band on the radio (or miming See Emily Play on Top of the Pops).

Fourthly, because of this they would get abuse at shows, and were generally aware that their switched on LSD music was actually only working correctly within a small strata of London's social scene within a small area of the city, and that the rest of the UK was massively far behind.

Fifthy, and importantly, psychedelia became more popular. Who knows how much LSD The Who took, for instance, but they threw out their mod clothes and crudely adopted the clothes Syd had naturally taken a fancy too in order to try and hack into the same demographic, but without using the same motivational belief systems that Syd and co used. Other bands also muscled in on the act as they saw psychedelia as being the 'next big thing' in a music industry that was run by sharks like Andrew Loog Oldham who all secretly believed pop music was a bubble ready to burst (and therefore tried to make as much money in the times of plenty by following any trend).

This dulling and commercialising of quite a naive but fully-fledged movement dragged the music Syd was making back from the brink of being a total change-of-life combination of sounds and lights and instead was turned back into the noisy grotty underhanded beer-spilling music thuggery the band had been trying to get away from, and suddenly Syd is finding himself sharing column space with The Monkees instead of serious art, spiritual or philosophical discussion.

Sixthly, Syd's own bandmates were shopping the band away from under him. Piper At the Gates of Dawn was partly ruined (or at least rendered misleading) through its airy and easy-listening mix with a lot of Pink Floyd's aggressive live show sound smoothed down and polished up (with twee harmonies and whacky overdubs to make it more psychedelic (C) ). Syd objected to this, but the others saw it as an easy way to cement their place in the music business. Afterall they had quit lucerative (and expensive) architectural university courses to have a go at the pop malarky and no doubt wanted to see some serious dough for their academic loss. Therefore Syd realised his own band was turning into a pop act and pushing for the recording of more contrived (even heavy and dark psychedelic rock can be contrived, as in Let There Be More Light).

Syd himself was cast out the band for not going along with this new pop game, and in my opinion an awful lot of spin and bullshit was said about him then (and since) by people trying to justify the actions of his band mates. You also get the preachy too-pussy-to-take-drugs-but-will-judge-them-anyway crowd who would use his story as a stern anti-LSD message. Hell even the guys who took LSD usually went down the rigerously planned and facistic teachings of Hoffman (here is exactly how to take LSD kiddies, don't do anything otherwise!!!) so the whole thing is convoluted.

Having been in several bands I can tell you that "Have You Got It Yet" happens to us all. One band member comes in far more enthusiastic about an idea they have than the actual idea has been thought through, so yes I've seen guitarists change the tune as they play it and insist otherwise. Its not that uncommon, but in a rehearsal room where you are looking for 101 reasons to kick out Syd I can see why they would have said "this guy is mad". Listen to Syd's solo albums and you can tell his sense of rhythm is utterly shite and without the thumping Waters and Mason metronome he was prone to shitting about the beat quite badly. Not insanity at all.

Syd didn't have enough of an individual art talent to fall back on OR a clear road of well-defined academia to fall back on. Psychedelic drugs tend to have a certain level of ego destruction. Having been there myself I never really understood how this worked until I had an experience whereby I realised that I was basically the same person as I was when I was say 3, but I have thrown up an awful lot of stuff by which to define myself, or so that others understand who I am, and therefore when this who 'eggshell' starts to crumble you are left back at stage one. Enough weed smoking will do this to you, and with weed you get the uncanny problem of starting to believe every brainfart that your unconscious mind comes up with as being true. You can end up with a big misanthropy problem when you smoke weed a lot, or take other mind-spraining drugs and think "actually its not worth trying hard enough to fit into a society I can see such gaping flaws in". Syd took far more drugs (of unknown concentrations) in a short space of time than a lot of students do in 4 years of debauchery, and if you combine this with a creative personality, a slightly socially inept personality and an addictive personality you will end up breaking down the idea of who you actually are to such a stunning degree that armchair psycholigists can daub you Schizophrenic or Autistic whilst hiding behind the protective blanket of NME column space or whatever.

Just my $0.02, I've been Java programming and needed to vent!

TrainCarBike
Embryo
Embryo
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:48 pm

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by TrainCarBike » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:48 pm

I actually edited it recently. I made my first two posts ages ago.
But thank you so much for your effort, btw.
I dunno know, I thought Roger etc were jealous of Syd, how can he be soo crazy yet be able to write lyrics for albums such as 'The Madcap Laughs' and 'Barrett'. His songs made a lot of sense. I'm confused.

User avatar
my breakfast.
Supreme Lord!
Supreme Lord!
Posts: 10913
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 8:17 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Edinburgh - Scotland

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by my breakfast. » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:59 pm

The word "crazy" is so self-contained with social stigmas that it can just be rolled out whenever you want to downplay somebody. In a similar way you can knock the wind out of anybody's sails today by calling them "racist" or "homophobic" even if you only perceive the minutest trace of either hatred in their messages. I guess I could go deeper and say that to a war-obsessed shit-poor country that Britain was in the 1960s they wanted an easy-thinking closet-thinking safe haven, and people like Syd rocked the boat a little too much. He was at odds with an awful lot of a society that was still chemically castrating homosexuals only a decade previously (to use on example of the general dark-ages mentality that was around back then). To say a guy who wore effeminate clothing, played guitar the 'improper way', took a lot of drugs, hung out with a lot of chicks (many of whome he pulled) AND wrote weird lyrics was "mad" or "crazy" was a lot easier than to deal with such a leftfield guy directly.

TrainCarBike
Embryo
Embryo
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:48 pm

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by TrainCarBike » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:03 pm

'hung out with a lot of chicks' ha ha. Thanks a lot, man.
Do you know how Syd felt after being kicked out of his own band?

Jimi Dean Barrett
Hammer
Hammer
Posts: 1233
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:30 pm

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by Jimi Dean Barrett » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:38 am

But who says his heartbreak began in 1967? I think he never really got over the death of his Dad.
I was younger than Syd when my Dad died and it did fuck me up. Fell out with a friend who said "Your over it now, aren't you?" a few years later. What a bastard!
Doesn't matter how many women he slept with, how many people stroked their chins at his gigs or even how much LSD he took. (And can I just say it's wonderful to see it written as LSD and not "acid" or"trips"?) It never filled the hole in his soul caused by the death of his Dad.

This is just my opinion and should not be confused with actual fact however.

TrainCarBike
Embryo
Embryo
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:48 pm

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by TrainCarBike » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:48 pm

Thank you.
I always found it weird that his dad died at 12, yet people never mention it when discussing his breakdown. They seem to treat it like a throwaway fact. But I always thought it was a lovesick since he mentions a 'she' quite a bit, on his songs.
Please feel free to give more suggestions.

Jimi Dean Barrett
Hammer
Hammer
Posts: 1233
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:30 pm

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by Jimi Dean Barrett » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:16 pm

TrainCarBike wrote:Thank you.
I always found it weird that his dad died at 12, yet people never mention it when discussing his breakdown. They seem to treat it like a throwaway fact. But I always thought it was a lovesick since he mentions a 'she' quite a bit, on his songs.
Please feel free to give more suggestions.
Well look at how the death of his Dad had an effect on Roger Waters! <.8.>
I think I'm onto something here. Thanks for making this thread.

User avatar
Idisaffect
Judge!
Judge!
Posts: 2039
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:20 am
Gender: Male
Location: here now

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by Idisaffect » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:57 pm

How come no one here ever suggests that Syd was a victim of some insidious political plot? In America, during the sixties, and still today, there were endless conspiracy theories about lsd, hippie culture and the CIA. There were a lot of mysterious deaths and freak outs. Was Barrett perhaps slipped a bad dose of some horrible experimental drug?

TrainCarBike
Embryo
Embryo
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:48 pm

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by TrainCarBike » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:16 pm

Idisaffect wrote:How come no one here ever suggests that Syd was a victim of some insidious political plot? In America, during the sixties, and still today, there were endless conspiracy theories about lsd, hippie culture and the CIA. There were a lot of mysterious deaths and freak outs. Was Barrett perhaps slipped a bad dose of some horrible experimental drug?
Yeah, but do you mean the government wanted to off him?
I read that on some conspiracy sites?
Why would the government want to get rid of him?

User avatar
Meandthem
Blade
Blade
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 1:06 pm
Gender: Male
Location: In the shadow with a cold beer

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by Meandthem » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:42 pm

He could be the one on the "Grassy" Knoll !
Nah, just kidding...

He was just eight miles high - the others couldn't cope with it. Psychotic...
The lyrics is the smallest part of it!
Would have exploded myself, if trying to get hold on the rhyme and syntax, there, in the cellar - and that guy kept saying "No, not like that - like this!" while playing it differently every *ucking time!

User avatar
Idisaffect
Judge!
Judge!
Posts: 2039
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:20 am
Gender: Male
Location: here now

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by Idisaffect » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:26 pm

TrainCarBike wrote:
Idisaffect wrote:How come no one here ever suggests that Syd was a victim of some insidious political plot? In America, during the sixties, and still today, there were endless conspiracy theories about lsd, hippie culture and the CIA. There were a lot of mysterious deaths and freak outs. Was Barrett perhaps slipped a bad dose of some horrible experimental drug?
Yeah, but do you mean the government wanted to off him?
I read that on some conspiracy sites?
Why would the government want to get rid of him?
I don't believe that, I just wonder why it is not talked about the way the American hippie culture is always linked to the CIA MK ULTRA project etc. It is possible that someone wanted to render Barrett ineffective. I don't think too much about it but it does occur to me. Why? Because so many other "leaders" of that era were offed.

User avatar
my breakfast.
Supreme Lord!
Supreme Lord!
Posts: 10913
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 8:17 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Edinburgh - Scotland

Re: Why was Syd Barrett so heartbroken??

Post by my breakfast. » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:10 pm

I think it must be a UK/USA thing. Conspiracy theorists have far less impact here, whereas it seems a very valid lifestyle choice in the US if you take US-orientated websites like Godlyke Productions and Above Top Secret into account.

Isn't there still meant to be a barrel of high quality LSD floating around out there somewhere forgotten at the back of a lab?