So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell
Blue skies from pain
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
- Wish you were here (Pink Floyd)
Syd Barrett was a musician, a singer-songwriter, an artist...
He is best known as the founder of the band Pink Floyd,
one of the most successful bands of all times. (250 million albums worldwide)
Syd was also mentally ill.
He played with Pink Floyd for something like 3 or 4 years,
from 1965 to 1968...
and then the strange behavior became too strange.
They would play a concert and Syd would strum only one cord
during the whole show.
Or he would sit and watch them play, like a spectator.
Then he became violent.
The band eventually let him go.
In 1973, Pink Floyd recorded the album DARK SIDE OF THE MOON,
in reference to Syd's mental illness.
It had nothing to do with astrology
and everything to do with lunacy.
It became their best selling album.
In 1975, they recorded WISH YOU WERE HERE...
again, for Syd.
He showed up at the recording session at the Abbey Road studio,
and they barely recognized him.
He had shaved all his hair and his eyebrows,
had gained weight
and was lost and erratic.
While they recorded, he watched across the room,
while he stood and brushed his teeth.
It fascinates me that the life of ONE person can affect so many others.
Millions of people still love and listen to
DARK SIDE OF THE MOON today (including me).
This music wouldn't exist if it weren't for this man
spiralling into the abyss,
and others (his band members) being sensitive to what he was living
and wanting to give their feelings a voice.
Wanting to give his feelings a voice...
I believe we are more often inspired
by the dark side than we are the light side.
It reminds us that we are all human.
This amazes me,
how one life can touch so many others.
This is Syd, during the WISH YOU WERE HERE
recording sessions at Abbey Road studio...
He died in 2006, aged 60, of complications from diabetes.
For those of you not familiar with the song,
Wish you were here...