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Birmingham Blogger

An internet diary by a member of the colourful and active Birmingham community.

Monday, July 17, 2006
Syd Barrett, the former lead singer of Pink Floyd died on Thursday 6/7/2006 aged 60. He was a madcap genius who experimented with drugs and paid the ultimate price. He cracked up, got kicked out of the band and became a recluse. His music will last forever. His iinfluence on the later Pink Floyd albums is undeniable. You can check out all Pink Floyd lyrics.

I am in the process of putting together a new website called Tales of the Asylum. I wanted to add some new poems and Syd's death provided the inspiration for one particulare poem. Here it is:

Psychedelic Syd

An old man died in the asylum last week
He was quite heavy and his hair was receding
He used to rave and rant a lot
And quote weird poetry
He claimed he was a lead singer in a band
Which had some hits in the sixties
They had released an album that did quite well
They toured all the psychedelic clubs around the country
The music was literally mind-blowing
Ten minutes of thrashing guitars and drums
Psychedelic slideshows filled the background
They were all high on drugs
This inmate claimed he wrote all the songs for the band
And the drugs helped to inspire him
He wrote about trips to Jupiter and Mars
And other far off places
About sitting in hayfields and dancing in circles
And staring at the sun
They envisioned a new society based on love and peace
The inmate claimed that the drugs had blown his mind
And he could not cope with the pressures of the job
He was thrown out of the band
And lost all his money over time
All the other members of the band became rich
But he spent his time being moved from institution to institution
I don’t know if there is any truth in his story
He didn’t seem like a rock star
Although he could be pretty wild at times
When he started to rant
And quoted all that psychedelic nonsense
The other inmates called him Psychedelic Syd
“Shine on you crazy diamond”

The guy has left behind him a great legacy. Dark Side of the Moon is one of the classic albums and was no doubt influenced by Syd Barrett's breakdown. His early songs are great examples of 60s Psychedelic music. To repeat the last line of the poem, "Shine on you crazy diamond"

Sunday, July 02, 2006
I have just got back from watching Roger Waters play Dark Side of the Moon at Hyde Park Calling. It was the first time I had seen any member of Pink Floyd in the flesh. I went with my brother. We stayed at the Quality Hotel at Paddington. The first priority was to find a place to watch the football. Lots of budweiser and tears at the end. I don't think England will ever win at penalties. Decision time - a meal at Garfunkel's (next door to the hotel or rough it at KFC. Fat food won the day. I thought we would eat and head for Hyde Park for about 8.30. In time for Texas and Starsailor. Three changes on the tube for a journye that would only take 15 minutes to walk. As we got to Hyde Park I could hear the sound of Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. Panic set in. The concert had started. I thought we had missed the whole thing. Fortunately, we got there in time and only missed the opening. The sky got dark. The band took a ten minute break and prepared to play all the songs from Dark Side of the Moon. A great experience. Pink Floyd maybe the greatest band of all time, I know it depends on the kind of music you like but Dark Side of the Moon is one of the biggest selling albums of all time. The slide show was great. Quite dramatic and colourful. Night set in and a quarter moon shone in the clear night sky. A dream fulfilled to see members of my favourite band. In recent time I have developed a taste for Explosions in the Sky from texas. It is probably a toss-up as to which of them is my favourite at the moment. They are both great bands.

We walked back to the hotel. I had put on a new pair of shoes when I left Birmingham which was not a good idea. My feet were bleeding and the skin was hanging off but we still walked back to the hotel becuase all the taxis were tied up. Got back to the hotel and had a coffee and then off to my room to check on the tennis results. Andy Murray had managed to beat Andy Roddick in three straight sets and now play Baghdatis of Cyprus. I rang my Mum on Sunday to let her know. The Cypriot is a big thing in his home country and my mum will have split loyalties have lived there for the last five years. I also found out that Jelena Jankovic had beaten Venus Williams which I was delighted about. I had seen Jelena play at the Edgbaston Priory in the DFS classic. She is a beautiful young lady and has a great tennis game. The East and Central Europeans have a great desire for tennis. I guess it offers them an opportunity of wealth and success and fame. So tomorrow I will be cheering on Andy Murray. If he loses it will be a sad day for the Scot. If he wins it will be a great day for British tennis. he is Scottish if he loses and British if he wins. He has a great attitude and a natural flair for the game. I think he just needs to find a bit more power and a few more killer shots. Good luck Andy and Jelena!

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