Syd Barrett

Much ink has been spilled over SB but viewing the two documentaries below (they do overlap) one is touched by how Pink Floyd kept his story alive and because of his absence, gave them new purpose. What other band that has lost a key member that has been so elegantly elegiac about their past colleague? Each band member is very articulate musically and in interview mode at helping the viewer piece together who this mythological (at least in rock) person was. As great an album Dark Side of the Moon was (it cast a long shadow over the 70s like no other), it was Wish You Were Here that I thought was the better album in many respects — this despite PF panicking about a follow up to DSOTM. From what I recall the reviews of the day while not bad were, not surprisingly, sucked into spurious comparisons with DSOTM. These two documentaries fill in a lot of the detail about the PF story which is quite different from most other mega bands of the day — even Bob Geldof now gets it! Nick Mongiardo’s assessment of WYWH is in accord with my view, the whole album being an elegiac lament to friendship.

Once you’ve checked out these rather unremarkable two pieces, the real gem is Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii, 1972. This is what is special about this band: they weren’t R&B based nor were they rock stars. Can you imagine there being a momentous broadcast such as the as the moon landing having a young band involved?