One muggy summer afternoon in 1988, I was at a stoner party - back in those days 6 or 7 unemployed small town teenagers sitting around, listening to albums and drinking 7up in a basement constituted a stoner party--when this kid in an Aerosmith shirt said, "Enough of this snake-charmer shit," then stood up from his seat and began filing through the stack of cassette tapes beside the stereo.
"Where's my Van Halen tape?" he grunted, "I'm outta here."
Maybe Syd just never wanted to ever get married and have a family. Maybe if had gotten married it would only have ended in disaster. Who knows? But what I do know is that in my story, falling in love, getting married and having children worked wonders for me. Eventhough I ended up divorced by 2010, the experience knocked me out of my self-absorbed deep-thinker, tortured poet/artist persona faster than any drug ever could. Today, I will occassionally slip a Syd Barrett tune into the mix of songs that I listen to with my 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter. They seem to like them.
*The influence of Barrett's guitar playing for instance can be heard in punk, art rock, grunge and Indie rock. As the leader of the Pink Floyd, the genius of Syd's guitar playing was that he used his guitar more as an effect generator instead of simply a device for playing chords and solos. He experimented with the sonic possibilities of distortion, dissonance and feedback--one of his most famous techniques was sliding his Zippo lighter up and down the fretboard of his Fender Esquire that was manipulated through an ancient echo box. This created the mysterious, spaced out noise that became a trademark of Pink Floyd's early sound.
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