Essay: Pink Floyd

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  • Subject area(s): Photography and arts essays
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  • Published: 15 November 2017*
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  • Words: 611 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 3 (approx)

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In the 2012 documentary titled “The Story of Wish You Were Here” Director John Edington provides insight into Syd Barret, the founding member of Pink Floyd and his ordeal with schizophrenia, most likely caused by his psychedelic drug use, leading all the way into his subsequent departure from the band. Pink Floyd was well known for their melodic psychedelic music that was universally accepted into the American popular music culture in the 1960’s and 70’s.
The Band’s style of music was at the forefront of the psychedelic rock culture, the experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD, combined with deep dark melodic tones, visual images with vivid colors created a mind-altering experience. Syd was the founding member and front man for the band, from the creation in the early 60’s until his departure in 1968, when he was so strung out on acid his brain was altered and he was unable to perform. In 1968 David Gilmour replaced Syd has the lead guitarist in the band. David Gilmour stated in an interview “and that you would ever really whatever imagined would wind up the way he did wind up”. All of the interviews stated what a great guy, and wonderful man Syd was. Richard Wright state’s “you know he was out going charming wonderful friendly you name it I mean a wonderful man.”

John Boyd interview stated “and I remember him being right like this looking into his eyes and it was just like somebody had turned the lights out, you know just looked so blank, he was living with a whole sort of community of people who are very much believing acid (LSD) can release you and you know get to the truth and all that stuff, and he took too much. He went up on stage and just stood there for long stretches. And he plays the guitar for a bit and then he’d stop. He had done so much damage, because acid, that’s what it does to you. Too much acid will literally fry your brains”. LSD was such a popular drug in this era, many believed it had magical powers to enlighten one mind and stimulate creativity. Hence the heavy use in this area of the music industry, and by the fans of this style of music.

Pink Floyd continued on without Syd and produced their most popular record “Dark Side of the Moon” in 1972 the went on tour for the album for the next several years. With Syd being the missing link the band did struggle with the loss, many of the songs on the following album were about Syd and his influence, mainly the song this documentary was named after. During all of the interviews Syd was mentioned as the most important member and his loss was an enormous influence on all the future productions of the band and its members.

Syd Barrett passed away in 2006, more than 30 years after walking away from fortune, celebrity and fame, but his musical legacy carries on. He was the member with the upfront charisma and defined good looks when he would walk into a room, everyone would turn and look. He never really had any further musical success, as he was a changed person, and lived a quiet secluded life.

Pink Floyds main influences on American Popular Music were the creation of the “concept” album, this is where the album is seen as a whole, not a collection of single songs, the arrangement of music and flow throughout is very important. Another influence is the use of multicolor lights and photo effects within their concerts, these became more “whole body” experiences and helped convey emotional experiences better.

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