Sunday, September 21

Rock On!

A lazy July afternoon two years ago, a sortie on the Net while planning a trip to Shanghai, got me the news that a certain Roger Barrett was no more. "For those who knew him, and certainly some of us had spent many an evening reveling in the joys of the company of Syd and his kinsmen..." was how one mourned his pioneering genius, in the poignant knowledge that the Madcap Laughs, but now in a different abode.

Nonetheless, for the faithful, hope lingered that the Floydian bell had not tolled its last yet. Indeed it grew stronger by virtue of a momentous reunion during Live 8 a few months ago. Mind you, any new note to add to the musical treasure trove that unfurled with Piper at the Gates of Dawn two score years ago, would be up against sky-highexpectations given the historical success and passage of time since their last foray.

Miracles were par for the course, however, like the day when practising a new song for Wish You Were Here, before the evening party for Dave Gilmour's wedding, a fully shaved overweight man, looking aged far beyond his years, had wandered in unrecognized in the studio. Amongst friends after a five year hiatus and amidst the strains of Shine On You Crazy Diamond - ostensibly dedicated to him – Syd had asked for a guitar, to find none, and walked away from them forever.

With the tragic demise of Rick Wright this week, alas, there is a seal of finality on that hope. There would be no more from the band that redefined music with experimentative sound, evocative lyric and phantasmagoric rock opera constructs. While one can deliberate the ordinal greatness of the prodigal Barrett, meditative Waters or vintage Gilmour, such examination usually led me back to my first etched-in-rock principle. Serendipitously discovered during my baby steps in College, it was simple: there was Floyd, and then you had Music (or, more popularly, Floyd is God)!

Indeed, for a musical journey so rich in idiom, varied in dispensation and haunting in remembrance, attempting an epitaph is surely ill-advised. Suffice it for me to exit today – with two tickets for Rock On in hand - by reaching within the divine anthology for a composition sans compare, from the aforementioned 1975 album, and leave you to savour some of its nine part gem:

Remember when you were young; you shone like the sun…
Shine on you crazy diamond…
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky…
Shine on you crazy diamond…
You were caught on the cross fire of childhood and stardom,
Blown on the steel breeze…
Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger,
You legend, you martyr, and shine!

You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon…
Shine on you crazy diamond…
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light…
Shine on you crazy diamond…
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
Rode on the steel breeze…
Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter,
You piper, you prisoner, and shine!

Nobody knows where you are, how near or how far…
Shine on you crazy diamond…
Pile on many more layers and I'll be joining you there…
Shine on you crazy diamond…
And we'll bask in the shadow of yesterday's triumph,
And sail on the steel breeze…
Come on you boy child, you winner and loser,
Come on you miner for truth and delusion, and shine!

2 comments:

.... said...

... Rock and I don't really roll well, nevertheless, your account here on Mr. Roger K Barrett manifests the gusto for this legend... a non rock lover like me, who of course for people like you is a sinner, keeps wondering "after all what is so magical about this form of music"...

Don't get me wrong now, I'm not in for criticizing the music loved my many and of course by you... in fact your blog made me read about this Mr. Barrett and besides his extremely attractive looks and his work, its the reason of his death that compelled me to post this comment... he died of pancreatic cancer... one of the aftermaths of diabetes... this commonly heard disease 'diabetes' makes a 25 year old guy feel like a sufferer, the perpetual worrying of his wife and mother fraughts him with agony, he keeps reading that amputation, cardiovascular disease, blindness, too bad impotency etc: are all caused by diabetes... its easy to guess how he feels after all these revelations... My request to people like you, who posses the lexical flair, is to please spread awareness especially in the youth about this malignant disease ... our country is now the diabetes capital of the world and its from personal experience that I would want everyone to be aware and away from this commonly known disease "diabetes" ......

Anonymous said...

Mothers of the Disappeared?