Posts tagged ‘syd barrett’

An apple peeled with a steel knife

First things first:
Syd Barrett is dead. He has been creatively dead for a while now – so I will refrain from talking about the loss to music. That particular death is something everyone, including him, got over a while ago. And sang Shine On You Crazy Diamond to.

Sniff.

And why he came up:
I recently had my first taste of champagne. Champagne tastes gruesome.(The phrase in the title is Aldous Huxley’s if you’re wondering. I suppose he preferred mescaline.) The steel knife must have been lousy with rust. And the blood of a million innocents.

Mind you, it smells wonderful. Mmmm ambrosia, you think, fizzy drink of the gods! The smell holds the promise of a thousand luxuries – the lure of eternal youth, the sparkle of a thousand stalactites, of grapes and apples and cherries and pomegranates, of hot showers and frosty glasses, of apricots and peaches and agreeable decadence of the Ernest Dowson kind (flung roses, roses riotously with the throng) of caverns measureless to man, and of stately pleasure domes.
And no dead albatrosses to spoil the view.
You hail it with thirsty joy, you shower it with enthusiasm – and when you’re being decadent enthusiasm very rare. We’re thinking frankincense and myrrh.

You could get high just by sniffing it. (Like petrol, but less nauseous-making. And that rate things are going, it will probably soon work out cheaper for a litre than petrol.)

Then you sip. And gag.
I am digressing much today, but since extravagance is fun:

Remember the first time you tasted beer? How the wonderful smell translated into a mildly off-putting bitter-sour taste in the no-man’s-land between your mouth and your throat?
Now ponder the fact that champagne is many many times as expensive as beer. So it smells many many times as glorious. And tastes many many times worse.
I do not understand the alcohol industry.

Be that as it may, the way it tastes is pretty much immaterial for our purposes.

We must return to the important thing:

The smell of champagne. It is the smell of Syd Barrett’s music. The Beatles will forever smell to me of sunny lawns, Led Zeppelin of cedar trees, Lou Reed of cigarette butts – and I mean that in the nicest possible way.
In this world, Syd Barrett is all champagne, all sparkling promise. Exotic, but very very edible, and very very intoxicating.

A moment of regret for the man, before we cry for madder music and stronger wine.

Sniff, again.

And you! Lackey! Madder music I say!

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July 11, 2006 at 10:40 pm Leave a comment


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