It was announced today that Syd Barrett, founder of Pink Floyd, died in his hometown of Cambridge, where he'd lived reclusively since leaving the band. This news has profoundly saddened me. I first heard Pink Floyd on a buddy's Walkman, while riding a bus to Denver with my high-school youth group. My friend Julie, amazed I'd never heard them, commandeered Steve's cassette player and plugged two headsets into it. We lied down in the aisle and closed our eyes. By the end of the song — something from Dark Side — I was a convert. Julie later became fanatical about Zep but I was always a Floyd girl. It was something I shared in common with my best friend, who is half a world away in New Zealand now, and all I want is for it to finally be 5:00 in the afternoon so I can call him and not wake him up tomorrow morning.
I didn't hear the group until loooooong after he'd already left it, but Syd was the progenitor of my high-school awakening, and for that I will always be grateful.
Rest in Peace, Syd. Have a cigar.