July 7th – August 3rd 2016

Day 1

July 7th 2006
Death of Syd Barrett

Syd Barrett is Psychedelic Frontiersman No. 1. For he sums up the Western Experiment: “To be extreme, just to be extreme.” That is to say, that to come back alive is preferred – but not presumed. That sacrifice will be made in order to make progress. As T. S. Eliot declared: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” Syd was a sonic terrorist, perpetually beating at the boundaries of rock’n’roll. But he was a cautionary tale to us all: he was the one that went out there and never came back.

Syd summed up English Psychedelia even better than the people who influenced him – Ray Davies, the Beatles – because his wayward trajectory provided us with the guide to the post-rabbit-hole ride of Alice in Wonderland once it peters out and is reduced to nothing more than a rarely-used trackway. Syd delivers to us a psychic commentary using a remedial set of symbols, and all over a pillar of revolutionary sound. Mind-manifesting as Humphry Osmond defined the truly psychedelic experience, Syd’s work sizzled with a seemingly effortless sense of melody and lyricism – a heroic childlike Pandora’s Box of magic. When you’re a kid you’re in a world of frogspawn and caterpillars but you grow out of it. But that Syd did not grow out of it was a revolution for all of us. Forever fucking with people’s heads without telling them, Syd was never by rote and unwilling to make a career from his place in the music biz. He was the obstinate child determined to subvert the form at all points.

To be a psychedelic artist you need to know there are neurological problems you might encounter that will shut you down way before your mission is complete. Syd is indispensible because he tells you how far you can’t go. Hug You, Motherfucker! You dared to do all this on our behalf. In bequeathing us your mind map, you lost your mind.

Today let’s all listen to ‘Astronomy Domine’. Was psychedelic rock’n’roll ever more advanced than this?

Thu Thursday
Fri Friday
Sat Saturday
Sun Sunday
Mon Monday
Tue Tuesday
Wed Wednesday
Day 1: Thursday Jul :7th
Death of Syd Barrett
Day 2: Friday Jul :8th
Death of Percy Bysshe Shelley
Day 3: Saturday Jul :9th
Day 4: Sunday Jul :10th
Day 5: Monday Jul :11th
Day 6: Tuesday Jul :12th
Henry David Thoreau’s Birthday
Day 7: Wednesday Jul :13th
Day 8: Thursday Jul :14th
The Storming of the Bastille
Day 9: Friday Jul :15th
Roky Erickson’s Birthday
Day 10: Saturday Jul :16th
Day 11: Sunday Jul :17th
Day 12: Monday Jul :18th
Death of Nico
Day 13: Tuesday Jul :19th
Full Moon
Day 14: Wednesday Jul :20th
Death of Dieter Moebius
Day 15: Thursday Jul :21st
Day 16: Friday Jul :22nd
George Clinton’s Birthday
Day 17: Saturday Jul :23rd
Day 18: Sunday Jul :24th
Robert Graves’ Birthday
Day 19: Monday Jul :25th
Day 21: Wednesday Jul :27th
Day 22: Thursday Jul :28th
Day 23: Friday Jul :29th
Suicide of Vincent Van Gogh
Day 24: Saturday Jul :30th
Day 25: Sunday Jul :31st
Day 27: Tuesday Aug :2nd
Death of William S. Burroughs
Day 28: Wednesday Aug :3rd
Death of Arthur Lee