Day 1

July 7th 2006
Death of Syd Barrett

"I don't think I'm easy to talk about.
I've got a very irregular head.
And I'm not anything that you think I am anyway."
– 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.

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Fri Friday
Sat Saturday
Day 1: Sunday Jul 7th
Day 2: Monday Jul 8th
Day 3: Tuesday Jul 9th
Day 4: Wednesday Jul 10th
Day 5: Thursday Jul 11th
Day 6: Friday Jul 12th
Day 7: Saturday Jul 13th
Day 8: Sunday Jul 14th
Day 9: Monday Jul 15th
Day 10: Tuesday Jul 16th
Day 11: Wednesday Jul 17th
Day 12: Thursday Jul 18th
Day 13: Friday Jul 19th
Day 14: Saturday Jul 20th
Day 15: Sunday Jul 21st
Day 16: Monday Jul 22nd
Day 17: Tuesday Jul 23rd
Day 18: Wednesday Jul 24th
Day 19: Thursday Jul 25th
Day 20: Friday Jul 26th
Day 21: Saturday Jul 27th
Day 22: Sunday Jul 28th
Day 23: Monday Jul 29th
Day 24: Tuesday Jul 30th
Day 25: Wednesday Jul 31st
Day 27: Friday Aug 2nd
Day 28: Saturday Aug 3rd