“Such a nice young man. Too bad he went INSANE.”
“Crazy guitarists are so self-centered. All they want to think about is themselves.”
“He's such a talented musician! I just can't BARRETT!”
“Who the hell are you?”
“HEY YOU! OUT THERE BEYOND THE WALL, BREAKING BOTTLES IN THE HALL, CAN YOU HELP ME? ”
“Nasty Prisms, good sir...”
Syd Barrett (February 21, 1948 – March 18, 1975), born Syd James, was an English singer-songwriter, visionary fiddle player, part-time janitor, failed treasure hunter, and founding member of the Country death metal band Pink Floyd. Today, he is best remembered for his discovery of an Antarctic island home to star-bellied penguins. Barrett was described by his peers as a Renaissance Man and was known for having a superhuman thirst for knowledge in many different fields including taxidermy, topography, and hot-air ballooning (which incidentally led to his Antarctic discovery).
Barrett was born on February 21, 1948 Balukaville, England to a middle-class family. His mother, Mary Anne Barrett, was an interpretive dance instructor with an intense Havarti cheese addiction. His father, Miguel Luis Ángel Hernández Barrett, migrated to England from Antarctica in 1935 and was a Professor of Dodgeballology at a local elementary school. Syd attended the elementary school at which his father taught, which he later stated was very emotionally stressful on him as his father had the tendency to throw hard rubber balls at him for no good reason. Barrett was a strong student in all subjects (except for early Babylonian dentistry) and early on showed a natural talent for fiddle playing.
As Barrett grew, he experimented with many different styles of fiddle playing, learning how to manipulate the instrument with his hands, feet, teeth, and sphincter. At his mother's request, he would often coat his body in squares of Havarti and play in front of her interpretive dance class. This resulted in Barrett smelling faintly of cheese for the remainder of his life. While performing for his mother, he met his future band mates, Roger Waters and Roger Taylor, who were drawn to him by his subtle and delicious stench.
In the summer of 1957, Barrett provided the musical accompaniment for his mother's first choreographed dance show, which was held at The Royal Albert Hall in London. Barrett performed a reggae remix of Niccolò Paganini's Caprice No. 24 in A minor, Op. 1 while suspended upside-down above the stage by iron chains and simultaneously smoking twelve cigarettes. It is considered by most scholars to be Syd's odiferous musical debut.
The Pink Floyd
In 1964, after watching Bob Dylan & The Mysterians perform on The Ed Sullivan Show, Waters convinced Barrett to begin playing the guitar. As with his earlier fiddle success, Barrett was a natural at performing on guitar, learning to play the instrument in roughly 12.62 seconds. In 1965, Barrett formed The Pink Floyd with Waters on bass guitar, Taylor on percussion and Rick Wakeman on keyboards. The band achieved early success at their live performances despite Barrett's inability to write lyrics not detailing acts of bestiality, cannibalism, and libertarianism, often in conjunction.
In 1967 the band released their first album, "Pipe Smokers Mate at Dawn." Although the album was a massive success, especially amongst the penguin demographic, Barrett's increasingly erratic behavior would soon get him discharged from the band. These activities included, but were not limited to, eating raw children on stage, stopping performances to count the number of toes in the audience, insisting that gelatin was a higher life form worthy of worship, stapling porkchops to his thighs, demanding that the studio be equipped with rectal microphones, wearing a horned Viking helmet to sensitive social functions and bathing in a huge tub of grass shavings.
Solo Career/Fiddle Success
After leaving The Pink Floyd, Barrett released three solo albums. The first of which was a country-rap album (heavily plagarized by Cowboy Troy) entitled The Mudflap Raps in 1968. "Mudflap" achieved little commercial success despite being hailed by critics, and was later labelled as being "too far ahead of its time".
After "Mudflap's" failure, Barrett returned to his initial passion, the fiddle. He released two albums in which he played his fiddle both in 1969, cleverly titled Fiddle Me This and Fiddle Me That. These releases gave Barrett a large following of middle-aged women, many of whom formed the not-so-cleverly named groupie organization Barrett My Children. One of these women, Sandy Moore, described how Syd would pull a face "like a fisted gorilla" and "let out a howl like a frustrated mongoloid" whilst ejaculating. She put it down to "hereditary factors". When many members of the group discovered that Barrett had a hereditary erectile disfunction disorder, Barrett lost almost his entire fan base. Barrett fell in love with a loyal, American groupie named Audrey "Hairlip" White. Barrett and White had a secret wedding in Las Vegas, NV in 1970 and decided to honeymoon on a worldwide hot air balloon adventure.
Barrett was the original frontman of Yacht Rock band Tool. He eventually had a nervous breakdown and was replaced with Roger Waters. He regularly dismissed the contributions of Maynard James Keenan as "tripe". While Tool recorded "Wish You Were Here", Barrett visited the studio. By this point, he had developed a bit of a weight problem, and Maynard soon asked him how he had gotten so fat. Barrett responded
- I've a big fridge in the kitchen and I've been eating lots of pork chops.
He then went on to trounce Maynard in an impromptu wrestling match, unleashing a barrage of suplexes and tombstone piledrivers, finally wrapping Maynard up and scoring the pinfall. After this setback, Maynard went into seclusion for a time, investing his fortune in a chain of Haggis restaurants and a skateboard manufacturer in Brunei. Of course, this was all a scam orchestrated by the cagey Barrett, who appropriated Maynard's millions and invested the cash in the largest refrigerator ever.
The Burning Bananas And The New Burning Bananas
After being in Pink Floyd, Tool and Solo/Fiddle Success he formed the Burning Bananas with Bass player Richard Hurtz, Monkey Lee Williams (a Jazz influenced drummer and a native American) and finally a guy who most people just call "Guitar Man" and they created The Burning Bananas. They were only a band for four hours and thirty minutes, still they released three hit singles: "Chiquita Cha Cha", "Banana Splits (taste quite delicious with chocolate sauce and chopped nuts)" and "Oh God, We Only Have Thirty Minutes To Record A Single". Shortly after the release of their debut album (Here Come the Burning Bananas!), Roger Waters, angered over The Bananas' success, rigged the bands' tour bus with explosives, killing Dick, Monkey, and "Guitar Man", who had only left their flat to get some pop tarts and smokes. Syd Barrett moved on and formed The New Burning Bananas but forwent any preliminary search for musicians, instead opting to eat an entire pumpkin on stage in place of actual music. It was surprisingly successful: he toured Europe and the Balkan Island during the October of 1972. Unfortunately, after pumpkin season was over, Syd was forced to switch to summer squash. Syd's audience did not take kindly to this change of gourd, and he was booed off of the stage at every venue over the remainder of his five-month tour. He was devastated and left the public eye, but still released many many, many albums after the end of The Burning Bananas and The New Burning Bananas.
The Burning Bananas And The New Burning Bananas discography
"(Here Come The Burning Bananas!)"
- Wait What Chords?
- The Intro
- Banana Splits (taste quite delicious with chocolate sauce and chopped nuts)
- Paint My Bike
- More Chords?
- Chiquita Cha Cha
- Oh God, We Only Have Thirty Minutes To Record A Single
- Weee! (Instrumental)
- Go Monkey Lee Williams! (Instrumental)
- Burning Bananas?
All Lyrics and Music by Syd Barrett
"(Here Come The New Burning Bananas!) (*LIVE*)"
- Pumpkin Eating Pt.1
- Pumpkin Eating Pt.2
- I Walk Off Stage You Write About It
- Pumpkin Eating Pt.3
- Pumpkin Eating Pt.4
- What? You Want More?
"I'm Going To Sit Here And Eat Some Pumpkins You Record"
- I Sit Here And I Eat A Pumpkin
- Still Eating
- Bob Dylan Blues (take 174)
- Still Eating (reprise)
- Get The Soft Machine In Here!
- Where Are My Pants? (take 37)
- Still Eating (Reprise)(Reprise)
- I'm Done Eating This Pumpkin
All Lyrics And Music By Syd Barrett
The Hot Air Balloon Adventure and Star-Bellied Penguins
Barrett went on to travel the world in a hot air ballooon which had always been a dream of his. He travelled only with his wife Audrey. Unfortunately for Syd, Audrey had a fear of heights, making the trip last longer than Barrett initially planned. While they flew over China Audrey leaned too far over the side of the balloon while observing The Great Wall, and tragically fell out of the balloon, and was captured and enslaved by China's Evil Communist Government.
He traveled south from China to Antarctica, his father's homeland. Sadly, Barrett didn't know that the land of Antarctica is the mortal enemy of hot-air balloonists everywhere. His balloon crash landed on an uncharted island where Barrett discovered the legendary star-bellied penguins. He spent years living among the penguins, and spent most of his time attempting to reignite his hot-airballoon. After living with the penguins for more than 5 years. He eventually discovered how to use Antarctica's natural oil deposits in order to ignite his balloon, but accidentally set his balloon on fire along with all of his supplies. Fortunately for Barrett, a tanker ship saw the flames and picked him up, along with several of his penguin friends. The penguins and Barrett returned to Europe, and Barrett once again achieved worldwide fame because of his amazing discovery.
Theories Behind The Star-Bellied Penguins
Many believe that the penguins with stars on their bellies were exiled to the remote island by the traditional penguins who lack stars because of their differences. They believe that the star on the penguin comes from a recessive hereditary allele. There is also a widely accepted conspiracy theory that Syd Barrett created a machine that gave the penguins their stars.
The story says that Syd Barrett had telekinetic powers that allowed him to communicate with the penguins. He convinced the penguins that they were unattractive, and that he could make them prettier with his star-making machine in return for fish and other sea food that the penguins eat. After he capitalized on the penguins for food, he then used the star bellied penguins he created to capitalize on his own public.
Dr. Seuss's novel "The Sneetches: or How Syd Barret Exploited Penguins Only to Sell Their Stuffed Corpses to the World" slanders Barrett, and attempted to brainwash children to resist the enjoyment of the cute stuffed star-bellied penguins that their parents generously provided them over Christmas. Seuss denied his brainwashing attempts, but it has been proven that his rhymes made between words that don't make any sense at all have power over the human brain subconsciously. The novel created more controversy for Seuss and his hippie, liberal publishers than it created for Barrett.
When asked about the novel, Barrett replied "Why the fuck did he call them sneetches... I guess that there are more words that rhyme with sneetch than with penguin, but I still don't think it makes any sense at all. A sneetch is supposed to be a penguin right? They kind of look like Big Bird... but I don't get it. Was I supposed to do some kitten huffing before I read it or something?"
Post Penguin Life
After making millions because of his penguin exhibits across the globe, Barrett lived a humble life and pursued only his small hobbies. He used the name he made for himself in his air ballooning travels around the world to become a well respected professor in topography. After the population of the star-bellied penguins grew large enough, Barrett began to study taxidermy, and specialized in selling stuffed star-bellied penguins. His stuffed penguins gained a lot of popularity in the early eighties, making him a multimillionare.
Barrett ate several of the penguins that he lived with, and created many of his own recipes of how to eat star-bellied penguins. After being rescued, he contributed to the marketing of McDonald's McFin sandwich, which received immediate popularity. It was only after marketing the sandwich that McDonald's advertising team realized that penguins do not have fins, they have wings. The McFin sandwich was made of the delicate meat found on the wings of a star-bellied penguin. Burger King attempted to make the same sandwich with regular, nonstar-bellied penguins, but the sandwich never caught the same popularity that the McFin enjoyed.
Animal rights activists and hippies argued that Barrett's slaughter of these penguins was wrong, and that he was making the penguins endangered. However, no one ever seemed to care what hippies thought.
Sigmund Ivory "Syd" Barrett died on March 18th, 1975 in a routine Star Bellied Penguin autopsy that turned horribly wrong, when Syd tried to remove one of the stars from said star bellied penguin it exploded when it came into contact with polyquaternium sulphate found in the hair of Mr Barrett along with several pounds of heavy duty mandrax. It is noteworthy however that some people believe the penguin was rigged to explode by Burger King franchise owners who were bitter over the whole "McFin" fiasco.
Despite having died in 1975, several sightings of Syd Barrett have taken place. In 1980, he was reported to be jamming at London's Rococ Tavern with former Door's frontman Jim Morrisson. the backing musicians included John F. Kennedy on keyboards, Keith Moon on drums, Brian Jones on rhythm guitar and Skip Spence on sitar. Skip Spence and Keith Moon were the only ones living at the time. One witness reported a suprise guest by the name of Duanne Allman, who played slide guitar when Syd didn't want to.
In July 1979, Syd was supposedly spotted nicking someone's washing in the Fulham Road. In a harbinger of fashion things to come, the knickers he placed on top of his head were a pastel pink.
Syd was also seen in Africa by a party of mountain climbers attempting to construct a bridge between the two peaks of Mount Kilamanjaro. They even confirmed that Syd had a lookalike named Dean Barrett(1981)
Syd was also spotted at a marble factory on one ocassion swimming in a pool of fresh cat's eyes. When approached by the Chinese factory workforce, Syd shouted, "RATS, RATS LAID DOWN FLAT!" the confused Chinese slave force decided to leave him alone because they didn't want to be reported to the better business bureau.
In October 1999, Syd Barrett was seen eating a shoe (shoegaze) in a Louisiana city called Nantucket. A psychedelic psychic later exclaimed, "My dream has come true!"
He was also reported seen in a Tennessee cave by country singer Dolly Parton, although the sighting has never been confirmed and Parton refuses to mention the incident.
In 2005, Syd Barrett reunited with his former Pink Floyd bandmates for a terse reunion. He was later asked not to participate when it was discovered that he was making out backstage with a gigolo aunt.
The last reported sighting of Syd Barrett was by Gary Coleman in September of 2008. According to Coleman, Barrett wandered into his room late at night singing his old songs with a two dollar acoustic guitar. "What you talking about, Syd?!". Barrett confused Coleman for his old Tool nemesis Maynard James Keenan and quickly attempted to apply the figure 4 leglock. Coleman escaped to tell his tale, however Barrett was never seen again.
- Syd Barrett was hawt.
- Syd Barrett was caught red-handed.
- Syd Barrett isn't God, but God does owe him ten bucks.
- Syd Barrett was a notorious laxative abuser.
- Syd Barrett was intelligent.
- Syd Barrett was actually an orange.
- Syd Barrett was born with only 19 teeth.
- Syd Barrett has never been confused with American comedian Bill Murray.
- After hiring Bozo the Clown as his private entertainer at his 35th birthday, McDonald's was infuriated with Syd for not hiring Ronald McDonald to entertain him, and they temporarily took the McFin Sandwich off of their menu.
- Syd Barrett has never owned or operated a mechanical arm, although he did have an army of robots.
- Syd Barrett used Johnson's shampoo to treat his hair.
- Syd Barrett once soundly defeated Maynard James Keenan in an impromptu wrestling match.
- Barrett lost his left boot while at one of his mother's interpretive dance classes. He searched for that boot until the day he died. If you have any information regarding this boot please call (949) 867-5309. Please, no solicitors!
- Many believe Syd is still alive and is currently employed as a small raincloud over a town in south Canadia commanding spectacular views of the sea.
- Syd voted for Hudson Leick in the "Vote for the hottest person ever" competition.
- Syd Barrett is known for his strange actions during performances. In one solo concert for which thousands of people spent over a hundred dollars on tickets for, Syd went on stage, ate a whole pumpkin, then left.
- After 1975, Syd always signed his name as "The Banana of Truth". People know why.
- Syd Barrett's vocal type was Barrettone.