Among the things that DO NOT suck within this mortal coil called life, is making love to your one true love, the timeless beauty of unspoiled nature, and the joy of discovering an artist who can change the way you perceive everything...
Nobody in the world wrote music like Syd Barrett and probably never will. Syd was a true genius, who addressed a myriad of ideas and emotions through his quirky musical style. A style that married words and music like cinnamon and apple in a massive psychedelic apple pie. There are many Pink Floyd based websites set up around the globe, many of which deal with the Syd Barrett fronted Pink Floyd in a truly superb and original way. As a point of difference this site tries to focus solely on Syd Barrett here at Astral Piper, dealing with Syd's time with Pink Floyd, his short-lived solo career and his life thereafter. There has been some negative things written about Syd over the years...either untrue or based upon rumour...you won't find any of that here as we will look at Syd's body of artistic work in a more positive light! So pop in your favourite Barrett CD and climb aboard this Interstellar Space-Craft, to Astral Travel to the Planet Sydonia where you can explore a new and exciting world of Syd Barrett.
There are a small handful of Syd Barrett devoted websites on the planet, many of which are superb. The Astral Piper site exists here in cyberspace to bring all you fans together as a NEW Syd Barrett Appreciation Society, offering you the opportunity to submit works of art, poetry, sculpture or perhaps whatever flicks your creative switch to show your appreciation. Famous people also...we would love to hear from you...yes...maybe...Graham Coxon from Blur, Michael Stipe from REM or even David Bowie? Please contact us to let us know how Syd influenced or affected you!
Syd Barrett's music is truly dynamic, timeless and unique. Because Syd was such an enigmatic person, a number of mature fans are always in search of more, and with a new Syd Barrett fan born on a daily basis, I felt the need was there, to have a regularly updated site dedicated to the essence of Syd. As this site progresses I welcome anyone to contact me, to share your passion for the music with us all and help make this a favourite place to visit! A place hopefully Syd Barrett may have visited before his untimely death recently to see how appreciated by us all he truly is!
Please explore the site in depth, and regularly, as it will surely change and grow. We will discuss the soul of Syd's music, the man himself, his artwork, his surroundings and influences as well as any News (no matter how trivial) which may come to light. Within these walls you will find a myriad of my views on Syd, but please realise that these are my own opinions based on years of research and enjoyment. I have painted several pieces on canvas, based on some of my favourite images of Syd, as my own personal tribute to this "Lyrical Genius". This was done in appreciation, for the hours of enjoyment gained over the years and can be found in the "My Artwork" part of this site. I would like to call on anyone out there who cares enough about Syd and his music, to share their views, opinions, stories, experiences, poetry or artwork, by e-mailing anything to me, as it will more than likely end up on the "Appreciation" part of this site. If anyone out there has any rare Photographs of Syd, or perhaps a friend or relative of Syd (Roger) has a story or photos they would like to share, please, please contact this site!
I often wish I could go back in time to listen to Piper At The Gates Of Dawn for the very first time to hear that magical concise and distinctly English voice of Syd's, infused with the interstellar, fairytale type sounds of those first Pink Floyd songs. No other album sounded or sounds like it. Syd's solo albums The Madcap Laughs and Barrett also have a strange mystique about them, that cannot be likened to any other artist. Syd had an amazing sense of flow to his song writing ability, and he was not afraid to simply let lyrics pour out of his head unedited, so he could put the words to his amazing melodies. In 1988 EMI made the heartfelt decision to release the superb Opel album. The title Opel, came from the stunning 1st track on the album. (I think it was actually meant to be spelt Opal as in the gem, not Opel, the German Motor Vehicle company!) Considered by most (prior to it's official release) to be the lost Syd Barrett volume, it contained some brilliant new tracks that made us all fall in love with Syd's song-writing ability all over again. Up until now we have been graced with some wonderfully different sounding out-takes added to the glossy 3 CD Box Set edition titled Crazy Diamond, and more recently a cracking version of the once thought missing forever tune, Bob Dylan's Blues on the most recent Syd Barrett release"Wouldn't You Miss Me?" Yes Syd, we miss you dearly! We all wish we could go into a Record Store tomorrow, to see on the shelf a brand new album and body of work by Syd, but realistically we know it simply cannot happen. Waiting for new Syd Barret music is a bit like waiting for a UFO or Alien sighting. We accept it may never happen, but when it does it will be an amazing experience! The Record Companies, including quite a few well known established artists, on several occasions, had tried to lure Syd back into the song-writing world, without success and now that he has passed away we can only hope there are a few more out-takes laying around some studio, somewhere.
Syd Barrett has not gone, he is simply invisible, so when we listen to his music his living soul surrounds us.
Dion Johnson, July 2006.
This is a mirror of the Astral Piper website that disappeared around 2009. Not only was it packed with information,
but its forum created an international Syd Barrett community that still exists today as Late Night (forum) and Birdie Hop (Facebook).
If there is something called the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit today it is thanks to Dion Johnson who has been seeding the seeds of Barrett love.
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit