David Gilmour, his wife Polly Samson and some of their family members recently took part in the sixth in a series of streaming events launched to promote Samson’s new novel, A Theatre for Dreamers.
Much of this installment of the webcast actually focused of Gilmour’s late friend and founding Pink Floyd frontman, Syd Barrett, whose lyrics are the subject of a book David is helping put together.
The video, which you can watch on Gilmour’s official YouTube channel, features David sharing some recollections about Syd, as well as playing acoustic versions of a couple of Barrett’s solo songs: “Octopus” and “Dominoes.”
Gilmour chatted a bit about becoming friends with Barrett when they were teenagers, noting that they vacationed together and hitchhiked around Europe. Later on, David was hired as second guitarist in Pink Floyd, but points out that he only played about five shows with the band before Syd was kicked out because of his erratic behavior. Barrett struggled with mental illness likely exacerbated by his drug use.
Reflecting on Syd, David said, “He was an enormous amount of fun, and a brilliant poet, writer. I think his writing is poetry.”
After Barrett’s exit from the band, Gilmour helped him record his two solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett, both released in 1970. David notes that a challenge in compiling the lyrics to his solo sings was that, “Syd never wrote them down They were never properly transcribed.”
He added, “Quite often, it felt like he was making [the lyrics] up as he went along, and it was very similar to the way that he talked…You’re struggling to get to grips with what he’s meaning.”
Unlike some previous webcasts, Gilmour this time didn’t play any songs by Leonard Cohen, who appears as a character in Samson’s book.
(Video contains sporadic profanity.)
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