Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon album was released in 1973. The final two tracks on The Dark Side of the Moon are called Brain Damage and Eclipse. These tracks are about Syd Barrett (a founding member of Pink Floyd). In fact a lot of Pink Floyd stuff touches upon what happened to Syd, who could be said to be rock music’s first acid casualty. After dropping too much acid, Syd dropped out of Pink Floyd before the Dark Side album.
The follow up album to Dark Side was called Wish You Were Here, released in 1975. The centre piece of the album is a 26 minute song called Shine On You Crazy Diamond, and of course it’s a tribute to Syd Barrett. During the recording sessions, Pink Floyd were in the process of completing a final mix of “Shine On”, when an overweight man entered the room. He had a shaven head and eyebrows, and was clutching a plastic bag. At first no one knew who the man was, but then they all realised it was Syd Barrett. Syd listened to the final mix of Shine On You Crazy Diamond but was too far gone to understand that the song was about his sad plight. Syd Barrett later left the studio without saying goodbye to anyone. None of the band members ever saw him again. He died in 2006.
If you’re able to, listen to this track on headphones, to get the full richness of it…
The above is the first 13 minutes, which is the most widely played. If you want to listen to the complete 26 minute track you can find it here.