Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Syd Barrett, Johnny Damon & David Wright

Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett dead at 60

One of rock's great cult figures, Syd Barrett, passed away on July 7. Barrett co-founded Pink Floyd with Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason in 1965.

He wrote the majority of the songs (“Astronomy Domine,” "See Emily Play") on the band's first album, The Pipers at the Gates of Dawn, released in 1967. He also contributed to Pink Floyd's second album, Jugband Blues. After they toured with Jimi Hendrix, Barrett soon bowed out of the band. "Barrett's mental state began to deteriorate, most likely related to his heavy LSD intake," writes

In 1971, he told Rolling Stone: "I'm disappearing, avoiding most things. Mostly I just waste my time... I've got a very irregular head."

In his Barrett obit, New York Times' music critic Jon Pareles states: "Band members have said Mr. Barrett was unstable even before he began extensive drug use, and he developed a reputation for odd behavior. For one show, he tried to slick down his hair with a combination of Brylcreem and crushed Mandrax tranquilizer pills, which were melted by stage lights and started to ooze down his face as he played. Playing the Fillmore West on Pink Floyd’s 1967 American tour, Mr. Barrett stood staring into space and detuning the strings on his guitar. The band cut short its American tour."

Barrett recorded two solo albums in 1970, but never returned to the psychedelic band he co-founded. Much like Brian Jones, who co-founded the Rolling Stones, but left the band after several albums, Syd Barrett's place in rock history - despite his short-lived run with Pink Floyd - is secure.


Damon weed

In a cover story in the new August issue of Men's Journal, Yankee CF Johnny Damon tells Bob Klapisch that marijuana is a "part of life, it's natural, it's from the earth."

Damon smoked pot as a teenager. His dad counseled him, "If you ever want to experiment with anything, let me know. He smoked a little bit, so he said, 'Just let him know. Don't have me get a call when you're in jail. If you want to skip school, that's cool, as long as you get good grades.'"


The Wright stuff

The Met all-stars did their best to wrest World Series home advantage away from the American League in last night's AL-NL contest. David Wright, following up his stupendous performance in Monday night's Homerun Derby (he placed 2nd behind the Phillies' big bopper Ryan Howard), blasted a HR in his 1st-ever All-Star Game at-bat (the 13th player ever to accomplish that) on his first-ever All-Star Game pitch from Kenny Rogers in the 2nd inning.

CF Carlos Beltran scored the NL's other run. But that wasn't enough, as the AL came from behind with 2 runs in the 9th off of Trevor Hoffman to win, 3-2. Would Billy Wagner, had he been selected to the team, saved the game for the NL? We'll never know, of course, but what we do know is if the Mets make it to the World Series, they'll play 3 games at home instead of 4 due to the ridiculous MLB ALL-Star Game policy which awards WS home advantage to the All-Star Game victor. It should simply switch off from year to year. But you can't say the Mets didn't try to gain the advantage. Without Wright and Beltran, the NL would've been shutout.


Good for Johnny Damon. It'd be great if he'd fire one up with George Steinbrenner. Given the quality of thinking that's come out of the Tampa braintrust over the last few years, it could only help.
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