ROGER WATERS remembers Syd The Songwriter.
“Syd was an extraordinarily creative, talented, buoyant, lively, wonderful, beautiful guy. And he wrote songs. That’s the only thing that matters in a band. Somebody has to have something to say, and Syd had a lot to say. He’d read Hilaire Belloc, Lewis Carroll, the I Ching, and taken things from them. And some of the stuff he did was absolutely rooted in experience. Bike is a love song, obviously. It’s a child-like ditty, but the way it scans is extremely strange and quirky. There’s a lot of Cambridge in there as well – bucolic sketching of the life of a young person on the banks of the River Cam discovering their sexuality and intellectuality and individuality. First records represent 10, 15 years of work. So the Syd I knew was represented by those [The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn] songs. They could easily have been written by someone who wasn’t about to become ill. But, equally, the side of him that was teetering on the edge, that couldn’t really cope, was [later] represented by Vegetable Man and Dark Globe. It was always my plan that Syd would stay on as a sort of Brian Wilson character and write, but he was too ill, so the rest of us were forced into writing, or else going back to being architects.” As told to Mark Paytress