percy_the_ratcatcher: Thoughts on Ray Chapman’s ‘A Very Irregular Head’

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/whatevershebringswesing/

A Very Irregular Head

 

Pleased to report that Rob Chapman’s ‘A Very Irregular Head’ is an excellent read, stripping away many of the Barrett myths and respecting his later privacy. Even more importantly to me, Chapman treats Syd seriously as an artist, songwriter and lyricist, considering his influences, sources and modus operandi. 

In fact, I suspect that some will be disappointed by the absence of key ‘Syd was losing it badly in late 67 / mid 68’ tales. The Formentera holiday and tour ofEngland by mini are giving passing reference only – in the case of Formentera, principally to debunk some of the more fanciful tales which have grown. 

Instead, there are substantial sections on the work and lives of artists and authors who were crucial to Barrett, and where Chapman illustrates some remarkable biograhical parallels.

Chapman’s appreciation and exposition of Syd’s skills as a lyricist is a delight. Central to this – literally, at the halfway point of the book – is an examination of Octopus which is very familiar, but goes unreferenced and unacknowledged. Which is a shame, but doesn’t detract from Chapman’s analysis elsewhere.

And a few real great one-liners. My favourite follows a description of how in 1968, Jenner and King remained with Barrett, while Bryan Morrison / Steve O’Rourke negotiated a new Floyd deal. Chapman’s paragraph concludes: ‘The rest is accountancy’ .

via whatevershebringswesing

 

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