So that’s it, the Madcap has laughed his last and the crazy, flawed diamond sparkles no more.

That Syd Barrett’s mental illness was the result of hallucinogenic drug abuse is a matter for speculation; those who were closest to him are of the opinion that had the substance never existed things would have happened in just the same way.

Of one thing, however, there can be no doubt: his influence on pop music and culture has been immense.

Like the Velvets, he did little in the way of record sales, but almost everybody who bought his albums went on to form bands.

His quintessentially English pop sensibility and love of a good tune inspired David Bowie, The Who, Ray Davies, Brian Eno, The Cure and Madness, Pulp, Blur, Primal Scream and countless others.

And, for all we know it is still doing just that; perhaps there are kids rehearsing in garages and bedrooms as I write, kids reared on their parents’ copies of PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN, THE MADCAP LAUGHS, ARNOLD LAYNE and SEE EMILY PLAY.

Shine on Syd.

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