If there’s a Bible on Pink Floyd, this should be it.
Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd is the equivalent of a collective lobotomy of the members of this electronic, psychedelic holdover from the 1960s (more on that later). Not that the group is past its time, though. Quite the contrary. I, for one, have been a loyal fan since about 1967, which was when I discovered the group. And if the several appearances where I’ve seen them put on their sound and light extravaganzas are any indicator, the thousands and thousands of people in sight at these concerts agree. And so do the millions around the globe who faithfully — and assuredly, since they know that Floyd has never put out a bad album — plunk down their plastic to keep Syd’s Boys in Champagne and truffles.
It’s not fair to call them Syd’s Boys, but realistically, if not for Syd Barrett, long odds say the group would never have become one, or would have quickly broken up. But once the die was cast, they kept going on in Syd’s absence. Although Syd wasn’t a member of the group for far longer than he played with them, that albatross has become a permanent part of the Floyd persona.
I call it an albatross, since although Syd was the creative intellect when they began, the others in the group have shown their true abilities over the past 40 years, putting out “their best” album ever, every time they put out a new album. You can pick out a little dale, or a saddle in the hilly terrain which comprises Pink Floyd. It’s not all been flat land, easy to travel or navigate. They’ve had their share of ups and downs, but never an outright failure. In a nutshell, they’ve managed to carry on quite well, everybody in the world knows who they are, and yet one of the first questions out of everybody’s mouth is inevitably about Syd.
Before you get all huffy, I’m a die-hard Syd fan. I’ve got everything he’s ever recorded (that’s been released), I’ve read many of the books about him and Floyd, and I still have my Syd altar in place. But Pink Floyd is a force to be reckoned with these days, at least in the electronic music field. And psychedelia has been dead, or at least moribund, for the past 35 years, yet Pink Floyd manages to continue to collect fans like some women collect men.