"I feel like we lost Syd Barrett twice," says singer/songwriter Andy Gish. "Once, beginning in the late '60s, when LSD literally began taking months of time from his memory and he could no longer function as an artist. But then we lost him again in July for good. I knew he was sick, and even though he was not writing songs for us anymore, the loss feels the same."
As a tribute to the legendary Pink Floyd founder, Gish gathered an impressive slate of fellow Barrett fans and planned an evening of his music, with the proceeds to benefit Nuci's Space (www.nuci.org) in Athens. "Historically, many of our most treasured artists and musicians have suffered from issues of mental health. Nuci's Space offers a comfortable place where musicians can converge and receive support and treatment that otherwise would not be available to them. Had Syd been a young artist living in Georgia today, I wouldn't be surprised if he'd wandered into Nuci's Space from time to time."
Gish, who leads the clever pop band the Yum Yum Tree, has been a dedicated Barrett fan for years. In 2004, she made a journey to Cambridge, England, to see the major Syd sites. No, she didn't meet the reclusive artist, but that wasn't the goal. "I guess, because he was out of the limelight before I was even born, I had to see Cambridge for myself to actually believe it. Just knowing that he was there somewhere in that town made the streets kind of magical.
"Honestly," she concludes, "He would probably think it's silly that we would bother to put on a tribute show in his honor. So this show is more about us sharing what he gave us and what he left us with. He only produced music for less than eight years, but he left a huge impression on us all."
Goodnight Madcap: A Tribute To Syd Barrett features the Yum Yum Tree, the Sweetloves, Mike Wright, Richard Parsons and more at the Earl. $7. Sat., Aug. 26. 8 p.m. (doors). 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com.
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
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