Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Time Syd Barrett Paid My Rent (Twice)......

PINK FLOYD-Arnold Layne/Candy And a Currant Bun Denmark Columbia DB 8156 1967

As long time readers of my blog might follow I once had a rather substantial record collection which I sold bit by bit, some on E-bay, some at record shows, and the lesser collectible stuff on a website I had (and more record shows).  Periodically I kick myself over parting with certain ones, like this one, a Danish Pink Floyd 45 that I acquired in the mid 90's.  I'm not sure who I got it from, it was one of many mail order dealers I hit at payday like a junkie craving a fix in that period.  This one went for a rather large sum of money and I paid my rent for two months with what I made on it.

The band celebrate outside EMI's Manchester Square after signing
their contract

If you've been in seclusion since 1967 I'll tell you about the debut single by The Pink Floyd (note "the" was utilized in their moniker on this 45). It concerns the plight of one Arnold Layne who nocturnally crept about stealing women's underclothes, gets banged up for it and goes down. Surprisingly it's not as spacey or way out as you'd expect and perhaps holds the distinction as the most low key Pink Floyd Syd Barrett era recording as it's really nothing more than some descending Fender guitar chords meshed with a bass run and a little Farfisa solo, no crazy effects, nothing. Still it's brilliant, especially in Mono with the headphones on with Syd's jangly Telecaster and Rick Wright's garage-y combo organ. Strangely enough the prudent BBC did not object to the song's odd lyrics, but strangely the ultra-liberal Pirate Radio Station (funded, it turned out by ultra conservatives looking to make an easy pound) banned it because it was "smutty". The flipside would've been banned had the group gone with it's original title "Let's Roll Another One", which, in almost Cockney rhyming slang was retitled "Let's Roll Another One".  Musically it is the complete antheisis of "Arnold Layne" and everything you'd expect from '67 Pink Floyd: dischordant guitar breaks, noodling bass runs, a Farfisa (and the guitar) run through a Binson echo unit, weird shrieks, high backing vocals and of course Syd Barrett's Zippo-lighter-on the-frets routine! Brilliant stuff!

A still from the "Arnold Layne" promo film

"Arnold Layne" and "Candy And A Currant Bun" were released on a brilliant Mono CD E.P. "The First Three Singles" that came with the 40th anniversary edition of "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn". "Arnold.." recently cropped up (sounding incredible) on last year's CD "An Introduction To Syd Barrett".

Hear "Candy And A Currant Bun":


Paul Messis said...

God post - I am in shock you sold your collection, but you have to do what you have to do... I may have to sell mine one day??

EXPO67 said...

When CDs became the popular format during the 90s I sold many vinyl LPs and compilations that I'd replaced on CD.

Of course I regretted doing this. I had original LPs by Them, Pink Floyd, Yardbirds, Pretty Things, know the greats.
Now those once common LPs are hard to get in decent shape and have risen enormously over the past few years especially the mono releases.

Do I often kick myself at my stupidity....YES!!

C said...

Aw, I have to say too that Mr Sundriedsparrow and I sold a substantial collection of rare and wonderful psych singles (to someone in the US in fact!) in the early '90s and managed to put a deposit down on our first flat with the proceeds... It's a shame but needs must, all that vinyl would have stayed in a box and when it comes down to it, well we couldn't live in one!

Smashingbird said...

My ex & I sold nearly all our soul 45's a few years ago and I still regret it. It seems like you still have a pretty healthy collection tho!?!