Syd Barrett, the founder of the band Pink Floyd, has died. He was 60.

Barrett performed only on the earliest of Pink Floyd’s works including their debut album, “Piper at the Gates of Dawn.” That album features a song with the following lyrics: “I’ve got a bike, you can ride it if you’d like, it’s got a basket, a bell, and pretty things to make it look good.” (I recited that from memory — some songs just stick with you.) Needless to say, I was a huge Pink Floyd fan back in my salad days.

Anyway, Barrett went insane after taking copious amounts of LSD in the late 60s. He’s something of a bizarre cult figure (at least in the hippie-wannabe circles in which I hung in the late 80s.) There were always questions about his whereabouts — was he locked up in a mental institution? Or did he live with his mother in a quiet house in suburban London? I remember hearing that he’d just sit around and strum his guitar all day. I was told once (with no source, of course) that the laughter heard on “Dark Side of the Moon” was really Syd. Check out the wikipedia entry for more apocryphal Syd Barrett tales.

The other members of the band paid tribute to him in their later work. The 1975 album “Wish You Were Here” detailed his life. Here’s a verse from the song “Shine on You Crazy Diamond:”

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.

Shine on you crazy diamond.

Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.

Shine on you crazy diamond.

You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom, blown on the steel breeze.

Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger, you legend,

You martyr, and shine!

Here’s to Syd. I hope you shine on, wherever you are.