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Sohnosuke is Japanese and not comfortable with The English may find small errors in syntax, but I did not wish to alter his words. Mr Imai's writings are deeply thought out and should be read carefully. He is co-author of
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Sohnosuke Imai Commentaries

SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND ON YOU :  A Pushing Absence Still More

Absence's Whereabouts

There is the conventional expression used on music media year in year out: ' Shine on You Crazy Diamond ' is a tribute to Syd Barrett. In the matter of this, in fact, Waters gave a statement like being contradictory, but the media and people somehow refer to a song by hearing only one side of it, and so I can't help feeling it's strange.

Roger Waters says:
It was very strange.
The lyrics were written --
and the lyrics are the bit of the song about Syd,
the rest of it could be about anything --
I don't why I started writing those lyrics about Syd... [...]
" 'Shine On's' not really about Syd --
he's just a symbol for all the extremes of absence some people have to indulge in [...] "

(from " Wish You Were Here Song Book " - October 1975)

Did he write with noncommittal feelings that way? I don't quite think so. In that case, why do they media and people see only one side and ignore other side? It is to take the easy course that criticisms conclude as only song about Syd Barrett. That's happy-go-lucky. It would never rebound on you late if you shift karma onto Barrett.
If a fact takes a first priority more than anything else, 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' is about him, Syd Barrett. If 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' is taken universally, it is a song about her or him, too. If 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' is taken subjectively, it is a song about me, you. You can have it any way you like.

So to say, Barrett makes good copy so that critics can finish writing within short limits -- but each fans have long time to listen and thinkwithout limit.

The dove, as you know, is the symbol of peace. Does one ever study the dove's ecology for the peace? Though it should be so lucky if the peace is in pigeon full-breast.
As Waters said that Barrett is just a symbol for all the extremes of absence some people have to indulge in, a matter is the substance which the symbol signifies.
When you turn your eyes away from it, you might turn your consciousness away from 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond''s meaning, that is, Waters' intention. As to such a situation, Waters said *absence* exactly, I suppose.

Tribute to You
The truth: 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' is a tribute song to persons who are *here*, namely, who thought that all at once the lyrics of the passage seems to apply to me personally. Can you make sense of what I say -- though I couldn't make myself understood by people in my country at all? When you listen to 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' and hear the lyrics, if you feel your heart tighten and it reminds you, and if it touches the deep into your soul and you happen to know of something by a few of phrase of lyrics, and if you sympathize deeply with it and are given some serious thought -- at that moment 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' is switched over to a song dedicated to you. If you are completely unable to regard 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' in the same light as yourself, you have no choice but to regard it a tribute song to Syd Barrett then.
Well then, why does the media see only one side? Because it's easier for them to do so. Because they realize that it's not easy to burden themselves with crazy diamond.

The Way to Universality

Nothing is more important to the song than a universal appeal. It is the contrast of light and shadow that makes all works of Pink Floyd so effective. What makes some contrast with diamond is the stone in 'Dogs,' or ashes in 'Two Suns In The Sunset.' Ashes suggest to us a slag burning itself out through the pressure of stardom and the stone suggests to us oppressive pressures in music industry. And what crazy diamond suggests to us is the mere stone or cinder losing brilliance. We can see the contrast of light and shadow in this way. It is a variant scene of the "pressures in the life" unrolled onto 'Dark Side of the Moon.'

Your Proof of Existing

You must prove an alibi that you exist in there. Information and data is not yourself, because you are absent from them absolutely fatally. The conventional expression "Shine On is a tribute to Syd" is mere information and critics, the person itself, are absent from its phrase.
Ironically, we can say that album 'Wish You Were Here' proved by itself that an absence is, like this, pushed ahead more and more. If you clean wrote something about 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' leaving Barrett's name out of the description, it is a natural act making your presence felt.

Under the Pretext of Syd

I think that 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' is not Syd Barrett, but especially the last two lines are what expressed himself to Roger Waters himself, such another self, under the pretext of Barrett. It is, as it were, a narcissistic act. On the contrary, 'Animals' was very masochistic album. On reflection, the narcissism and the masochism comes out in album mutually as Waters' tendency. When it was achieved expressing one side to the full, next his desire may begin to rise up to try expressing the other one side. On this own reasoning, I believe there is no doubt that just about 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' is Waters' one side... How about this idea?

Sohnosuke Imai

Where You Came From

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