I never listened to early Pink Floyd until Dr. Demento, of all people, ran “See Emily Play” one night. It was the weirdest thing I’d heard (though I’m pretty sure a fourteen year old suburbanite’s weirdness quotient is pretty low), and I wonder what the rest of Floyd’s sound would’ve been like if he hadn’t gone mad. Or, at least, if he’d stayed.

Everyone and his mother will be quoting “Wish You Were Here” and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” and it’s appropriate, especially the latter. I love that mournful, cosmic sound, the expanse of sadness that the band must have felt to watch their friend descend. Maybe Syd was fine with it all, maybe he was tormented. I don’t know. But I hope everyone’s got some peace out of it.