The brilliant, troubled founder of Pink Floyd has died. Barrett was 60.

Barrett’s quirky “acid folk” was hugely influential in rock circles and his descent into LSD-fueled mental instability remained a looming presence, and creative inspiration, for his former band long after he departed. The massive Floyd albums Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall all touched on the relationship between fame, fortune, isolation, and madness.

I still remember seeing Alan Parker’s film version of the The Wall on the day it opened at the old Charlottetown theatre and being struck by the way Bob Geldorf’s troubled rock icon performance was clearly inspired by Barrett’s real life woes. Movie audiences may have been freaked by the sight of Geldorf razoring off his eye-brows, for example, but that was a direct cop from Syd’s own bag of tricks.

So it is not a surprise that Syd is gone, but his passing is still very sad in the sense that it confirms that so much potential is indeed gone forever.