Vegetable Man

Album: The Early Years 1965-1972 (1967)

Songfacts®:

  • This Syd Barrett-penned psychedelic rock song was recorded by Pink Floyd on August 9, 1967. The track was considered both as the follow-up to "See Emily Play" and for inclusion on A Saucerful of Secrets, but was not chosen for either. Although popular as a bootleg in a low quality form for decades, the tune did not have an official release until The Early Years 1965-1972 box set in November 2016.
  • The song is basically a description of what Barrett was wearing at the time.

    In yellow shoes I get the blues
    Though I walk the streets with my plastic feet
    With my blue velvet trousers, make me feel pink
    There's a kind of stink about blue velvet trousers
    In my paisley shirt I look a jerk
    And my turquoise waistcoat is quite out of sight


    The band's then-manager Peter Jenner recalled to Uncut magazine in 2016: "Syd wrote it in my flat. He was there prior to going to the studio. It was like, 'Hey, we've got a session booked, so we've got to have a song,' so he wrote that. It was a description of himself. Maybe you could see it as a call for help."

    Co-manger Andrew King added: "Syd had an indelible sense of humour, even in his darkest moments. Everyone really wanted Vegetable Nan to be a commercially feasible track, you can hear everybody under the sun singing in the chorus at the end. But nothing happened. It just disappeared into the archives."
  • Pink Floyd played "Vegetable Man" live for a BBC radio broadcast on December 20, 1967.

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