was known as the velvet gentleman
for his habit of wearing a green velvet hat, jacket, vest, pants and umbrella.
His eccentricities were not limited to his sartorial choices. In his music, he would tell strange stories along the score. Making little but surrealist sense, they nevertheless provide a dimension other composers do not have.
In the Gymnopedies he abandoned the use of bar lines--the traditional manner to indicate when to begin counting at 1 again (and the traditional irritant to students)--though it is apparent that there are still an ordinary four beats to each non-apparent bar.
He played at a night club called Le chat noir, which may account for the less classical, and more popular feel to the Gymnopedies.
At one point, Satie at least flirted with Rosicrucianism, calling many pieces by titles reminiscent of that order.
Satie was told by some contemporaries that, lacking a degree, he couldn't compose. So he went to a school, the Schola Cantorum, and got one.
In the sixties, Satie made a triumphant entry into the culture with a series of three albums of his piano music on the Angel label. Besides the Gymnopedies, there were the Gnossiennes (about Crete and its capital Knossos?), and Trois Morceau en Forme de Poire for four hands (only there weren't three pieces, and they weren't in the form of a pear), among many, many others. Later there was a fourth album of orchestral works.
His ballets, Parade and Mercure were notable for, among other things, the use of typewriters, and sets by Picasso.
Satie made his way into pop culture when Blood, Sweat, and Tears unsed the theme to Gymnopedie #1 on its self-named album.
In the early seventies, at a performance of Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris on the stage of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the band warmed up with the same theme.