Syd Barrett
English musician
Syd Barrett
Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett, was an English singer-songwriter, guitarist and painter, best remembered as a founder member of the band Pink Floyd. He was the lead vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter during the band's psychedelic years, providing major musical and stylistic direction in their early work, including their name. He left the group in April 1968 amid speculations of mental illness exacerbated by drug use, and was briefly hospitalised.
Syd Barrett's personal information overview.
News abour Syd Barrett from around the web
Bowie Rocks Beverly Hills (Like It's 1972)
Huffington Post - about 1 month
David Bowie at The Beverly Hills Hotel in 1972 photographed by Mick Rock. Images courtesy Frank Pictures Gallery (left) and Taschen Gallery (right) "It's got everything I want!" That's how David Bowie felt about The Beverly Hills Hotel. He once confided in his friend, photographer Mick Rock, that he'd love to take up a residency there. In 1972, amid the Ziggy Stardust craze, the two spent eight nights at the property, taking pictures around the bungalow gardens. The result was a series of mesmerizing portraits of the late performer that have stood the test of time. What better way to honor David Bowie's creative legacy than to join Mick Rock at the very location where these iconic images were taken! An exhibition, a book signing and an anniversary brunch are scheduled for Sunday, January 22 at the LA landmark. Presidential Bungalow at The Beverly Hills Hotel. Image courtesy The Beverly Hills Hotel. The event will celebrate the release of the Taschen art book "The Rise of Da ...
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Huffington Post article
Wooden Shjips' "Ghouls" Takes You on a Psychedelic Journey
Mother Jones - about 3 years
Track 3 "Ghouls," from Wooden Shjips' Back to Land Thrill Jockey Liner notes: Are you experienced? This echo-laden psychedelic rave-up simulates a thrilling journey into the great unknown. Behind the music: Ripley Johnson launched this Bay Area band a decade ago, recruiting nonmusicians in an attempt to create new sounds. Featuring a more seasoned lineup, the band's last album, West, pondered American mythology. Check out if you like: Space travelers new (Melody's Echo Chamber) and old (Syd Barrett).
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Mother Jones article
Wild Things
Huffington Post - over 3 years
In Oct 1967, a 16 date UK package tour with Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Move, Nice and Amen Corner kicked off at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The tour presented two shows a night - and at each gig, the headlining Hendrix was allotted exactly 40 minutes. The Move, who preceded him onstage, had just half an hour - and Pink Floyd were allowed between 15 and 20 minutes. Tickets cost from seven/ six to 15 shillings (37.5p to 75p). 31 shows in 16 Cities, all between 14 November - 5 December 1967 - can you imagine such a tour, taking place today? No is the answer. Which is a shame, what a great way to see five or six happening acts, all on the same night. Yes, we do have tours like this now, but they tend to be nostalgia tours, which can be a bit sad. I remember going to see one such show, which on paper look good but in reality was a big disappointment. Blondie, INXS and... I can't even think who the other acts were, but it wasn't a good night. Touring the UK in 1967 would've been no ...
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Huffington Post article
Up & Coming
The Portland Mercury - over 3 years
Music previews for the week of September 18-24. WEDNESDAY 9/18 WOODS, THE FRESH AND ONLYS, THE WOOLEN MEN (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week! WINDHAND, BELL WITCH, IONOPHORE, STONEBURNER (Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Read our article on Windhand. BOSNIAN RAINBOWS, AAN (Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Over the past decade or so, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez has released, under his own name, a flood of EPs and full-length albums that are as eclectic as they are eccentric. (This is not counting his work with the Mars Volta.) It's great stuff, most of it, but it can sometimes come off as an exercise in self-indulgence. His latest project, Bosnian Rainbows, is quite the opposite, a band in the truest sense. In fact, unless you were told, you might not even know Rodriguez-Lopez was in the band. His wiry guitar and prog arrangements are replaced with sinewy synths and simpler pop structures. Teri Gender Bender (of ...
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The Portland Mercury article
Anne Margaret Daniel: Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Bob Dylan, 1965. Photograph courtesy and © Daniel Kramer Happy birthday, Bob Dylan. Summer, 1988. A skinny redheaded girl is standing in a folding chair in the front row at the Mann Center in Philadelphia, with her arms around two perfect strangers, a blonde and a brunette. We're all dancing to "Maggie's Farm." When Bob delivers the line "She's sixty-eight, but she says she's twenty-four," he looks at us and grins. From the circles of eyeliner, his eyes, an improbable shade of bright blue, laugh - more at us, maybe, than with us. The first time I heard Bob Dylan live was that night. I'd heard him plenty before then, having grown up with the Folkways Newport Bob thanks to my parents, a mother from an Appalachian family full of fiddle players and a father who knew every old Southern hymn, folk song, blues, and holler - if you can ever properly differentiate among these. Blood On The Tracks was the first Dylan album I came to on my own, and I had never heard anyth ...
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Huffington Post article
Love From London
Rolling Stone - almost 4 years
This British singer-songwriter and psychedelic cult hero keeps issuing delightful incisive rec ords and this is one of his recent best – an album Syd Barrett might have made if he'd stayed cogent and seen the end of days Love From London is 10 songs of chiming folk-rock grace and...
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Rolling Stone article
Who is David Bowie? A guide to the V&A retrospective
Guardian (UK) - about 4 years
As a blockbuster exhibition, David Bowie is, gets under way at the V&A, Sean O'Hagan dissects the pop icon's influences – and reveals the ideas behind four of his key alter egos From the very beginning, I always saw David as a star in the way that James Dean or Marilyn Monroe or Judy Garland were stars. He was an actor, essentially. He soaked up whatever was in the air to create his characters, then he became those characters in his songs and his performances, and even offstage. Sometimes, you'd have Ziggy Stardust in the taxi with you and you didn't know what to do with it and it was pretty powerful." Mick "Woody" Woodmansey is recalling the heady and sometimes unsettling time when he had a brief supporting role in the making of pop history. From 1970 to 1973, he played drums in the Spiders for Mars, the band that helped David Bowie redefine what it was to be a pop star, what a pop song and a live performance could express. He was there behind his drum kit, dressed in a pink ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Dusty Wright: Best of January Music -- Concerts, Leftovers, Prince
Huffington Post - about 4 years
It's inevitable that I miss out on some terrific music and culture every year. The sheer volume of releases seems to increase every year, and the lack of time to listen to everything, the recommendations of fellow critics and friends, well, there's just so many hours in a day. Here then are some things that I finally got around to ingesting in the last few weeks. Even caught a few live shows in between all of the mounting work. And if that wasn't enough, a killer new tune from His Purple Badass - Prince!  Syd Arthur On An On (Dawn Chorus) Prog is back! This young U.K.-based quartet -- guitar, violin, bass, drums -- borrows more from Gentle Giant than from the sound of its hometown of Canterbury, i.e., bands such as Caravan, Soft Machine, Egg, or Gong. I've not enjoyed a progressive rock record this much since I first fell in love with the art-prog of Hatfield & the North -- thanks, Harvey! --  back in the '70s and more recently the psych-prog of Porcupine Tree an ...
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Huffington Post article
An Interview with Colin Blunstone
Seattle Pi - about 4 years
An Interview with Colin Blunstone Seattle Post-Intelligencer Copyright 2013 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 3:30 am, Saturday, January 19, 2013 While his post-Zombies endeavors haven't enjoyed the same success in the States as they have in his native country, Blunstone has continued to explore and expound upon his talent, whether recording under his own name or in collaboration with other artists, most notably Alan Parsons and fellow Zombies alumnus Rod Argent. For a little over the past decade, in fact, Blunstone and Argent have (with an otherwise revamped lineup) brought the Zombies back to life in the recording studio as well as on the concert stage. The same could be said for his eleventh and latest solo effort, On The Air Tonight, which reflects the hallmark sublimity of Blunstone's classic works in timeless, touching ways. Did you ...
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Seattle Pi article
Up & Coming
The Portland Mercury - over 4 years
Music previews for the week of October 25-31. THURSDAY 10/25 DAN DEACON, HEIGHT WITH FRIENDS, CHESTER ENDERSBY GWAZDA, ALAN RESNICK (Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Read our article on Dan Deacon. SERENGETI, CARS & TRAINS, BIG PAUPER (Berbati, 19 SW 2nd) Read our article on Cars & Trains. ROBYN HITCHCOCK, YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS, PETER BUCK (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The combined history of the musicians on the marquee tonight forms a substantial piece of underground and overground rock goodness (yes, R.E.M.'s '80s catalog is still important and vital). Back when he led the Soft Boys, Robyn Hitchcock used to be the most convincing Syd Barrett disciple in the world. He later channeled that lucid lunacy into several solo albums and full-lengths with the Egyptians that combine surreal verbal acrobatics with acidic/pastoral, tuneful rocking and rolling—my favorite being Black Snake Diamond Röle; seriously, check "Acid Bird ...
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The Portland Mercury article
How to Build a Bike Sound System
The Portland Mercury - over 4 years
Do's and don'ts for building a totally rad party machine. by Ned Lannamann Cars, schmars... but there's one thing your bike just can't replace—that feeling of cruising down the road with your favorite music on full blast. Well, say hello to Brian Sysfail. He's built, by his own count, at least eight bike sound systems, including ones for mini-bike dance crew the Sprockettes. DO use the resources at hand. The simplest sound system is just a boombox strapped to your rack. "We started with a boombox. Then I dumpstered a car stereo amp, and have spent the last five years making better mobile systems," says Sysfail. DO go to the next level, once you're ready. Your sound system needs a few pieces: a music source, an amp, a battery, and a speaker. Plug your music source (like an iPod) into the amp. Connect your amp to the battery (big systems use a car battery) and hook up one channel of the amp to the speaker. Sysfail says to start out ...
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The Portland Mercury article
The Fall Of The Outsider: Luke Haines
Clash - almost 5 years
Where have all the outsiders gone? The savants, the nut jobs, the angel-headed hipsters fit to burn the heavenly cosmos of night? All are sadly lacking in the UK right now, with chequebook indie and dollar sign Grime bulldozing the fragile archicture of our pop heritage. Sometimes it feels like only a few genuine, bona fide outsiders are left. Luke Haines, therefore, is an endangered species. Creative lynchpin for The Auteurs and Black Box Recorder, his new book 'Post Everything: Outsider Rock & Roll' seems to profile the music industry just as the post-Millennial malaise set in. ClashMusic caught up with Luke Haines to define the fall of the outsider... - - - You’re obviously looking back on your own work now, do you see yourself sitting in a tradion of outsiders running through British pop music? Yes, absolutely. I’m not comparing myself, but people like John Cale, Syd Barrett, Kevin Ayers, especially those kind of people on Harvest Records maybe in the earl ...
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Clash article
Latest music reviews, including BoB, Mystery Jets and Holy State
Goole Courier - almost 5 years
B.o.B: Strange Clouds B.o.B’s sophomore album Strange Clouds is as eclectic as his debut was – hip-hop with pop/acoustic/rock leanings. Opening with cutting strings and a dramatic narration from Morgan Freeman (no less) is Bombs Away. So Hard To Breathe has a gentle acoustic intro before morphing into a rock-tinged number over lyrics touching on the trappings of success/fame to environmental degradation. The stars continue to shine with Taylor Swift on the acoustic chorus of Both Of Us (with the line “I wish I was strong enough to lift, not one, but both of us/Some day I will be strong enough to lift, not one, but both of us), Lil Wayne on the dubstep-influenced title track, Chris Brown on Arena (with a nice piano riff), Nicki Minaj on the stealth-like Out Of My Mind, Ryan Tedder on the brilliant pop Never Let You Go (with dreamy Beach Boys-style harmonies), Playboy Tre on the haunting Just A Sign and Trey Songz on Castles. Other standouts are the current single, the piano-sprinkl ...
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Goole Courier article
The Round Trip part 13: Walking the line
+972mag - almost 5 years
From Ramot to Rachel’s tomb via Brooklyn, a haunted house, a threat of very painful eternal damnation and two fjords. Ira, Ezra and myself are having breakfast in the sunny kitchen of Givon Hakhadasha. Ira eats what she terms a “kibbutz” breakfast: white cheese spread, some bread and a chopped salad of tomatoes and cucumber. She talks of the settlement’s oddities, from an eccentric neighbor who claims unconvincingly to have served as a secret agent, to a peacock whom she once saw walking down the leafy streets, next to a little girl who tried to feed it ice cream. Another oddity involves a Palestinian man named Mahmoud Saberi, whose house gradually became engulfed by the settlers’ houses. Saberi refused to leave his property, and it was consequently fenced off by the settlement to keep him out, allowing him a narrow opening in the direction of the nearby village. Saberi’s house now sits at the end of a fjord of fence, connected to the settlement’s own enclosing fence. Ezra ta ...
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+972mag article
Exit Through the Tape Recorder
The Portland Mercury - almost 5 years
Damien Jurado checks out, and back in, with a dream-fueled concept album. by Ned Lannamann WHAT YOU WON'T notice on first listen is how stunningly simple the songs on Damien Jurado's Maraqopa are. The bones of its songs are sparse and uncomplicated melodies backed by very simple chords. But Jurado and producer Richard Swift have made an elegant, dense, psychedelic record around Jurado's impressively stripped-down songs, from the swirling desert peyote trip of "Nothing Is the News" to the gorgeously frail "Museum of Flight," which is one of the most moving love songs in years. It's a magnificent album, easily the equal of Jurado's previous high-water mark, 2010's Saint Bartlett, if not better. Jurado says the album, from its title on down, is based on a dream. "Maraqopa is a made-up place that I had a dream about, where a guy—in this dream I was having—decides that he's going to commit social suicide. He wakes up in his house, realiz ...
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The Portland Mercury article
Paul Weller Unveils New Single
Clash - almost 5 years
Paul Weller is set to release his new single 'When Your Garden’s Overgrown' on May 21st. Once typecast as the torch-holder of hairy knuckle Brit-rock, Paul Weller's recent output has displayed an increased element of risk. Taking inspiration from electronic music, Krautrock and post-punk the songwriter has pushed his music into new directions. Yet some elements remain the same. Due to release new single 'When Your Garden’s Overgrown' on May 21st, Paul Weller recently revealed that the song was partially inspired by the life of Syd Barrett. The iconic songwriter behind The Pink Floyd's wonderful dalliance with full blown psychedelia, Syd Barrett's mental decline led his to retreat from the music industry. Occupying time with his first love of painting, 'When Your Garden’s Overgrown' is seemingly an analysis of what might have been. “I think this song’s about Syd Barrett” Weller said recently. “It’s like, what would it have been like if he hadn’t got into music? If he’ ...
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Clash article
Field Music Covers Compilation
Clash - almost 5 years
Field Music have confirmed plans to release a new covers album, featuring re-workings of Syd Barrett, Roxy Music and more. An awkward, self-contained unit Field Music recently returned with their new album 'Plumb'. A fascinating take on de-constructed pop, the band are now set to follow this with a new covers compilation. Kept to a limited edition, the compilation is set to feature recordings made over a number of years. David Brewis said recently: "Over the years we've been handed excuses to try all sorts of covers. Sometimes we've been quite faithful and other times we've completely de-constructed them. Even though I don't think it's something which comes naturally to us, we always seem to find some element which can turn a song into Field Music". Pre-orders are available now on the band's website. As a special preview, Field Music are streaming their take on Syd Barrett's 'Terrapin' - the original is a tender, frail recording but this is a beefed up, almost Glam roc ...
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Clash article
Goodnight and I Wish – Goodnight and I Wish EP Review
Obsessed with Film - What Cultur - almost 5 years
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars So let’s get formalities out of the way; there once was (still is) a band by the name of Neils Children, they were a post-punk band with psychedelic tendencies and as they went on began to delve a little deeper into the dark side, garage and psych rock. It’s during this period, that I am forced to admit I have prior, I have history, with this band. I say that, I doubt they’ll remember it, though I remember it well. It was a gig supporting The Horrors in Cardiff Barfly, who were touring in support of their debut album Strange House. (Dear Reader, you can skip over these next two paragraphs if you’re only interested in reading a review, like I imagine you probably are) So before the gig, myself and two friends were making irritating nuisances of ourselves. While we queued one friend went for a piss round the corner and discovered some girls and the band Neils Children hanging about and getting stuff in through the back door. We decided to stick our oars ...
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Obsessed with Film - What Cultur article
Pink Floyd The Story Of “Wish You Were Here” Is a fascinating document and fitting tribute to bandmate Syd Barrett
Hollywood Today - almost 5 years
  By Fred Starr New York, NY (Hollywood Today)4/7/12/–Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to announce the simultaneous release on June 26 of Pink Floyd The Story Of Wish You Were Here on DVD and Blu-ray.  This is the authorized story of the album made with the full involvement and approval of the members of Pink [...]
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Hollywood Today article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Syd Barrett
  • 2006
    Age 60
    On 28 November 2006, Barrett's other possessions were sold at an auction at Cheffins auction house in Cambridge, raising £120,000 for charity.
    More Details Hide Details Items sold included paintings, scrapbooks and everyday items that Barrett had decorated. NME produced a tribute issue to Barrett a week later with a photo of him on the cover. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Barrett's sister revealed that he had written a book: In response to the news of Barrett's death, fellow Pink Floyd bandmate David Gilmour said: According to local newspapers, Barrett left approximately £1.7 million to his two brothers and two sisters. This sum was apparently largely acquired from royalties from Pink Floyd compilations and live recordings featuring songs he had written while with the band. A tribute concert called Games for May was held at the Barbican Centre, London on 10 May 2007 with Robyn Hitchcock, Captain Sensible, Damon Albarn, Chrissie Hynde, Kevin Ayers and his Pink Floyd bandmates performing. A series of events called The City Wakes was held in Cambridge in October 2008 to celebrate Barrett's life, art and music. Barrett's sister, Rosemary Breen, supported this, the first-ever series of official events in memory of her brother. After the festival's success, arts charity Escape Artists announced plans to create a centre in Cambridge, using art to help people suffering from mental health problems. A memorial bench has been placed in the Botanic Gardens in Cambridge and a more prominent tribute is planned in the city.
    In 2006, his home in St. Margaret's Square, Cambridge, was put on the market and reportedly attracted considerable interest.
    More Details Hide Details After over 100 showings, many by fans, it was sold to a French couple who bought it simply because they liked it; reportedly they knew nothing about Barrett.
    After suffering from diabetes for several years, Barrett died at home in Cambridge on 7 July 2006, aged 60.
    More Details Hide Details The cause of death was pancreatic cancer. The occupation on his death certificate was "retired musician". He was cremated, with his ashes given to a family member or friend.
    Many photos of Barrett being harassed by paparazzi when walking or cycling from the 1980s until his death in 2006, have been published in various media.
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  • 2003
    Age 57
    During this time, Barrett also played guitar on the sessions for Soft Machine founder Kevin Ayers' debut LP Joy of a Toy, although his performance on "Religious Experience" (later titled "Singing a Song in the Morning") was not released until the album was reissued in 2003.
    More Details Hide Details One time, Barrett had told his flatmate that he was going off "for an afternoon drive". However, he followed Pink Floyd to Ibiza (according to legend, he skipped check-ins and customs, ran onto the runway and attempted to flag down a jet). One of his friends, J. Ryan Eaves, bass player for the short-lived but influential Manchester band "York's Ensemble", later spotted him on a beach wearing messed-up clothes and with a carrier bag full of money. At this point, during the trip, Barrett had asked Gilmour for his help in the recording sessions. After two of the Gilmour/Waters-produced sessions, they remade one track from the Soft Machine overdubs and recorded three tracks. These sessions came to a minor halt when Gilmour and Waters were mixing Pink Floyd's newly recorded album, Ummagumma, to Barrett's dismay. However, through the end of July, they managed to record three more tracks. The problem with the recording was that the songs were recorded as Barrett played them "live" in studio. On the released versions a number of them have false starts and commentaries from Barrett. Despite the track being closer to complete and better produced, Gilmour and Waters left the Jones-produced track "Opel" off Madcap.
  • 2002
    Age 56
    Barrett made a final public acknowledgement of his musical past in 2002, his first since the 1970s, when he autographed 320 copies of photographer Mick Rock's book Psychedelic Renegades, which contained a number of photos of Barrett.
    More Details Hide Details Rock was perhaps the last person in the music industry with whom Barrett kept in contact. In 1971, Rock conducted the final interview of Barrett before his retirement from the music industry a few years later, and Barrett subsequently turned up on Rock's London doorstep "four, maybe five times" for a cup of tea and conversation through 1978, before Barrett moved back to Cambridge. They had not spoken in more than twenty years when Rock approached Barrett to autograph his photography book, and Barrett uncharacteristically agreed. Having reverted to his birth name "Roger" from his stage name "Syd" many years before, he had autographed the book simply "Barrett."
  • 2001
    Age 55
    However, he did visit his sister's house in November 2001 to watch the BBC Omnibus documentary made about him – reportedly he found some of it "a bit noisy", enjoyed seeing Mike Leonard of Leonard's Lodgers again, calling him his "teacher", and enjoyed hearing "See Emily Play" again.
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  • 1996
    Age 50
    In 1996, Barrett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pink Floyd, but he did not attend the ceremony.
    More Details Hide Details According to a 2005 profile in the book Madcap by biographer and journalist Tim Willis, Barrett, who had reverted to using his original name of Roger, continued to live in his late mother's semi-detached home in Cambridge, and had returned to painting, creating large abstract canvases. He was also said to have been an avid gardener and his main point of contact with the outside world was his sister, Rosemary, who lived nearby. He was reclusive, and his physical health declined, as he suffered from stomach ulcers and type 2 diabetes. Although Barrett had not appeared or spoken in public since the mid-1970s, time did little to diminish interest in his life and work. Reporters and fans still travelled to Cambridge to seek him out, despite his attempts to live a quiet life and public appeals from his family for people to leave him alone.
  • 1982
    Age 36
    He returned to live in London again in 1982, but lasted only a few weeks and soon returned to Cambridge for good.
    More Details Hide Details Barrett walked the from London to Cambridge. Until his death, Barrett received royalties from his work with Pink Floyd from each compilation and some of the live and studio albums and singles that featured his songs; Gilmour said that he "made sure the money got to Barrett."
  • 1978
    Age 32
    In 1978, when Barrett's money ran out, he moved back to Cambridge to live with his mother.
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  • 1974
    Age 28
    In August 1974, Jenner persuaded Barrett to return to Abbey Road Studios in hope of recording another album.
    More Details Hide Details According to John Leckie, who engineered these sessions, even at this point Syd still "looked like he did when he was younger.. long haired". The sessions lasted three days and consisted of blues rhythm tracks with tentative and disjointed guitar overdubs. Barrett recorded 11 tracks, the only one of which to be titled was "If You Go, Don't Be Slow". Once again, Barrett withdrew from the music industry, but this time for good. He sold the rights to his solo albums back to the record label and moved into a London hotel. During this period, several attempts to employ him as a record producer (including one by Jamie Reid on behalf of the Sex Pistols, and another by The Damned, who wanted him to produce their second album) were all fruitless.
  • 1973
    Age 27
    By the end of 1973, Barrett had returned to live in London, staying at various hotels and, in December of that year, settling in at Chelsea Cloisters.
    More Details Hide Details He had little contact with others, apart from his regular visits to his management's offices to collect his royalties, and the occasional visit from his sister Rosemary.
    Barrett attended an informal jazz and poetry performance by Pete Brown and former Cream bassist Jack Bruce in October 1973.
    More Details Hide Details Brown arrived at the show late, and saw that Bruce was already onstage, along with "a guitarist I vaguely recognised", playing the Horace Silver tune "Doodlin'". Later in the show, Brown read out a poem, which he dedicated to Syd, because, "he's here in Cambridge, and he's one of the best songwriters in the country" when, to his surprise, the guitar player from earlier in the show stood up and said, "No I'm not".
  • 1972
    Age 26
    Free from his EMI contract on 9 May 1972, Barrett signed a document that ended his association with Pink Floyd, and any financial interest in future recordings.
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  • 1971
    Age 25
    Barrett made one last appearance on BBC Radio, recording three songs at their studios on 16 February 1971.
    More Details Hide Details All three came from the Barrett album. After this session, he took a hiatus from his music career that lasted more than a year, although in an extensive interview with Mick Rock and Rolling Stone in December, he discussed himself at length, showed off his new 12-string guitar, talked about touring with Jimi Hendrix and stated that he was frustrated in terms of his musical work because of his inability to find anyone good to play with. In February 1972, after a few guest spots in Cambridge with ex-Pink Fairies member Twink on drums and Jack Monck on bass using the name The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band (backing visiting blues musician Eddie "Guitar" Burns and also featuring Henry Cow guitarist Fred Frith), the trio formed a short-lived band called Stars. Though they were initially well received at gigs in the Dandelion coffee bar and the town's Market Square, one of their gigs at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge with the MC5 proved to be disastrous. A few days after this final show, Twink recalled that Barrett stopped him on the street, showed him a scathing review of the gig they had played, and quit on the spot, despite having played at least one subsequent gig at the same venue supporting Nektar.
  • 1970
    Age 24
    On 24 February 1970, he appeared on John Peel's BBC radio programme Top Gear playing five songs—only one of which had been previously released.
    More Details Hide Details Three would be re-recorded for the Barrett album, while the song "Two of a Kind" was a one-off performance (possibly written by Richard Wright). Barrett was accompanied on this session by Gilmour and Shirley who played bass and percussion, respectively. Gilmour and Shirley also backed Barrett for his one and only live concert during this period. The gig took place on 6 June 1970 at the Olympia Exhibition Hall as part of a Music and Fashion Festival. The trio performed four songs, "Terrapin", "Gigolo Aunt", "Effervescing Elephant" and "Octopus". Poor mixing left the vocals barely audible until part-way through the last number. At the end of the fourth song, Barrett unexpectedly but politely put down his guitar and walked off the stage. The performance has been bootlegged.
    The second album, Barrett, was recorded more sporadically than the first, with sessions taking place between February and July 1970.
    More Details Hide Details The album was produced by David Gilmour, and featured Gilmour on bass guitar, Richard Wright on keyboard and Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley. The first two songs attempted were for Barrett to play and/or sing to an existing backing track. However, Gilmour thought they were losing the "Barrett-ness". One track ("Rats") was originally recorded with Barrett on his own. That would later be overdubbed by musicians, despite the changing tempos. Shirley said of Barrett's playing: "He would never play the same tune twice. Sometimes Syd couldn't play anything that made sense; other times what he'd play was absolute magic." At times Barrett, who experienced extreme synesthesia, would say: "Perhaps we could make the middle darker and maybe the end a bit middle afternoonish. At the moment it's too windy and icy". These sessions were happening while Pink Floyd had just begun to work on Atom Heart Mother. On various occasions, Barrett went to "spy" on the band as they recorded their album.
  • 1969
    Age 23
    During New Year 1969, a somewhat recovered Barrett had taken up tenancy in a flat on Egerton Gardens, South Kensington, London, with the Post Modernist artist Duggie Fields.
    More Details Hide Details Here, Barrett's flat was so close to Gilmour's that Gilmour could look right into Barrett's kitchen. Deciding to return to music, Barrett contacted EMI and was passed to Malcolm Jones, the then-head of EMI's new prog rock label, Harvest (after Norman Smith and Jenner declined to produce Barrett's record, Jones produced it). Barrett wanted to recover the Jenner-produced sessions recordings; several of the tracks were improved upon. The Jones-produced sessions started in April 1969 at EMI Studios. After the first of these sessions, Barrett brought in friends to help out: Humble Pie drummer, Jerry Shirley and Jokers Wild (Gilmour's old band) drummer, Willie Wilson. For the sessions, Gilmour played bass. Talking to Barrett wasn't easy, said Jones: "It was a case of following him, not playing with him. They were seeing and then playing so they were always a note behind". A few tracks on the album feature overdubs by members of the band Soft Machine.
    After leaving Pink Floyd, Barrett was out of the public eye for a year. Then, in 1969, at the behest of EMI and Harvest Records, he embarked on a brief solo career, releasing two solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett (both 1970), and a single, "Octopus".
    More Details Hide Details Some songs, "Terrapin", "Maisie" and "Bob Dylan Blues", reflected Barrett's early interest in the blues. After Barrett left Pink Floyd, Jenner followed suit. He led Barrett into EMI Studios to record some tracks in May that would later be released on Barrett's first solo album, The Madcap Laughs. However, Jenner said: "I had seriously underestimated the difficulties of working with him". By the sessions of June and July, most of the tracks were in better shape; however, shortly after the July sessions, Barrett broke up with girlfriend Lindsay Corner and went on a drive around Britain in his Mini, ending up in psychiatric care in Cambridge.
  • 1968
    Age 22
    On 6 April 1968, the group officially announced Barrett was no longer a member, the same day the band's contract with Blackhill Enterprises was terminated as the record label, considering Barrett to be the musical brains of the band, stayed with Barrett.
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    Barrett did not contribute material to the band after A Saucerful of Secrets was released in 1968.
    More Details Hide Details Of the songs he wrote for Pink Floyd after The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, only one, "Jugband Blues", made it to the band's second album; one, "Apples and Oranges", became a less-than-successful single; and two others, "Scream Thy Last Scream" and "Vegetable Man", were never officially released as they were deemed too dark and unsettling. Feeling guilty for ousting their friend, the members of Pink Floyd were unable to bring themselves to definitively tell Barrett that he was no longer in the band. According to Rick Wright, who lived with Barrett at the time, Wright had the awful job of telling Barrett that he was going out to buy cigarettes while he went off to play a gig. He would return hours later to find Barrett in the same position, sometimes with a cigarette burned completely down between his fingers (an incident later referenced in Pink Floyd's The Wall). Emerging from catatonia and unaware that a long period of time had elapsed, Barrett would ask, "Have you got the cigarettes?". Barrett supposedly spent time outside the recording studio, in the reception area, waiting to be invited in. He also showed up to a few gigs and glared at Gilmour. Barrett played slide guitar on "Remember a Day" (which had been first attempted during the Piper sessions), and also played on "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun".
    The other band members soon grew tired of Barrett's antics and, on 26 January 1968, when Waters was driving on the way to a show at Southampton University, the band elected not to pick Barrett up: one person in the car said, "Shall we pick Syd up?" and another said, "Let's not bother."
    More Details Hide Details As Barrett had, up until then, written the bulk of the band's material, the initial plan was to keep him in the group as a non-touring member—as The Beach Boys had done with Brian Wilson—but this soon proved to be impractical. Gilmour subsequently became a full-time member of the band. According to Roger Waters, Barrett came into what was to be their last practice session with a new song he had dubbed "Have You Got It Yet? " The song seemed simple enough when he first presented it, but it soon became impossibly difficult to learn and they eventually realised that while they were practising it, Barrett kept changing the arrangement. He would then play it again, with the arbitrary changes, and sing "Have you got it yet?" Eventually they realised they never would, and that they were simply bearing the brunt of Barrett's idiosyncratic sense of humour. Waters had called it "a real act of mad genius".
  • 1967
    Age 21
    During their UK tour with Jimi Hendrix in November 1967, guitarist David O'List from The Nice was called in to substitute for Barrett on several occasions when he was unable to perform or failed to appear.
    More Details Hide Details Sometime around Christmas, David Gilmour (Barrett's old school friend) was asked to join the band as a second guitarist to cover for Barrett, with the idea of retaining a five-member line-up of the band. For a handful of shows Gilmour played and sang while Barrett wandered around on stage, occasionally deciding to join in playing.
    Before a performance in late 1967, Barrett reportedly crushed Mandrax tranquilliser tablets and an entire tube of Brylcreem into his hair, which subsequently melted down his face under the heat of the stage lighting, making him look like "a guttered candle".
    More Details Hide Details Nick Mason later disputed the Mandrax portion of this story, stating that "Syd would never waste good mandies".
    Through late 1967 and early 1968, Barrett's behaviour became increasingly erratic and unpredictable, partly as a consequence of his reported heavy use of psychedelic drugs, most prominently LSD.
    More Details Hide Details There is also much speculation that he suffered from schizophrenia. Once described as joyful, friendly, and extroverted, he became increasingly depressed and socially withdrawn, and experienced hallucinations, disorganized speech, memory lapses, intense mood swings, and periods of catatonia. Although the changes began gradually, he went missing for a long weekend and, according to several friends including Rick Wright, came back "a completely different person." One of the striking features of his change was the development of a blank, empty, dead-eyed stare (referred to in Pink Floyd's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" with the line "now there's a look in your eye like black holes in the sky"). He was unable to recognize old friends that he had known for years, and often did not know where he was. At one point, while on a tour of the city of Los Angeles, Barrett is said to have exclaimed, "gee, it sure is nice to be in Las Vegas!" Many reports described him on stage, strumming one chord through the entire concert, or not playing at all. At a show at The Fillmore in San Francisco, during a performance of "Interstellar Overdrive", Barrett slowly detuned his guitar. The audience seemed to enjoy such antics, unaware of the rest of the band's consternation. Interviewed on Pat Boone's show during this tour, Syd's reply to Boone's questions was a "blank and totally mute stare," according to Nick Mason, "Syd wasn't into moving his lips that day."
    Their first three singles (including their third, "Apples and Oranges"), were written by Barrett, who also was the principal visionary/author of their critically acclaimed 1967 debut album.
    More Details Hide Details Of the eleven songs on Piper, Barrett wrote eight and co-wrote another two.
    At the beginning of 1967, Barrett was dating Jenny Spires (who would later marry future Stars member Jack Monck).
    More Details Hide Details However, unknown to Barrett, Spires had an affair with Peter Whitehead. Spires convinced Whitehead (who thought the band sounded like "bad Schoenberg") to use Pink Floyd in a film about the swinging London scene. So at the cost of £80, in January, Whitehead took the band into John Wood's Sound Techniques in Chelsea, with promoter Joe Boyd in tow. Here, the band recorded a 16-minute version of "Interstellar Overdrive" and another composition, "Nick's Boogie". Whitehead had filmed this recording, which was used in the film Tonite Let's All Make Love in London and later on the video release of London '66–'67. Whitehead later commented about the band that: "They were just completely welded together, just like a jazz group". Boyd attempted to sign the band with Polydor Records. However, Morrison had convinced King and Jenner to try to start a bidding war between Polydor and EMI. In late January, Boyd produced a recording session for the group, with them returning to Sound Techniques in Chelsea again. After the aforementioned bidding war idea was finished, Pink Floyd signed with EMI. Unusually for the time, the deal included recording an album, which meant the band had unlimited studio time at EMI Studios in return for a smaller royalty percentage. The band then attempted to re-record "Arnold Layne", but the Boyd version from January was released instead.
    Barrett was musically active for less than ten years. With Pink Floyd, he recorded four singles, their 1967 debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (and contributed to their second, 1968's A Saucerful of Secrets), and several unreleased songs.
    More Details Hide Details Barrett began his solo career in 1969 with the single "Octopus" from his first solo album, The Madcap Laughs (1970). The album was recorded over the course of a year with five different producers (Peter Jenner, Malcolm Jones, David Gilmour, Roger Waters and Barrett himself). Nearly two months after Madcap was released, Barrett began working on his second and final album, Barrett (1970), produced by Gilmour and featuring contributions from Richard Wright.
  • 1965
    Age 19
    In 1965, Barrett joined them as The Tea Set (sometimes spelled T-Set).
    More Details Hide Details When they found themselves playing a concert with another band of the same name, Barrett came up with "The Pink Floyd Sound" (also known as "The Pink Floyd Blues Band", later "The Pink Floyd"). During 1965, they went into a studio for the first time, when a friend of Richard Wright's gave the band free time to record. During this summer Barrett had his first LSD trip in the garden of friend Dave Gale, with Ian Moore and Storm Thorgerson. During one trip, Barrett and another friend, Paul Charrier, ended up naked in the bath, reciting: "No rules, no rules". That summer, as a consequence of the continuation of drug use, the band became absorbed in Sant Mat, a Sikh sect. Storm Thorgerson (then living on Earlham Street) and Barrett went to a London hotel to meet the sect's guru; Thorgerson managed to join the sect, while Barrett, however, was deemed too young to join. Thorgerson perceives this as a deeply important event in Barrett's life, as he was intensely upset by the rejection. While living within proximity of his friends, Barrett decided to write more songs ("Bike" was written around this time).
  • 1964
    Age 18
    Barrett enrolled in the college in the summer of 1964 to study painting.
    More Details Hide Details Starting in 1964, the band that would become Pink Floyd evolved through various line-up and name changes including "The Abdabs", "The Screaming Abdabs", "Sigma 6", and "The Meggadeaths".
    In 1964, Barrett and Gausden saw Bob Dylan perform.
    More Details Hide Details After this performance, Barrett was inspired to write "Bob Dylan Blues". Barrett, now thinking about his future, decided to apply for Camberwell College of Arts in London.
  • 1963
    Age 17
    Barrett had played bass guitar with Those Without during the summer of 1963 and both bass and guitar with The Hollerin' Blues the next summer.
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    In 1963, Barrett became a Rolling Stones fan and Barrett and then-girlfriend Libby Gausden saw them perform at a village hall in Cambridgeshire.
    More Details Hide Details It was at this point Barrett started writing songs; one friend recalls hearing "Effervescing Elephant" (later to be recorded on his solo album Barrett). Also around this time, Barrett and Gilmour occasionally played acoustic gigs together.
  • 1962
    Age 16
    During the winter of 1962 and early 1963, the Beatles made an impact on Barrett, and he began to play Beatles songs at parties and at picnics.
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    In September 1962, Barrett had taken a place at the Cambridge Technical College art department, where he met David Gilmour.
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  • 1961
    Age 15
    His father died of cancer on 11 December 1961, less than a month before Barrett's 16th birthday.
    More Details Hide Details Also on this day, Barrett had left the entry in his diary for this date blank. By this time, his brothers and sisters had left home and his mother decided to rent out rooms to lodgers. Eager to help her son recover from his grief, Barrett's mother encouraged the band in which he played, Geoff Mott and The Mottoes, a band which Barrett formed, to perform in their front room. Roger Waters and Syd Barrett were childhood friends, and Waters often visited such gigs. At one point, Waters even organised a gig, a CND benefit at Friends Meeting House on 11 March 1962, but shortly afterwards Geoff Mott joined the Boston Crabs, and the Mottoes broke up.
  • 1957
    Age 11
    At one point at Morley Memorial Junior School he was taught by Roger Waters' mother, Mary. Later, in 1957, he attended Cambridgeshire High School for Boys (with Waters).
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  • 1951
    Age 5
    In 1951 his family moved to 183 Hills Road.
    More Details Hide Details Barrett played piano occasionally, but usually preferred writing and drawing. He got a ukulele at 10, a banjo at 11 and a Hofner acoustic guitar at 14. A year after he got his first acoustic guitar, he bought his first electric guitar and built his own amplifier. One story of how Barrett acquired the nickname "Syd" is that at the age of 14 he was named after an old local Cambridge jazz double bassist, Sid "The Beat" Barrett, which claims Syd Barrett changed the spelling to differentiate himself from his namesake. Another story is that when he was 13, his schoolmates nicknamed him "Syd" after he showed up to a field day at Abington Scout site wearing a flat cap instead of his Scout beret because "Syd" was a "working-class" name. He used both names interchangeably for several years. His sister Rosemary stated, "He was never Syd at home. He would never have allowed it." He was a Scout with the 7th Cambridge troop and went on to be a patrol leader.
  • 1946
    Age 0
    Born on January 6, 1946.
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