Roger Keith Syd Barrett (Cambridge6 January 1946 – 7 July 2006) was an English singer, guitarist, composer and artist.

Syd Barrett was best known as a founding member of the rock group Pink Floyd. Barrett was only seven years as rock musician active for he withdrew from the open.


[hide]*1 Biography



Roger Keith Barrett was born in CambridgeEngland in a wealthy family. His father, Arthur Max Barrett, was a prominent pathologist, worked at the University. He died when Barrett was only 12. At the age of 14, Roger Barrett got the nickname "Syd", referring to a local drummer Sid Barrett. In the parental house blues jam sessions which sometimes regularly organized Barrett David Gilmour and Roger Waters were present. In 1965 drew Barrett to London to art studies to follow.

Pink Floyd (1965-1968)[Edit]Edit

The London r & b group that later Pink Floyd would be a lot of staff starting in 1964 and knew and name changes such as "The Abdabs", "The Screaming Abdabs", "Sigma 6" and "The Meggadeaths". At the request of Roger Waters Barrett came in 1965 at "The Tea Set", but when it turned out that this name was not original, baptized Barrett The band "The Pink Floyd Sound" (later shortened to Pink Floyd). Barrett used the names of two obscure blues singers: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council whom he had found on the cover notes of a Blind Boy Fuller LP (Philips BBL-7512): "Pink Anderson or Floyd Council — these were a few amongst the many blues singers that were to be heard in the rolling hills of the Piedmont, or meandering with the streams through the lived valleys".

Although Pink Floyd initially an average British R & B cover band was, Barrett, now the de facto leader of the band, for ownership. In 1966 was their style evolved into improvised rock and roll, with influences from free-jazz and of British pop and rock heroes like The Kinks and The Beatles. That same year, the music club UFO, which quickly became London's centre of British psychedelic rock music with Pink Floyd as their most popular act. Pink Floyd was very fast the most important band of the so-called underground-psychedelic scene.

What the group later received a recording contract with EMI, the first single Arnold Layne just picked the top 20 of the British hit singles and the successor, See Emily Play, rose to sixth place.

These two singles were written by Syd Barrett. Of the 11 songs on the debut album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, which appeared in August 1967 , Barrett wrote eight and he worked on two others. As innovative guitarist he investigated the musical possibilities of dissonance, distortion, feedback, echo machines and various sound effects on band. The typical Pink Floyd guitar sound was obtained because Barrett with a Zippolighter over the strings of his Fender Esquire guitar slipped that stood on a echobox.

The first success came with the first problems. Barrett's behavior was unpredictable quickly, probably by his repeated experiments with psychedelic drugs such as LSD. Testimonials from 1967 are talking about Syd that only a single agreement struck during a whole show, stated that he had wanted to appear on stage. Just before a gig in 1967 smeared Barrett a mixture of Brylcreem and crushed Mandrax tablets by his hair. By the heat of the lights on the stage began to melt the mash and ran across his face. [1Nick Mason weakens this story what off in Madcapbiography. The drug-addicted Syd would never have squandered good Mandies, said Mason.

After a disastrous and prematurely closed tour by the US was to David Gilmour asked for as an extra guitarist and vocalist in attacking. On the one hand and, on the other hand, he was a gifted musician was Gilmour a childhood friend of Barrett and was hoping one implied that Gilmour Barrett back on the straight path could pull. A handful of shows was played as five, with David Gilmour who took over the vocals and guitar parts as Syd Barrett's not to. The other members of the band were the irrational behavior of their frontman so fed up that they in January 1968, on the way to a show at Southampton University, refused to Barrett. There were attempts to Barrett as a songwriter and studio musician, following the example of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, but to no avail.

After Piper Barrett would write only four Pink Floyd songs. Jug band Blues was only good enough to stood the second album A Saucerful Of Secrets (1968). A second track was the quickly forgotten single Apples and OrangesScream Thy Last Scream and Vegetable Man were never officially released. According to legend, waited patiently to the Barrett recording studio to be invited by the other members of the band, but to no avail. Still, Barrett not quite disappeared on A Saucerful Of Secrets: according to David Gilmour, he is also present on Remember a Day and on Set the Controls for the Heart of the SunJug band Blues is often classified as the musical testament of Barrett. Already in the beginning of the song he notes that he actually no longer belongs: "it's awfully considerate of you to think of me here/And I'm most obliged to you for making it clear/that I'm not here". In March 1968 becomes official stated that Syd Barrett no longer a member of Pink Floyd.

Solo years (1968–1972)[Edit]Edit

After the break with Pink Floyd start Barrett a whether or not sought after solo career, probably under pressure from (well-meaning) managers and a record company. On some of these recordings, there is still controversy: some are no more than a painful failure of test images that the artist with mental health difficulties demonstrate but were published under the guise of authenticity. Other songs were then again, with little to no input from Barrett, embellished by studio musicians. It is believed that most solo material was Barrett's most productive period from late 1966 to mid-1967.

The Madcap Laughs (1970)[Edit]Edit

The first album The Madcap Laughs was recorded during two separate session periods in the Abbey Road Studios. The first part took place between May and June 1968 (with Peter Jenner as producer), but the majority was recorded between april and July 1969. Was first attracted Malcolm Jones as a producer but that was quickly replaced by the old-Pink Floyd colleagues Roger Watersand David Gilmour . A number of tracks from the album were by members of Soft Machine overgedubd.

Barrett (1970)[Edit]Edit

The second album, Barrett, became very fragmented recorded with numerous sessions that took place between February and July 1970. However, the result is more polished and coherent than Barrett's first. The Barrett backing band consisted of two Pink Floyd members: David Gilmour on bass and Rick Wright to the keys. Drummer Jerry Shirley, was from the group Humble Pie. The album was produced by David Gilmour.

Despite the many sessions showed Barrett little musical activity outside the studio. On February 24, 1970 , he played five songs during John Peels BBC radio programme Top Gear. Three of them would later appear on Barrett (re-recorded), a fourth, Two Of A Kind, is probably a Rick Wright song.

A second appearance of Syd Barrett took place on 6 June 1970. As with the Peel sessions were David Gilmour and Jerry Shirley backing musicians. At the end of the fourth song Barrett put the guitar aside and left the stage, though this may also have been due to poor mixing of the action which Barrett's voice was inaudible to the public.

The London years (1972-1975)[Edit]Edit

In 1972 Twink formed Pink Fairies Member Barrett with ex-(drums) and Jack Monck (bass) the band Stars. When a gig to Corn Exchange (Cambridge) entered the fog Barrett decided to never musically with them to act. [2]

Peter Jenner Syd Barrett In 1974 about to do some sessions at Abbey Road Studios. This legendary sessions, which would last only three days, consist solely of some vague rhythm tracks with guitar and overdubs.They contain so surely not enough material for a so-called unreleased third solo album.

This time would retire from the music industry well for Barrett. He sold the rights of his solo albums to the record label, and moved for a time to a London hotel. When his money there was by hunted, he departed on foot to Cambridge, where he was in his mother's House.

Wish You Were Here[Edit]Edit

Syd Barrett Pink Floyd members met for the last time on 5 June 1975 during the filming for Wish You Were Here. Barrett came incognito into the studio and heard how the band Shine on You crazy Diamond , happens to be a song about him. Barrett had arrived, had his hair very short (so not bald as is often claimed) and had his eyebrows shaved off and his ex-band members recognized him at first. When she finally realized who the man was distressed that it was a very emotional moment for all. A reference to this encounter is seen in the movie The Wall (1982) in which the main character Pink (Bob Geldof) afscheert his eyebrows.

In a BBC documentary from 2001 the members of Pink Floyd talked about this encounter:

Rick Wright: "I came into the studio and I saw this guy who was sitting against the wall. And I didn't recognize him. I asked, "who is that guy behind you?". "That's Syd." I broke really, I couldn't believe it ... he had almost all his hair shaved ... his eyebrows, everything ... and he jumped up and down and brushed his teeth, it was awful. And I, uh, I mean Roger had tears in the eyes. Me too, I think. We both had tears in their eyes. It was very shocking ... seven years without contact and then he walked in, just when we were making this track ... "

Nick Mason: "I could still recognize the eyes, but everything else was different." Roger Waters: "it took a long time before I knew who he was." David Gilmour: "no one recognized him, almost bald, shaved eyebrows and very floppy." [3]


In 1988, EMI Records an album with alternate studio recordings and previously unreleased material, from the period 1968 to 1970, entitled: Opel.

1993 saw appear Crazy Diamond , a box set with the three albums, each with additional alternate versions of existing songs. This solo sessions prove that Barrett during difficult times for the same song twice without substantial changes.

In 2001, The Best of Syd Barrett: Wouldn't You Miss Me? . Bob Dylan Blues, this compilation contains a demo that David Gilmour in house had lying around after a session in 1970.

After the music[Edit]Edit

After the death of his mother stayed Barrett, who used the name Roger again, living in the family home. He picked up his old passion, painting of large abstract canvases, again. in addition, he was also an amateur gardener and do-it-yourselfer. His main link with the outside world was his sister Rosemary Breen who lived nearby.

In later life he suffered from major health concerns: bore Syds ulcers and diabetes type 2. [4]

Although Barrett after 1975 chose not to Act went into the open regular reporters and fans to his home to him, usually in vain, to elicit comments. Until his death were published secretly taken photos and videos, which appeared on the Internet.

Barrett did not want to be reminded of its past as a pop idol and he refused to meet the members of Pink Floyd. He went to his sisters House in 2002 for the BBC Omnibus documentary that went over him. [5]

Barrett got royalties until his death about his work with Pink Floyd. David Gilmour has, in his own words, always ensure that the money especially for Barrett.

Roger ' Syd ' Barrett died on 7 July 2006 at his home in Cambridge at the age of 60 from pancreatic cancer. [6[7]

In May 2007, just a year after his death, took place in London the concert The MADCAP's Last Laugh place-a musical tribute by Roger Waters and the three remaining Pink Floydleden to their former fellow band member and source of inspiration. A procession musicians and colleagues from the box performed during this tribute in the Barbican Hall with own versions or ' covers ' from Barrett's work. Among them were, among others, Kevin Ayers (ex-Soft Machine), Mike Heron (Incredible String Band) and Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders). The demonstration, with many never previously performed Barrett-numbers, was co-organized by Pink Floyd's first record producer Joe Boyd. At a performance of Arnold Layne played Andy Bell (Oasis) bass guitar.

Musical influence[Edit]Edit

Many artists call Barrett as an influence on their work. Kevin Ayers, Brian EnoDavid BowieJimmy PageThe Damned and The Sex Pistols did even attempts to work with him (that did only Kevin Ayers). Bowie covered See Emily Play on his 1973 album Pin Ups and sang in Arnold Layne on a 2006 Barrett tribute song by David Gilmour with Rick Wright.

Pink Floyd after Barrett[Edit]Edit

Barrett's decline had an influence on the song writing of Roger Waters. Returns the theme of mental instability on several Pink Floyd albums, particularly on The Dark Side of The Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here(1975) and The Wall (1979). A track of Dark SideBrain Damage, contains the following reference: "If the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon". Wish You Were Here(1975) was a tribute to Barrett with the assigned to it song Shine on You crazy Diamond. In the film version of The Wall (1982) are a few visual references to Barrett.

After the band was re-established by David Gilmour, without Roger Waters, also contained the album The Division Bell (1994) some foreign songs to Syd: Poles ApartHigh Hopes.

Other artists have recorded songs inspired by Barrett: Kevin Ayers (ex-The Soft Machine) wrote Oh Wot a Dream and The Television Personalities have a track I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives (1978). Start the single by The Jam imitates deliberately guitar sound of Syd.

Psychotic disorders[Edit]Edit

There was much speculation about the State of mind of Syd Barrett. Many called him, even though he not all schizophrenicsymptoms showed for this condition. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder was mentioned. Other sources claim that Syd Barrett had Asperger's syndrome. Barrett's family has never, however, data released on the mental state of their family member so this remains speculation.

Barrett's use of psychedelic drugs, especially LSD, during the 1960s is well documented. Some believe that drug use has contributed that Barrett's mind was affected or that it has at least served as a catalyst to a congenital disorder to do. [8]

David Gilmour ever stated that the stroboscopic light show combined with excessive drug use LSD Barrett did no good. This could have been as Barrett had to epilepsy leed or brain damage suffered from the temporal lobes. A (light) cerebral infarction is also suggested in one of the biographies on Barrett. [9]

After the death of his sister, Rosemary Breen, Barrett spoke with Tim Willis for The Sunday Times. She emphasized that Barrett neither suffered a mental illness, nor that he ever had received treatment or medication. They did confirm that her brother ever in a private "home for lost souls" was recorded, but no therapy was linked to. Later would have visited a psychiatrist to the Barrett Fulbourn psychiatric hospital in Cambridge, but without him were prescribed medications or therapy.

Barrett's sister also sent the kluizenaarbestaan of her brother. "Roger Barrett", she said, "did to photography and together we went sometimes to sea." He took the train to London regularly to museums to visit. He loved flowers and went often to the Botanic Gardens of Cambridge or to Anglesey Abbey, near Lode. However, his passion was painting, said Rosemary Breen. It was only when intrusive fans wanted to do recallRoger Barrett Syd Barrett that he withdrew himself in silence or banged on the door for the face them. [10]


Singles with Pink Floyd[Edit]Edit

  • 1967: Arnold Layne / Candy and a Currant Bun (# 20 UK)
  • 1967: See Emily Play / The Scarecrow (# 6 UK, # 134 U.S.)
  • 1967: Apples and Oranges / PaintBox (Rick Wright)

Albums with Pink Floyd[Edit]Edit

Compilations with Pink Floyd[Edit]Edit

Solo albums[Edit]Edit

Solo Compilations[Edit]Edit

  • Syd Barrett (november 1974) U.S. # 163: The Madcap Laughs and Barrett joined together as a double album.
  • Opel -(17 October 1988)
  • Octopus: The Best of Syd Barrett (29 may 1992): compilation on the Cleopatra label.
  • Crazy Diamond (april 1993): cd box set of the three studio albums and additional bonus tracks.
  • The Best of Syd Barrett: Wouldn't You Miss Me? (16 april 2001): contains one previously unreleased track ("Bob Dylan Blues")
  • An Introduction to Syd Barrett (2010) a compilation of songs by Pink Floyd written by Syd Barret and songs from his solo period. Executive Producer; DAVID GILMOUR

Solo live recordings[Edit]Edit

  • Syd Barrett: The Peel Session (1 July 1991): a recording of John Peels BBC radio show "Top Gear" with Syd Barrett, David Gilmour and Jerry Shirley, contains "Two of a Kind".
  • The Radio One Sessions (March 2004): contains all the songs from The Peel Session and three recordings of bootleg-quality of a Bob Harris radio show in 1971. [1]

Solo singles[Edit]Edit



  • Julian Palacios, Lost In The Woods: Syd Barrett and the Pink Floyd (Boxtree, 1997) ISBN 0-7522-2328-3
  • Mike Watkinson and Pete Anderson, Crazy Diamond: Syd Barrett and the Dawn of "Pink Floyd" ISBN 0-7119-8835-8
  • My lovably ordinary brother Syd, by Tim Willis, The Sunday TimesJuly 162006[2]
  • Nicholas Schaffner, Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey (Delta, 1991) ISBN 0-385-30684-9
  • Tim Willis, Madcap: The half-life of Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd's lost genius (Short Books, 2002) ISBN 1-904095-24-0