Roger Keith (Syd) Barrett ( Cambridge , January 6 1946 - there, July 7 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 spent seven years as a rock musician active before he retired from public life.


 *1 Biography

[Biography edit ]Edit

[Youth edit ]Edit

Barrett came from a wealthy family. His father, Arthur Max Barrett, was a prominent pathologist, who works at the university. He died when Barrett was 15. A year earlier, Roger Barrett got the nickname "Syd", referring to a local drummer, Sid Barrett. In the house were organized regularly Barrett blues jam sessions which sometimes David Gilmour and Roger Waters were present. In 1965 Barrett moved to London to pursue art studies.

Pink Floyd (1965-1968) [ edit ]Edit

London's rhythm & blues group that later would be called Pink Floyd started in 1964 and knew a lot of personnel and name changes such as "The Abdabs", "The Screaming Abdabs", "6 Sigma" and "The Meggadeaths". At the request of Roger Waters Barrett came in 1965 with "The Tea Set," but when it turned out that this name was not original, Barrett christened the band "The Pink Floyd Sound" (later shortened toPink Floyd). Barrett used before the names of two obscure blues singers: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council that he had found on the sleeve notes of a Blind Boy Fuller LP (Philips BBL 7512): "Pink Anderson or Floyd Council - thesis were a few amongst the many blues That Were singers to be heard in the rolling hills of the Piedmont, or meandering with the streams through the valleys lived. "

While Pink Floyd was initially a typical British R & B cover band, led Barrett, now the de facto leader of the band, for ownership. In 1966 their style had evolved into impromptu rock 'n' roll, with influences from free jazz and British pop and rock heroes like The Kinks and The Beatles . That same year started the music club UFO, which quickly became the center of London the British psychedelic rock with Pink Floyd as their most popular act. Pink Floyd very quickly became the main band of the so-called underground -psychedelische scene.

Some time later the group received a recording contract with EMI , the first single Arnold Layne took just the top 20 British hit singles and 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 , in August 1967 appeared, Barrett wrote eight own hand and he collaborated on two others. As an innovative guitarist, he explored the musical possibilities of dissonance, distortion, feedback, echo machines and various sound on tape. The typical Pink Floyd guitar sound was obtained inter alia by Barrett with aZippo lighter on the strings of his Fender Esquire guitar slipped that was connected to a echobox.

The first success came with the first problem. Barrett's behavior was quickly unpredictable, probably because of its repeated experiments with psychedelic drugs such as LSD . Testimonies from 1967 talking about Syd which only a single agreement would be successful for a whole show, said that he wanted to appear all on stage. Just before a performance in 1967 Barrett rubbed a mixture of Brylcreem and crushed Mandraxtablets through his hair. The heat from the lights on the stage began to melt the paste and ran over his face off. [1Nick Mason mitigated what this story set in the biography Madcap. Drug addict Syd would never have wasted good Mandies said Mason.

After a disastrous and cut short US tour with David Gilmour was asked to stand in as an extra guitarist and singer. Firstly Gilmour was a gifted musician, on the other hand he was a childhood friend of Barrett and Gilmour tacitly hoped Barrett would again draw to the straight path. A handful of shows was played as a quintet, with David Gilmour who took over the vocals and guitar parts as Syd Barrett himself not privileged. The other members of the band were the irrational behavior of their front man so fed up that they in January 1968 , en route to a show at Southampton University, refused to take Barrett. Attempts were made ​​to keep Barrett as a songwriter and studio musician, following the example of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys , but in vain.

After Piper Barrett would write only four Pink Floyd songs. Only Jugband Blues were considered good enough to get the second album A Saucerful Of Secrets (1968). A second track quickly was forgotten singleApples and Oranges. Scream Thy Last Scream and Vegetable Man were never officially released. According to legend Barrett waited patiently to the recording studio to be invited by other members of the band, but in vain. Nevertheless, Barrett is not entirely disappeared A Saucerful Of Secrets: according to David Gilmour will be present at Remember A Day and Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun Jugband Blues is often regarded as the musical testament of Barrett.. Already in the beginning of the song, he notes that he really 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 certifying the Syd Barrett no longer a member of Pink Floyd.

Solo Years (1968-1972) [ edit ]Edit

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

The Madcap Laughs (1970) [ edit ]Edit

The first album The Madcap Laughs session was recorded during two separate 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. First, Malcolm Jones was hired as a producer but that was quickly replaced by former Pink Floyd colleagues David Gilmour and Roger Waters . Several tracks from the album were overdubbed by members of Soft Machine .

Barrett (1970) [ edit ]Edit

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

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

A second occurrence of Syd Barrett took place on June 6th 1970 . Like the Peel sessions were David Gilmour and Jerry Shirley guidance musicians. At the end of the fourth song Barrett put the guitar down beside him and left the stage, though it may also have resulted from the poor sound mix of action which Barrett's voice was inaudible to the audience.

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

In 1972 Barrett formed with ex-Pink Fairies member Twink (drums) and Jack Monck (bass) the band Stars . When a performance to Corn Exchange (Cambridge) musical fog went Barrett decided never to perform with them. [2]

In 1974 took Peter Jenner Syd Barrett about to do a few sessions at Abbey Road Studios. This legendary sessions that would last only three days, consist solely of vague rhythm guitar tracks and overdubs. They contain certainly not enough material for a supposedly unreleased third solo album.

This time, Barrett would definitely retire from the music industry. He sold the rights to his solo albums on the label, and moved for a time to a London hotel. Then it was hunted through his money, he left on foot to Cambridge, where he moved into his mother's house.

Wish You Were Here [ edit ]Edit

Syd Barrett met with members of Pink Floyd for the last time on June 5th 1975 during the filming of Wish You Were Here . Barrett came incognito into the studio and heard the band recorded Shine on You Crazy Diamond, happens to be a song about him. Barrett had arrived, his hair very short (not bald as often claimed) and had his eyebrows shaved off and his former band members did not recognize him at first. When they finally realized who the man was who had observed them in silence was a very emotional moment for all. A reference to this meeting can be seen in the film Pink Floyd: The Wall from 1982 in which the main character Pink ( Bob Geldof ) shaves his eyebrows.

In a BBC documentary in 2001 persuaded the members of Pink Floyd about this meeting:

Rick Wright: "I came into the studio and I saw this man sitting against the wall and I did not recognize him, I asked:.." Who is that guy behind you that's Syd "I broke sure enough, I?". ". could not believe it ... he almost had his hair shaved his eyebrows ... everything ... and he jumped up and down and brushed his teeth, it was terrible. And I, uh, I mean Roger was in tears the eyes. I also, I think. We both had tears in their eyes. It was very shocking ... seven years without contact, and then he comes in walking, 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 clumsy."

Compilations [ edit ]Edit

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

Crazy Diamond, a box set with three albums, each with additional alternative versions of existing songs, appeared in 1993. This solo sessions prove that Barrett struggled to bring the same song twice without substantial changes.

In 2001, The Best of Syd Barrett: Would not You Miss Me out. This compilation includes Bob Dylan Blues, a demo that David Gilmour at home was located after a session in 1970.

After the music [ edit ]Edit

After the death of his mother remained Barrett, who again used the name Roger, live in the parental home. He picked up his old passion, painting large abstract canvases, again. 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 bore Syds major health concerns: he suffered from stomach ulcers and type 2 diabetes

Although Barrett after 1975 chose not to go public went there regularly reporters and fans to his home to him, mostly 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 his past as a pop idol and he refused to meet with the members of Pink Floyd. He went in 2002 to be his sister's house to make the BBC Omnibus documentary went to see him. 

Until his death Barrett royalties received on his work with Pink Floyd. David Gilmour has, in his own words, always ensured that the money certainly ended up with Barrett.

Roger "Syd" Barrett died on 7 July 2006 at his home in Cambridge at the age of sixty to pancreatic cancer. 

In May 2007, barely a year after his death, found in London the concert The Madcap's Last Laugh place - a musical tribute Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and the three remaining members of their former bandmate and inspiration. A procession of musicians and colleagues from the box appeared during this tribute at the Barbican Hall with their own versions of 'covers' of Barrett's work. Among them include Kevin Ayers (former Soft Machine ), Mike Heron ( Incredible String Band ) and Chrissie Hynde ( Pretenders ). The event, with many never-before-performed songs Barrett, cosponsored by Pink Floyd's first producer Joe Boyd. The performance of Arnold Layne played Andy Bell (Oasis) bass.

Musical influence [ edit ]Edit

Many artists call Barrett as an influence on their work. Kevin Ayers, David Bowie , Brian Eno , Jimmy Page , The Damned and the Sex Pistols did even attempts to work with him (which only succeeded Kevin Ayers).Coverde Bowie See Emily Play at Pin Ups album in 1973 and sang in 2006 Arnold Layne at Barrett tribute single by David Gilmour, Rick Wright.

Pink Floyd after Barrett [ edit ]Edit

Barrett's demise had an influence on the songwriting of Roger Waters. The theme of mental instability returns several Pink Floyd albums, particularly on The Dark Side of the Moon ( 1973 ), Wish You Were Here (1975 ) and The Wall (1979). A track from the Darkside, Brain 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 one. tribute to Barrett with the tasks entrusted to him song Shine on You Crazy Diamond. In the film version of The Wall ( 1982 ) contains a number of visual references to Barrett.

After the band was re-founded by David Gilmour, without Roger Waters, also contained the album The Division Bell (1994) Syd referring to a number of songs: Poles Apart, High 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 ). The singleStart The Jam deliberately imitates guitar sound of Syd.

Psychotic disorders [ edit ]Edit

There was much speculation about the state of mind of Syd Barrett. Many called him schizophrenic, though he did not show any symptoms of the condition. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder was also mentioned. Other sources claim that Syd Barrett suffered from Asperger syndrome. Barrett's family, however, has never released data about the psychological state of their family so this remains speculation.

Barretts use of psychedelic drugs, particularly LSD , during the 60s is well documented. Some believe that drug use has contributed to Barrett's mind was affected or that it functioned at least as a catalyst to break a congenital disorder. [8]

David Gilmour once declared that the stroboscopic light show combined with excessive drug LSD Barrett did no good. This could have been as Barrett to epilepsy or suffered brain damage had suffered in the temporal lobes. A (light) cerebral infarction is, moreover, also been suggested in one of the biographies about Barrett. 

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

Barrett's sister also sent the cloistered life of her brother in. "Roger Barrett," she said, "did photography and together we sometimes went to sea." He regularly took the train to London to visit museums. He loved flowers and often went to the Botanic Gardens of Cambridge or to Anglesey Abbey, near Lode. His passion, however, was painting, says Rosemary Breen. It was just as pushy fans wanted to remind Roger BarrettSyd Barrett that he retreated into silence or close them hit the door to face. 

[Discography edit ]Edit

Singles by Pink Floyd [ edit ]Edit

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

Albums by Pink Floyd [ edit ]Edit

Compilations with Pink Floyd [ edit ]Edit

[Solo albums edit ]Edit

[Solo Compilations edit ]Edit

  • Syd Barrett (november 1974 ) US # 163: The Madcap Laughs and Barrett joined as a double album.
  • Opel - ( October 17 1988 )
  • Octopus: The Best of Syd Barrett ( May 29 1992 ): compilation on the Cleopatra label.
  • Crazy Diamond (april 1993 ): CD box with the three studio albums and bonus tracks.
  • The Best of Syd Barrett: Would not You Miss Me ( 16 April 2001 ) contains a previously unreleased track ("Bob Dylan Blues")
  • An Introduction to Syd Barrett (2010), a compilation of songs from Pink Floyd written by Syd Barrett and songs from his solo period. Executive Producer; DAVID GILMOUR

[Solo live recordings edit ]Edit

  • Syd Barrett: The Peel Session ( July 1st 1991 ): a recording of John Peels BBC radio show "Top Gear" with Syd Barrett, David Gilmour and Jerry Shirley, includes "Two of a Kind".
  • The Radio One Sessions (march 2004 ): contains all the songs of The Peel Session and three recordings of bootleg quality of Bob Harris radio show in 1971. [11]

[Solo Singles edit ]Edit

[Video Edit ]Edit

[Bibliography edit ]Edit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.