Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett has passed away, leaving us on Friday, July 7th. Roger was suffering from diabetes and died peacefully.
I read the news on my holiday in Austria and yes I was chocked, this "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" was The Pink Floyd Sound.
The creepy thing of it was that, my David Gilmour shirt was hanging up side down on the washing line and yes Arnold Layne is for me the "ultimate Syd Barrett song".
My condolences to his family who took care of him for all those years.
We'll remember our "Madcap" with love and respect.
Roger, Keith "Syd" Barrett, born 6 January 1946 in Cambridge, was the original driving force behind the start of the Pink Floyd Sound.
He studied Art at the Cambridge School of Arts & Technology. He wanted to become a painter.
David Gilmour was a student there too. As well as learning modern languages he played guitar. David taught Syd a few guitar loops and trics.
Later both played in bands and there was a kind of competition and rivalry going on between them.
During the next few years he was a member of several bands.First there was:
Geoff Mott & The Mottoes ('62);
Geoff Mott (later in the Boston Crabs);
Clive Welham - drums (later in the Ramblers);
The next one was:
Chris Ian & The Newcomers ('63);
Ken Waterson (he played in The Louis Pocroxski 7 with Willi Wilson and Dick Parry);
Syd played with this band off and on.
Together with David Gilmour and a few friends he went on holidays. In an old Landrover they headed off for the South of France where they had a rather unpleasant run in with the local police followed by a very enjoyable meeting with Brigitte Bardot.
Later on, back in England, Syd moved into a flat, sharing with Roger Waters and afterwards also with Nick Mason and Bob Klose.
Then he joined:
The Hollin' Blues ('64);
Stephen Pyle & Peter Glass.
The (screaming) Abdabs ('64);
They changed their name into Leonard Lodgers, because they lived in the appartment of Patrick Leonard, a teacher, who played a few gigs with them while Rick was on holidays at Rhodes.
Finally they took the name "The Pink Floyd Sound".
In the beginning it was a quintet;
Syd was responsible for the sound of the band.Creations like;" Arnold Layne", (lyric) " See Emily Play" and "Astronomy Domino" are Syd's classic performances. The debut album," The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" is almost entirely of Syd's hand.
Unfortunately he got hooked on drugs and became very intollerant, so he had to leave the group.
His old friend David Gilmour was asked to join "The Pink Floyd Sound". On the second Pink Floyd album there is only one track of Syd's hand to be found.
Syd made a few solo-albums;
The Madcap laughs & Barrett, both from '70 with;
Vic Saywell- tuba,
Jerry Shirley (16 years and later in Humble Pie),
Willie Wilson- drums and percussion,
Octopus. is a single recording and it is nowadays an expensive collector's item. Opel is another successful solo-effort.
Tragically, Syd was gradually using too many drugs and he moved back to live with his parents who looked after him.
Wouldn't You Miss Me? - The Best Of, the 22 track album will contain Barrett's 'best' work from his two solo albums, as well as rarities and the previously unreleased and un-bootlegged Bob Dylan Blues, given to EMI by Gilmour. The album, which includes extensive sleeve notes written by music author and MOJO contributor Mark Paytress, will be released on 16 April 01.
In his free time he liked to paint:
The Stars, he did one (a half) live gig with bass-player Jack Monck (who was married to Syd's ex-girlfriend Jenny Spires) and former Pink Fairies drummer Twink.
Twink (an ex-Pretty Thing) in '75, three live gigs, also the rumour says... doubtful.
Beatles; no that's not true, he doesn't play on What's the New Name Mary Jane (Anthology 3, '96).
The ghost of Syd stayed seemingly with the other Four Pinks. The Dark Side of the Moon could be related to him; (a pop star who got mad because of his own success ?)
During the recording of "Wish You Were Here" he appeared in the studio. There're different storries abpout that occasion:
* Roger asked David: "Who is that tramp"? .... "That's Syd", was David's reply.
* They saw Syd and didn't reckognize him at first. Dave thought he was an EMI-spy. Roger figured out that it was Syd and told Rick.
And of course the The Wall, special the movie, was all about Syd...