Guitarist of the Month:
Syd Barrett

[from ]

Most guitarists start their musical career on
piano. But not Syd Barrett. He launched out on a
banjo. 'I'm not quite sure why,' he says, 'it just
seemed a good idea at the time. I picked it up in
a second-hand shop and plunked away quite happily
for about six months. Then I decided to get a
guitar. The first one was a #12 Hofner acoustic
which I kept for a year. Then I joined a local
Cambridge group called Geoff Mott and the Mottos
and splashed out on a Futurama 2. At the time I
thought it was the end in guitars. Fantastic
design and all that. Incidentally, Geoff Mott was
a great singer.... wonder what happened to him?

'We did a lot of work at private parties. And some
of our material was original, but mostly we stuck
to Shadows' instrumentals and a few American
songs. 'Eventually the group dissolved and I moved
into the blues field, this time playing bass. It
was another Hofner, and I played that for a couple
of years. One day I met a guy called Roger Waters
who suggested that when I come up to a London Art
School we got together and formed a group. This I
did, and became a member of the 'Abdabs'. I had to
buy another guitar because Roger played bass, a
Rickenbacker, and we didn't want a group with two
bass players.

'So I changed guitars, and we started doing the
pub scene. During that period we kept changing the
name until we ended up with the Pink Floyd. I'm
not sure who suggested it or why, but it stuck. A
couple of months ago, I spashed out a couple of
hundred on a new guitar, but I still seem to use
that first one. (Julien's note: The guitar was
Syd's famed Fender Esquire Telecaster) It's been
painted several times, and once I even covered it
in plastic sheeting and silver discs. Those discs
are still on the guitar, but they tend to look a
bit worn. I haven't changed anything on it, except
that I occasionally adjust the pickups when I need
a different sound.

'Who are my idols? Well, Steve Cropper is an
obvious choice, and so is Bo Diddley. In the old
days, he was a great influence on both me and the
group. No, I don't think they influence me now. At
least, I'm not conscious of it. Apart from being a
good guitarist, I don't really have any
ambitions.... yet! I haven't been in the business
that long'