My Syd Barrett
http://www.geocities.com/toker_smurf/Content_Story.htm" ]The Rush Roger Keith Barrett was born in Cambridge on Jan 6, 1946. He had a natural talent for the arts, mostly painting, but even at a young age he was already showing a rebellious streak. To combat this his parents bought him a banjo at the age of 11 after he seemed inspired by his older brothers skiffle group. Unfortunately his father died when Syd was only 12, which some say was a contributing factor to Syd's later mental breakdown. He went to school at Cambridge High School for boys, where he met future Floyd member George 'Roger' Waters. Barrett's musical talents progressed to an acoustic guitar by the age of 14, after many requests to his mother. By the age of 15, Barrett had joined a band called Geoff Mott and the Mottoes, along side Geoff Mott, Clive Welham and Roger Waters. Around this time Roger Barrett picked up the nick-name Syd after a local jazz drummer called Sid Barrett. It is also around this time that he was introduced to the I-Ching or 'book of changes', an ancient book of Chinese predictions. Many beleive that this interest in the I-Ching influenced Syd very deeply, and he certainly found time to study it, over the following years. Evidence of this is found in a song he was to write later, called "Chapter 24", the lyrics of which were taken almost directly from the I-Ching. He went on to Cambridge Technical College to study art, where he first met David Gilmour. Ironically, Syd and David would often practice guitar together and found they had similar styles. By 1964 at the age of 18, Syd decided to move to London to study painting at Camberwell Art School. Whilst staying in London, Syd shared a flat with his old friend Roger Waters, which had previously been home to Nick Mason and Rick Wright. No one had any idea that these three were soon to become very important in Syd's life. After spending most of their grant money on instruments and equipment, Waters,Wright and Mason formed a succession of bands, with various other artists. The line ups changed on a semi-regular basis, as did the names. Some of these were strange sounding, fanciful names like: - Sigma 6; T-Set; the Meggadeaths; The Architectural Abdabs; The Screaming Abdabs; the owner of the flat, Mike Leonard even got a mention with Leonards Lodgers. Eventually Barret, Waters, Wright, and Mason formed a group, which Syd suggested they call the Pink Floyd. The name is said to have come from a couple records in Syd's collection, two American blues musicians called Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. This name was to change quite often, from 'Pink Floyd' to 'The Pink Floyd' to 'The Pink Floyd Sound' and eventually back again. The name may have been changing however they were begining to make a name for themselves..... http://www.geocities.com/toker_smurf/TheHigh.htm The High The Pink Floyd developed a very experimental style with songs like 'Interstelar Overdrive' and 'Astronomy Domine', which attracted a very underground audience. Syd was more a part of the underground scene than the rest of the band, who insisted they not be "pidgeon holed". Syd found people around him becoming more involved in spirituality, especially the 'Path of Enlightened Masters' or Sant Mat. He tried on two occasions to become involved with this group but nothing come of it. Many people believe this to be the second major blow to Syd's moral (after his fathers death), he did not however let his emotions about this rejection, be seen. After all things were just getting good. In Oct 1966 they got a regular weekly gig at the London Free School's 'Sound and Light Workshop' in, Notting Hill. Here, two Americans, Joel and Toni Brown from Tim Leary's Millbrook Institute, projected slides over them and thus began idea of a lightshow to accompany the music. Pink Floyd were pulling huge crowds, most of which were in to the 'underground' scene. So when Europe's first underground newspaper, the "International Times" (IT) was launched at a huge party in the London Roundhouse, the Floyd were automatically invited to play. The Floyd played with moving liquid slides projected over themselves and the audience of almost 3,000 people. Most of which had taken huge amounts of LSD and were wearing kaftans, beads, bells body paints and such like. On Oct 31, 1966 the Floyd plus Pete Jenner and Andrew King set up Blackhill Enterprises as a six-way partnership to manage the group. In November they got in Joe Gannon to handle their lights because the Brown's had returned to Millbrook. Soon there was the begining of the UFO Club evenings, held every Friday night in an Irish Ballroom on Tottenham Court Road. UFO was to become the 'in' club of the London underground scene. The Floyd got the music and lights contract and eventually became the resident house band. Less than a month later, the musical director of UFO, Joe Boyd, produced their first single -'Arnold Layne'. It was about a transvestite who stole ladies underwear from washing-lines, and despite being banned by the pirate station Radio London, it reached No. 25 in the U.K. charts. This however disturbed the fans of the 'underground' scene, as they felt that the term 'underground' meant non-commmercial. But once again the Floyd refused to be 'pidgeon holed' as 'underground' anyway. Barrett had naturally taken control of the group at this point. His lead guitar sound was distinctive, and he wrote most of their material. They signed to EMI for a £5,000 advance, quite a lot for its time, but one of the conditions was that they drop Boyd and use a staff producer, Norman Smith. Barrett wrote new material including See Emily Play (previously titled - Games For May), the song was issued as a single. By July it was at No. 6 in U.K. charts. They appeared on 'Top Of The Pops' and were well on their way to becoming a big group. Their first album, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was released the following month and 10 out of the 11 songs on the album, were written by Barrett. He was even responsible for the drawing on the back sleeve. Two hit Singles under their belt, a large following and an album in the shops. Things should have been perfect for the Pink Floyd, yet there was trouble brewing. Barrett was now deeply involved in the psychedelic side of the underground. He was taking large amounts of LSD and drawing the inspiration for much of his playing and writing from it. The people around him were becoming worried. His theory seemed to be - "If in doubt, take another tab of acid", and this was causing him to become very unpredictable... http://www.geocities.com/toker_smurf/Comedown.htm The Comedown While rest of the band had always been more into booze than drugs, Barrett was now deeply involved in the psychedelic side of the underground taking large amounts of LSD and drawing the inspiration for much of his playing and writing from it. He eventually became very unpredictable, and on some gigs would only stand and stare at the audience while simply strumming the same chord over and over. On an appearance on 'Top of the Pops' Syd refused to mime to 'See Emily Play' and stood perfectly still throughout the performance. There are many stories about his behaviour during this time but it all meant the same thing: Syd was becoming yet another acid casualty. The Pink Floyd's third single 'Apples And Oranges' was released in the Nov. It did not do well and things were getting totally out of hand with Barrett. With this they realised they had no choice but to make changes. The band decided to get Syd's old friend, Dave Gilmour to play guitar in Syds place. Eventually on 26 Jan did not to pick him up on the way to a gig. Gilmour officially joined the Floyd on Feb 18, 1968. The idea was to keep Syd on as a songwriter, and have Gilmour do the live and studio work in Syds place. Syd Barrett officially left Pink floyd on Apr 6 1968, although he had not performed live since 20 Jan. Work began on Syd's first solo album 'The MadCap Laughs' barely a month later. Recording at Abbey Road, Syd was still under EMI, who had believed Syd to be the better investment. During these recording sessions at EMI, Peter Jenner (Syds manager), began to feel that Syd's behaviour was more than a little eccentric. After recording only a few tracks the sessions were abandoned and were not resumed until Apr 1969. For the recording of the final songs, the members of Pink Floyd were brought in to produce. This strange situation was to continue with Gilmour and Barrett working on many peices. 'MadCap' was not released until Jan 1970. The second solo album 'Barrett' was released later the same year. Both albums sold well but Syd was now in a state a disrepair and it was unlikely he was going to come through it. His world was crumbling and there was very little he could do about it. Syd was increasingly distant and had very little enthusiasm about anything including his music. For the previous couple of months Syd had been unsure of his place in life, and was contemplating returning to Cambridge. He was engaged to Gala Pinion on Oct 1st 1970, and it is reported that, half way through the engagement party, he went to the bathroom and cut his long hair off. This would appear to be a symbolic gesture, showing he now wished to fall away from stardom and settle down. However there is a very well known story that around 5 years later, whilst the Floyd were recording "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" for their "Wish You Were Here" album, Syd walked into the studio. It is said that the band did not recognise Syd, due to gaining a few needed Kg's and having no hair, but it is un-canny that he should turn up un-announced that afternoon. The Pink Floyd had decided to write the song in thanks to Syd and to highlight his glory as singer, song-writer and pure diamond. Although he did continue to work on the odd occasion it was obvious his heart was no longer in it. He did release one further album in 1988 'Opel', which did well but perhaps he felt that his time had passed. He now lives in Cambridge and seems quite content to return to some form of normality. Shine on Roger...................................
the craziest diamond of them all............. Hope you are happy!!
SONGS WORDS BARRETT HOP!