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Thread: R.I.P. Syd Barrett

  1. #1
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    Mar 2006

    R.I.P. Syd Barrett

    Pink Floyd's Barrett dies aged 60

    Syd Barrett, one of the original members of legendary rock group Pink Floyd, has died at the age of 60 from complications arising from diabetes.

    He was born Roger Barrett in Cambridge and met future bandmates Roger Waters and David Gilmour at school there.

    The guitarist was invited to join Pink Floyd by Waters in 1965 but left three years later after only one album with his mental state affected by drugs.

    "He died very peacefully a couple of days ago," said the band's spokeswoman.

    "There will be a private family funeral."

    Barrett was the band's first creative force and an influential songwriter - but his drug intake soon began to affect his place in the band.

    Often he would be seen standing on stage with his guitar dangling from his neck, staring into the crowd.

    'Mental breakdown'

    At one stage he was unhappy about appearing on Top of the Pops and walked out of a session recording in July 1967 after "freaking out".

    "That really was the first sign of his complete mental breakdown," producer Richard Buskin wrote later.

    "He never did come back into the studio any more after that, meaning that I had a hell of a hard time with the recordings".

    He did turn up again, ironically on the day the other band members were recording a tribute to him, Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

    Just as Pink Floyd were about to achieve worldwide success, he retreated from public life to return to Cambridge.

    Members of the band felt his breakdown might have happened even if he had not used drugs but felt that along with the pressures of fame, the substances he took probably acted as a catalyst.

    After he finally drifted out of the music scene, his whereabouts were unknown for two decades, until he turned out to be living with his mother.

    Last edited by Gallicrow; 07-11-2006 at 10:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2006

    Re: R.I.P. Syd Barrett

    This is a bummer. Shine on, you crazy diamond...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    In an undisclosed bunker deep in the weird, wild, woods of the Pacific Northwest

    Re: R.I.P. Syd Barrett

    Syd Barrett dies aged 60

    OBIT By Audrey Gillan/Guardian Unlimited

    Syd Barrett, the former lead singer of Pink Floyd and one of the key figures of the 60s, has died at the Cambridgeshire home to which he retreated as a recluse more than 30 years ago.
    The Guardian has learned that the singer, 60, who suffered from a psychedelic-drug induced breakdown while at the peak of his career, died last Friday from cancer.
    His brother Alan confirmed his death, saying only: "He died peacefully at home. There will be a private family funeral in the next few days."

    Born Roger Keith Barrett in Cambridge in 1946, he acquired the nickname Syd aged 15. He left Pink Floyd in 1968, just as the band was about to achieve worldwide recognition, and lived in the basement of his mother Winfred's semi-detached house, where he boarded up the windows to keep out the eyes of both the press and fans. He recorded two solo albums.

    Pink Floyd's Shine on You Crazy Diamond, from the 1975 album Wish You Were Here, was said by many to be a salute to him. Barrett's use of drugs, particularly LSD, in the 60s, was well-documented and he was often described as the original acid casualty.

    A statement issued on behalf of Pink Floyd said: "The band are naturally very upset and sad to learn of Syd Barrett's death. Syd was the guiding light of the early band line-up and leaves a legacy which continues to inspire."

    Dave Gilmour, the Pink Floyd guitarist drafted in to the band during a period in which Barrett was behaving erratically, said in an interview earlier this year that he thought that Barrett's breakdown would have happened anyway.

    He said: "It was a deep-rooted thing. But I'll say the psychedelic experience might well have acted as a catalyst. Still, I just don't think he could deal with the vision of success and all the things that went with it."

    Related material
    11.07.2006: Obituary: Syd Barrett
    Culture vulture: Caroline Sullivan on a troubled icon
    11.07.2006: The best of Syd Barrett on the web
    06.10.2002: Extract from Madcap: The Half-Life of Syd Barrett by Tim Willis
    27.10.2002: Observer review: Madcap by Tim Willis

    Useful links
    Pink Floyd official site
    Syd Barrett fan site
    Wikipedia biography

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Re: R.I.P. Syd Barrett

    "Wish You Were Here" was written about him, of course.
    I can't listen to that one anymore, because it reminds me how much I miss my Dad now. PeteLeo.

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