|Birth name||Roger Keith Barrett|
|Other names|| The Crazy Diamond |
January 6, 1946 |
Cambridge ( UK )
July 7, 2006 (age 60) |
|Cause of death||Pancreatic cancer and diabetes mellitus|
|Parents||Max Barrett and Winifred Flack.|
|Family||Rosemary Breen, Alan Barrett, Donald Barrett and Ruth Barrett.|
|Occupation||Musician , singer-songwriter , composer , guitarist , painter , artist , poet|
|Pseudonym|| The Crazy Diamond |
|Genders||Psicodélico rock , avant-rock , espacial rock , avant-garde , acid folk , blues , rock|
|Instruments||Guitar , voice , piano , bass , ukulele , banjo , mandolin|
|Record labels||Capitol Records, Columbia Records, EMI|
|Related artists||Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Pink Floyd, Nick Mason, Richard Wright|
|Member of||Pink Floyd (1965-1968)|
Roger Keith Barrett ( Cambridge , 6 of January of 1946 - Ibid , 7 of July of 2006 ), known as Syd Barrett , was the lead singer, guitarist and composer of the British band Pink Floyd in his first successful album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn ( 1967). Three years after the founding of Pink Floyd, Barrett left the band and attempted a brief solo career that resulted in two albums, after which he retired, retiring from his mother's house ever since. Pink Floyd survived their loss, but Barrett's mental illness had a profound effect on the lyrics of their new leaders, Roger Waters , and Barrett's guitar replacement, David Gilmour , reaching their greatest hits under his baton ( Dark Side of the Moon , Wish You Were Here , Animals and The Wall) with themes often inspired by the disintegration of its former leader. He is considered a capital figure for the development of rock in the 1970s, being a clear influence for artists such as David Bowie or Marc Bolan .
During his years as a soloist and living with his friends, Syd Barrett composed 2 albums with the help of David Gilmour as his guitarist.
Childhood and youth
Since he was a child, he had an ability for art, specifically, for painting and music. At the age of 15, he had his first electric guitar, made his own amp, and began his first musical experience playing in a group: Geoff Mott and the Mottoes . Also, his father died when he was almost 16 years old, which marked his personality.
He began his secondary studies at Cambridge High School, where he met Roger Waters , who was two years older than him, which did not prevent a good friendship between them. [ 1 ] There he also met David Gilmour , who taught him to play the first guitar chords and who would later replace him in the band. Roger Waters, aware of Barrett's talent, invited him to join the group The Abdabs , consisting of Roger Waters , Rick Wright , Nick Mason and Bob Klose.. The latter felt closer to jazz, which is why he had problems with Barrett, who preferred the blues. Klose left the band at the request of his parents, to finish his studies in architecture. After a brief time with Chris Dennis as lead vocalist, [ 2 ] Syd Barrett, a rhythm and blues fan , [ 3 ] joined the band, and Waters went on to play bass . [ 4 ]
Triumph with Pink Floyd
It was then that Syd Barrett proposed a new name for the band: The Pink Floyd Sound , in memory of two old blues musicians, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council . At the Thompsan Private Record Company, a recording studio located in the basement of a house in Hemel Hampstead, the band recorded their first two songs: "Lucy Leave" (a version of " Gloria (Them song) ) and another version of Slim Harpo , called "I'm a King Bee".
The group's live debut occurred at Roundhouse on October 15, 1966 , having already been influenced by the new sound coming from the psychedelic counterculture such as The Byrds song " Eight Miles High " . Syd Barrett had a talent for composing original material. He had been doing it since he was 16 years old, when he composed "Effervescing Elephant" and continued it on songs like the instrumental " Interstellar Overdrive ", the latter made it easier for the band to begin to earn its reputation as an "experimental" group, distant and different from what it was. the music scene at that time.
In 1967 the group signed a contract with the record company EMI, which published its first single: " Arnold Layne ", composed by Syd Barrett, a song that referred to an event that occurred in a girls' high school in which a man had stolen clothes interior of the female students to cross-dress. The band's second single " See Emily Play " was a huge success, prompting the group to enter Abbey Road Studios to record what would be their first LP: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn . For many critics, never a band advanced so much in their first work, a reference par excellence of psychedeliaBritish. Most of the songs were composed by Syd Barrett, among which are several milestones of psychedelic rock and baroque pop such as " Astronomy Domine ", " Interstellar Overdrive ", " The Gnome ", " Lucifer Sam ", " Flaming " or " Bike ".
Drug problems and Pink Floyd exit
By this time, their drug problems (especially LSD ) were evident, ruining some of the group's performances with regrettable episodes. [ 5 ] At first the idea of the other members of the band was to take the example of The Beach Boys , with Brian Wilson who, being unable to make live appearances after a strong nervous breakdown, would continue as the band's songwriter. It was thus that the three remaining members of Pink Floyd began the search to replace the emptiness of Syd Barrett as a guitarist, first names like Jeff Beck emerging.and others. But finally it was David Gilmour, a friend of Roger and Syd, who was offered the position of guitarist in the band for live performances starting in 1968. The initial project was to have a group of 5 members and for Barrett to participate with them. only in the recordings and occasionally in the concerts that he wanted, but the manager of the group decided that this was not "profitable". [ citation needed ] Pink Floyd gave only five concerts with Gilmour and Barrett together on stage. Syd Barrett's erratic behavior led the group to make the decision to continue without him with the guilt complex of having fired their leader and top mentor.
In 1968, Pink Floyd recorded and released their second work: A Saucerful of Secrets , a continuation of the band's first work, including the song " Jugband Blues " as the last song on the album , composed by Syd Barrett; his musical farewell to the group with ironic lyrics in which Barrett explains that he is no longer here but on other planes of mind away from worldly people. [ 6 ]Some other Barrett songs were forgotten, such as "Scream Thy Last Scream" and "Vegetable Man"; in the last one, it is said that Syd made a description of himself. "I am a vegetable man", this being considered at first to be released as a single or single, but later discarded when seeing it as a song that did not fit with the nascent style of the group.
Following the success of their peak album, Pink Floyd released the 1975 album Wish You Were Here, almost as a tribute by the group to its founder, who by then remained in a closed ostracism, away from the press and the rock scene after having released two albums with a relative minority response. When the group was recording the album and they were finishing the mixes, Syd Barrett appeared suddenly one day in the recording room. When his former companions realized that Barrett was that man, totally unrecognizable to them, without hair and with shaved eyebrows (as seen in the Pink Floyd - The Wall), they suffered an emotional shock They were always remembered and quoted in numerous interviews over the years. The song the group was working on at the time is said to be “ Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, Dedicated to Syd Barrett, whose initials SYD seem to be present in the title of the song itself. Despite having finished the lyrics of the song before its surprise appearance in the studio, the final result of the song had more influence after the encounter with Barrett; which is demonstrated in an addition of the last notes in the song by Rick Wright , taken from the second single of the group: " See Emily Play ".
Solo career and ultimate twilight
In 1969, Syd Barrett contacted EMI and came up with the idea of recording some songs that he had composed. The record company was hesitant to accept the musician's request at first, but Pink Floyd's growing success was reason enough to rescue the founder. He first spoke to Malcolm Jones to be his producer and after a few sessions it was David Gilmour who took over production. From this attempt, his first solo album emerged: The Madcap Laughs , [ 5 ] produced by David Gilmour , Roger Waters and Malcolm Jones and with contributions from members of the group The Soft Machine. Lacking further arrangements, Gilmour had the idea of publishing the raw tracks. For this reason, in most songs only Barrett's voice and his Fender Telecaster are heard. Notable songs from this work include "Dark Globe", "Here I Go", "Octopus", "Golden Hair" (a poem by James Joyce), "Feel" (a mixture of bohemia and incoherence) or "If It's In You ". (with his voice out of tune on a melody that captivates the listener). [ 7 ] Many songs, according to Malcolm Jones in his book "The Making of The Madcap Laughs", which Barrett had recorded with great enthusiasm, were left off the album as Gilmour entered the production of some famous songs later released, such as the case of "Opel"
In 1970 Syd had composed new songs and, then, David Gilmour undertook the production of a new album for his former partner, called Barrett ; [ 5 ] LP joined on recording by Richard Wright . And although Barrett did not stop shining in his compositions, these were more arranged musically, taking away the acoustic magic of the previous album. Songs like "Baby Lemonade", "Dominoes", "Waving my Arms in the Air" or "Effervescing Elephant" stand out.
After this last work, Barrett made fleeting live presentations, of which very poor quality recordings are kept. He tried a new band in 1972 called "Stars", with which he failed in his first live performance and of which no official recording is kept. [ 1 ] In 1974, at the request of many rock personalities, such as David Bowie , he returned to Abbey Road Studios for a four-day session, which left voiced recordings with chord and blues sequences, none titled, except one called "If You Go". Years later, The Peel Sessions (with five tracks that Syd recorded with David Gilmour on bass for the BBC in February 1970) and Opel were released., a compilation album with fourteen songs dropped from the 1969 and 1970 sessions. In 1993 EMI released Crazy Diamond-The Complete Syd Barrett an attractive three-CD box: The Madcap Laughs , Barrett and Opel, each with half a dozen CDs. bonus themes and a 24-page brochure with information and photos. I would never step on a stage again or compose new songs.
In 1978, Barrett moved into his mother's home in Cambridge. He relocated to London in 1982, but returned permanently after a few weeks, making the 80 km journey to Cambridge on foot. [ 8 ] In November of that year, a French journalist achieved a kind of dialogue-interview with Barrett on the door of his mother's house, where he resided and dedicated himself, above all, to painting and a quiet life after not recover from his fateful experience of excessive consumption of hallucinogens and mandrax during his youth as a musician.
The subsequent television documentary about his life and the reissue of his songs on Pink Floyd compilation albums allowed Barrett to have a good financial time, always being cared for by his sister after the death of his mother. In the last interview with Barrett, as a result of the documentary, he said that it was funny to see himself again playing music that was now "a bit loud" to listen to.
Syd Barrett's psychological profile remains a mystery. Many assume that he suffered from schizophrenia , [ 9 ] bipolar disorder , [ 10 ] psychosis , [ 11 ] and even, although controversial, the Asperger syndrome , a variant of the autistic spectrum. Even so, his behaviors seem to be better explained by his excessive abuse of hallucinogens such as LSD . [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ]
The 7 of July of 2006 , the musician died at age 60 because of his chronic diabetes and a subsequent pancreatic cancer. [ 8 ] A few days later, David Gilmour and Roger Waters representing Pink Floyd, along with Rosemary Breen, Barrett's sister, issued a joint statement expressing the band's dismay over Barrett's death.
That year, Barrett's belongings were auctioned off, from his bedroom curtains and books to his paintings. The musician's fans quickly bought everything they could from their idol at auction, paying large sums of money for it. His house, then valued at around 300,000 pounds, was listed for about half a million pounds.
Despite his short musical career, Barrett is considered one of the most influential artists in the history of music, he became an important influence for different genres that emerged decades later, such as alternative rock , indie rock , punk rock , post-punk , among other genres of alternative music .
Many artists have recognized Barrett's influence on their work. Paul McCartney , Pete Townshend , Blur , Kevin Ayers , Gong , Marc Bolan , Tangerine Dream , Julian Cope, and David Bowie . Artists who were inspired by Barrett include Jimmy Page , Brian Eno , Sex Pistols , and The Damned , who expressed an interest in working with him sometime during the 1970s. Bowie recorded a cover of "See Emily Play" on his 1973 album Pin Ups. The track "Grass" from XTC's Skylarking album, was influenced when Andy Partridge left his bandmate Colin Molding to borrow Barrett's recordings. Robyn Hitchcock's career is dedicated to being Barrett-esque. He even played "Dominoes" for the 2001 BBC documentary Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story.
Singles with Pink Floyd
- Arnold Layne (Barrett) / Candy and a Currant Bun (Barrett) (1967) (#20 en el Reino Unido)
- See Emily Play (Barrett) / The Scarecrow (Barrett) (1967) (# 6 in the UK, # 134 in the US )
- Apples and Oranges (Barrett) / Paint Box (Wright) (1967)
- Flaming (Barrett) / The Gnome (Barrett) (1967) [Solo en EE. UU.]
Albums with Pink Floyd
|#||Album title||Album type||Year|
|1.||The Piper at the Gates of Dawn||study||1967|
|2.||A Saucerful of Secrets||study||1968|
|3.||Masters of Rock||Compilation||1970|
|5.||A Nice Pair||Compilation box||1973|
|7.||Shine On||Compilation box||1992|
|8.||Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd||Compilation||2001|
|9.||London '66–'67||Live EP||2005|
|10.||Oh, by the Way||Compilation box||2007|
|12.||A Foot in the Door||Compilation||2011|
- "Octopus" (Barrett) /"Golden Hair" (Barrett/Joyce) (15 de noviembre de 1969)
|#||Album title||Album type||Year|
|1.||The Madcap Laughs||study||1970|
|4.||Syd Barrett||Compilation box||1974|
|5.||The Peel Sessions||Live EP||1987|
|7.||Octopus: The Best of Syd Barrett||Compilation||1992|
|8.||Crazy Diamond: The Complete Syd Barrett||Compilation box||1993|
|9.||The Best of Syd Barrett: Wouldn't You Miss Me?||Compilation||2001|
|10.||The Radio One Sessions||Live||2004|
|11.||An Introduction to Syd Barrett||Compilation||2010|
- "Seeing Pink - a Floyd gazetteer of Cambridge" . Cambridge Evening News . October 17, 2007. Archived from the original on December 23, 2011 . Retrieved September 17, 2011 .
- Mason, p. 21
- Mason, p.23
- Schaffner, p. 25
- Paytress, Matt. «Syd Barrett Song Unearthed». Rolling Stone. Consultado el 17 July 2020.
- Reed, Ryan. «How Pink Floyd Carried On With 'A Saucerful of Secrets'». Ultimate Classic Rock. Consultado el 17 July 2020.
- "The Mick Rock Photo Sessions" . Julian Palacios. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009 . Retrieved May 12, 2019 .
- DiLorenzo, Kris. "Syd Barrett: Careening Through Life." Trouser Press February 1978 pp. 26–32
- "Syd Barrett, the schizophrenic diamond from Pink Floyd - Pogue Mahone" . Pogue Mahone . October 20, 2013. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017 . Retrieved March 18, 2017 .
- "The mental illness of Syd Barrett, from Pink Floyd :: The psychosis of Syd Barrett" . Naturpsico . Retrieved March 18, 2017 .
- "Syd Barrett in the 'American Journal of Psychiatry ' " . desdeelmanicomio.blogspot.pe . Retrieved March 18, 2017 .
- "Syd Barrett, the dark character who symbolizes the genius of Pink Floyd" . The world . Retrieved March 18, 2017 .
- «rollingstone.it Asperger». Rolling Stone (in Italian) . Retrieved March 16, 2017 .
- Mojo Magazine, June 2016, page 71 (in English)
- Wikimedia Commons hosts a multimedia category on Syd Barrett .
- Wikiquote hosts famous quotes from or about Syd Barrett .