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Thread: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

  1. #1
    Member RedsFan75's Avatar
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    Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    One of my favorite groups, I always thought sections of "The Wall" were dedicated to Barrett, specifically "Comfortably Numb"

    http://music.msn.com/music/article.aspx?news=227114

    Syd Barrett, Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies
    Jul 11, 9:26 AM EST

    The Associated Press

    LONDON -- Syd Barrett, the troubled genius who co-founded Pink Floyd but spent his last years in reclusive anonymity, has died, a spokeswoman for the band said Tuesday. He was 60.

    The spokeswoman — who declined to give her name until the band made an official announcement — confirmed media reports that he had died. She said Barrett died several days ago, but she did not disclose the cause of death. Barrett had suffered from diabetes for many years.

    Barrett co-founded Pink Floyd in 1965 with Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright, and wrote many of the band's early songs. The group's jazz-infused rock made them darlings of the London psychedelic scene, and the 1967 album "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" — largely written by Barrett, who also played guitar — was a commercial and critical hit.

    However, Barrett suffered from mental instability, exacerbated by his use of LSD. His behavior grew increasingly erratic, and he left the group in 1968 — five years before the release of Pink Floyd's most popular album, "Dark Side of the Moon." He was replaced by David Gilmour.

    Barrett released two solo albums — "The Madcap Laughs" and "Barrett" — but soon withdrew from the music business altogether.

    He spent much of the rest of his life living quietly in his hometown of Cambridge, England, where he was a familiar figure, often seen cycling or walking to the corner store.

    Despite his brief career, Barrett's fragile, wistful songs influenced many musicians, from David Bowie — who covered the Barrett track "See Emily Play" — to the other members of Pink Floyd, who recorded the album "Wish You Were Here" as a tribute to their troubled bandmate.

    The band spokeswoman said a small, private funeral would be held.

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    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    Much of what they did was dedicated to Barrett, I believe.
    The entire Wish You Were Here album was basically a plea by his former bandmates for Syd to return to sanity.
    Shine on you crazy diamond, and rest in peace, Syd.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    Did you trade your heros for ghosts?

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    Davey BuckWoody's Avatar
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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    Hot ashes for trees?
    Hot air for a cool breeze?
    Cold comfort for change?

    Sad news. I'll have Floyd in heavy rotation today at work. RIP Syd.

  6. #5
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    Here's what a friend of mine wrote on his blog yesterday:

    I was going to blog about something else today, but I learned just five minutes ago that Syd Barrett is dead.

    Rock and roll has many casualties, but Syd Barrett is something of a tragedy. I remember thinking, before the magic of google, that he was already dead. But as I mentioned a few weeks earlier, I found photos of him in his Harper Lee-type existence. Although Barrett was not dead, he was left for dead by the music industry...and by his own choice. It's reported that while his band Pink Floyd was still in its infancy, people would put LSD in his food without telling him simply because they wanted to see him high. He became a class clown in the psychedelic movement, and it was degrading. He confused the press constantly, sabotaging a prime-time television performance of his band. His bandmates were embarrassed by him, particularly Roger Waters. By the time Pink Floyd recorded their second album A Saucerfull of Secrets, Barrett was told to sit in the studio waiting room only to find out the band didn't want him anymore.

    Fast forward to 1975. Roger Waters decides to dedicate the next Floyd album to Syd Barrett with song titles like "Shine On, You Crazy Diamond" and "Wish You Were Here." Barrett showed up at the sessions, but he is not recognized by his ex-bandmates. He's fat, bald, and has no friends. He'd been living in a basement eating pork chops. Roger Waters admitted that he cried when he saw him.

    There were numerous attempts to get a solo career going for Barrett, but his business associates were more enthusiastic about the notion than he was. Songs were left unfinished, making the albums seem like ragtag sessions in which they had to wait for Syd to be "in the moment." In no time at all, the idea of Syd Barrett going solo is abandoned.

    Some time in the early 21st century, a Syd Barrett compilation dawns. When asked for a tiny little comment to sneak into the promotional paperwork, Barrett simply said "I suggest you don't go there. I don't do that anymore."

    I first heard The Piper at the Gates of Dawn before I was technically considered a teen, and I thought it was the fruitiest music in the world. Who listens to this weirdness? Songs about gnomes? Constellations? Stethoscopes? Scarecrows? What the hell is all this? Well, years later I discover that it was all wasted on me. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is a rich tapestry dressed up as Edward Lear nonsense. Every song is just as fascinating and excellent as it is odd and confusing. Given what came later for Pink Floyd, their debut is an island unto itself, and it was all because of Barrett. They recorded the album in Abbey Road studios, where the Beatles were recording Sgt. Pepper next door. From The Piper alone, it's clear that Syd Barrett had a Sgt. Pepper inside of him just waiting to burst out.

    But it never happened. Syd's talents were ruined by drugs. Whatever spirit he had left for his music was squashed by the entertainment industry as well as his own apathy. The potential he held in his own two hands vanished, and no one knows where it went. Frequently we hypothetically ask ourselves "What if so-and-so (insert famous musician and/or songwriter) was never discovered by such-and-such records on that fateful day?" Well, cosmically speaking, that's easy to comprehend. We would already have an idea of what we would be missing, seeing that it already exists. But now that Syd Barrett is gone, we'll never know what we missed. And that's the tragedy.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    "The Wall" was Roger Waters' imaginary barrier between him and the fans.

    Shine On was their big tribute to him.


    RIP Syd.

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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    "Careful with that axe, Eugene...."
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    LONDON -- Roger Keith (Syd) Barrett, a founding member of the British rock band Pink Floyd, died of symptoms related to diabetes, the band said Tuesday.

    Barrett, 60, died July 7 at his home in Cambridgeshire, England.

    "Syd was the guiding light of the early band lineup and leaves a legacy which continues to inspire," the surviving members of Pink Floyd -- David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright -- said.

    Barrett cofounded Pink Floyd in 1965 with Waters, Mason and Wright, and wrote many of its early songs. The 1967 album "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" -- largely written by Barrett, who also played guitar -- was a hit.

    He left the group in 1968, prompted by a well-publicized breakdown triggered by his apparent use of LSD. His departure came just before the band achieved worldwide success, and five years before the release of Pink Floyd's most popular album, "Dark Side of the Moon."

    He later released two solo albums "The Madcap Laughs" and "Barrett" and retreated to his late mother's home where he lived as a recluse until his death, indulging his passion for painting and gardening. He was a familiar figure to neighbors, often seen cycling or walking to the corner store, but rarely spoke to fans and journalists who sought him out.

    Barrett is believed to have named the band after blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. His record collection was found to include music by the two blues artists.

    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...607120317/1009

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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    People who look at the 60s as some romantic era need to take a close look at what has happened. There is not a damn thing romantic or heroic about living life in your middle ages in a basement shut off from the outside world because some hippies decided it would be funny to experiment and be entertained.

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    We are the angry mob cincyinco's Avatar
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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    Quote Originally Posted by Benny-Distefano
    "The Wall" was Roger Waters' imaginary barrier between him and the fans.

    Shine On was their big tribute to him.


    RIP Syd.
    I always thought the wall was a take on part of Water's childhood as well as Syd's diminished capacity as a musician?

    Wish You Were Here is indeed the primary tribute to Mr. Barrett, but I was under the impression quite a few of their songs were in some part, no matter how large or small, a tribute to him...

    Sad to learn of this news. R.I.P Syd Barrett, godspeed.
    "I hate to advocate chemicals, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone... But they've always worked for me."

    -Hunter S. Thompson

  12. #11
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    I was just on a website last week reading up on Barrett.

    There are many stories about Barrett's bizarre and intermittently psychotic behavior - many of which are undoubtedly apocryphal, although some are known to be true. According to Roger Waters, Barrett came into what was to be their last practice session with a new song he had dubbed "Have You Got It, Yet?" The song seemed simple enough when he first presented it to his bandmates, but it soon became impossibly difficult to learn: as they were practicing it, Barrett kept changing the arrangement. He would then play it again, with the arbitrary changes, and sing "Have you got it yet?" After more than an hour of trying to "get it," they realized they never would.

    Syd Barrett had one noted reunion with Pink Floyd, in 1975 during the recording sessions for Wish You Were Here. Barrett attended the Abbey Road session unannounced and watched the band record Shine On You Crazy Diamond — coincidentally, a song about him. At that time, Syd had gained a lot of weight and had shaved off all of his hair, including his eyebrows, and his ex-bandmates did not at first recognize him (one of the photographs in Nick Mason's book Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd appears to have been taken that day; it is captioned simply: Syd Barrett, 5th June 1975). Eventually, they realized who he was and Roger Waters was so distressed that he was reduced to tears. A reference to this reunion appears in the film Pink Floyd The Wall (1982), where the character 'Pink,' played by Bob Geldof, shaves off his eyebrows after succumbing to the pressures of life and fame.

    In an interview for VH1's Behind The Music, Rick Wright spoke about the session, saying: "One thing that really stands out in my mind, that I'll never forget; I was going in to the Shine On sessions. I went in the studio and I saw this guy sitting at the back of the studio, he was only as far away as you are from me. And I didn't recognize him. I said, 'Who's that guy behind you?' 'That's Syd.' And I just cracked up, I couldn't believe it... he had shaven all his hair off... I mean, his eyebrows, everything... he was jumping up and down brushing his teeth, it was awful. And, uh, I was in, I mean Roger was in tears, I think I was; we were both in tears. It was very shocking... seven years of no contact and then to walk in while we're actually doing that particular track. I don't know – coincidence, karma, fate, who knows? But it was very, very, very powerful." In another interview, Nick Mason has said: "When I think about it, I can still see his eyes, but... it was everything else that was different." In yet another interview, Roger Waters has said: "I had no idea who he was for a very long time."

    Barrett's decline had a profound effect on Roger Waters' song-writing, and the theme of mental illness would permeate Pink Floyd's later albums, particularly 1973's Dark Side of the Moon and 1979's The Wall. One track from Dark Side of the Moon, entitled "Brain Damage", contained a specific reference to Barrett's mental illness. A later line in the song references "the band you're in starts playing different tunes", which is a situation Barrett often got into when suffering from the symptoms of his mental illness. Wish You Were Here (1975) was a conscious tribute to Barrett.

    According to a 2005 profile by his biographer Tim Willis, Barrett, who had reverted to using his original name of Roger, continued to live in his late mother's semi-detached home in Cambridge, and had returned to his original art-form of painting, creating large abstract canvases. He was also said to have been an avid gardener. His main point of contact with the outside world was his sister, Rosemary, who lived nearby. While reclusive, it was his physical health that prompted most concern, being afflicted with stomach ulcers and type two diabetes.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  13. #12
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    Quote Originally Posted by cincyinco
    I always thought the wall was a take on part of Water's childhood as well as Syd's diminished capacity as a musician?
    Kind of a mixture of both. The influences were there.

    The theme for Floyd's final album (The Final Cut), which really could be labeled a Water's solo project with little or no input from the other band members (Wright did not participate), was alot about Water's childhood....and is a series of songs designed as a requiem for the aftermath of World War II (Water's Dad died in WW2) - Water's continuing perception that schools oppress, the unfulfilled post war dream for England, and current world events at the time and his disenchantment with Thatcher (Falkland War) and other world leaders.

    In fact, the tracks were originally designed to be included in The Wall ("final cut" or conclusion); but the record company refused to release this proposed three album set thinking it would hurt sales.

    It's funny, because I have been listening alot to the Final Cut lately. It is not really a favorite among many Floyd fans... very somber and kinda depressing.... but I really like it. It says alot about Water's psyche.

    Love the song "Not Now John".

    Beginning with The Wall "sessions" is where Waters, according to the other band members, really started to exert more control. According to Gilmour, Waters wanted stronger emphasis on vocals (his), and alot less on the instrumental parts. The others felt their music was lacking balance then.
    Last edited by GAC; 07-13-2006 at 06:03 AM.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Member RedsFan75's Avatar
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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    And I thought I knew a lot about Pink Floyd!! Great stuff GAC!

  15. #14
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    Syd's stuff was wacked out (acid can do wonders ), but quite good!

    I wasn't around during Pink Floyd's hayday, but I am a big fan of the group, and have a lot of their CDs.

    They were ahead of their time then, and still are........

  16. #15
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    Re: Syd Barrett, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd, Dies

    In fact, the tracks were originally designed to be included in The Wall ("final cut" or conclusion); but the record company refused to release this proposed three album set thinking it would hurt sales.
    yep and then they put it to a band vote which one to put out.. The Wall or FC.

    I like the first half of FC... a lot.

    But I also love the Pro's and Cons of Hitchiking even more.


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