Syd Barrett

Rock Singer

Syd Barrett was born in Cambridge, England, United Kingdom on January 6th, 1946 and is the Rock Singer. At the age of 60, Syd Barrett biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, songs, and networth are available.

Date of Birth
January 6, 1946
United Kingdom
Place of Birth
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
Death Date
Jul 7, 2006 (age 60)
Zodiac Sign
$5 Million
Composer, Guitarist, Musician, Painter, Poet, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter, Vocalist
Syd Barrett Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

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Syd Barrett Religion, Education, and Hobbies
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Syd Barrett Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
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Syd Barrett Life

Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett (June 1946-2007) was an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist who co-founded the rock band Pink Floyd in 1965.

Barrett, who was known for his English-accented singing and free-form writing style, joined the group and was their first lead singer, guitarist, and principal songwriter.

Many musicians were influenced by his innovative use of guitar techniques, such as dissonance, distortion, and feedback. Barrett had been playing for less than ten years.

He recorded four singles, including their debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967), portions of their second album A Saucerful of Secrets (1968), and several unreleased songs.

Barrett was kicked out of the band in April 1968 due to rumors of mental illness and his heavy use of psychedelic drugs.

He began his solo career in 1969 with the single "Octopus" from his first solo album The Madcap Laughs (1970).

The album was released over the course of a year with five different producers, including former Pink Floyd bandmates David Gilmour and Roger Waters.

Barrett (1970), also produced by Gilmour, was recorded and released by the Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright. Barrett left the music industry in 1972, resigned from public life, and strictly guarded his personal information until his death.

He continued painting and devoted himself to gardening.

Pink Floyd paid tributes and homages to him, including the 1975 rock opera "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and the 1979 rock opera The Wall.

With Barrett's permission, EMI released Opel, an album of unreleased tracks and outtakes.

In 2006, he died of pancreatic cancer.

Personal life

Barrett took up photography, and the two brothers went to the seaside together, according to his sister, Rosemary. She also expressed a keen interest in art and horticulture and continued to dedicate herself to painting

Barrett enjoyed friendships with various women, including Libby Gausden; Lindsay Korner; Jenny Spires; and Pakistani-born Evelyn "Iggy the Inuit"), who appeared on The Madcap Laughs' back cover. He never married or had children, though he was briefly engaged to marry Gayla Pinion and planned to move to Oxford.


Syd Barrett Career

Life and career

Roger Keith Barrett was born in Cambridge on 6 January 1946 to a middle-class family who was residing at 60 Glisson Road. He was the fourth of five children in his family's house. Arthur Max Barrett, his father, was believed to be related to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson through Max's maternal grandmother Ellen Garrett. His family moved to 183 Hills Road in 1951.

Barrett occasionally played piano, but most often preferred writing and drawing. He bought a ukulele, a banjo at 11, and a Höfner acoustic guitar at 14. He bought his first electric guitar and built his own amplifier a year after he bought his first acoustic guitar. He was a Scout with the 7th Cambridge troop and went on to be a patrol leader.

Barrett gave the name Syd after an old Cambridge jazz bassist, Sid "the Beat" Barrett, at the age of 14; Barrett changed the spelling to distinguish himself. Barrett's schoolmates nicknamed him Syd after he arrived at a field day at Abington Scout site wearing a flat cap rather than his scout beret, according to another source, because "Syd" was a "working-class" term. For many years, he used both names interchangeably. Rosemary's sister said, "He was never Syd at home." He would never have accepted it.

Barrett was taught by the mother of future Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters at Morley Memorial Junior School at one time. He attended Cambridgeshire High School for Boys with Waters, a decade ago. Barrett's father died of cancer on December 11, 1961, just over a month before he was born. Barrett's diary entry on this date was blank. His brothers and sisters had left home by this point, and his mother had rented out rooms to lodgers.

Barrett's mother, eager to help her son recover from his grief, begged the band in which he appeared, Geoff Mott and the Mottoes, a Barrett band, to perform in their front room. Waters and Barrett were childhood friends, and Waters were often taken to such gigs. Waters hosted a gig at Friends Meeting House on March 11, 1962, but Geoff Mott joined the Boston Crabs shortly thereafter, and the Mottoes were broken.

Barrett had taken a position in the art department of Cambridge College of Arts and Technology in September 1962, where he met David Gilmour. The Beatles had a big influence on Barrett in late 1962 and early 1963, and he began to perform Beatles songs at parties and picnics. Barrett became a Rolling Stones fan in 1963 and performed at a village hall in Cambridgeshire with then-girlfriend Libby Gausden.

Barrett began writing songs at this point; one friend recalls hearing "Effervescing Elephant" (later to be released on his solo album Barrett). Barrett and Gilmour also performed acoustic gigs together around this time. Barrett was a member of the Those Without In mid-1963 and bass and guitar with the Hollerin' Blues the next year. Bob Dylan appeared on Barrett and Gausden in 1964. Barrett was inspired to write "Bob Dylan Blues" after this appearance. Barrett, who is now thinking about his future, has applied for Camberwell College of Arts in London. In the summer of 1964, he began studying painting at the college.

The band that would become Pink Floyd began in 1964, with "The Abdabs", "The Screaming Abdabs," "Sigma 6," and "The Meggadeaths." Barrett joined them in 1965 as the Tea Set (sometimes spelled T-Set). Barrett performed "The Pink Floyd Sound" (also known as "The Pink Floyd Blues Band) and later "The Pink Floyd Blues Band" when they discovered themselves playing "The Pink Floyd Blues Band." For the first time since a friend of Richard Wright's gave the band free time to record, they went into a studio for the first time.

During this summer, Barrett experienced his first LSD trip in the garden of friend Dave Gale, as well as Ian Moore and Storm Thorgerson. Barrett and another friend, Paul Charrier, ended up naked in the bath during one trip: "No rules, no rules." The band was absorbed in Sant Mat, a Sikh sect, that summer as a result of continued heroin use. Storm Thorgerson (then living on Earlham Street) and Barrett travelled to a London hotel to speak with the sect's leader; Thorgerson was able to join the sect, but Barrett was deemed too young to join the sect. Thorgerson viewed this as a major event in Barrett's life, although he was incredibly distraught by the denial. Barrett decided to write more songs ("Bike" was written around this time).

Although Pink Floyd began by playing cover versions of American R&B songs, by 1966, they had developed their own style of improvised rock and roll, which differed from improvised jazz. The band's name changed after Bob Klose left the band. The change was however not instantaneous, with more progress being made on the guitars and keyboards. "It's always seemed to me that the majority of the ideas were emanating from Syd at the time," Drummer Nick Mason said.

Barrett's readings included Grimm's Fairy Tales, Tolkien's The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, among others. Barrett wrote the majority of the songs for Pink Floyd's debut album, as well as songs that would appear on his solo albums later this year. The UFO, pronounced as "you-foe"), opened in London in 1966 and quickly became a haven for British psychedelic music. The house band, Pink Floyd, was the most popular musical group of the "London Underground" psychedelic music scene, and after appearing at the competition Roundhouse, the house band became the most well-known cultural group of the "London Underground" psychedelic music scene.

Pink Floyd's core team, Andrew King and Peter Jenner, had been withered by the end of 1966. Pink Floyd, King and Jenner, formed Blackhill Enterprises in October 1966 to control the company's finances. Blackhill was staffed by lodgers Jenner in his Edbrooke Road home, as well as Barrett's flatmate, Peter Wynne Wilson (who later became road manager, but not necessarily because he had more expertise in lighting) (who later became lighting assistant). The King and Jenner wanted to record some demos for a potential record deal, so they scheduled a session at Thompson Private Recording Studio in Hemel Hempstead at the end of October. "I think this was the first time I realised they were going to write all their own stuff," the king said of the demos.

The promoter of the UFO Club, Joe Boyd, who was making a name for himself as one of the most influential entrepreneurs on the British music scene, befriended King and Jenner. Bryan Morrison, the newly recruited booking agent, and Boyd had planned to send in higher quality recordings. For the first time, the band from Morrison's corporation appeared in London outside of London. The band played the first (of many) strangely named concerts in Simian Hominids, a multimedia event arranged by the group's former landlord, Mike Leonard, at Hornsey College of Art. They attended the Free School for the next two weeks before performing at the Albert Hall in December, which was coordinated by the Majority Rule for Rhodesia Campaign, and an Oxfam benefit.

Barrett was dating Jenny Spires (who would later marry future Stars member Jack Monck) at the beginning of 1967. Spires, on the other hand, was unknowledged by Barrett, was involved with Peter Whitehead. Spires convinced Whitehead (who thought the band sounded like "poor Schoenberg") to use Pink Floyd in a film about the swinging London scene. So Whitehead joined John Wood's Sound Techniques in Chelsea in January, bringing the band's cost to £1,545 (roughly to £1,545 in 2021). Promotor Joe Boyd was in tow. The band released "Interstellar Overdrive" and "Nick's Boogie" in 16-minutes, as well as another track. Whitehead shot this video, which was used in the film Tonite Lets All Make Love in London and later on the official release of London '66—67.'67. "They were just welded together, just like a jazz band," Whitehead later said of the band.

Boyd attempted to sign the band with Polydor Records. Morrison had begged King and Jenner to start a bidding war between Polydor and EMI. Boyd conducted a recording session for the group in late January, with them returning to Sound Techniques in Chelsea for the second time. Pink Floyd signed with EMI after the bidding war plan was completed. The arrangement, which was unusual for the time, called for recording an album, which meant the band received unlimited studio time at EMI Studios in exchange for a smaller royalty share. The band tried to re-record "Arnold Layne," but instead the Boyd version from January was released.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the band's first studio album, was recorded in Studio 3 at Abbey Road Studios intermittently between February and July 1967, and was produced by former Beatles engineer Norman Smith. Despite being barred by Radio London, "Arnold Layne," which was out months before, had risen to number 20 on the British singles charts, and the sequel, "See Emily Play," had peaked at number 5. The album was a hit in the United Kingdom, with the album debuting at number 6 on the British album charts. Barrett, who also was the principal visionary/author of their critically acclaimed 1967 debut album, wrote their first three singles (including their third, "Apples and Oranges," on their first three singles (including their third). Barrett wrote eight songs and co-wrote two others of Piper's eleven songs.

Barrett became more erratic between late 1967 and 1968, partly as a result of his heavy use of psychedelic drugs, such as LSD. He was once vibrant, welcoming, and extroverted, and depressed, and isolated, and suffered with hallucinations, disorganized speech, memory leaks, acute mood swings, and periods of catatonia. Despite the fact that the transitions started gradually, he went missing for a long weekend and came back "a completely different person" over the weekend, according to several friends, including Wright.

One of the changes' most noticeable traits was the appearance of a blank, dead stare. Barrett did not recognize friends and often didn't know where he was; on a tour of Los Angeles, Barrett is said to have exclaimed, "Because it sure is nice to be in Las Vegas." Many reports portrayed him on stage, strumming one chord through the entire performance, or not playing at all. Barrett's guitar detuned his guitar at a show in Santa Monica.

Barrett responded with a "blank and completely mute stare" when being interviewed on Pat Boone's tour; "Syd wasn't into moving his lips that day," Mason said. During Barrett's first appearance on Dick Clark's television show American Bandstand, he displayed similar conduct. Barrett is seen comfortably on the occasion, and then Barrett gives terse answers in a group interview afterwards. During this period, Barrett would often forget to bring his guitar to sessions, burn parts, and occasionally was unable to hold his plectrum. Barrett allegedly crushed Mandrax tranquilliser tablets and a tube of Brylcreem into his hair, melting his face under the heat of the stage lighting, making him appear as "a gutted candle." "Syd will never waste good mandies," Mason said of the Mandrax portion of this story.

During Pink Floyd's UK tour with Jimi Hendrix in November 1967, guitarist David O'List from Nice was substituted for Barrett on several occasions when he was unable to perform or refused to appear. Barrett's schoolfriend David Gilmour was invited by Pink Floyd around Christmas to play for Barrett. Gilmour performed and sang during Barrett's absence from the stage for a handful of shows, with Barrett wandering around on stage, rarely attending the performance. The other band members became dissatisfied with Barrett's antics, and, on the way to a show at Southampton University in 1968, they decided not to pick Barrett up. "Shall we pick Syd up?" one person in the car said. "Let's not bother," one said and another said. The suggestion, as Barrett had written the bulk of the band's material, was to keep him as a non-touring member, as the Beach Boys had done with Brian Wilson, but this was impractical.

Barrett appeared at what was supposed to be their last practice session with a new song he had titled "Have You Got It Yet?" according to Waters. When he first performed it, the song seemed simple, but it soon became difficult to comprehend; the band soon discovered that Barrett was changing the arrangements as they played; Barrett was even laughing at them. "A true act of mad genius," Waters described it as, "a true act of mad genius."

Only "Jugband Blues" was included on Barrett's album "A Saucerful of Secrets (1968), one of the songs written for Pink Floyd after The Piper at The Gates of Dawn. "Apples and Oranges" became an unsuccessful single, while "Scream Thy Last Scream" and "Vegetable Man" remained unreleased in The Early Years 1965-1972 box set, as they were considered too dark and unsettling. Barrett performed guitar on the Saucerful of Secrets' "Remember a Day" and "Set the Temperatures for the Sun."

The members of Pink Floyd were still mourning that he did not tell Barrett that they were no longer a member of the band. Wright, who was a student at Barrett at the time, told Barrett that he would not buy cigarettes if he was leaving to attend a show. Barrett would return just hours later to find him in the same position, some with a cigarette burning completely between his fingers (an event later referred to in Pink Floyd's concert film The Wall). Barrett, who was born in catatonia and unaware that a long time has passed away, would ask, "Have you got the cigarettes?" "It's been there for a long time."

Barrett spent time outside the recording studio, in the reception area, waiting to be welcomed in. He appeared at few shows and glared at Gilmour. Barrett was no longer a member at the time, when their deal with Blackhill Enterprises was terminated on April 6, 1968. Blackhill Enterprises retained Barrett, considering him as the band's musical director.

Barrett was out of the public eye for a year after leaving Pink Floyd. He began in 1969, at the height of EMI and Harvest Records, embarking on a brief solo career, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett (both 1970) and "Octopus" as a result. Barrett's early interest in the blues appeared in "Terrapin," "Maisie," and "Bob Dylan Blues."

Jenner resigned as the company's manager after Barrett left Pink Floyd. Barrett directed Barrett into recording tracks in May that were released on Barrett's first solo album, The Madcap Laughs. "I had really underestimated the challenges of working with him," Jenner said. The majority of the tracks were in good shape by June and July; however, Barrett and his girlfriend Lindsay Corner disbanded up shortly after the July sessions and headed for a walk around the country, ending up in psychiatric care in Cambridge. Barrett had rented a flat on Egerton Gardens, South Kensington, London, 1969, with the postmodernist artist Duggie Fields. Barrett's apartment was so close to Gilmour's that Gilmour could peek right into Barrett's kitchen.

Barrett, who wanted to return to music, contacted EMI and was directed to Malcolm Jones, the head of EMI's new prog rock band Harvest. Jones produced the Barrett's record after Norman Smith and Jenner refused to produce it. Barrett needed to recover the songs made with Jenner, but several of the tracks were enhanced upon. Jones' sessions at EMI Studios began in April 1969. Barrett brought in friends to help: Jerry Shirley, the Humble Pie drummer, and Willie Wilson, the drummer of Gilmour's old band Jokers Wild. Gilmour played bass at the session. Jones said that communicating with Barrett was difficult: "It was a case of following him rather than playing with him." They were seeing and then playing, so they were always a note behind." Soft Machine's album feature overdubs a few songs. Barrett also appeared on the Soft Machine founder Kevin Ayers' debut LP Joy of a Toy in the early 1990s, but his recording, "Singing a Song in the Morning," was not released until the album was reissued in 2003.

Barrett told his flatmate that he was heading to Ibiza in the afternoon, but he later joined Pink Floyd and customs, then stormed runway and attempted to flag down a jet, according to legend. J. Ryan Eaves, the bass player for the short-lived but influential Manchester band York's Ensemble, was seen on a beach wearing dirty clothes and carrying a purse full of cash. During the trip, Barrett begged Gilmour for assistance in recording sessions.

They remade one track from the Soft Machine overdubs and recorded three tracks after two of the Gilmour/Waters sessions. Gilmour and Waters were mixing Pink Floyd's new album, Ummagumma, during these sessions. However, the band managed to chart three more songs through the end of July. The songs were not mastered on the album because Barrett performed them "live" in the studio. On the latest versions, a number of them have incorrect start and commentaries from Barrett. Despite the fact that the track is closer to finished and better produced, Gilmour and Waters left the Jones-produced track "Opel" off Madcap.

Of the Madcap Laughs sessions, Gilmour was later revealed.

Jones was shocked by the substandard musicianship on the Gilmour and Waters songs when they first appeared on the album in January 1970: "I became ill." It's like dirty linen in public and very unnecessary and unkind." "Perhaps we were trying to figure out what Syd was really like," Gilmour said. Well, we could have been trying to punish him." Waters was more encouraging: "Syd is a genius." "It's very nice, but I'd be very surprised if it did anything if I were to die," Barrett said. I don't think it will be my last remark."

Barrett's second album was more sporadically recorded than the first, with sessions taking place between February and July 1970. Gilmour on bass guitar, Richard Wright on keyboard, and Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley were among the album's features. Barrett's first two songs were intended to perform and/or sing to an existing backing track. Gilmour, on the other hand, believed they were losing the "Bart" persona. One track ("Rats") was originally recorded with Barrett on his own. Despite the fluctuating times, musicians would later be overdubbed them. "He'd never play the same song twice," Shirley said of Barrett's playing: "He'll never play the same tune twice." Syd couldn't do anything that made sense; other times, what he'd do was pure magic." "Perhaps we could make the middle darker and maybe the end a bit middle afternoonish," Barrett, who suffered with synaesthesia, would say at times. It's too windy and icy at the moment.

These sessions were taking place while Pink Floyd was still working on Atom Heart Mother. Barrett used to "spy" on the band's albums on several occasions.

Wright said of the Barrett sessions:

Barrett undertook very little musical activity between 1968 and 1972 outside of the studio, despite numerous recording dates for his solo albums. He appeared on John Peel's BBC radio show Top Gear on February 24, 1970, only one of which had been released before. Three of the three songs on Barrett's album will be re-recorded, while "Two of a Kind" was a one-off effort (possibly written by Richard Wright). Barrett was joined by Gilmour and Shirley, who played bass and percussion respectively, on this session.

Barrett was also supported by Gilmour and Shirley for his one and only live concert during this time. The performance took place on June 6, 1970, as part of the Olympia Exhibition Hall as part of the Music and Fashion Festival. The trio performed four songs, "Terrapin," "Gigolo Aunt," "Helping Elephant," and "Octopus." The vocals were barely audible until part of the last number due to poor mixing. Barrett stepped off the stage abruptly but politely at the end of the fourth song. The results have been skewed. Barrett appeared on BBC Radio for the final time on Sunday, recording three songs at their studios on February 16, 1971. The three three boys were purchased on Barrett's album. He took a break from his music career for more than a year, but in a lengthy interview with Mick Rock and Rolling Stone in December, he talked about himself, Jimi Hendrix, and said he was dissatisfied with his inability to find someone good to play with.

The trio formed The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band in February 1972, after a few guest spots in Cambridge with ex-Pink Fairies musician Eddie "Guitar" Burns and also Henry Cow guitarist Fred Frith, the trio formed a short-lived band called Stars. Though they were first well-received at gigs in the Dandelion coffee bar and the town's Market Square, MC5's performance at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge proved to be disastrous. Even having played at least one more show supporting Nektar, Twink recalled that Barrett approached him on the street and told him a scathing account of the performance and then resigned on the spot.

Barrett, who was free from his EMI contract on May 9, 1972, signed a document that ended his relationship with Pink Floyd and any financial interest in future recordings. In October 1973, Pete Brown and former Cream bassist Jack Bruce appeared in an informal jazz and poetry performance. Brown arrived late and saw Bruce and "a guitarist I vaguely recognized" onstage, as well as "a guitarist I vaguely recognized" playing the Horace Silver song "Doodlin" ("Doodlin." Brown read out a poem dedicating himself to Syd "he's here in Cambridge and he's one of the country's finest songwriters" later on the show, when the guitarist from earlier in the season stood up and said, "No, I'm not." Barrett had returned to London by the end of 1973, spending at various hotels and, finally, settling in at Chelsea Cloisters in December of that year. Except for his regular trips to his management's offices to find his royalties and occasional visits from his sister Rosemary, he had no contact with others.

Jenner persuaded Barrett to return to Abbey Road Studios in the hopes of recording another album in August. And now, according to John Leckie, who arranged these sessions, Syd "looked like he did when he was younger... long haired." The sessions lasted three days and featured blues rhythm tracks with tentative and disjointed guitar overdubs. Barrett released eleven tracks, the only one of which was titled "If You Go, Don't Be Slow." Barrett resigned from the music industry once more, but it was for good. He resigned the rights to his solo albums and relocated to the London hotel. Several attempts to use him as a record producer (one by Jamie Reid on behalf of the Sex Pistols and another by the Damned, who wanted him to produce their second album) were fruitless.

During the recording sessions for Pink Floyd's ninth album, Wish You Were Here, Barrett met with the members. He attended the Abbey Road session unannounced and watched the band perform on the final mix of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" — a tribute to him. Barrett, 29, was overweight and had shaved off all of his hair (including his eyebrows), and his ex-bandmates did not recognise him right away. Barrett spent a portion of his session scrubbing his teeth. When Waters asked him what he thinks about the album, Barrett replied, "sounds a bit old." Gilmour's wedding to Ginger was reported to have briefly attended the reception immediately after the recording sessions, but Gilmour denied that he remembered any of this.

Barrett was in the department store Harrods, a few years ago, and Waters spotted him disappearing, leaving his bags, which Waters described as stuffed with candy. It was the last time any member of Pink Floyd knew him.

In 1978, when Barrett's money ran out, he returned to Cambridge to live with his mother. In 1982, he returned to London for a few weeks, but then returned to Cambridge permanently. Barrett rode the 50 miles (80 km) from London to Cambridge. He earned royalties from his work with Pink Floyd until his death; Gilmour said, "I made sure the money got to him." Barrett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 as a member of Pink Floyd. He did not attend the service.

According to biographer and journalist Tim Willis, Barrett, who had reverted to using his birth name Roger, he continued to live in his late mother's semi-detached home and began painting large abstract canvases. He was also an avid gardener. Rosemary, his sister who lived nearby, was his main point of contact with the outside world. He was secretive and his physical fitness worsened as he suffered from stomach ulcers and type 2 diabetes.

Despite family calls for him to cease, although Barrett had not appeared or spoke in public since the mid-1970s, journalists and followers came to Cambridge to ask him. Barrett reportedly did not like being reminded of his musical career, and the other Pink Floyd members had no direct contact with him. Nonetheless, he did attend his sister's house in November 2001 to watch the BBC Omnibus documentary about him; according to reports, he loved hearing Mike Leonard's name again, calling him his "teacher" and loved watching "See Emily Play."

When Barrett autographed 320 copies of photographer Mick Rock's book Psychedelic Renegades, which featured a number of portraits of Barrett, he made a final public acknowledgement of his musical journey in 2002, his first since the 1970s, when he autographed 320 copies of Barrett's book Psychedelic Renegades, which included a collection of images of Barrett. In 1971, Rock conducted Barrett's last interview before he resigned from the music industry. In 1978, Barrett visited Rock in London several times for tea and chat. When Rock approached Barrett to autograph his photography book, they were stunned, and Barrett reluctantly agreed. He had reverted to his birth name, and he autographed the book "Barrytt."


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