This day in HISTOROCK !!
In 2006, Syd Barrett died from complications arising from diabetes at the age of 60. The singer, songwriter, guitarist was one of the founding members of Pink Floyd, active as a rock musician for only about seven years before he went into seclusion. Only 7 years, yet he was one of the most influential musicians not just in British music history, but in music history period !! He joined Pink Floyd in 1965 but left three years later after the 1967 debut album "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn''. Barrett released two solo albums, in 1970 "Barrett" & "The Madcap Laughs" in 1971, before going into self-imposed seclusion lasting more than thirty years, with his mental deterioration blamed on drugs !! There had been much speculation concerning Barrett's psychological well-being. Many believe he suffered from schizophrenia, Barrett's use of psychedelic drugs, especially LSD, during the 1960s is well documented !! He was born in 1946 as Roger Keith Barrett and depending on which story you believe, he was called Syd after either local jazz musician Sid "The Beat" Barrett or at scout camp, where he was called Syd because of the hat he wore. His passion was painting, but also loved playing guitar !! It was in 1964 while attending art college, he met Waters, Wright and Mason and joined their band called "The Tea Set" !! It wasn't long before Barrett was leader, singer and main songwriter. He also changed the name of the band to Pink Floyd, which he took from 2 American blues players Pink Anderson & Floyd Council and the legend was born !! On the only album Barrett recorded with Floyd "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" he is responsible for writing 8 of the 10 songs himself, while co writing the other 2 and interestingly enough this album was recorded next door to The Beatles, who were recording "Sgt Peppers" at the time !! Syd's eractic behaviour prompted the rest of the band to bring in David Gilmour as an additional guitar player and it didn't sit well with Barrett !! Soon after he left the band and pursued a short lived solo career. He moved in with his mom in 1980 and returned to his true love of painting. In 1975 Syd showed up at Abbey Road studios unannounced, while Floyd was mixing "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" a song about Syd !! Sadly he was almost unrecognizable :-( After his death in 2007 a tribute concert was held where Pink Floyd played the Barrett written song "Arnold Lane", which was Floyd's very first single and not on the debut album !! It was also Pink Floyd's last performance with Richard Wright who would die a year later in 2008 RIP !! As said earlier, although he was only a player for 7 years, he had an "INCREDIBLE" impact in the world of music !! As his old friend Roger Waters says in lyrics from "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", "Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun. Shine on you crazy diamond." !! RIP Syd !! Here is video of Arnold Lane from that performance. Video quality is fair, but the sound is good !!
Keep on ROCKIN !!