Syd Barrett, cult reclusive
Guitarist ~ Singer
Pink Floyd
birth name: Roger Keith Barrett

Syd Barrett

January 6, 1946, Cambridge, England ~ July 7, 2006, Cambridge, England

Yet there was also something quintessentially English and middle class about Mr Barrett. His songs contained the essence of Cambridge, his home town: bicycles, golden robes, meadows and the river. Startlingly, he sang his hallucinations in the perfect, almost prissy enunciation of the Home Counties. He made it possible to do rock in English rather than American, inspiring David Bowie among others. ~ The Economist: Syd Barrett Obituary ~ July 20, 2006 © The Economist

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January 6, 2013 ~ UK Top 100 ~ #3 (3) Psy, Gangnam Style ~ #2 (2) featuring Britney Spears, Scream & Shout ~ #1 (1) James Arthur, Impossible


At 16, he was playing with local beat groups, sometimes sharing a stage with bass guitarist Roger Waters. On obtaining respective scholarships at Camberwell Art College and Regent Street Polytechnic, Barrett and Waters moved to London where their band, the Pink Floyd, smouldered into form, with Barrett, Waters, drummer Nick Mason and Rick Wright on keyboards. The gradual introduction of adventurous self-written material and lengthy monochordal improvisations made them popular fixtures in the capital's underground clubs where light shows simulated psychedelic experience. Snapped up by EMI, their debut single, Arnold Layne, was, as expected, self-consciously “weird” - and a Top 30 entry, despite airplay restrictions. The follow-up, a tartly-arranged See Emily Play - also composed by Syd - climbed to Number Six. Perhaps more satisfying for the group was recognition by the Beatles, who looked in during a Floyd session for 1967's groundbreaking The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. The maiden album was penned almost entirely by the charismatic Barrett, who, as a guitarist was as capable of severe dissonance as serene, if echo-laden, melody, and whose vocal style was as English as Elvis Presley's was American. ~ The Guardian: Syd Barrett Obituary ~ July 11, 2006 © The Guardian

Syd Barrett ~ Ranked #58 SPIN 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time in 2012 ~ Barrett's tape-echoed, time-bending solos - often aided by Zippos and ball bearings on the fretboard - might have been the most outside thing about his music. ~ 2012 © SPIN

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