Crazy Diamond Syd Barrett And The Dawn Of Pink Floyd.pdf
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Crazy Diamond: Syd Barrett and the Dawn of Pink Floyd
This article is based on the book Crazy Diamond: Syd Barrett and the Dawn of Pink Floyd by Mike Watkinson and Pete Anderson, which was published in 2006 by Omnibus Press. The book is a biography of Syd Barrett, the founder, singer, guitarist and principal composer of Pink Floyd, who left the group in 1968 amidst tales of acid-induced madness. The book draws on years of research and interviews with Barrett's family, friends, bandmates and associates to relate the story of an epic rock tragedy.
Syd Barrett was born Roger Keith Barrett in Cambridge, England, on January 6, 1946. He was a bright and creative child who showed an early interest in art and music. He learned to play guitar and formed his first band, The Hollerin' Blues, at the age of 16. He also became fascinated by the psychedelic culture of the 1960s, experimenting with drugs such as LSD and cannabis. He adopted the name Syd after a local jazz musician he admired.
In 1965, Barrett moved to London to study art at Camberwell College of Arts. There he met Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright, who were also studying art and playing music together. They invited Barrett to join their band, which was initially called The Tea Set and later changed to Pink Floyd. Barrett became the leader and main songwriter of the group, contributing songs such as Astronomy Domine, Interstellar Overdrive, Arnold Layne and See Emily Play. His distinctive guitar style and whimsical lyrics helped define the sound and image of Pink Floyd as one of the most innovative and influential bands of the psychedelic era.
However, Barrett's success came at a price. His heavy use of LSD and other drugs affected his mental health and his ability to perform and communicate. He became increasingly erratic, unpredictable and withdrawn, often staring blankly or playing random notes on stage. He also clashed with his bandmates, his managers and his record company over creative and financial issues. In 1968, after a series of failed recording sessions and disastrous concerts, Pink Floyd decided to replace Barrett with David Gilmour, a friend and fellow guitarist. Barrett was officially out of the band by April 1968.
Barrett did not give up on music completely. He recorded two solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett, with the help of Gilmour, Waters and other musicians. However, these albums were poorly received by critics and fans alike, and sold poorly. Barrett also attempted to form a new band called Stars with his old friend Twink, but this project soon collapsed as well. By 1972, Barrett had abandoned music altogether and returned to Cambridge to live with his mother.
For the next three decades, Barrett lived a reclusive life in Cambridge, avoiding public attention and contact with his former colleagues. He devoted himself to painting, gardening and cycling, occasionally visiting his sister Rosemary in London. He suffered from diabetes and other health problems, but refused to seek medical help or take medication. He also rejected any royalties or recognition for his work with Pink Floyd.
Barrett died on July 7, 2006, at the age of 60, from complications of diabetes. His death was announced by his family four days later. He was cremated and his ashes were given to his family.
Syd Barrett's legacy as a musician and a cultural icon remains strong today. His songs have been covered by many artists, such as David Bowie, REM, Radiohead and The Flaming Lips. His life story has inspired books, documentaries, films and plays. His influence on Pink Floyd is evident in their albums such as The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall, which contain references to him or are dedicated to him. He is widely regarded as one of the most original and influential figures in rock history.
[^1^] Crazy diamond : Syd Barrett & the dawn of Pink Floyd by Watkinson, Mike; Anderson, Pete (2006)
[^2^] Crazy Diamond aa16f39245