Syd Barrett Dies, Aged 60
11 Jul 2006
Genesis Publications is saddened to hear of the recent death of Syd Barrett
. He passed away at the end of last week - early reports suggest Friday, July 7th - from complications due to diabetes. He was 60 years old.
Syd was a founding member of Pink Floyd
. He left in 1968 having been the principal force behind the group s first album, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
. In 1969 he recorded a solo album, The Madcap Laughs
, followed swiftly by the self-titled Barrett
. Both albums featured contributions from other Floyd members; Floyd themselves would later honour him with their classic 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' .
Syd's mental health steadily deteriorated throughout this period, not helped by what was, allegedly, a heavy diet of hallucinogenic drugs. When his second album was poorly received he retreated to his mother's home in Cambridge and pretty much stayed there until his death. Genesis author Mick Rock knew Syd and even lived with him very briefly. His photographs of the troubled genius, taken between 1969 and 1971, are featured in Psychedelic Renegades
Mick called Syd a "mad, bohemian poet" and wrote of their time together: "We had penetrated the looking glass and were living in a parallel dimension where everyone was beautiful and spiritually free." Despite his apparently modest musical output, Syd's influence over contemporary music is immense. He will be missed.