Wednesday 6th January marked what would have been the 70th birthday of Syd Barrett, founder member of the Pink Floyd and one of the most influential musicians in British pop history.
To mark the occasion, Syd Barretts new official website was launched. Celebrating his unique life and career, both of which continue to inspire and enthrall, it is a unique resource that offers an unrivaled insight into this enigmatic musician.
The website has been created by those who knew him best – his family and friends. The clean, modern design offers an intimate experience for Syd’s fans, incorporating his favourite colour indigo and offering previously unseen, restored family photographs.
Going forward, regular updates will reveal even more exclusive material, photographs and information. Featured songs will receive detailed analysis alongside reviews, essays and images from a range of celebrity guest writers.
Syds nephew Ian Barrett says 2016 promises to be an exciting year for Syd Barretts fans and we hope that in keeping with my uncles talents, this online resource will act as a springboard, inspiring a new generation of artists – both musical and visual.
Syd Barrett was with the Pink Floyd for just three years (1965 to1968), yet when the band released their greatest hits album in 2001 he had written over a fifth of the tracks.
Born Roger Keith Barrett in 1946 in Cambridge, Syd obtained his nickname from regulars at a local jazz club who christened him after an old drummer from the area.
At the age of seventeen Barrett left Cambridge to study at Londons Camberwell Art School where he was reunited with his old friend Roger Waters. He joined Rogers band the Pink Floyd and quickly became their main songwriter. The band was named after two Georgia blues men Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Their experiments with feedback and electronic sound quickly made them the hippest band among Londons early psychedelic set.
Although still a prolific songwriter, Syds experimentation with drugs meant his grasp on reality was slipping away. He didnt turn up for interviews and started to behave erratically, to the extent that an American tour had to be cut short.
In January 1968 the band excused Syd from performing live to enable him to concentrate on songwriting and David Gilmour was asked to take his place. By 1968 the band had parted ways with Syd, leaving him to record and release two solo albums The Madcap Laughs and Barrett and a single Octopus.
1970 saw Syd retreat to his mothers house in Cambridge where he formed The Stars with some local musicians though his involvement was shortlived. The following years saw him moving between Cambridge and London, where he stayed on friends floors. In 1978, having tired of London, he walked back to Cambridge, where he lived reclusively until his death on 7th July 2006, aged sixty.