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Aww :(

Syd Barrett dies, age 60


Syd Barrett, the "crazy diamond" guitarist who shaped the early Pink Floyd psychedelic sound, has died nearly 40 years after becoming one of rock music's most dramatic casualties.

He turned into a recluse after an LSD-induced breakdown and in recent years suffered from complications due to diabetes.

After becoming severely ill last week, Barrett was admitted to Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge. He was discharged on Thursday and died the following day at his home, in St Margaret's Square, which he shared with his mother until she died a few years ago. He was 60.

His brother, Alan, said: "He died peacefully at home. There will be a private family funeral in the next few days."

Barrett walked away from fame as a cult figure, vanishing behind the blinds of his mother's semi-detached house, preferring to tend his garden, visit Sainsbury's on a bike and mutter inanities to unwelcome visitors.

Barrett reportedly entered a mental home at one stage, and latterly always avoided anybody who called on him. Wearing only his underpants he met his biographer Tim Willis at his front door and said: "I'm just looking after this place for the moment. I'm not going to stay here forever."

However, he is thought to have left a fortune. David Gilmour, drafted in to Pink Floyd during a period in which Barrett was behaving erratically, made sure that royalties on his compositions flowed steadily into his bank account.

Even though he was only with the band for its first three years and appeared on just one album, Piper At The Gates of Dawn, Barrett's quarterly income was still into seven figures. Friends said he was happy never to mention his cult status, adding that he was neither poor nor sad.

Rock stars paid tribute to him last night. David Bowie described Barrett as a "major inspiration", saying: "I can't tell you how sad I feel.

"The few times I saw him perform in London at UFO and the Marquee clubs during the 1960s will forever be etched in my mind. He was so charismatic and such a startlingly original songwriter. His impact on my thinking was enormous. A major regret is that I never got to know him. A diamond indeed."

A statement from Pink Floyd said: "The band are naturally very upset and sad to learn of Syd's death. He was the guiding light of the early band line-up and leaves a legacy which continues to inspire."

The former Blur guitarist Graham Coxon released a statement saying: "Lost him again ... For bang on 20 years Syd led me to better places."

BBC's Radio Cambridgeshire played the Floyd's Wish You Were Here, with its opening lyric, "So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, blue skies from pain". The recording, in 1975, was the last time the band saw Barrett.

He ambled into the studio to listen and, initially, nobody recognised him, as the former 9st guitarist had become a shambolic, 16st balding man.

At first, Pink Floyd was Syd's band, made in his image, and making singular music with its quintessentially English take on psychedelia. But the feeling is that Barrett was a fragile figure from the first, and LSD, with its increasingly uncontrollable trips, put him over the edge.

Gilmour said he thought that Barrett's breakdown was always on the cards. "It was a deep-rooted thing. But I'll say the psychedelic experience might well have acted as a catalyst.

I just don't think he could deal with the vision of success and all the things that went with it."

Joe Boyd, his first producer, said: "It is a very sad and lonely tale. With the band and him, you had the feeling you were in the presence of people who were a soundtrack of a revolutionary period. I don't know what Swinging London would have been without him."

The Daily Telegraph 

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By Pink Floyd

Aims @ 7/12/2006 |

July 30, 2006   09:02 AM PDT
Yeah, that was so sad, his death. I bought Floyd's first album when I was about... I dunno, about 15, I think?
July 13, 2006   07:47 AM PDT
how sad:( I always wanted to explore the enigma that was Syd Barrett, I mean just listen to early Pink Floyd...that is some bizarre and wonderful stuff.

Thanks for posting this article Aims. I tried posting something about this earlier, but blogdrive was being a bastard earlier. So thanks. I'm glad to see that a few of the old authors are coming back.

Lynn, sorry I deleted ya but I hadn't heard from you for a LONG time. I just figured you didn't want to be a part of Vintage Rock anymore. If you wanna rejoin, you can. Just give me your email and I'll resend you the invite. But I am going to delete people who never post here, just to let you all know. I wrote why on the side bar.
July 13, 2006   01:39 AM PDT
I just saw another article about this online elsewhere, and opened up account to add it here....and I saw that I'm not an editor here anymore. I understand, I've been totally absent since last year; school and family kept me away....sorry for going AWOL, Kristy.

This is a shame about Syd, dropping out so early, but his huge influence after such a short stint speaks to his enormous talent.
July 12, 2006   08:00 PM PDT
Awww, indeed.

I saw the story on the news this morning....made me so sad. So I went to work and played Echoes by Floyd all day, putting "Wish You Were Here" and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" on repeat.

R.I.P earned it.

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There has been much coming and going of the authors here at Vintage Rock. If you have not posted an entry in over two months, I'm either deleting you from Vintage Rock or marking you as inactive on the side-bar. I don't think its fair to give authors credit here if they don't post any entries. Its nothing personal, I'm sure you all understand.

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What Is "Vintage Rock" About?

Vintage Rock has officially been on the internet in various forms for about five years now. I started it on a whim of boredom at the terrible, I met some great friends there, and we ended up forming a super-group; a forum where it was okay to speak our minds about anything and everything music. And since there were multiple authors here, we were able to learn about an eclectic variety of music news, recommendations, and bands.

In the last few years, many of the authors who helped co-found this blog quit posting entries. I'm not bitter about their absence, because I know it takes a lot of time and dedication to write quality articles and posts. I will never forget them, but I think its time I quit expecting them to come back. I'd really like to see Vintage Rock turn back into the place it once was. I really don't forsee that happening though. I do however think it is valid for me to keep up this blog in hopes I can inspire even one person to realize that MTV is not the only way to define one's musical tastes. I know its difficult, and takes a lot of research, but there are amazing bands out there just waiting to be discovered. And that is the purpose of this blog. I've never made one penny for running Vintage Rock, and that's okay. Its worth all the hard work when I hear one person say, "Hey, that band kicks ass!" So yes, if you like Vintage Rock and what we stand for, don't be afraid to comment on an entry or say hi on the tag-board. The more input from you readers, the more likely I am to be inspired to post more entries. Anyway, I'm off my soap-box for today. I just thought I'd let you know that things are going to be a bit different here. I'm taking the focus off the side bar and deleting a lot of things I don't find relevant anymore.


Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart closed with Lowery singing about how "Life Is Grand" in pointed response to "those of you who have appointed yourselves to expect us to say something darker." So when Key Lime Pie came out, its moodier music and imagery, not to mention that soon after the fact the band fell apart on the tour for the album, led more than one person to think those darker times had finally arrived. As it is, the group had already gone through one major shake-up between the two albums -- founding member Segel had taken a powder to concentrate on other efforts, with Morgan Fichter brought in as a replacement violinist. Her abilities were certainly praiseworthy, as the album-starting instrumental "Opening Theme" shows quite well. However, it's definitely not the same band that did Telephone Free Landslide Victory a mere four years previous -- things are more straightforwardly rock here most of the time, perhaps not too surprising in light of Lowery's subsequent work in Cracker. As it is, though, it's excellently conceived rock, with space, moodiness, and more to spare. Consider "Jack Ruby," with its wordless backing vocals, tense rhythms, and thick soloing, or "Laundromat" and its steady but unnerving crunch. It's not all potential melancholia, though -- "June" in particular is an underrated number, celebrating the early summer with sweetness and love (at least up to the increasingly stranger ending). Lowery's singing is his best yet, perhaps a little less prone to wackiness but an emergent, distinct voice all the same, and certainly prone to sing a quirky lyric or two still. The oddest thing of all was that the band actually gained a little mainstream attention on MTV and radio via a cover of Status Quo's psych-era nugget "Pictures of Matchstick Men."--- Ned Raggett

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