Coming on November 24th is the new book from the estate of Pink Floyd co-founder, Syd Barrett, titled Barrett: The Definitive Visual Companion. Back in 2011, the book came out in a high-end, cost prohibitive exclusive edition — but the new trade version is likely to find its way to a much broader Floyd fanbase. Syd Barrett retired from Pink Floyd in 1968, and due to his growing emotional problems exacerbated by heavy drug use, he only recorded sporadically in the years immediately following his departure. He died on July 7th, 2006 from complications arising from diabetes at 60-years-old. Rolling Stone reported Barrett: The Definitive Visual Companion, “collects 350 rare photos of Barrett and Pink Floyd on stage, in rehearsal, and in candid shots at home, as well as all of the surviving artwork he is known to have created in his lifetime — plus love letters, notes, postcards, and other correspondence. This new edition includes two never-before-published artistic works by Barrett. The artist’s family and his Pink Floyd bandmates participated in the creation and compilation of the tome.”
Alice Cooper recalled to us that while the Alice Cooper band was still making their name in L.A. in the late ’60s, they were the house band at the Cheetah Club, where they met the original members of Pink Floyd, who were in town to play a couple of shows there. In fact, Floyd actually ran out of money and moved into the house where Cooper and his bandmates lived, and the two groups hung out a lot.
- Syd was born Roger Barrett in Cambridge, England, on January 6th, 1946. As a teen, he taught himself guitar and used to practice with David Gilmour. Barrett also knew singer-bassist Roger Waters, who was playing in bands in the area, and when they moved to London to attend college, they joined up with Wright and drummer Nick Mason to set the Pink Floyd lineup.
- Starting in 1967, “The Pink Floyd” as they were known originally, scored early hits with “Arnold Layne” and “See Emily Play.”
- He released two solo albums in 1970, but that was it — Barrett became a virtual recluse for the rest of his life, with only the occasional sighting near his house by a fan or journalist.
- Barrett did emerge one memorable time. On June 5th, 1975, when Floyd was recording their Wish You Were Here album, which was their tribute to their former bandmate, Barrett turned up unannounced at the studio. Due to his massive weight gain and shaved head and eyebrows, he wasn’t recognized at first.
- Upon discovering it was Barrett, the unnerved musicians stopped work for the day.
CHECK IT OUT: Pink Floyd’s 1967 promo clip for “Arnold Layne”: