Syd Barrett Biography

sydteleRoger Keith “Syd” Barrett was born on January 6, 1946 to his father, Arthur Max Barrett, and mother, Winefred Flack-Barrett.  Early on in life, Syd showed signs of musical interest.  He began playing the ukulele then the banjo, and finally found the guitar (his favorite was his famous mirrored telecaster).  One of Syd’s mentors of the guitar was David Gilmour, who eventually replaced him in the Pink Floyd.  When the Pink Floyd were first starting out, they were called the Arcitectural Abdabs(Syd wasn’t with the band then).  In 1967, bassist Roger Waters brought syd to play guitar for them.  The memebers of the Abdabs thought Syd was too weird because he had done acid.  They changed their name to The Pink Floyd.  Syd had taken the name from two blues players that he liked; one was Pink Anderson and the other was Floyd Council.  In 1968, Syd began showing signs that he had taken too many drugs.  He began forgetting lyrics and guitar riffs while on stage.  One time, while playing on a show called “Top of the Pops”(the English version of American Band Stand), Syd didn’t even attempt to sing or play.  He just stood there and the band had to play around him.  There are even stories of Syd crushing up pills and putting them in his hair gel.  Not too long after that, the other members of the band contacted David Gilmour and asked him to play on stage with them.  Eventually, Syd was totally phased out of the band and David Gilmour took over completely.  No material was ever recorded with both Syd and David in the band even thought for a while they were both members.  Pink Floyd’s second album “A Saucer Full of Secrets” contains some tracks with Syd and some tracks with David, but no songs with both of them.
Some of Syd’s pre-Floyd bands:

Those Without: Bass Guitar (1963)

The Hollerin’ Blues: Guitar (1964)

The Spectrum Five: Rhythm Guitar (1964)

The Pink Floyd Blues Band: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals (1965)

The Tea Set: Rhythm Guitar (1965)

The Madcap Laughs  —  1970

Barrett  —  1970

The Peel Sessions EP  —  1988

Opel  —  1988

Octopus:  The Best of Syd Barrett  —  1992

Crazy Diamond Box Set  —  1993
Early influences:

Bo Diddley

Buddy Holly

Miles Davis


The Rolling Stones

Steve Cropper

Taj Mahal

The Band

Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett

Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett

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