One of the most
famous creators and characters of the psychedelic era, Syd Barrett has not
conducted an interview or released music since the early seventies yet his
self-imposed anonymity still fascinates fans old and new. The original songwriter for Pink Floyd was only with the band for a vibrant 3 years when he
left in 1968, yet when the band released their greatest hits album in 2001 Syd
had written over a fifth of the tracks. This year it is 35 years since Syd
Barrett left the band yet mystery still surrounds this prodigy of rock.
The Pink Floyd
and Syd Barrett Story retells the fascinating story of the start of one of the
largest and most influential bands in rock and the drug induced breakdown of
their original song writer and lead man. Direct Video Distribution UK is
delighted to announce the 24th March 2003 VHS and DVD release of this personal
and candid profile of the once effervescent musician and now cult figure of Syd
Barrett. Roger Waters, Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright retell how Sydís
slip from reality haunted the band for many years and this is clearly
demonstrated in the tracks Shine On You Crazy Diamond and Wish You Were Here.
There are also insights from former girlfriends, landlords, flatmates, producers,
managers, friends and famous fans. Also featuring rare early footage of the band
performing; including a live show at the UFO Club, and an appearance with former
landlord Mick Leonard on Tomorrows World. Available in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS
Born Roger Keith
Barrett in 1946 in Cambridge, Syd Barrett obtained his nickname from regulars at
a local jazz club who when finding out his surname, christened him after as old
drummer from the area. Aged 17 he moved down to London to attend the Camberwell
Art School. In London he met up with old friend Roger Waters, who he had an
understanding with since they were young that they would start a band together.
Syd consequently joined up with the people Roger was playing with.
Syd quickly became the main songwriter, and named the band after two Georgia
blues men Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Their experiments with feedback and
electronic sound quickly made them the hippest band among Londonís early
psychedelic set. Whilst Pink Floyd were experimenting with sound and light they
also started experimenting in the other side of Londonís psychedelic set - drugs.
Some thought that with the aid of drugs Syd was more liberated and had the
freedom to write memorable songs. Nevertheless his grasp on reality was slipping
away. He didnít turn up for interviews and started to refuse to perform though
heíd quite happily practise. His behaviour became so erratic that an American
tour had to be cut short.
The band was in a
dilemma; Syd was becoming a liability yet he still wrote the majority of their
songs. Their solution in January 1968 was to excuse him from performing to
concentrate on song writing. Dave Gilmour was asked to join the band to cover
for Syd. Two of the songs that he wrote Vegetable Man and Scream The Last Scream
were not released by EMI but their apparent autobiographical style was not lost
on many. Pink Floyd admit that their style back in the late sixties was if there
was a problem they would ignore it, then one day it came to a point where they
did ignore the problem by not picking Syd up.
Syd went on to
release two solo albums The Madcap Laughs and Barrett in 1970. After the poor
reception of the second album Syd retreated to his mothers house in Cambridge.
Back at home he joined up with some Cambridge musicians and formed The Stars.
But Syds involvement was like his attention span short. During the following
years Syd moved between London and Cambridge staying on friendsí floors. In the
mid 70s he even turned up at the studios where Pink Floyd were recording Shine
On You Crazy Diamond the song written about Syd. With his shaved head (hair and
eyebrows) and weighing about 17-18 stone none of the band recognised him.
In 1978 he tired
of London and walked back to Cambridge, where he now lives, calling himself
Roger Barrett having left Syd behind. The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story is a
moving portrait of a cult figure.
For further information
Suzanna Kelly or Nicola Williamson @ Direct Video Distribution Ltd
||24 March 2003
||24 March 2003