老调始终要重谈的。1965年PF刚组建时，Syd刚刚19岁。由于两位爵士前辈的缘故（平克·安德森和弗洛伊德·康塞尔），Syd为乐队定下名字并把它一直留给了他的伙伴们。发表Piper时他21岁，一年后因癫痫症永远离开了这支音乐史上最伟大的乐团并住院治疗，两年后他痊愈，并在昔日队友 Davie Gilmour(PF's guitar)的援助下发表了和两张个人作品集。Piper名出自Syd读过的一本小说，肯尼斯的《柳树间的风》，专辑发行于1967.8.5。1968 年的春天，Syd成了摇滚史册上第一批黑名单上的人。他画下的也许是一幅疯狂的、超越想象力范围的素描，而他的同事们接着便把这幅素描涂改成了一幅华丽流畅的、名为Pink Floyd的油画。许多极端PF迷认为Syd离队后的PF已名存实亡；而在大多数年轻的PF迷心中，Syd只是一团模糊、可有可无的记忆。
退出PF后，当Syd被迫用LSD来诊治他的精神抑郁症时，他与母亲住在了一起，并继续他的精神疗程。偶然他也会去Richard Wright(PF's keydoard)的家，几小时沉默地一人坐在那里，一言不发。Madcap的封面有这样一幅照片：一间空荡荡的房子里，Syd神情恍惚地坐在地板上；在他背后，一个赤裸的少女伸展开了身体。崩溃？平静？冷漠？Syd在发表完几张个人专辑后突然停止了音乐创作，他先是迷上了宗教，后是绘画，Syd曾明确表示过在音乐与绘画之间，他更愿意选择后者。
在他的个人作品里，他不再追求音乐的实验性，John Lennon用20年和一颗子弹换来的自然、纯洁与赤裸裸的人性Syd几乎在一瞬间就找到了，原因是Lennon是在出位的表演里刻意的找寻，而Syd却是在彻底的无所谓前提下准确地依附——许多歌曲显然没有经过混音与剪辑制作，Syd与录音师的交谈，他偶然的岔音甚至跑调都被诚实地选入到专辑里，这些尚未完成的音乐在对唯美与完整不经意地放弃里呈现出最本质的完美，没有造作、掩饰、欺骗和敲诈，许多歌曲的配器里我们只能找到一把乾乾净净的木吉他。在对一切叛离的心理基础上，Syd可以随心所欲地歌唱最真实的人性——我从没有听过如此懒惰、无措、悲哀的声音，如果Jim Morrison是一名披盔执刀的反文化斗士的话，Syd则是这名斗士婴儿般娇嫩、东风般凛冽的灵魂，英式的内省与沉沦在Syd的歌声里是穿上白裙轻舞的 Ian Curtis。他歌咏的爱情都是无望、破碎的思恋，他剖析的人性皆是痉挛、裂开的心灵，他讲述的故事全是荒诞、灰色的梦境，他乍现的希冀竟是死寂、冷艳的虚妄。在Syd的音乐里没有批判和反驳，更多的是自释与忍受，浓郁的迷幻音乐氛围的层层笼罩化解、掩护并伸延着这种情绪。Syd的敏感是不可救药的，他果断地扭转了头，可惜已被他敏锐眼神捕捉到的那些黑暗、龌龊、荒淫、腐臭的种种从属事实的细节仍在肆无忌惮地攻击他筑于半空的幻觉、强奸他极力逃窜的正义， Syd在矛盾的绞架上绝望地掩饰着绝望，而这一切，只能让每一个心里还有血肉的听者痛苦地闭上双眼。
Syd的音乐很可能与The Velvet Underground一样带有早产的悲壮意味，这个有天使般面孔的青年在任何一张他的照片里都找不到快乐和笑容，那一对清澈却深蕴了觉醒、思辩与绝望的眼睛，如一个朋友所言：其实一切概念在他的眼神面前都会自卑.
Barrett was born in Cambridge, England to a well-off middle-class family. His father, Arthur Max Barrett, was a prominent pathologist, and both he and his wife, Winifred, encouraged the young Roger (as he was known then) in his music. His father died of cancer on the 11th December 1961, two months before Barrett's 15th birthday. He attended Cambridgeshire High School for Boys, now known as Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge and enrolled in Camberwell art school in South London in 1964 before forming his first band in 1965. Barrett acquired the nickname "Syd" at the age of 14, a reference to an old local Cambridge drummer, Sid Barrett. Syd Barrett changed the spelling in order to differentiate himself from his namesake. During this pre-Floyd time he wrote such tunes as "Effervescing Elephant" to play at local parties (it is rumored that he wrote "Effervescing Elephant" at age 16).
Pink Floyd years (1965–1968)
Starting in 1964, the band that would become Pink Floyd underwent various line-up and name changes such as "The Abdabs", "The Screaming Abdabs", "Sigma 6" and "The Meggadeaths" (not to be confused with Megadeth). In 1965, Barrett joined them as "The Tea Set", and when they found themselves playing a concert with a band of the same name, Barrett created the name "The Pink Floyd Sound" (later "The Pink Floyd"). He devised the name "Pink Floyd" by juxtaposing the first names of Pink Anderson and Floyd Council whom he had read about in a sleeve note by Paul Oliver for a 1962 Blind Boy Fuller LP (Philips BBL-7512): "Curley Weaver and Fred McMullen, (...) Pink Anderson or Floyd Council—these were a few amongst the many blues singers that were to be heard in the rolling hills of the Piedmont, or meandering with the streams through the wooded valleys".
While Pink Floyd began by playing cover versions of American R&B songs (in much the same vein as contemporaries The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and The Kinks), by 1966 they had carved out their own style of improvised rock and roll, which drew as much from improvised jazz as it did from British pop-rock, such as that championed by The Beatles. In that year, a new rock concert venue, the UFO, opened in London and quickly became a haven for British psychedelic music. Pink Floyd, the house band, was their most popular attraction, and, after making appearances at the rival Roundhouse, became the most popular musical group of the so-called "London Underground" psychedelic music scene.
By the end of 1966 Pink Floyd had gained a reliable management team in Andrew King and Peter Jenner. The duo soon befriended American expatriate Joe Boyd, who was making a name for himself as one of the more important entrepreneurs on the British music scene. Boyd produced a recording session for the group in January 1967 at Sound Techniques in Chelsea, which resulted in a demo of the single Arnold Layne. King and Jenner took the song to the recording behemoth EMI, who were impressed enough to offer the band a contract, under which they would be allowed to record an album. The band accepted. By the time the album was released, Arnold Layne had reached number 20 on the British singles charts (despite a ban by the BBC) and a follow-up single, See Emily Play had done even better, peaking at number 6.
These first two singles, as well as a third (Apples and Oranges), were written by Syd Barrett. Barrett wrote most of the Floyd's early material, and was the principal visionary/author of their critically acclaimed 1967 debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The album's title was taken from the mystical "Pan" chapter of The Wind in the Willows. Of the 11 songs on Piper, Barrett wrote eight and co-wrote another two. He was also an innovative guitarist, with extended techniques he was exploring the musical and sonic possibilities of dissonance, distortion, feedback, the echo machine, tapes and other effects; his experimentation was partly inspired by free improvisation guitarist Keith Rowe. One of Barrett's trademarks was playing his Fender Esquire guitar by sliding a Zippo lighter up and down the fret-board through an old echo box to create the mysterious, otherworldly sounds that became associated with the group. Barrett was known to have used Binson delay units to achieve his trademark echo sounds.
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was recorded intermittently between January and July 1967 in Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios. At that same time at Abbey Road the Beatles were recording Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in Studio 1 and the Pretty Things were recording S.F. Sorrow. When Piper was released in August of that year, it became a smash hit in the UK, hitting #6 on the British album charts (the album was not nearly so successful in the USA). However, as the band began to attract a large fanbase, the pressures on Barrett contributed to his experiencing increasing psychiatric illness.
Barrett's behaviour became increasingly unpredictable, partly as a consequence of frequent experimentation with psychedelic drugs such as LSD. Many report having seen him on stage with the group, strumming on one chord through the entire concert, or not playing at all. At a show at The Fillmore West in San Francisco, during a performance of Interstellar Overdrive, Barrett slowly detuned his guitar. The audience seemed to enjoy such antics, unaware of the rest of the band's consternation. Before a performance in late 1967, Barrett apparently crushed Mandrax and an entire tube of Brylcreem into his hair, which subsequently melted down his face under the heat of the stage lighting, making him look like "a guttered candle". Nick Mason later disputed the Mandrax portion of this story, stating in the Barrett biography, Madcap, that "Syd would never waste good mandies".
Following a disastrous abridged tour of the United States, David Gilmour (a school friend of Barrett's) was asked to join the band as a second guitarist to cover for Barrett as Barrett's erratic behavior prevented him from performing. For a handful of shows David played and sang while Barrett wandered around on stage, occasionally deigning to join in playing. The other band members soon tired of Barrett's antics and, in January 1968, on the way to a show at Southampton University, the band elected not to pick Barrett up. They attempted to retain him in the group as a songwriter, much as The Beach Boys had with Brian Wilson, but this proved impractical.
There are many stories about Barrett's bizarre and intermittently psychotic behavior — some are known to be true. According to Roger Waters, Barrett came into what was to be their last practice session with a new song he had dubbed "Have You Got It, Yet?". The song seemed simple enough when he first presented it to his bandmates, but it soon became impossibly difficult to learn: while they were practising it, Barrett kept changing the arrangement. He would then play it again, with the arbitrary changes, and sing "Have you got it yet?". After more than an hour of trying to "get it", they realised they never would and that they were simply bearing the brunt of Barrett's rather obtuse sense of humour.
Barrett did not contribute any material to the band after A Saucerful of Secrets was released in 1968. Of the songs he wrote for Pink Floyd after Piper, only one ("Jugband Blues") made it to the band's second album; one became a less-than-successful single ("Apples and Oranges"), and two others ("Scream Thy Last Scream" and "Vegetable Man") were never officially released. Barrett supposedly spent some time outside the recording studio, waiting to be invited in (he also showed up to a few gigs and glared at Gilmour). Barrett played slide guitar on "Remember a Day" (which had been recorded during the Piper sessions) and (according to a 1993 Guitar World interview with Gilmour) also played on "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun". His main contribution to the album, "Jugband Blues," is often seen by Pink Floyd fans as Barrett's admission that his days in the band were probably numbered ("It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here/And I'm most obliged to you for m-making it clear/that I'm not here", the song opens). In March 1968 it was officially announced that he was no longer a member of Pink Floyd.
Solo years (1968–1972)
After leaving Pink Floyd, Barrett distanced himself from the public eye. However, at the behest of EMI and Harvest Records, he did have a brief solo career, releasing two mercurial solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett. Some controversy has risen around the production work which left Barrett's more vulnerable moments on tape to give the records a more "authentic" feel. Much of the material on both albums dates from Barrett's most productive period of songwriting, late 1966 to mid 1967, and it is believed that he wrote few new songs after he left Pink Floyd.
The first album, The Madcap Laughs, was recorded in two distinct sessions, both at Abbey Road Studios: a few tentative sessions took place between May and June 1968 (produced by Peter Jenner), while the bulk of the album was recorded between April and July 1969. The record was produced first by Malcolm Jones, a young EMI executive, and then by David Gilmour and Roger Waters. In "The Making of the Madcap Laughs" by Malcolm Jones, he states "when Dave came to me and said that Syd wanted him and Roger to do the remaining parts of the album, I acquiesced." A few tracks on the album feature overdubs by members of the band Soft Machine.
The second album, Barrett, was recorded more sporadically than the first, with sessions taking place between February and July 1970. This effort sounds more polished than the first, but Barrett was arguably in a worse state. The album was produced by David Gilmour and featured Gilmour on bass guitar, Rick Wright on keyboard and Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley.
Despite the numerous recording dates for his two solo albums, Barrett undertook very little musical activity between 1968 and 1972 outside the studio. On 24 February 1970, he appeared on John Peel's BBC radio program Top Gear playing five songs - only one of which had been previously released. Three would be re-recorded for the Barrett album, while the song Two of a Kind was a one-off performance (the song appears on the 2001 compilation The Best of Syd Barrett: Wouldn't You Miss Me?) with the lyrics and composition having since been credited to Richard Wright. Barrett was accompanied on this session by David Gilmour and Jerry Shirley who played bass and percussion, respectively.
Gilmour and Shirley also backed Barrett for his one and only live concert during this period. The gig took place on 6 June 1970 at the Olympia Exhibition Hall, London, and was part of a "Music and Fashion Festival". The trio performed four songs, playing for less than half an hour, and because of poor mixing, the vocals were inaudible until part-way through the last number. At the end of the fourth song, Barrett unexpectedly but politely put down his guitar and walked off the stage.
Syd Barrett made one last appearance on BBC Radio, recording three songs at their studios on 16 February 1971. All three came from the Barrett album, and were presumably aired to encourage people to buy the record. At this stage, though, Barrett seemed to have little interest in recording music, and even less interest in performing it live. After this session, he would take a hiatus from his music career that lasted more than a year.
Later years (1972–2006)
In 1972, Barrett formed a short-lived band called Stars with ex-Pink Fairies member Twink on drums and Jack Monck on bass. Though the band was initially well received, one of their gigs at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge proved to be disastrous (Monck describes just how disastrous it was in a TV interview in 2001 for the BBC Omnibus series documentary 'Crazy Diamond'). A few days after this final show, Twink recalled that Barrett stopped him on the street, showed him a scathing review of the gig they had played, and quit on the spot.
In August 1974, Peter Jenner convinced Barrett to return to Abbey Road Studios in hope of recording another album. However, little became of the sessions, which lasted three days and consisted of blues rhythm tracks with tentative and disjointed guitar overdubs (the only titled track is If You Go, Don't Be Slow). Once again, Barrett withdrew from the music industry. He sold the rights to his solo albums back to the record label, moved into a London hotel and when the money ran out he walked back to Cambridge to live in his mother's basement. Further attempts to bring him back (including one endeavor by The Damned who wanted him to produce their second album) were all fruitless. Until his death, Barrett still received royalties from his work with Pink Floyd from each compilation and some of the live albums and singles that had featured his songs; Gilmour has commented that he (Gilmour) "[made] sure the money [got] to him all right".
Wish You Were Here sessions
Syd Barrett had one noted reunion with the members of Pink Floyd in 1975 during the recording sessions for Wish You Were Here. Barrett attended the Abbey Road session unannounced, and watched the band record "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" — as it happened, a song about him. By that time, Barrett had become quite overweight, had shaved off all of his hair, including his eyebrows, and his ex-bandmates did not at first recognise him (one of the photographs in Nick Mason's book Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd appears to have been taken that day; it is captioned simply: Syd Barrett, 5th June 1975). Eventually, they realised who he was and Roger Waters was so distressed that he was reduced to tears. A reference to this reunion appears in the film Pink Floyd The Wall (1982), where the character 'Pink,' played by Bob Geldof, shaves off his eyebrows (and body hair) after succumbing to the pressures of life and fame.
In an interview for the 2001 BBC Omnibus documentary 'Syd Barrett:Crazy Diamond" (later released on DVD asThe Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story), the story is told in full. Rick Wright spoke about the session, saying: "One thing that really stands out in my mind, that I'll never forget; I was going in to the "Shine On" sessions. I went in the studio and I saw this guy sitting at the back of the studio, he was only as far away as you are from me. And I didn't recognise him. I said, 'Who's that guy behind you?' 'That's Syd.' And I just cracked up, I couldn't believe it... he had shaven all his hair off... I mean, his eyebrows, everything... he was jumping up and down brushing his teeth, it was awful. And, uh, I was in, I mean Roger was in tears, I think I was; we were both in tears. It was very shocking... seven years of no contact and then to walk in while we're actually doing that particular track. I don't know – coincidence, karma, fate, who knows? But it was very, very, very powerful". In the same documentary, Nick Mason stated: "When I think about it, I can still see his eyes, but... it was everything else that was different". In that same interview, Roger Waters has said: "I had no idea who he was for a very long time". David Gilmour stated : "None of us recognised him. Shaved...shaved bald head and very plump". In the 2006 'definitive edition' DVD release of The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story in the UK/Europe the director John Edginton's interviews with Barrett's former Floyd colleagues are included unedited, with far more detail of their feelings and actions during Syd Barrett's tragic breakdown and withdrawal from the band.
02. Late Night
04. Swan Lee (Silas Lang)
06. Golden Hair (Barrett/Joyce)
07. Here I Go
08. Long Gone
09. No Good Trying
11. Baby Lemonade
12. Gigolo Aunt
14. Wouldn't You Miss Me (Dark Globe)
15. Wined and Dined
16. Effervescing Elephant
17. Waving My Arms in the Air
18. I Never Lied to You
19. Love Song
20. Two of a Kind (Possibly written by Richard Wright)
21. Bob Dylan Blues
22. Golden Hair (Instrumental)