R.I.P. Syd Barrett

Oh man. Fuck. Syd Barrett, founder of Pink Floyd, has passed at 60.

From the Associated Press:

Syd Barrett, the troubled genius who co-founded Pink Floyd but spent his last years in reclusive anonymity, has died, a spokeswoman for the band said Tuesday. He was 60.

The spokeswoman — who declined to give her name until the band made an official announcement — confirmed media reports that he had died. She said Barrett died several days ago, but she did not disclose the cause of death.

Barrett co-founded Pink Floyd with fellow Cambridge student Roger Waters in 1965 and wrote many of the band’s early songs.

He got the name of the band from two old blues musicians, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Pink Floyd’s jazz-infused rock made them darlings of the London psychedelic scene. It was the first British group to do light shows in concert and its music and style was weird even for that era.

The 1967 album “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” — largely written by Barrett — was a commercial and critical hit. The group, with additional band members Nick Mason and Richard Wright, came to be known as England’s premier acid rockers.

But the band did a turn for the worse when Barrett became mentally unstable from the pressures of drugs and fame and had to leave the band in 1968 — five years before Pink Floyd’s most popular album, “Dark Side of the Moon.”

Barrett spent much of the rest of his life living quietly in his hometown of Cambridge.

Guitarist David Gilmour, another Cambridge student, took Barrett’s place.

A small, private funeral would be held, the spokeswoman said.


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