Syd Barrett was the original front man for Pink Floyd, probably the biggest rock band in the history of music. This biography traces his rise to stardom from an early age through to his tragic death in the summer of 2006. The book uncovers the story of the young, precocious talent from his early days in Cambridge, England, to the height of his fame as Pink Floyd became a Supergroup . The story covers his decline into freefall due to his excessive intake of drugs. It tracks his incredible ability to produce whimsical lyrics coupled with a unique guitar style which were to form the basis of numbers such as Arnold Layne and See Emily Play and the truly amazing Interstellar Overdrive . Barrett was to go on to write all but one of the lyrics to their first album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn released in 1967. His one contribution to their second album was to be Jugband Blues which has remarkable similarities to The Beatles Sergeant Pepper s Lonely Heart Club Band . The Beatles were in the adjacent studio to Pink Floyd at Abbey Road Studios and the book speculates as to which group hired the featured brass band first. The decline in his health is traced and investigated in depth, and detail is given of the futile attempts of the group to get help for the increasingly wayward Barrett. Study is made of Barrett s solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett . Details of the recording sessions and the tireless efforts of Dave Gilmour to produce the records are discussed. The book looks at his life when he finally left the London scene to become reclusive at the family home in Cambridge. For over thirty five years Syd Barrett never gave an interview and this only added to his legendary status as rumours of his premature death abounded. His state of health, mentally, was also speculated upon and the book puts the record straight on this and other issues. Considerable help from Rosemary Breen, his sister, was given and other prominent individuals in the Music industry are quoted, such as David Bowie, who idolised Barrett. The book also analyses his canon of work and the full lyrics are reproduced for the first time within the body of any work.
Bob Cairns was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and was raised in Mid Calder, a village to the West of the city. His early years were spent listening to the sounds of the sixties one of the richest periods of popular music. He listened to the fledgling Pink Floyd and has been a fan ever since. Syd Barrett featured prominently in his early understanding of the music scene.
Qualified in Construction Management, Bob has worked in the Middle East and Spain during his career. He also worked, in the nineties, on some of the most prestigious projects in the UK such as Canary Wharf and the refurbishment of Alexandra Palace in North London.
Bob lives in Hertfordshire and continues to encourage and enjoy Tribute bands in addition to writing books on the music genre.