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Lost in the Woods: Syd Barrett and the Pink Floyd Paperback – 19 Jun 1997
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Soon after creating the experimental pop group, Pink Floyd, in 1966, Syd Barrett took to using hallucinogenic drugs, which led to schizophrenia. He has now abandoned his past. Through interviews with Barrett's family and friends, this book provides an account of the man and his illness.
From the Author
Lost in the Woods - now in it's second printing
Born in 1946 in Cambridge, England, Roger 'Syd' Barrett was an English composer and purveyor of some of the most intriguing music ever written. Famous before his 20th birthday, Barrett led the charge of psychedelia onstage at London's famed UFO club. With a Fender Telecaster and a primitive Binson echo unit, Barrett liberated the guitar from being, in critic Simon Reynold's words, 'a riff machine, and turned it into a texture and timbre generator.' His inspired celestial flights of improvisation, and his more structured whimsical short songs indicated a mind of unusual inventiveness. Chief in Barrett's mind was a Zen-like insistence on spontaneity; each performance had to be unique. Taking his cues from experimental guitarist Keith Rowe of AMM, Barrett strived to push his music farther and farther out into the zone of complete abstr! action. Sadly, the pressures of fame, ingestion of LSD and the machinations of the record industry all conspired to bring Syd to a nervous breakdown. After July 1967, his startling green eyes would never more waver from an all consuming inner dialogue. To his legion admirers, he remains a genius; one who captured the essence of the farthest reaches of interstellar overdrive, the claustrophobia of childhood, and turned the guitar into a dream generator. Syd Barrett disappeared one night into the woods, but the man who created him, Roger Keith Barrett, remains still, preferring to live alone and far from the machinations of the world. As he walks down deserted Cambridge roads, Barrett must think of the thunder and lightning that was his music, and smile at how he passed it all by.......
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So, taking these individually.
We find that Syd had staring eyes, his appreciation of timing became lost, there are various theories as to whether or not his problems were due to drugs, he was a really attractive guy, he flitted between Cambridge and London, he made several attempts at a comeback, at the end he couldn't compose a sentence, he caused problems in the recording studio. Ok - that's enough examples - there are several more. Do you want to hear these facts spoken in different words by 30 (or 50) different people, each probably repeated five times? (That means that you probably hear each fact about 200 times! I haven't sat down and counted them, but it's probably not far out.) If so, buy the book.
Do you have 'O' level English Language - GCE or GCSE? Are you happy to read a book written by someone who repeatedly demonstrates that he hasn't? If so, buy the book.
Do you want to know about Bo Diddely, Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, the Who, Ray Davies, the Stones etc. in the sixties? Do you want to know about lots of other people who did LSD? Or do you fancy entering Mastermind with Syd Barrett as your specialist subject? If so, buy the book.
Syd is fascinating for starting something which turned out to be historic (the Floyd). If you are fascinated, this could be interesting to you. But I suspect that some of the other books are likely to be better.
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