Syd Barrett FAQ

last modified: 20 July 2004
1. Introduction

2. The Man
2.1 Who is Syd Barrett?
2.2 What did he do?
2.3 Where is he now?
2.4 Family?

3. The Syd Barrett Catalogue
3.1. Discography of Official Releases
3.2. Videography
3.3. Highest Chart Positions

4. Addresses and Internet Information
4.1 Record Companies
4.2 Fan Club
4.3 Merchandise
4.4 Internet Mailing Lists
4.5 WWW sites

5. Album-by-album facts and trivia
5.1 The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
5.2 A Saucerful of Secrets
5.3 The Madcap Laughs
5.4 Barrett
5.5 The Peel Sessions
5.6 Singles/B-sides

6. Misc. Trivia
6.1 When is Syd coming back?
6.2 What books are written on him?
6.3 How can I get his book?
6.4 Is Syd sick/dead/pregnant/alien/really Tony Blair?
6.5 How can I get "Scream thy Last Scream", "Vegetable Man", "Bob Dylan's Blues"?
6.6 Who does/did Syd's cover art?

1. Introduction

The Syd Barrett FAQ was compiled, edited, verified, and is maintained by Corey Cunningham. If you have any questions or additions, please contact: Feel free to distribute this document as long as it is kept in its entirety. Please keep in mind that some of the info is speculated and that solid true information on him is ever-changing and uncertain.. Additional info graciously provided by Stephen Souter.

This is version 1.0, 21 June 1998.

2. The Man

2.1 Who is Syd Barrett?

Syd Barrett is Roger Keith Barrett (b.Jan. 6 1946).

2.2 What did he do?

He started The Pink Floyd in 1965 when his previous band, The Screaming Abdabs, disbanded. He had a successful handful of years with The Pink Floyd until 1968 when he was left due to his increasingly erratic behavior influenced by drug abuse and the pressure of fame. He started a solo career in 1968 as well with minor success.

2.3 Where is he now?

Syd Barrett is at home in Cambridgeshire, England. He occasionally ventures out, but mainly is kept to the house where he's said to paint and write literature.

2.4 Family?

Mother was Winifred (deceased), Father was Max (deceased), 2 Brothers Alan and Donald, 2 Sisters Ruth and Rosemary.

 3. The Syd Barrett Catalogue

3.1 Discography of Official Releases

  A list of these can be found at it's permenant home.

3.2 Videography
"Arnold Layne"

"See Emily Play"

"Apples and Oranges"
"Syd's First Trip"

"Tonight Let's All Make Love in London"

"Live in London 66-67"

3.3 Highest Chart Positions (UK charts) anyone have UK charts?


Arnold Layne- #20, released 11 Mar, 1967
See Emily Play- #6, released 16 June, 1967
Apples and Oranges- , released 18 Nov, 1967
Flaming- , released ?
Octopus- , released 14 Nov, 1967
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, #6 ,
Saucerful of Secrets, #9 ,
The Madcap Laughs, #40 ,
Syd Barrett (reissue of Madcap and Barrett), #163 ,
The Peel Sessions,

 4. Addresses and Internet Information

4.1 Record Companies
Company: Capitol (CA)
Address: 1750 N. Vine, LA, CA 90028-5274
Tel./fax/E-mail: Tel: (213) 462-6252, Fax: (213) 469-4542
Company: Capitol (NY)
Address: 1290 Ave of the Americas, 35th Fl, NYC, NY 10104
Tel./fax/E-mail: Tel: (212) 492-5300, Fax: (212) 492-5459

4.2 Fan Club
There aren't any official I can find. The closest thing was the Syd Barrett Appreciation Society, which is now defunct.

One of the largest Syd Barrett fan organization is The LaughingMadcaps, that can be joined at

4.3 Merchandise
T-shirts are available here:
and music can be purchased from:

 4.4 Internet Mailing Lists
Only one I know of specifically dedicated to Syd Barrett, and that's Jugband Blues.
You can join by emailing to asking for more info.

4.5 WWW sites
WWW: - Dolly Rocker
http:/ - Opel - Lost in the Woods - Magnesium Proverbs
Unofficial sites, use search engines or visit The Ultimate Band List,, for a starting

 5. Album-by Album facts and trivia

5.1 The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
released 5 August 67
produced by Norman Smith
engineered by Peter Brown
-"Astronomy Domine" -
A song about the heavens, listing various stars. The beginning is Peter Jenner reading the names of
stars through a megaphone.
-"Lucifer Sam" -
"'Lucifer Sam' was another of those quite obscure pieces. It didn't mean much
to me at the time, but after three or four months, it began to assume a precise
meaning"- Syd
-"Flaming" -
A song the Pink Floyd performed on BBC's Top Gear show in '67. Also a U.S single
with The Gnome on the reverse side.
-"Interstellar Overdrive" -
This song was first featured on the San Francisco Soundtrack and also in different form on the
'Tonite Lets All Make Love in London' movie.
-"Chapter 24" -
"That was from the I Ching. There was someone around who was very into that. Most of the words came
straight off that."- Syd

5.2 Saucerful of Secrets
Released 1968
-"Jugband Blues" -
"'Jugband Blues' is the ultimate self-diagnosis on a state of schizophrenia...'I'm
most obliged to you for making it clear that I'm not here - and I'm wondering who
could be writing this song.'"- Peter Jenner

5.3 The Madcap Laughs
released Janurary 1970
produced by David Gilmour with Roger Waters and Malcolm Jones
engineered by Jeff Jarratt, Pete Mew, Mike Sheady, Phil Mcdonald, Tony Clark
-"Terrapin" -
The version on the record is actually the first take of the song recorded.
-"No Good Trying" -
"'No Good Trying' was positively impossible! Syd had, before the session, taken copy tapes..
which I presumed were to give to the musicians he was booking to learn... I was wrong; he kept
them!"- Malcolm Jones
-"Love You" -
There were some problems recording this song apprently (just like most of the
songs that were cut live off of Madcap. "We'd say 'What key is that in, Syd?' and
he'd reply 'Yeah' or 'Thats funny.'"- Robert Wyatt
-"Dark Globe" -
A sad song that was never recorded with accompaniment, under other titles such as 'Wouldn't You Miss
Me?' It's also the first take of the song as Dark Globe.
-"Here I Go" -
"He wrote it, I seem to recall, in a matter of minutes. The whole recording was done
absolutely live, with no overdubs at all, Syd changed from playing rhythm to lead guitar
at the very end and the change is noticeable. Syd, however, would change like that often...
That accounts for the drop during the solo, as Syd's rhythm guitar is no longer there!"-Malcolm Jones
Some people belive and theorize that this song was possibly a song called Boom Tune that
Syd had written for another band to record.
-"Golden Hair" -
Eerie music written by Syd set to an old James Joyce poem.
-"Long Gone" -
This, as well, was a first take.
-"Feel" -
One of the quickly recorded songs on side B of the Madcap LP. Gilmour later
regretted having not been able to have taken more time on these songs, which
were recorded in 2 1/2 days. Another first take.
-"If It's In You" -
"Roger and I sat down with him, after listening to all his songs at home, and I said: 'Syd, play that
one.' We sat him on a chair with a couple of mikes in front of him and got him to sing the song"-Dave
-"Late Night" -
This is actually take 2.

5.4 Barrett
released November 1969
produced by David Gilmour with Richard Wright
engineered by Peter Brown
-"Rats" -
"'Rats' in particular was really odd. That was just a very crazed jam and Syd had this lyric and
that he just shouted over the top.."- Jerry Shirley
-"Effervescing Elephant" -
One of the first songs Syd ever wrote, and one of his favorites as well. He played it live
for the BBC and at a gig in 1970.

5.5 The Peel Sessions
released February 1988
produced by John Walters
-"Two of a Kind" -
This song was originally written by Rick Wright, but is credited to Syd for some reason or other.

5.6 Singles/B-Sides
-"Arnold Layne" -
The Pink Floyd's first single, a manic song about a convicted crossdresser. Reached #20 in the US,
put the Pink Floyd on the map.
-"Let's Roll Another One" -
The original title for what became, at the BBC's insistence, 'Candy And A Currant Bun'.
-"See Emily Play" -
Syd claimed to have fallen asleep in the wood and woken up to see a girl, that girl was Emily.
-"Apples and Oranges" -
"It's unlike anything we've done before. It's a new sound. Got alot of guitar in it.
It's a happy song, and it's got a touch of Christmas. It's about a girl I saw just
walking round town, in Richmond. The 'apples and oranges' bit is the refrain in the
middle."- Syd

 6. Misc.

6.1 When is Syd coming back?
It's most likely that Syd will never perform or write music again.

6.2 What books are written on him?
There's a wonderful new one entitled "Lost in the Woods" (Boxtree/MacMillan; June 1998)
written by Julian Palacios. You can order it from
Also available are, Crazy Diamond by Mike Watkinson (
,Fish Out Of Water, and Saucerful of Secrets by Nicholas Schaffner.

6.3 How can I get his book?
Syd wrote a book entitled "The History or Art" which is said to have been finished.
Unfortunately, it's not in print and we have no idea what his plans for the manuscript are.

6.4 Is Syd sick/dead/pregnant/heroin addict/really Marc Bolan?
Syd is in good health, he is not dead, not pregnant, not an addict, and not actually Marc Bolan-
Besides, T-Rex is dead.

6.5 How can I get "Scream thy Last Scream", "Vegetable Man", and "Bob Dylans Blues"?
Scream thy Last Scream and Vegetable Man are available on assorted bootlegs, such as Magnesium
Proverbs. Bob Dylan's Blues has yet to be discovered, but is said to be in possesion of
David Gilmour.

6.6 Who does/did Syd's cover art?
Piper at the Gates of Dawn- Vic Singh (front) Syd B. (back) Hipgnosis (remaster)
The Madcap Laughs- Mick Rock (front) Syd. B. (inside)
Barrett- Syd B.


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