January 06, 2006

Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett turns 60

NOTE: See the new update on the Death of Syd Barrett, July 7th, 2006.

The rock band Pink Floyd was a leading English band of the 1960s, and Syd Barrett was the creative leader of the group. He developed schizophrenia as the band's popularity was taking off, and the drug use and touring stress was peaking. People remembered this week the creative genius of Syd Barrett as he turned 60 years old this week. Interestingly the newspapers also mention another Rock legend - Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys - who also developed schizophrenia (or schizo-affective disorder) and was the topic of a recent story in Scientific American MIND magazine - that described the impact the disease had on his song-writting.

As the British newspaper "The Independent" reports:

"Barrett had it all - he was innovative, artistic and surrounded by beautiful women. But he imploded months after the band's breakthrough, a victim of the hectic touring, the pressure to come up with new songs and his drug experimentation that put intolerable pressure on an already fragile psyche. In autumn 1967 he started behaving oddly on TV shows in America, and at gigs would stand onstage stock still and not playing a note.

In early 1968, the band drafted in Dave Gilmour to cover. The plan was for Barrett to be a Brian Wilson figure, writing the songs but not playing live. But after five weeks, in the face of increasingly erratic and unreliable behaviour, they decided, reluctantly, to go on without him."

One of the key figures of the Sixties - and the original acid casualty - was 60 years old yesterday. How he celebrated, no one can be too sure, for Syd Barrett has been seen by virtually no one except his mother for many of those years.

Read the full story:

Syd Barrett, the swinging 60
Pink Floyd's guiding genius walked away as stardom beckoned. On his 60th birthday, John Robb analyses his iconic status and speaks to those who remember him best

Happy 60th Birthday, Syd (by David Gilmore)



hey guys,iam sam from india.jus wanted to say u guys from schizophrenia .com are doing a good job.and to all those guys suffering from schizophrenia like me NEVER GIVE UP,take every day as it comes.and if u feel depressed and paranoid at that moment,just take a nap,when u wake up u will feel better.WE SHALL OVERCOME.GOD BLESS .PEACE

Posted by: samuel joseph at February 25, 2006 12:25 AM

I heard yesterday about Syd Barrett oh man still feeling weird about it. All the obituaries I've been reading talk about feelings of loss brought about his withdrawal from publicity, which is seen as a symptom of his madness. What might he have achieved etc...As far as I can see this seemed like an understandable and healthy reaction to abnormal pressures imposed upon him by stardom, which has reached some kind of critical mass nowadays. His 'schizophrenia' or whatever his mental state can be described as wasn't necessarily debilitating. He was working as a gardener and painting, things he probably preferred doing to meeting the mass of lunatics obsessed with him. If he never managed to make public exhibitions of his later work is this necessarily a bad thing?

Posted by: kate fear at July 12, 2006 10:14 AM

Rest in peace Syd !!



Posted by: jan volkmer at July 18, 2006 07:55 AM


Just read your post about Syd.

I have a sone with Schizophrenia so just feel so much for people with this horrible illness.



Please reply if you want to !!!!!!!

Posted by: jan volkmer at July 18, 2006 07:59 AM

rip syd

Posted by: jan volkmer at July 18, 2006 08:47 PM

Hi Jan,
I posted earlier but it didn't upload.
Hope your son's feeling ok. Both me and my boyfriend were diagnosed with schizophrenia but no longer see psychiatrists because we found the medical institution too oppressive. Nowadays I'd rather think about the positive aspects of schizophrenia and how it helps creativity to medical services that seek sufferers' dependence.
Were you a fan of Syd Barrett?

Posted by: katharine lovejoy at August 7, 2006 04:32 PM

Strange how the mind takes us up then drags us back...I have a new holiday in july.But what was his Birthday?

Posted by: Val at August 15, 2006 02:15 AM

Syd Barrett was not schizophrenic- he just did what he wanted to with his life- if that's insanity, count me in.
He was saddled in a band with a bunch of dullards who didnt have a modicum of his creative vision, who didn't understand his 'weird music'. They took his band away from him and he sulked, like all nice middle-class boys who don't get their way. Read the book 'Madcap' and you get another story from the hysterical 'original acid casualty' rubbish. And listen to his solo records, they are fantastic.
RIP, nuff respect.

Posted by: Roger at August 25, 2006 05:29 PM

prolly won't comment again but I have it very bad and seek a cure,I do not take medication and I live in a small town in nsw and no-one emphaisizes with the pain,all I want to do is sleep and my ex friends have think it is a game,I work in a pub and it only takes a few cockhead to irritate me,I feel now I have a higher moral outlook but in my situation I get backstabbed and I want to socialise but ther're are so many losers,I try giving good advice and arseholes twist it around so I feel stupid or comment I ripped off quoting someone else and I am not given credit is due,any email qould be nice because I want the voices to stop and I don't take medication

Posted by: scott o'connor at July 4, 2007 04:53 AM

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