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InvisibleveggieM

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Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett
    #27205640 - 02/14/21 04:32 PM (21 days, 2 hours ago)

Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett
The Telegraph - February 14, 2021

By the age of 23, Pink Floyd's poetic frontman had changed music forever – then the drugs unloosed something inside him

Syd Barrett is the lost boy of British pop. A dazzling original who saw and heard differently to everyone else, he went through the looking glass in search of his psychedelic vision, and never came back. Barrett’s story is a tragic saga of glory and madness, part daring adventure, part cautionary tale. By the age of 23, he had changed music forever – and it had destroyed him.

Barrett’s fame principally rests on his role as the lead guitarist, singer and songwriter for Pink Floyd. Although he made only three singles and one album with the progressive rockers, it was Barrett’s brilliance that set them on their path and haunted them ever after.

Born Roger Barrett in Cambridge in 1946, into an artistic middle-class family, he played guitar and piano and dreamed of becoming a painter. Handsome, charismatic and sociable, Barrett was popular on the local music scene, where he picked up the nickname Syd after an unrelated Cambridge jazz musician, Sid “The Beat” Barrett. “He was physically beautiful, witty, funny,” says David Gilmour, who befriended Barrett in 1962. “He was much loved by everyone around him.” The two went busking in France, where Barrett would make up songs on the spot. “Syd had a natural poetic gift, he’d effortlessly knock out stuff.”

Some of those early songs turned up on Barrett’s later solo albums and demonstrate an affinity for nonsense rhymes, a fascination with the sound of words for their own sake. Others played with blues forms. Folk songs, Shakespeare, fairy tales, the mysticism of the I Ching and the dream logic of Lewis Carroll all went into the mix, whimsy balanced with formality.

In 1964, Barrett enrolled at the Camberwell College of Arts in London to study painting, and reconnected with another childhood friend, Roger Waters, eventually joining his rhythm and blues covers band, The Tea Set, with Waters on bass, Rick Wright on keyboards and Nick Mason on drums. It was Barrett who renamed them Pink Floyd (after two obscure bluesmen, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council). The group began improvising soundscapes to accompany experimental light shows around the same time that Barrett started taking LSD on an almost daily basis.

Pink Floyd’s hallucinogenic rock made them the darlings of London’s underground psychedelic scene. Barrett was still only 21 when, in 1967, they released their mind-blowing debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, 10 of its 11 songs written by Barrett. But he was unable to enjoy its success. The drugs had unloosed something inside him: gone was the outgoing personality, replaced by a thousand-yard stare. Live on stage, he would detune his guitar and forget to play or sing at all.

Barrett’s final songs for Floyd reflect his disintegrating mental condition. The bewildering Jugband Blues (his only composition to make it on to the band’s second album, A Saucerful of Secrets) finds Barrett wondering “Who could be writing this?” Scream Thy Last Scream and the self-excoriating Vegetable Man were deemed too disturbing for release.

By the end of 1967, Gilmour had replaced his old friend, who was dropped from the band’s line-up, apparently without his noticing. Rick Wright, who shared a flat with Barrett, recalled telling him he was popping out for cigarettes, only to slip away and play a gig. When he returned, hours later, Barrett was in the same position, staring into space. “Did you get the cigarettes?” he asked.

Barrett went on to make two solo albums in 1970, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett, with Gilmour producing and members of Floyd contributing. Their torturous recording sessions yielded some of the most beautifully strange songs in pop history, dreamscapes drifting free of meaning. They marked the end of Barrett’s career; his entire catalogue runs to only 54 songs. In an increasingly distressed state, Barrett retreated to his family’s semi in Cambridge, where he lived as a recluse until his death from pancreatic cancer in 2006.

Without Barrett, Pink Floyd evolved into something less eccentric and frazzled, building on the more cerebral songwriting of Roger Waters and Gilmour’s musicality. The magisterial Shine on You Crazy Diamond stands as the band’s tribute to their erstwhile leader: “Come on you raver, you seer of visions/ Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine”.

Pink Floyd were mixing the song at Abbey Road studios in July 1975, when an overweight figure with shaven head and eyebrows shuffled in and sat down. It took some time before anyone recognised him. He listened intently before declaring the song sounded “old.” It was the last any of them would see of Syd Barrett.

The Lyrics of Syd Barrett are published by Omnibus at £14.99


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Offlinestzacrack
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: veggie] * 1
    #27205849 - 02/14/21 06:12 PM (21 days, 1 hour ago)

How would anyone know what his body's responses were to any substance

If someone's fuked mentally i dont think drugs would be the one to blame


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InvisibleveggieM

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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: stzacrack]
    #27205972 - 02/14/21 07:25 PM (21 days, 5 minutes ago)

I agree. It's all speculation as to how LSD might have affected him.

Syd was considered to be a genius. He also was severely mentally ill, many suspect he suffered from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and he used LSD. Who's to say if the LSD increased his creativity, increased his mental illness, or he would have gone downhill mentally with or without it?

Back then if someone was mentally ill and used drugs, the drugs were to blame. Now, after more research, LSD is believed to help much of the mental illness that it was once thought to cause.


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Offlinestzacrack
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: veggie]
    #27206013 - 02/14/21 07:46 PM (20 days, 23 hours ago)

Didn't mean to troll your history thread, I love syd barrett and I guess I just wish he had figured it all out


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OfflinePs.NoName
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: stzacrack]
    #27206261 - 02/14/21 10:10 PM (20 days, 21 hours ago)

seems like the pressure of being a popular musician was as much of or more of Syd's problem than the LSD.

Lots of LSD probably just reinforced the idea of "fuck this".


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OfflineTiberjuggaligger
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: stzacrack]
    #27206266 - 02/14/21 10:13 PM (20 days, 21 hours ago)

Shine on!

Also, they dont even mention his mushroom use, which led to his lsd use. Some journalist!


See also:



--------------------


Kirk: What does God need with a starship?
McCoy: Jim, what are you doing?
Kirk: I'm asking a question.
"God": Who is this creature?
Kirk: Who am I? Don't you know? Aren't you God?
Sybok: He has his doubts.
"God": You doubt me?
Kirk: I seek proof.
McCoy: Jim! You don't ask the Almighty for his ID


Edited by Tiberjuggaligger (02/14/21 10:15 PM)


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InvisibleAnonyman2021
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: Tiberjuggaligger]
    #27206677 - 02/15/21 04:15 AM (20 days, 15 hours ago)

Another "LSD Psychosis" story.


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OfflineRebelutionss
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: Anonyman2021]
    #27206679 - 02/15/21 04:24 AM (20 days, 15 hours ago)

Quote:

Anonyman2021 said:
Another "LSD Psychosis" story.



:judyfacepalm:


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OfflineSugabearcrisp
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: Rebelutionss]
    #27206851 - 02/15/21 08:32 AM (20 days, 10 hours ago)

It is no coincidence that he was in his early 20s as that is when mental illness rears its ugly head. Often times drug use accelerates among people in this age group as they become more ill and are in denial about the illness. It is like they feel something wrong and try to escape or nullify it with ever increasing dosages.

I have a friend who also had a break around the same age. Many believed it was from one particular night of heavy lsd use mixed with a little bit of pcp, but over the next few years it progressively got worse even without drug use. We also learned that at least one of his bioligical parents suffered with mental illness which was why he was a foster as his mom was unable to care for him due to the severity of her illness (father was/is unknown). He is doing well now on a bevy of antipyschotic meds that dull his once wild personality and makes a decent living doing carpentry. Looking back it is clear that his accelerated and heavy drug use was more a symptom than a cause. He has even acknowledged the same in retrospect.

Neways point being I think people like him and syd would have had a break either way, whether brought on by drugs, a trauma or just time it was always there.


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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: Sugabearcrisp]
    #27207327 - 02/15/21 02:19 PM (20 days, 5 hours ago)

sensationalist trash. no one knows what was going on with him.


also, bill gates took acid. as did probably almost everyone over 60 right now.


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OfflineskOsH
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: Gupp]
    #27207423 - 02/15/21 03:08 PM (20 days, 4 hours ago)

Maybe he was on LSD when he was "staring off into space", and perhaps, whilst he might have been different than the others, he probably felt rejected

Although, who knows. Over 50 songs though? That's still impressive in my book


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InvisiblebodhisattaM
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: Gupp]
    #27208179 - 02/15/21 09:47 PM (19 days, 21 hours ago)

Quote:

Gupp said:
sensationalist trash. no one knows what was going on with him.


also, bill gates took acid. as did probably almost everyone over 60 right now.



Thousands of people drive to work just fine every day. A few get maimed and a few die. Is it sensationalist trash to tell people to drive save and show car wrecks on the news? The story is a story. Don't be such an LSD apologist. It's a wonderful substance but few people will have bad reactions... Their stories are not fake just because it didn't happen to us or Bill Gates.


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InvisibleHolybullshit
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: bodhisatta]
    #27209096 - 02/16/21 11:48 AM (19 days, 7 hours ago)

I agree with everything you are saying, but we don't really know what role LSD played in his declining mental health. 21 is the age that mental health issues generally surface, LSD or not, and it's also not uncommon for young intelligent people's creativity to fade as they get older or for musicians to put out successful music at the start of their career only to fail at repeated attempts to recapture the magic. I shouldn't even have to mention the "young genius" destroyed by his "demons", no LSD needed, trope.

It says he began taking LSD everyday, so perhaps LSD is responsible for his decline...due to the fact that he was taking it everyday, not because he used it responsibly and it "unloosed something in him". Generally people who have mental health issues triggered by LSD don't continue taking it, especially schizo-effective...unless perhaps they are in a bipolar manic state that is going untreated, but then the real problem is they are in a bipolar manic state, not that they are taking LSD.


Edited by Holybullshit (02/16/21 12:18 PM)


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InvisiblebodhisattaM
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: Holybullshit]
    #27209234 - 02/16/21 01:31 PM (19 days, 5 hours ago)

Betcha 99:1 odds he would have been far better off without psychedelics given his mental health


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Invisiblestubb
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: Holybullshit]
    #27209256 - 02/16/21 01:42 PM (19 days, 5 hours ago)

Quote:

Holybullshit said:
It says he began taking LSD everyday, so perhaps LSD is responsible for his decline...due to the fact that he was taking it everyday, not because he used it responsibly and it "unloosed something in him". Generally people who have mental health issues triggered by LSD don't continue taking it




According to popular legend he wasn't taking LSD every day, he was unknowingly being dosed every day.


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InvisibleHolybullshit
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: stubb]
    #27209958 - 02/16/21 08:20 PM (18 days, 23 hours ago)

Well I'm not here to discuss urban myths, apparently those close to him say he was taking it everyday. I don't know how easy it would be to dose someone experienced with LSD, with LSD, without them realizing they had been dosed.


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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: Holybullshit]
    #27210023 - 02/16/21 09:32 PM (18 days, 21 hours ago)

Those closest to him at the time, Mick Rock and Duggie Fields, were the ones allegedly dosing him


Quote:

I don't know how easy it would be to dose someone experienced with LSD, with LSD, without them realizing they had been dosed.




:doublefacepalm:


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InvisibleHolybullshit
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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: stubb]
    #27210768 - 02/17/21 10:53 AM (18 days, 8 hours ago)

Cool story bro.


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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: Holybullshit]
    #27210881 - 02/17/21 11:54 AM (18 days, 7 hours ago)

Quote:

Scream Thy Last Scream and the self-excoriating Vegetable Man were deemed too disturbing for release.




But, this isn't.

:shrug:


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Re: Crazy Diamond: How LSD ruined Pink Floyd's fragile genius Syd Barrett [Re: durian_2008]
    #27210891 - 02/17/21 12:02 PM (18 days, 7 hours ago)

I listened to a little more darker, brooding music over breakfast. :strokebeard::coffee:

But, I find that a lot of kitschy, glam, pop rock is a sort of delivery mechanism, for something sinister, contraband, or filthy.

twee twē►

    adj.
    Overly precious or nice.
    n.
    Same as étui. Planché, p. 183.
    adj.
    Overly quaint, dainty, cute or nice.

It would break that dynamic, to just shave your eyebrows and wear black.


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