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06/16/2005 Entry: "No Syd with Pink Floyd at Live 8"

Not like this is a surprise to anyone, but the Cambridge newspaper did have a nice little article, with a picture (which looks relatively recent!)

Star's choice not to shine

PINK Floyd may be reforming for the biggest gig of the decade but it would seem one of the band's founders could not care less.

The wayward genius Syd Barrett, who lives as a recluse in Cambridge, appears indifferent that one of the greatest feuds in rock history will end for the Live 8 concert next month.
Recluse: Roger ‘Syd’ Barrett
The man who wrote many of the band's early songs shuns fans, rarely answers his door and has not spoken to his former bandmates - Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright, or his replacement, Dave Gilmour - for nearly three decades.

According to his sister, Rosemary Breen - one of the few people Barrett still sees - news that his old group is reforming has left him unmoved.

"I saw him this morning and told him the news, but he did not react,' said Mrs Breen, who lives a few miles from her 59-year-old brother.

"That is another life for him, another world in another time. He is not Syd anymore, he is Roger," added Mrs Breen, referring to Barrett's real name.

Barrett, who created, named and powered the pied pipers of the psychedelic rock movement, lives alone in a semi-detached house.

One of his neighbours said: "He never gives anyone here the time of day. I see him perhaps once a month going to the shop to get a newspaper of cigarettes or whatever but I've never spoken to him.

"No-one in this street has ever been inside his house. We've had people coming from all over the world to see him. They sit on the pavement outside his house but he's never opened the door.

"I know he's inside but he never speaks to anyone. I don't think he would be interested in rejoining Pink Floyd. They'll have to do the concert without him."

Barrett left Pink Floyd in 1968, two years after forming the group, his brain frazzled by drugs but his legacy already assured.

Five years later the band released Dark Side Of The Moon and the single Money.

In 1975 came Wish You Were Here (with its tribute to Barrett in the song Shine On You Crazy Diamond). The band had hit the big time. But as Waters, the driving creative force in the band after Barrett, said years later: "Everything after Dark Side Of The Moon was very difficult."

Barratt turned his back on stardom and lives, seemingly happy, on the royalties that still roll in from the songs he wrote in almost total anonymity.

Mrs Breen said: "There is no contact and he does not want them to get in touch with him. He is fine, he is very well. He does DIY, he listens to music and he goes out."

Mrs Breen added that her brother would probably not watch Live8, when his old band will play alongside Sir Paul McCartney, U2 and Madonna.

Replies: 1 Comment

Wow! A great article, even if the picture is the only real news. But its great to see/hear any updates about this elusive figure we all know of so well.

Posted by Tom @ 06/17/2005 03:19 PM CST

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Copyright 2001, Adam Stanley