LSD Overdose

All discussion related to Roger Keith (Syd) Barrett.
Mr Kite
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LSD Overdose

Post by Mr Kite » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:29 am

Rick Wright said in an interview that there was an incident that happened before a radio show in the summer of '67. He said they said "something has happened to Syd". Apparently a serious overdose of LSD.
I wonder if this is true. Wright didn't seem to think it was schizophrenia - just that he had been irrevocably damaged by this particular incident.
What do you think? Could this be true?
I think he said it was before a Radio 1 show.

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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by my breakfast. » Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:34 pm

Hehehehahahahohoho.

More bullshit disinformation from the Floyd camp. You cannot overdose on LSD, that is pure bullshit. Syd got hacked off with the way the band was going (ie doing banal pop radio shows). Pink Floyd seem to think they are amazing amateur psychologists, citing him as being schizophrenic and crazy. Very little medical evidence is out there to support these claims but I guess it sounds a lot better than "we hoofed him out the band because he wouldn't play the game properly".

And to the ears of the ignorant masses who regard propoganda horseshit like Reefer Madness as an interesting documentary ("I hate drugs, I've never taken them and I don't know anybody who does, but they should totally be illegal") having an LSD-induced meltdown is a likely outcome of dem nasty old drugs.

I think LSD does massively change a person. For people too belligerent to see multiple ways of looking at the same thing it must be a nightmare. It dissolves the ego and generally gives you a kick in the head which can in some ways be a positive experience. You function less as a member of society, but you also realise that perhaps that is no bad thing.

My mate Chris would be a nightmare if he ever took LSD. He has the classic Napoleon complex going on, and he argues everything in a case of black and white. He is right, his ways of viewing things (including things he knows nothing about) is the right and only way of doing things. Basically he is massively insecure about most things so has to hammer them down and this spills over into his constant lecturing of everyone around him, even if he has only met them. That rabid need to comply with 'the way things are always done' would be massively destroyed if the guy took LSD or any other substance that meddles with brain chemistry, so maybe its a good idea if he doesn't, though it may make him less of a dick.

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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by Jimi Dean Barrett » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:52 pm

But didn't Syd's acid problem stem from living in a house with a couple who spiked everything with LSD and Andrew King and Peter Jenner were too soft as shite to do anything about it until it was too late?
With friends like that eh?
Still, I think even if he hadn't have done any acid he still would have had his breakdown. We all wish for more Syd music, but basically, it just never worked like that?
And i've done it myself. I had a good time. But I think I stopped at the right time after seeing a beautiful golden woman tear her face off to reveal a horrible liquid mask stuck in a silent scream. And in a rare once-in-a-lifetime trip, it actually saved my life as I was too out of it to go and open the back door on New Year's Day... just as some scally threw a firework at the spot where I would have been!
So maybe acid isn't the problem? Maybe the problem is other people?
Whatever I learned from the "experience" I've forgotten much of.
Wow, this post has gone off-topic! :lol:

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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by danielcaux » Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:15 pm

Watch out! she's coming back for your soul!

Although highly unlikely to happen an LSD overdose is actually possible; some scientist in the 60s or 50s, I think, even killed an elephant with LSD while experimenting, but the amounts were massive.

I don't know how much of the Syd's overdose story is true, but I guess that when people talk about an "LSD overdose" they are just refering to a trip so powerful that it makes the subject incapable of performing regular everyday tasks for very long periods of time, or maybe they are refering to the trip that inmediately preceded a mental breakdown.

Anyway, LSD is no toy, is a very powerful substance that can alter anybody's mind functions in a big way for ever, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad, especially if the user has a predispositon for mental disorders.
Last edited by danielcaux on Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by dgsyd1 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:58 pm

Mr Kite wrote:Rick Wright said in an interview that there was an incident that happened before a radio show in the summer of '67. He said they said "something has happened to Syd". Apparently a serious overdose of LSD.
I wonder if this is true. Wright didn't seem to think it was schizophrenia - just that he had been irrevocably damaged by this particular incident.
What do you think? Could this be true?
I think he said it was before a Radio 1 show.
The incident in question happened on July 28th 1967, when Syd walked out of session Pink Floyd were due to record for the BBC at the Playhouse Theatre in London. While I tend to think of Syd's breakdown as something that happened over a longer period of time, something certainly happened to Syd during the last week of July.
The previous day Syd performed on Top Of The Pops miming to "See Emily Play", and made his displeasure about having to do it perfectly clear, and on the 29th Pink Floyd were supposed to perform at Alexandra Palace, but Syd was found in the dressing room just before the band went on "catatonic". This lead to all Pink Floyd's gigs for Auguat being cancelled, due to Syd suffering from "nervous exaustion".

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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by cymbaline212 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:12 am

mybreakfast, have you ever taken 10+ hits of quality acid? in that case i don't believe you are in the position to claim that overdosing on lsd in a myth. imo, the most basic definition of an overdose is taking too much of something. and it is absolutely possible to take too much acid.
Last edited by cymbaline212 on Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by moom » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:22 am

my breakfast. wrote:You cannot overdose on LSD
:? Why?

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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by my breakfast. » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:44 pm

Well yes you can. You can overdose on water, smarties, bananas.... anything you can injest.

What I'm trying to say is that the image of Syd hoovering up billions of tabs then having a massive heroin-style overdose is more likely the product of the rest of Pink Floyd's conservative attitude towards drugs intake and likely atleast partly fictional. Remember these guys would rather sit round eating oysters in the studio....

And yes some scientists did kill and elephant with LSD, which is a waste of an elephant really (what were they thinking?).

As for Syd, he did walk out of a BBC session yes. Listening to the other late 1967 BBC sessions his playing is fine (they did Vegetable Man, Jugband Blues and Scream thy last Scream for the BBC). Lucid guitar playing and vocals throughout, so I don't think Syd had this brain reboot people claim he did. He was pissed off by the time they had to go on Top of the Pops third time running to mime to See Emily Play (in a studio replete with tinfoil, cushions and other roughshod attempts at psychedelia).

I think Syd got massively disinterested in the whole thing. Pink Floyd came from the psychedelic underground and somehow got away with playing pounding half-learned Bo Diddley songs and other stuff. Their music was not sophisticated but it earned them a huge place in the underground of a very small sect of London society. With no major commitments they could do what they wanted to do without too many requirements. However they soon get noticed further up the ladder and are plucked out of this ecosystem of free-thinkers. Suddenly they are on crappy package tours playing crappy country gigs at places with minimal PAs (so Syd's lyrics are all lost) and their lumbering Bo Diddley stuff is not well received. Other musicians would hate Pink Floyd as they didn't have to spend half a decade touring in obscurity to get a breakthrough. And then to make matters worse such musicians suddenly (and desperately) try and copy the psychedelic look and sound without actually getting the core mentality that sparked the initially small London sect. Pink Floyd in a sense are like Nirvana in that they were briefly a part of a small scene but unintentionally blew it right into the open and inspired a whole bunch of copy bands, 3rd rate ripoffs and general bullshit cheapening the deal. Now psychedelia would have happened anyway without Syd or Pink Floyd, but Syd probably became too much of a poster boy for a cause he was not necessarily championing in the first place.

The music Syd wrote in the latter half of 1967 is a lot darker, and his attitude towards journalists also changes. However to say "this is because he took shit-tonnes of LSD and melted his brain" is a patronisingly basic assumption, at worst propoganda for the anti-drugs movement and at best ironing over (or missing the entire point) of the Syd story. Sure the drugs did not help, but maybe that is because they still presented a certain future or plateau in Syd's mind about taking his music/art higher, yet when he was off the drugs the world was becoming a worse place for him. One year he is in a mate's back garden strumming away for fun and a year later he is in the BBC canteen surrounded by guys moaning about the musician's union and royalty fees and the like. Syd's attitude was no doubt naive, the idea that music and visuals (in the form of lightshows etc.) would somehow be merged to form a greater artistic statement. He never factored in the means by which the music industry opperates, or the banality of the rest of the music world. However they would eventually catch up with such things as Queen's stage shows, Bowie's Ziggy Stardust concept, The Who's Tommy and any band that used pyro. Syd maybe saw that future but could see no way of getting to it.

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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by jtull » Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:08 pm

Some interesting words by Joe Boyd:

"It was 2.june '67 and Pink Floyd arrived att UFO. There was only one way in and you had to go through the crowd to the dressing rom and they come past, sort of just inside the door and it was very crushed and so it was faces two inches away you nose. So they all come by, kind of "Hi Joe!".
"How are You?" "Great," you know, and I greeted them all as they came through and the last one was Syd. And the great thing with Syd, when I had known Syd and worked on "Arnold Layne" and in the early days of UFO, the great thing about Syd was that if there was anything about him that you really remembered it was that he had a twinkle in his eye. I mean he was a real eye-twinkler. He had this impish look about him, this mischievous glint and hi come by and I said "Hi Syd" and he just kind of looked at me. I looked right in his eye and there was no twinkle. No glint. And it was like somebody had pulled the blinds, you know, nobady home. And it was real shock. Very, very sad."

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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by Mr Kite » Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:58 pm

Yeah, it's hard to pinpoint what happened. A combination of things. I'm not convinced it was schizophrenia.
Without a doubt the RnR Tour Treadmill was not for him. Seems like traumatic experience(s) and the reverberations for that. Hard to say what the diagnosis was. There are a lot of guesses about that - some pretty good - but hard to say for sure. I used to case manage schizophrenics so I do know a pretty good amount about it.
Beyond that, it appears that he was incredibly isolated later in life. Not a good thing. If was managing him I would have made damn sure he had more social interaction on a level he was comfortable with. People probably did their best - but I think it could have been handled better.
Just rambling here. Sad to see such an extraordinary talent - and he certainly was brilliant - not reach full fruition. Image

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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by cymbaline212 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:08 pm

jtull wrote:Some interesting words by Joe Boyd:

"He had this impish look about him, this mischievous glint and hi come by and I said "Hi Syd" and he just kind of looked at me. I looked right in his eye and there was no twinkle. No glint. And it was like somebody had pulled the blinds, you know, nobady home. And it was real shock. Very, very sad."
this is the kind of bullshit mybreakfast is talking about and the same bullshit that created that image Syd. of course there was no twinkle in his eye, he was on fucking LSD! His pupils were like black holes in the sky if you've never realized what the line actually means. he could have been thinking deeply about other things while he walked by Joe Boyd, but no it has to be pinpointed on him going insane.

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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by tristah » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:45 am

Lots of good stuff here. First of all... The elephant wasn't killed by a massive dose of anthrax, I heard this story before, after they injected the elephant he went haywire. He was convulsive, bit his tongue, terrible, horrible things so they injected him with a huge dose of thorazine. Brilliant people really. http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/lsd/lsd_history4.shtml
Here is the article.

As for Syd, well, 'what more is there to say?' a more or less direct quote from his last interview in 1971 on the subject of acid, and then, 'have you seen the flowers? Such bright colour.' Again, more or less word for word. The whole Barrett takeover for me really took place two and a half years ago and I have done a ton of obsessive listening and reading ever since. It amazes me that when I think I have read everything and know all there is to know just how much more there really is to the story.

But I think drugs, fame, feeling cheesy and pushed. Look at what the guy did for the last thirty years of his life? Very little work. Besides a bit of gardening and DIY projects, when he felt like it, he didn't have a job and I'm sure he hated being forced into things. Answering Dick Clark and Pat Boone on American tv probably made him feel sick inside and yet that era is what he is remembered for. Perhaps he wished he rebelled more? In Holland at one point Joe Boyd had to stop him from leaving on a train when the had some obligation (radio promotion or show.)


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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by GilmourGirl » Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:22 pm

An old boyfriend took multiple hit of acid some years back and began siezing. He went unconcious and was put into a tub of ice water by the other acid-heads. But he survived without medical attention.

I always preferred to trip alone. I didn't need anyone interfereing with my zone. Maybe Barrett just wanted to trip in peace. Nothing worse than your trip being interrupted. Total pisser.

I miss the white blotter.

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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by rgrunauer » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:23 pm

Rest In Peace

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Re: LSD Overdose

Post by misujry » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:58 am

All I know is I used to really like Orange Sunshine,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXAKijc1Vmc

but that was 40 years ago. I had a hard time with acid. Syd did too. That is all there is to that story. The rest is just "story" by people who were never "there".