Syd Barrett's "Lost Weekend"

All discussion related to Roger Keith (Syd) Barrett.
sydmundfloyd
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Syd Barrett's "Lost Weekend"

Post by sydmundfloyd » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:02 pm

Both Wright and Waters refer to a Friday when Syd failed to show up for a BBC recording, and when they saw him after the weekend, they found him horribly changed. I'd like to try to figure out the exact date they are referring to.

On two different forums, I've seen posters assume that it was July 28. I can see why: the band cancelled all their performances from July 31 to September 1, due to Syd's troubled state.

But after reading about Syd's decline over the year of 1967, I'm thinking that it was not that weekend, but rather many weeks earlier. My reason: I've read accounts from both Gilmour and Joe Boyd that already by May Syd had horribly deteriorated. Moreover, I've seen the promotional video for The Scarecrow, recorded on July 8, and Syd looks like the walking dead there, so again, I'm thinking that this transmogrification had occurred well before July.

Of course, it's hard to pin these things down, because it seems that there were actually several turning points for Syd that year:

- April 29: at the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream, there are accounts that Syd went off the deep end and never recovered.

- July 31: after 9 months of pretty much constant touring, the band had to cancel all performance dates for the next month due to Syd's deteriorated state.

- November 5: in the US, the first concert where Syd basically stood on stage and didn't perform at all.

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Re: Syd Barrett's "Lost Weekend"

Post by Wolfpack » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:17 am

sydmundfloyd wrote:Moreover, I've seen the promotional video for The Scarecrow, recorded on July 8, and Syd looks like the walking dead there, so again, I'm thinking that this transmogrification had occurred well before July.
Why do you think Barrett looks like the walking dead in the promotional video for The Scarecrow?
Snippets of footage of (I guess) 1969 show Barrett climbing into a tree. That's not quite dead, I think. :)

scarecrow
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Re: Syd Barrett's "Lost Weekend"

Post by scarecrow » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:15 am

I don't think you can read too much into how anyone looks on a particular day. 14th Hour Technicolour Dream is a case in point, the Floyd having played in Holland the same evening, spent the whole night travelling and played at dawn in London. So maybe Barrett wasn't on top form at that particular performance.

Still, he looks fine on the fairly recently rediscovered See Emily Play totp performance. And there is some great playing on the Stockholm Golden Circle, Copenhagen Star Club etc recordings from September '67. No evidence of sabotaging gigs or not making an effort on those particular nights.

Boyd seems a decent enough guy, but he has reeled out the 'switch flipped in his brain' story so many times it has become a rock cliche. Obviously people can get really stoned or drunk or whatever, and the next day they might be fine again. Maybe there was a single overdose in July 67, it seems highly unlikely anyone will ever know.

On a slight tangent, I quite liked these two documentaries I stumbled upon on youtube. Erratic behaviour and sometimes refusing to co-operate seemed part of Barrett's personality anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds1K92b6ZP4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sjwS1-8PKw

sydmundfloyd
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Re: Syd Barrett's "Lost Weekend"

Post by sydmundfloyd » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:34 pm

Wolfpack wrote:Snippets of footage of (I guess) 1969 show Barrett climbing into a tree. That's not quite dead, I think. :)
So do you disagree that Syd underwent a significant personality change prior to 1969? Do you not see any evidence of such a change in any of the photos from 1967 and 1968 and 1969?

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Re: Syd Barrett's "Lost Weekend"

Post by sydmundfloyd » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:43 pm

scarecrow wrote:I don't think you can read too much into how anyone looks on a particular day.
It's one particular day in the context of many such days. In photos of Syd in early 1967 and prior to 1967, I often see a vibrant, happy, animated Syd. In photos of Syd beginning in the second half of 1967, I rarely see a happy Syd, and more often see a detached, unengaged, troubled Syd. The Syd I see in the Scarecrow video fits the "second" Syd far more than it does the first, hence my belief that it is early evidence of his transformation.

Let me ask you: exceptions notwithstanding, do you not see a profound difference in the Syd that emerges from photos in early 1967 and earlier, from the Syd that emerges from photos in late 1967 and later?

(Apparently the topic of this thread has now changed. The subject I wished to discuss was pinpointing the onset of the transformation in Syd. Instead, the topic has become a debate over whether Syd underwent a significant transformation.)

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Re: Syd Barrett's "Lost Weekend"

Post by scarecrow » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:30 pm

Well I think actually the topic has changed to whether there is any particular date to pinpoint? If you would like my opinion on whether Barrett's personality changed during the late '60s, based on what I've read, I think it did. Whether Barrett ever took a huge single overdose of LSD which was responsible for changing his personality has been debated ever since he left Pink Floyd, and I don't see anyone likely to reach any conclusions ever....

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Re: Syd Barrett's "Lost Weekend"

Post by Wolfpack » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:08 pm

sydmundfloyd wrote:
Wolfpack wrote:Snippets of footage of (I guess) 1969 show Barrett climbing into a tree. That's not quite dead, I think. :)
So do you disagree that Syd underwent a significant personality change prior to 1969? Do you not see any evidence of such a change in any of the photos from 1967 and 1968 and 1969?
Of course Barrett underwent a significant personality change prior to 1969. But those snippets of him climbing into a tree in 1969, show that he had moments in which he was animated. He didn't just turn into some zombie after one weekend.
And also, he grew up. Jumping around in 1966 is different from jumping around in 1969.
sydmundfloyd wrote:In photos of Syd in early 1967 and prior to 1967, I often see a vibrant, happy, animated Syd. In photos of Syd beginning in the second half of 1967, I rarely see a happy Syd, and more often see a detached, unengaged, troubled Syd. The Syd I see in the Scarecrow video fits the "second" Syd far more than it does the first, hence my belief that it is early evidence of his transformation.
For early evidence, see what was released as 'Syd Barrett's First Trip' (1966). Barrett is behaving rather selfdestructive, there. The footage already shows Barrett's detached look in his eyes.

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Re: Syd Barrett's "Lost Weekend"

Post by sydmundfloyd » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:37 pm

I'd like to see if I can get the thread back to the original topic, which is trying to pinpoint which weekend Waters and Wright were referring to. Of course, it's possible that I'm the only one interested in this topic.

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Re: Syd Barrett's "Lost Weekend"

Post by PemmicanHoosh » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:38 am

For the Waters/Wright version of events to be true you need a weekend when they didn't see him. It appears to be true that there was some disturbance at a radio show on Friday 28th July, which was then cancelled. That evening they played the UFO club and the next day played two gigs in Norfolk and at the Alexander Palace in London. On Monday 31st they played a gig in Torquay, after which the next activity appears to have been recording Scream Thy Last Scream at EMI studios on Monday 7th August.

The weekend before the radio show they were in Scotland playing gigs.

It seems to me that if he'd disappeared after the radio show, we'd have heard about him not turning up to the three gigs that followed. The Alexander Palace one went on till 9am Sunday morning, so they were probably with him the whole weekend. I think it is very likely he played all those gigs.

Gilmour has said that it was in May at the See Emily Play sessions that he was different. It is just possible that, 40 years later, he was confused. Before the radio show on 28th July, they were at the BBC on the 27th to be filmed on Top of the Pops performing See Emily Play. This, so the story goes, is when he had to be found. Might David Gilmour have actually been at the Top of the Pops recording of the song rather than at the recording session back in May?

You'd have to say that if it was as far back as May that he changed, he managed to gig, do TV and complete an album without too much trouble.

It seems to me that after the weekend up in Scotland that they came back and he didn't turn up at Top of the Pops and the next day was the cause of the radio show being cancelled and was starting to act up such that gigs had to be cancelled the following week.

So what was Syd doing the week and weekend before recording Scream Thy Last Scream on Monday 7th August? It seems a good candidate for the lost weekend, following several days of trouble with him and cancelled gigs. By Monday the 7th the transformation was complete. That weekend is the most likely one, I think, for them not having seen Syd and for him being generally a changed person from then on.

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Re: Syd Barrett's "Lost Weekend"

Post by Wolfpack » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:02 pm

PemmicanHoosh wrote:On Monday 31st they played a gig in Torquay, after which the next activity appears to have been recording Scream Thy Last Scream at EMI studios on Monday 7th August.
Barrett and Waters went on a holiday in Spain, in early August 1967. I've read that this holiday was meant to give Barrett some rest.

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Re: Syd Barrett's "Lost Weekend"

Post by dgsyd1 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:40 am

Sometime during the summer of 1967, possibly during the bands downtime during August 1967, Syd met up with his sister Rosemary. The change in him shocked her so much that, in her words "He wasn't the brother I knew, and after that I couldn't enjoy the music anymore". Around the same time, Syd's eldest brother, Alan Barrett, was asked to check on his brother by Roger Waters, but didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with him.
TBH, after watching Roger Waters talking about it during the complete interview for the 2001 BBC documentary, he seems quite upset about it.

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Re: Syd Barrett's "Lost Weekend"

Post by Dazed Veins » Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:38 am

Well, the only weekend where all Floyd gigs were cancelled at that time was on Saturday 24th - and Sunday 25th of June 1967. Three gigs. Tornado outbreak all over Western Europe. Except England.. How could you've missed it?? Geez.. you probably all dropped acid that weekend. Remember the 8-Hour Psycho-Chromatic Fantasy at the Friday before?? Of course not.. 8)