If Syd never left Pink Floyd

All discussion related to Roger Keith (Syd) Barrett.
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by Wolfpack »

Maybe we would have had a Pink Floyd in which Barrett is the only original member. :lol:
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by flippikat »

If Syd wanted to stay in the music business, but step away from the limelight he could become a producer.

I'm thinking along the lines of Brian Eno & John Cale here - hooking up with some off-kilter acts in the mid-late 1970s & encouraging a new generation of psychedelia / art-rock.
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by jtull »

flippikat wrote:If Syd wanted to stay in the music business, but step away from the limelight he could become a producer.

I'm thinking along the lines of Brian Eno & John Cale here - hooking up with some off-kilter acts in the mid-late 1970s & encouraging a new generation of psychedelia / art-rock.
'The Damned' tried to recruit Syd Barrett to produce their second album "Music for Pleasure"(1977), but Syd was not interested. Instead, the album was produced by Nick Mason.
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by Hudini »

flippikat wrote:If Syd wanted to stay in the music business, but step away from the limelight he could become a producer.
Fact is, Syd didn't want to stay in the music business. Even his solo albums were pushed by the publishers and management, and his reluctance is more than obvious not only in numerous outtakes but in albums as well. However full of beautiful little gems, both Syd's solo albums showcase a lead man who just doesn't care about anything at all (his music in the least bit) and a bunch of musicians and producers trying to tie too many loose ends together because he just didn't care any more.
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by flippikat »

Hudini wrote:
flippikat wrote:If Syd wanted to stay in the music business, but step away from the limelight he could become a producer.
Fact is, Syd didn't want to stay in the music business. Even his solo albums were pushed by the publishers and management, and his reluctance is more than obvious not only in numerous outtakes but in albums as well. However full of beautiful little gems, both Syd's solo albums showcase a lead man who just doesn't care about anything at all (his music in the least bit) and a bunch of musicians and producers trying to tie too many loose ends together because he just didn't care any more.
Fair point. The solo albums certainly show that his enthusiasm for making music was waning. I think that the premise of this thread ("What if Syd never left Pink Floyd?") depends on him not losing his drive to be part of the music industry - and that would require some major changes to tue events of 1967.

If we assume that 1967 pans out differently to our timeline & Syd remains focused and engaged in Pink Floyd - the question then becomes "How does he handle the change in scene from psychedelia in the late 1960s, to a diverse palette in the early 1970s?". My thought was that if he was unwilling or unable to come up with any new songs post-1970, he might gravitate towards production as a way to remain in the creative 'loop'.
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by DrHypnotic »

I personally feel that if Syd was kind of "with it" and the Floyd were still together they would've split up around 1973.

Waters would have wanted to progress past what Syd would've been capable of doing, they would have fallen out due to "creative differences".

There are a lot of what if's when we speculate what Syd would've gone on to do had he been more stable and together. In my opinion, I think Syd would've been a more Proto-punk figure. I think Saucerful could've been a greater LP had the tracks he'd been working on, plus the finished versions of STLS and Vegetable Man been included and I think heading into 1970, Floyd may have gone into a direction akin to Hawkwind and had there still been a more pop element to Syd's writing, I think they would've been kind of like The Soft Boys (who were totally inspired by Syd anyway).

I'd like to think that a Syd Barrett 1972/3 Floyd would be creating proto-punk gems.

I can't really see any Bowie/Bolan vibe in what Syd would've done, in fact I reckon Syd probably would've hated Bowie's music although you can hear especially with T-Rex that Bolan did take some of Syd's fairy dust so to speak, I think some of T-Rex may have been what Syd would've gone on to do.

I can't imagine Waters sticking around had the Floyd continued with Syd, the guy even in some of those 67 interviews just seemed like a really "full on" personality, the guy is a control freak.

People often state they feel Syd would've gone onto to doing Emerson, Lake and Palmer stuff, which I just can't see, Syd was a non-conformist in the earliest days of Floyd and I think he would've hated what was happening in the Prog would.

I'd like to believe that Syd would have liked what occurred in 76 when Sex Pistols hit the scene.
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

DrHypnotic wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 8:05 am I can't really see any Bowie/Bolan vibe in what Syd would've done, in fact I reckon Syd probably would've hated Bowie's music although you can hear especially with T-Rex that Bolan did take some of Syd's fairy dust so to speak, I think some of T-Rex may have been what Syd would've gone on to do.
I can see the T. Rex comparison based on the of the Madcap Laughs tracks that feature The Soft Machine, but when Gilmour took over production he thought those versions lost the "Barrett-ness" of the songs and had him re-record some of them. T. Rex leaned a little too hard on the Barrett influence - Marc even married Syd's ex-girlfriend - but Bowie's obsession continued well into the late '70s, with him using their old Farfisa on Low.

But if the question is what if Syd never left Pink Floyd, then the real question would be whether or not Dave would've been involved. Not only were they already friends that had played together, but both were also good friends with The Soft Machine and Humble Pie, so it's hard to tell how the band's sound would've evolved after UFO shut down and everyone gave up the trippy clothes. Atom Heart Mother was a #1 album, and Barrett meshes in there perfectly, so I don't think they would've had any trouble coming up with material or doing well. Roger wouldn't have been under any pressure to write more, and would be content with his Rickenbacker and slide whistle.
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by Eclipse »

I Syd had never left the Floyd, than Gabriel-era Genesis would be my favorite band right now.
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by WebBrown »

Eclipse wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:16 pm I Syd had never left the Floyd, than Gabriel-era Genesis would be my favorite band right now.
I adore Peter Gabriel and especially his Growing up tour … I also find a lot people think about Syd as a mentally unstable person while rest of the band waited for him to do a much more as it was stated in Have a cigar or entire WYWH :

And did we tell you the name of the game, boy
We call it 'riding the gravy train'

Syd very well understand those expectations from band members and belive me he was very well aware about them since he was ‘doomed to himself even a long time before PF did happen, yet being doomed made him a very special to rest of PF and therefore he must have to leave a group or wait a bit longer for everything to happen…
I think there is nothing wrong for calling him a bit strange, but mentally ill is to much for me… Don’t you think same eclipse ?
Last edited by WebBrown on Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

"When we parted, I had written everything for the group. My leaving sort of evened things out within the group." - Syd, 1970

"When I went, I felt the progress the group could have made. But it made none, none at all, except in the sense that it was continuing. To make my album was a challenge as I didn't have anything to follow." - Syd, 1971
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by Eclipse »

WebBrown wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:54 pm
Eclipse wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:16 pm I Syd had never left the Floyd, than Gabriel-era Genesis would be my favorite band right now.
I adore Peter Gabriel and especially his Growing up tour … I also find a lot people think about Syd as a mentally unstable person while rest of the band waited for him to do a much more as it was stated in Have a cigar or entire WYWH :

And did we tell you the name of the game, boy
We call it 'riding the gravy train'

Syd very well understand those expectations from band members and belive me he was very well aware about them since he was ‘doomed to himself even a long time before PF did happen, yet being doomed made him a very special to rest of PF and therefore he must have to leave a group or wait a bit longer for everything to happen…
I think there is nothing wrong for calling him a bit strange, but mentally ill is to much for me… Don’t you think same eclipse ?
about PG:
I also love that tour! The video (from 2003 I guess) was actually my first listen on his solo career. I also love his soundtracks, especially Passion.
Do you like the albums Genesis released with him in the band? All the ones from Trespass until The Lamb lies down on Broadway are masterpieces IMO.

about Syd:
I think he was mentally ill in the sense that he suffered from an illness developed strongly due to the drugs he has taken. Unfortunately this illness interrupted the development of his talents. He clearly had an amazing potential, but his health did not help it. It is very tragic, but I think Pink Floyd developed better without his vision. Probably they would stay as a psychedelic band, and not become this amazing experimental, conceptual and atmospheric band in all their phases post-Syd. But yeah, we can never know what happen. To my tastes, it was good that PF carried on without him, though it was sad what his life has become.
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

Eclipse wrote: Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:03 pm Probably they would stay as a psychedelic band, and not become this amazing experimental, conceptual and atmospheric band in all their phases post-Syd.
I think it's unlikely they would've stayed psychedelic, because no one else did. There were the kosmiche and "prog" bands, but very few came from the psychedelic scene and the ones that did dissolved in the early '70s. It became very unfashionable - hence Pink Floyd's minimalist light show from '69 through '71, even while Syd said they'd made no progress since he'd left. Syd was listening to a lot of The Band and Taj Mahal when he stopped recording; he also said that "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" sounded "a bit Mary Poppins." I do wish there was a more detailed description of what Syd's suggestions for the band were around the time they gave him the boot - I've read that he wanted to hire female vocalists and a saxophone player, or that he just had two friends that wanted to join - one on sax and the other on banjo; Roger has recalled it as "two female saxophonists", but really, it sounds a lot like Pink Floyd circa 1974, with touring members Dick Parry and The Blackberries.
Last edited by ZiggyZipgun on Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by Eclipse »

ZiggyZipgun wrote: Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:27 pm
Eclipse wrote: Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:03 pm Probably they would stay as a psychedelic band, and not become this amazing experimental, conceptual and atmospheric band in all their phases post-Syd.
I think it's unlikely they would've stayed psychedelic, because no one else did. There were the kosmiche and "prog" bands, but very few came from the psychedelic scene and the ones that did dissolved in the early '70s. It became very unfashionable - hence Pink Floyd's minimalist light show from '69 through '71, even while Syd said they'd made no progress since he'd left. Syd was listening to a lot of The Band and Taj Mahal when he stopped recording; he also said that "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" sounded "a bit Mary Poppins." I do wish there was a more detailed description of what Syd's suggestions for the band were around the time they gave him the boot - I've read that he wanted to hire female vocalists and a saxophone player, and Roger has recalled it as "two female saxophonists", but really, it sounds a lot like Pink Floyd circa 1974, with touring members Dick Parry and The Blackberries.

great points! Indeed, psychedelic was going extinct by those times.
I was thinking, after your post, that, perhaps would they follow a route similar to Grateful Dead then? Long epic jams, full with guitar improvisations, but with a spacier take. A bit different than the 69, 70 and 71 PF tours, though, and more in a the Grateful Dead way.
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

That sounds like my own personal hell. Syd said that "a pop group ought to have singles" and that his third solo album would consist of 12 "jolly good" singles. Meanwhile Rick had always wanted the band to create more "serious" music, with more focus on avant garde and jazz (but not the prog-fusion sort of jazz).
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Re: If Syd never left Pink Floyd

Post by Kerry King »

Madcap Laughs and Barrett can hardly be described as psychedelic. Ummugumma and AHM, on the other hand, continued to pander to the hippies. As for Wright wanting to do "serious" music...did he mean nonsense like Sysyphus?

Barrett's two solo albums are far more interesting than SFOS (with the exception of Jugband Blues) and the studio portion of Ummugumma. It's not even close. AHM is weak, too. Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast? It has "psychedelic" in the title! Barrett moved on from 'pyschedelic" before pink floyd. Madcap was a dark album. Meanwhile, Roger Waters was daydreaming about bird watching and basking in the golden sunflakes of Granchester meadows.