Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd
The Laughing Madcaps Facebook Group

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Transcription of Interview with Syd from 1967

SYD: Well I'll, I'll say.. for example, painting at an art school. Or
painting, say, in infants school. The initial desire to paint or
initial suc-first successes at painting arised, I think, out of a very
genuine basic, um, drive one way or another. So, an-and because of
family and social set ups are channeled into success or otherwise and,
er, er, through schools and such like and one gets different things.
And I think un-and, course, one comes across teachers and people like
that, teaching and, sort of, instruction and to talk to and there
came, and I feel now that having left art school that there are a lot
of ..that I could do. A lot of things I see now, a lot of
things went in to me, into my head and thinking that these would,
perhaps, changing and altering things. For instance I made a painting
the other day...and... it's I could I see and hear very clearly, sort
of, different instructions and different criticisms going in to the
picture which were in fact p-um-criticisms that I could relate back to
art schools and teachers and various things that'd come at that time.
So...maybe.. .this would be very valuable, this break. I don't
know..and, er, sort of, to... try painting again after a break of
going in to pop music and going to.. playing this sort of
music....just might work out that, get more, sort of, basic freedom. I
don't know, it's something to d-, just things like shape of the paper
and, er.. seem to be a lot of assumptions taken place.

INTERVIEWER: When you were saying criticisms you had, criti-, your own
criticisms of your work is that what you (??) outside other people?

SYD: Um, criticisms that I, I, I, really, d- yeah..

INTERVIEWER: Of your own criticisms of your own work...

SYD: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: ...that were, sort of, put in to you by teachers and so on.

SYD: They were what I was channeling into my own criticisms, yah, they
were wh-, they were what were governing what I was doing, in to
pai-,er, why it was happening.

INTERVIEWER: Do you ever... get... I don't know... frightened by, I
use this word because it's, it applies to me by, er, the systems that,
I mean this, in a sense, I don't know, could be better worded, this in
a sense, you know, is a system, when, when you're, realise that the
criticisms that you're using... on... have been put in to you, y'know,
sort of, conditioned. But, but when you realise more and more what it
is that controls all the systems that, you know, system upon system,
sort of, working your way through one in to another and another..does
this really...bother you...or even frighten you? The feeling that
you'll never be free, that you'll always be a prisoner? But, maybe you
don't have that feeling?

SYD:......Yeah I do!....

INTERVIEWER: Do you think that you can be free if you can realise, I
mean, get to a point where you know, more and more and
more systems (??)

SYD: Er yeah. I think, er, m-maybe, maybes...

INTERVIEWER: The realisation's, sort of, freeing you on and that..

SYD: Yeah, well, yes, in slowly in time, ya know, it's-ss, well it
happened with this painting, I mean-er, I finished a picture I got
through... a lot of things...I wanna, it's quite enjoyable, you
know...and the idea is, to, I would like to get hold of that and be
able to assimilate the, um, the system as it comes in, rather than.. know, see it as it goes out.

INTERVIEWER: Yep..... Do you find yourself in patterns and constantly
repeating the same patterns over and over?

SYD: Mmmmm!

(Long pause)

INTERVIEWER: What are you.. working on at the moment in... inside
yourself?... Do you know?

SYD: (Pause) Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: Do you care to say?

SYD: Umm, I carn- er, sort of... I can't really say, because it's
obviously taking too much time to think about it. I don't, I,
ss-um.....(pause) It's not really difficult.

(Long pause)

INTERVIEWER: Do you ever feel when you see people, or do you often
feel when you see people that you could tell them something about
themselves that they don't already know (??)? Or do you look at people
that way?... I feel you do, that you really sort of observe people...
Do you?

SYD: Nah I think it's something about... um.. wow, really gets...
pretty... involved... this stage.. I can't.. see... yeah there is a, I
certainly do get a ss-feeling of what people are like and, er... it
really, the really, the, the complication comes out in talking, but
this only comes out at certain times because of a feeling that talking
is, in fact, a much, a far less, er, valuable thing than, er, and it's
almost superfluous, to...wha-... to... to everything else, you know,
to sort of, general, as-s, I don't know, sensing people (??) value of
people...But the same time, it's a contradiction that the wor-, that
words and talking to the people should be difficult in any way. So
one... goes, one is hesitant to say 'No I can't say anything', you
know... An- an I know as well this is something that occurs only at
times, ya know, other times it doesn't.. and it's cool.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah maybe that I think more in terms of words when I, ya
know, see someone and have an impression. I mean like, your impression
of me.. which you must have... on... would you care to tell me? And be
like absolutely honest... Do you have one?

SYD: In words?



SYD: Um...Wow!

INTERVIEWER: (Laughs)... I mean really be honest. And I'm asking this
cos you may have something to give me, I don't know.

(Long pause)

INTERVIEWER: Not the general things, I mean whatever, mean what the
main thing that sort of hits you. And I-I'm not asking for a
personality critique, ya know, cos I know enough about myself that I
don't need that.

SYD: Well... (mumbles) there's so many different things, that on
different levels, that I could... say, that of impressions of you, so
I give us, I don't know, I just, maybe the most strange thing is,
um... meeting you, talk, sort of s-saying... eh... very strange to
meet you... Well it tisn't really strange, it's not many people
that...that sort of... one can...wr-interviewe rs and such like, as,
as, and you came in to that class. Erm... sort of, used to, I mean
generally it just sort of say hello and to get to say the questions
and go again... I don't know... very, I don't know (laughs) Wow.

INTERVIEWER: (Laughing) I see you're holding back.

SYD: Yeah,

INTERVIEWER: I mean, I mean I don't c-, you know, it maybe something
that sends me back, I don-, maybe, you know, probably not anything I'm
going to want, want anyone to hear.. and it's sort

SYD: No- (Laughs) Not at all! I, I understand. I think I learn a lot
from you... and er... (stammers) the thing, th-th-that you see,
there's the... I... I'm not, I know I feel from you that in, you not,
really, that I could say anything and do anything and you would st-,
I mean, you are recording it and that's cool and, er... But I could..
and I know that applies to you, to me and you, you know, cos really I
, I, you are, I assure you, you can do anything you want, but... And
in talking, I mean, that includes if... I want to... if I wanted to
say nothing or if I... I want to act in an extr-extraordinary way...
then I feel that that too is justified

INTERVIEWER: You have your relatives?

(cut in tape)

INTERVIEWER: Because, I don't know, ya know maybe in a sense there's
something I could tell you I don't know what it would be. And the same
thing, ya know, I've done this a couple of times, not, not in
interviews.. . but ya know, when I met someone who, you can see in
their eyes this-s, depth, what am I saying... do you have anything
to tell me?

SYD: (Laughs)



SYD: (deep breath)

(tape cuts off)

Meatball Fulton interviewed Syd Barrett in London back in 1967. Barrett was considered a creative genius. He wrote and/or cowrote 9 of the 11 songs on the Pink Floyd’s first album, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.” Barrett also came up with the group’s name, “The Pink Floyd.” Here Barrett talks of his painting, and of criticism. As Meatball recalls in his introduction to the interview, “My impression was that he had been taking a lot of LSD trips. In fact, his eyes were so open it was like looking into a tunnel, there were no barriers, I had to stop myself from tumbling down inside him. I think I now know what it’s like to be Alice in Wonderland.” This is a strange interview. Meatball decided to leave it raw and unedited.

Audio of interview available at:

Thanks to Mark Jones for the transcription.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The City Wakes - A Tribute to Syd Barrett

On December 5, the first public performance of The City Wakes
project, a tribute to Pink Floyd founding member, Syd Barrett, will
be held at the Centre at St Paul's in Cambridge.

The City Wakes is a multi-media arts project, produced by Escape
Artists, in association with community groups in and around
Cambridge, as a tribute to the Cambridge-born painter, musician and
founder member of Pink Floyd.

The performance will be a `work in progress' towards the staging of
a professional multi-media production in 2008 to feature new
versions of many Syd Barrett penned Pink Floyd classic songs,
including `Bike', `See Emily Play' and `Arnold Layne'.

Rosemary Breen (nee Barrett) helped launch the City Wakes by making a donation to the project from the Syd Barrett Trust. Rosemary set up the Trust, with money raised from the auction of Syd’s belongings, to assist disadvantaged people in gaining access to the arts.

"I am thrilled to be involved in this project.

Syd, my brother, was someone for whom creativity was as necessary as breathing. His music and painting were such an integral part of his being, that without them he couldn’t function.

Because I recognise how important music and painting were to Syd, I want to help other people, who can benefit in the same way from the arts as he did, by providing opportunities for active involvement in the creative process. Syd would be really pleased to know that money raised from the auction of his things was being used for this purpose.

I hope that you will join me in supporting this project. It goes beyond simply supporting a small number of disadvantaged people – it’s about improving the quality of life for everyone…

It’s what Syd would have wanted."

Rosemary Breen

For more information and to reserve free tickets:


Monday, November 12, 2007

The Pink Floyd NYC Debut

The Pink Floyd played their debut concert in New York City on November 12th 1967, at the Cheetah Club.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fillmore & Winterland Poster 1967

November 9/10/11 San Francisco

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Updated Tracklisting - HYGIY? Mach II




01 Beechwoods (10/19/67)
02 VegMan (5/68? mix)
03 VegMan (1967 instrumental)
04 Remember A Day mono (10/12/67)
05 Scream (8/7/67) 74 mix
06 Scream coda (as on HYGIY 1.0)
07 VegMan (10/11/67, 1974 mix)
08 Untitled, take 7 (9/4/67) aka Madcap's Embrace, Sunshine, etc
09 Reaction In G w/voiceover (4/26/69 Beat Club TV)
10 Reaction In G without voiceover (4/26/69 Beat Club TV)
11 Set The Controls (2/68 Belgian vid mix)
12 The Scarecrow (BBC 9/25/67 1st gen)
13 The Gnome (BBC 9/25/67 1st gen)
14 Matilda Mother (BBC 9/25/67 1st gen)
15 Set The Controls (BBC 9/25/67 master)
16 Reaction In G (BBC 9/25/67 master)
17 Flaming (BBC 9/25/67 master)
18 Jugband Blues (mono 10/24/67)
19 Scream (8/7/67 Malcolm Jones 87 mix)
20 VegMan (10/11/67 Jones 87 mix, from What Syd Wants)
21 Flaming mono 45 (Tower 11/2/67)
22 Paint Box (2/68 Belgian vid mix)
23 Vegetable Man (12/20/67 BBC 1st gen)
24 Scream (12/20/67 BBC 1st gen)
25 Jugband (12/20/67 BBC 1st gen)
26 PowRTocH (12/20/67 BBC, 1st gen)
27 Tomorrow's World instrumental (12/17/67 recent BBC upgrade)

The list may change again before we're done, but here's where we are currently.

We lost a track. It finally occurred to me awhile back--the stereo mix of "Paintbox" is in print on Relics. Sure, I should've caught that. On the other hand, nobody else did. We have the rarer Belgian vid mix, so that moved down the list to fill the slot where the single used to be.

I also switched around two of the 9/25/67 tracks. Our tape is a 1st gen of the rebroadcast of this session (it's the one that premiered the "Apples & Oranges" single), and the songs are in that order on the tape. The quality isn't nearly as good as the other three that turned up recently, but it's the best source we have until the BBC coughs up the rest of it.

Also, regarding tracks 9-10... they're a bit of a mystery. I don't know which date to put on them. I was once given a date of 01Aug67. Some say they're from 13Sep67, but there's no explanation why these short clips sound so much better than the master tape in circulation. And I still have no idea how it wound up as random background music on a German TV show in 1969, later rebroadcast in the mid-1990s. (Our source is 1st gen 90s.) For now I'm dating it 26Apr1969, when it was first broadcast on German TV. That may be confusing but it's the one firm date I have.

CD1 is more difficult and will take longer, but CD2 is going very well. Tentatively, we have 60 minutes completed for it, so CD2 is about 75% done.

It will be a tight fit getting this tracklist under 80 mins, so something might have to bounce over to CD1. For now, though, CD2 is shaping up to be 27 tracks and 80 mins long.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Oh My Goodness I Must Stay At Home!

Great new Syd fansite:

Alternate Arnold Layne Video

Cheetah Club Santa Monica Nov. 5 1967

When the ALICE COOPER band was still making their name in Los Angeles in the late '60s, they were the house band at the Cheetah Club, where they met the original members of PINK FLOYD, who were in town to play a couple of shows there. In fact, the FLOYD guys ran out of money and moved into the house where Alice and his bandmates lived, and the two groups hung out a lot.

Alice Cooper told that he and Barrett shared "a moment" of sorts one day over breakfast. "Syd was sitting there at the table, and the box of cereal was between us," he said. "And he was watching the box of cereal the way that I would watch 'Star Trek' on television. He was seeing something I wasn't seeing. I don't know what he was on, but he could have sat there all day, staring into that cereal, and he would have been just as happy as anybody else."

Cooper also told that he knew something was really wrong with Barrett at one of the gigs: "I remember the one night and in fact, I mentioned this to (PINK FLOYD singer-bassist) Roger Waters, and he says, 'That was the night we knew Syd was in a lot of trouble mentally' - during their first song, he hits a chord, and he gets a shock, and then he just stops playing. The rest of the set, he just stands there and stares, for about an hour-and-a-half. Never played another note, just stood there and stared. And the band just played."

"Syd Barrett I remember, (though) I don't remember him ever saying two words. It wasn't because he was a snob; he was a very strange person. He never talked, but we'd be sitting at dinner (at our house in Venice, LA) and all of a sudden I'd pick up the sugar and pass it to him, and he'd shake his head like 'Yeah, thanks,' It was like I heard him say 'Pass the sugar' - it's like telepathy; it really was. It was very weird. You would find yourself right in the middle of doing something, as you were passing the sugar or whatever, and you'd think, 'Well, damn! I didn't hear anybody say anything!' That was the first time in my life I'd ever met anybody that could actually do that freely. And this guy did it all the time." Glen Buxton (Alice Cooper group)

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Pink Floyd First U.S. Gigs

November 2nd 1967 at the Fillmore West, 3rd & 4th at Winterland Ballroom San Francisco

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Remembering Syd

Producer Joe Boyd and photographer Mick Rock share their memories...