Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd
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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Concert Contract Signed by Syd

This contract was signed by Syd Barrett on January 11th, 1967, on behalf of the band, committing to a performance at Leicester College on February 10th. 1/11/67 is a historic date in the genesis of Pink Floyd, as they spent the day recording in a real, professional studio for the first time: Sound Techniques with Joe Boyd producing and John Wood on the board. Two block sessions that day from 8am-11:30am, break for lunch (perhaps when this contract was signed...? Judging by the prominent tea-spill stain on the bottom right corner of the document, it could very well have been signed over a jubilant meal, teatime turning tragic as Syd spills his tea onto his paperwork), before their return to work, finishing up by 1:30pm, and mixing it down to mono the following day.

Those sessions yielded two completed songs: "Interstellar Overdrive" and "Nick's Boogie". These tracks appear on the soundtrack of the Peter Whitehead film "Tonite Let's All Make Love in London", yet were not properly released in their entirety until September of 1991 when the reel of tape was discovered in Peter's garage, "covered in an inch of moss" he said, that amazingly did not affect the sound quality of what is now considered one of their most crucial time-pieces. Their legendary "live sound" unaltered by overdubs and post-production meddling, the closest a collector can get to a vision of their performances that captivated all who encountered them.

18 days after the pen hit this-here paper, Syd and Pink Floyd would return to Sound Techniques and Joe Boyd, where they would forever change the world with the recording of "Arnold Layne" and "Candy and a Current Bun" on January 29, 1967.

Pink Floyd had recorded twice before in 1966, the first session with Bob Close (Lucy Leave/I'm A King Bee resulting), and the second time amounted to not much more than someone's home studio. Sound Techniques was a monumental step up in technology and seasoned personnel behind the soundboard. It was February 1967 when all bookings were serviced by the Bryan Morrison Agency, and no band members were required to sign the contracts anymore, making this document considerably more interesting, as it was a very brief window of time when the band members themselves would sign booking contracts.

The Leicester College gig on February 10th did occur, though sadly no recording seems to have survived. 11 days later, Pink Floyd would enter Abbey Road Studios and record the first notes of "Mathilda Mother" for their eventual album "The Piper At The Gates of Dawn".

This document was signed at the best of times for Syd Barrett at the height of his powers, less than a month away from signing another time for EMI, and launching what became, as recently as 2007, worldwide poll winner for World's Best Rock Band: PINK FLOYD

(Many thanks to HearDude for the pictures and text)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Programme for the Syd Barrett tribute concert May 10 at London's Barbican Theatre

The full programme can be downloaded at Joe Boyd's website: