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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pyschedelic Renegades - Must Have for all Syd Barrett Fans

Pyschedelic Renegades

"We were psychedelic renegades exploring an inner landscape where everything was turned upside down. We had penetrated the looking glass and were living in a parallel dimension where everyone was beautiful and spiritually free."
Mick Rock

Syd Barrett, the reclusive former member of Pink Floyd, died in July 2006, without dispelling the air of intrigue that had surrounded him since his withdrawal from the music world in the early 1970s. He remains one of the world's true cult figures; a 'mad bohemian poet' in the words of photographer Mick Rock.

Mick Rock's book, Psychedelic Renegades, has been mass produced for a few years now. The book was previously published in a fancy limited release selling for hundreds of dollars. Much to the horror of the folks who spent that much on what they assumed would be the only release, it is now available in a standard wide release for $20-30 US depending on the seller.

This is an amazing treasure for the Syd Barrett fan. Rock was a close friend of Syd and one of the few who had access to him in his strange post-Floyd days. Rock is a professional photographer who captures his friend Syd at ease and unguarded, in stunning photo after photo. It's a large hardcover tome packed with rare personal photos of Barrett, his girlfriend, and Rock taken in Syd's flat, his Mum's garden, and on the street between 1969-1971. The photos are the emphasis, but Rock does provide some thoughtful text insight into Syd and his essence, obviously the two were quite close during this time.

Every Syd fan needs this tome. The photographs are accompanied by brief writings providing an insight into the madcap world of Syd Barrett. Syd Barrett continues to intrigue past and present generations alike and has been the subject of a tremendous rock mythology ever since his withdrawal from the music world in the early Seventies. It was Mick Rock who undertook the last ever interview with Syd for Rolling Stone magazine in 1971, and his original version of this memorable article is reproduced in full in Psychedelic Renegades for the first time.

Mick's friendship with Syd began in Cambridge in the mid-1960s, and flourished when they both subsequently lived in London. This magnificent book, previously only available as a limited edition, covers the period 1969 - 1971 and includes the photo session in and around Syd's London flat, which culminated in the cover for his first solo album, The Madcap Laughs. Within these pages are some of the most famous images of Syd Barrett, as well as a wealth of photographs previously only published in the limited edition.

Since his death there have been numerous acknowledgements of his influence, from artists as diverse as David Bowie ('His impact on my thinking was enormous') to Blur guitarist Graham Coxon ('For bang on twenty years, Syd led me to better places'). This book is the ultimate tribute to a man who now holds an unparalleled place in rock mythology.

Mick and Syd were close friends and even at one point in their friendship they were flatmates. Mick was able to create these intimate images of Syd throughout their friendship. Also, one of Syd's closest friends, the artist Duggie Fields, writes frankly about his own friendship with Syd. He describes life in the Earl's Court apartment which he shared with Syd and where the Madcap shots were taken in Syd's famous bedroom with the striped floorboards.

Originally, Psychedelic Renegades was limited to 950 numbered copies worldwide, all of which were signed by Mick Rock. The regular copies are quarter-bound in orange leather and luxurious turquoise blue linen over heavyweight boards. Each volume is handsomely finished with gilt lettering and decoration, and gilded page edges.

320 of these copies were Deluxe copies. All Deluxe copies have been signed by Mick Rock and also by Syd Barrett. These copies are hand-bound in full orange and turquoise leathers carefully pared and butted together to match the painted floorboards in Syd Barrett's Earl's Court flat. The Deluxe books are also decorated with gilt tooling and have gilded page edges.



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