Read all the gory details of the Syd Barrett David Sore Rob Chapman row here! This was posted on the Laughing Madcaps Group! Yikes! I dunno, maybe Keith Jordan IS Rob Chapman. It, sort of, fits.
Posted this elsewhere, but might well be of interest here... thanks to Felix of
the Holy Church for making me aware of the furore. It brings (at least) three
former Barrett controversies neatly together.
Essentially, David Sore (former neighbour, and would be biographer of Syd's
latter years) is challenging Rob Chapman (biographer of Syd) to prove both who
HE is and whether Radha (former neighbour of Syd and contributor of anecdotes to
this group and Chapman's Syd bio) is real !
Here's the story:
In December 2006 The Daily Mail published a large article based on interviews
with David Sore which described life as a child growing up next to Roger (Syd)
Barrett in the 80s and 90s. The article portrayed Roger as a disturbed soul.
Quite a few Barrett fans got very agitated about this, suggesting that either
David Sore wasn't for real, or if he was, he was a bad person.
I did a bit of digging around at the time, and soon satisfied myself that David
Sore was for real. Whether he's a bad person is another matter... I suspect
there is some truth in what he has to say about being scared of Roger Barrett as
a child, but it makes uncomfortable reading which leads some Barrett fans to
reject him completely.
And he doesn't exactly help his own case! David Sore's blog 'Being A Human'
makes it clear that he hopes to make some proper money out of his story and is
quite willing to get litigious about it. He also has some extreme views about
the death penalty, drug rehabilitation, etc... and on top of that, we can now
add a healthy dose of paranoia.
If you have time to pay Mr. Sore a visit. I'm starting from the update on 20
David's got hold of Rob Chapman's book, which quotes another person's (Radha's)
childhood recollections of living on Roger's street. David thinks Radha's conned
Rob Chapman here, because noone of that name lived on St Margarets Square at the
appropriate time. We'll come back to that...
In the meantime, David's gone off to Keith Jordan's Neptune Pink Floyd site and
picked a row with Rob Chapman until it reaches the point where Keith bans him.
So David now believes that it's a huge conspiracy. He has discovered that both
Rob Chapman and Keith Jordan are northern englanders, and drawn the conclusion
that they are one and the same person ! Oh dear. I've never met either Rob
Chapman or Keith Jordan, but I've corresponded with both. If 'they' are 'one',
they've been doing a superb job of keeping the pretence up for years !
And so to the final controversy, Radha (or Radharani Krishna Harte to use her
full name). Chapman quotes some of Radha's Barrett anecdotes towards the end of
'A Very Irregular Head'. These are almost to good to be true, involving a
child-friendly Rog who won't be called 'Mr. Barrett' and believes in flying
horses. They are at the complete opposite of the spectrum to David Sore's
recollections, which Rob Chapman - by his own admission - has deliberately
So Sore's accusation is that Radha's a fake, because he doesn't remember her.
Now... Radha turned up here in 2007 and attracted a lot of scepticism. She said
that she had lived in Barrett's street from 1982-1998, then this:
"I was packing to move to London the last time we spoke, and I was
completely preoccupied with remembering every last thing. He stopped at our gate
and asked if we were going on holidays, and I said "No, Rog, I'm off to London
to be rich and famous!" He half smiled and stared off into space for a long time
whilst I stuffed bags into the car. Finally he let himself into the garden and
put his arm around me. He said Cambridge'd be dull without me (at that stage I
was fairly notorious around town for being "an arty type," whatever that meant),
and we had a long talk that, knowing what I know now, really gives me the old
throat-lump. I didn't realise it at the time, but he was really giving me a lot
of himself. I think he must have done this with some of the other kids I grew up
with who left home the way he had done, with big dreams and not much experience.
I think it was his chance to be a dad."
Perfect, isn't it ? Almost too good to be true... shortly after that, Radha
disappeared from the group, made a brief reappearance a year later, then
vanished completely. (Incidentally, that's another indicator of Chapman lurking
in Barrett forums, skimming off his 'original' material !) I had forgotten about
her til Chapman's book. I was pleased - and to be honest, mildly surprised - to
discover she's for real.
Except that David Sore says she isn't. But on Page 365 of 'A Very Irregular
Head' Rog's nephew, Ian Barrett, says of the 80s: "I knew one of the girls,
Radha, who lived two doors up...".
If you want a final twist, I can quote several Sydiots over the years who have
proclaimed that Ian Barrett isn't real either. But he is - in fact, it was Ian
who put me in contact with Rob Chapman. So - now we're into a straight fight to
be the most reliable witness between Ian Barrett and David Sore.
That's 1-0 to Radha and Rob Chapman, then.