Revised Barrett biography - read extract and win a copy!
Written by Matt   
Thursday, 07 September 2006
The 1991 book "Crazy Diamond: Syd Barrett & the Dawn of Pink Floyd" was the first major biography of the man, and following his sad death in July, the authors (Pete Anderson and Mike Watkinson) have collaborated with his family to bring the book up to date. We have a special extract from the heavily expanded text, and also give you the chance of winning a copy signed by the authors. The book is a well-written look at Barrett's life, with a number of his friends and colleagues interviewed in an attempt to get to the bottom of the truth behind his story, and the many myths that built up over the years.

Making the difference in the book is the participation of his family, and there are a number of family photographs showing Syd from an eighteen month old toddler, going through his childhood (including a stint in the boy scouts), and the various pre-Floyd groups that Syd and the others were part of.

Some 14,000 words have been added to this new edition, which has just appeared in the stores. With much rumour and misinformation circulating over the nature of Syd's passing, his family have clearly worked closely with Anderson and Watkinson to detail what actually happened. A sad, and touching, chapter, the love and care of his friends and family is clear to see.

We have an extract from the heavily expanded epilogue, which is exclusive to ourselves and our sister site, A Fleeting Glimpse, and here's a taster of the full extract:

Photographs of Syd on his habitual shopping rounds at this time show him looking shockingly gaunt, and for several months leading up to his 60th birthday Rosemary noted with some concern his falling weight. For years Barrett had been plagued by gastric ulcers and was therefore familiar with their unpleasant symptoms including stomach pains, digestive problems and poor appetite. His elder brother Alan – whose sax-playing in a skiffle group first persuaded Syd to take up the ukulele at the age of 12 – believes this long-term, but non life-threatening malaise might have masked the onset of the pancreatic cancer which was to prove terminal with shocking swiftness...

Click here to read the extract in full - it gives a good flavour of the rest of the book, and details Syd's very sad passing and his laying to rest.

To mark its publication, we have a copy signed by the authors to give away to one lucky Brain Damage visitor. You need to answer the following simple questions correctly:

   1. What was Barrett's real full name?
   2. Where, and on what date, was he born?

and then email your answers, together with your postal address, to: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it by 11:59pm (UK time) on September 30th. Please note that no correspondence will be entered into, and that the competition mailbox is unmonitored - entries will be checked on October 1st, a winner picked at random by an independent party, and the winner announced here shortly after.


Our thanks to Pete and Mike for their generosity, and good luck to all those who enter the competition.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 November 2006 )