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Home arrow Obituaries arrow Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett
Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett Print E-mail

Syd BarrettIt is with much sadness that we bring you the news that Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett has passed away, leaving us on Friday, July 7th, 2006.

An official statement confirmed the news, stating that "he died very peacefully", and that there will be a private, family funeral. He had been suffering from diabetes for a number of years, and been living his life quietly in Cambridge. His family confirmed that his passing was due to complications relating to the diabetes.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. He will be remembered with much love and affection.

Roger Keith Barrett was born in Glisson Road, Cambridge, to Winifred and Arthur Barrett, on January 6th, 1946. From an early age, he displayed a musical and artistic nature, and played the ukelele, banjo and piano - indeed, he won a prize for a piano duet at the tender age of seven. He then took up the guitar.

As he built on his guitar skills, his exploration of music in all its forms took him to the Riverside Jazz Club, where legend has it that the drummer - one Sid Barrett - nicknamed the young Roger "Syd", a name which stuck.

With his growing prowess, he played in various bands in Cambridge and London - bands such as Geoff Mott and The Mottoes, Those Without, The Hollerin' Blues, The Spectrum Five, Leonard's Lodgers, and then, in 1965, The Pink Floyd were formed.

The Floyd toured extensively between 1965 - 1967, in a punishing schedule which saw them even play more than one country some evenings! The band's first album, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, was also recorded during this period, as were Syd's contributions to the second album, A Saucerful Of Secrets.

He left the band at the start of 1968, and pursued a solo career. Two main albums came out of this very fragile period - The Madcap Laughs, and Barrett (both 1970). Other solo albums were to follow, taken from various sessions recorded between 1969 - 1971.

Roger Barrett retired from the public eye, choosing to live out the remainder of his life in his mother's house, even after her death in 1991. He contented himself with painting, and reportedly wrote a book about the history of art, for his own amusement (with no intention of publishing).

He will live on in the hearts of his friends, family, and his many fans across the world.

We have had many emails from fans wishing to mark their own respects to Barrett, and to share their thoughts and prayers. We therefore set up an online "Book Of Condolence" in response to this and many thousands added their own special tributes to Syd. In 2012 we took the decision to close this book, some six years after his passing, due to unwarranted posts and links being included.

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