dvd review::The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story

Syd Barrett is the most famous casuality of psychedelics in the history of the world. I have known quite a few big Pink Floyd fans over the years here in the states, and one thing almost always rings true – very few of them know much of anything at all about Syd Barrett and the early Floyd. Somehow, these folks got the impression that the Syd era was irrelevant, while for me the Floyd were never more interesting and colorful. Besides, doesn’t Syd at least deserve a little credit for coming up with the name Pink Floyd? Syd Barrett spent over three incredible years with the Floyd when he left in 1968. He conducted no interviews or released any music from the early seventies up until the time of his passing.

Anyway, I recently took in The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story, which includes over 2 1/2 hours of DVD extras in addition to the interviews with all members of Pink Floyd. The dvd follows the tale of Syd through his Pink Floyd years, two solo albums, and a couple of failed post Floyd performances, with friends and band members filling in the details. One of the highlights is hearing Robyn Hitchcock performing “Dominoes” on acoustic, and then praising the magic of Syd’s song writing. There is a ton of really good footage of Syd, in addition to the extended interviews with members of Pink Floyd. The real tragedy and loss of Syd is perhaps best illustrated by Roger Waters discussing how Syd is permanently etched in his memory as a vibrant hyper talented 24 year old(around the age Syd checked out). Even more poignant is the weirdness that occurred during the Shine On sessions where a heavier Syd reappeared with shaved head and eye brows, and no one recognized him. The Syd Barrett story is one of rock’s more interesting stories, and sadly one of its’ greatest tragedies.

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