Interstellar Overdrive (Syd Barrett)

British Psychedelica owes itself to formative collaborations between Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and Roger Barrett (AKA Syd). Taking an experimental departure from the U.S. rhythm and blues scene, the 3 formed the band Pink Floyd: delving into expansive jam sessions whilst playing to underground audiences in London. This modus operandi was enhanced as the bands popularity increasedscoring them a record deal with EMI. Syd wrote and composed much of the early Pink Floyd psychedelica and is responsible for the epitome of the genre: their album The Piper At The Gates of Dawn. However, Syds experimental nature of spontaneous “one take only, never repeat” brought him to a head with both the label and his fellow musicians. Concurrently, hed hit the LSD pretty hard and became increasingly manic and delusional. Such was the frustration of the band; one evening before their show at Southhampton, they simply didnt pick him up en route to the gig. And that was that.

EMI subsequently kept Barrett signed for 2 solo releases; the first of which received acclaim and was produced by Gilmour. He also featured on John Peels BBC Radio One sessions; belting out unreleased tracks over the airwaves. However, following a spate of failed musical endeavours Syd retreated to his studio in Cambridgeshire and rounded out his days painting abstract works. He was maligned from his former bandmates and only ever met them again once; when he arrived unannounced at Abbey Road while the Roger WatersPink Floyd group was recording Wish You Were Here. Featured below is an incredible, unreleased recording of Interstellar Overdrive; from San Franciscos “Turn on, Tune in, Drop out” series:

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