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Crazy Diamond: Syd Barrett and the Dawn of "Pink Floyd"

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  831 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Learn all about Barrett's career as lead member of the original Pink Floyd, his subsequent release from the group, and solo career. A revealing investigation into the life of a reclusive cult genius.
Paperback, 168 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Omnibus Press (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30)
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Paul Bryant
My top 12 early SB/PF songs

1. Chapter 24 written by Syd Barrett from Piper at the Gates of Dawn, 1967
2. Paintbox written by Rick Wright (B side of single Apples and Oranges, 1967)
3. Julia Dream written by Roger Waters (B side of single It Would be So Nice, 1968)
4. Remember a Day written by Rick Wright from Saucerful of Secrets, 1968
5. See Saw written by Rick Wright from Saucerful of Secrets, 1968
6. Cirrus Minor written by Roger Waters from More, 1969
7. Crying Song written by Roger Waters from Mo
...more
Ryan Williams
If you like the band, Pink Floyd, you will LOVE this book. Not only do you get to learn about one of the band's founding members, but you also get to learn a lot about the bands history. Syd Barret is not as well known as the members in Pink Floyd today, but his biography his extremely interesting and even if you are not familiar with Pink Floyd, Watkinson makes this book readable for anyone who simply likes to read. I would highly recommend it for anyone.
Athena
Aug 07, 2011 Athena rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I remember watching Pink Floyd: Behind the Wall on VH1; The Wall is a great movie, just leaves you in a funk for a little while after. I remember the interviews going smoothly, of course Syd Barrett was not a participant, until, I assumed, that someone had asked Roger Waters and Davis Gilmour, separately, what happened to Syd Barrett. The camera showed a very quiet Roger Waters who responded with something like, "We don't talk about that." Then the camera switches to David Gilmour who said somet ...more
Hilary
Nov 19, 2013 Hilary rated it really liked it
I first read this book in high school, having been looking for a good biography of Syd Barrett and seeing this as being the most accurate out there at the time. I'd be interested in finding a revised copy, if one was ever released after the poor man's death. It would be interesting to hear what others, in particular Breen, had to say about him then and whether or not his life in the end was a contended one.

This biography is short, easy to read, and fascinating. It dispels some of the more harmfu
...more
Cwn_annwn_13
Interesting enough if your into Pink Floyd and/or interested in Syd Barrett. However it never really even attempts to get inside Barretts head or seriously delve into exactly what was wrong with him. Its way too simple to say he just fried his brain by doing too much acid. The most likely thing was he had some form of Schizophrenia. I think this partially because of his behaviour and partially because about the age he was when he started to get really batty is a common age when Schizophrenia beg ...more
Albert
Oct 09, 2012 Albert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Got this as a gift for a friend when I was on a road trip to Los Angeles with my sister. I was driving her and a friend to a Depeche Mode convention, being a kind of chaperone/driver, so I read this while waiting around for them to finish their Depeche Mode activities. I found the book to be very satisfying and informative, as I knew little about the early Pink Floyd days when they still used the 'The' before their name. I was a huge fan of Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and his 2 solo albums, so I ...more
Taylor Berschet
Sep 05, 2011 Taylor Berschet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love Pink Floyd and went through a long phase of learning as much as i could about them. Very informative book on the internal works of Syd Barrett which really grabbed my attention. Respect the band and this book.
Terri Fuller
Jul 21, 2012 Terri Fuller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this was an amazing/excellent book. there were a few slow parts here and there, but everything else made up for it.
growing up listening to pink floyd, this book captured me for the entire day. 300 something pages in several hours. and well worth the read!
Anthony Ventrello
Apr 01, 2011 Anthony Ventrello rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a very-well written story of a tragic rock n roll star. The closest you will come to knowing (or maybe?) Syd. Shine on, Syd.
Sam
Jul 24, 2008 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For hardcore fans ONLY. This delves more into SYD's post-FLOYD work as well. I give it 3 stars because "Random Precision" is more detailed. Still a pretty stelar read.
Bullman
Mar 05, 2017 Bullman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative and we'll written

If your a fan of Syd Barretts or of The Floyd then you have to read a book about them, this is the book. Very informative with out losing track of the purpose. Very enjoyable.
David
Feb 23, 2017 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El libro relata ese viaje a los infiernos mentales contando con testimonios de testigos directos de la época. La escritura es mejorable y el autor se permite en ocasiones juzgar actitudes de los implicados. Aun así queda como retrato de la época. “Piper at the gates of dawn” sigue siendo un disco imbatible. Y no puedo escuchar nada más de Pink Floyd. No puedo dejar de pensar en que podía haber sido. El bueno de Syd necesitaba lisérgicos billetes para viajar a lo recóndito de su mente, allí donde ...more
Roger Irish
Well...it did include some things I didn't know about Roger/Syd, but it's not a very well written book. At times it seemed like a series of strung together quotes from people who knew him with little in the way of linking narrative or opinion from the authors. Overall I guess I did like it, but more because of the subject than the writing.

There was a particularly annoying section which quotes extensively from the 1970s novel, 'Groupie' (infamous in its day), which seems to suggest the novel's m
...more
Tim
Dec 12, 2014 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, 1960s, england
This is a solid, if somewhat skimpy, biography of Roger Keith Barrett, with special emphasis on his years as the leader of Pink Floyd. What really comes through is the story of a creative and well-liked young man who eventually is laid low by mental illness, perhaps brought on by excessive use of LSD, mandrax, and other substances. The basic facts of his life are set out in a straightforward manner, and it is an enjoyable read, even though it does get rather sad at times.

Still, I do not believe
...more
Jen Selinsky
Feb 01, 2014 Jen Selinsky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though I am just starting to listen to the music of Pink Floyd, that does not mean I am not interested in reading about their work and its creators. Before Roger Waters and David Gilmore became celebrated members of Pink Floyd, there was Syd Barrett--the creative genius, who was one of the band's founders. This short, yet concise biography paints a picture of Syd during both his early years and part of his reclusive era. Syd Barrett (born Roger Keith Barrett) was a painter, songwriter, and ...more
Branden
Feb 18, 2008 Branden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so happy to find this book and couldn't wait to read it in order to learn more about the mystery of Syd Barrett. This book is probably the most informative work out there on the life of Syd and the early career of Pink Floyd. I recommend this book to any Pink Floyd fans (if you love Pink Floyd then you have to appreciate Syd and his early influence on the band). After reading it, his songs made more sense to me and the album "Wish You Were Here" has more feeling to it.
Ceci
Feb 01, 2016 Ceci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy buena lectura para quienes intenten tratar de conocer el "misterio" en torno la vida de Syd, un personaje realmente único e irrepetible. El libro cuenta con numerosas citas y referencias de amigos, colegas y miembros de Pink Floyd, tratando de esclarecer las diferentes teorías acerca de cómo era y vivía Barrett, hasta su fallecimiento en 2006. El epílogo se torna un tanto confuso pues repite partes ya contadas de una forma bastante caótica y la sección de fotos podría ser mejor; aunque de to ...more
Dan
Sep 07, 2011 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes another biography of a 60's rock star. Syd Barrett was the brain and founder of Pink Floyd, until his break from reality and the band in 68 I think. Suffering from a mental collapse during the highlight of the bands success, almost leaving the band to disintegrate, Roger Waters reassembles the band into a new direction. I was lucky enough to visit the pub in England where most of the first two albums came to light. This story is a very informative look into the men and the band who comprise ...more
Mary
May 02, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even before his death, it was obvious that we would never see an autobiography from Syd. I do appreciate that many of the author's sources were people who were actually close to Syd rather than random hangers-on from the 60's London underground scene who seem to show up excessively in other accounts of the early days Pink Floyd.

While this is a must-read for any fan, it loses a star because Syd's music itself is not discussed in sufficient depth. Syd's music is the media through which we can con
...more
Kitt-e-kat
Syd Barrett, founder, singer, guitarist & composer of Pink Floyd.. This book took me awhile to get thru...very slow and kinda boring read. This book describes the life of Syd as starting the band Pink Floyd, fame and money he really did not want or know how to handle and life after Pink Floyd members kicked him out and he just disappeared after his 2 solo releases. Syd was very much into acid that rumors created his madness and unable to enjoy his fame and music he created.
Barron Leland
Astronomy Domine! I have read one other Pink Floyd biography (Saucerful of Secrets) but this book focuses on Syd. It goes in depth with his entire life. The writing is marginal but at least it features many, many quotes from people that were on the scene with Syd. It is worth reading but I don't know if it is so good that I will be reading it again, maybe, maybe not.
Albert Faber
Aug 22, 2014 Albert Faber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great biography, deeply empathic, a monument for a tragic hero. Re-issued after Syd's death in 2006 with additional epilogue, which is by far not as good as the earlier parts of the book.
Jason Crane
Sep 24, 2015 Jason Crane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compassionate portrait of an important musician.
Christina Mcelwee
LOVED, LOVED, LOVED. Very interesting, very sad, very readable. I feel like I know Syd now. Probably one of my top 10 books EVER. If you love Pink Floyd, you'll love this book!
Julie isawesome
Sep 20, 2008 Julie isawesome rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Syd Barrett, and I like to read!
Caligula
Apr 04, 2010 Caligula rated it liked it
Shelves: music
An average biography. Quite enjoyable if you are into Barrett or the early Floyd, but hardly essential for anyone else.
Patrick McFarland
Jul 16, 2013 Patrick McFarland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The definitive book on the rise of Pink Floyd and the psychological decline of founder Syd Barrett.
H
a great read. very much focused on floyd as well as syd but you learn so much about a man who was not very well known about, especially after his retreat from fame.
Jonny
Jun 12, 2008 Jonny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book at least 4 times. I'll probably read it a few more times.
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