(c) Mick Rock 2021We were very sorry to hear about the death of the psychedelic renegade Mick Rock today.   He captured Syd, David Bowie, Queen, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry and many more, in photos which have been central to the image of music since the 1960s.   

To read more about his life and his impact on the world, visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-59344065

On the 28th October, Cheffins, the Cambridge auctioneers, sold Syd’s 12-string Yamaha acoustic guitar for £16,000.  We are very delighted to report that the proceeds of this sale will go straight to two chosen charities, MIND and the Arthur Rank Hospice.  These two charities were chosen by the family honoring the memories of both Syd and his big brother, Alan, who looked after the guitar for many years.

The Cambridge Auctioners, Cheffins, have many pieces of Syd Barrett memorabilia for sale in their next auction on 28th October 2021.  One of these lots is a 12-string acoustic Yamaha guitar owned by Syd and which was passed onto his brother, Alan.  Alan died last year and it seems timely now to put this guitar up for sale, some 50 years since Syd took enjoyment in its ownership.  The reason for the sale is in order to donate the proceeds to two charities equally in the memory of both Syd and Alan.  These are the mental health charity, MIND, and the Arthur Rank Hospice.

The sale has been initiated by Alan’s son and Syd Barrett’s nephew, Mark Barrett, pictured here with the guitar (photo credit, Chris Parnham).

A Brief History of Syd Barrett’s Yamaha FG-230 12-String Acoustic Guitar (Serial No. 1090448) by Mark Barrett

The guitar was manufactured in Japan on 21st October 1969 (date stamped inside the body of the instrument).  Syd is likely to have bought it either in Cambridge or London.

Syd talked about it and played it during the course of Mick Rock’s 1971 interview with him for Rolling Stone Magazine which was conducted in my grandmother’s garden in Hills Road, Cambridge (Syd was living a basement studio there at the time).

At the time that my grandmother sold the Hills Road house in late 1974, Syd was not living there and some of his belongings from the studio, including the guitar, a record collection, a turntable and some spotlights were transported to my parent’s house just round the corner in Hinton Avenue, for safe keeping. Syd never collected the guitar and my father (his brother) Alan John Barrett continued to store it over 3 subsequent house moves, eventually offering it to me after Syd died in 2006, I finally collected it from my father’s house in November of 2020 shortly before my father died.



A painting that Syd gave to his Art Teacher as a gift is up for sale at Cheffins Auction house, in Cambridge on the 27th May 2021.    

For a little bit of Syd history and to see how this piece of art has lived it’s life so far, please follow this link 

Here also, if you are interested, is the link to the auction house, Cheffins.  The painting is expected to reach between £3,000 and £5,000.

It is with much sadness that we report the death of Duggie Fields.  An iconic and exciting artist and, for a time, Syd’s flat mate.  Please find here the link to Duggie’s obituary, detailing his extraordinary life.  

The new Syd Barrett Lyric book gives you the opportunity to be word perfect next time you are singing along to any of Syd’s songs and acts as the written aid to understanding the poetry of Syd’s lyrics, with a foreword from former Pink Floyd manager, Peter Jenner.

“reading the lyrics on a page offers a quite different experience from hearing them as part of a song” Shindig! magazine

“Rob Chapman’s persuasive introduction places Barrett’s writing in the same experimental continuum as the poetry underground of the period and in this context helps to vivify Barrett’s conversational cadences.” Prog magazine

Culture Sonar online review:




The 6th January is Syd’s birthday and this year he would have been 75 years old.  The photo used here to mark this occasion was taken when he was just 25.  

Barrett the definitive visual companion, the only official book created with Syd’s family and Pink Floyd, which is packed with previously unseen photos, private correspondence, all of Syd’s artwork and classic Floyd images is now available in paperback at barrettbook.com.

Enjoy the music of Syd Barrett, in Paris, this September

The Autumn Colours music festival features new interpretations of many Syd Barrett songs over four evenings…

The electronic music festival “Couleurs d’Automne” (Autumn Colours) which takes place between September 17th and September 27th at the Aleph Theatre in Ivry-sur-Seine (which is a suburb of Paris) is organising four concerts of Syd Barrett’s music, two on the 17th and two on the 18th. The organiser, an association called CLSI, is presenting two concerts of Syd’s instrumental music and two concerts of his songs.

Pieces like Rhamadan, Lanky, Late Night, Golden Hair and Silas Lang in their instrumental versions, as recorded by Syd and friends, are being remixed and spatialized over 24 loudspeakers surrounding the public. The idea is to keep Syd’s playing of his music intact but to add a “live electronic” element to our performances that brings the sound world of the 60s into the year 2020.

17 of Syd’s songs are being performed in unusual cover versions played by a duo called “La Quantité Discrète” (The Discrete Quantity) whose members are a baritone voice singer accompanied by viola de gamba (originally a baroque music instrument), but here, in these cover versions, is transformed so thoroughly with electronics to sound more like a strange electric guitar, not unlike what Syd did to the electric guitar by his use of the Echorec for “live electronic” transformations.

In the festival Autumn Colours , there is a previously unheard of encounter between the world of avant-garde contemporary classical music with that of Syd’s avant-garde “psychedelic” rock music.

To buy tickets for the Syd concerts, please follow this link: https://www.digitick.com/tour/festival-couleurs-d-automne




It was 50 years ago this month (3rd January 1970) that a most unique rock album was released, The Madcap Laughs by Syd Barrett – an example of “art brut” in music. In a distinctly non-commercial move, the album missed the Christmas market, in spite of a final recording session as early as July 26, 1969. Some say it was held back not to compete with Ummagumma. Syd Barrett probably did not care.

The famous photo sessions with daffodils and a naked Iggy Rose took place in April. The less known but officially commissioned “yoga session” actually took place in October. Some of these so-called yoga photos by Storm Thorgerson ended up on the inside of the original gatefold cover – with the madcap theme in full bloom.

Storm shows us Syd Barrett with his head up in the clouds and beyond, and several creepy images that spawn almost like octopus tentacles from his torso. To remove any debate about the nature of the imagery there is also an image of Syd with a cracked head at the bottom of the gatefold. Top center, Syd seems to have his head stuck in a TV set and top left is an even more odd image and a bit of a mystery: A baby and some sort of tool against nasal congestion (?). Storm took weird to new levels with this inside cover! EMI probably did well in selecting among the April photos for the cover.

The cover art notwithstanding, The Madcap Laughs was actually created in a happy time window. Syd had in 1969 left behind him his annus horribilis and gained new hope, much thanks to Malcolm Jones, and new love with Gala Pinion. The spring and summer also included the build-up to the moon landing, the anticipation of the Woodstock concert and, more importantly for Syd, the return to stage by Bob Dylan after three long years away from the public eye.

When the album was released things had changed. The end of the year turned darker, much darker, and all too well showed that the 1960s were over. For the hippie generation, two serious blows were dealt when in December the link between the Manson family and their atrocities was fully uncovered and the tragic Altamont festival played out.

Therefore, The Madcap Laughs, in all its darkness, holds a special lighter place in time. Syd, in love again, had embarked in a daffodil-filled springtime on recordings that would go on to form an outstanding collection on one of rock music’s enduringly legendary albums.

Join us in wishing Happy Golden Anniversary to the magic Madcap album.

With thanks for text – Goran Nystrom. https://www.facebook.com/MenOnTheBorder/