The E-BNR aims to build a comprehensive & unique cross-artform guide to
the British neo-Romantic tradition,
from 1880 to the present day.
While the British Romantics of 1789-1824 have spawned a vast industry of
publishers, conferences & tourism, the later neo-Romantic traditions
remain largely neglected. The E-BNR is aimed at bringing this hidden
tradition to light.
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WHAT IS NEO-ROMANTICISM ?
Neo-Romantic artists have drawn their inspiration
from artists of the age of Romanticism or earlier.
Characteristic themes in their work include a
mystical approach to the British landscape...
ENTRY: Barrett, Syd
Roger Keith "Syd"
Barrett (b. January 6, 1946 – d. July 7, 2006) was an
English singer, songwriter, guitarist, and artist.
Best remembered as one of the founding members of the
rock group Pink Floyd, Barrett was active as a rock musician for
only about seven years before he went into seclusion. His creative
legacy and quintessentially English vocal delivery have since
proven remarkably influential.
Barrett was born in Cambridge, England, his father a a prominent pathologist.
He schooled at the Cambridge County School for Boys, and studied at
Camberwell Art School in South London in 1964 before forming his first band in 1965.
By 1966 a new rock concert venue, the UFO, had opened in London and it quickly
became a haven for British psychedelic music. Pink Floyd, of which Syd was now a member,
became their most popular attraction, and, after making appearances at the rival Roundhouse,
the became the most popular musical group of the London underground psychedelic music scene.
The seminal Pink Floyd singles, penned by Barrett, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" were released
in 1967. Barrett wrote most of the Floyd's early material, and was the principal
visionary/author of their critically acclaimed 1967 debut album,
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (the title taken from the supressed mystical
'Pan' chapter of The Wind in The Willows).
Barrett's behavior became increasingly unpredictable, partly as a consequence of
frequent experimentation with psychedelic drugs such as LSD.
Following a disastrous abridged tour of the United States, David Gilmour was asked to join the band as a second
guitarist in order to cover for Barrett as Barrett's erratic behavior
prevented him from performing. For a handful of shows David
played and sang while Barrett wandered around on stage,
occasionally deigning to join in playing. The other band members soon tired of
Barrett's antics, and in January 1968, on the way to a show at Southampton University, the
band elected not to pick Barrett up. They attempted to retain him in the
group as a songwriter, much as The Beach Boys had with Brian Wilson, but this proved untenable.
In March 1968 it was officially announced that he was no longer a member of Pink Floyd.
A number of troubled solo albums and compilations of outtakes followed. Barrett returned
to his late mother's home in Cambridge, and had returned to his original art-form of
painting, creating large abstract canvases. He was also said to have been an
avid gardener. His main point of contact with the outside world was his sister, Rosemary, who
Barrett died in July 2006 at his home in Cambridge at the age of 60 due to "complications arising from his diabetes".