Syd Barrett & Related Books

© copyright Vernon Fitch / The Pink Floyd Archives

This is a listing of the various Syd Barrett and related books I have in my Pink Floyd reference library. This listing includes books specifically written about Syd Barrett. Publishing information, including title, author, publisher, date published, ISBN number, page length, and a brief summary is provided about each book in an effort to aid anyone who wants to obtain copies of these works.


For those just starting out, the books I would recommend are:

  1. Crazy Diamond - Syd Barrett & the Dawn of Pink Floyd by Mike Watkinson and Pete Anderson
  2. Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd - Dark Globe by Julian Palacios
  3. Random Precision - Recording the Music of Syd Barrett 1965-1974 by David Parker

All these books are excellent examinations of the life and times of Syd Barrett.

Happy reading!


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  1. Syd Barrett Books

    1. Barrett by Russell Beecher and Will Shutes
    2. Syd Barrett - A Fish Out of Water by Luca Ferrari and Annie Marie Roulin
    3. Syd Barrett - A Very Irregular Head by Rob Chapman
    4. Syd Barrett - Le premier Pink Floyd by Emmanuel Le Bret
    5. Syd Barrett - The Making of the Madcap Laughs by Malcolm Jones
    6. Syd Barrett - The Mick Rock Photo Sessions
    7. Syd Barrett - Tatuato Sul Muro - L'Enigma di Syd Barrett by Luca Ferrari
    8. Syd Barrett - Where is the Madcap Called Syd? by Luca Ferrari
    9. Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd - Dark Globe by Julian Palacios
    10. Crazy Diamond - Syd Barrett & the Dawn of Pink Floyd by Mike Watkinson and Pete Anderson
    11. Lost In the Woods - Syd Barrett and the Pink Floyd by Julian Palacios
    12. Madcap - the half-life of Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd's lost genius by Tim Willis
    13. Maximum Syd Barrett - The Unauthorized Biography of Syd Barrett by Keith Rodway
    14. Psychedelic Renegades - Photos of Syd Barrett by Mick Rock
    15. Random Precision - Recording the Music of Syd Barrett 1965-1974 by David Parker

  2. Syd Barrett Related Books

    1. Best Seat in the House - Drumming in the `70s with Marriott, Frampton, and Humble Pie by Jerry Shirley
    2. Crazy Diamond screenplay by Ted Shuttleworth
    3. Cult Rockers by Wayne Jancik and Tad Lathrop
    4. The Dark Stuff - Selected Writings on Rock Music 1972-1993 by Nick Kent
    5. A Photographic Record 1969-1980 by Mick Rock
    6. Rock Bottom - Dark Moments in Music Babylon by Pamela Des Barres
    7. Songs in the Key of Z - The Curious Universe of Outsider Music by Irwin Chusid
    8. Stories Done - Writings on the 1960s and Its Discontents by Mikal Gilmore
    9. Unknown Legends of Rock n' Roll - Psychedelic Unknowns, Mad Geniuses, Punk Pioneers, Lo-Fi Mavericks & More by Richie Unterberger

Syd Barrett Books

  1. Barrett

    Authors: Russell Beecher and Will Shutes
    Publisher: Essential Works, March 18, 2011, U.K., clothbound signature edition of two books, signed and numbered edition, ISBN 978-1-906615-11-6. Includes:
    - Volume One: ISBN 978-1-906615-12-3, 271 pages.
    - Volume Two: ISBN 978-1-906615-13-0, 72 pages.
    Synopsis: A two-book set about Syd Barrett's life as an artist. Book one includes photographs of the Tea Set Autumn 1964, and Pink Floyd in Highgate 1965, Notting Hill October 14, 1966, Roundhouse October 15, 1966, Notting Hill October 21, 1966, PR shots October 1966, Hornsey November 18, 1966, Bedford Square December 16, 1966, UFO January 1967, Maida Vale January 22, 1967, Maida Vale January 24, 1967, PR shots February 1967, London March 1967, London April 1967, Amsterdam April 29, 1967, London April 30, 1967, QEH May 12, 1967, Picadilly Circus July 1967, on a trip to Denmark/Stockholm September 9-14, 1967, Denmark September 9, 1967, Stockholm September 10, 1967, BBC September 25, 1967, Saville October 1, 1967, PR shot October 2, 1967, PR shots January 1968, and a post-Pink Floyd photograph of Barrett in April 1968. Additional photographs in book one are from Barrett solo sessions in Autumn 1969, October 1969, Mayfair 1970, Olympia June 6, 1970, and Mayfair 1971. Also in volume one are letters written by Barrett to Libby Gausden-Chisman and Jenny Spires from 1962-1965, and pictures of Barrett's paintings, drawings, mosaics, collages and sculptures. Book two features photographs taken by Irene Winsby on January 22, 1967, and January 24 1967 at the offices of Blackhill Enterprises.


  2. Syd Barrett - A Fish Out of Water

    Authors: Luca Ferrari and Annie Marie Roulin
    Publisher: Sonic Book 2, Autumn 1996, Italy, ISBN 88-7226-320-4, 120 pages
    Synopsis: A CD size book about Syd Barrett. Written in both Italian and English (the English translation is not the best as it has incorrect syntax and other grammatical errors), it includes the story of Syd, photos of Syd Barrett and the Pink Floyd, an interview with Rosemary Breen in Cambridge (interview conducted on February 15, 1994 and August 15, 1995), pictures of Syd's artwork, a discography (includes official releases, videos, radio appearances, Stars live performances, bootlegs, unreleased songs, tributes to Syd Barrett and covers), a bibliography, a listing of Syd Barrett fanzines, Syd Barrett on the Internet and a 3 inch CD of (I'm a) King Bee and Lucy Lea (in Blue Tight) by the Architectural Abdabs. The most interesting aspect of this book is the interview with Rosemary Breen, Syd's sister, since she is the person closest to Syd these days and pictures of his art.


  3. Syd Barrett - A Very Irregular Head

    Author: Rob Chapman
    Publisher: Faber & Faber, 2010, U.K., softcover, ISBN 978-0-571-23854-5, 441 pages
    Synopsis: A book about the life of Syd Barrett. Includes a few pages of pictures.


  4. Syd Barrett - Le premier Pink Floyd

    Author: Emmanuel Le Bret
    Publisher: Editions du Moment, 2008, France, ISBN 9-782354-170363, 282 pages
    Synopsis: A French book, written in French, about Syd Barrett.


  5. Syd Barrett - The Making of the Madcap Laughs

    Author: Malcolm Jones
    Synopsis: A private issue book detailing 1966-1968 session dates, musicians, take numbers and a listing Pink Floyd sessions and gigs.


  6. Syd Barrett - The Mick Rock Photo Sessions

    Author: Mick Rock
    Synopsis: Photo book of Syd Barrett photos taken for the Madcap Laugh album. Released as part of the Madcap Laughs box set.


  7. Syd Barrett - Tatuato Sul Muro - L'Enigma di Syd Barrett

    Author: Luca Ferrari
    Publisher: Italian Rockbooks, 1986
    Synopsis: An Italian book, written in Italian, on the story of Syd Barrett.


  8. Syd Barrett - Where is the Madcap Called Syd?

    Author: Luca Ferrari
    Synopsis: An Italian book, written in Italian, about Syd Barrett. Includes lyrics.


  9. Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd - Dark Globe

    Author: Julian Palacios
    Publisher: Plexus Publishing Ltd., 2010, U.K., soft cover, ISBN 978-0-85965-431-9, 448 pages.
    Synopsis: The story of Syd Barrett, with photos and interviews.


  10. Crazy Diamond - Syd Barrett & the Dawn of Pink Floyd

    Authors: Mike Watkinson and Pete Anderson
    Publisher:
    Omnibus Press, 1991, ISBN 0-7119-2397-3, 158 pages
    Omnibus Press, 2006, ISBN 1-84609-739-8, 192 pages
    Synopsis: An excellent biography of Syd Barrett, the founder and inspiration of Pink Floyd. The book details Syd's life from his days as a child up through current times. Includes numerous photos, an appendix indicating where the people referred to in the book are now, and a Syd Barrett discography. Updated 2006 edition includes information about Barrett's death. Recommended reading.


  11. Lost In the Woods - Syd Barrett and the Pink Floyd

    Author: Julian Palacios
    Publisher: Boxtree Books, 1998, ISBN 0-7522-2328-3, 344 pages.
    Synopsis: The Syd Barrett story. Includes a discography, sessionography, public appearances, bibliography, and influences.


  12. Madcap - the half-life of Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd's lost genius

    Author: Tim Willis
    Publisher: Short Books, hardcover, first edition, 2002, ISBN 1-904095-24-0, 176 pages.
    Synopsis: The history of Syd Barrett. Includes Barrett's Fart Enjoy, some interesting photos, and concert and studio dates.


  13. Maximum Syd Barrett - The Unauthorized Biography of Syd Barrett

    Author: Keith Rodway
    Publisher: Chrome Dreams, compact disc audio book, 2006, ISBN 1-84240-385-0, 65 minutes.
    Synopsis: An audio history of Syd Barrett on CD. Read by Stan Jones. Music by Amanda Thompson. Issued in a slip case with a poster of Barrett (same as the front cover). Very general story.


  14. Psychedelic Renegades - Photos of Syd Barrett

    Author: Mick Rock
    Publisher: Rebel Arts, hardcover, 2007, ISBN 193447100-3, 144 pages.
    Synopsis: A collection of photographs of Syd Barrett taken by Mick Rock. Includes commentary by Mick Rock about Syd Barrett.


  15. Random Precision - Recording the Music of Syd Barrett 1965-1974

    Author: David Parker
    Publisher: Cherry Red Books, 2001, ISBN 1-901447-5-1, 286 pages.
    Synopsis: A fascinating look at all of Syd Barrett's recording sessions, both with and without the Pink Floyd. Features detailed sessionographies, interviews with people involved, pictures of Abbey Road tape sheets, a guide to bootleg recordings, a discography, a listing of unreleased outtakes, and a concert appearances listing.


Syd Barrett Related Books

  1. Best Seat in the House - Drumming in the `70s with Marriott, Frampton, and Humble Pie

    Author: Jerry Shirley
    Publisher: Rebeats Publications, 2011, softcover, ISBN 978-1-888408-13-3, 321 pages.
    Synopsis: A book written by drummer Jerry Shirley about the sessions he did and the bands he worked with. Includes his story of working with Syd Barrett.


  2. Crazy Diamond screenplay

    Authors: Ted Shuttleworth / Pete Anderson / Mike Watkinson
    Publishing Information: 1996, Registered WGAw #604745, 130 pages.
    Synopsis: An original screenplay for the movie Crazy Diamond, based on the life of Syd Barrett. Parts of this screenplay were written by Pete Anderson and Mike Watkinson, who co-wrote the book Crazy Diamond - Syd Barrett & the Dawn of Pink Floyd. This movie was never made.


  3. Cult Rockers

    Authors: Wayne Jancik and Tad Lathrop
    Publisher: Simon and Schuster, 1995, ISBN 0-684-81112-X, 347 pages
    Synopsis: A book about "150 of the most controversial, distinctive, offbeat, intriguing, outrageous, and championed rock musicians of all time." Features a chapter (3 pages) on Syd Barrett. Other artists include American Music Club, Big Star/Alex Chilton, Black Flag, Blowfly, Blue Oyster Cult, Bonzo Dog Band, Roy Buchanan, Tim Buckley, Jimmy Buffett, Kate Bush, Butthole Surfers, Buzzcocks, J.J. Cale, Can, Captain Beefheart, Eugene Chadbourne/Shockabilly, Cheap Trick, The Clash, George Clinton, Eddie Cochran, Cocteau Twins, Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, Ry Cooder, Julian Cope/The Teardrop Explodes, Elvis Costello, The Count Five, The Cramps, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, The Cure, Dick Dale, The Damned, Dead Boys, Dead Kennedys, Devo, The Dictators, Bo Diddley, The Doors, Dr. John, Ian Dury & the Blackheads, Joe Ely, Brian Eno, Esquerita, Fairport Convention, Marianne Faithfull, The Fall, The Feelies, The Flamin' Groovies, Flipper, Robert Fripp, Fugazi, The Fugs, Grateful Dead, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Hawkwind, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, John Hiatt, Husker Du, Iron Butterfly, Joe Jackson, Wanda Jackson, The Jam, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Robert Johnson, Louis Jordan, Joy Division/New Order, King Crimson, The Kingsmen, Little Feat, Nils Lofgren, Lounge Lizards, Love/Arthur Lee, Darlene Love, Nick Lowe, Lydia Lunch, Mahavishnu Orchestra, The MC5, Meat Puppets, Mekons, Ministry, Mink DeVille, Moby Grape, Motorhead, Mott the Hoople/Ian Hunter, Bill Nelson, The Neville Brothers, New York Dolls, Mojo Nixon, NRBQ, Oingo Boingo, Graham Parker, Gram Parsons, Pere Ubu, Phish, The Pogues, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, The Pretty Things, Professor Longhair, Public Image Ltd., The Ramones, Rerdd Kross, Lou Reed, The Replacements, The Residents, Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry, Todd Rundgren, Rush, Mitch Ryder, Doug Sahm, Sam the Sham, The Seeds/Sky Saxon, Sex Pistols, Shadows of Knight, Shonen Knife, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Slade, Patti Smith, The Smiths/Morrissey, Sof Machine/Robert Wyatt, Sonic Youth, Specials, Spirit, Steely Dan, The Stranglers, Suicide, T.Rex/Marc Bolan, Talking Heads, Tangerine Dream, Television, The The, Them, Thin Lizzy, 13th Floor Elevators/Roky Erickson, Richard Thompson, Johnny Thunders, The Troggs, The Tubes, Velvet Underground, The Ventures, Gene Vincent, Violent Femmes, Tom Waits, Brian Wilson, Wire, Link Wray, X, XTC, Frank Zappa, and The Zombies.


  4. The Dark Stuff - Selected Writings on Rock Music 1972-1993

    Author: Nick Kent
    Publisher: Penguin Books, 1994, ISBN 0-14-023046-7
    Synopsis: A collection of articles by Nick Kent, a former writer for New Musical Express. Includes an article called The Cracked Ballad of Syd Barrett. Also includes articles on Brian Wilson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roky Erickson, Brian Jones, The Rolling Stones, The New York Dolls, Lou Reed, Sid Vicious, Elvis Costello, Morrissey, Shane McGowan, Guns n' Roses, Stone Roses, Iggy Pop, Miles Davis, Roy Orbison and Neil Young.


  5. A Photographic Record 1969-1980

    Author: Mick Rock
    Publisher: Century 22 Limited, U.K., 1995, hardcover, ISBN 0-907938-11-6, 128 pages.
    Synopsis: An excellent book of the photography of Mick Rock. Includes various photos of Syd Barrett from photography sessions in London in the Summer of 1969 and 1971. Also includes photos of David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Queen, Genesis, Debbie Harry, Johnny Rotten and others.


  6. Rock Bottom - Dark Moments in Music Babylon

    Author: Pamela Des Barres
    Publisher: St. Martin's Press, 1996, ISBN 0-312-14853-4, 320 pages.
    Synopsis: A collection of stories about Rock and Roll tragedies. Chapter One is about Syd Barrett and includes some interesting stories about Syd.


  7. Songs in the Key of Z - The Curious Universe of Outsider Music

    Author: Irwin Chusid
    Publisher: A. Cappella Books, 2000, ISBN 1-55652-372-6, 271 pages.
    Synopsis: A collection of articles about unconventional musicians. Features an article about Syd Barrett. Also includes articles on The Shaggs, Tiny Tim, Jack Mudurian, Joe Meek, Song Poems, The Cherry Sisters, Jandek, Daniel Johnston, Harry Partch, Wesley Willis, Eilert Pilarm, Lucia Pamela, Captain Beefheart, Shooby Taylor, the Human Horn, Florence Foster Jenkins, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Robert Graettinger, B.J. Snowden, and Wild Man Fischer. Also includes a discography and bibliography.


  8. Stories Done - Writings on the 1960s and Its Discontents

    Author: Mikal Gilmore
    Publisher: Free Press, 2008, U.S. ISBN 0-7432-8745-2, 391 pages.
    Synopsis: A collection of aritciles about sixties figures. Includes a chapter called: The Madness and Wonder of Pink Floyd, which is about Syd Barrett.


  9. Unknown Legends of Rock n' Roll - Psychedelic Unknowns, Mad Geniuses, Punk Pioneers, Lo-Fi Mavericks & More

    Author: by Richie Unterberger
    Publisher: Miller Freeman Books, 1998, ISBN 0-87930-534-7, 422 pages.
    Synopsis: Profiles of 61 different musicians/bands. Includes a chapter on Syd Barrett, plus numerous other overlooked performers, such as The Creation, The Deviants, Tomorrow, The United States of America, and Robert Wyatt. Includes a CD of rare songs by 12 different artists.