Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story|
Actors: Syd Barrett, Graham Coxon, David Gilmour, Robyn Hitchcock, Bob Klose
Director: John Edginton
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
The sudden departure of Pink Floyd's founding member Syd Barrett in 1968 marked the closure of the first prolific chapter in the Pink Floyd story. A maverick artist and true individual, Syd Barrett helped forge the Britis... more »
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"Have you got it yet?"
The Minister of Martinis | Olive Grove | 01/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A good (if not interstellar) overview of Roger "Syd" Barrett and the early days of Pink Floyd. The DVD tells the story of Barrett's brilliant rise with the band, and his subsequent acid-fueled fall into schizophrenia.
The main drawback is a maddening lack of supporting video and pictures. (Several years ago, VH1 ran a similar documentary that included a treasure trove of video, including the legendary "American Bandstand" appearance in 1967.) In fact, much of the vintage footage appears to come from the "Syd's First Trip" video, the "Arnold Layne" promotional film, and a performance of "Astronomy Domine." Besides a glimpse of the unreleased "Vegetable Man" film (with the soundtrack clearly using audio from the bootleg version) there is little of unique historical value.
The interviews are the high point of the DVD, particularly the observations by Roger Waters. His comments are by turns poignant, funny, and sad, and are obviously heartfelt. The other members of the band also share their memories (although Nick Mason seems less than fond of Syd).
The extras are a bit thin, incorporating expanded interviews with Waters and David Gilmour, and three acoustic performances of Barrett songs by Robyn Hitchcock and Graham Coxon. A digital collection of posters and other memorabilia is a nice touch, but (at least on my player) cannot be paused. Sadly, the extras do not include any of the promotional films or performances.
Any serious Barrett or Pink Floyd fan will want to own this DVD, if only for the interviews, and the great cover art. It's also a nice introduction for anyone curious about the subject. But I will continue to hope for a more detailed and comprehensive overview of Syd Barrett and the early Floyd."
Doctor Quartz | Huntington Beach, CA USA | 02/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a decent history of Syd and the Pink Floyd (the narration could have been better written and delivered), but there should be more footage, more interviews, more analysis, better graphics, etc. This DVD is about an hour long. Which is maddening. It's like getting a single bite from a fantastic piece of cake on a buffet table filled with gastronomic riches, and then being shuffled out of the eatery. I don't understand why there isn't a 9 or 10 DVD set on the history of Pink Floyd with at least 6 hours on just Syd? Where are all the TV show performances? They are one of the biggest bands of all time, and this is the only DVD history of the band in its early days? We've got a lousy biography (Saucerful of Secrets) written by the wrong author (thank god Nick Mason has a book coming out)--and a couple of compilations of old clippings. With the Beatles there are literally hundreds of books to read. We've got the "ANTHOLOGY" DVD set. But with the Floyd we get these measly little crumbs. What are they thinking? David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason should put together a big DVD history of their band, before everyone worth interviewing dies out. The people from their generation are beginning to drop like flies. There's little time left to put something together. And what's up with the cover picture on this DVD? It's low-budget horrible!"
What exactly is a dream?
landru141 | Planet Houston | 06/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those of us in America, this was the original documentary chopped up into the version shown on VH1. This documentary is infinitely superior to the US for a few key reasons. Mostly because it is more detailed about the later history of Syd's life and music and because it allows for the possibility that Syd wasn't just an acid casualty, but something more interesting. Perhaps he deliberately used his "breakdown" as an excuse. If so, his continued silence has probably gotten him more than if he'd broken it. As a Syd Barrett fan, it is important that something about the man should appear, beyond the rip-offs like "Syd's First Trip".
The story is told in chronological order with interesting interviews with every member of the band, apart from Syd, of course. Roger "Syd" Barrett has basically turned his back on the world of music for 30 years, despite the underground cult he seems to feed by doing so. It is ironic that his absence should be the cause of his continued fascination. No doubt if he turned up on an interview, now a much older man (as are the rest of Pink Floyd) it would be a pin in the balloon.
This documentary is really both for fans and non-fans alike. It glosses over periods, while expounds on others. The music is inter-cut throughout, with some nice emphasis on the later solo work. The major inaccuracy that seems to occur because of editing, is the one that comes up all the time. It's a question of timeline. Syd was ousted from the band in 1968, though they did record a few of his songs (some are still unreleased, one appeared on the 1968 Saucerful of Secrets album.) Syd's solo recordings began in 1968 and were carried into 1969. Much of the first solo LP was recorded in that period, but wasn't released until 1970. The second solo album was recorded quickly in 1970 and released at the end of that same year. It was then, and only then, that Syd really stopped.
The documentary is good. I recommend it. For the fan, its essential. For the casual watcher, its really interesting stuff. It certainly gives perspective on everything Pink Floyd did afterward.
Tells the story without landing any cheap blows...
Ryan Kelly | 06/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was never too into Pink Floyd outside of Piper at the Gates of Dawn (I very much enjoy Pink Floyd's other albums, though), and I was also a longtime fan of Syd Barrett (being one of my personal favorites - next to the Beach Boys, Love, and the Zombies)... I saw this title at my local Circuit City for $14.99 and purchased it instantly.
I watched it, having not really known the whole Syd Barrett story before, only knowing that he screwed himself up with LSD and then disappeared into obscurity... this tells it all, from the Pink Floyd members and friends/fans/acquaintances of his from that era (Robyn Hitchcock, Humble Pie, the guitarist of Blur, old room mates, etc).
They tell it very well. There is some good footage on here and they explain alot of the writing process of earlier songs and Syd's solo stuff, even his shortlived stint with the band "The Stars".
The best thing about this documentary is that it really respects Syd and you can see how much Roger, David, & co. really loved him and how they were changed by what happened to Syd. It's a sad film, in a way. They shy away from taking any low blows and making Syd's mental instability a spectacle... which I thought was in very good taste.
I have a greater appreciation for Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd having seen this, having seen who they are and (somewhat) understanding the story now.
Vegetable man where you..?"