Brilliant and moving musings and memories from friends of Mojo, arriving too late for inclusion in our Syd Barrett Tribute issue but happily shared with our online posse...


The Sunshine Superman joins Syd on a wander to the other side.

"If Syd introduced a particular view to British pop music, it was the pose that went, 'By the way, darlings, I actually know about poetry and philosophy and I'm now going to present something to you that my fingers don't understand, but my music will move you into philosophy and poetry.' Syd comes from the time-honoured Bardic tradition. If Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Donovan and Bob Dylan have to be understood in their context, with their impact on millions and trillions of lives, it must be understood that these souls have actually understood the inner world, and if Syd actually entered that world of the true reality through holy plants or what we loosely call drugs, who cares? He pointed the way to a band called Pink Floyd who actually called out to millions of people, to enter that inner world too. And Syd passes and then leaves a wave of emotion, which is just like the wave that George left, and John left, and Kennedy left, a wave of individuals that actually explored a territory within which represents the only saviour of this planet. This great reality that we think is real is centred, harmonised, loved and sweetened by music. Syd? Thank you."
As told to Martin Aston

John Leckie
The Zelig of the UK recording industry witnesses Syd’s final session

“I worked on Syd’s last sessions in 1974 with Pete Jenner at Abbey Rd. They’d released his first two solo albums in America and they’d done well so EMI wanted him back in the studio. Pete Jenner said, ‘Syd's going to come in to do some recording. He's not in very good shape, and we're just going to see what we can get.’ The idea was that Syd was going to play everything – guitar on the first day, drums on the second, keyboards on the third, sing on the fourth and mix it all on the fifth. He turned up and he still looked like Syd – long hair, bit unkempt, like the last time I’d seen him when I worked on the Barrett album- like he had seen a ghost. He had that Shock! Horror! look on his face. He was very disheveled, like he had just got out of bed. He had a different girl with him every day, which was unusual as most people wouldn’t bring their girlfriends to the studio. He didn’t say very much apart from ‘Thanks’ when he got a cup of tea. At the end of each day you’d see him through the window, walking over the pedestrian crossing. We always said that if he turns right he’s off to the tube station and he won’t be back but if he turns left he’ll be back later. Not much happened in the sessions. He would sit there and do some strumming - one or two chords – scrape his plectrum along the strings or put a bass line on. There were no lyrics. I’m not sure if he even had any songs. He would sit there with his guitar hoping something would come. Then he walked out the studio, turned right, and never came back again.”
As told to John Robb

Sonic Boom
Spacemen 3's sound sculptor freaks out on Barrett's “strangeness and oddity”

"The first time I heard Syd was as a child – it was See Emily Play on the radio – but my first real encounter was, like many I'm sure, high on acid when someone put on Interstellar Overdrive. I was blown away - my mind re-sculptured by the beauty and awe and power of his understanding of inner and outer space music language. He was one of the first pop musicians to use the John Cage-ean philosophy, that ‘every sound is a meaningful/musical sound’. Hence his shows with Eddie Prévost's AMM, the other highly improvised outfit around London in '66. His influence on me was in his ability to manipulate his guitar and echo to do things beyond the norm. Any artist that takes their music and equipment above and beyond its previous limits, as Syd did, is an influence on me in some way. His legacy? Syd made strangeness and oddity more acceptable - the make-up, the clothes, the sound. He was obviously an icon of his time, a groundbreaker, a soul-shaker. He was a breeding light of his degeneration. His legacy is his gift to us all."
As told to Martin Aston

Will Sergeant
Echo And The Bunnymen’s psych cosmonaut gets right inside Syd’s sound

“I bought was A Nice Pair when I was 14 in 1973. It was the first two Floyd albums in a gatefold sleeve, I think I bought it because it had a pair of tits on the cover. But when you’re that age and you hear Astronomy Domine, you just think, bloody hell! I got a lot more than I bargained for. I’d lie in bed listening to it on headphones. It’d send me off to sleep, infiltrating my brain, until Bike. Those seagull noises, in the dark, would wake me right up. What always got me as a guitar player were the transitions he’d do; he’d be playing a rhythmic pattern and he’d suddenly start playing, jaggedly, against himself almost. But it still sounded brilliant. I only listened to Piper At The Gates Of Dawn on acid years later, with [Bunnymen bass player] Les Pattinson. It was just when Walkmen had been invented. I remember I became part of the landscape of the music – I was actually there in the fabric of the speakers when they were making it, looking out at them doing it from within! There’s a special kind of Syd fan who prefers his solo albums, which I find quite disturbing really. It’s not altogether comfortable, listening to someone disappear. Even on Jugband Blues on A Saucerful Of Secrets, it’s so sad. He knows there’s no way back. It’s dead sad that he’s gone, but at least no-one can hassle him anymore.”
As told to Ian Harrison

Joe Boyd
US-born Floyd producer and doyen of ’60s folk-rock

“I first encountered Syd, late summer 1966 at All Saints Church Hall, Powis Square when Floyd played a Benefit gig for the London Free School. Even within the gloom of the light show he was charismatic , this original guitarist, quirky singer and interesting songwriter. I immediately started trying to get them a record deal. They were to be my first signing when I stopped working for Elektra Records and started my independent production company; Unfortunately, I failed to close the deal. I last met him at the UFO club later that year. A very disturbing encounter. The bright-eyed charmer had become a vacant-eyed mute problem, who would stand on stage without playing or singing for long stretches of time. However, Syd remained with the Floyd as their main musical identity. Even without him their worldwide success can be traced back to Syd’s influence. David Bowie says he was the singer who gave him the confidence to sing in an ‘English’ voice and not even try to sound like an American.”
As told to John Robb

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In the next issue of MOJO magazine, we'll be compiling the best solo albums by Lou Reed - and we need your help. What, in you opinion, are the finest post-Velvets from Laughing Lou? Would you include the all-time classic Transformer? How about the return to form that was New York? Perhaps the chucklefest that is Berlin? Or maybe you're partial to a bit of Metal Machine Music (shudder)?

Leave your comments here and maybe they'll appear in a future issue of MOJO...!

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Mojo's Live Music Weekend19 Jul 2006


This weekend Mojo Radio brings you live music. It's the festival season so listen out across Saturday and Sunday from 9am-5pm for Live tracks from the Mojo vaults, including Oasis, Bowie and REM.

Listen to Mojo Radio on Sky 0182, Freeview 721 and via our radioplayer online. To contact Mojo Radio email us

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The long-awaited Glastonbury film comes to DVD next week, along with a special soundtrack album with a selection of great live performances from over the years, including Coldplay, Radiohead, Pulp, Toots And The Maytals, Morrissey, Dr John, Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros and more...

Find out more and watch the trailer here

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Shine On You Crazy Diamond11 Jul 2006


It has been announced today that Syd Barrett has died. A spokesman said that the founder member of Pink Floyd passed away "very peacefully a couple of days ago" due to complications with diabetes. He was 60.

In a statement, the remaining members of Pink Floyd said, "The band are naturally very upset and sad to learn of Syd Barrett's death. Syd was the guiding light of the early band line-up and leaves a legacy which continues to inspire."

The genius that inspired the Floyd's initial pyschedelic period - littered with classic tracks like See Emily Play, Arnold Layne and Astronomy Domine and the phenomenally influential debut Piper At The Gates Of Dawn - left the band in 1968 after a suspected LSD-induced breakdown. He went on to produce two solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett and later became the subject of another Floyd track, Shine On You Crazy DIamond, from 1975's Wish You Were Here.

Following his breakdown, Barrett returned to his mother's home in Cambridge, where he became a recluse until his death. MOJO sends its condolences to his family and a full obituary will appear in the next issue of the magazine.

Leave your comments on this story below, or join the Syd Memorial Thread at the MOJO4music message boards here

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At the beginning of last month, MOJO Magazine very kindly asked War Child to be the official charity for their annual MOJO Honours List. But that's not all - before the awards, MOJO put on an intimate show at London's Barfly featuring Nick and Roy Harper. We thought we'd put together an EP of live tracks and sell it in aid of War Child.

So here it is. The MOJO Live EP. This cracking collection features Roy and Nick Harper, Vincent Vincent & The Villains, Guillemots, The Young Knives and The Willard Grant Conspiracy, it's utterly exclusive to War Child Music and the entire six-track package will cost you not a penny more than £3.50, of which £2.70 goes directly to War Child.

Can't say fairer than that really.

Download The MOJO Live EP here!

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Next ish, we're taking a look at the very best in Horror soundtracks. From the spooky skewed folk of The Wicker Man, to the techno bleeps of John Carpenter's Halloween, which are the greatest examples to be given their own spin-off album in their own right? Suggestions and comments here, please - and your recommendations could appear in a future issue of MOJO.

Me? You can't go wrong with Goblin's soundtrack for the peerless Dario Argento giallo Profondo Rosso (Deep Red, 1975) - pseudo-Pink Floyd prog, with wobbling synths, frantic drumming and stacatto guitar riffage that accompanies the creepy mayhem perfectly. Best track: Death Dies, a piano-led vignette that is heard whenever meat cleavers are wielded in madness. Oh yes.

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It was a night of lager, shouting and the odd moment of near-nostalgic gobbing. But
overall the return of Damned men Rat Scabies and Brian James to London’s 100 Club to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of their appearance there alongside the Sex
Pistols on July 6, 1976, was a night based around the original band’s sense of crash-bang-
wallop fun.

With Amen frontman Casey Chaos and Primal Scream’s Mani in tow, Messrs Scabies and James thundered through the band’s debut album, Damned! Damned! Damned! at breakneck speed and ear-splitting volume to an audience of familiar faces that included Buzzcock Steve Diggle, Eater’s Dee Generate, Gaye Advert, Sue Catwoman, Some Bizarre’s Stevo, Jake Riviera and the Stiff gang and DJ Kris Needs.

Following tribute combo the Sex Pistols Experience opening set, TV Smith’s rousing 30 minute acoustic set provided the assembled throng with proof that the man’s guilty ’77 pronouncements of wanting to be punk’s answer to Dylan may well hold true. Indeed, for
more on TV’s new album Misinformation Overload MOJO recommends you log on to where you can hear tracks from Mr Smith’s latest outing.

Needless to say that the night itself ended in chaos with Scabies and James’s proposed drink-up at a London hotel being curtailed by the night porter refusing to serve them. “We don’t want these kind of people in our hotel!” he told Rat’s protesting mother. And suddenly it really was like 1976 all over again…

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MOJO has announced details of an exclusive event at this year's Green Man festival. Taking place in Glanusk Park Estate in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the festival will run over the third weekend - 18th, 19th and 20th - of August.

An esteemed MOJO journalist will interview Donovan at 12pm on the Saturday 19th August, in the Literature Tent. This informal yet informative chat with the legendary folk troubadour comes after his headline appearace at the festival on the Friday night. For further information on Green Man, click MORE...

Set in over 20,000 acres of lowland hills and parkland and nestled beneath the Sugar Loaf mountain range, this is the first time Glanusk Estate has ever been opened up to the public. Amongst the historic buildings are the Tower Bridge over the River Usk, the Stable Courtyard, Walled Garden, ancient Celtic Standing Stones and tiered lakeside lawns. The new site is only 25 minutes from Hay On Wye, yet more accessible by road and by mainline railway stations.

In addition to the live acts on 3 stages with music over 3 full days there will also be a DJ tent, improved film, literature and science workshops, stalls and children's entertainment, with DJs playing into the night. The site and bars will both be open from Thursday 17th August at 6.00pm and there will be a new 1.00am licence on Friday and Saturday nights.

This year will also see the addition of a whole new range of vegetarian and meat stalls, from Paella and Organic hamburgers, through to fresh vegetables, salads and Mexican dishes. There will also be new areas added, whilst retaining the unique and intimate Country Fayre atmosphere of the Festival.

Acts so far confirmed include (in no particular order):

Jose Gonzalez
Bert Jansch
John Renbourn
King Creosote
Aiden Smith
James Yorkston
Little Wings
Gruff Rhys
Kieran Hebden and Steven Reid
Martha Wainwright
The Television Personalities
Alasdair Roberts
Silver Jews
it's jo and danny
Archie Bronson Outfit
Wizz Jones
Teddy Thompson
James Blackshaw
Bats For Lashes
The Gentle Good
Jack Rose
Skygreen Leopards
The Sunburned Hand of The Man
Marissa Nadler
Euros Childs
The Aliens
18th Day of May
A Hawk and A Hacksaw
Adrian Crowley
Don's Mobile Barbers
Chris TT
James Green
Culprit One
Shady Bard
Viking Moses,
Woodcraft Folk
Philip Roebuck
Misty's Big Adventure
Richard James
John Acoustic Smith
Benjamin Weatherill
James Raynard
Dan Arborise
John Stammers
Charlotte Greig
Elaine Palmer
Wooden Spoon
Andrew Hockey
Brave Captain
Jesus Licks Fields
Micah P. Hinson
Sol Seppy
Josephine Foster and The Supposed
The Shortwave Set
Marc Meon
Lord God
Onions ...

... with loads more to be added plus Folk and Psychedelic DJs (including Peter Paphidies Andy Votel James Yorkston it's Jo and Danny DJ Pickles & Maris Piper). The literature room will feature Joe Boyd on making music in the 1960s and MOJO Magazine will be contributing further to the entertainment.

More info:
Venue web site:
Ticketline UK: 08700 667799

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War Child were MOJO's charity of choice for this year's MOJO Honours List bash and we've teamed up to bring you a very special auction in aid of charity. We've got a series of exclusive MOJO magazine front covers (dated 5th June, the date of this year's MOJO awards), signed by an array of stellar talent. See below for the full list of goodies...

All you have to do is bid on the items via eBay and the proceeds will go towards War Child's invaluable work for children affected by war. Last year the charity raised over 8 grand - enough to release 160 child soldiers in the DRC for example - providing much needed financial support for our other work in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia.

To bid on the items, click here.



At the MOJO Honours List, Corinne Bailey Rae was awarded a prize for Best New Act. The cover was signed that very night by the very same lady, therefore making it a very special item of music memorabilia. Bid here!



'Wish You Were Here'...on my wall. A legendary item up for grabs from legend David Gilmour, who was give a Lifetime Achievement Award at the MOJO Honours List... Bid here!



The Pretenders frontwoman was honoured with the MOJO Songwriter Award at the MOJO Honours List. The cover was signed that night by Ms Hynde. Bid here


The MOJO Icon of the night was none other than the famously reclusive Scott Walker. You can bid on his signed MOJO cover here.

For more information on War Child, visit

To find out about other fund-raising events and for general fun and entertainment, visit War Child's music-download site:

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