A: During the early 1960s, a London art student named Syd Barrett teamed up with four kids from the Regent Street School of Architecture to form an R & B group. Barrett named the band the Pink Floyd Sound after a blues record by Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, and the group was off and running.
Trading their blues sound in for a psychedelic one, the band became a huge hit around London. By 1968, however, Barrett’s excessive use of LSD and seemingly schizophrenic mood swings made his onstage and offstage behavior increasingly erratic and strange. The band brought in David Gilmour to cover the performances, and Barrett would be gone from the band within the year.
On the upside, Gilmour brought a heft of talent with him, and in 1973, Pink Floyd became an international success with the release of Dark Side of the Moon. Some years later, they achieved superstardom with The Wall album and movie. At the same time, Barrett was working on solo projects, but his psychological well-being continued to spiral downward. Still feeling the emotional impact of their loss, Pink Floyd dedicated a song from their 1975 album Wish You Were Here to Barrett: “Shine On, You Crazy Diamond.”
Barrett died a recluse at the age of 60 in July of 2006.