Syd Barrett was an English composer and purveyor of some of the most intriguing music ever written. Famous before his twentieth birthday, Barrett led the charge of psychedelia onstage at London's famed UFO club. With a Fender Telecaster and a primitive Binson echo unit, Barrett liberated the guitar from being, in critic Simon Reynolds' words, 'a riff machine, and turned it into a texture and timbre generator.' His inspired celestial flights of improvisation, and his more structured and whimsical short songs indicated a mind of unusual inventiveness. Chief in Barrett's mind was a Zen-like insistence on spontaneity; each performance had to be unique, and Barrett strived to push his music farther and farther out into the zone of complete abstraction. This in-depth analysis of Pink Floyd founding member Syd Barrett's life and work is the product of years of extensive research. Lost in the Woods traces Syd's swift evolution from precocious young art student to acid-fuelled psychedelic rock star, and examines the myriad musical and literary influences that he utilised in composing his hypnotic, groundbreaking songs. A never-forgotten casualty of the excesses, innovations, and idealism of the 1960s, Syd Barrett is one of the most heavily mythologized men in rock, and Lost in the Woods offers a rare portrayal of a unique spirit in freefall.
Julian Palacios is a recognized expert on the life and work of Syd Barrett. The author of Beck: Beautiful Monstrosity, he lives in Houston.