In a frank, direct interview with Rosemary Barrett, the sister of legendary Pink Floyd founder Syd (born Roger Barrett), Rosemary discussed how Syd's legacy matched up with his personality. Rosemary paints a picture of a quiet, reclusive man who viewed music more as a hobby than a vehicle for fame. "Fame was the last thing he wanted and he never understood it. He never needed it because from the moment he was a child he was surrounded by people who adored him"
While Barrett became something of a cult figure in rock circles after residing in privacy in Cambridge from the early '70s until his death in 2006, he never coveted that status. "He wasn't Syd because Syd was Pink Floyd. He wasn't being clever by being reclusive, he was just being himself," said Rosemary.
Additionally, Rosemary claims that Barrett's legendary erratic behavior was due more to his addiction to drugs than any mental illness. "Roger was never mentally ill. He was assessed by quite a few psychiatrists over the years and they always said he's unusual but there is no illness. There was no cure because there was no illness. He never fitted into the norm but that's what made him so special." Not fitting into the norm, but having nothing wrong with him mentally—sounds like rock 'n' roll, doesn't it?
NME got word from Rosemary Barrett in honor of a tribute exhibit to him that will be running in Cambridge from October 22 to November 1. Barrett was also an important character, if rarely seen, in the recent Tom Stoppard Broadway smash Rock 'N' Roll.