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Syd Barrett and British Psychedelia

Rob Chapman

Faber Forty-Fives is a series of six short ebooks that between them tell the story of British pop music from the birth of psychedelia in the late sixties, through electric folk, glam, seventies rock and punk, to the eclecticism of post-punk in the late seventies and early eighties. Each book is drawn from a larger work on Faber’s acclaimed music list.

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Syd Barrett and British Psychedelia is an intimate snapshot of the years 1966-7, when the underground’s house band, Pink Floyd, were cast blinking into the light of mainstream success. Nurtured in the progressive Cambridge scene and the bohemian hangouts of the Notting Hill Free School and UFO club, Pink Floyd pioneered a distinctly British mix of Victoriana, LSD-inflected mysticism, the avant-garde and pop. And at their heart was the gifted and complex songwriter, singer and guitarist Syd Barrett, who personified the psychedelic revolution in both its exoticism and its tragic impermanence.


Rob Chapman is currently the holder of a Royal Literary Fund Fellowship at The University of Manchester. He was for a long time a freelance radio broadcaster with the BBC national network and a music journalist. His work has appeared in Mojo , The Times, The Guardian, Independent on Sunday, Uncut, Word and Jockey Slut. He is the author of…

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