'The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story'
(Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett / DVD / NR / (2004) 2007 / Zeit Media Limited)
Overview: John Edginton's documentary tells the full bizarre, tragic and celebratory story of Syd Barrett with contribution from friends, managers, and band members - Roger Waters, Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright. The film includes rare early television appearances of Pink Floyd and home movies too.
DVD Verdict: Ahhhh yes, Syd Barrett. There's a name that gets people talking. What if? What if Syd Barrett had stayed away from drugs? What if he hadn't been into an asylum most of his life (he was not)?
Some say he would have been in Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Although that is probably the highest compliment any musician can get, it's a bit over the mark. This DVD sets the story straight. Who was Syd Barrett, really? And what really happened? And no, I won't tell you. See the DVD instead.
Told from an objective point of view, with interviews with the members (and former members) of Pink Floyd, who knew the guy, and with other musicians who played with him, this is a very informative and interesting DVD.
It should also be known that this is a BBC (UK) Omnibus programme which despite the title is predominantly about Syd Barrett himself. The hugeness that was Pink Floyd, after Barrett's departure, only being sketched in where songs and concepts sprang from the band's attempts to deal with their erstwhile front-man's sidelong shuffle into mental illness.
It's filled with anecdotal, but highly interesting stories about the man. I don't think it will contribute to lessen the legend, even when you know the actual facts about him. Syd Barrett was strange, a genius, a mishap. But Syd Barrett was one of the greates things to have ever happened to Rock music. Because of him, or in spite of him, Pink Floyd, the band he co-founded went on to become one of the biggest bands in the history of modern music.
In this new definitive edition DVD, the full unedited interviews conducted by the director with Pink Floyd are now made available raw and unedited, alongside the original documentary. The three hours of DVD extras also include acoustic performances of Syds songs by Robyn Hitchcock and ex-Blur member Graham Coxon.
So, just what did happen to Syd? Did he really go overboard or did he simply decide that enough is enough? After watching this DVD, you still won't know, but Syd knows ... and he ain't telling! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of: