David Bowie pays tribute to Syd Barrett

The star calls his hero a 'diamond'

David Bowie has paid tribute to his songwriting hero Syd Barrett, who has died aged 60.

It was revealed today that the former Pink Floyd singer passed away on Friday (July 7).

Bowie has long declared himself a massive fan of Barrett-era Floyd. He showed just how much by singing their debut single ‘Arnold Layne’ at guitarist David Gilmour’s solo show at the London Royal Albert Hall last month. It was Bowie’s first live appearance in two years following a serious illness.


He said on hearing today’s news: “I can’t tell you how sad I feel. Syd was a major inspiration for me.

“The few times I saw him perform in London at UFO and the Marquee clubs during the 60s will forever be etched in my mind. He was so charismatic and such a startlingly original songwriter. Also, along with Anthony Newley, he was the first guy I’d heard to sing pop or rock with a British accent.

“His impact on my thinking was enormous. A major regret is that I never got to know him. A diamond indeed.”

Graham Coxon was also among those paying tribute, telling NME.COM: “For bang on 20 years Syd led me to better places.”

Elbow‘s Guy Garvey also cited Barrett as a huge influence on his career, and revealed: “Bizarrely enough, Jimi Goodwin (Doves) gave me a Syd Barrett record for Christmas. I wonder what music would be like if he’d never lived.”

Tributes continue to flood in across the musical spectrum – Steve ‘Chandrasonic’ Savale from Asian Dub Foundation told NME.COM: “I play the way I do because of Syd. May he rest in peace.”


A host of video tributes have been been posted on the sitte youttube.com, with fans sharing their footage of classic performances – [url=https://www.youtube.com/results?search=Syd+Barrett&search_type=search_videos&search=Search

]click here to view them.

So what are your memories of Syd? How do you feel about his death? Let us know what you think about the passing of a legend by emailing us at news@nme.com with your thoughts. Please state your name and age.

To read the original NME.COM story with full obituary, click here.

Go to uncut.co.uk for a classic look at Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd, originally published in Melody Maker in 1967.