What Happened to Syd Barrett?

By 1966 Pink Floyd had become more or less the official band of the London Underground. Their unique sound, accompanied with moving liquid slides projected over themselves and the audience, had propelled them to be the leading wave of a growing underground movement in England.

Syd Barrett had become the leader of the group with his distinctive guitar sound and lead vocals. He wrote almost all their material, influenced by American and British psychedelic rock with his own brand of spontaneous humor.

As the band became more popular, the stresses of life on the road and a significant intake of psychedelic drugs took their toll on Barrett. While the rest of the band had always been more into alcohol than drugs, Barrett was deeply involved in the psychedelic side of the underground, taking large amounts of LSD and drawing the inspiration for much of his playing and writing from it. He became more unpredictable, and on some gigs would only stand and stare at the audience while strumming the same chord all evening.

Things were getting totally out of hand with Barrett and in February of 1968 it was decided to replace him with an old school friend named David Gilmour. Barrett went into seclusion. He lived alone in his house with almost no human contact until his death in July of 2006.

Syd Barrett had a significant influence on a whole movement of people. What happened that caused him to lose control of his life and even his own soul? Was it just mental illness that caused him to go over this edge? Or did the drugs open him up to a spirit that grew and grew in power until it eventually took him over? David Gilmour said, “He’s got uncontrollable things in him that he can’t deal with and people think it’s a marvelous, wonderful, romantic thing. It’s just a sad, sad thing, a very nice and talented person who’s just disintegrated.”1

What were these uncontrollable things in him that he couldn’t deal with? Do we have uncontrollable things in us? Some people consider themselves spiritual, while others do not. But really all human beings are spiritual. There is a spiritual realm, in which our own spirit has contact with other spirits, both good and evil. An evil spirit is one that has lost it’s light and is no longer in tune with it’s created purpose. It can be very deceptive, and even seem like it offers you great light, but in the end it brings death. Like the example of Syd Barrett. How do we know if we are doing our created purpose or if we are being controlled by a deadly spirit?

There is some real insight into this written in the Bible. In one place it says:

We know that we are children of God and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:19)

The whole world is under the control of the evil one. This doesn’t mean that everything everyone does is bad of course, but there is an evil, spiritual force that drives all the cultures of the world, resulting in all the evil that is going on under the sun. Therefore, we must come “out of the world” to become the children of God. We can’t deal with all the things inside of us by ourselves. We must come into a new environment where we can be healed from the damage that was done inside of us. But how and where on earth can you do that. Is there really a sanctuary where God is doing something realistic, here and now? A place where we can really be healed of all the damage inside of ourselves? God did not create us to heal ourselves. He created us to live together and help each other heal, through his Holy Spirit.

There is a historical account of a sanctuary like this that was written down in the Bible:

All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. (Acts 2:44-45)

It was a huge movement at one time and was like no other. We are excited to tell you that once again this same movement happening. It’s been going on for over 30 years and gaining momentum. People are gathering from all over, being drawn by this wonderful, Holy Spirit and forming communities that are this sanctuary we spoke about. Now there is a place where we can be transformed and reach our full potential as a human being.

The only cost is to leave our old life in this world behind and begin a new life in which we constantly seek to be in harmony with God and with one another. This new life is together, not alone, just like the account we just quoted above. Our Creator has a wonderful reward for those that are willing to give up everything for Him, for those who do so will actually be instrumental in bringing an end to this evil darkness that rules the world and bring in a whole new age of peace.

When will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?...So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him. (Matthew 24:3,44)

We are a people who are making ourselves ready by learning how to love one another at all costs. We are being healed from all our selfish ways that hinder us from loving one another. We have found a purpose and have come out of the world to be a part of God’s people – His Holy Nation that was prophesied about long ago:

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Have you been “kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town, waiting for someone or something to show you the way”? Wait no longer. We have found the way of eternal life. It’s not just some empty philosophy or religion, but a very real and amazing new culture that is forming that is lead by a different Spirit. We invite you to come be a part of this brand new culture. Come out of the darkness and confusion of this world and experience this wonderful light.

  • 1. Musician Magazine, Dec. 1982

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The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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