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B Read more about one recluse and answer the questions.


1 How is the person’s character described in the article?

2 What is his most famous piece of work?

3 What did he do later in life?

4 How was his relationship with media?

5 Is there anything surprising in the article?





At the Pink Floyd reunion in London’s Hyde Park for Live8, there was one member missing.


Often called an eccentric genius, Syd Barrett formed the supergoup Pink Floyd in 1965 and wrote, sang and played guitar on all their early hit records, including the 1967 masterpiece Piper at the Gates Dawn. He left the band in 1968 after experiencing some kind of breakdown due to the pressures of stardom and touring. He made two solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett, both released in 1970, which continue to sell well.

Barrett then left the music business completely, deciding a musician’s life was not for him. He did not make any music at all after 1974. Once a household name, he is now more or less forgotten except by his fans. He moved back to his home town of Cambridge and started to use his original name of Roger Barrett.


He lived alone, quietly spending his time painting and gardening. He received a six-figure income from his Pink Floyd royalties, but his contact with the outside world was minimal. Although he hadn’t appeared or spoken in public since the mid-1970s, fans and journalists still attempted to contact him.

In 1971 a journalist tracked him down. Syd told the reporter that he walked a lot, painted, wasted time and feared getting old. He also said that he felt full of dust and guitars. Another journalist reported that a bald, fat man answered the door and said that Syd couldn’t talk. In 1992, Atlantic Records offered half a million dollars for any new Syd Barrett recordings.

His family reported that he was content and reasonably healthy. More recently, when fans or journalists called on him he was polite and coherent, but unwilling to discuss his past as a famous rock star. Talking to one journalist on his doorstep in 2001, Syd asked him to leave as he didn’t do interviews any more.

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