Syd Barrett, who died on July 7 aged 60, came into my life and Pink Floyd in 1965. His reputation as a real talent was intimidating but he proved delightful. He introduced himself, a radical move given our determination to hide our shyness behind monosyllables and Ray-Ban sunglasses. He went on to front the band and was for his entire tenure its creative center, writing the songs and devising most of the music.

Thanks to Syd, by early 1967 we had a recording deal, two hit singles and had appeared on television. But that's when he...

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