Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett is the subject of a new documentary, Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd. The film’s director, Roddy Bogawa, hopes it sheds some light on the rocker.
Bogawa worked on the film with acclaimed album cover designer Storm Thorgerson, who was a childhood friend of Barrett’s, and Bogawa tells ABC Audio their goal was to create a “vey personal” film.
“We agreed wholeheartedly on trying to make this (an) intimate portrait,” he explains, noting they wanted to “humanize” the misunderstood artist.
Syd, who came up with the band’s name, was ousted from Pink Floyd in 1968. Some claim it was due to mental illness, while others suggest it was drug related; the film doesn’t attempt to provide a definitive answer on what happened.
“I think, you know, it’s easy to put him in that sort of ’60s acid casualty, you know, the drugs made him crazy. But I think at the core of it, nobody really knows what happened,” Bogawa says. “For sure, there was an element that he didn’t want to be in the band.”
He adds, “Everybody agrees something happened, but no one really can, you know, fundamentally say, ‘I was there, this is what happened.'”
Bogawa believes Barrett’s story can be compared to those of other “tortured” musicians, like The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones, The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, who all discovered an outlet to express all they’d been feeling — but the pressure got to be too much. Bogawa notes, “That’s the universal kind of sad story about it.”
Have You Got It Yet? opens in New York on July 14 and Los Angeles on July 21, with additional cities to be announced.
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