Psychedelic Scenes of Pink Floyd’s Early Days with Syd Barrett, 1967

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd turns 70 years old today. Waters was the prin­ci­pal song­writer and dom­i­nant cre­ative force dur­ing the band’s famous 1970s peri­od, when it released a string of pop­u­lar and influ­en­tial con­cept albums such as Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall. But today we thought it would be inter­est­ing to take you all the way back to 1967, when Waters was 23 years old and the band was led by his child­hood friend Syd Bar­rett.

The video above is from a May 14, 1967 broad­cast of the BBC pro­gram The Look of the Week. Pink Floyd had­n’t released an album yet. Only two nights ear­li­er the band had staged its atten­tion-get­ting “Games for May” con­cert at the Queen Eliz­a­beth Hall. In the TV broad­cast, Pink Floyd plays its ear­ly favorite “Astron­o­my Domine” before Waters and Bar­rett sit down for a rather tense inter­view with the clas­si­cal­ly trained musi­cian and crit­ic Hans Keller. It’s amus­ing to watch Keller’s face as he express­es his extreme irri­ta­tion at the band’s loud, strange music. “My ver­dict is that its a lit­tle bit of a regres­sion to child­hood,” he says with a gri­mace. “But after all, why not?”

Waters and Bar­rett man­age to hold their own dur­ing the inter­view. Bar­rett comes across as lucid and well-spo­ken, despite the fact that his heavy LSD use and men­tal insta­bil­i­ty would soon make him unable to func­tion with­in the band. By Decem­ber of 1967, Pink Floyd would add gui­tarist David Gilmour to the line­up to com­pen­sate for Bar­ret­t’s errat­ic behav­ior. By March of 1968 — only 10 months after the BBC broad­cast — Bar­rett would quit the group.

We’ll close with an even ear­li­er video of Pink Floyd onstage. Filmed on Jan­u­ary 27, 1967 at the leg­endary UFO club in Lon­don, the clip is from the Feb­ru­ary 7, 1967 Grana­da TV doc­u­men­tary So Far Out It’s Straight Down. It shows the band play­ing anoth­er major song from its psy­che­del­ic era, “Inter­stel­lar Over­drive.”

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour Sings Shakespeare’s Son­net 18

Watch Pink Floyd Plays Live in the Ruins of Pom­peii (1972)

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Per­forms The Wall at the Berlin Wall (1990)

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