No. 9: Syd Barrett’s Psychotic Breakdown


A founding member of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett was best known as the lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter during the band's heavily psychedelic early years. He composed the majority of Floyd's 1967 debut album, 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,' which was a hit in the U.K.

But the resultant stress of fame, paired with Barrett's increasing use of mind-altering drugs, seemed to trigger psychological problems. He became increasingly withdrawn from the band, his friends and reality, eventually suffering a psychotic breakdown from which he would never fully recover.

In April 1968 it was officially announced Pink Floyd had parted ways with Barrett. He released two more solo albums before moving in with his mother, living out the rest of his life as a recluse. He died in 2006 from pancreatic cancer.