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David Gilmour admits his guilt over Syd Barrett

1 of 1 Pink Floyd, with Syd Barrett (foreground) prior to David Gilmour becoming a member
Pink Floyd, with Syd Barrett (foreground) prior to David Gilmour becoming a member

David Gilmour admits he felt guilt about replacing Syd Barrett in Pink Floyd in 1968.

Gilmour joined the young band in January of that year, as front-man and guitarist, replacing his school-friend, the late Syd Barrett, who was in the throes of drug addiction and serious mental imbalance.

“I was 21, and one is fairly ambitious,” Gilmour says in an unedited bonus interview on the newly released Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story DVD.

“You want to get on with stuff. That sort of offer is a very hard one to turn down. And, logically speaking, it wasn’t working. Syd was not performing at all on stage. It was kind of tragic.

"I don’t suppose I saw any option, but to just do the best that I could. I’m sure we were all full of some sort of guilt, and remained that way for a long time.”

The 1968 album A Saucerful of Secrets was the last collaborative effort between all five members and the recording only featured one wholly self-composed track by Barrett.

A proposal was mooted in the Floyd camp that Barrett would not tour, but stay at home writing material for the band, much as Brian Wilson did for the Beach Boys. 

“I would be the front-man, on stage, “ Gilmour says in the DVD. “But it wasn’t really workable. The notion passed by very quickly. In fact, I think there were only five gigs, as I remember it, where there was the five of us played together. Then we ceased to go pick him up.”

Watch the band perform A Saucerful of Secrets in 1969:

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