Alice Cooper Recalls Finding Out The ‘Bad Combination’ Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett Had
Alice Cooper recently joined Classic Rock Magazine for an interview and remembered when he noticed Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett was acting peculiarly because he was struggling with several issues.
Syd Barrett co-founded Pink Floyd in 1965 and worked as the frontman and primary lyricist with the band. Throughout his tenure with Floyd, Barrett developed a substance addiction and struggled with mental health issues. These struggles eventually impacted his songwriting, enabling him to compose psychedelic songs.
With Pink Floyd, Barrett recorded their 1967 debut ‘The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn,’ some parts of the album ‘A Saucerful Of Secrets,’ four singles, and several unreleased efforts. However, in 1968, he was fired from the band due to his heavy use of psychedelic drugs, as he had started negatively impacting the band’s album creation process.
In an interview with Classic Rock Magazine, Alice Cooper recalled when he and his band met Pink Floyd. He stated they weren’t a big band then, and Pink Floyd wasn’t famous either. However, Cooper admitted they were fans of the band and envied them because Floyd had a record.
Cooper said the band ended up staying in their house because they were out of money. Moreover, he recalled seeing Syd Barrett in the kitchen, watching a box of cornflakes as if it were a television show. According to Cooper, they didn’t know Barrett was half-high and half-insane until later, and Alice believes ‘that’s a very bad combination.’
Speaking to Classic Rock, Alice Cooper said the following:
“We had a house in Los Angeles. We weren’t a big deal at the time; we were just this local band called Alice Cooper. Then this group from England called Pink Floyd came over.
Not many people had heard of them, but we knew all about them. We had a copy of ‘The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn.’ They were a big deal to us because they had a record out – and we didn’t.”
Cooper then recalled:
“So the Floyd came into town, ran out of money – as everyone else does in LA – and ended up staying in our house. Syd Barrett was just so out there. I’d get up in the morning and go into the kitchen, and Syd would be sitting there with a box of cornflakes in front of him.
He’d be watching that box of cornflakes the way I would watch television. We’d all sit around whispering: ‘How can anybody get that high?’ But Syd was also very bipolar. We didn’t find out until later that he was half-high, half-insane. That’s a very bad combination.”
After getting fired from Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett focused on a solo career. However, in 1972, he left the music industry and lived a private life out of the public eye until his death from pancreatic cancer in 2006.