Pete Townshend Insisted On Being In Syd Barrett Documentary, The Director Explains

Ahead of the North American debut of ‘Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd’ on July 20, director Roddy Bogawa revealed what happened behind the film’s scenes to Ultimate Classic Rock. He explained that Pete Townshend insisted on being in the documentary and ended up replacing David Bowie for the interview parts.

Mentioning the person he wanted to include in the film, Bogawa said:

“The only thing that I had hoped for was that I was in talks to interview David Bowie before he died. Because Bowie, for a long time, talked about how important Syd was to him. And I was emailing his management company, and I had friends that knew him, and he was interested, but then they were saying, oh, he was too busy. But then, in hindsight, he was dying at that point, right? And they were keeping it secret.”

He explained how Townshend came into the picture and went on:

“So that was the one thing I was really hoping to try and get. But then we got Pete Townshend… he was great. Pete told [producer Orian Williams], ‘You have to interview me.’ So that was pretty cool.”

When the interviewer asked if there were any parts they cut out of the film, the director explained:

“Yes! [Laughs] … I’ve got every scrap of bootleg material that exists with Syd over the course of doing the film, and for a while, I had lots of bootleg stuff in it. And I was pitching the idea of like, ‘This stuff has been out there for 20 years; why don’t we put it in and sanction it and authorize it?’ But I was told, ‘No, no, no, no [Laughs].’ […] So there was a couple things, but nothing crazy that I had to cut out.”

The documentary doesn’t only feature the Who guitarist. Other contributors include Syd Barrett’s ex-bandmates David Gilmour, Roger Waters, and Nick Mason. It also has inputs from names like Graham Coxon of Blur and Andrew VanWyngarden from MGMT.

Having been in the works since 2022, ‘Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd’ made its first appearance at Everyman King’s Cross in London on April 27.

You can check out its trailer in the video below.