Unfortunately, the classic rock legends who died young are numerous: Hendrix, Joplin, Cobain. Syd Barrett, the founder of Pink Floyd, lived to be 60 – hardly a ripe old age. But his artistic, protracted death occurred in his twenties, and he became a recluse before he was thirty.
The documentary “Have You Got It Yet? (The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd)” has long been in the making—co-director, famed album designer and friend of Barrett’s friend, Storm Thorgerson, died in 2013—but it is a comprehensive and cohesive account of Barrett’s counterculture tragedy that could One can hope for it. And while the film, directed by Rudy Bogawa, highlights Barrett to a greater degree than any other account I’ve come across, it preserves the artist’s mystery.
neither romanticize it; As mysteries go, Barrett was the real deal. In his brief public tenure as the face of Pink Floyd, Barrett did not openly tout a messianic streak like other rock stars of the era. But he was a natural magnet. David Gilmour, who took over guitar duties in Pink Floyd after Barrett could no longer work, had, like the other band members, been friends with Barrett since the early 1960s. He describes the man as “very smart” and says that before Barrett was ravaged by substance abuse and mental illness, “life was very easy for him, in a way.”
He wrote songs about underwear snatchers, gnomes, and the solar system. (After Barrett, Floyd has become a much more fanciful, socially conscious and commercial huge.) One of his last songs for Floyd was called “The Last Cry Scream” and they weren’t kidding. The film is peppered with candid personal interviews with his boss — Thorgerson, whose company helped craft Floyd’s album covers, speaks to his friends and collaborators here — with surreal allegorical scenes both gruesome and macabre. That Barrett slipped into a victim of acid is heartbreaking, and yet the man was so unique that one has to call this cautionary tale unique.
Have you got it yet? The story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd
unclassified. Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes. in theatres.