Unique photograph unearthed of Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd before anniversary concert.
A unique photograph of Pink Floyd on the stage of King’s Heath’s old Ritz Ballroom has been sent to pop historians Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker ahead of a mini festival they have arranged to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the group’s legendary appearance at the venue.
Still fronted at that time by the charismatic but increasingly erratic Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd’s appearance on 16th December 1967 was one of their first in the Midlands and came shortly after the release of their second single See Emily Play and their first album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. On the same bill that night were The Rare Breed including Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler, who would later find fame and fortune as members of Black Sabbath, Gospel Garden and DJ Dave Terry.
Joining Syd Barrett on the tiny Ritz Ballroom as part of Pink Floyd were Roger Waters, Rick Wright and drummer Nick Mason, who was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham.
The photograph was sent to the pop historians by Tom Murphy now aged 72, who recalls, “I travelled to the concert from Coventry with a bunch of mates. Luckily we had a camera with us . We were big fans of Pink Floyd and wanted to hear them play live. I remember them playing Arnold Lane, See Emily Play and Astronomy Domine. Syd Barrett was very much the frontman and wrote their early singles and most of their first album. It was a great shame he had to leave the group,”
The commemorative mini festival will be held in King’s Heath on Sunday 2nd December. From 3 pm to 6 pm a great selection of local musicians including Peters & Dog whose last single was about Syd Barrett, Brum Radio’s Layla Tutt , Joey Smith, Tim Walkerdine and others will perform their favourite Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett songs at Fletchers Bar on York Road Tickets cost £4 in advance from the Kitchen Garden Cafe or £4.40 from www.wegottickets.com/event/453068 Remaining tickets will cost £5 on the door.
At 7 pm doors will then open at the Hare & Hounds opposite for an amazing two and a half hour full lighting and laser show by the Coventry based award-winning tribute band Dark Side Of The Wall. They regularly perform at major sold out events throughout the country and will play a great selection of songs of Pink Floyd songs from their extensive back catalogue. Included in the set will be Another Brick In The Walk, Money, Wish You Were Here, Comfortably Numb and Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Pink Floyd’s tribute to Barrett, who died of cancer in 2006.
Advance tickets cost £8 from Kitchen Garden Cafe or £8.80 from www.skiddle.com/e/13143744 Any unsold tickets will cost £10 on the door
Local residents Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker, who have organised the day-long event, said “We were really thrilled to be sent the photo of Pink Floyd on the Ritz Ballroom stage. We have only been able to unearth two other photos of the ballroom’s stage and one of the outside. The photo is virtually unique. We are expecting Floyd fans from all over the country will travel to our mini-festival”.
Ian Barrett, Syd Barrett’s cousin, who helps run the official Syd Barrett web site, said, ” As a family we are delighted this anniversary event is being held in King’s Heath again. We have been thrilled and amazed that the music Syd created is still loved so much after his death. His music and art are enjoyed by so many across the globe and this shows no sign of abating”.