Roger Keith Syd Barrett

Roger Keith “Syd” Barrett—guitarist, lyricist, and original member of Pink Floyd—died July 7 at his home in Cambridge, England, from complications related to diabetes. He was 60 years old. Barrett co-founded Pink Floyd with Roger Waters, Rick Wright, and Nick Mason in 1965, and was the creative force behind much of the band’s early material, penning ten of the 11 songs on 1967’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Barrett, whose battles with mental illness are well documented, left the band in 1968, and lived out his days in seclusion at his mother’s house in Cambridge. Pink Floyd issued the following statement: “We are naturally very upset and sad to learn of Syd Barrett’s death. Syd was the guiding light of the early band line-up, and he leaves a legacy which continues to inspire.”
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Kool & the Gang lead guitarist and co-founder Claydes Charles Smith passed away June 20, at the age of 57. Smith—who was introduced to the guitar by his father in the early 1960s—wrote such Gang hits as “Joanna” and “Take My Heart,” and co-wrote the smashes “Celebration” and “Jungle Boogie.” “We’ve lost a member of our family,” said Kool & the Gang manager Tina Sinclair, “as well as an infinitely creative and gifted artist who was with the band from the very beginning.” —Kevin Owens

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