December, 1964. An 18-year-old aspiring musician called Roger writes an endearing illustrated letter to his girlfriend, Jenny Spires, in which he describes his band’s first recording session. It was, in fact, the first of many, and before long both Roger and his band, The Tea Set, would become known by different names: he, as Syd Barrett; his band, Pink Floyd.
This letter was very kindly supplied by Essential Works, publishers of the recently released Barrett: The Definitive Visual Companion to the Life of Syd Barrett, a truly fantastic and highly recommended book full to the brim with previously unseen photographs, letters and artwork by the late frontman. Images used here with permission of Jenny Spires herself.
Dear Jen, you are a little dish.
I’ll tell you everything that happened at the recording. We took all the gear into the studio which was lit by horrid white lights, and covered with wires and microphones. Rog had his amp behind a screen and Nicki was also screened off, and after a little bit of chat we tested everything for balance, and then recorded five numbers more or less straight off; but only the guitars and drums. We’r going to add all the singing and piano etc. next Wednesday. The tracks sound terrific so far, especially King Bee.
When I sing I have to stand in the middle of the studio with ear phones on, and everyone else watches from the other room, and I can’t see them at all but they can all see me. Also I can only just hear what I’m singing.
I hope you got home alright Jen, and that you had a good time. You wouldn’t have been able to come in to the recording and anyway it went on till after midnight, and would have been a whopping drag for you.
It was a nice thing to be which was tra tra la. (do not bother to interupt)
Do what you want Jen. I love you very much and want to hear from you and you are very pretty.
I am a bit fed up with everything today and I want to be in Cambridge or Greece but not in London where all I do is spend money and travel. The sun is shining though.