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Thread: Did Syd play solo at Middle Earth?

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    Default Did Syd play solo at Middle Earth?

    This is almost certainly an apocryphal story, but I'm going to throw it out there and see what you think.

    At the weekend I got chance to chat briefly to someone who saw a number of early Floyd gigs from '67 to the early '70s - amongst them several appearances at the Roundhouse, Hyde Park, the Camden Free Festival in 1969, and even UFO and Middle Earth.

    I didn't get a lot of detail out of him, but one thing he was definite on was that he'd seen Syd play a solo set at Middle Earth. I've never seen any mention of this anywhere else so I suspect it's a mis-remembrance. Surely someone who was there would've told the tale by now - Middle Earth was a major psychedelic club of the time, it's not like it was some pub out in the sticks somewhere.

    My source was very clear that it wasn't the well-known Kensington Olympia show in 1970, and he didn't have a band with him. He described it as 'amazing, considering it was just him on his own', although it was clear he was already somewhat 'gone' at this point, and his attention tended to wander from what he was playing.

    If it did happen, I wonder if it could've been an unannounced spot on the spur of the moment or something - that would explain why there are no posters or adverts. PF played there once in Dec '67, several times through 1968, and a final time in Jan '69, by which time it had moved to the Roundhouse. Maybe he showed up with them and ended up onstage somehow?

    Any thoughts...?

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    Would need a lot more details though there are all kinds of Syd rumors out there so always a bit skeptical. I only really follow Syd's Floyd period, not too up on Middle Earth History so not sure what kind of environment it was. Syd had a lot of friends in music so it is always possible that someone saw him in the audience and invited him up on stage. No way it was a gig billed in Syd's name as it would certainly be known about.
    1970 and 1973 he appeared on stage and it was said he was not recognized by Pete Brown and Jack Bruce or anyone else but of course someone may have recognized him not involved with the story.
    If someone was at UFO many times then I would be very interested in speaking to them. Where did you meet this person? Did you ask them questions that they did not answer or were they willing to go into details about what they claim to have seen?

    My source was very clear that it wasn't the well-known Kensington Olympia show in 1970, and he didn't have a band with him. He described it as 'amazing, considering it was just him on his own', although it was clear he was already somewhat 'gone' at this point, and his attention tended to wander from what he was playing.

    If it did happen, I wonder if it could've been an unannounced spot on the spur of the moment or something - that would explain why there are no posters or adverts. PF played there once in Dec '67, several times through 1968, and a final time in Jan '69, by which time it had moved to the Roundhouse. Maybe he showed up with them and ended up onstage somehow?

    Any thoughts...?[/QUOTE]

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    It was just a situation where there wasn't a lot of time to chat - it wouldn't have been appropriate for me to hammer him with loads of questions. I may get another chance at some point. I certainly hope so as I'd love to get some more detailed recollections out of him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marksturdy View Post
    It was just a situation where there wasn't a lot of time to chat - it wouldn't have been appropriate for me to hammer him with loads of questions. I may get another chance at some point. I certainly hope so as I'd love to get some more detailed recollections out of him.
    Highly doubt it for the obvious reasons of no documentation and no one else has ever mentioned it - but stranger things have been proven true. For a guy who was deemed deranged and incompetent he sure looks friendly and happy in the Mick Rock film from this period. He certainly maintained an abstract talent for composition and pulled off some good performances in the studio (IMO).

    If you chat again, see how familiar he is with Syd in general. Maybe he saw Marc Bolan..

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    Oh, he would definitely have known the difference between Syd and Marc!

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