2022-12-25

I call him Garrard

Garrard SP.25 Mk 1 (technical manual)
Garrard SP.25 Mk 1 (technical manual).

November 2009

In 2009, so many years ago! — we published an article titled A Bay of Hope. 4 The Madcap Laughs pictures, allegedly taken by Mick Rock, were auctioned, although that was not entirely canon. The pictures belonged to the Hipgnosis archives, so they were – officially – Storm Thorgerson’s. But we won’t dabble in those muddy waters again, as we have already dedicated many pages to the Rock vs Storm controversy. (See, for instance: Rock of Ages )

The pictures sold for a mere 127 pounds. We are still angry for not getting them as they have disappeared into the deep pockets of a collector. All we have are small, grainy copies, taken from the eBay auction page.

The (pretty boring) 2009 article is nothing more than a catalogue, listing the Madcap pictures that were taken in Syd’s flat.

April 1969

Iggy was present during the week of April 14–21, 1969. This is now widely accepted, but it was frowned upon a decade ago.

Syd and turntable
Syd and turntable. Arrow pointing at the round logo on top.
Round logo on top
Round SP25 logo on top.

Garrard SP.25 MK2

One famous picture by Mick Rock is the one with Syd sitting next to his record player. En passant, we mentioned the type and brand: a Garrard SP.25 MK2. The record on the player was from the soul label Direction, a subsidiary of CBS.

As usual, we didn’t find this on our own. The Syd Barrett Late Night forum had a post from Mr Limbo, written on May 31, 2007, who claimed it was a Garrard SP.25 MK2.

Mr Limbo identified the record player as a Garrard SP.25 MK2, but this was not immediately accepted by all forum members. SteveM claimed it was a Garrard AT60.

Pretty sure the turntable in the picture is a Garrard AT60. Not an SP25. It had a silver stripe along the front edge.
Garrard AT60
Garrard AT60 with a second arm (technical manual).

The problem is that these record players all look alike. Eternal Isolation enlightened us with his wisdom:

I think there are photos of both models with and without the stripe. The biggest problem I'm having with the AT60 idea is that it looks like it only came with the automatic record changer arm, and Syd's does not have that. I don't know how difficult it would be to remove that part, but I'm guessing it would not just pull right out like the spindle does. 
In one photo found in the Psychedelic Renegades book, you can see a rectangular silver plaque on the front left of the cabinet. Not a lot of the Garrards seem to have that.
Another detail to look out for is that Syd's player has one of these little round Garrard logo plaques on the top. Searching through turntable photos on the internet, it looks like some SP25s and some AT60s have it and some do not.
Syds Record Player
Syd's Record Player (Garrard logo on front left.)

The problem is that the Internet is not the most reliable source, except for http://iggy.atagong.com, and often Garrard pictures are wrongly labelled. It is not even sure how to spell Garrard SP.25 MK2. The technical manual puts a dot (".") between the SP and 25, most internet articles do not.

Garrard SP25 button
Garrard SP.25 button.

MK 1 or 2?

After a 15-year gap, Birdie Hop's Vincenzo Gambino decided to have a new look at Syd’s record player. (You need to join the group to see his post: Garrard SP25 MK 1)

I would like to re-open an old discussion regarding Syd's turntable in Mick's photos.
It has been recognised as Garrard SP25 MK2, but I think it's an MK1.
The round tag was present in that position on the MK1 and later removed from MK2.

You want some pictures, I'll give you some pictures:

Garrard SP.25 MK1
Garrard SP.25 MK1
Syds Garrard SP.25
Syd's Garrard SP.25
Garrard SP.25 MK2
Garrard SP.25 MK2

So an MK1 and not an MK2? I am glad that this has finally been settled for another decade.

 

Pink Floyd bootlegs at HDTracks
Pink Floyd 'official' bootlegs at HDTracks.
pink floyd 1972 carnegie hall
Pink Floyd 1972 Carnegie Hall.

Historical Accuracy

One can laugh at the average Syd Barrett fan's eye for detail, which sometimes borders on the absurd. There’s a great contrast with the Pink Floyd management, who fuck up, Every-Single-Time they release something from their archives.

In what is again a copyright extension scheme, Pink Floyd has released 18 live performances from the early seventies through streaming services. Do not be too enthusiastic. These are all well-known bootlegs that have been weeded out for decades by Yeeshkul and the large community of Pink Floyd ROIO traders. The sound hasn’t been enhanced at all, and some tracks feature ‘a few genuine vinyl scratches to enhance its digital master credentials’, as Ffrenchmullen ironically remarks at Yeeshkul.

Pink Floyd even managed to get some dates wrong. The Carnegie Hall gig dates from May 2, 1972, not February 5, 1972. It is, to quote MOB, due to the famous inverted American convention for dates (2/5/1972 vs. 5/2/1972).

Another comment, this time from DenjiDen:

Zurich is missing a majority of the songs, Tokyo is mislabeled (…) and Brussels is completely out of order and has incorrect track names.
This would be humorous if it wasn't so depressing. I wish Management would get their shit together or just sell it off to someone who cares.
This is embarrassing.

MOB, again:

Southampton is actually the BBC recording of Wembley 16 November 1974.

The list of errors goes on and on. Moomoomoomoo at Hoffman’s music forum is a bit overdramatic and describes the set as follows:

I think it's safe to call this "set" the scam of the decade; possibly of the century.

If there is a general opinion about these releases, it is to keep your money in your pockets (they sell at 20$ a piece) and to start looking for the free, and often better, copies at the usual places on the internet. One soundboard recording, for instance, has been taken from a vinyl copy, with the pops and crackles included, instead of taking it directly from the soundboard. That’s how professionally the Pink Floyd Archival Team works.

‘Incompetence and avarice‘ seems to be the motto of Pink Floyd Ltd., as Aphexj comments, but others see this just as another copyright dump and not as a general release to the public.

Money. Its a gaz.
Money. Its a gaz.

Dark Side

The seminal album The Dark Side Of The Moon will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, in 2023. As far as we know now there will be some kind of anniversary release containing the following:
- 2023 Atmos Mix
- 2023 Remaster
- Live at Wembley 1974, 2023 Master

Another remaster: what do they think Dark Side is, washing powder? All in all, this will be quite underwhelming and overpriced, unless they add some marbles, of course.


Many thanks to: Aphexj, DenjiDen, Eternal Isolation, Ffrenchmullen, Vincenzo Gambino, Antonio Jesús, Mr Limbo, Steve M, MOB, Moomoomoomoo, Göran Nyström.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

Links, used for this article:
Syd's Record Player ! @ Late Night
Garrard SP25 MK 1 @ Birdie Hop
Garrard SP 25 Mk1 SP 25 Mk2 Service Manual @ Audio Service Manuals
Garrard SP25 Review @ Vintage Sonics
Garrard SP25 Mk II @ Stereonomono
18 new pink floyd releases @ Yeeshkul
Pink Floyd releases 17 concerts from 1972 for download and streaming @ Steve Hoffman Music Forums
Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon 50th anniversary wish list @ Steve Hoffman Music Forums