It was June 1975, and Pink Floyd were drawing towards the end of a difficult recording process. They had achieved incredible success with their previous album The Dark Side of the Moon, but the consequences of this success had been laid bare in the studio. The band were now no longer a tight knit unit. Their fame and exhausting work loads had gradually driven a wedge between them.
Their engineer, Brian Humphries, was making some final adjustments to a mix when an overweight and sickly-looking man walked into the Abbey Road studios.
As he lurked in the background, complete with his shaven head, Humphries played ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’.
“I saw this guy sitting at the back of the studio. But I didn’t recognise him,” keyboardist Richard Wright later remembered in an interview.
“I said, ‘Who’s that guy behind you?’ ‘That’s Syd Barrett‘. And I just cracked up. I couldn’t believe it. He had shaven all his hair off… I mean, his eyebrows, everything.”
“Roger [Waters] was in tears, we both were. It was very shocking… to walk in while we’re actually doing that particular track. I don’t know – coincidence, karma, fate, who knows? But it was very, very, very powerful.”