8 Infamous Recluses Who Vanished From The Spotlight

Published September 27, 2017
Updated September 30, 2020

Syd Barrett

Syd Barrett


Rumor has it that during a 1975 recording session, the founding Pink Floyd member showed up to the studio and no one recognized him because of the weight he had put on. That would be the last time that most of Pink Floyd saw Syd Barrett, known by some as the “original acid casualty.”

The pioneer of 1960s psychedelia was the principal songwriter on the Pink Floyd album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. However, he suffered a full-on, psychedelic drug-induced mental breakdown.

He dabbled in a couple other failed music projects before living out the rest of his post-Pink Floyd days in his mother’s Cambridge, England home. He spent his time gardening and then indulging in crazy DIY house projects after his mother passed away.

Barrett’s sister, Rosemary confirmed stories of her brother’s strange behavior: “The house, he wrecked … Every wall would be painted a different color. The idea of painting a room with the same color was just nonsensical to him. I used to say to him, ‘Do two walls the same color.’ ‘But why?’ he’d say. ‘They’re all different walls.'” She also offered the following possible explanation for his exile, “He found his own mind so absorbing that he didn’t want to be distracted.”

Enjoy this article on celebrity recluses? Next, read about these vintage celebrity couples. Then read about the Rock and Roll groupies who changed music.

Erin Kelly
An All That’s Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she’s designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.