Pink Floyd art on show in Datchworth

PUBLISHED: 08:59 01 October 2016 | UPDATED: 17:33 02 October 2016

Rebirth, created by Joel Brown for Pink Floyd in 1966

Rebirth, created by Joel Brown for Pink Floyd in 1966


Artwork created for the very first concert by rock giants Pink Floyd will go on display in Hertfordshire today.

Although the exhibition of Joel Brown’s work will contain many striking images created with various techniques, the abstract colour slides he made for a concert at Camden’s Roundhouse in 1966 will form the centrepiece.

Joel, now 81, was introduced to the fledgling rock group by Barry Miles, a key figure in 1960s London counter-culture who became a successful writer.

Joel, a New Yorker who now lives in St Albans, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “He had his finger on the pulse of London. He knew everything that was going on.

“When I showed him my slides he said “I know some people who would love this’”.

The Sunday Times would soon report: “At the launching of the new magazine International Times the other night a pop group called the Pink Floyd played throbbing music while a series of bizarre coloured shapes flashed on a huge screen behind them ... apparently very psychedelic.”

Joel, who had created the projected images on glass slides using experimental ink from the St Albans print firm where he worked, dislikes the adjective.

“Would you call the work of Turner psychedelic?” he asked.

Joel has no memory of Roger Waters, later the group’s dominant personality, but vividly recalls Syd Barrett, whose huge talent was doomed for destruction by mental illness,

Joel said: “He was a charismatic character.

“He was a fantastic writer, and a very troubled man.

“Syd Barrett and I got stoned together before the concert.

“We were very much alike, but I was ten years older.”

Joel did not work with the group again, but his slides were later used in lectures by the controversial LSD advocate Timothy Leary.

He later discovered a talent for drawing and painting, as the exhibition at the Mardleybury Gallery in Datchworth, ending on October 28, will demonstrate.

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