Bob Klose

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Who was the original lead guitarist for Pink Floyd? Most people would say Syd Barrett. However, as Pink Floyd slowly evolved in late 1964 and early 1965, they featured not just the quartet that would…
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Who was the original lead guitarist for Pink Floyd? Most people would say Syd Barrett. However, as Pink Floyd slowly evolved in late 1964 and early 1965, they featured not just the quartet that would play on their first album and singles, but also lead guitarist and singer Bob Klose. The group played under the names the Spectrum Five and Leonard's Lodgers (in which their landlord Mike Leonard played keyboards in place of Rick Wright for a while) before settling on Pink Floyd. At this stage, Klose was apparently an accomplished blues-oriented guitarist, and more skilled on his instrument than Barrett was. Klose left around mid-1965, about a year-and-a-half before the band made their first official records. Members of Pink Floyd have said that his departure was one factor in getting them away from the blues and R&B that had been a large part of their early repertoire, and into something more original.

Klose probably did, however, record something with the band. Klose has recalled recording a few demos with them shortly before he left, possibly at Regent Sound studios in London. Two of the songs, a cover of Slim Harpo's "I'm a King Bee" and the original "Lucy Leave," have shown up on numerous Pink Floyd bootlegs. It seems almost wholly certain that these are genuine early Pink Floyd recordings, with Syd Barrett singing lead, and "Lucy Leave" does sound reasonably similar to the material Barrett would write for the band. Klose himself went on record as confirming that these were recordings on which he participated in the book Random Precision: Recording the Music of Syd Barrett 1965-1974, though he seemed unclear on the session's precise details. Klose became a photographer after leaving Pink Floyd.