Books - Non-Fiction

The Lyrics of Syd BarrettThe Lyrics of Syd Barrett
(Omnibus Press 2021) ISBN 978-1787602564

In 2019 Omnibus asked me to write a 5,000 word introductory essay for a book of Syd Barrett’s lyrics. I was happy to do this, and more than happy to spend the next year in regular communication with David Gilmour as with the help of pro-tools he sent me isolated vocal tracks to decipher. We managed to crack Syd’s enigma codes and here they all are in a book for the first time.

Psychedelia and Other ColoursPsychedelia and Other Colours
(Faber and Faber 2015) ISBN 978-0571282005

“A fantastic, exhaustive history of the genre: comphrehensive but gripping, packed with eye-opening period detail and with a brilliant analysis of everything from Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to the oeuvre of the Crocheted Doughnut Ring”
Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

“An exhaustive, idiosyncratic and very entertaining reappraisal of an often lazily documented period”
Jim Irvin, Mojo

“'s not so much that Rob Chapman's book brings new insights to the table (though it does that too): it's more that it constitutes a whole other table in its own right”
Oregano Rathbone, Record Collector 

My book on the prehistory, cultural antecedents and creative manifestations of LSD-inspired music was published in the UK by Faber in September 2015 and in the USA in May 2016. It was issued in paperback in 2017.

More Reviews

Syd Barrett : A Very Irregular HeadSyd Barrett : A Very Irregular Head
(Faber and Faber 2010) ISBN 978-0571-23854-5
Available as an English language Audio Book - published by Blackstone Audio Books. (ISBN: 144176397X).

“Chapman has unravelled the skeins of rumour, exaggeration and anecdote that have been wound so tightly around Barrett… the best book yet about him.”
Sean O'Hagan, The Observer

In the summer of 2012 I was awarded my PhD for service to Sydology. I am now officially Doctor Robert. Should you wish to read the entire 35,000 word doctorate (or indeed any of it) you can find it here.

Click here to see what all the nice critics have been saying about my Syd book.

Album Covers From The Vinyl JunkyardAlbum Covers From The Vinyl Junkyard
(Booth-Clibborn Editions. 1997) ISBN 1-86154-075-2

This book evolved from the Vinyl Junkyard exhibition, which took place at the Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool in 1996. About half of the album sleeves used in the book are from my own collection.

Selling the Sixties : The Pirates and Pop Music RadioSelling the Sixties : The Pirates and Pop Music Radio
(Routledge. 1992) ISBN 0-415-07970-5

I was commissioned to write a follow up to this book in 1992. Ostensibly 'pirates part 2' it rapidly developed into a 20th century history of clandestine initiatives in music radio with the working title 'From Etherspace To Cyberspace'. Unfortunately I had to abandon this project due to insufficient research time and even less sufficient (ie non-existent) research funds. I had written about 50,000 words and if I ever find a sympathetic research faculty to fund it I'll write the rest.


Dusk MusicDusk Music
(Flambard Press. 2008) ISBN 978-1-873226-95-7

Since the Arts Council withdrew its funding in 2012 Flambard Press has been wound up and as far as I’m aware all remaining copies of Dusk Music have been pulped. Never mind, the last time I looked you could find it on Amazon for a penny.