Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason was overwhelmed by the response to former bandmate SYD BARRETT's death last year (06) - he presumed the man he describes as the band's "inspiration" had been forgotten. Barrett died in June 2006 from complications arising from his diabetes, nearly 40 years after he left the band following a drug-induced breakdown, following the release of their debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn in 1967. The news attracted widespread media attention and an outpouring of emotion from nostalgic fans - something Mason never expected. He says, "I know that it was only the first album of a band that has staggered on for 40 odd years but if it hadn't been for Syd, we wouldn't exist in the form we do or probably any form. "I didn't expect the groundswell of people who appreciated that his early work had been so instrumental in the development of the band."