Brian Barritt

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Brian Barritt
BornBrian Barritt
29 November 1934
Coventry, England
Died30 January 2011
Notable worksWhisper

Brian Sydney Barritt (1934–2011) was an English author, artist, and counterculture figure. He served in the British army, and was a friend and collaborator to such notables as Timothy Leary, William Burroughs, and Alex Trocchi. He was particularly active in the Beatnik, psychedelic, and Krautrock scenes.


Barritt was the author of several books, including Whisper,[1] The Road of Excess: A Psychedelic Autobiography[2] and The Nabob of Bombasta.[3] He also collaborated with Timothy Leary on his book, Confessions of a Hope Fiend.[4]

Relationship to Timothy Leary[edit]

Barritt first made contact with Leary when Leary was on the run after his escape from prison.[5] Barritt wrote to Leary in Algeria, asking him to write a forward to the then unpublished, Whisper. Leary had seen parts of the book before which had been handed to him whilst he was a prisoner at San Luis Obispo, USA. By the time Leary received his letter, Barritt was already in Algiers waiting to see him.[6] Their relationship deteriorated by the early 1980s with Leary describing Barritt as a 'lying junky' in his autobiography, Flashbacks.[7]

Collaborations with Musicians[edit]

Barritt collaborated with Martin Glover from Killing Joke on his novel, The Nabob of Bombasta. He was later introduced to the rave scene by The Orb.[8]


  1. ^ Barritt, Brian (1971). Whisper. Whisper Productions. ASIN B0018HF31A.
  2. ^ Barritt, Brian (1998). The Road of Excess: A Psychedelic Autobiography. PSI Publishing. ISBN 0953274101.
  3. ^ Barritt, Brian (2010). The Nabob of Bombasta. The Big Hand Books. ISBN 0956416306.
  4. ^ Higgs, John (2006). I Have America Surrounded. Friday Books. pp. 169–170. ISBN 1905548257. ' the opinion of the counterculture journalist John Bryon, "Barritt helped make Hope Fiend the best stylistic job Tim had yet produced."'
  5. ^ Leary, Timothy (1973). Confessions of a Hope Fiend. Bantam. p. 195. ISBN 0552680702.
  6. ^ Higgs, John (2006). I Have America Surrounded. Friday Books. p. 141. ISBN 1905548257.
  7. ^ Leary, Timothy (1983). Flashbacks. Heinemann. p. 322. ISBN 0434409758.
  8. ^ John Higgs. "Brian Barritt: Counter-culture writer who collaborated with Timothy Leary". The Independent.