Entry 920 posted in: 5. The Pink Thing, The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit
A couple of days ago Amazon delivered me my semestrial bunch of Pink Floyd related books. It came in a carton box so big that I feared I would have to build a library next to my house. Amazon cares about books, obviously, and that is why they give books enough space to breathe and to stroll around a bit during the journey from Amazon Ville to Felixtown, where I live. But during the adventurous journey two of them not only had made acquaintance in a formal, but also in an amatory way. When I opened the box they were still in a deep orgiastic penetrative mode and I felt a bit ashamed to have to interrupt their ongoing game of love.
I took a picture of the couple in action and send it to Amazon who promptly replied: "The packaging methods we use have proven over time to protect the books effectively. However, in your case it had been proved incorrect."
Now I fail to understand how putting 4 small books in an enormous carton can be called an effective method of packaging. Protecting each book in a brown paper envelop, to name just one of the 3 simple solutions I can immediately think of, would be less damaging, but who am I to think about these things. I am certainly not qualified and there must be a team of package resource managers at Amazon who make a million bucks a year only by contemplating the most effective ways to send books from Z to A.
For years Pink Floyd biographers kept on repeating the same story they had probably read in a previous biography of the band. Syd Barrett named Pink Floyd after two obscure Georgia blues singers from his record collection: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.
This story however was not entirely true.
First: these blues singers weren’t from Georgia.
Second: Syd Barrett did not have records from them.
Third. Well let’s start with the third point.
Pink Anderson isn’t really that obscure. He is not BB King of course, but his name does ring some tinkle bells amongst blues collectors. There was a kind of Pink Anderson revival in the Sixties and records of him can still be purchased today. So it was perhaps not that farfetched that Syd Barrett owned a record by him. But only he didn’t.
Floyd Council is an entirely different matter. Now this guy really is a footnote in blues history. He is most known as sideman on about a dozen Blind Boy Fuller songs and only recorded a couple of tracks himself. If you happen to own one of these originals you have hit the jackpot. And even now, with his name tied to the Pink Floyd legacy, it is difficult to find his solo oeuvre. It was nearly impossible, and I dare to say it was entirely impossible, for a Cambridge youngster to find a Floyd Council record in the UK in the early Sixties.
Little by little the Pink Floyd biographies altered the story. Well, perhaps these blues men didn’t come from Georgia, well, perhaps Syd didn’t actually own their records, well… perhaps these names were only mentioned on the sleeve notes of a blues record. A Blind Boy Fuller compilation perhaps?
But it lasted until 2001 before anyone (clearly not a biographer) asked the following question to a bunch of blues collectors: "Does a Blind Boy Fuller record, from before 1965, exists that mentions both Floyd Council and Pink Anderson on its sleeve?" The answer was yes. David Moore from Bristol even had the record in his collection. The rest is history and it has been repeated over and over again in Pink Floyd biographies ever since. It is even repeated in one of the books I received from Amazon a couple of days ago…
All it took to find the answer was, oddly enough, to ask the question to someone who knew, a thing nobody had ever thought of in 35 years.
Another thing that has bothered me lately is the who, what and where of the mystery person whose (splendidly shaped) buttocks can be found on the back sleeve of the Syd Barrett album The Madcap Laughs. All we seem to know is that the beautiful people of the Underground used to nickname her Iggy the Eskimo. There is a bit of an Iggy revival going on, not only on the Late Night discussion forum, but also on The City Wakes that gives us a preview of a previously unreleased Iggy Eskimo Girl (home) movie, directed by Anthony Stern.
Maybe the movie will stir some things up, because when Mark Blake wanted to trace her for his Pink Floyd biography Pigs Might Fly all he could come up with was:
There were others, including some of Syd Barrett's ex-girlfriends, whom I couldn't find; not least the fabled Iggy, whose bare arse appeared on the cover of The Madcap Laughs. In these instances, the letters were returned from an overseas address, or the telephone number I'd been given was no longer working. I soon learned that the women were harder to find, as marriage and divorce plays havoc with the names on the electoral register, and nobody could even remember Iggy's surname, or, indeed her real first name. Or they weren't telling. Taken from: Me & Pink Floyd.
Now here’s a biography I still want to buy, so Amazon you better beware!
Why am I writing this, you might think, if thinking is one of your stronger points, well, I am making this little web-thingy that listens to the name The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit where I will try to publish some facts and rumours about her. It’s time somebody asks some questions before it is too late…
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