Rock around the Blog
One of the lesser profane tasks of The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is to check the amount of iggybility on the World Wide Web and to act (or react) accordingly. As the one and only keeper of the true faith this means that in very grave situations the Holy Igquisition has to intervene.
Here is such a case.
It came to the attention of the Church that the popular website whodatedwho.com has got a webpage devoted to Iggy. That is no problem as such, but a closer look on the page in question reveals that it contains some errors and some unaccredited links.
The Iggy picture gallery contains a lot of video-screenshots that have been taken from The Holy Church, but without referencing it. The Igquisition does not need any divine intervention to make this assumption as several screenshots have been taken from an alternative copy of the Syd Barrett home video that isn’t widely available on the web but that belongs to the Church’s archives.
The Holy Church does not pretend to be the one and only gospel and anyone is entitled to add his (or her) own interpretations on the web. On the other hand the Holy Church has the ambition to become the one and only godspell, god spell as in collection of (good) news, the one a bit more canonical than the other.
After long consideration the Holy Igquisition has decided that the true believer will find the Church anyway, so every Iggy webpage, even considered heretic by The Church, will be beneficiary at the end. But there is another matter with graver consequences the Igquisition has to look into...
The Who Dates Iggy page has some limited space to add links to other websites. The most prominent one links to a forum thread located at pinkfloydfan.net. The Who is Iggy?-thread, dating from 2004, starts with the following remark ‘these are some links to pictures with her (meaning Iggy) and Mr. Barrett’ and point to 5 pictures located at the pink-floyd.org website.
The pictures present at this location have been described here and there as Iggy with Syd, sitting in the back of his garden in Cambridge in 1971. To avoid any rumours of a Syd and Iggy reunion in the Seventies the Church vehemently wants to contradict this mystification. The woman present on the picture is not Ig, but Sheila Rock, Mick Rock’s first wife:
I met my first wife Sheila in 1969 and within about six months we were married. (…) The images were taken in Syd’s mother’s house to accompany a small article that I did for Rolling Stone magazine in 1971. (…) By that time Syd had moved back to Cambridge. The pictures were shot in the garden. Sheila took the pictures of me and Syd together…
Although all trace of Sheila has been carefully removed from the pictures in the Psychedelic Renegades book, with the exception of her hand on Syd’s sleeve on page 132, some uncensored pictures made it to the fans, probably through Bernard White who issued the Terrapin magazine in the Seventies. But to settle this matter once and for all: she is not Ig; she is Sheila Rock.
The pictures of Sheila Rock and Syd Barrett, taken by Mick Rock, can be
found on the heretic Madcap
page of pink-floyd.org. Please note that the description of the pictures
is wrong and that the woman on the picture is not Iggy.
Syd Barrett & Iggy #1 NOT!
Syd Barrett & Iggy #2 NOT!
Syd Barrett & Iggy #3 NOT!
Syd Barrett & Iggy #4 NOT!
Syd Barrett & Iggy #5 NOT!
Notes (other than internet links mentioned above)
Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 98.
The Reverend wants to apologise for the - sometimes harsh - tone of the above text. It has been written by the Holy Igquisition, and nobody expected the Holy Igquisition, not even the Reverend.
Feel free to add your own comments, theories and rumours at the Iggy forum.
Rock - Paper - Scissors
Ig's close encounters of the photographical kind were not limited to the Anthony Stern triptych series alone. She can be found as well on the cover of the Syd Barrett album The Madcap Laughs, still available in any qualitative cd-shop what means that it is a hell of a job to actually find it. But on top of her picture you get some decent music as well what is a rather nice bargain.
Storm Thorgerson from the arty farty collective Hipgnosis claims he shot the cover, although Mick Rock more or less hints the same. Both photographers were present at the same place on the same day for the same purpose. Rock writes that he was asked by Syd Barrett to do the shoot and that Storm agreed to take him on in the team.
Syd asked me to take the pictures. We had talked about the shoot for a while, and the day before it happened I told Storm from Hipgnosis, so he came along because they were putting the package together.
Thorgerson probably was despatched by Harvest director and Barrett producer ad interim Malcolm Jones and has stated that another photographer was present as well but that he didn't know what the fuck he was doing there, although in a slightly more diplomatic way:
Friend and photographer Mick Rock, later famous for his Bowie photos amongst many others, also came on this photo session, but I can’t remember why. I think it was to help me, which seems ironic given his subsequent lensmanship and success in the rock business.
It surely was one of Rock’s pics that was put - uncredited - on the back sleeve of the Barrett (his second solo) album. For the third release, a repackaging of the two previous ones, aptly called Syd Barrett, some other shots from that day in April 1969 were used, but it is not certain if these came from Rock's second-hand Pentax 35mm camera, bought from that other Hipgnosis team member Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell, or from Storm Thorgerson who also claims he used a 35mm for the job. (Although his favourite camera at that time was a Hasselblad 500 c, as used for the Floyd’s Ummagumma cover a couple of months later).
There will always be an enigma surrounding the cover shoot of The Madcap Laughs. The 1978 book Walk Away René (The Work of Hipgnosis) contains a detailed description of every picture in the book, except for… The Madcap Laughs. Unfortunately Storm’s negatives have been lost, so there will never be a Psychedelic Renegades from his hand.
Psychedelic Renegades, and then we finally get to the subject of this blog entry, is the photo book Mick Rock made in 2002. The first edition, by Genesis, had 320 copies autographed by R.K. Barrett that are worth a small fortune nowadays. In 2007 a regular edition was published by Plexus Books (European edition) and Gingko (for the USA).
There is a possibility that the Mick Rock photo shoot took more than one day. The pictures in his apartment were taken, together with Storm Thorgerson. The outside pictures date (perhaps) from the next day. Nobody can be really sure and Rock isn’t the most reliable witness to say the least. On page 18 he writes:
We shot The Madcap Laughs in the autumn of 1969 and I don’t think that Syd and Duggie Fields had been living in the flat that long.
The above is a contradiction as Syd moved in the apartment end 1968, furthermore the research of JenS, who was a friend of Syd and Ig, shows that the pictures were probably taken in April of 1969. Rock also states that:
Syd’s car was a conspicuously bright pink Pontiac Parisienne convertible.
However the few colour pictures of the car show it was (midnight) blue. But the Church will no longer go further in this matter, if you want you can read all about in some previous posts, for instance When Syd met Iggy... (Pt. 2).
About 20 pictures of the book show us a glimpse of Ig, who is described by Rock as follows…
Known only as Iggy, the half-Eskimo girl had momentarily made her way into Syd’s life, and flat, at the time when these photos were taken. Though not part of the original shoot plan, Iggy was an intriguing accomplice. With no job and little to call her own, Iggy epitomised the free natured spirit of the psychedelic underground.
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is very proud to announce you 3 new
Street Life, black & white pictures of Iggy in front of the house and car.
Bare Flat, colour pictures of Iggy, walking around in the nude and posing on the background in Syd's apartment.
Rock Bottom, black & white nude study of Ig.
Most pictures have been cropped to emphasize the Eskimo girl, in reality this means that Syd Barrett has been cut out a lot. Those interested in the non-cropped versions can try their luck at Neptune Pink Floyd, other Pink Floyd related sites or - even better - purchase Mick Rock's excellent Psychedelic Renegades book. All pictures © Mick Rock.
Notes (other than internet links mentioned above):
Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 18, p. 20, p. 23, p. 46.
Thorgerson, Storm: Mind Over Matter, Sanctuary Publishing, London, 2003, p. 204.
Feel free to add your own comments, theories and rumours at the Iggy forum.