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2008-08-08

Iggy

In Iggy We Trust Iggy was part Inuit (or Eskimo to use the vernacular of the day). According to Duggie Fields she wasn't considered a girlfriend of Syd (Barrett) although he says she probably slept with Syd on more than one occasion. He goes on to say 'We didn't want her living with us at the time but she was so beguiling that it was a difficult situation'. She was a former girlfriend of Anthony Stern (Movie Director, writer and cinematographer who was a friend of Syd in the 60's (he lived on Eden Street in Cambridge in the 60's) and he was a flatmate of and film asssistant to Peter Whitehead [Tonite Let's All Make Love In London]). Apparently she was destitute when she arrived at Wetherby Mansions had no money, no job and few possessions. According to Duggie Fields she never wore underwear (when she was wearing anything at all!) and he recalls her getting off a bus wearing a scarf as a skirt!

Iggy apparently 'vanished as quickly as she had come' and a hippie couple Rusty and Greta (two casual friends of Syd) decided to move in and lived in the hallway for a while. Later there was Gilly Staples (who Syd apparently threw across the room on one occasion) and a girl called Lesley (who sometimes Syd would see and other times would leave her outside banging on his door to come in). After that Gayla Pinion moved in around late '69 and subsequently became engaged to Syd on October 1 1970 but they never married.

According to Duggie Fields after Iggy left Syd she apparently went off with some 'rich guy from Chelsea and lived a very straight life'.

Written by acidmandala at The Syd Barrett Archives.

Posted by Felix Atagong at 3:32 PM CEST
Edited on: 2008-08-16 5:55 PM CEST
Categories: Bio-Bits

Bend It!

Iggy at The Crom Several Floydian sources publish a scan of a NME (New Musical Express) article from November 1966, featuring Iggy, dancing on a party. Most of the time the date is cited as Wednesday the 16th of November, but the scan of the magazine shows a different date that of Saturday the 26th of November. As NME appeared every Friday the article probably appeared in issue 1037 (of Friday the 25th of November). Of course there is always the chance that the actual pictures were taken on Wednesday the 16th.

Here is the full text that accompanies the pictures:

(On sale Friday, week ending November 26, 1966 - NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS)
DOWNSTAIRS...
On the small, intimate dimly lit dance floor in the basement, it's all happening, PATRICK KERR, dancer from RSG, and his girls demonstrate the bend dance.
Above: Three pop personalities (l to r) ADRIANNE POSTA, FRANK ALLEN (of Searchers) and TWINKLE try the Bend, watched by Cromwellian publicist SIMON HAYES.
Left: Another Bender - model IGGY, who is half-Eskimo.
Below: CHRIS FARLOWE dancing in sheepskin jacket.

The party in question was held at The Cromwellian (3 Cromwell Rd, London SW7). The Crom, as it was generally nicknamed, opened in 1965 in Earls Court, was a three-floor cocktail bar and discotheque and one of the posher (and more expensive) places to be. It was also one of the places for a would-be star to be discovered (or at least they believed it).

The basement described itself as ‘England’s Famous Discotheque (and restaurant)’ where pirate station DJs and well-known bands as Georgie Fame and Zoot Money performed. The ground floor had ‘Harry’s International Bar (and restaurant)’, promising the ‘greatest atmosphere in town’. Upstairs was a gambling area, an ‘Elegant Casino’, where you could try your luck at dice – roulette – black jack – pontoon and poker. Successful musicians, photographers, fashion designers, artists, television personalities (and the odd East End gangster) would hang out at The Crom, where the new m’as-tu-vu elite could enjoy a glass of champagne without being disturbed by obsessive and pushy fans. Ray Davies remembers it as the ideal place to ‘observe the almost endless supply of dolly girls parading in mini-skirts’. Probably the fact that there was ‘free entrance for girls’ helped as well.

Simon Hayes, publicist for The Crom is remembered by pirate radio DJ (and ex-roommate) Phil Martin: “Simon ran a pop PR agency called Ace Public Relations and he and his business (it seemed to me then) were at the absolute epicentre of the Swinging Sixties scene in London at the time.” (Taken from Offshore Radio)

Bend It! No wonder that The Crom was chosen by Patrick Kerr, one of the choreographers of the Ready Steady Go! TV show to present the new dance of the week: the Bend. (Probably he already knew that the RSG! show would end a couple of weeks later.) The Bend was named after the risqué Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich hitsingle Bend It! that had been released in September. According to NME a new version with a different set of words had to be recorded for the US market.

Other prominent guests at the party were (according to NME):
Adrienne (with an E) Posta (or Poster). An actress (and singer) who would have a prominent role in the forthcoming movie Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1967). In the next decade her sheepdog would become world-famous, posing for a Dulux paint advertisement campaign. This also led to the single ‘Dog Song’, written by her husband rockstar Graham Bonnett (The Marbles, Rainbow, Alkatrazz).
Frank Allen who joined The Searchers in 1964 and is still with them today.
Twinkle (Lynn Annette Ripley), the first British female singer / songwriter to score in the rock era. Her debut single Terry (1964) had catapulted her into the top3 and was followed by Golden Lights, Tommy, Poor Old Johnny, but with degrading success. (Update: as Simon Hayes and Twinkle were an item it is logical that she was present at the club. See also: Rod Harrod remembers The Crom.)
Chris Farlowe, one of Britain’s earliest exponents of R & B, had been struggling until his 1966 version of Think (Jagger & Richards) made it into the top 20. His following single Out Of Time (also a Rolling Stones tune) became number 1 and Farlowe was voted Best New Singer for 1966, although he had been performing since 1957.

Well so far for the small story, but what really matters is:

What was Iggy doing at The Cromwellian when Patrick Kerr demonstrated the Bend?
Who invited her to the spectacle (knowing that the press was also invited)?
Was she somehow connected to the RSG show (as a dancer, a model or a figurant)?
Was she somehow connected to The Cromwellian?
Was she somehow connected to Simon Hayes and/or his PR company?
What about singer/actress Adrienne Posta, one hit wonder Twinkle and superstar Chris Farlowe?
Was her aim to be discovered by a RSG! talent scout (perhaps not knowing that these were the last weeks of the show)?

The Holy Church Of Iggy the Inuit will continue to investigate this.

Update April the 1st, 2010. A new gallery has been uploaded containing the complete Come with NME for a pic-visit to THE CROMWELLIAN article and pictures from New Musical Express 1037, 25 November 1966. Photographs by Napier Russel & Barry Peake. Words by Norrie Drummond. (Just another world exclusive from the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.)

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Bacon, Tony: London Live, Balafon Books, London, 1999, p. 74-75.
McAleer, Dave, Beatboom!, Hamlyn, London, 1994, p. 93-94 & p. 126-127.
Platt, John: London’s Rock Routes, Fourth Estate, London, 1985, p.137-139.
Tobler, John (editor): NME Rock ‘N’ Roll Years, Hamlyn, London, 1992, p.163.


This is part one of our Cromwellian Bend-It series:
1. Bend It! 
2. The Style Council 
3. Rod Harrod remembers The Crom 
4. Dr Death and other assorted figures... 
Posted by Felix Atagong at 8:32 PM CEST
Edited on: 2010-10-29 8:50 PM CEST
Categories: Bend-The

2008-08-16

IN Gear

Iggy shops at Granny Takes A Trip Tailor John Pearse, graphic artist Nigel Waymouth (and girlfriend Shelagh York) opened Granny Takes A Trip in 1965. At the entrance was some lettering reading ‘one should either be a work of art or wear a work of art’. Granny Takes A Trip was the first multisex boutique selling miniskirts, op art shirts, garments in loud florals and paisleys… Perhaps more of importance were the second hand ornaments: flapper dresses, Victorian bustles, Boer War helmets, antique military jacquets, Chicago gangster suits, fezzes, turbans and other ‘cleaned and darned exotica’.

Nigel Waymouth: "I was with this girl at the time and she used to collect old clothes. We thought that it might be a good idea to open a shop with all these things. (…) Of course it was terribly vain."

The Granny T-a-T boutique was known for its outrageous decoration. The entrance of the shop changed a few times: in the early days it had a mural of a North American Indian, in 1966 (probably) it was replaced by a pop art picture of Jean Harlow and at a later stage a real Dodge (well, part of it) was pop-artistically glued to the wall.

Nigel Waymouth Granny was expensive, elitist and wasn’t afraid of saying so. Journalist and critic Jonathan Meades once tried to get in dressed in a casual black suit and tie: “I remember Nigel Waymouth sneering at me, you could hardly see his face by through this mass of afro hair. (…) He obviously thought I was a jerk. (…) and wanted me moved out of the way because I was an extremely bad advertisement for his shop.”

"The underground was exactly the same as everything else: there were rich people and there were poor people. It was class ridden. There was no working class in the underground because nobody did any work." (Cheryll Park, art-student).

"The underground had a star system exactly as did pop music and films and everything else." (Andrew Bailey, journalist Variety, Rolling Stone UK).

The press that cherished Swinging London reported vividly about the so-called mundane settings (shops, bars and restaurants) visited by working class heroes such as Michael Caine and Twiggy. The sudden press attention made the flower power movement mushroom and disappear in a couple of months time.

Look At Life Look At Life was a series of short documentaries about British life, made by Rank Organisation and shown in the Odeon and Gaumont movie theatres. Between 1959 and 1969 over 500 tongue-in-cheek episodes were made. One particular episode from 1967, called IN Gear, narrated by Michael Ingrams, deals with several Swinging London shops and clubs.

It's the swinging London fashion scene on parade and features an eye-candy array of dazzling & colourful mod fashions! Suits, shirts, pants, shoes, boots, jackets, dresses, belts, bags, hats, caps, ties, skirts, blouses, scarves, dickies, and more! Mary Quant shows off her latest collection! The viewer is taken to King's Road, SOHO, and Carnaby Street.
Some of the shops visited are: "Granny Takes a Trip," "Hung on You," "The Antiques Supermarket," "I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet," and "Gear."
The narrator tells us that, "A year or two ago fashion originated in the haute couture's of Paris, then spread downward through society in ever cheapening copies; now these shops which would have interpreted the mould, originate today's fashion, owing nothing to Paris or anyone else."
Next, it's off to the discotheque club scene where the "in" gear is worn. Clubs include: "Tiles," "Bag of Nails" (the Beatles used to hang out here), "Samantha's," "Georges" and "the Saddle Room." Groovy pop music soundtrack! (Taken from Videobeat.)

When Late Night member dollyrocker watched this particular episode on YouTube he recognised a familiar face at 1:43. The girl who visits the Granny Takes A Trip shop is none other than Iggy the Eskimo. This probably means that she was hired by the makers of the documentary as an actor for the movie and further proof indeed that she was a professional model.

Unfortunately the credits have been cut of from the YouTube video and I’m not sure if they appear on the Swinging London DVD it was taken from (unfortunately the DVD is out of print and its editor DD Home Entertainment is out of business).

We don’t know exactly when the documentary was made but as another shop, Biba, moved somewhere between March and September 1966 to Kensington Church Street, and that location is shown in the movie, one can deduct that the movie dates from summer 1966 - spring 1967.

So far for the small story. But what really matters is:

Who hired Iggy for the documentary?
What agency did she belong to?
If she was a professional model there must still be promo shots or fashion photo shoots available in the darker corners of this world…

A gallery with screenshots of the movie can be visited here.

Sources (other than the above internet links)
Green, Jonathon: All Dressed Up, Pimlico, London, 1999, p. 80-81.
Green, Jonathon: Days In The Life, Pimlico, London, 1998, p.187-190., p. 218-220
Levy, Shawn: Ready Steady Go!, Broadway Books, New York, 2003, p.190-191.

Posted by Felix Atagong at 6:00 PM CEST
Edited on: 2009-12-29 1:23 PM CET
Categories: IN-Gear

2008-08-24

Stormy Pictures

Iggy @ TML The most famous Iggy picture, and without this one this blog wouldn’t probably even exist, can be found on the back side of Syd Barrett’s solo album The Madcap Laughs (top left pic).

There is a bit of a confusion who made these pictures. Hipgnosis designed the sleeve and Storm Thorgerson writes in his volume Mind Over Matter:

My only decision was to use a 35mm camera and upgraded colour transparency, partly because of the low level light conditions and partly for the grainy effect. (…) Friend and photographer Mick Rock, later famous for his Bowie photos amongst many others also came on the photo session, but I cant remember why. (p.204 of the 2003 edition, p. 234 in the 2007 edition although the index still assumes it is on p. 204).

TML Front Cover Dark Globe, member of the Late Night discussion forum, had a quick chat with Storm in July:

There was the chance to see the cover of 'The Madcap Laughs' displayed at a larger size on excellent quality paper. This famous photo was taken by Storm himself for the cover of the album - and not by Mick Rock as some assume. (…) I was lucky enough to talk to Storm himself and tell him how much I admired his work. I also took the opportunity to ask him about the 'Madcap' photo session and enquired whether we would ever see any of his outtakes from that session appear in some form in the future. Unfortunately this doesn't seem likely as he informed me that his photos from that session were now lost.

Hipgnosis was probably commissioned by the record company (Harvest, EMI) to make the record sleeve. Syd Barrett however had another idea and asked his friend Mick Rock, an aspiring would-be photographer, to organise the shooting for the forthcoming album. The result was that the two photographers were present on the same day.

A lot has been written about these sessions, not in the least by Mick Rock who devoted two books to the subject:

  • Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs - The Mick Rock Photo-Sessions (U.F.O. Books, 1993), a book that was bundled with the album in a limited edition. The introduction of this (sold out and deleted) book can be found on various places on the net.

and

  • Psychedelic Renegades - Photographs of Syd Barrett by Mick Rock. Genesis Publications published the first limited edition in 2002 with 320 copies autographed by Roger Barrett & Mick Rock and 630 copies signed by Mick Rock alone (sold out). In 2005, before Barrett passed away, the Deluxe copies already had a collector’s value of 2400 £. In 2007 the book was finally published in a regular version, by Plexus (London) and Gingko (USA).

Mick Rock remembers the day as follows:

The actual session turned out to be a collaboration really because Storm also took some pictures. I remember Storm asking me whether to credit the image, ‘Hipgnosis and Mick Rock’ and I said, ‘No just credit it Hipgnosis’.

Psychedelic Renegades however does not include the sleeve pictures of The Madcap Laughs so in the end it was probably Storm who decided to use only his own material (according to Mick Rock one photo would later surface – uncredited - on Barrett’s second album). Because both sessions were made on the same day the pictures are obviously very similar (some Storm pictures were also used on the Syd Barrett compilation album).


More about the Mick Rock - Storm Thorgerson controversy:
Storm Thorgerson section 
Mick Rock section 
and the ultimate Iggy photoshoot fun quiz
The Iggy IQ Quiz 
Posted by Felix Atagong at 4:01 PM CEST
Edited on: 2009-12-29 1:28 PM CET
Categories: Rock-Mick, Thorgerson-Storm

2008-08-30

Shaken not stirred

Iggy by Anthony Stern Moviemaker Anthony Stern, who knew Iggy before she met Syd, has confirmed that the person at the Granny Takes A Trip boutique on the IN Gear movie is indeed her. On his turn he will present a home movie called Iggy Eskimo Girl at The City Wakes festival in Cambridge (see banner at the right side). A short teaser can be found on YouTube.

According to Mick Rock Syd was touched when she left him:

Once I’d developed the film (from The Madcap Laughs photo-session, note by FA), I went round to show Syd the pictures. He took this one opposite (page 21 in the PR-book, note by FA) and scratched some lines and his name onto it. I think there was a bit of negativity directed at Iggy. He just started scratching the print, with a big grin on his face. (Taken from Psychedelic Renegades.)

It could be that the scratches on the picture were destined at Iggy, but why did Syd Barrett scratch (more or less) around her figure? Not (and I hope my shrink will never read this) her face or body, in my garbled opinion the logical thing to do if one would try to express negative or revengeful feelings on a photograph. Syd’s body and face is far more scratched than Iggy’s and Barrett also cut the letters SYD on the picture... Perhaps he was just trying to make clear to Mick Rock that he wanted to get rid of his pop-life alter ego.

Mick Rock writes further that he heard from Duggie Fields, the painter who was Syd Barrett’s roommate and who still lives in the same apartment today, that ‘she later went off with some rich guy in Chelsea and lived a very straight life’.

On my main blog (and also on the Late Night forum) I wrote that none of the Pink Floyd biographers have been really looking for Iggy. Mark Blake, author of Pigs Might Fly, responded: “I can't speak for all the PF or SB biographers, but I certainly tried.”

The only bit of new info I found was that there was a chance 'Iggy' may have gone to school in the South London area, as she was known as one of the regular teenage girls at the dancehalls around Purley and Caterham. This would have been around 1965. Duggie Fields recalls seeing her some time after the Madcap Laughs photo session and she was looking a lot more "sloaney". Most of the people I spoke to who knew her believe Iggy married a rich businessman and doesn't now want to be 'found'. (Taken from The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit on Late Night.)

Although scarce the above information is about the most relevant we have had from a biographer in about 30 years.

The most famous dancehall in Purley was the Orchid Ballroom where The Who, The Troggs and The Hollies gigged a couple of times. It started as a regular dance hall (and concert and sporting events hall) in the Fifties and had a local house band The Jackpots in 1963 and 64.

In the mid Sixties (1964 – 1966) the Orchid Ballroom was the meeting place for the Croydon mods who would assemble every Monday night. Witnesses remember Mike (?) Morton, Tony Crane, Jeff Dexter and Sammy Samwell spinning the records. Pete Sanders and Mickey Finn used to be part of the crowd.

Not all these names ring a bell. I could not trace back Mike Morton, but Lionel Morton was the singer and lead guitarist from the Four Pennies who had a hit in 1963 – 1964 with Juliet. Tony Crane was a member of The Mavericks, a band that became famous when they changed the name to The Merseybeats, later The Merseys (David Bowie would cover their Sorrow on his Pin-Ups album, a tune they had borrowed from The McCoys). Mickey Finn could be the man who was the drummer of T. Rex and who also played on the record made by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, the people who were behind the Granny Takes A Trip boutique.

Elizabeth Colclough used to work at the bar in 1968: "It was the place to go to meet friends old and new, weekday evenings and also at the weekend. We saw some great bands, some who are still going strong today.”

Another witness recalls how Cathy (Mc Gowan), the queen of the mods and presenter of the ever popular Ready Steady Go! Show, came to the Orchid Ballroom to spot for dancers to appear in her show. Seen the fact that Iggy was present at an RSG!-party, organised by the show's main choreographer, it is not improbable that she may have been present at some RSG! television-shows as well, as a dancer or as a pretty face in the public.

A book about the history of the Orchid Ballroom has been made and the Church will try to contact its author, there is the (very small) chance that Iggy is mentioned in it. (Update August 2009: Brian Roote, who studied the history of The Orchid confirmed later to the Church: 'I have no knowledge of this girl whatsoever'.)

An image gallery with stills of the movie Iggy, Eskimo Girl can be found at the gallery.

Sources (other than the above internet links):
McAleer, Dave: Beatboom!, Hamlyn, London, 1994, p. 57-59.
Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 20.

Posted by Felix Atagong at 2:46 PM CEST
Edited on: 2009-12-29 1:29 PM CET
Categories: Orchid-The, Rock-Mick, Stern-Anthony, Video-Gallery