When I'm 64
Brethren Dan5482 visited the several Church locations (see underneath) that can be found on the World Wide Web and confessed the following to the Reverend:
Despite all that collective amnesia I think that Iggy can still be found. There are journalists, detectives... who have found more difficult "targets".
However, an intense and widespread interest for her is a necessary condition. Your Church is a source of hope in this sense. It lets many people know that once such a mysterious woman existed.
It occurs to me that many people simply don’t want to know who or where Iggy is. Imagine finding a 70-year old woman and to find out that her words about that period are as simple and disappointing as "I don't like to remember that period. I was out of my mind..." That could be the end of a romantic dream.
Besides the fact that Iggy herself is an extremely intriguing figure, there is also the possibility of obtaining a new narrative and facts surrounding Syd Barrett's life in that fabled year of 1969.
Wise words from a wise man.
If JenS’ assumption that Ig was born at the end of World War II is true she is 64 or 65 years old at the moment (provided she is still amongst us). True believers know the following story for sure… in April, or early May of 1970, Ig closed the door behind her at Wetherby Mansions and was never seen back…
Mick Rock has apparently stated that he heard from Duggie Fields, the painter who was Syd Barrett’s roommate, that Iggy ‘went off with some rich guy in Chelsea and lived a very straight life’ afterwards.
However Mark Blake squeezed a slightly different story out of him:
I have no idea who Iggy was or even what her real name was. She was never Syd’s girlfriend. They just got together from time to time. (…) I saw her not long after Syd left the flat and she was looking more like a Sloane Ranger. I heard she’d become involved with one of the voguish religious cults at the time.
Mark had some extra comments to give at the Late Night discussion forum:
Nobody knew her real first name, never mind her surname, or if they did, they weren't telling. 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'.
The Cinderella story may be a case of confabulation. One witness pretends to know that Ig married rich and over the years this story infiltrates the memories of other people who, decades later, believe this is really how it happened. This is not done on purpose; our memory likes to fill in the gaps and if we need to borrow memories of other people we will subconsciously do that. Pink Floyd history contains several anecdotes like that and in the several biographies and articles Floydian insiders have told about situations that were originally witnessed by others.
In February of this year Mark Blake reported to the Church:
I spoke to Emo a couple of weeks back and asked about Iggy and he immediately said he remembered hearing she had gone back to the Far East/Asia. But, as I have learned since doing the book, everyone has conflicting memories about these things.(mail to the Reverend on 23/02/2009)
At The City Wakes festival in October and November of 1988 Anthony Stern’s Eskimo Girl movie was shown to the public and during the Q&A afterwards there was a member of the audience who told the director that Iggy was still living in Chelsea. Nobody knows who this person is but if (s)he attended the festival (s)he must have been a fan of Barrett or one of the members of the Cambridge or London Underground gang who took this opportunity to meet again after three decades. The Church would like to invite this person to come forward and to contact the Reverend.
On the 7th of October 2006 the SydBarrett.net forum got the following message from a certain YoungForEternity.
Does anyone know roughly how old Iggy would be? There's a woman who works at a supermarket in my local town who claims to be "the" Iggy and I don't know whether to believe her or not...I'd appreciate any pointers or recognisable features? Her name is definitely Iggy, and I've been studying images but it's difficult to tell... (Taken from whatever happened to iggy the eskimo?)
The forum in question is no longer active and the messenger only posted this single item. In 2006 Ig was (probably) 61 or 62 years old so theoretically she should no longer have been working, as the State Pension age for women born before 1950 is 60 (in the UK). But of course there are always exceptions. To qualify for a full basic State Pension she needed to have built up 39 years of National Insurance payments and perhaps that may not have been the case. The Church would also like the author of this post to come forward and to contact the Reverend.
Next week the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit will celebrate its first birthday and a small and delicate special treat will be offered. Till then. And remember; don’t do anything that Ig wouldn’t have done…
Notes (other than internet links mentioned above):
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press, London, 2007, p.141.
Many thanks go to young 3D artist Arthur Fratzen who lend me a copy of his WIP Iggy 64.
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit can be found at: http://iggy.atagong.com.
Authorised subsidiaries can be found at:
Rejoice, dear followers of the Esqimau, as The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit celebrates its first birthday. On the eight day of the eighth month of the eight year of the second Millenium the Church was born. That day two messages were posted, the first, a very modest one, was a mere introduction that was basically written by someone else, the second post however told the story of the first public appearance of Iggy, already nicknamed the Eskimo, in November 1966.
Ig, as the Church prefers to call her now, was spotted by NME on a party in the presence of Patrick Kerr, the main choreographer of the Ready Steady Go!-show, one hit wonders Twinkle and Adrienne Posta, Frank Allen from the Searchers and Mick Jagger wannabee Chris Farlowe. Already then she was about a mover and could bend it better than Wickham. (Read the article here: Bend It!)
It is possible that Ig was a dancer / guest / visitor at a couple of Ready Steady Go!-shows, but the Church’s investigations have only found circumstantial evidence of that. The Church is still trying to get hold of some courageous witnesses who want to testify this before the Holy Igquisition. Also present at the NME party was pop-PR-publicist Simon Hayes who may have made the aspiring model believe that he was her agent. Up till now The Church couldn’t trace the man although several attempts to contact him have been made.
But this is no time for grief, let us rejoice, rejoice, as today, so declares the Church, is Ig’s day. And celebrate we will…
In the summer of 2006 Denis Combet, professor at Brandon University, wrote a collection of poems as a tribute to the musician and painter Roger Keith Barrett who passed away in Cambridge on the 7th of July 2006. The poems highlight the life of the young artist as a nonconformist who preferred – or was forced – to withdraw from the music world for a more humble existence.
About a year later, part of the collection was published under the title Guitars and Dust Dancing, in the student webzine Ecclectica, together with art work from Lou Visentin and music from Pascal Mascheroni.
The poems describe fragments of Barrett’s life, his youth, his hometown, his friends and relatives and the collection contain poems dedicated to and inspired by David Gilmour, Gala Pinion, Lindsay Corner, Nick Mason, Rick Wright, Roger Waters, Rosemary Breen and Winifred Barrett. And one of them From Quetesh to Bastet is all about Ig.
From Quetesh to Bastet
Iggy the Eskimo,
Girl of space.
Often very alone,
But always a friend.
Star fallen from the black sky:
Solar, solitary, solstice, soloist.
Pale blue crystal dawn, pearl wine dusk.
A mauve Venus, disrobed on the silk orange milky way.
Magical music, medieval Median, magnetic:
Even in worlds where love is impossible.
Transcended, transparent, translucent, transitory:
Life together unconditionally and forever.
And that black cat caressing him with a glance, the night.
The malefic vision of Lucifer Sam.
© Denis Combet, English translation by Constance Cartmill (2007). Previously published at: Guitars and Dust Dancing.
Denis Combet had originally written the poetic cycle in French and when the Reverend contacted him to get permission to publish the above the Church also asked for the original to be published as well. It is with great proud that we hereafter present the original version of the Iggy poem that, as far as we know, has never been published before… Just another world exclusive of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.
De Quétesh à Bastet
Fille de l’espace.
Souvent très seule,
Mais toujours amie.
Étoile tombée du ciel noir:
Solaire, solitaire, solstice, soliste
Aube de cristal bleu pâle, crépuscule de vin de perles.
Une Vénus mauve, dénudée sur voie lactée de soie orangée.
Musique magique, médique médiévale, magnétique:
Même dans des univers où l’amour est impossible.
Transcendée, transparente, translucide, transitoire:
La vie ensemble sans détours et pour toujours.
Et ce chat noir qui le caresse du regard, la nuit.
La vision maléfique de Lucifer Sam.
© Denis Combet, 2006. Previously unpublished.
Originally it was planned to launch a separate website in 2008 containing the complete works (poems, music and art) and to publish the cycle in book form. But due to the high costs involved to print an art book the author is still looking for a publisher who would be interested. For the time being the Reverend wants to invite you all to read the poems, have a look at the artwork and listen to the music at Ecclectica: Guitars and Dust Dancing.
The Reverend wants to thank Dr. Denis Combet for his permission to publish the Ig poems on this space. And with this final message comes an end to the official proceedings of the first anniversary of The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. Let's have some booze and party! Rejoice, rejoice, we have no choice but… to carry on… A la prochaine, my friends, et ne fait pas ce que Iggy ne ferait pas…
Born in Marseille, France in 1955, Professor Denis Combet holds a doctorate from the Universit de Nancy II. Since 1975 he works in Canada at the University of Manitoba, the College Universitaire de Saint-Boniface, and the University of Victoria. He is currently an associate professor in Arts > Languages at Brandon University (Brandon, Manitoba, Canada).
Dr. Denis Combet is (co-)author of several historical works and articles:
º Gabriel Dumont, Mémoires/Memoirs was nominated by the Manitoba Writing and Publishing Awards for the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award, Winnipeg 2007.
º In Search for the Western Sea/A la recherche de la mer de l’Ouest, mémoires choisis de La Vérendrye, Selected journals of La Vérendrye was selected by The Globe and Mail (November 24, 2001, p. D 40) among the «Best of the year» 2001, in the category Gift-History. It was nominated by the Manitoba Writing and Publishing Awards, for five awards, and won two, Best Design, and the Mac Williams Awards, for best Popular History book.
The above poems are the property of Denis Combet and are protected by international copyright laws. You may not reproduce, modify, distribute or republish materials contained on this site (either directly or by linking) without prior written permission from the author.
Guitars and Dust Dancing. Poems to Syd Barrett, written by Denis Combet, translated by Constance Cartmill, illustrated by Jean Vouillon and music by Pascal Mascheroni. All texts © Denis Combet, 2007. Poèmes a Syd Barrett, écrits par Denis Combet, traduits par Constance Cartmill, illustrés par Jean Vouillon et musique par Pascal Mascheroni. Tous les textes © Denis Combet, 2007.
The Style Council
Last summer the Church wrote about Ig’s noticed visit at the Cromwellian club in November 1966, where the dance-crew of Ready Steady Go! were launching the latest dance-craze The Bend.
The club existed since 1964 or 1965 and in the autumn of that year jazz-singer, writer, critic and generally bad tempered journalist Georges Melly wrote a piece about the place, that was later re-printed in his excellent account of the pop art days in Britain Revolt Into Style. In contradiction with most flower power studies his book did not appear two decades or more after the facts happened. Melly wrote his essays when Swingin’ London was still swinging although it was slightly running out of breath. The Reverend finds it funny how many of the anecdotes that Melly has noted on the spot can now be found in other books.
The Church’s archive had a copy of this work for ages, but dark forces made it disappear into the same vortex that also swallows the Reverend’s second sock when he is in search for a clean nice pair. But this summer the book miraculously re-appeared from the vaults of Atagong mansion. As the book has been long out of print we hereby re-print Mr. George Melly’s reflections. The Church is confident he won’t mind…
I don't know the details of Roy Harrod's quarrel with the Cromwellian, but there is no doubt that it is ‘out'. I went there six months ago (early 1965, FA) and it was full of well-known faces. On my recent two visits I recognized nobody.
Bart Kimber, the general manager, says he is delighted. 'It's back to sanity and smartness' is the way he puts it. He hated the place full of paint-stained jeans and last century T-shirts. 'We get three distinct crowds,' he told me, 'downstairs the younger set. We offer them name-groups, and records introduced by disc jockeys from the pirate radio stations. In the ground floor bar, there's a higher age group, drinkers you see. While upstairs there's gambling. Would you care to look around?'
The club is in a large house in the Cromwell Road. It too is decorated in the baronial style except here there are suits of armour and old master reproductions in heavy gold frames. The basement has murals of nymphs seducing puritans, and is very noisy. The atmosphere of the whole complex is relaxed and pleasant. 'Nobody rushes' is how Mr Kimber puts it. The prices seem very reasonable. 'Here,' he says, ‘the artists are not being fleeced, but they're just too high for the kids.' Quite a lot of pop performers still come; Georgie Fame, the Zombies, the New Faces, Jonathan King were all there on one night he told me, and Dusty likes it. What about the top groups, I asked. 'We have them here occasionally,' he said, 'and we're pleased to see them, but were not desperate.' The club was full and spending so I am inclined to believe him. I asked him who his clientele was. 'A lot of continental people, film extras, hairdressers, P.R.OS, advertising people, no boxers. They cause bother, but quite a few wrestlers.' In fact the club is owned by five wrestlers so of course it's natural that they have never had any trouble.
'Look,' said Mr Kimber, 'of course we're successful. Parking's easy out here, and you can get stoned out of your eyeballs for 2£. We don't want to be in.'
George Melly’s description starts with the observation that a certain Roy Harrod has had some troubles with the Cromwellian. Rod (not Roy) Harrod had been attached to The Cromwellian but offered his services to The Scotch of St James club after a quarrel with the owners. Rod Harrod, who made some fame in the city as a music journalist, knew several bands personally and had enough influence to invite them to the club that he favoured. When he left The Crom that club was out and, in a matter of weeks, The Scotch of St. James was in. Harrod’s guests weren’t second grade. The Beatles, The Stones and The Animals eagerly accepted his invitations (consumptions were always on the house for these bands). Although the club obviously benefited from these famous visitors Roy Harrod tried to respect their privacy, George Melly tells the story how a visitor, who had the audacity to ask George Harrison for an autograph, was immediately removed from the club. His account ends with the fact that Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon would arrive in five minutes, reason enough for George Melly to go home.
Rod Harrod had a nose for bands and singers and on the 24th of September 1966 he invited a young American guitarist to have a blues jam on stage. The contract, hastily written on a napkin, was signed by an unknown artist called Jimi Hendrix. (back to George Melly's Cromwellian essay)
Update: Rod Harrod has shared some of his memories with the Reverend. Just another world exclusive of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.
Ready Steady Go!
Regular visitors of the Church will know that the Reverend strongly beliefs in a connection between Ig and Ready Steady Go! The evidence is rather flimsy to say the least, but George Melly’s account adds another piece of the puzzle that may prove this theory.
When George Melly interviewed Bart Kimber that last one claimed that Dusty (Springfield) liked the Cromwellian (autumn of 1965). The next year Ig was spotted by NME on a Cromwellian RSG!-party and the person who (probably) introduced Ig to Syd Barrett maintains that Ig invited her ‘once to a party with Dusty Springfield and crew’ (see When Syd met Iggy (Pt. 1)).
So far for this weeks sermon from the Reverend, go in peace my friends and don’t do anything that Ig wouldn’t have done.
Sources (other than the above internet links):
Melly, George: Revolt Into Style – The Pop Arts In Britain, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1972, p. 98-101.
This is part two 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...