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To all followers of the cult of Iggy: a happy new year!
The Church received a nice mail from Anthony Stern last week:
I see that you have continued to update your website and that the cult
of Iggy is snowballing. Although my Iggy photos were shown on City Wakes
website nobody was interested in buying the framed prints.
If you are still looking for a belated Xmas present: Anthony’s Iggy
pictures are on sale, signed, numbered and framed: £225 for the
Triptychs, individual pictures for £175 (plus postage). For more info
please contact Anthony
Stern Glass. (The Church is not affiliated with or endorsed by this
Another message came from Mark Blake, author of the Pink Floyd biography
Pigs Might Fly:
Good luck with the Iggy hunt. I spoke to Ant Stern and Jeff Dexter again
last week. They're no nearer to finding her than they were before. I
think it's funny that nobody even knew her real name.
For that matter we don’t even know if she was Eskimaux or
My good old encyclopaedia Brittanica
divides the people that we commonly describe as Eskimo in two
categories: Eurasian and Western Arctic people. The Western Arctic
people are the Eskimo (including Inuit and Yupiit) and the Aleuts who
originate from North America, Greenland and part of Siberia. Amongst the
Eurasian arctic people are the Sami (or Lapps) from northern Fennoscandia
and several other cultures dispersed over the Ural Mountains and Siberia.
According to the Narwhal
Inuit Art Education Foundation there are no Inuit currently living
in England (confirmed to the Church by mail). Is it more logical to
believe that Iggy’s roots originate from Europe rather than America or
Siberia? In that case Iggy, the Eskimo really had to be nicknamed Iggy,
the Lapp by her contemporaries.
Translating these into politically correct terms The Church of Iggy the
Inuit really had to be baptised the Holy Church of Iggy the Sami to
As Mark Blake stated above, we don’t know if Iggy was her real name.
Iggy could be an alias or perhaps an anglisized version of a foreign
If she has Sami roots her name could be Ing,
originally meaning progenitor, ancestor, leader – which of course she is
for the Church – Ingegerd
or one of the many variants such as Inge, Ingine, Yngva, Ingar, Iŋgir…
The more popular Ingrid also has its roots in the Nordic countries and
this could have easily been shortened to Iggy by her relatives or
The problem is that not a lot of Sami people have the so-called Inuit
look Iggy is famous for. There is however a part of Europe (although
geographically it belongs to North America) that was originally
populated by Inuit people and was later on colonised by Iceland, Norway
and Denmark. The Church is of course referring to Greenland.
The Inuit are believed to have crossed from North America to northwest
Greenland, the world's largest island, between 4000 B.C. and A.D. 1000.
Greenland was colonized in 985–986 by Eric the Red. The Norse
settlements declined in the 14th century, however, mainly as a result of
a cooling in Greenland's climate, and in the 15th century they became
extinct. In 1721, Greenland was recolonized by the Royal Greenland
Trading Company of Denmark. (taken from Infoplease)
In November of last year 3 out of 4 Greenlandic voted yes on a referendum
that could eventually lead to the complete independence of the country.
About 88% of the Greenland population has Inuit(-mixed) roots. The
shows a (slow-loading) picture of premier Hans Enoksen voting for
Self-Governance in Greenland with 5 year old Pipaluk Petersen (added
here to show the Inuit characteristics).
So Iggy’s ancestors could have come from Greenland.
Well perhaps... at least one other Iggy enthusiast
believes she is not Inuit at all, but (partly) Japanese, probably
belonging to the Ainu
people of Hokkaidō (who had their own language and were maybe the first
settlers on America). Iggy could then be a nickname for Igumi.
And aside from that there might be a very slim chance that Iggy hides
behind the Philippine Maria Ignacia as another author from a
Floydian biography has whispered in the Church's confessional box.
Update: the above post is somewhat redundant as Iggy Rose's
mother came from the Himalayas: Little
old lady from London-by-the-Sea Update March 2018:
Iggy's mother did not live in the Himalaya's, but at the Lushai Hills, a
mountain range in Mizoram and Tripura, India.
Thanks to a Syd Barrett acquaintance the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit
has got a first hand testimony about Iggy that, although the facts date
from over 40 years ago, contains some very interesting new titbits and
an anecdote contradicting most Syd biographies. But that is for later as
the article is still in the make… but do visit this place from time to
time or check its rss
The producer and editor of the Iggy Eskimo Girl movie, Sadia
Sadia let the Church know that a DVD release of the movie is not
foreseen for the near future:
The film is quite new and we would hope that it would continue to do the
rounds of film festivals before becoming more widely available.
It will also shortly be submitted to the British Council for inclusion
in their UK film archives. At that point the film may become available
through the British Council but we are still in very early stage
discussions with them.
"Chimera Arts wish not to release this material for the time being and
prefer not to see it appear in the public domain.", thus the official
The Church understands this position but keeps on praying that one day
the Iggy movie vaults will be opened and that this relic will be
revealed to its true believers.
It is now time to disclose one of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit
prophesies that recently came to the Reverend in a vision; alas it is no
prognostication of the future, but one of the past…
About 15 years ago the founder of this Church, Reverend Felix Atagong,
and his en-route companion drove for hours through pastures and
fields to attend a mini-moving-picture-festival promising to show at
least 3 different movies by Anthony Stern (and Peter Whitehead). One of them
movies was going to be San
Francisco, featuring an unreleased track of a band called Pink
Floyd. Although he led a life of alcohol, drugs and women abuse the
Reverend remembers it very well because his first thought had been:
"What the fuck Pink Floyd has go to do with San Francisco?"
Anyway, they drove and drove and drove... Arrived at a hippie den where,
at the bar, 3 very smelly people were staring into empty beer glasses.
The Reverend and his missus had a beer, then another one, and one
again, and when the time was there for the first movie to start he asked
the bartender when the first movie was going to start. Thus he spoke:
"Bartender, when the first movie is going to start?"
"The movie festival has been cancelled.", replied the bartender, "For
lack of interest."
It appeared that Reverend Felix (and his LA-girl) were the only two
people in Belgium who had showed up. The 3 smelly guys guys at the bar
just happened to be the 3 smelly guys guys at the bar who happened to be
always there. The reverend and his spouse had another beer and drove
Verily, verily, I say unto you, this story is true. The Reverend still
wonders if (parts of) the Iggy Eskimo Girl movie were scheduled at the
festival, if… ...if only… ...if… ...and thus
the seeds of the true Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit were sown...
Hello, I would like to try and clarify a couple of things about Ig. She
was a girlfriend of mine.
The above message reached the Reverend a couple of weeks ago. It was
written by JenS, a Cambridge friend of Roger Keith Barrett. She
is the one who introduced Iggy to the Pink Floyd founder exactly
40 years ago.
What follows is her rendition, as told exclusively to The Church of Iggy
the Inuit, and now published for the first time. Her rememberings are
only slightly edited here and there and re-arranged a bit per subject.
Some explanatory notes have been added.
I first met Ig in the summer of 1966. I saw her again in spring 1967 at
Biba. She admired a dress I was wearing and invited me to a party that
night. From then on we used to go clubbing. She was a lovely, sweet,
funny girl and was always on the scene at gigs and events.
where Iggy first met JenS, was without doubt the single most important
boutique of London. The shop features in the IN
Gear documentary that also has Iggy.
The first really important customer to favour Biba was Cathy McGowan,
the Ready Steady Go! presenter who (…) quickly made a new Biba dress a
staple of her weekly wardrobe for the show.
This meant that every Saturday morning ‘teenage girls from all over the
London area would race over to Abingdon Road and the piles of new,
inexpensive clothes that awaited them’.
Ig was not known as Iggy the Eskimo.
She was simply Ig or Iggy and probably picked up the nickname along the
way at school or something. I think she was a Londoner.
She was quite a lot older than us and had been around a while on the
London Club scene. She invited me once to a party with Dusty Springfield
and crew. Later she started hanging out at Granny’s (Granny
Takes A Trip, FA) and turning up at UFO.
Update 2011: It was revealed in March 2011 that Iggy is born in
December 1947, making her a bit younger than Syd Barrett. See The
One important player in Dusty
Springfield’s crew was Vicki Heather Wickman, who managed Dusty and
don’t have to say you love me that became a number one hit
in 1966. Vicky had been a booker-writer-editor-producer of the weekly Ready
Steady Go! shows for many years. Dusty Springfield herself had been
a (part-time) presenter of the RSG!-show and that is probably where she
met her future manager (Update: not quite true - they knew each
other from 1962 and even shared a flat together, see also From
Dusty till Dawn).
Wickham and her team ‘scoured the trendiest clubs looking for good
dancers and stylish dressers to showcase’. The Church has a hunch
feeling that Iggy may have been – during a certain period at least – a
regular at the RSG! Show, especially as she was spotted, in November
1966, at an RSG!-party by New Musical Express (cfr. article: Bend
It will be a ginormous work but the Church is planning to scrutinise
several Ready Steady Go! tapes from that period to see if Iggy can be
found in the public or amongst the dancers.
After our hypothesis that Iggy was probably not Inuit (cfr. article: Eskimono),
the Church received several mails trying to string Iggy’s features to a
certain culture. One of the countries that keep on popping up is
Singapore that was a British colony between 1824 and 1959. Here is what
JenS has to say about Iggy's heritage:
I have no idea about who her parents were. She was a war baby and may
have been Chinese. There was a large Chinese community in London at the
time. Of course Ig the Eskimo is an easy assumption to make. Anyway, I
don't think I can help any further as I never discussed it with her.
Iggy became a Floydian icon when she posed on Syd Barrett's first solo
album The Madcap Laughs, but most witnesses only describe her as one of
Syd's two-week-girlfriends. JenS acknowledges this:
I took Ig to Wetherby Mansions in January or February 1969 where she met
Syd Barrett. He was 22 and she must have been about 24, 25 years old.
The point is she was never Syd's girlfriend as in a ‘relationship’ with
him. She was only at Wetherby Mansons very briefly, a matter of two or
three weeks max.
I've not seen her since but often wondered where she is.
Syd painted the floor of his flat in blue and orange before The Madcap
Laughs photo shoot, but did he do that especially for the photo shoot?
I was staying with Syd between the New Year and March '69. I hadn’t seen
much of him since the summer of 1968 'til then.
Anyway, at that time, the floor was already painted blue and orange and
I remember thinking how good it looked on the Madcap album cover later
on when the album was released. I didn’t see Syd again though until
1971, so it stands to reason the floor was already done when I left.
Mick Rock wrote: "Soon after Syd moved in he painted alternating floor
boards orange and turquoise." This doesn’t imply that it was especially
done for the photo session.
In an interview for the BBC Omnibus documentary Crazy Diamond (November
2001) painter Duggie Fields said that Syd painted the floor
soon after he occupied the flat, not that it was done on purpose for the
It has been assumed by Mick Rock that The Madcap Laughs photo shoot was
held in the autumn of 1969 (cfr. article:Love
In The Woods)
The floor (of Syd’s flat) was not painted prior to, or especially for,
the Madcap photo shoot, which took place in March or April of 1969 and
not October as has been suggested.
I left for the States in March 1969 and Iggy stayed on at the flat with
Syd and Duggie (Fields) and there seemed to be other dropouts around
from time to time.
Ig happened to be there still when the shoot came about, which was great
because we have such a good record of her.
I introduced Iggy to Syd shortly before I left, and she was around when
I left. She wasn’t there for long and generally moved around a lot to
different friends. It’s very doubtful she was still there in October or
November 1969. She just happened to be there for Mick’s photo shoot,
which is great because she was lovely girl.
This is apparently in contradiction with Malcolm Jones who wrote in The
Making Of The Madcap Laughs:
One day in October or November I had cause to drop in at Syd's flat on
my way home to leave him a tape of the album, and what I saw gave me
quite a start. In anticipation of the photographic session for the
sleeve, Syd had painted the bare floorboards of his room orange and
JenS further comments:
I remember reading this once before and being puzzled. It would seem
he’s talking about 1969. But which tape was he leaving? The 1968
sessions or the recuts (from 1969, FA)? It would seem he’s
talking about the recut. It’s a bit confusing especially to me as the
floor was painted, definitely before Christmas 1968.
The Madcap Laughs photo session had to be in the spring of 1969,
probably it occurred the first week in March. Storm and Mick say they
can only come up with the dates of August, or even October, November.
This may have been when they came together to look at the shots for the
cover, in other words when it was known the album would definitely be
released and decisions on the cover had to be made.
Part 2 of JenS's chronicle will further delve into the legendary Madcap
Laughs photo sessions, pinpointing the date somewhere in April 1969.
Sources (other than above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 141. Jones,
Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p.
13. Levy, Shawn: Ready Steady Go!, Broadway Books, New York,
2003, p. 112, p.194-195. Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades,
Plexus, London, 2007, p. 23, p. 58.
Our thanks go to Barrett alumni Stumbling... (aka Beate S.) and
Lost In The Woods (aka Julian Palacios) from the Syd Barrett Research
Society who made this encounter possible... and to JenS for her
invaluable testimony about what really happened in those early days of
Hello, I would like to try and clarify a couple of things about Ig. She
was a girlfriend of mine.
In January or early February 1969, a mutual friend introduced Iggy to
Syd Barrett, the rock star who had left Pink Floyd. To celebrate the
fortieth birthday of this event The Holy Church of Inuit brings you an
exclusive rendition of what happened, as told by JenS, who knew Barrett
in his Cambridge and London days.
In the first part of this article When
Syd met Iggy (Pt. 1), JenS recollected how she met Iggy and how she
introduced the girl to Syd. In the second part she reconstructs the
photo shoot from The Madcap Laughs, Barrett’s first solo album.
1. It is generally believed that The Madcap Laughs photo
sessions, by Storm Thorgerson and Mick Rock, took place in the autumn of
1969, a couple of weeks after the album was cut and a short time before
it hit the shelves of the record stores (see Stormy
2. It is generally believed that Iggy has only been living in
Syd’s apartment for two or three weeks maximum, during which the famous
photo sessions took place, before disappearing completely from the scene.
In our previous article JenS situates this in February or March 1969.
The problem is that there is at least a six months gap between both
dates. JenS however has some strong points favouring her theory.
Daffodils and Pontiacs
Storm Thorgerson probably shot the cover of The Madcap Laughs early in
the year because, according to JenS:
If you look at the vase of flowers next to Syd, they are daffodils. We
get those in March.
Although a valid argument it is not really tight-fitting, but JenS
The car shots (in Mick Rock’s book Psychedelic Renegades, FA)
show there are no leaves on the trees. If this were London, October
or November, there would be leaves on the ground.
Mick Rock’s photo book has got quite a lot of pictures with Syd (and
Iggy) leaning against a neglected Pontiac,
property of Syd.
The car was there at New Year, (Syd didn’t drive it) and it was there
when I left in March, with a borough sticker on it, the remains of which
show on the windscreen in the photo. If Storm and Mick are saying
October or November, was the car there all that time? I don’t know who
would know that.
The previous comment may be completely understandable for Syd Barrett
anoraks, but needs some extra explanation for the casual visitor of the
Church who doesn’t know the fabulous story of Syd’s car.
Tic tac Pontiac
Painter Duggie Fields recalls:
The car too has it’s own mythology. Later on I identified it as the car
used in the film of Joe
Orton’s Loot (not exact, FA), but I first saw it at
Alice Pollock and Ossie Clark’s New Year’s Eve party at the Albert Hall
a memorable event itself where both Amanda Lear and Yes (separately)
took to the stage for the first time. (Taken from: Duggie
Clark, once described as an ‘enigmatic,
bisexual gadabout’, textile designer (and wife) Celia
Birtwell and Alice Pollock had a boutique called Quorum.
It was a haute couture heaven for the Swinging Elite, dressing people
like Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Patti Boyd, Marian Faithfull, Jimi Hendrix,
the Jaggers and The Pink Floyd. His clothes were a reflection of the
past but with the advantages of the new (one of his creations had
discreet pockets ‘to put joints in’). In 1965 Clark was the pioneer of
the flower power look and two years later nearly all of the 2000
boutiques in London would be copying his style. Clark’s haute couture
empire crashed in the seventies; in 1996 he was murdered by his partner.
Mickey Finn, from T. Rex fame, won the Pontiac
Parisienne at the Royal Albert Hall raffle (New Year 1969). He took
possession of it but became paranoid at the unwanted attention it
attracted to himself and his fellow passengers. One day he met Syd and
they simply swapped cars (Syd had a mini).
But Syd never drove it, so it stayed parked outside the house for a
couple of months. A wheel soon went missing and the car accumulated
dust, parking tickets and legal notices. In Mick Rock’s photo book one
can see that a neighbour wrote a plea in the dust of the trunk to have
the car removed. Syd's solution was simple as bonjour: he gave
the car away to a stranger. It was seen being driven around South
Kensington soon after.
A couple of months after Syd (and before him, Mickey Finn) got the car
it was used in the 1970 British movie Entertaining
Mr Sloane (not Loot).
The car, with its cream red and silver interior, is featured prominently
throughout the movie. The flick is not great but the pink Pontiac gives
a shiny performance. Update
December 2009: the above paragraph has been corrected as Syd gave the
car away before the movie was made and not, as is generally
believed, the other way round. For more details: please check Anoraks
This leaves us with another enigma. The car in the movie is pink, but
was midnight blue when Mick Rock photographed Syd with it. Although Mick
Rock seems to remember: "Syd’s car was a conspicuously bright pink
Pontiac Parisienne convertible" several colour pictures, probably taken
by Storm Thorgerson on the same day, testify against this. JenS adds:
Syd's Pontiac was blue, midnight blue as you say. I have no idea if it
was pink before that. I've only heard it was Mickey's and pink from
things I've read. I cannot imagine Syd having it resprayed or painting
It remains a mystery when and why the kameleon car changed its colours
(twice), but if one looks very close at the picture above, there appears
to be a trace of 'brownish' paint under the right front light. Could
this have been its original colour?
Mick Rock has taken a picture of Syd sitting on the hood of his car. A
police label can be seen glued to the windshield. JenS:
Look at the date of the police sticker on Syd’s car. It seems to be
April 1969. It occurred to me that the little twigs on the ground would
come with the March winds, as this was the time of clear-cut seasons.
They are very distinctive.
Unfortunately not all can be read, part of the sticker disappears in the
inner fold of the book and the smaller letters dissolve with the
background. The following is easily distinguishable:
DANGER KEEP OFF (unreadable) THIS IS DANGEROUS
LITTER AND WILL BE REMOVED & DISPOSED OF SEVEN DAYS HENCE
Dated the ___ day of ___ 196_ Registration
No. (if any) ___ F.H. CLINCH, BOROUGH
(unreadable) AND SURVEYOR
F.H. Clinch was appointed in 1964 to the post of Borough Engineer and
Surveyor to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, an appointment
he took up on April the first, 1965. The date on the document is more
difficult to decipher, but after some tweaking it appears to be the 14th
of April 196(9). If the British police was as effective in
1969 as it is now it definitely pins The Madcap Laughs photo shoot date
between the 14th and 21st of April 1969 and not autumn as has
been said before. So the warning more than probably reads as follows:
Dated the 14th day of April
196 Registration No. (if any) VYP74 F.H.
CLINCH, BOROUGH ENGINEER AND SURVEYOR
The legend goes that Syd Barrett gave the car way to an admirer who
happened to like it. It is improbable to assume that the wreck stayed on
the street for six months without any police intervention.
Next week will have the final instalment of our series of JenS's memoirs.
Sources (other than internet links mentioned above) Blake,
Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 141. Green,
Jonathon: All Dressed Up, Pimlico, London, 1999, p. 79-80. Jones,
Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p.
13. Levy, Shawn: Ready Steady Go!, Broadway Books, New York,
2003, p. 112, p.193-195. London Borough Appointments, Official
Architecture and Planning, Vol. 27, No. 9 (September 1964), pp. 1074. Rock,
Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 23, p. 58.
The Church wishes to thank: Dark Globe, Sean Beaver (who watched Loot
just to make sure if the Pontiac figured in it or not), Bea Day, Rich
Hall, Julianindica and all the others who contributed to the discussion
at Late Night: The
tale of Syd's car - the movie star... JenS for her invaluable
testimony about what really happened in those early days of 1969.