Although Iggy is the prototype of the vanishing girl we know quite a lot of her through the bits and pieces that have survived that big black hole also knows as the Sixties.
In November 1966, when she was (about) 21 or 22 years old she appeared at The Bend party that was affiliated with the television show Ready Steady Go!
And there was of course her apparition in a 1967-ish documentary, called IN Gear, hinting that Iggy was seeking fame and fortune as a model or an actress. Unfortunately enough it seems impossible (or at least improbable) that the production sheets will ever surface, nobody seems to know where the archives of the Look At Life-series, that ran for a decade between 1959 and 1969 and added up to more than 500 episodes, physically are, if these still exist.
The Reverend has been re-reading some older posts at this funny little place aptly called the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and some need updating.
Lost in the Woods
There is a home movie floating around with Syd and Ig walking in a park, together with – what has been called – a mysterious brunette. Mick Rock probably made the movie around the same period, and with period the Reverend literally means days, The Madcap Laughs photos were made. Iggy is wearing the same clothes on both occasions (and the same necklace), but Syd Barrett not. The mysterious brunette may have been Mick Rock’s girlfriend, one of the (many, according to Duggie Fields) passing female visitors of Syd’s place or, a theory nobody has ever wondered about before, a friend of Ig.
Thanks to the testimony of JenS it is now pretty sure that the photo shoot took place in April 1969, probably in the week between the 14th and the 21st, but not on the 17th as Syd was the whole afternoon in Studio 2, recording the eerie No Man’s Land and the ditty Here I Go. Here is what Malcolm Jones had to say about it:
The following Thursday, as planned, I called a cab and went to collect Syd. We dropped in at Dave Gilmour's flat round the corner to borrow an amplifier, and set off for Abbey Road. At the studio we met up with Jerry Shirley and 'Willie' Wilson, the musicians Syd had invited along. The session was to be done 'live' i.e. everyone recording their parts at the same time, including Syd's vocal and guitar parts.
This session was the last happy and shiny one although nobody would know that beforehand of course. The next session had the motorbike overdubs on the legendary Rhamadan, legendary because Barrett fans know it has been lying in the vaults of EMI for over 40 years now and have been praying and begging to release it ever since.
Update (October 2010): Rhamadan has finally been released as a part of the An Introduction To... Syd Barrett compilation: Gravy Train To Cambridge
The making of the track Rhamadan is one of those occasions lazy journalists use to prove that Barrett was as mad as a hatter. The track, an 18 to 20 minutes free-form-jam-session between Barrett, Steve Took and some other (unidentified) session players had been recorded the previous year, and in April 1969 Syd found that he still could do something useful with the demo.
Of course all he wanted to do was to put some motorbike overdubs on the track, a failed experiment as found out at the end of the day, but not quite as mad as those lazy journalists want us to believe. Pink Floyd would overdub motorbike sounds on Atom Heart Mother the next year and no one has put them in straitjackets because of that.
The intrinsic value of the track is less legendary tells someone who knows. Random Precision author David Parker is probably the only person in the world who has a full and legit copy of the Rhamadan track in his collection:
Of the 15-20mins that this runs for I reckon Syd plays on about 5 minutes worth. Imagine a longer and looser version of 'Lanky Pt 1' with a lot less guitar on it. (Taken from the Syd Barrett Research Society. Forum no longer active.)
In a, now deleted, post at SBRS Parker explained further that...
…I had to give my word to various people at EMI and Abbey Road, and sign a scarily draconian declaration, not to give out copies…
The April sessions of 1969 had Barrett in an excellent form and Malcolm Jones wanted to get the record done as quickly as possible. Not only he must have been aware of Syd’s mood changes but his bosses had also instructed him to get a move on. So it is absolutely plausible that the order for the cover-shoot was given right after the first session.
Update (October 2010): The Church's opinion has somewhat changed on this subject: The Case of the Painted Floorboards
Driving Mr Sloane
The Church has written quite a few things about Syd’s blue Pontiac in the past and an error sneaked in at the second When Syd met Iggy... posting. Originally it read:
Before Syd (and Mickey Finn) got the car it was used in the 1970 British movie Entertaining Mr Sloane. The car, with its cream red and silver interior, is featured prominently throughout the movie. The movie is not great but the pink Pontiac gives a great performance.
The above was not correct as this information was based upon the general belief that The Madcap Laughs photo shoot was held in the autumn of 1969 and not in April. The British Film Institute pinpoints the making of the movie between mid August and beginning of October 1969, four months after Syd gave the car away to someone who admired it. If the car that can be seen in the movie is indeed Syd’s, it was sold, given or lend to the movie crew by its new owner.
Because the Reverend thought it might be a good idea and because a lot of work went into coding and debugging The Holy Church of Inuit presents you... a calendar of the year 1969. It puts some dates right, can be generally considered as eye-candy and may be completely ignored...
Notes (other than internet links mentioned above):
Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London, 2001,
Jones, Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p. 7.
Calendar idea grabbed from http://www.flicklives.com.