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It has been awfully quiet at the Iggy front. Call it spring fatigue,
problems of the heart or plain laziness but the Reverend was a bit
depressed. When The Holy Church started on eight
eight eight (the number of the beauty) this little blog shook and
stirred like a dry martini ogling in front of Mr. James Bond.
While the quest was new and aloof and thrilling enthusiasm was flowing
through the Reverend’s loins it actually felt that the mission was
leading somewhere, and the Head of the Church felt like Robert Langdon
manoeuvring towards that mythical pyramid in front of the Louvre,
safe-keeper of the holy grail.
The Church did dig something out however, one post evoked an article at
Guardian and the Reverend managed to have chats with entre-autres
Anthony Stern, Barrett-biographers Julian Palacios and Mark Blake,
culminating in the publication of the memoirs of a first-hand witness
who happened to know both Syd and Iggy and who may well have introduced
the one to the other, although she refuses to take credit for that.
There are a lot of unverified rumours around Syd Barrett, the one more
ludicrous than the other; a recent (French) biography
even managed to produce some the Reverend was not aware of, like the
fact that Roger Keith, at one point in his eccentric career, tried to be
an airline pilot. Probably the biographer mixed him up with Bruce
Dickinson or Nick Mason, who used to fly the Maiden’s and Floyd’s
tour planes. Anybody who saw Syd Barrett on a bicycle in and around
Cambridge will testify that a plane was not going to be his most
favourite transportation vehicle.
There are several unverified facts about Iggy as well, some of which
have never been published before and will not be published here until
witnesses willing to approve (or disapprove) are found.
Over the past months the Church contacted (this is just a sample out of
a long list): a British amateur historian, who was going to publish
the definitive history of The
Orchid Ballroom at Purley and who told the Church: 'I have no
knowledge of this girl whatsoever.'; a member of Dusty
Springfield’s backup band (after it had been testified that Ig once went
to an après-gig Dusty party); a surviving organiser of
the decadent party where Syd’s When
Syd met Iggy... (Pt. 2) was raffled off; a few photographers; and
even… a 1966 flatmate of someone who may (not) have been in
contact with Iggy at all…
Most of the time no reply was received at all and if a reply did come it
was a polite thank-you-but...-note, a bit like the hasty apologies one
makes when interrupted on the street by a madman who asks if you can’t
lend him a 7 inch knife for a minute or so.
The Reverend felt like Moses, who guided his people for 40 years in a desert
any sane person on a camel can cross in two weeks time, hence the reason
why Moses is probably the patron saint of all taxi drivers in the world,
but suddenly he, the Reverend - not Moses, found salvation on Walpurgisnacht
by a flickering flame.
What better way to celebrate the coming of the new dawn than to
introduce two new Iggy stills by Anthony Stern, presented to us by
Chimera Arts on a renewed Iggy Eskimo Girl webpage?
The future smiles upon us, dear brethren and sistren, and
will be coloured Iggy… Go in peace, my flock, and don’t do
anything that Iggy wouldn’t have done...
An (updated) image gallery with stills of the movie Iggy, Eskimo Girl
can be found... at
the Reverend revealed two new Iggy pictures appearing at the Chimera
Arts website that distributes the Iggy Eskimo Girl movie in various
parts of the world (alas, not those parts of the world the Reverend is
Stern who, should you not know, shot the movie in question recently
updated several pages on his site and for those that want to dive into
Stern’s work there is an interesting essay
about his work as well.
Iggy the Eskimo Girl (1966/2008)
Update 2016: Anthony Stern's main website has been updated and
all relevant movie links have disappeared. He has a Film
Archive website as well but at the time of writing (November 2016)
not much can be found there.
The (now deleted) filmography page has got the following to say about
Iggy was a model and the girlfriend of Syd Barrett, and appeared on the
cover of his album The Madcap Laughs (1970). She was terrific fun to be
with and to photograph. I made a short film of her dancing in Russell
Square, which portrays her as the ultimate flower child of the 1960s.
That particular page also has a (now deleted) filmstrip dedicated to
Iggy showing some screenshots that have never been shown before.
Stern did not only film Iggy, he also made some pictures of her that
were premiered after 40 years on The City Wakes Syd Barrett Festival (a
glimpse of those can be found in the catalogue
Other Room). A (then also unpublished) black and white picture of
Iggy also accompanied the ‘Where
did she go?’ article that appeared in a (free) London newspaper and
that was published after some mild excruciating techniques administered
by the Church.
Stern’s pictures form the so-called Iggy Triptychs,
5 in total. His website
has to say the following about these:
I re-discovered these photographs in my cellar in an old suitcase. All
the optical effects were obtained in-camera. The colour images of Iggy
were taken on a houseboat at Chelsea Reach. In the background you can
see Lots Road Power Station. The distortions were achieved using a
flexible mirror material called Malinex, as well as a magnifying fresnel
screen. I have presented these images at the Ruskin Gallery as
triptychs, because they remind me of Francis Bacon images in the same
format. (Taken from iggyphotos - link no longer available)
Every triptych also has a page of its own and on these the following
titbit can be found:
Iggy was terrific fun to be with and to photograph. I knew her before
she was introduced to Syd by JenS,
and I remember walking through Battersea Park in the early mornings
Page 1: http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip1.htm (link no
longer active) Page 2:
http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip2.htm (link no longer active) Page
3: http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip3.htm (link no longer
active) Page 4: http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip4.htm
(link no longer active) Page 5:
http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip5.htm (link no longer active)
The photographs on Stern's website are were for sale, signed,
framed and numbered, either as triptychs or single images. (Note:
prices in 2009 were £175 for single images and £225 for the triptychs,
not including postage).
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
Bend party that was affiliated with the television show Ready Steady
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
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
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.
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
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,
p. 129-158. Jones, Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs,
Brain Damage, 2003, p. 7.