So busy, the Reverend has been, that he forgot to mention the second birthday of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. Luckily there was the Holy Igquisition, sending him a memorandum on parchment paper. And a whip. And a letter of instructions.
Founded on the eight of August two thousand and eight the Reverend didn't know what a strange trip it would eventually prove to be. More than a trip, it was a true octopus ride taking the Church from childhood to stardom.
For the past year the Reverend tried to re-trace Iggy's footsteps and that not always with success. Knowing that Ig had once been to a Dusty Springfield party we asked Dusty's bass player if he remembered her. The answer was he didn't. We asked Vickie Wickham, from RSG! fame and Dusty's manager. The answer was she remembered hardly anything from the sixties. We asked Rod Harrod from the Cromwellian, where Ig was spotted dancing The Bend, but he apologised for not remembering her.
What the Church couldn't achieve, Mojo did. January 2010 saw the appearance of the March issue of that particular music magazine, dedicated to the 40 years anniversary of Syd Barrett's mythical album The Madcap Laughs. On the 6th of February 2010 the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit triumphantly broke the news that Ig was alive and well and living in the south of England: World Exclusive: Ig has been found!
One week later saw Evelyn's (her real name) first, and rather reluctant, interview in 40 years, by Kirsty Whalley from The Croydon Guardian. (The transcript from that interview, with some extra comments from the Church can be found here: Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea.)
But the Church did achieve something else. Margaretta Barclay, who often visited Syd in 1969, gave an exclusive interview, revealing - en passant - that the controversial picture of Syd visiting the Isle of Wight festival in 1969 was genuine indeed. Also musician Meic Stevens used to visit Syd in those days, but alas, the Welsh proto-punk-folk-rocker had no further comments for the Church. His memoirs reveal though that the BBC filmed a visit of Syd Barrett at Stevens' house in Caerforiog, but that the rolls may have been lost: Meic meets Syd.
The Church will continue, at its own pace, to look further for people and clues that can explain the madcap's enigma. The Reverend recently revealed the (first) names of two women who knew Syd in the late sixties, early seventies: Dominique (from France) and Carmel. We would like to see these grannies talk about their trip, for sure.
But not all people are inclined to talk about their flower power days. A musician, who used to jam with Syd Barrett in his flat at Wetherby Mansions, recently told the Reverend:
Isn't it time this all ends?
This has been going on for 40 years now.
Can't you just let the music speak for itself?
Upgrade November 2016: this artist was Rusty Burnhill, who sadly passed away in November 2016.
But as any Barrett anorak will tell you, it is hard to close our eyes and just enjoy the octopus ride… now going strong for its third consecutive year... In the meantime, sistren and brethren, don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't have done!
Last year's birthday party can be found here: Catwoman, containing an exclusive (and unpublished) poem dedicated to Iggy, by Dr. Denis Combet (Manitoba University, Canada).