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Last year, when the Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit was
undertaking his annual pilgrimage to Cambridge
he halted one afternoon at the shrine lying across the mighty Cam, in
other words: The
As usual the bouncer / waiter threatened to throw him out if he stayed
longer than fifteen minutes without drinking but anyone who knows the
Reverend will realise that this would pose no problem.
Even more, after a while the waiter started a friendly chat. “I hate
them.” he sneered. “Those bloody tourists, following that fucking Syd
Looking for the bench at the Garden,
asking me what was his favorite seat in this place. How should I know? I
wasn't even born when The Wall came out and anyway this place has
probably changed furniture six times since then.”
“Look, there's another batch arriving. One of them even has brought a
guitar with him. I assure you, if they start singing Here I Go
again I'll kick them out in a jiffy. 'nother Guinness then?”
Back at Atagong mansion the Reverend mused about the continuing Church's
malaise. “Iggy will never be found.” he sighed. “I can't keep going on
repeating that she danced the Bend at the Cromwellian, can I? We need to
broaden our business plan and we need to do it fast, now that we still
have something of an attention span.”
“What about t-shirts?” a Spanish visiting monk wanted to know. This
infuriated the Reverend tremendously. “T-shirts!” he cried. “T-shirts.
Who do you think we are, www
sydbarrett dot com? Mick Rock, laughing all the way to the bank with
his 85 percent commission, is that what you want?”
Everybody silently agreed it was going to be one of these days at the
Church. Finally a young novice dared to speak.
“Reverend.” he asked. “Permission to speak freely.” “Permission
granted.” said the Reverend.
The boy with a light in his eyes cleared his throat.
“The problem is, Reverend,” he said loud and clear, “that you have
become a boring old fart.”
A booing and howling noise, not unlike those dissonances made at the
British parliament, rose from the audience.
“Shut up!” commanded the Reverend. “Let the boy speak!”
“I had a look at your agenda recently and the most titillating event was
a breakfast meeting with a French member of the Church in Hotel
Metropole in Brussels. You invariably fall asleep after your
afternoon tea with biscuits, listening to Poor
Man's Moody Blues from Barclay
James Harvest. I mean, where is the fervor, the schwung, the
drive in what we do, in what we feel for. We all need to be kicked in
the ass and start propagating Barrettism again.”
It was silent again when the boy sat down. Finally the Reverend spoke.
“Son, I like your style. I recognise the fire of a young myself in your
words. What is your name?”
“Alex Fagoting, my Reverend.”
“Alex... short for Alexander. Ἀλέξανδρος, a strong name, meaning
protector or defender of mankind. This is a powerful omen, as my warrior droog
I'll give you carte blanche. So what do you want to do?”
“I want to kick our community a conscience, dear Reverend, starting with
the merchants at our temple. For this I will only need one of the
Church's crypts that I will baptise The Anchor, named after the
Cambridge pub where I was hit a black eye by the bouncer because I
wanted to sing Here I Go.”
“Then do as you have told, let it be embroidered into the Church's
annals that you have my blessing.”
The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical division,
intended for people with a good heart, but a bad character.
Satire: Artistic form in which (human) abuse, folly,
shortcomings, stupidity or vices are attacked and/or exposed by means of
burlesque, caustic wit, derision, irony, ridicule, sarcasm or other
All characters, incidents portrayed and the names used at The Anchor are
fictitious. Any similarity without satiric purpose to names, characters,
or history of any person living, dead or dying is entirely accidental,
unintentional, coincidental and plain improbable.
Happy New Year, children of the revolution! What a long strange trip
2010 has been. The first half of it showed the Church's biggest parade,
with plenty of clowns and jugglers and a couple of anoraky world
exclusive Barrett-scattering things.
Our solar, solitary, solstice, soloist star,fallen
from the black sky(to paraphrase French historian and poet Dr.
Denis Combet) was discovered by the team of Mojo
magazine early 2010. The Church retaliated with Gretta Barclay's first
(and only) interview in 4 decades, an extensive study of Welsh folk
legend Meic Stevens' meetings
with Syd Barrett in the early Seventies and a couple of articles about The
Cromwellian club and casino, including some anecdotes from Rod
Harrod, the man who practically launched Jimi Hendrix's career.
Those exhilarating things inevitably lead to the Church's petite mort,
a period of melancholy and transcendence, for the second half of 2010.
But this was just a temporarily breakdown. Several findings of the
Church were quoted in the most recent Syd Barrett biography
by Julian Palacios, the Reverend has just been granted his first
interview (to appear [hopefully] on a Spanish Barrett blog) and in
November agent provocateur Mark
Blake let the Church know that Evelyn (Iggy) had agreed on an
interview for Mojo magazine. On top of that Ig, our Ig, send the
Church a lovely note that mellowed the Reverend’s heart. 2011 promises
to be great.
The February issue from Mojo (# 207) - OUT NOW – contains Mark
Blake's much expected Iggy interview. As is our habit the Church will
not publish the article as long as the magazine is for sale in the
shops. So why are you still reading this blog then? Open those Xmas and
New Year envelopes, jump on that bike with the basket and the bell that
rings, and hurry up to the shop!
Only after you have bought, borrowed or stolen (the Reverend will
forgive but not visit you in prison!) Mojo 207 and read the article you
are allowed to come back at the Church where additional bits and pieces
may (or may not) be revealed the following weeks. According to
someone who knows there is 'a wealth of other interview material' that
didn't make it into printed matter but that might see the light of day
on several places of the metaverse. Some day. Perhaps.
PS: The Mojo website
has got a strange anonymous cryptic comment, posted the 2nd of January
at 04:46PM. It goes 'love you mark blake thank you for being
[actually: bèing] so real hang in there felix atagong'.
The Church may happen to believe to know from whom it has arrived.
Still looking for a Xmas present: Mark
Blake has just written a pretty good Queen biography: Is This
The Real Life? The Untold Story Of Queen, Aurum Press Ltd. ISBN:
9781845135973 (The Church is not affiliated with or endorsed by this
The Reverend was silently contemplating the long cold winter, sitting in
his rocking chair, reading in Glenn Povey's Pink Floyd bible Echoes,
woollen socks tightly stuck to the wood stove, a pipe in the mouth and a
glass of flaming Italian Sambuca
with 3 coffee beans in his immediate reach when his laptop went ping. A
minute or so later his HTC smart-phone went ping as well. Thirty seconds
later his iTouch went ping. This meant serious business, probably
instigated by the Holy Igquisition.
At the forum
of a well-known Pink Floyd website
somebody had posted a scan of the latest Iggy interview, done by Mark
Blake, and published in Mojo
207 (February 2011 issue). Last week, the Church had promised that
the interview would not be published here as long as the issue is for
sale in the shops but extraordinary occurrences demand for extraordinary
measures. So here it is. Enjoy!
IGGY THE ESKIMO PHONES HOME SYD BARRETT'S ENIGMATIC COVER
COMPANION CLEARS UP SOME QUERIES BY MARK BLAKE
In March 2010, MOJO 196's cover story on Syd Barrett's The Madcap Laughs
pondered the whereabouts of 'Iggy The Eskimo', the naked girl on the LP
sleeve. It came as a shock to the object of Syd obsessives' fascination;
who contacted MOJO after reading the magazine for the first time last
summer. “I knew nothing about any of this,” says Iggy (real name:
Evelyn) who married in 1978 and lives near the English South Coast. “I
went to a boot sale with my husband to find The Madcap Laughs. When I
saw the cover I thought, Oh, yes, that is my bottom.”
Iggy (she gave 'the Eskimo' name to an NME photographer as a joke) grew
up in the Far East. Her father was an English army officer, while her
mother came from “a remote village in the Himalayas”. After moving to
England Iggy was briefly an art student, a Brighton mod and London
scenester, dancing on Ready Steady Go! and hanging out with Eric
Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and the Stones.
Update March 2017: Iggy's mother, so was confirmed to us, wasn't
from the Himalayas. She probably lived near the The Lushai Hills (or
Mizo Hills), a mountain range in Mizoram, situated at the North-East of
India, sharing borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
But in 1969, she ended up at the Earls Court flat Barrett shared with
the painter Duggie Fields. She and Syd became an item.
“I didn't know Syd had been a pop star,” she insists, though she'd seen
Pink Floyd at the UFO club and Alexandra Palace. “Duggie and I were into
soul music, and Syd used to laugh at me dancing to Motown.”
One day after Iggy had been messing around on Syd's guitar he took the
instrument from her and began playing.
“It was the first time I'd heard or seen him to do this, and my mouth
just dropped. He had this reel-to-reel tape recorder and he played me
these songs he'd written. The one that stood out went, “I really love
you and I mean you' [Terrapin] and I remember telling him, That's very
catchy,” she laughs.
Barrett then told Iggy someone at EMI wants me to make a record, how
would you feel about having a rock star boyfriend?”
Later photographer Mick Rock and designer Storm Thorgerson would call to
take the album sleeve image. At Syd's suggestion Iggy was naked: “It was
his wicked sense of humour,” she says. “People talk about Syd's madness
and his dark side but I never saw it. We had a wonderful giggly time.”
“I put the Kohl around his eyes that day and tousled his hair: Come on
Syd, give us a smile, moody, moody, moody! But he knew exactly what he
After a few months Iggy moved on. Returning to the flat later she was
told by Duggie Fields, “Syd's gone back to Cambridge, don't bother
trying to find him.”
Contrary to mythology, she never joined a religious cult or married a
banker. “I heard on the radio that Syd died, and I felt sad but it was
so long ago,” she reflects. It wasn't until I went online for the first
time and read these things that I realised anyone remembered me. I'm
A while ago Mark Blake also had the following to say to the Church:
I have a wealth of other interview material with Iggy. Mojo are
interested in running this additional stuff on their website: there are
also pics of her from early 60s and late 70s. The extra interview
material contains some good stuff for the Syd obsessives, including
stuff about the Madcap photo shoot.
Just a little more Iggy info for anyone interested: there's a chance
that MOJO will run some additional interview material on their website www.mojo4music.com.
Iggy also talked about a trip to the Speakeasy with Syd Barrett and had
plenty more to say about the photo-shoot for the album cover. There are
also some more photos of Iggy from back in the day.
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit wishes to thank Mark Blake and Mojo
for their authorisation to publish this interview. In the next couple of
weeks the Church will probably add some comments, reflections and
And for those new believers, here is a quick overview of the Iggy events
of past year:
This is it for this week, and my dear sistren and brethren,
don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't have done!
Still looking for a Xmas present: Mark Blake has just written a pretty
decent Queen biography: Is This The Real Life? The Untold Story Of
Queen, Aurum Press Ltd. ISBN: 9781845135973 (The Church is not
affiliated with or endorsed by this company.)
Iggy's public life started 44 years ago when she was spotted by an NME
photographer and was promptly and accurately described as half an
Eskimo. This took place in The Cromwellian, a bar, restaurant and casino
owned by wrestler Paul Lincoln. For a while The Cromwellian was the hot
place to be and even when the place lost its crown to The Scotch Of St
James there were still enough celebrities around to have a chat with.
The club was owned by wrestler Paul Lincoln who set his first steps in
music business by opening the legendary 2I's
coffee bar. In our four-part series Bending
at The Crom the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit attempted to assemble
several loose facts about the club that lay scattered all over the web,
but unfortunately we were unable to contact Paul Lincoln himself.
The wrestling fraternity is mourning Paul Lincoln, the man who was the
Doctor Death, passed away on Tuesday 11th January. (...)
In 1951 he left Australia for Britain, where he started wrestling the
following year. He established himself as a popular and respected
wrestler, particularly in the south of England. Paul met up with a
school friend who was also a wrestler, Ray Hunter. In 1956 they pooled
their savings to buy a coffee bar in Old Compton Street, London, the
“The Two I’s.” The name was retained from the previous owners, the Irani
Under Paul Lincoln and Ray Hunter management the coffee bar established
itself as a home for many young entertainers, giving them the chance to
display their talent to fellow customers. Amongst the many who took this
opportunity and went on to greater fame were Tommy Steele, Adam Faith,
Marty Wilde and Cliff Richard. Lincoln also opened an Italian restaurant
in Soho and together with Ray Hunter, Bob Anthony Al ' Hayes he
purchased The Cromwellian bar, restaurant and casino.
In 1958 Paul and Ray turned to the promotional side of wrestling,
setting up Paul Lincoln Managements. (...) Paul pulled on a mask and
appeared on his own bills as the masked man Doctor Death. Even without
television exposure Doctor Death became a household name. The masked man
was imitated many times, but fans overwhelmingly believe Paul Lincoln
was not only the original Doctor Death he was also the best. (...)
Paul Lincoln was to be remembered, and will continue to be so, as one of
the most influential figures in British wrestling. Paul Lincoln passed
away on Tuesday 11th January, 2011. (Taken from: Wrestling
World Mourns Paul Lincoln.)
On behalf of The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit I would like to offer our
sincere sympathies to the Lincoln family.
Despite the sad news of a couple of days ago (see: RIP
Paul Lincoln) the Church has to look forward. If anyone would
understand this it would surely be Paul Lincoln. As a wrestling promoter
he bloody well knew that each knockout was followed by another match in
the ring. Unfortunately no one will leave the final round unharmed, not
even Dr Death himself.
Kurt Vonnegut once wrote: "So it goes."
To all Iggy pilgrims around the world our most solemn greetings. 2011
started with a bigger bang propelling shock-waves into all known
dimensions of our universe. Not only our heart was shattered by all the
reverberating news but also Evelyn's.
Past week she confessed to Mark
Blake that "she is delighted and a bit shocked by all the interest".
As was expected the recent Mojo
interview raised more new questions than answers. But asking for more is
of course the core business of Syd-anoraks and Iggy-fans alike.
If Ig had never done an interview before, it is not because she avoided
the publicity but simply because nobody had ever asked. Mark Blake
explains that there is no 'big mystery'. Evelyn went on with her life
and didn't read music magazines or looked herself up on the Internet.
"Simple as that." Mark Blake and Iggy did talk about a lot more than
what has been printed on page 18 of the latest Mojo magazine: “More
questions will be covered in the extended version of the interview due
for Mojo's website.”
Once the complete interview is published the Church will of course
further comment on it. So what follows is not an in-depth analysis of
the Mojo interview but just a few quick points the Reverend would like
After moving to England Iggy was briefly an art student, a Brighton mod
and London scenester, dancing on Ready Steady Go! and hanging out with
Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and the Stones.
This single sentence contains enough information to provide the Church
with at least an entire trimester of articles.
Was Evelyn, as a mod, present at the seaside riots of May 1964? Wikipedia
and the BBC
write that over the Whitsun weekend (May 18 and 19, 1964), thousands of
mods descended upon Margate, Broadstairs and Brighton to find that an
inordinately large number of rockers had made the same holiday plans.
The worst violence took place at Brighton, where fights lasted two days
and moved along the coast to Hastings and back.
This news made the Reverend's turned up nose turn up a bit more wanting
to shout to the world: told you so! The Church has been hinting since
day one that Ig had been dancing at RSG! but proof had never surfaced,
Not only did Iggy meet Clapton, Hendrix and the Stones but according to
her first interview (see: Little
old lady from London-by-the-Sea) she also encountered the Beatles,
the Who and Rod Stewart.
Syd, the pop star
“I didn't know Syd had been a pop star,” she insists, though she'd seen
Pink Floyd at the UFO club and Alexandra Palace. One day after Iggy had
been messing around on Syd's guitar he took the instrument from her and
began playing. “It was the first time I'd heard or seen him to do this,
and my mouth just dropped.”
This is not as contradictory as it seems. Mark Blake, who spoke to Iggy
this week, further explains:
She asked me to clarify a couple of things: Iggy didn't make the
connection between Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd because she saw so many
groups, went to so many clubs, and knew so many musicians.
It was the '60s and these people were busy living their lives, with no
idea that 40 years on a music magazine would be asking them such
detailed questions about it. This is why it was a shock to her when he
started playing the guitar at the flat.
Sometimes, it is tempting for people - including writers - to read too
much into all this. Years later, when she watched the Pink Floyd & Syd
Barrett Story documentary, she saw the footage of Syd "in his kaftan,
chanting" (on Pow R Toc H [actually on Astronomy
Domine, note by FA]) and remembered seeing him doing this at
UFO. The memories came back. But she hadn't thought about all this for
many many years.
Over the next few weeks the Church will of course try to reveal more
about Iggy's flamboyant past and here are already some tidbits you can
chew on for now.
Mick Rock pictures
Iggy doesn't have any snapshots of her and Syd, or any of his
possessions. Unfortunately, she no longer has the photo she had of the
two of them, which he tore in half.
We know for sure that Syd tore and/or scratched a few photos when Iggy
left him, but not that she was aware of that. There is the scratched
picture that Mick Rock published in his Psychedelic Renegades
photo-book (see: When
Syd met Iggy... (Pt. 3)) and a 'half-picture' is in the possession
of Margaretta Barclay, published at the Church about a year ago: “This
picture of Iggy was given to me by Syd but for some unknown reason she
had been torn off it.” (see: Gretta
Speaks (Pt. 2)).
Gigs & festivals
Iggy was at the Technicolour Dream "all 14 hours of it!" - and tried,
but couldn't spot herself in the documentary DVD. Iggy was also at the
Isle Of Wight festival in 1970, where she went with Twink of the Pink
Fairies. She also attended the first Glastonbury Fayre (1971).
A new picture
And for those loyal fans who have been reading this article till the
end, a small surprise. Apparently Evelyn isn't too happy with the
picture that could be found in the latest Mojo. So she asked if we had
any objections in publishing a new one. You bet we don't. Here it is.
Just another rumour to end this post with. Recently Iggy did a
photo-shoot with a photography student she knows, and if all goes well
one of these shots could be used for the Mojo website interview as well.
The Church wishes to thank: Mark Blake, Mojo, Amy-Louise, Kieren and
of course... ♥ Iggy ♥.
Words: Mark Blake. Pictures: Storm Thorgerson, Iggy Rose, Rank
Organisation. Date: 20 January 2011. Previously published on
If there is one image of Syd Barrett that never ceases to fascinate it's the
back cover of his debut album, The Madcap Laughs. The reason: the
mysterious naked woman perched on a stool with her head thrown back and
face obscured by swathes of long dark hair. Syd's companion was known
only as "Iggy The Eskimo". But as Barrett fans have been
wondering since 1970 - who was Iggy and where did she go?
Rock believed that his cover girl had "married a rich guy and moved
off the scene". Barrett's old flatmate, the artist Duggie Fields,
heard that "Iggy had become involved with one of the voguish religious
cults of the time", before adding to the mythology with a story of once
seeing her disembarking from a Number 31 bus in Kensington, wearing a
1940s-era gold lamé dress, and very little else.
In 2002, Mick's coffee-table book Psychedelic
Renegades featured more shots of Syd and Iggy posing outside the
Earls Court mansion block, alongside Barrett's abandoned Pontiac. Rock's
photos found their way onto most Pink Floyd fansites, where Iggy
had acquired cult status. Before long, The
Holy Church Of Iggy The Inuit, a fansite in her honour, had
appeared, its webmaster, Felix Atagong, sifting through ever scrap of
information gleaned from MOJO and elsewhere with a forensic scientist's
attention to detail. Among Felix's discoveries was a
November 1966 issue of NME which featured a photo of "Iggy who is
half eskimo" dancing at South Kensington's Cromwellian club.
While researching my Pink Floyd biography (2007's Pigs
Might Fly: The Inside Story Of Pink Floyd) I quizzed everyone about
Iggy's whereabouts. Anthony Stern, formerly a schoolmate of David
Gilmour's, told me he had met her at a Hendrix gig and had
just discovered photos he had taken of her on a houseboat in Chelsea;
Anthony had also filmed Iggy dancing in Russell Square. Meanwhile,
former Middle Earth club DJ Jeff Dexter recalled meeting "the
mysterious-looking" Iggy in 1963, when she was a "part of a group of
very wonderful looking South London girls" that danced at The Orchid
Ballroom in Purley. Jeff even hatched a plan with his friend, the late
DJ and Shadows songwriter Ian "Sammy" Samwell, to turn
Iggy and two of her friends into "a British version of The
Supremes. We booked a studio but unfortunately none of them could
sing." Believing that Iggy may have gone to school in Thornton Heath,
Jeff and Anthony contacted The Croydon Guardian, who ran an article - So
Where Did She Go To, My Lovely - enquiring after the whereabouts of the
girl "who entirely captured the spirit of the '60s".
Then, in March 2010, MOJO received a letter from ex-Cambridge mod Pete
Brown, who had "shared some wild nights on the town with Iggy in the
1970s". Pete informed us that Iggy had been last heard of in the '80s
"working at a racing stables... and has since been keeping her
whereabouts quiet." Pete sent a copy of the letter to The Croydon
Guardian, whose reporter traced Iggy through the stables and phoned her
out of the blue. Their subsequent article included a handful of quotes
from its reluctant subject, including the words: "I have now left that
life behind me." Which is why it came as a surprise when my mobile rang
late one Saturday night. "It's Iggy!" declared the voice at the other
end, as if I would have known that already. "I've been reading what you
wrote about me in MOJO... about the pictures of my bottom."
The local newspaper's call had prompted Iggy to borrow a neighbour's
computer and go online for the first time. She was amazed to discover
MOJO, the fansites, the photos, and the wild speculation and
misinformation about her time with Syd Barrett. Which is why, in October
2010, I found myself stepping off a train at an otherwise deserted
Sussex railway station to be met by the woman that had once graced the
cover of The Madcap Laughs. Three hours in a local gastro-pub and
countless phone calls later, Iggy pieced together her story. Some of it
was printed in MOJO
207, the rest is here...
Firstly, why Iggy? "My real name is Evelyn," she explains. "But when I
was a child, my neighbour's young daughter could never pronounce Evelyn,
and always called me Iggy. Now everyone calls me as Iggy. But 'The
Eskimo' nickname was a joke. That was something I told the photographer
from the NME when he took my picture at The Cromwellian." Iggy's father
was a British army officer, who served alongside Louis Mountbatten, and
attended the official handover ceremony from Great Britain to India's
first Prime Minister, Jawaharial Nehru in 1947. "My father also knew all
about Mountbatten's wife's affair with Nehru," she adds mischievously.
During a spell of leave, he had travelled to a remote village in the
Himalayas "where he met the woman that would become my mother." Iggy was
born in Pakistan, and attended army schools in India and Aden, before
the family moved to England. But not, as believed, Thornton Heath. "I
grew up by the seaside," she reveals. "I went to art school. I became a
mod in Brighton, and saw the fights with the rockers, and I met The
Who when they were on Ready Steady Go! I loved soul music, loved The
Righteous Brothers, and I loved dancing, so I used to go to all the
clubs - The Orchid Ballroom in Purley, where I met lovely Jeff Dexter,
The Cromwellian, The Flamingo, The Roaring Twenties..."
It was at The Cromwellian that Iggy encountered Eric Clapton. "I
didn't know who he was at first," she insists. "He took me to meet Lionel
Bart and to a party at Brian Epstein's place..." By the
mid-'60s Iggy had become a Zelig-like presence on the capital's music
scene, sometimes in the company of Keith Moon, Brian Jones,
Keith Richards.... She saw Hendrix make his UK debut at the Bag
O' Nails in November '66, and in February '67, narrowly avoided the
police raid at Richards' country pile, in West Wittering: "The night
before, I decided not to go, thank God." A year later, still in the
Stones' orbit, she found herself watching the recording sessions for
what became Sympathy For The Devil.
By then, Iggy had made her film debut. In 1967, IN Gear was a short
documentary screened as a supporting film in cinemas around the country.
Its theme was Swinging London, including the chic Kings Road clothes
shop Granny Takes A Trip, a place, according to the breathless narrator
that "conforms to the non-conformist image of the !" A
mini-skirted Iggy can be seen in one silent clip, sifting through a
rack of clothes and chatting with Granny's co-owner Nigel Waymouth.
By 1967, pop music had changed. The summer before, Iggy had met Syd
Barrett's girlfriend Jenny Spires, and drifted into the Floyd's social
clique, showing up at the UFO club nights where Pink Floyd played
regularly: "When I recently watched that Syd Barrett documentary [The
Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett & Story] and saw Syd in the kaftan,
chanting [on Pow R Toc H], the memories came rushing back," she
explains. "I'd been there. I'd seen that." In April '67, Iggy joined the
counter-culture throng in Alexandra Palace for The
14-Hour Technicolor Dream - "all 14 hours of it!" - where Floyd
played a hypnotic set at dawn.
By early 1968, though Barrett had been replaced by David Gilmour, and,
according to many, was on a drug-fuelled downward spiral. Towards the
end of the year, he moved into a new place with his level-headed friend,
the would-be artist Duggie Fields. The pair took over a two-bedroom flat
Wetherby Mansions in Earls Court. Around January '69, at Jenny
Spires' suggestion, Iggy, needing a place to stay, moved in. She hooked
up with Barrett, but shared a musical bond with Fields: "Duggie and I
were into soul music, and Syd used to laugh at me dancing around to
As Iggy told MOJO 207: "I didn't know Syd had been a pop star."
Elaborating further, "I didn't make the connection between him and the
person I had seen at UFO. I knew he was beautiful looking and he had
real presence, but that was all." Once, when she picked up his acoustic
guitar, fooling around, he took it off her and started playing properly.
"I was overwhelmed. The way he played the guitar, the way he moved. He
said, 'Do you think I look good?'," she laughs. "I said, 'You look
amazing. Wow!' He then said, 'Would you listen to this?' And he bought
out this big, old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape recorder, and said, 'Tell
me what you think'." Syd then played her the songs that would end up on
The Madcap Laughs. One track, Terrapin,
made an immediate impression. "I said, 'That's quite catchy', and, of
course, I don't think Syd was really into catchy...It was a long tape,
and he didn't demand any opinion, but just asked if I thought it was OK.
At the end he said 'Someone at EMI - I cannot remember the name - wants
me to make a record. How would you feel about having a rock star
Words: Mark Blake. Pictures: Iggy Rose, Chris Lanaway. Date: 20
January 2011. Previously published on mojo.com.
While there are many reports of Barrett being withdrawn and even
aggressive at this time, Iggy remembers it differently. "People talk
about Syd's madness and his dark side, but I never saw it," she states.
"We had a wonderful giggly time. There were no sinister moments." Only
briefly did she glimpse a more troubled side to his personality. "One
day, he said to me, 'How do you feel? Are you sad?' I was naked, and he
went and got some paint and painted two great big eyes on my breasts
with two tears coming down, and on my belly button he painted an arrow
and underneath that a picture of me with a big belly, and said, 'There
could be life in there. I could give you life.' But I didn't want that
at all. So I panicked, and scrubbed it off." He was also uncomfortable
with some aspects of fame, as Iggy discovered on a night out with Syd to
The Speakeasy, a music-biz haunt in Margaret Street. "We'd persuaded Syd
to go, but it was full of posers," she admits. "There were a few of us
there. Someone asked the DJ to put on See Emily Play, which was a stupid
thing to do." A hit for Pink Floyd more than two years before, the
dance-floor cleared. "So I went on and started dancing, but Syd ran off.
He was obviously very sensitive about it all."
"We had a wonderful giggly time. There were no sinister moments."
In March '69, Barrett began recording The Madcap Laughs at Abbey Road,
but his erratic behaviour in the studio resulted in Roger Waters
and David Gilmour helping to oversee the sessions. Gilmour was now
living in Richmond Mansions, a block so close to Wetherby Mansions that
he could almost see into Syd and Duggie's kitchen window. One evening,
Syd announced that he had to go out. Iggy wanted to go with him, but
Barrett insisted she remain at the flat. "I think I thought he was
seeing another woman," she says. "I got a bit jealous, a bit pouty -
very silly. Duggie knew where Syd had gone but wouldn't tell me." With
Syd gone, Iggy decided to pay a visit to David Gilmour instead. Fields
helped Iggy back-comb her hair, plaster her face with make-up and paint
her lips black. "I looked like Medusa. Like a banshee. Duggie then took
me round to Dave's place. Dave was very beautiful and very cool, and his
flat was nicer than Syd and Duggie's - it was warmer for a start. Dave
opened the door, took one look at me, but didn't bat an eyelid."
When Iggy walked in, she saw Syd sat in Gilmour's living room. "I went
in, shouting, 'OK, where is she?' thinking there was a woman hiding in
one of the rooms. But, of course, the meeting had been with Dave about
the record they were making together." Barrett left Iggy with Gilmour,
but rather the worse for wear, she knocked the stylus on his record
player accidentally scratching his copy of Pink Floyd's brand new album.
"I have no idea what album it was, only that it was their new album,"
Iggy sighs. (The likely candidate seems to be Soundtrack From The Film
More) "So Dave threw me out... If he ever reads this I would like to say
sorry for scratching his record." Back at Wetherby Mansions, Barrett was
unfazed by her planned defection: "Syd just said, 'Come in love, and
I'll make you a cup of tea'. How sweet."
By now, Barrett had prepared his bedroom for The Madcap... cover shoot,
painting most of the floorboards orange and mauve. On the morning of the
shoot, Syd asked Iggy to help finish the job. "He jumped off the
mattress and said, 'Quick, grab a paint brush.' He did one stripe and I
did another. If you look at Mick Rock's pictures, I have paint on the
soles of my feet." When Rock arrived with the Floyd's sleeve designer Storm
Thorgerson to take the photos, a naked Iggy went to put some clothes
on. "But Syd said, 'No, don't'. That was his wicked sense of humour. I
put the kohl around his eyes that day and tousled up his hair: come on
Syd, give us a smile, moody, moody, moody! But he knew exactly what he
was doing. He was as sharp as anything. He set the tone. He was the
"Syd just said, 'Come in love, and I'll make you a cup of tea'. How
Iggy joined Syd for further photos outside the flat. Later, Rock
recalled showing Barrett one of the pictures and Syd mysteriously
scratching around Iggy's image; an act that has acquired some
significance among Barrett's more earnest devotees. "They're making
something out of nothing," she insists. "Later on, Syd showed me one of
the pictures and said, 'You like that one, don't you? I know why,
because of your cheekbones'. I think I was sucking on a cigarette, and,
yes, I was being vain, I liked the way my cheekbones looked. So he tore
the pic in half and gave it to me. There was nothing more to it than
that." Strangely, Iggy also recalls other photographs being taken that
day, which have never appeared since. "I don't think Storm and Mick were
very impressed by them. If you've ever seen the cover of the Rod
Stewart album, Blondes Have More Fun, they were a bit like that...
Of me and Syd. There were others of me and Syd, as well, which remind me
of the picture of John and Yoko [on Two Virgins] which came out later.
I'd love to see those pictures now."
Before long, Iggy had drifted out of Wetherby Mansions and out of Syd's
life as quickly as she had drifted in. When she returned later, Duggie
told her: "Syd's not here. He's gone back to Cambridge. Don't bother
trying to find him." She never saw him again, and is adamant she only
became aware of her presence on the cover of The Madcap Laughs
after being phoned by the Croydon Guardian: "I went to a boot sale with
my husband... When I saw the cover, I thought, Oh yes, that is my
Although the stories of her marrying a rich banker and joining a
religious cult are untrue, there is a kernel of truth: after Syd, Iggy
began seeing a wealthy businessman who was also a scientologist. However
Duggie Fields' recollection of spotting Iggy climbing off a bus in a
gold lamé dress is not in dispute: "It was a beautiful dress that cost
£50." Still a fixture on the music scene, Iggy recalls accompanying Pink
Fairies' drummer Twink to the Isle Of Wight Festival and turning up
"for the very first Glastonbury... ". But in 1978 Iggy married her
husband, Andrew, and "left that life behind me".
"I heard on the radio that Syd died, and I felt sad, but it was so long
ago," she says. Since reading about those times in MOJO, the memories of
the people and the places have slowly come back to her. "Mick Rock took
some beautiful picture of me," she smiles. "But, of course, I wish I'd
been paid some money for them. Still, it is amazing that people have
been looking for me... and that someone has even set up a website. I
still don't know what to make of all this." The fascination continues.
Last week, Iggy called to tell me she had found a poem online written
about her by a professor at a university in Missouri. "And it's in
French," she said, sounding astonished. "'Iggy l'esquimo, Fille De Le
Space'...it goes. I never believed anyone would ever write a poem for
Since yesterday, Mark
Blake's 'director cut edition' of his Iggy interview can be
found on the Mojo
website. For those that are not 'in' let's recapitulate a bit.
Update August 2013: The articles are no longer on the Mojo
website. Mark Blake allowed us to host them at the Church.
Somewhere in November 2010 the Church of Iggy the Inuit prophesied
that a lucubrated (second) Iggy interview was in the make and that after
other attempts had not always been successful. Basically Iggy had been
scared off when she had been questioned – out of the blue - by a
journalist, early 2010. Imagine that you have been living a quiet life
for a couple of decades and suddenly someone pokes you in the stomach
and urges you to start digging in a very far past, asking what you did
on a particular April night in 1969. Then you find out that there is a
lunatic on the cybergrass who has written over sixty articles about you.
It would scare the hell out of this Reverend, I can assure you that.
Contradictory to yours truly, Mark Blake is reliable, loyal and, above
all, discreet. He managed to regain Ig's confidence and they agreed to
do an interview on her terms. Mojo
207 (February 2011 issue) had indeed the promised Iggy article on
page 18, but... - let's not beat around the bush - we Iggy aluminati
were a bit disappointed with its scarce content.
Once again the Church (accurately) predicted that the printed piece in
Mojo was but a mere teaser for an expatiated article that would soon
appear in cyberspace. And what an article that is! It contains some
pretty unseen pictures
and enough material to keep on adding comments on this blog for many,
many months to come. The interview – the Reverend guarantees you - will
be research material for all Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd biographies to
come, not that the Church is really asking for new biographies, but that
is entirely besides the point.
As is the habit with the Church the interview will only be commented
upon after it has been around for a while, but it already needs to be
said that Ig's words smash several of the Church's axioms to pieces.
Normally a Church doesn't like to see its dogmas destroyed but here is
what we call divine intervention.
To end this sermon, my loyal brethren and sistren, the
Reverend ordains you to immediately leave the Church and not to come
back until you have thoroughly consulted Mark Blake's The
Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo. The Church does not want to
prejudice you. Read it first and we'll talk about it afterwards.
Oh and another thing... the above picture is an unpublished
photograph of Iggy in the Seventies. The Reverend wishes to thank Iggy
for her trust and confidence in us.
Many thanks go to: Mark Blake, Mojo, Kieren and all those supportive
Barrett friends at Late Night (more about them later, in a new post).
Mark Blake has just written a decent Queen biography: Is This The Real
Life? The Untold Story Of Queen, Aurum Press Ltd - ISBN: 9781845135973.
Of course you still check out his much acclaimed Pink Floyd biography,
although it lacks a bit in the Iggy department [insert sardonic smiley
here]: Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story Of Pink Floyd, Aurum Press Ltd -
ISBN-10: 1845132610 / ISBN-13: 978-1845132613. (The Church is not
affiliated with or endorsed by this company.)
For one inexplicable reason or another the Atagong domain mailboxes are
not or only partially responding and that since probably a week.
Some senders may have received a warning note, others not. Some mails
passed through, others not.
The thing is that - in these days of recent Iggy activity - quite some
people have tried to contact the Church (including perhaps Iggy herself)
and were (probably) unable to do so (and they may not always have been
informed that the mails never arrived).
The Church and her Reverend duly apologise.
If you have tried to reach us past week and didn't receive an answer,
please resend the message to the following mailbox: firstname.lastname@example.org
(mailbox no longer valid).
Update 31st of January 2011: Apparently there has been a conflict
in the mx records (& mxav1 & mxav2). The necessary changes have been
made but it can take 8 to 12 hours before all servers in the world
accept the new records.
Perhaps that is not entirely true, but at least we've got your attention.
was a Syd Barrett fanzine appearing from the early till the
mid-Seventies. The alternatively wired Bernard
White was one of the few who used to run the legendary magazine
although it has mainly acquired this status through the amnesic mist of
time. The magazine was badly written, badly styled, badly distributed
and, to add insult to injury - somewhere in between - the different
editors used the scarce pages of their own magazine to fight out some
internal editorial wars. Call it a Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit avant
la lettre, quoi.
But of course Terrapin occasionally had its peak moments. A young Robert
Chapman, whom we all know from his excellent work of fiction A
Very Irregular Head, debuted in Terrapin number 2 with his review
of the February 1972 Stars gig at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge. He had
it mainly wrong, so he was already creating a habit there.
A smart trip
The most intriguing piece in Terrapin did not come from Rob Chapman, nor
Bernard White, but from the mad bard himself. Issue 9 (July 1974) had a
previously unpublished poem, written by Syd Barrett, titled: A
Rooftop Song In A Thunderstorm Row Missing The Point. Several weird
theories have surfaced about it and one of them goes that the starting
letters of its title form the witty anagram 'a smart trip'. Not all
Barrett fans believe the poem was written by Syd, but - and otherwise
this article would have no reason at all - let's assume he did. The
poem, as it appeared in 1974, can be found in our Rooftop
gallery. It is in Bernard White's handwriting, as are most pages of
Terrapin, because there was no typewriter around when he created the
A Syd Barrett poem, circa late 60s/early 70s, signed, in black ballpoint
on a small piece of paper, entitled 'A Rooftop Song In A Thunderstorm
Row Missing The Point', thirteen lines, beginning, 'With yellow red and
foomy food, and quivered / crouching on a golden cushion / Undressed
himself to dissapear (sic) through an infinity of pleasure...', the
reverse with part of a question/answer piece, one side covered in tape,
12.5 x 13cm (5 x 5in) approx. Estimate: £2,000 - 3,000, EUR 2,300 –
3,500. (Note: a facsimile
can be found at our Rooftop
But what was most interesting, intriguing and salivating was the
footnote at the bottom of the Bonhams page:
This will feature in a book
about Syd to be launched in March 2011, with an exhibition at Idea
Generation, and the Barrett family have confirmed this is in
Almost immediately the allusion that the piece was in Syd's handwriting
was questioned by some fans. At the left side there is a snippet of Pink
Floyd's See Emily Play and that is how Syd Barrett's handwriting
looked like. Late
Night member Dark Globe did a fine job by comparing Barrett's
and White's handwriting and concluded:
To me, the handwriting on the Bonhams poem itself looks closer to BW's
handwriting than to Syd's. (Syd's handwriting tended to slope to the
left all throughout his life). I'd guess that the Bonhams item is
actually a draft written in a looser hand by Bernard White for the final
version which appears in the fanzine. (Taken from: Rooftop
Brettjad at Madcaps
Laughing remarked: “I don't get it. If it's Syd's, then why did he
write that interview on the reverse?”
A pertinent question indeed. The Anchor took the liberty of taking a
closer look at the backside of the document (see gallery).
One of the first assumptions the Anchor can make is that the sold
snippet was cut out of a larger piece of paper as the top of the
backside horizontally slits a sentence in half. But that is not all
there is to see.
The backside text contains a Syd Barrett interview, taken by GiovanniDadomo,
probably in 1971, but only published three years later in Terrapin. And
still that is not all.
The backside transcript is (partly) page 5 of Terrapin 10. In other
words: here is the original page, in Bernard White's handwriting,
before it was printed and distributed to its subscribers in August 1974.
The underneath illustration hopefully proofs that both are identical
(first line: Terrapin 10; second line: Bonhams poem - back side).
Missing the point
Let's digest this for a while, while we have a go at the poem itself.
According to Bonhams, Barrett's family has confirmed it is in Syd's hand
although they fail to produce a certificate of authenticity or to simply
name the family member who has testified this. If they can't it is
hearsay, to say the least.
For the sake of argument, let's believe the poem is in Syd's
handwriting. Why then did super-fan & collector Bernard White prefer to
publish a copy of the poem in his handwriting rather than to
publish Syd's original? Surely someone must have been missing a point?
In Terrapin 9 White thanks 'Hypgnosis for the poem and photos'. Still
following Bonhams train of thought this means that Po (Aubrey Powell) or
Storm (Thorgerson) gave Bernard White an original Syd Barrett document
without asking for a receipt. That's not how we know them, especially
not in 1974.
Anoraks have of course spotted the mistake in the previous paragraph.
Bernard White thanks Hypgnosis, not Hipgnosis. As
legendary as his fanzine are his spelling errors (in one issue he
jokingly described himself as 'Bernard M White: spelling mistakes and
all other errors'). The Rooftop paper has got two: 'your writting'
and 'to dissapear'. White's spelling errors are as unique as his
handwriting and the 'dissapear' error is repeated in both
versions of the poem. Oops!
Bonhams' Barrett vs Terrapin's White
To end the discussion, once and for all, let's have a look at the two
known Rooftop copies: blue is Bonhams (Syd Barrett), red is Terrapin
(Bernard White). Hmmm...
It is in a book, ergo it must be true
Not only does Bonhams claim that the poem is in Barrett's handwriting,
they also maintain that their version is going to be published 'in a
book about Syd to be launched in March 2011, with an exhibition at Idea
Who could be better situated to acknowledge this than Russell
Beecher, the editor of Barrett,
The definitive visual companion to the life of Syd Barrett.
Unfortunately he told the Anchor:
We also thought that the poem wasn't written in Syd's hand so we haven't
included it in the book. I am not sure about the family authentication
but I think, as you and we have worked out, that point is irrelevant as
we know it's not Syd's writing. (…) A shame though - would have been a
Indeed, there must still be a third version of the Rooftop poem
somewhere, the one - (perhaps) in Syd's handwriting - that Bernard White
copied in the Hipgnosis headquarters. But that is not the one that was
It's a gas!
On the 15th of December of 2010 a collector paid 2,160 £ for
this original piece of Bernard White's handwriting, probably believing
that it was Syd's. (Some information has now been removed from the
Bonhams website but the Anchor has a screenshot.)
It was then when the Anchor decided to contact Bonhams
to ask them if, perhaps, an eeny weeny teeny meeny mistake had
An automated reply from Leonora O. learned us that she was out
until the 5th of January and that for all queries we should try another
mail address, that happened to be exactly the same address than the one
we had send our questions to. So we waited, until the year was finally
In January we contacted Bonhams a second time. We got a reply from Katherine
B. who was so friendly to inform us that Stephanie C. was
going to answer us immediately.
Just before this article went into print (or should we say: upload) we
informed again if Stephanie C. finally had any comments. Alas, she was
too busy waiting for the ink to dry on a recently found Apple iPod that
has John Lennon's signature on it and couldn't come to the phone.
Bernard White and Syd Barrett, sharing a Guinness at the great gig in
the sky, are probably laughing their arses off.
The Anchor wishes to thank: Russell Beecher, Dark Globe who made
an excellent comparison of Barrett's and White's handwriting at Late
Night. Further analysis shows that the letter d in 'seasoned'
(from the Bonhams poem) and the letter d in 'Bernard' (as in
White's signature) are coming from the same person (post