Picture: © Chris Lanaway, 2010.
In 2018 the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit celebrated its tenth anniversary.
Picture: © Chris Lanaway, 2010.

January 2011

This page contains all the articles that were uploaded in January 2011, chronologically sorted, from old to new.
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2011-01-01

The Anchor

The Anchor
The Anchor: insults, gossip & rumours
The Anchor: insults, gossip & rumours.

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 Anchor.

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 Barrett trail. 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

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 methods.

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.

Let's have a Guinness!


2011-01-02

Iggy’s second interview in 40 years

Mojo 207
Mojo 207.

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.

Iggy The Eskimo! Found!
Iggy The Eskimo! Found!

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.

Mojo: mysterious comment.
Mojo: mysterious comment.

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 company.)

2011-01-08

Iggy The Eskimo Phones Home

Mojo 207.
Mojo 207.

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 was doing.”
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 incredibly flattered.”
Iggy in 2010
Iggy in 2010.

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.

And today he added at the Fleeting Glimpse forum:

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 musings.

And for those new believers, here is a quick overview of the Iggy events of past year:

January 2010:
The Mojo articles that started it all
(I've got my) Mojo (working...) and
Goofer Dust [(I've got my) Mojo (working)... Part 2] 

February 2010:
The Church reveals that Iggy has been found (by a Mojo reader):
World Exclusive: Ig has been found! and
All about Evelyn 
The Croydon Guardian tracks down and interviews Iggy:
Iggy’s first interview in 40 years and
Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea  

November 2010:
The Church finds out that attemps have been made to interview Evelyn: 2011

January 2011:
Mojo publishes Iggy's second interview: Iggy’s second interview in 40 years  

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.)

2011-01-13

RIP Paul Lincoln

Paul Lincoln as Dr Death
Paul Lincoln as Dr Death.

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.

Wrestling Heritage just published the following sad news.

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 brothers.
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.

Update August 2011: In July 2011 Paul Lincoln was awarded The Number One Masked Man of the Heritage Years by the Wrestling Heritage website.


2011-01-14

Iggy The Eskimo Phones Home (2)

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."


Wedding Bells 1978
Wedding Bells 1978.

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 to make.

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.

Mod

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.

RSG!

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, until now.

Hanging out

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.

Iggy 2011
Picture © Iggy 2011. Photograph taken by Amy-Louise.

The model

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 ♥.

Sources: all news in this post is nicked from Mojo magazine and Mark Blake, including:
Late Night forum: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit
Late Night forum: Questions for Iggy
A Fleeting Glimpse forum: Syd's Iggy Found!


Mark Blake's interview with Iggy can be found at: Iggy The Eskimo Phones Home 

2011-01-21

EXCLUSIVE: The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo

Syd Barrett, The Madcap Laughs.
Syd Barrett, The Madcap Laughs.

Words: Mark Blake.
Pictures: Storm Thorgerson, Iggy Rose, Rank Organisation.
Date: 20 January 2011.
Previously published on mojo.com.

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?

Photographer Mick 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."

Iggy on Worthing Beach.
Relaxing on Worthing Beach, early '60s.

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.

Iggy at granny Takes A Trip,1967.
Iggy at Granny Takes A Trip, 1967.

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 at 29 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 Motown."

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 boyfriend?'"

Click here for Part 2


Previously published on mojo.com. Many thanks to Mark Blake for allowing us to host this article.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 2

(This is Part 2 of Mark Blake's Iggy the Eskimo article, for part one click: EXCLUSIVE: The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo.)

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."

Iggy by Chris Lanaway.
Iggy in 1978.

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 manipulator."

"Syd just said, 'Come in love, and I'll make you a cup of tea'. How sweet."

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."

Iggy today.
Iggy in 2011.
(Photo © Chris Lanaway).

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 bottom."

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 me."

by Mark Blake (www.markrblake.com)

Thanks to: Felix Atagong, Jeff Dexter and Anthony Stern


Previously published on mojo.com. Many thanks to Mark Blake for allowing us to host this article.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2011-01-22

Mojo Exclusive: The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo

Iggy 1978 (courtesy: Mojo magazine)
Iggy 1978 (courtesy: Mojo magazine).

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.

Iggy 1978 (exclusive to the Church)
Iggy 1978 (exclusive to the Church).

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.

The Mark Blake Iggy tapes can be found at:
Iggy The Eskimo Phones Home (Mojo 207 article - hosted at the Church)
The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo - part 1 (hosted at the Mojo website Church, update August 2013)
The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo - part 2 (hosted at the Mojo website Church, update August 2013)

A very recent Iggy mug shot, exclusive for the Church: Iggy 2011 

The most recent Iggy articles are being discussed at:
Late Night forum: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit
Late Night forum: Questions for Iggy
A Fleeting Glimpse forum: Syd's Iggy Found!

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.)

2011-01-29

Church Mailboxes Offline

Mailbox
Mailbox.

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: atagong@lycos.com (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.


2011-01-30

Bonhams Sells Fake Barrett Poem

Bonhams Sells Fake Barrett Poem

Perhaps that is not entirely true, but at least we've got your attention.

Terrapin 9
Terrapin 9.

Terrapin

Terrapin 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 fanzine.

Bonhams

Fast forward to 2010. On the 4th of December Barrett scholars found that the Bonhams auction house was going to sell the following: Sale 17974 - Entertainment Memorabilia, 15 Dec 2010 - Lot No: 148:

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 gallery.)

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 Syd's hand.
See Emily Play lyrics (Syd Barrett)
See Emily Play lyrics (Syd Barrett).

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 for Sale.)

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.

Giovanni Dadomo

The backside text contains a Syd Barrett interview, taken by Giovanni Dadomo, 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).

Terrapin vs. Bonhams
Comparing Terrapin with Bonhams.

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...

Terrapin vs. Bonhams
Comparing Terrapin with Bonhams.

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 Generation'.

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 great find!

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 recently auctioned.

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 been made.

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 over...

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 #9).

The documents, discussed above, can be consulted in our Rooftop gallery.

The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad character.
More info: The Anchor.
Read our legal stuff: Legal Stuff.