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

March 2011

This page contains all the articles that were uploaded in March 2011, chronologically sorted, from old to new.
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2011-03-13

The Mighty Queen

Eskimo Rose.
Eskimo Rose.

In January of this year Mojo published a (way too short) Mark Blake article about Iggy, who – in the Sixties - was metonymically but erroneously described as an Eskimo. There is a realistic chance that this blog, politically correct named the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, would never have seen the light of day if Iggy had been nicknamed something else.

Titled SYD BARRETT'S ENIGMATIC COVER COMPANION CLEARS UP SOME QUERIES the article actually added to the mystery, although Mark Blake is, of course, not to blame: Iggy is just mysterious by nature. And the more we find out, the more mysterious it gets.

The Church was erected for just that, to reveal the enigma behind an enigmatic woman but now that Evelyn has stepped into Mark Zuckerberg's limelight the Church has made a deliberate step backwards. Let it be known that the Church will be discreet about present Evelyn. She is not Truman Burbank and it is none of our business what she had for breakfast this morning anyway (bacon butties and a steaming hot cup of tea, if you wanna know, and the Reverend had some croissants and a cup of coffee).

Mark Blake also published an extended 'director's cut' of his interview and now the time for the Church has come to comment, amend or append on some of his poignant paragraphs. We will be cruel and ruthless although the reader should realise that above every line a virtual 'Well done, Mark Blake!' Church sign is blinking. A bit like this:

Well done, Mark Blake!

NME 1037

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. (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 3)
Mark Blake
Mark Blake.

Mark gives the Reverend too many credits here. The Church mainly rips other people's ideas (not an uncommon practice with Churches, although they mostly prefer to rip other people's wallets) and the November 26, 1966 New Musical Express Iggy picture was not discovered by the Church. The scan was already floating around on the web. Neptune Pink Floyd, for instance, published it in November 2006, two years before the Church started.

However the Church did trace a copy of that particular NME, hoping there would be some extra news about Evelyn, but to our regret Iggy is not mentioned at all in the accompanying text (several scans of NME 1037 can be found in our gallery).

The Croydon Guardian

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". (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 4)

Time to pull the plug of that 'Well done, Mark Blake!' sign above we're afraid, as The Croydon Guardian was informed by none other than the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.

After the Church was informed that Iggy had been a regular visitor of The Orchid in Purley the Reverend googled and found two Croydon Guardian articles about the dance hall: In dance hall days (9th August 2006) and We remember the Orchid (29th August 2006).

The Church contacted Brian Roote, a historian from the Bourne Society who had been researching the history of the Orchid, but without success. Journalist Kerry McQueeney, author of the Orchid articles, passed the Church mail to Kirsty Whalley, editor of the Croydon Guardian Heritage pages. She replied the Church on the third September of 2008:

We would like to feature this story in the newspaper next week and hopefully it will prompt a few people to call in.
Kirsty Whalley
Kirsty Whalley.

Kirsty Whalley also asked the Church for a decent Iggy picture and here is what the Reverend answered:

Probably the best way to get an (unpublished) picture of Iggy is to contact Anthony Stern (former boyfriend of Iggy in 1966) who made a movie with her that will be shown on The City Wakes festival in Cambridge, so more than 40 years after it was filmed. (Taken from: Visitor at Orchid Ballroom - 1965 – 1967, mail to Kirsty Whalley, 3 September 2008 22:04.)

Kirsty Whalley took the information, given by the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, to heart (probably the first time in the Reverend’s entire career that a woman actually listened to his advice) and interviewed Anthony Stern who also donated a previous unpublished picture of Evelyn, just like the Church had predicted. She then did an excellent job by contacting Jeff Dexter (or perhaps Jeff Dexter contacted her after having spoken to Anthony Stern) and wrote a damn fine article: Where did she go? 

It took over a year for someone to 'call in', because in February 2010 Kirsty Whalley published the very first Iggy interview in 40 years that even took the Church by surprise (see: Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea). What the Reverend doesn't understand though is why the Croydon Guardian journalist doesn't like to be reminded that it was the Church who gave her the scoop. So no pretty blinking Church sign for you, Kirsty!

From Dieppe to Delhi

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. (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 7)
Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten.
Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten.

Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, born in 1900 and killed by an IRA bomb in 1979, was destined to pursue a glorious military career. Like so many of his aristocratic peers this career was not per se based on actual military performances but on the amount of names he had been given at birth. After a military débâcle at Dieppe in 1942, where 3,623 out of 6,086 soldiers, mostly Canadians, were either killed, wounded, or captured by the Germans, Mountbatten was given a new military playground as Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Command. The Dieppe raid (unauthorised by the general staff) provoked a schism between the Canadian and British army leaders during the second world war and the mistrust would linger on for decades to come.

In 1947 Mountbatten was nominated Viceroy and Governor-General of India and his principal task was to lead India (separated from Pakistan) in a peaceful way towards independence. This lead to one of the bloodiest massacres the subcontinent has ever seen. Muslims fled from India to Pakistan, Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan to India and about 500,000 people lost their lives in the process (death toll numbers vary from 200,000 to a million).

Up the Khyber

"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. (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 7)

In the night of 14 to 15 August 1947 India and Pakistan officially separated from London and because this had been supervised so well by Mountbatten, he was entitled to another promotion. From now on he could add the title of Governor-General of India on his business card. In other words: Mountbatten was now the de facto monarch of the new state.

Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten
Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten.

Lucky there was still his wife, Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten. Her part-time job was to visit the refugee camps her husband was so kind to fill up and to hump India's prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, although there are some biographers who maintain that their relationship was purely platonic.

But enough politics. Around that time Iggy's father, posted in Pakistan, went for an evening stroll in the Himalaya's where his spell of leave soon developed in a spell of love. It is believed that in March 1947 the couple did exchange something more than friendly kisses. The Church always believed that Iggy was somewhat older than Syd Barrett (see: When Syd met Iggy), but this new evidence shows she is nearly two years younger than him (and, should this be of any interest to anyone, both Syd and Ig were born on a Sunday).

If Ig attended school in Pakistan, the family must have been there until early 1950. Although the country was independent several hundred of British officers stayed in Pakistan until the Pakistan army had enough officers to take care of its own. There was a 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment at Rawalpindi (Pakistan), with Indian bases at Amritsar, Calcutta, Jhansi, Jullunder (Jalandhar) and Lahore (Pakistan) but the Church's research couldn't link Ig's father to this battalion. The Wiltshire Regiment left the Indias in October 1947, but her father stayed in Pakistan for a couple of years longer.

Update March 2018: Iggy's mother, so was confirmed to us, wasn't from Pakistan, but from Mizoram, situated at the North-East of India, sharing borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar. Probably that is where Iggy was born and went to school. The 'evening stroll' of Iggy's dad did not take place in the Himalaya's, but at the Lushai Hills, a mountain range in Mizoram and Tripura, India.

Map of Aden
Map of Aden.

The garden of Aden

It is not that weird either that the family was dispatched to Aden. Before 1937 Aden was an (overseas) part of British India and after that it became a separate British Crown colony, much to the enjoyment of philatelists from all over the world. It would stay under British reign until 1963 and in 1967 it was absorbed by the People's Republic of South Yemen.

Kids could go to the Khormaksar primary and secondary school (close to the RAF airport base), but there was the (Roman-Catholic) Good Shepherd Convent School for girls as well, the Isthmus School and the Selim Girl's School that was badly damaged in the anti-Semitic pogroms from 1947.

There are quite a few blogs and forums about Aden with hundreds of pictures of the fifties and sixties, but the Reverend couldn't find Iggy back, yet. The Mojo article has a picture from Ig at Worthing Beach, in the early Sixties, so around 1963 they may have returned to England.

London Underground

In January 1969 Iggy met Syd, thanks to their common friend Jenny Spires. The outside world didn't always realise that Ig and Syd became an item. Ig was unaware that Syd had been a pop star, but then one day:

He [Syd] 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?'" (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 12)

This may have happened in the weekend of 12 and 13 April 1969 after Malcolm Jones and Syd had started working on the new album:

During the tea break we discussed going back to some of the songs started the previous year, in particular 'Golden Hair', and perhaps 'Late Night' although the original version of that had been destroyed, it seemed. We returned to the studio and started work on another new song, 'Terrapin'. In one take Syd laid down a guitar and vocal track that was to be the master! At my suggestion Syd double tracked his vocal part, and that was it!

One day Syd Barrett disappeared from the flat and Iggy, in a jealous mood, fearing he was seeing another woman, tracked down her friend in David Gilmour's appartment, just a few blocks away.

"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..." (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 2, paragraph 3)

Here is again an excellent opportunity to grab the Church's copies of Glenn Povey's 'Echoes' and David Parker's 'Random Precision'. According to David Parker Barrett had his last recording session with Malcolm Jones on the 3rd and 4th of May, while the David Gilmour sessions started a month later (see our 1969 calendar). On the 6th of May however 'a set of rough mixes' of the album was made, presumably to be handed over to Gilmour (and Waters), who had promised to finalise the album (it is significant that on that tape Opel, Swan Lee and Rhamadan are still present).

But probably Barrett, Jones, Gilmour and Waters had been discussing about all this before. The Church has always believed that Iggy left Syd somewhere in April and up till now Ig's visit to Gilmour's apartment fits nicely into that scheme.

Mark Blake wisely deducts the scratched record has to be 'More'. More was released on Friday, the 13th of June 1969, but of course Gilmour may have had a copy some weeks before. Another, but more unlikely, candidate is 'Ummagumma'. Although only released in November the Floyd had already been recording some pieces for this album in January and February, together with the 'More' sessions, so perhaps Gilmour and Barrett could've listened to an acetate instead. And of course the live tracks of that album must have been circulating amongst the band members as well.

But there is still another possibility. Margaretta Barclay told the Church she has a postcard sent to her and Ig at Wetherby Mansions in June 1969 so perhaps Ig's departure took place after More had been officially released (see: Gretta Speaks 2).


Notes (other than internet links mentioned above):
Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p. 139-158.
Jones, Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p. 7.
Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 104-112.

The Church wishes to thank: Adenairways.com, Mark Blake, Jenny Spires, Natashaa' and the beautiful people at Late Night.
♥ Iggy ♥


2011-03-23

Felix Atagong: an honest man

Fake Reverend unmasked at last
Felix Atagong
Felix Atagong.

The Anchor's editor was kindly asked, although summoned would be a more appropriate term, to do an independent review of an interview of the Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit that recently appeared on the extraordinary Spanish Barrett blog Solo en las Nubes (Alone in the Clouds).

Run by Antonio Jesús the blog is a mix of information and fun, containing several references to La Sagrada Iglesia de Iggy La Esquimal, that could be without doubt a title for one of the weirder Pedro Almodóvar movies. Quite recently, in a dark corner of The Anchor, dimly lit by a dripping candle in a bottle on the rough wooden table, I bend over to the gorgeous black-haired girl sitting in front of me, slowly whispering 'La Sagrada Iglesia de Iggy La Esquimal' in her ears (actually, in one ear only as it is quite infeasible to whisper in two ears at the same time, except for Mick Jagger perhaps). Oh Alex Fagotin baby, she passionately sighed with heaving breasts, say that to me one more time, but unfortunately my hair already had caught fire by then.

One very interesting part of the Spanish Barrett blog are the so-called self-interviews (or autoentrevista) and so far Antonio has persuaded Duggie Fields and Laughing Madcaps front-man Kiloh Smith to reveal their souls in these autobiographical Rorschach tests.

Titled 'Felix Atagong: "Un hombre sincero"' the latest self-interview has provoked roars of hysterical laughter from the Åland Islands to Wallis and Futuna. We reveal no real secrets if we tell you that the Reverend has left a trail of female victims from Oslo to Tarzana and rumour goes there will be more to follow despite many international warnings.

The Reverend's self-interview can already be described as absolute rock-bottom and without doubt it will be voted the all-time-worst-entry at the - otherwise excellent - Spanish Barrett blog. Time to let you decide for yourself what a kind of pompous pathetic pumpernickel that Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit really is. Ladies and gentlemen, the Anchor presents, but not too proudly: Felix Atagong: an honest man...

Solo en les Nubes
Solo en las Nubes.

Felix Atagong: "Un hombre sincero"

Even the roads of rock are unfathomable.

Felix Atagong, from Belgium, has created a blog dedicated to Iggy, the model of The Madcap Laughs album. Nobody knew her whereabouts for almost forty years. The coincidence of life, meaning that it is not coincidental at all, has lead this case to an unexpected but long-awaited path.

Publius Enigma.
Publius Enigma.

In his self-interview, Mr. Atagong, the Sherlock Holmes of the Floydian world (he even helped to clarify the Publius Enigma) and always committed to the truth he slowly peels the layers of the story of his blog, and more... (introduction written by Antonio Jesús)

1. What is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit?

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is a blog for Syd Barrett fans dealing with the – very short – period in 1969 when Syd's alleged girlfriend Iggy lived with the singer. Apart from some unverified rumours about her Eskimo roots nobody really knew something about her, nor what happened to her after her sudden disappearance in 1969.

2. How did it all start?

The Church more or less started as a prank. Discussing the (theoretical) possibility of a Barrett religion on the Late Night forum I mentioned a Saint Iggy Congregation in 2007 and when, in March 2008, DollyRocker recognised Iggy acting in a 1967 British documentary, I jokingly announced the Church's birth. But the idea still ripened for five months before any blog post appeared.

3. What were your intentions?

These were quite ambiguous by design.

Obviously the Church frame, lead by an all-knowing Reverend who addresses his flock in a swollen and theatrical language, is satirical. I wanted to imitate those overzealous fans, who can't stop arguing that Barrett is the world's most underrated musical genius and graphical artist and who painstakingly, almost in religious stupor, scrutinize every minute of his life.

But while I was developing the blog I soon realised that I was painstakingly, almost in religious stupor, collecting all available puzzle pieces that lay shattered over the net, on blogs, in forums, that were published in different articles and biographies, thus creating the ultimate Iggy repository.

Both concepts share an an osmotic relationship and - by being what it is and what it pretends to be – the Church has evolved into a meta-concept, although that thin ironic line is probably completely ignored by the people who visit it.

4. But the Church did trigger an Iggy revival, didn't it?

Not really. Every avalanche starts with a couple of snowflakes and by sheer luck the Holy Church happened to be on the right place at the right time. After nearly 40-years of silence several people simultaneously remembered Iggy. Most of the time the Church was not involved but has been monitoring and commentating these events. What nobody expected, except perhaps for the Holy Igquisition, is that it resulted in some sort of Iggymania.

Iggymania started when Mojo magazine put Syd Barrett on its cover in 2010. Of course that cover story was all about The Madcap Laughs 40th birthday but the Church had clearly inspired one of the articles. Not only did this boost the hits on the website but a few days later The Church could reveal that Evelyn (Iggy) had been found back as well and that thanks to Mojo.

Beginning of this year Pink Floyd biographer Mark Blake could finally interview Iggy and that is when Iggymania fully exploded.

5. Not bad for something that started as a joke.

Syd and Iggy - Spring 1969
Syd and Iggy - Spring 1969.

The Church had already turned serious when JenS shared her memories with us, revealing that she (probably) introduced Iggy to Syd and pinpointing The Madcap Laughs photo-shoot date in spring, rather than in the autumn of 1969. Some time later another acquaintance of Syd gave her first interview ever to the Church. Margaretta Barclay and her boyfriend Rusty were regular visitors at Syd's flat and they even tried to resuscitate Barrett's interest in music by dragging him over to Meic Stevens, who is still some kind of weird folk cult figure.

I find it rewarding that some of the Church theories have been reprinted in magazine articles and biographies, so I guess we're not all rubbish after all.

6. But finding Iggy also presented a major crisis for the Church, isn't it?

It is the ambiguity of all organisations that have a certain goal. What do you do if the goal has been reached? What will Greenpeace do if no-one hunts little seals any more? The worst thing that could happen to the Church was to find Iggy! But every time the Reverend uttered the fear there would be lack of Iggy, something new turned up. And 2011 has already proved to be no exception.

Thinking about the future the Church did some reorganising and will continue developing into other areas, of course not neglecting its primary task to inform about al things Ig. One of the new items at the Church will be a gossip corner called 'The Anchor', named after the Cambridge pub Syd Barrett used to visit in the early Sixties. We hope it will stir things up as the Barrett community has become quite lethargic lately. We're all old farts who fall asleep after our afternoon tea and biscuits.

7. The question we are all waiting for: is Iggy aware of it at all and what does she think of the Church?

Evelyn kept a low profile over the years, although she apparently never hid the fact that she had been on the cover of The Madcap Laughs album. But the path of Iggy and the path of the Barrett fan community simply didn't converge for the last 40 years.

Recently Iggy has contacted the Church and she gave us valuable information. However the question is what will happen when Iggymania freezes over. I feel it a bit hypocrite to say that now, but it was never the Church's intention to invade Iggy's privacy.

8. This interview should have at least one anoraky question, reflecting the true nature of the Church. Does the 'eskimo chain' line in Barrett's Dark Globe refer to Iggy?

Dark Globe is a very poignant, hermetic track and, as is the case in many of Syd's songs, its lyrics can be interpreted in different ways. I think Julian Palacios describes it as a lament to Pink Floyd or something of that order. It also reads as a goodbye song to a past love and here is where the 'eskimo chain' line fits in – or doesn't.

I'm only a person with Eskimo chain
I tattooed my brain all the way...
Won't you miss me?
Wouldn't you miss me at all?
Solo en las Nubes banner
Solo en las Nubes banner.

Most people who read Barrett blogs will know that Barrett recorded under the guidance of Malcolm Jones, but somewhere in May 1969 he passed the torch to David Gilmour (Roger Waters would join in as well on a later date). Jones had given up in desperation, as Peter Jenner had done the year before, that last one declaring that the sessions had been 'chaos'. Finally it was David Gilmour who pleaded Harvest records to allow Barrett a third and final chance to finish his solo record. Of course this is just one interpretation and not all biographers and witnesses agree with that. Another story goes that Malcolm Jones simply invited Gilmour (and Waters) for marketing reasons: three Pink Floyd members for the price of one, so to speak (four if one adds Rick Wright who might have done some uncredited overdubs on Golden Hair). Probably the truth lies, as is often the case, somewhere in the middle.

The first session of the third recording round took place on the 12th of June 1969. Barrett premiered two new songs: Dark Globe and Long Gone. On the third (and final) session (26th of July) Roger Waters joined David Gilmour and a couple of other attempts were made of the same songs. (this alternative version of Dark Globe, now retitled as Wouldn't You Miss Me, was later released on the Opel outtakes album.)

It would be logical to see Long Gone and Dark Globe as an indivisible pair as they are both sad love songs. But there is an abundance of that theme on The Madcap Laughs. Jenny Spires told the Church: “Syd wrote songs and not all of them were about one person or another. It was his job. (…) Syd was not romantically inclined this way. 'I'm only a person with Eskimo chain' refers to the evolutionary chain, not to a specific person. He was on a very much higher spiritual plane, not so much on the material.”

But on the other hand Syd liked to put wordplay and little nods to reality in his texts. Pink Floyd's second single See Emily Play refers to psychedelic debutante Emily Young and to Libby Gausden, Jennifer Gentle from Lucifer Sam is a mixture between Jenny Spires and an ancient English ballad called 'There were three sisters' (Jennifer, Gentle and Rosemaree).

Dark Globe also contains the verse: “'The poppy birds way, swing twigs coffee brands around.” At first sight this is just a nature description set in a romantic mood but if one knows that a former girlfriend of Syd was Vivian 'Twig' Brans it becomes quite clear that Syd has cryptically entered her name in that line.

So while Dark Globe may have no-one specific in mind the Eskimo chain line may have been a slight nod toward Iggy.

9. This explanation made my appetite grow for more. How can one join the Church?

To paraphrase Groucho Marx: I don't want to belong to any Church that will accept me as a member, so you can't. The Church does have some loyal friends though who have helped by passing on valuable information. Basically the Church just reaps what others have sown (a common practice amongst churches, I might add). Many kudos go to a long list of loyal brainstormers, informants, witnesses and friends (and I already want to apologise for the ones I have forgotten): Anne, Anthony, Bea, Denis, Dollyrocker, Douggie, Eternal, Gretta, Jenny, Julian, Kieran, Lisa, Mark, Paro, Prydwyn, Rod, Sadia, Sean, Vicky, our many visitors and fans... And of course Iggy herself.

10. What is this recurring thing about the Holy Igquisition?

Nobody expects the Holy Igquisition!

Self-interview courtesy of: Solo en las Nubes (2011) - Felix Atagong: "Un hombre sincero", introduction written by Antonio Jesús. Self-interview written in December 2010 and updated in January 2011.


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.


2011-03-27

The Wrestling Beatle

Brian Epstein at the roulette
Brian Epstein at the roulette.

Life, my dear sistren and brethren, is not like a box of chocolates, except perhaps those from the exclusive and exquisite Tartufo shop in Louvain. Life is like an Eskimo chain, tattooed all over our brains. When the Reverend started the Church he didn't realise what a strange caterpillar ride it would be, a beautiful quest into the unknown. The path we trod was narrow, the drop was sheer and very high and ravens were watching from a vantage point nearby, to paraphrase a great poet.

On the narrow paths, that Iggy had followed in the past, she had thrown breadcrumbs to find her way back home afterwards. Only Iggy never returned on her footsteps but went far ahead into the unknown. Most of these crumbs had long been eaten, by the ravens cited above, but some could be traced back by the Church. And one big trail lead to the Cromwellian club.

The Cromwellian wrestling club

Before it acquired its fame the house at 3 Cromwell Road was known as an illegal casino, run by the London underworld. When gambling became legal the three store building turned into Harry's International Bar (run by the legendary Harry Heart), an elegant casino (quickly moved to the first floor because some competitors wanted to heat the place with Molotov cocktails) and a cellar full of boys, much to the enjoyment of the bartender, but the management decided to repair the equilibrium by giving 'free entrance for girls'.

Before one could say 'faites vos jeux' the place was visited by Brian Epstein and his gang of four and that perhaps thanks to one of the owners who was nicknamed 'the wrestling Beatle'.

Bob Anthony
Bob Anthony.

Bob 'Anthony' Archer

Bob Anthony (Bob Archer), the wrestling Beatle, was a popular welterweight during the 1960s and may not be confounded with the slightly ridiculous George Ringo (Bob Sabre), a Chicago wrestler who had the same nickname. Bob turned professional in 1956 and around 1962 he moved to Paul Lincoln Management. He was one of a group of wrestlers chosen by Paul Lincoln to take part in a prestigious tour of the Far East in the early sixties.

But, like we have already revealed in our article Dr Death and other assorted figures..., he was also one of the owners of the Crom and, what the Reverend didn't know, responsible for booking the bands that would make the place a legend.

Recently the Church was contacted by Emily Archer and thanks to her we can bring you the following testimony from her father:

I was part owner and manager of the Crom up to 1967 when I gave up the management, but not my share, to create Pantiles Club and Restaurant in Bagshot.

The Pantiles Club was built in 1898 for the personal secretary of the Duke of Connaught who lived at the Royal Bagshot Park opposite. During the 1920s there was a Pantiles Athletic & Tennis Club, followed by a Pantiles Swimming Pool Club. In the early 1960s a Pantiles Tea Dancing Club was opened and in 1967 it would become the infamous Pantiles nightclub and restaurant owned by Bob Archer.

I was also a Pro Wrestler as Bob Anthony. There were 4 of us wrestlers involved - who were also 4 good friends, plus the originator of the Cromwellian Tony Mitchell. Ray Hunter, Judo Al Hayes, Paul Lincoln. Al died in the States where he wrestled as Lord Hayes, Ray died also in the U.K. My great friend Paul Lincoln died recently. Paul and Ray also owned The 2'Is in Old Compton Street, where the whole British Rock industry emerged from.
Judo Al Hayes
Judo Al Hayes.

Judo Al Hayes

Judo Al Hayes, alias the White Angel, alias Lord Hayes once was the the nation’s youngest ever judo black belt. He hooked up with Paul Lincoln and had a fun run as the White Angel, culminating in a famous 1962 fight were he was unmasked by Doctor Death (Paul Lincoln with a mask).

In the early seventies Hayes went to the United States. After a successful career as a wrestler he became a television commentator and manager for the American Wrestling Association.

After a car accident he suffered from several complications and died a very sad death in 2005, aged 77.

Rebel Ray Hunter
Rebel Ray Hunter.

Rebel Ray Hunter

Rebel Ray Hunter, Taswegian tag partner of Judo Al Hayes in their Lincoln days, and a globe-trotting Heavyweight Champion of the Commonwealth. When Hunter came to Britain in 1950 he had been the youngest Commonwealth wrestler to do so. Success came in German heavyweight tournaments but the sixties saw a hedonistic jet-set lifestyle in Soho where Hunter and Lincoln owned the famous 2'Is coffee bar.

Rumour goes Hunter had a fling with Sophia Loren once.

Around 1970 he disappeared mysteriously from the wrestling scene.

2I's

The bar 2Ii’s was located at 59, Old Compton Street. Underground legend Barry Miles remembers:

At the 2I’s we sat drinking coffee from glass cups, staring out at Old Compton Street, thinking this was the centre of the world as Dream Lover by Bobby Darin played on the jukebox and various sleazy Soho types drifted in and out. It had opened early in the summer of 1956.
 
Compared with the other coffee bars in Soho, the 2I’s looked pretty tame. Just round the corner on Meard Street was Le Macabre, which used coffins as tables, Bakelite skulls for ashtrays and the jukebox featured the Funeral March. The 2I’s had been open three weeks when Soho held its second annual Soho Fair, to coincide with the July 14, 1956, Bastille Day celebrations. The Vipers skiffle group were among the bands in the procession. When a downpour made them jump down from their flatbed truck and take refuge in the 2I’s, the nearest coffee bar, Paul Lincoln suggested they continue playing there. Immediately a large crowd came in from the street.
 
Paul Lincoln realised that live music was what was needed to pull in the customers and hired them to play a regular gig from 7 to 11pm, four nights a week. At first they were paid only in spaghetti, Coca-Cola and any tips they were able to collect, but their leader Wally Whyton soon decided that a proper fee was required as the place was crammed to its 80-person capacity every time they played. Paul Lincoln made a derisory offer and Wally, bravely, said he would wrestle him for double or nothing. Lincoln was impressed by his guts, strapped on his Doctor Death mask and lost the fight hands down, presumably intentionally. The Vipers got their wages. (Taken from: Going underground: the secret life of London.)

Food and drinks

Le Macabre coffee bar was not unknown to the wrestlers either and was owned by someone they knew. Bob Archer:

Le Macabre Coffee Bar was in fact owned by Tony Mitchell who was the original owner of the Crom until we bought in with him. He also had a restaurant called the New Yorker in Soho. Al Hayes, Ray Hunter and myself would meet for lunch at his restaurant before going on to wrestling engagements or sometimes before training at the YMCA.

Later Paul Lincoln and Ray Hunter also opened The "Trattoria del buon vivitore", an Italian restaurant in Old Compton Street with the Wrestling Promotion Office above.

In a previous article (Dr Death and other assorted figures...) we already mentioned that Paul Lincoln owned an Italian restaurant in Soho. What we didn't know was that the place was just a few blocks away from 2I's (56 Old Compton Street) and located underneath the Paul Lincoln Management offices (36 Old Compton Street). No wonder that Paul Lincoln often took his business associates to the place and even a top ranking Milanese police officer, who Lincoln had befriended during an Italian wrestling showtour, always visited the restaurant whenever he was in London for police business.

The Crom

Bob Archer continues:

Tony [Mitchell] is long gone so I am the only remaining ex owner. I ran Pantiles from 67 to 2007, 40 years, till we sold the land. I was the one who originally created the Swinging London status of the Crom and the 60's celebrity hangout of the stars.

I booked the right bands, and encouraged the sit in sessions, with The Animals, Clapton, Hendrix, and you name it. Elton's band Bluesology were probably my most regular booking, plus Brian Auger. The Drifters, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, Wilson Picket, Benny King.

They all worked in that small cellar. Harry Heart [the bartender] was a legend. I could go on all night. True fact is the first place Jimi [Hendrix] played in London was The Crom. He sat in with Brian Auger. Chas [Chandler] brought him in the first night he arrived. Kathy [Etchingham] worked a bit for me.

Jimi Hendrix

The Jimi Hendrix Record Guide has an interview with Brian Auger about Hendrix's first London gig on the fifth of October 1966:

JHRG: Are you sure the first jam was at The Cromwellian?
Brian Auger: It was The Cromwellian, yes.
JHRG: Some say it was Blaises, and I think Vic Briggs said he was convinced that it was The Scotch Of St. James!
Brian Auger: Yeah, but it wasn't. I'm afraid Vic kind of rewrites history a bit, (chuckles) but it wasn't The Scotch Of St. James, it was The Cromwellian. I have a mental picture of Jimi being introduced to me and looking out across the stage at the staircase that goes up from upstairs to the first level of The Cromwellian. We definitely played at Blaises but that was later.
Anyway, he came down to The Cromwellian and Chas [Chandler] introduced him to me in the break and he seemed like a very nice guy. He asked me if he could sit in and I said absolutely, yeah, what would you like to play? Jimi showed me a chord sequence and said, can you play this? And I said yeah, it's pretty straight forward, and it turned out to be the chord sequence for "Hey Joe"!

And all that thanks to a cellarful of wrestlers.

Harry the Heart

The bartender of the 'International Bar' was, to put it in Rod Harrod's words the “very camp 'Harry the Heart'”. Heart wasn't his real name but came 'from his delightfully effeminate wave over the heads of a packed bar as you walked in: 'Hello (dear) Heart, how are we? Be with you now.'"

Unfortunately, not a lot is known about him. Bob Archer:

The last time I heard, Harry was in North, but that was a long time ago, from Danny La Rue [the famous British drag impersonator]. I fear that he has passed away. He was amazing. His bar was always full with people like Tom Jones with his band, Brian Epstein, Lion Bart, Terry Downes, Lita Rosa, Robert Stigwood. I could go on and on...

A bartender can make or break a place but Harry is surely remembered as one of those extraordinary people who turned the place into a succes.

He knew what everyone drank, and asked "Your usual Heart?"
They would say: "Yes Harry and will you have one?"
Harry then replied: "Just one for the pot Heart."

This inevitably turned into Harry's own little ceremony, serving a glass of gin he would...

...throw another gin into the cut glass vase that he had on the bar, with bits of lemon and cucumber floating about in it.

Bob Archer has nothing but lovely memories about Harry:

He would introduce me to all his friends as "My lovely Boss". We would often go for a burger after closing, unless he said "I'm trolling tonight Heart" and would then walk up past Harrods.

Keith Goodwin

Rod Harrod, the club's PR man and interviewed by the Church as well, wasn't the first journalist who had been hired to promote the club.

I have been trying to remember who was Rod Harrod. The name rings a bell, but the guy who I used as PR was Keith Goodwin, who had his column in either the MM or the NME, where we were regularly mentioned. He was also PR to quite a few music stars.

Keith Goodwin was indeed an NME journalist in the early sixties and one of the first professional music publicists in the UK with a diverse, even oddball, taste in music.

He started his agency with folk band The Springfields (it is eerie how Dusty materialises every time we investigate Church matters) and Tom Springfield was best man on his wedding.

But it was when psychedelia fully hit the scene that Goodwin acquired the most success for his publicity work. Amongst his clients were – initially obscure bands like - Argent, Black Sabbath, Camel, Magma and Yes. One day in 1966 a young singer songwriter, Cat Stevens, was in his office, looking for an appropriate title for a tune he had just written. Keith Goodwin looked out of the window and suggested the name of the shop at the other side of the road: Matthew And Son.

His love for symphonic rock wouldn't falter although the genre was declared dead in the late seventies, early eighties. He continued promoting bands like Pallas, Twelfth Night and Pendragon but it was with Marillion that he could finally prove that the progrock genre still attracted massive popularity. In 1988 Keith Goodwin retired and settled in Malta. He died on the 25th of January 2004, only 69 years old. (Taken from: Keith Goodwin: early professional music publicist.)

Many thanks to Emily and Bob Archer for sharing these memories with the Church. Wrestling information and pictures have been taken from Wrestling Heritage. Grazie mille Gianna!

Update August 2011: Paul Lincoln, better known as Doctor Death, sadly passed away in January 2011 (RIP Paul Lincoln). In July 2011 he was awarded The Number One Masked Man of the Heritage Years by the Wrestling Heritage website.

More to read and watch:
A 1962 movie The Wrestling Game (Part 1 & Part 2) has Rebel Ray Hunter and Judo Al Hayes.
Wrestling Furnace has articles and pictures of Dr. Death, pictures from Rebel Ray Hunter and a 1971 Judo Al Hayes article.