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What a wonderful decade the sixties were. A small group of students at
both sides of the Atlantic changed the world forever, by making weird
music, weird posters and even weirder sex, and since then we live in
continuous paradise. Of course this is utterly bollocks but for the bulk
of I Remember the Sixties-books this is the general atmosphere
they exhale. For the business hippies, who have made successful careers
out of the sixties by rehashing pink coloured memories in their coffee
table books, the legend has become reality, but they are probably just a
minority. The sixties had a silent majority, in- and outside the
Underground, that will never be heard.
In 1988 Jonathon
Green compiled an oral history of the sixties titled: Days In
The Life: Voices from the English Underground 1961-71. In it a
constellation of Underground self-proclaimed heroes repeated the
clockwork adagio that the sixties were fantastic, but this book was the
first, for me at least, that contained some less triumphant testimonies
as well. Nicola Lane, who by her own account 'did little other than sit
in a corner, roll joints and nod when required' had a stab at the sexual
morals of the period in general. Susan Crane (better known as Sue
Miles) confirmed that the Beat movement was very sexist towards
women, invariably called chicks, and when her husband Barry
Miles had those very important International
Times meetings her job was 'to make the tea and the sandwiches' and
to leave the room 'whenever they were going to actually take decisions'.
Which she did.
Another International Times-founder Jim
Haynes, by definition a messiah of the Underground, was described by
Cheryll Park, then a 19-year old coming from the North of England, as a
sexual pervert who wanted her to end up in his bed with six other women.
“I'd love to meet Haynes again, now that he's a shrivelled-up old man,
and humiliate him in the way he humiliated me.”, she snapped. Be it Jim
Haynes, Julian Assange or Dominique Strauss-Kahn, some men will never
In The Sixties Unplugged, Gerard
De Groot repeats the above testimonies of Nicola Lane, Sue Miles and
Cheryll Park. The book already appeared in 2008, but I was unaware of it
until now. A few copies ended up in the sales bin of a local bookshop
and that is how I got hold of it. I hesitated first as the book, at
first glance, seemed to be a mere recollection of the counter-culture in
America, but browsing through the contents I saw that the author also
had things to add about Biafra, China, Congo, France, Germany,
Great-Britain, Holland, Indonesia, Vietnam and even our closest
extra-terrestrial neighbour, the Moon.
Ronnie takes a trip
The Sixties Unplugged is a decade's compendium in 67 short essays and
rather than repeating what good things came out of it, it attempts to
describe where we went wrong. The book is sceptical, ironical and
cynical but also utterly readable, vivid and funny at places. What could
have been lying on your stomach as a gloomy brick becomes the proverbial
box of chocolates, especially thanks to the many unexpected anecdotes
that lighten it up. De Groot constantly dips his pen in a vitriolic
inkpot (does anybody in the 21st century understand this?) and like a
pigeon flying over an open air statue exhibition he has plenty of choice
where to launch his droppings.
I do have the impression that De Groot has more fun in ridiculing the
liberal caste than the conservative one, but I could be wrong as we have
been taught that the sixties were generally progressive anyway. It is
true that lots of noise was coming out of progressive circles... in
Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris or London... but De Groot also notes that 20
miles outside the city or university centres life went on its usual
conservative way. As a matter of fact, while the progressive thinkers
were believing that they were going to change the world by smoking pot
and listening to Hendrix guitar solos the conservative movement was
silently preparing its coup with repercussions that are still visible
But some changes even the conservatives didn't see coming. A bit like Rick
Santorum now, a certain Ronald
Reagan was first laughed away by his fellow republicans and called
'a flagrant example of miscasting'. The man didn't know anything about
politics, they quipped and this was probably true, but that was
precisely Reagan's strength. He started his career by saying that he
wasn't a politician but a simple citizen who understood the needs of the
common Californian. While his opponents, republicans and democrats
alike, were sneering at him from their élite business
millionaire clubs, smoking expensive cigars and showing general disdain
for their voters, Reagan proved that the time was ripe for popular
conservatism, based on easy to digest one-liners (“One of the great
problems of economics is unemployment.”).
To get elected in 1966 Reagan needed to convince over a million of
democrat voters to cross over to his side and paradoxically enough one
of the issues that helped him to achieve that were... the hippies. Berkeley
had a history of tumultuous student uprisings (free
speech movement, Vietnam
war protest & People's
Park) that had infested other Californian universities as well.
Reagan only needed a one-liner to describe those radicals: “His hair was
cut like Tarzan, and he acted like Jane, and he smelled like Cheetah.”
Those beatniks at Berkeley University thought they were changing the
world, and they did indeed, but not as they intended. Ronald Reagan got
elected in California... This was the start of a brilliant political
career and may have been the pivotal point turning the world into an
arena of conservative capitalism...
There's a killer on the road
Did anybody notice dead bankers hanging on trees, lynched by an angry
mob lately? I don't think so. But we did see poor, unemployed and
homeless people, frozen to death this winter, because this crisis –
created out of greed – has hit them hard. Jean-Luc
Dehaene, ex-prime minister of Belgium and representative of the
Christian Labourers Union, will receive a tax-free bonus of 3.26 million
Euro (4.35 million dollars) this year. He is the man who led the Dexia
bank to its bankruptcy, well knowing that the Belgian government would
be obliged to intervene. The Belgian caution for the Dexia 'bad bank' is
15% of our BNP, so if the holding goes into liquidation, a scenario that
is not improbable, all Belgians will face a general tax increase and
cutbacks on all social programs...
Speaking about Belgium, my little country gets a mention in Gerard De
Groot's book as well. Congo,
once the sadistic playground of a Belgian king
who thought that cutting off hands was a pleasant pastime, got
independent in 1960. When its first democratically elected leader, Patrice
Lumumba, had the guts to insult the Belgian king on Congo's
independence day this was nothing less than an invitation to murder.
Not that the Belgians were playing solo, on a White House meeting in
August 1960 president Dwight
D. Eisenhower vaguely proposed to assassinate Lumumba and CIA
Dulles, who described Lumumba as a mad dog who needed to be put
down, immediately gave orders to his secret agents to come up with a
While the CIA was thinking of an all-american-superhero sophisticated
way to get a poisoned toothbrush over to Congo and hand it over to the
prime minister the Belgians had a much simpler idea. Under mild Belgian
pressure Lumumba was arrested, ceremonially and perpetually beaten and
tortured and finally shot through the head while four Belgian officials
were looking, mildly amused, from a few yards distance. Incidentally,
the prime minister of Belgium who was aware of this all, Gaston
Eyskens, belonged to the same Christian party as Jean-Luc Dehaene
now, but this is of course just a silly coincidence.
Although Gerard De Groot obviously agrees that this was an act of
'cynical criminality' he refuses to believe in the Lumumba myth, that is
as big in Africa now as the Che
Guevara-myth in the sixties. De Groot quips Lumumba would have been
assassinated anyway and if not, he dryly adds, the Prime Minister would
probably have grown into a typical African corrupt dictator just like
his spiritual heroes Nkrumah, Nyerere or Kenyatta.
Love, peace & happiness
And these are just two of the 67 essays in this book. The general rule
is that De Groot shows almost no respect for anybody (with some notable
exceptions here and there) although there is of course not always reason
for respect in his stories.
Biafra had an outburst of ethnic and political violence from 1966
to 1970 causing one to two million deaths, most of starvation. This
happened while the 'civilised' world was dutifully monitoring the
situation and organising UN congresses.
China had a few uprisings in the mid sixties. In 1968 communist
government troops killed 200 thousand rebels in the Guanxi province,
although the term rebel could mean women, children, babies or someone
wearing glasses or the wrong clothes. One of the weirder, perhaps tribe
related, rituals in Guanxi was to eat the enemy and over 3000
cannibalistic acts in the name of communism have been documented. Called
an orgy of violence by Gerard De Groot the Cultural Revolution would
make 2.8 million victims, although these numbers greatly vary from
source to source. The amount of people persecuted, imprisoned, beaten,
tortured or raped out of love for the Great
Helmsman is estimated to at least a tenfold of the previous number.
That not all political violence had a communist signature was proven in Indonesia.
In September 1965 and the months to follow between 500 thousand and one
million 'communist' sympathisers were killed in Indonesia, with just a
little help of the intelligence services of Great Britain and the USA. Joseph
Lazarsky, deputy station CIA chief in Jakarta, revealed that the CIA
had made a top 5000 hit-list to help the government troops. The list was
crossed off as enemies were liquidated and as an extra bonus president
Suharto received lucrative contracts with American Express, British
American Tobacco, British Leyland, General Motors, Goodyear, ICI,
Siemens and US Steel...
The shameful lesson of this book is that in 30 or 40 years time,
absolutely nothing has changed in this world, except perhaps for the
fact that in Syria people now have smartphones and can put music in
their ears to stop hearing the falling bombs.
of the book I found on the net says that Sixties Unplugged often follows
very familiar lines.
Although he claims that his work is 'more global than any book
previously produced', it is dominated by American characters and events,
most of which have been written about dozens of times before. His
selection policy is nothing if not orthodox, so his opening sections
cover such well-worn topics as the origins of the transistor, the
invention of the Pill and the poetry of the Beats. Later, we read about
the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the expansion of the Vietnam
War, the development of the hippy movement and the Civil Rights marches.
The supporting cast is the usual mixture of hairy protesters and senior
politicians, above all Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.
There is some truth in that, and when Gerard De Groot hits the ground I
am a bit familiar with, namely the British psychedelic scene, all he can
come up with are testimonies from a book that appeared twenty years ago.
Sometimes he even tries too hard to make a point. I don't think that
using British Underground quotes to add value to an American situation
is really deontological. And there is a certain shock-jock aspect
present as well, as the chapter 'Summer Of Rape', amongst others, shows:
Rape was popular in the Summer of love. Rape was easy because there were
so many naïve young girls separated from parental protection.
or, quoting some juicy sixties newspaper article...
A young long-haired girl stripped and danced in the warm rain... (…) Her
friends stood by while a dozen young men raped her in an animal frenzy.
But it needs to be said that the sensational stories and its many
anecdotes make this book a real page-turner. Gerard De Groot likes to
divulge that every important man has his smaller side. Martin
Luther King, for instance, not only had a dream but also a busload
of extramarital affairs and probably that is one of the few things he
had in common with JFK.
If sex oozes from the pages, it is because the sixties had a sexual
revolution and revolutions not only tend to liberate but often lead to
an aftermath of violence as well. One hippie leader literally said that
women needed breaking like a horse before entering his commune (I wonder
how he could get any female followers) and the average discours
érotique of the Black
Panthers Party then wasn't really different from gangsta-rap today.
The Hole in the Ozone Layer
There aren't a lot of women in the book, and when there are they don't
always like to be reminded of the sixties. Bernardine
Dohrn's 1969 eulogy to Charles
Manson, for instance, can't be found on her CV at the Northwestern
University School of Law and neither is the fact that she once was
one of the most wanted terrorists of the United States. But of course
that is nothing to be proud of, The
Weathermen only succeeded in blowing their own members to pieces
rather than turning America into a communist republic.
In September 1967 hundreds of New
York Radical Women assembled before the Miss America contest in
Atlantic City. They massively removed their bras, much to the enjoyment
of the watching crowd, threw those in a dustbin and set the contents on
fire. Unfortunately, this is one of the sixties feminist myths that is
just that, a myth.
The truth was slightly different. About twenty protesters threw some
symbolic girlie stuff in a trashcan: girdles, bras, makeup, curlers,
mascara, shoes... and apparently they also crowned a sheep as Miss
America, but that was all that happened.
A reporter however called it bra-burning and from then on the legend
mushroomed until the point was reached that feminists really started to
believe in burning bras or protesting topless, a tradition that happily
lingers on till today,
but now you will call me a male chauvinist pig probably.
According to The Sixties Unplugged the decade ended in 1971 with the
obscenity trial of Oz. One of the questions was if a bawdy cartoon of
Rupert Bear (made by a fifteen years old) was obscene or not. The judges
decided it was but nobody really cared any more. The world had changed,
only the judges didn't know it yet.
Despite some flaws this is a very interesting book indeed. Even with 67
chapters and almost as many topics it gives you something to chew on and
makes you start thinking. Lucky we have Wikipedia nowadays, to further
dig into those subjects one really digs... but what did the sixties
bring into our world then, other than perpetual paradise... Gerard De
The decade brought flowers, music, love and good times. It also brought
hatred, murder, greed, dangerous drugs, needless deaths, ethnic
cleansing, neocolonialist exploitation, soundbite politics,
sensationalism, a warped sense of equality, a bizarre notion of freedom,
the decline of liberalism, and the end of innocence.
Groovy man, really groovy...
Sources (other than the above internet links): De Groot,
Gerard: The Sixties Unplugged, Pan Macmillan, London, 2009. Green,
Jonathon: Days In The Life, Pimlico, London, 1998, p. 60, 119,
418-419, 448 (first edition: 1988).
Despite the fact that the sixties children of the revolution all wanted
to express their individualism and refused to be a part of the square 9
to 5 world they all managed to show up at the same places, dress
virtually the same and take the same chemical substances.
This also applied for their holidays. Although they had been seeing each
other the whole year in old rainy England, in summer they would pack
their bags and flee – en masse – to the same cool (but
sweaty) locations, following the so-called Hippie
The Hippie Trail extended to the Himalayas and several Cantabrigian
hipsters made it to the Indies, looking for a guru who would teach them
things a local vicar couldn't teach them. Paul Charrier, one of the
Cantabrigian mods, beats or whatever denomination they liked that week,
was one of the first to witness this. When he returned to England and
opened his bag of tricks, he managed to convert a few others to the
narrow path of Sant
Mat, but others, like Storm
Thorgerson and Matthew
Scurfield, opposed to this 'wave of saccharine mysticism hitting our
shores' (see also: We
are all made of stars).
India and Pakistan were long and hazardous journeys and for those who
only had a few weeks to spend there were always the Balearic islands
where they would meet at La Tortuga or La
Some 700 hippies arrived in Formentera in 1968 and by the summer of 1969
there were already 1,300, almost one for every 2.5 islanders. They
didn’t stay all year round but were usually university students spending
their holidays on the island. In 1970, Franco’s regime threw all 3,000
of them off Ibiza and Formentera. According to the regime, the hippies
gave the place a bad name, but the islanders didn’t agree – for them the
hippies were simply tourists. (Taken from: Thinkspain.)
Of course the islands of Formentera
(Balearic Islands) already had some reputation of their own. The place
not only gained popularity by (American) writers and artists after the
second world war for its mild climate, but also because it was a central
drug smuggling point. The heroes of Beat literature not only liked the
bohemian's life, but in their quest for nonconformity they also actively
sought contact with 'the perilous margins of society - pimps, whores,
drug dealers, petty thieves'.
Quite some Dutch artists visited the place, for one reason or another.
The proto-hippie-folk singing duo Nina
& Frederik (Dutch-Danish, in fact), who had some hits in the
fifties and early sixties, lived there. In his later life Frederik
Van Pallandt attempted a career as drug smuggler and his murder in
1994 may have been a direct result. Other artist included poet Simon
Vinkenoog, author Jan
Cremer and Black & Decker trepanist Bart
Huges. The sixties saw visits from the Beatles, the Stones and in
their wake some beautiful people from London (for a more detailed list: Ibiza
in the beatnik & hippie eras.)
David Gale, his girlfriend Maureen, Dave Henderson, Storm Thorgerson and
John Davies went to Ibiza in 1963 for their holidays where they visited
Formentera island for a day. Back at home they all decided to have
another holiday there.
Mary Wing (and her friend Marc Dessier) found Formentera so beautiful
that in 1965 they decided to stay there.
Nick Mason acknowledges that after the '14
hour technicolour dream' (29 April 1967) the band was very tired and
that Syd showed more severe symptoms than the others. Despite all that
the continuous, eight days a week, gigging went on with the mythical Games
For May concert two weeks later (12 May), the memorable Hans
Keller BBC interview (14 May) and the See
Emily Play recording session (18 May). There were nearly daily
concerts or recording sessions between May and June of that year, but
little by little cracks started to appear in their overcrowded agenda.
June, 11: two cancelled concerts in Holland June, 18: public
appearance on a bikini fashion show for Radio London, cancelled June,
24: two cancelled concerts in Corby and Bedford June, 25: two
cancelled concerts in Manchester
On Thursday, July the 27th 1967, the Pink Floyd mimed (for the third
time) on the Top Of the Pops show although Barrett was rather reluctant
to do it. The next day they had a recording session for the BBC, but
apparently Syd was seen leaving the block when it was their turn. This
time the band and its management took Syd's behaviour seriously and
decided to cancel all August gigs (with the exception of some studio
Update September 2012: one of these cancelled gigs was the 7th
National Jazz, Pop, Ballads and Blues Festival that was visited by Iggy
the Eskimo: Iggy
- a new look in festivals.
Now what would you do when the lead singer of your band has got mental
problems due to his abundant drug intake? You send him to a hippie, drug
infested, island under the supervision of a psychedelic doctor who
thinks that LSD has been been the best invention since masturbation.
In 1969 Smutty would have his medical office at Jenny
Fabian's apartment: “I did find it a bit weird though, trying to lie
around stoned listening to the sounds of vaginal inspections going on
behind the curtain up the other end of the sitting-room."
After a first attempt in the studio on Scream
Thy Last Scream, Pink Floyd finally went on holiday for the second
half of August. Syd Barrett, Lindsay Corner, Rick Wright, Juliette Gale
(Wright), Dr. Sam Hutt, his wife and baby went to Formentera while Roger
Waters and Judy Trim (Waters) headed for Ibiza. They all had a good
time, except for Barrett who – during a storm - panicked so hard he
literally tried to climb the walls of the villa, an anecdote that is so
vehemently trashed by biographer Rob
Chapman that it probably did happen.
In retrospect the decision to take a hippie doctor on holiday wasn't
that stupid. One of the underlying ideas was that he would be able to
communicate with Syd on the same level. The band, conscientiously or
not, were also aware that 'there was a fear that sending Syd to a
[traditional] doctor for observation might lead to his being sectioned
in a mental hospital'.
In those days most care centres in Great Britain were still Victorian
lunatic asylums where medical torture was mildly described as therapy.
At least these were the horrid stories told by the people who had been
so lucky to escape.
He showed me to the room that was to be mine. It was indeed a cell.
There was no door knob on the inside, the catch had been jammed so that
the door couldn't be shut properly, the window was high up in the wall
and had bars over it, and there was only a standard issue bed and locker
as furniture. (William Pryor)
Nobody wanted this to happen to Syd, but a less prosaic thought was this
would have meant the end of the band, something that had to be carefully
avoided. “The idea was to get Syd out of London, away from acid, away
from all his friends who treated him like a god.”, Rick Wright explained
but in reality Dr. Hutt, and the others, merely observed Syd Barrett,
catatonic as ever and still 'munching acid all the time'. Nick Mason, in
his usual dry style: “It was not a success.”
Whoever thought that giving Barrett a few weeks of rest was going to
evaporate the demons from his brain must have been tripping himself and
on the first of September the agenda was resumed as if nothing had
happened. The first 6 days were filled with gigs and recording sessions.
Three days later a Scandinavian tour with the legendary Gyllene
Cirkeln and Starclub gigs, followed by an Irish Tour and later, in
October, the disastrous North American Tour...
Although the previous paragraphs may seem harsh they are not meant to
criticise the people nor their actions. It is easy to pinpoint what went
wrong 45 years ago, but as it is impossible to predict an alternative
past we will never know if any other action would have had a different
or better effect. The Reverend is convinced that Syd's friends, band
members and management tried to do their best to help him, but
unfortunately they were running in the same insane treadmill as he was.
Syd wasn't the only one to be exhausted and at the same time the
atmosphere was imbibed with the 'summer of love' philosophy of
respecting someone's personal freedom, even if it lead to
In 1968 Aubrey
'Po' Powell (Floydian roadie and later Hipgnosis member) visited the
Formentera island together with some friends.
I first came here forty-one years ago [interview taken in 2009, FA] with
David Gilmour, and then the year afterwards with Syd Barrett. The first
year I came to Formentera I stayed about four months living like a
hippie, and I just fell in love with it. (…) Also it was kind of
difficult to get to. You had to get the plane to Ibiza and then the
ferry which at that time was the only ferry that went between Ibiza and
Formentera and that took about two hours to get across and it only went
twice a day. So it was an effort to get there, you know, it was a rather
remote place. But a lot of writers, painters and musicians gravitated
there. (Taken from: Aubrey
Powell: Life, light and Formentera’s influence on Hipgnosis.)
Shortly after Syd Barrett watched the first moon-landing
(that had been given a Pink Floyd soundtrack on the BBC) he panicked
when he found out that his pal Emo (Iain Moore) and a few others (Po,
John Davies) had left Albion for sunny Formentera. He literally grabbed
a bag of cash and dirty clothes and headed to Heathrow, driven there by
The story goes that Syd tried to stop an aeroplane taxiing on the
tarmac. In at least one version the plane actually stopped and took him
on board, but other say he had to wait for the next departure. Again it
is biographer Rob Chapman who categorises this anecdote as
'unsubstantiated nonsense', on the weird assumption that it failed to
make the newspapers, but other biographies have also omitted this story
for simply being too unbelievable.
Anyway, somewhere in July or early August 1969 Syd arrived in Ibiza and
met Emo who was on his way to San Fernando (Formentera). The biographies
Crazy Diamond (Mike Watkinson & Pete Anderson), Madcap (Tim Willis) and
Dark Globe (Julian Palacios) all add bits and pieces to that particular
Iain Moore: “He had a carrier bag of clothes that I could smell from
where I was standing.”
Emo says Syd's behaviour was pivoting like a see-saw. One moment he
could be seen laughing, joking and singing with the gang; the next
moment he could snap into an emotional freeze. It was useless to warn
him for the blistering sun and in the end his friends 'had to grab him,
hold him down, and cover him from head to toe in Nivea'.
At Formentera Syd stayed with Mary Wing, who had left Great Britain in
1965 to live on the island with Marc Dessier. According to them Barrett
was a gentle soul but 'like a little brother who needed looking after'.
Barrett was in good form and to an audience of European hippies he
claimed he was still the leader of Pink Floyd.
Barrett borrowed Dessier's guitar: “Then he sat there, chose a letter of
the alphabet and thought of his three favourite words starting with the
same letter. He wrote them on three bits of paper, threw them in the air
and wrote them again in the order that he picked them up.” This
technique was not uncommon for beat poets and Syd may have been inspired
by Spike Hawkins who showed Barrett his Instant Poetry Broth book the
One Formantera picture shows Syd with an unknown girl who hides her
nudity behind a red veil. The (copyrighted) picture can be found on John
Davies MySpace page (image link)
and has been published in the Crazy Diamond biography and on A
For Pink Floyd buffs the picture shares a resemblance with the red veil
picture on the Wish
You Were Here liner bag, that actually exists in a few different
versions. Storm Thorgerson has used the past from the band and its
members for his record covers, backdrop movies and videos on several
occasions, like the Barrett vinyl compilation that had a cover with a
plum, an orange and a matchbox.
Hipgnosis collaborator 'Po' Powell was with Syd in Formentera in 1969,
but what does Storm Thorgerson has to say about it all? He reveals that
the idea for the veil came from John Blake, and not from Po:
John Blake suggested using a veil – symbol of absence (departure) in
funerals ans also a way of absenting (hiding) the face. This was the
last shot (…) which was photographed in Norfolk.
And in Mind Over Matter:
The red muslin veil is an universal item, or symbol, of hiding the face,
either culturally as in Araby, or for respect as in funerals. What's
behind the veil?
According to Nick Mason a female nude can be seen on the Wish You Were
Here inside cover but of course this doesn't say anything about the
unknown woman on Formentera. Who is she?
Nobody knows. And that secret remained a secret for over 40 years.
Now let's suppose a witness would show up who remembers she has been
seen walking near Earl's Court. And that she was called Sarah Sky
although that probably was not her real name. And that she spoke with
a foreign accent and lived in London. And that Sarah Sky vanished
around the late 1970's and has never been heard of since.
Partially solving a problem only makes it bigger. A new quest has begun.
Update 2012.05.26: According to Emo (Iain Moore) Sarah Sky may
have been one of the girls who went with them to Formentera. The Syd
Barrett Archives (Facebook) have the following quote:
Actually, I spoke to Emo last night and he said she was just another
person who was staying at the house they rented. It was a nudist beach,
lol. At least Syd kept his pants on this time! (…) Anyway, Emo
said they didn't know her and he couldn't remember who she was with.
(...) The girl in this photo is name unknown. She was American and
staying in a house in Ibiza. She was visiting Formentera for the day.
Iain has, since then, reconfirmed that the Formentera Girl was an
American tourist. He has also posted a new picture of Syd and the girl.
Update August 2012: Author and movie maker Nigel
Gordon does not agree with a quote in the above text, taken from
I just want to respond briefly to your article on Formentera etc where
you wrote or quote that Santmat is ‘saccharine mysticism’. I don’t agree
with you. Santmat recommends that we meditate for two and a half hours a
day. It’s pretty ‘salty’!
Update February 2015: Some 'sources' on the web pretend the
Formentera girl is none other than German photo-model Uschi Obermaier.
Obviously this is not true and if you want to know how the Church came
to this conclusion you can read everything at Uschi
Obermaier: Proletarian Chic.
Many thanks to: Nina, Ebronte, Julian Palacios, Jenny Spires.
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 90, 131. Chapman,
Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p.
228, 341. Davis, John: Childhood's
End, My Generation Cambridge 1946-1965. De Groot, Gerard: The
Sixties Unplugged, Pan Macmillan, London, 2009, p. 27. Gordon,
Nigel: Santmat, email, 18.08.2012. Green, Jonathon: Days In
The Life, Pimlico, London, 1998, p. 286. Green, Jonathon: All
Dressed Up, Pimlico, London, 1999, p. 255. Mason, Nick, Inside
Out, Orion Books, London, 2011 reissue, p. 95-97. Palacios,
Julian: A mile or more in a foreign clime': Syd and Formentera @ Syd
Barrett Research Society, 2009 (forum no longer active). Palacios,
Julian: Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London,
2010, p. 265, 353. Pryor, William: The Survival Of The Coolest,
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