2012-09-28

Iggy - a new look in festivals

National Jazz and Blues Festival, 1967
National Jazz and Blues Festival, 1967.

The inhabitants of the distant planet Tralfamadore have a phrase, the laity equivalent of the earthly inshallah that goes like this: So it goes. The saying is a combination of fatalism, stoicism and acceptance, usually for when a bad thing happens, without giving a moral or religious judgement to the incident itself.

One night, drunk, we were having a race with a friend who owned a car. A famous roundabout outside Cambridge at the end of the Hauxton half-mile, ten miles out of town. We gave this guy a big start. Then Syd and I climbed on my old Norton motorcycle. I drove as fast as I could to this roundabout and back. As we drove into the front drive of his mother’s house, as he was getting off the back tire went bang! A puncture, a big split in the rear tyre. Only by a hair’s breadth did Pink Floyd ever exist at all. Syd and I could so easily have been killed. (Roger Waters, Bogotá, 2007)

So it goes.

The most ardent Syd Barrett fans will probably be very angry (again!) at Roger Waters for nearly killing Syd, not realizing that if Roger had succeeded in finishing off his friend (and probably himself as well in the process) there would have been no Syd Barrett, nor Pink Floyd, fans to begin with. On the other hand, we would never have had the Roger Waters album Amused To Death, nor any other of his solo stinkers, so here is valid proof that there is some sense of a meta-physical equilibrium in the universe.

The 1967 National Jazz, Pop, Ballads and Blues Festival

genuine NJBF invitation, but with a fake name
Genuine NJBF invitation, but with a fake name.

In August 1967 a three days music festival took place at the Royal Windsor Racecourse, also known among the locals as the Balloon Meadow. In 1961 the festival had been called National Jazz Festival, but the organisation kept on adding music genres to the title to reflect the musical changes that took place in Britain. Four years later the festival was named the National Jazz and Blues Festival and the 1967 edition listened to the slightly overinflated National Jazz, Pop, Ballads and Blues Festival. Frankly, for this reason alone, it's a good thing the festival never survived into the nineties or they would have needed 99-cm-long tickets.

In 1967 jazz had become a small part of the bill with afternoon gigs only and in the evening the festival had become a de-facto popular music jukebox with a rather impressive list of groovy bands who got between 20 to 30 minutes to present their case, the only exception the top act who got an abundant 45 minutes. Not that weird, because the director of the NJPB&B festival was none other than Harold Pendleton, owner of the legendary Marquee club and director of the National Jazz Federation. Bands that were considered hot and had shown their popularity in the club came on the short-list for the festival and one example is the Belgian power-trio Adam's Recital who only gave us one excellent single and then disappeared.

As such it was no surprise that The Pink Floyd had conquered the second best place on the line-up of Saturday 12 August, leaving the top of the bill to Paul Jones of Manfred Mann fame (who was booed off the stage), but beating Zoot Money, Arthur Brown, Amen Corner and 10 Years After in the race.

The festival was not entirely unbespoken, as usual there were the traditional jazz lovers who moaned that their jazz festival wasn't a real jazz festival any more and had sold out to those dreadful pop-bands. But the blues and rock fans also complained about the 1000 Watts experimental WEM hi-fi installation that fell out during several concerts and was inadequate to give the rock fans the volume they needed. On top of that the posh neighbours of the Balloon Meadow had issued a complaint, leading to the arrest of Charlie Watkins of WEM (Watkins Electric Music), and in order to continue with the festival the volume had to be turned down, despite the crappy PA system.

A host of guitarists like Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and David O'List, had their sound reduced to a near pathetic level. (Melody Maker)

The Lovely Ones

For many visitors from the country this was their first encounter with hippies who could only be found in their London ghetto. One photographer commented:

The Lovely Ones
The Lovely Ones.
All those lovely, beautiful people. With their John Lennon spectacles and Scott McKenzie moustaches. And their garlands of flowers; their cowbells; and their joss sticks. So lovely... dressed in mum's tablecloth and the front room curtains. So lovely with their talk of peace... and their skip-like walk over the grass. This was not a love-in, or particularly a gathering of hippies, though they were there in their hundreds.

And amongst the flower girls one particular specimen stood out, she was (and still is) a true goddess of psychedelia and Pink Floyd fans amicably know her as Iggy the Eskimo.

Iggy the Eskimo Pocahontas

Last year Iggy Rose confided to the Holy Church that there were still some unseen pictures of her, hidden in music magazine archives, waiting to be unearthed:

I had teamed up with a photographer who was freelancing for all the top music papers. He fled his native motherland when Communist Russia invaded what was once Great Britain [Note from FA: Afghanistan?].

Anyway he lived in Earls Court, at the gay end and he didn't have a clue who cared. He was my protector and provider and took thousands of the most stunning pics. He introduced me to top agents, Ready Steady Go and took me to the first Glastonbury festival and the Isle of Wight.

He would always take pictures of me as well. I wish I could remember which festival or what music paper where he had got me on the front page, but I do remember I had plaits and a band round my forehead... I looked like Pocahontas, the red Indian squaw.

Later on he introduced me to top modelling agencies and trendy photographers. I even got to meet the great David Puttman for a Camay soap TV-ad where I was lying in a bath with lots of bubbles. We spent ages in his office giggling and laughing while he tried to apologise. I was the wrong type as the soap company was looking for big blue-eyed blondes like Twiggy or Jean [Shrimpton].

Unfortunately most of the Iggy Rose pictures have disappeared through the years, including those that were in her property. S, a rock star she was hanging out with at the time, 'was one of the many people who destroyed hundreds of my photos' and in an unfortunate freaky incident a suitcase with her personal belongings was tossed over the railings of a ship crossing the North Sea. One of the mythical lost photo sessions are an intimate set from her with Syd Barrett, perhaps taken by a photographer other than Mick Rock and Storm Thorgerson, around the time that also The Madcap Laughs cover-shoot took place.

So it goes.

And the chance that the picture of Iggy as Pocahontas would ever show up was close to zero.

Then a miracle happened that could only take place in our global village.

The Phi Factor

On the 25th of August the Church received a message from PhiPhi Chavana (Hong Kong) that she had found a new Iggy pic in a 1967 magazine that was auctioned on eBay. The Music Maker magazine of October 1967 belonged to retro68special from Sydney (Australia) who was selling his wide collection of sixties and seventies film, video, vinyl, books, zines, comics, memorabilia and ephemera...

Retro68special had scanned 16 out of the 52 pages magazine, including a big centrefold of a flower power girl who looked unmistakably like Iggy. Discreet investigations were undertaken to see if the girl on the picture was Ig and on the first of September we received confirmation it was her indeed: "...those beads left great big dents in my forehead ;)".

Music Maker
Music Maker, October 1967.

Musik Maker

Music Maker was a short-lived music magazine that ran from September 1966 till December 1967. As a monthly offshoot from the Melody Maker stable it was edited by Jack Hutton and Bob Houston and more interested in jazz, folk and serious popular music than in those weird psychedelic fiddlings. It clearly used a more adult style than its weekly counterparts, giving full credits to the authors of the articles, but alas, not to the people who took the pictures.

The October 1967 issue that was on sale has in-depth interview with and articles about: Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, Brian Epstein, Hank, Thad & Elvin Jones, Stan Kenton, Lulu, Frank Zappa and a photo-journalistic impression of the National Jazz and Blues Festival, with a text written by Chris Welch.

WINDSOR-A NEW LOOK IN FESTIVALS (Chris Welch)

Flower Power hit this year’s National ]azz and Blues Festival at Windsor in August like a reinforced concrete daisy.

Hippies completely replaced the familiar beatniks of yesteryear. Beads and bells ousted duffle coats and cider jugs.

Both groups and audience alike adopted colourful, inventive clothes-kaftans, scarves and brilliantly hued trousers and jackets.

As hippies seek free expression in music and general activities, so they seek freedom of dress, and only the dullards of society can feel resentment at their massive break with convention.

“But they are being conventional-they all dress the same”, one can almost hear the dullards whining.

Not true. While businessmen desperately trail the hippies to their lairs to cash in on whatever trend may be showing on the surface, your real hippy is always one jump ahead and trying to be original and creative.

Many of the groups at Windsor were still playing the old soul and Carnaby Street groove, but there were several representatives of the “new wave” in pop which have been drastically altering the scene in a matter of weeks. Pop has never moved at such a fast pace.

There was Tomorrow in action, a fantastic new group featuring “Teenage Opera” man Keith West. There was Dantalian’s Chariot, Eric Burdon and the New Animals, the Nice and many other happy happenings.

Whereas the soul bands seemed happy in the past to play “Knock On Wood” and “Sweet Soul Music” all night, and inviting the audience to “clap their hands”, the new groups use as much original material as possible or at least obscure American songs which make good vehicles for instrumental and vocal expression.

The Nice, for example, who caused a minor sensation by releasing doves of peace during their act, play numbers from the “Cosmic Sounds”, Electra album, film themes and strange originals.

Beautiful maidens abounded at the festival, collectively referred to as “Creamcheese”, which stems from the Mothers Of Invention’s famous Suzie. Most of the girls now wear Eric Clapton hairstyles or affect American Indian garb. Or is it Indian Indian? Geography has gone to pot.

Musically the finest contributions to the Festival were by Clapton, Tens Years After, Tomorrow, Pat Arnold and the Nice, John Mayall, Peter Green, Donovan and Denny Laine.

They all point to a happy, creative pop future - if only people will leave them alone. - CHRIS WELCH

And here finally is the picture we have been looking for, for all these months, and before we forget: "Just another world exclusive of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit."

Iggy at Windsor, 1967
Iggy at Windsor, 1967.

A bigger version and a (partial) scan of the magazine can be found in our latest gallery: Music Maker Magazine.

Iggy at Windsor, 1967. Rough scan.
Iggy at Windsor, 1967. Rough scan.

Incarceration of a Flower Child

After PhiPhi Chavana warned the Reverend about the new Iggy Rose picture the scan from the seller was examined by some Church alumni who all agreed that the image had a serious distorted view at chin level, a carnival mirror effect if you like, due to the bending of the pages in the middle.

So it was absolutely essential that the Church got hold of the magazine. The first thing the Church did when it arrived was to cut it into little pieces and make a flat hi-res scan of the two pages that made the Pocahontas picture.

Unfortunately, this only worsened the case, as the upper and lower piece of the scan did not stitch together and a big crack was visible between the two parts. Lucky for us that wicked tribe of Iggy Rose fans has nothing but nice people amongst it ranks and Brooke Steytler came to the rescue using his magical inpainting skills.

Page crack.
Page crack.

Serendipity & more to come

All this makes us think.

What if retro68special had not put up his collection for sale?
What if he had not scanned the page with Iggy?
What if PhiPhi Chavana had not seen it on eBay?
What if PhiPhi Chavana had not recognised Iggy and had not been aware of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit?
What if Brooke Steytler had not proposed to use his photoshopping superpowers?

That's a lot of knots and we can only conclude that the Church is protected by a special guardian angel, but we all know who she is, don't we?

So it goes.

As Music Maker was a spin-off of Melody Maker it is not impossible that the weekly magazine may have Iggy related pictures as well, the same goes for Disc and Music Echo, another weekly magazine from the same stable. And while we're at it, why not have a go at NME 1075 that had an article by Keith Altham and Norrie Drummond about the festival. The hunt continues.

P.S. The Pink Floyd didn't play the National Jazz, Pop, Ballads and Blues Festival after all, this was the summer that Syd Barrett suffered from extreme exhaustion and went to Formentera with his gynaecologist (!) to get some rest. The Nice replaced the Floyd's spot and did in fact play twice on the festival. More about Syd at Formentera: Formentera Lady.


Many thanks to: Dylan Mills, Brooke Steytler, PhiPhi Chavana, retro68special.
♥ Iggy ♥

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Arthur Brown - Windsor 1967 Interview, 7 and a half minute BBC report of the festival (mostly about Arthur Brown)
Palacios, Julian: Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London, 2010, p. 30. The original transcript of the Radio Bogotá interview can be found at A Fleeting Glimpse.
Rose, Iggy: chat with Felix Atagong, 16 October 2011.
7th National Jazz & Blues Festival @ The Marquee Club
The Seventh National Jazz and Blues Festival @ UK Rock Festivals
The Lovely Ones picture (text on back), courtesy of Carl Guderian

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