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In 2011 Eva Wijkniet, from The Netherlands, not only managed to visit
the Barrett exhibition
at (the recently closed down) Idea Generation Gallery, but she also got
a foot in the door of Libby Gausden Chisman, a couple of months later.
When the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit got hold of the rumour that she
was writing her story for publication at the Dutch Pink
Floyd Fans Nederland fanpage, we moved heaven and earth to publish
her report on the Church pages as well.
It did cost us blood, sweat, an inkjet and blue nail-polish, but here it
is, the wondrous story of Eva, friends and family, in merry Barrett
land. Many, many thanks to Libby Gausden for her support and Eva for
Eva Wijkniet: my Syd (Roger) Barrett project
You have got these years that a lot happens, more than in other years. 2011
was one like this for me.
It actually began in 2010 when I came in contact with the creators of
book". Mind you, not that I personally met them, but through the
social media like things go today.
I once had seen (already a long time ago) an episode
of the documentary series called "the
seven ages of rock" with particular focus on the origins of
psychedelic rock, and in particular the vague and relatively unknown
first front-man of Pink Floyd. I knew Pink Floyd, but was not very
interested in their well-known work. But when I saw this documentary I
was glued to the tube as bee on a honey pot. Who was this appearance?
What was that noise? What was this special story and why didn't I know
I had to go to the bottom of this... my research project "Syd (Roger)
Barrett" had begun...
First I read some books. "A Very Irregular Head" by Rob
Chapman and "Dark Globe" by Julian Palacios were the first,
and after a load of others (all in English) these came out the best in
my opinion. What was it about this man? Why did this gorgeous and
brilliant appearance of a man vanished from the scene before the world
lay at the feet of this mega band?
He was a painter... He was a guitarist... He was crazy... He
was an acid casualty... He became a hermit... Hundreds, thousands
vague stories of incidents... How was it really?
I became heavily fascinated with my object or research, so to speak. Months
of wandering on the internet and many extensions of my Facebook network
followed and after a while I stumbled upon a site of Essential Works
where authors Russell Beecher and Will Shutes were busy compiling a book
This had to be a complete visual overview of Barrett as an "Artist". A
book featuring never-before-seen photos and a compendium of his artwork
that was still traceable or that had been photographed. This book would
also have (love) letters of the very young Syd, full of expectations of
life, searching for a purpose, seeking confirmation of his loved ones,
unsure of his musical skills in the student band with his mates Roger,
Nick, Rick and Bob.
To get this book published, the authors sought support.
For months I frantically twittered and facebooked and in November
2010, the high word came out... the book was going to be published! To
thank us for our endless spamming, the first who had subscribed to the
book had their name published in the so called "Roll of Honour".
Early 2011, the book appeared!
BARRETT: The definitive visual companion to the life of Pink Floyd's
I was super-proud when I opened the book and saw my name on the "Roll"
among many others.
And... there was going to be an exhibition! Obviously I had to go! I
went to London and two super girlfriends reported themselves as travel
March 2, 2011, early in the morning, three uproarious girls (30+ but
with the mentality of 15-year old teenagers who went on a tour) got on a
plane to London. That same afternoon I stood with my face before a
painting of a turtle (a reproduction would later hang on my wall). I
stand musing in front of the letters Syd wrote to his first loves (later
I would know better one of them) and very early photos of Pink Floyd...
There was a mosaic of two warriors, abstract works in red and blue,
small landscapes in watercolour, ink sketches of a little boy...
My friends were pretty tired after 10 minutes, but they did not have the
connection with and fascination for Syd Barrett as I have... I loved it
and two days later I returned to visit the exposition on my own.
Through Facebook I had already met Libby Gausden Chisman, Syd's first
She is a terribly nice woman, in her sixties but that doesn't withhold
her to master the full potential of Facebook. She took pleasure to get
acquainted with the supporters of the "Barrett book".
When she heard that I would spend my summer holidays at the English
Coast with my family, she insisted that we would bring her a visit.
After some exchanges of mail addresses and phone-numbers we left
(husband, child, parents-in-law all stuffed in two packed cars) towards
Libby and Neil (her husband) lived on the route but I still hesitated to
bust her place with my household and parents, especially as it was
around dinner time. I called just to be sure, and she said I had not to
act stupid and that she had more than enough food and that we had to
We arrived at the place in a beautiful area at the English coast. We
drove up the driveway and the front door was already open... I didn't
want to just walk in, so I rang at the door. Libby arrived and said that
she had left the door open on purpose for us. I said it was not wise
after the incident in the IG gallery (on the second last day a painting
had been stolen, but two days later it was returned by post). Afterwards
she found the theft really witty and she corrected us, the painting had
not been stolen, but merely borrowed.
We were greeted like old friends, which I still think is particular as I
only knew her through Facebook. We got coffee in the garden (and she was
glad I am a smoker, she finds all that anti-smoking stuff a hassle) and
an arsenal of food that was yet to come.
The long corridor of the house was filled with artwork and some of those
I had already seen a few weeks earlier, of course. But at the IG gallery
I really thought this would be a one time experience... how wrong could
I could take pictures of what I wanted and the she came with a suitcase
full of letters.
All these years she had kept the letters in a black garbage bag, but the
people of the gallery didn't found that nice enough and stored the
letters for her in a folder and suitcase.
You have to know that in all these years many Syd fans and journalists
came over her floor and that quite some documents and photos have been
'lost'. And yet this doesn't withhold her from continuing to welcome
Many have been to her house, including writer Rob Chapman, who even
worked on his book about Syd in a room in her house. Libby has never
read his book.
Also I found it particular that her husband Neil was as warm and
affectionate towards us. Lib has often said that we owe it to him that
these Syd Barrett relics are still there. He always wanted her to keep
the documents even at the moments that she wanted to put hem away.
In the 70s he even agreed with the idea of taking Syd into their home
when it really wasn't going well with him. Her mother put a stop on this
because she didn't found it suitable for the very young children of the
couple. This is just one anecdote of the many she told me, but out of
respect I will not put those here. She made it clear that there was more
than the excesses of madness and excessive drug use we always read about.
I was sitting cross-legged on the floor and she gave me all those
letters to read and then came the moment when she summoned me to go
upstairs... From her bedroom's wardrobe she took an old black leather
jacket. Would I like to try it on?
It was Syd's leather jacket from 1962!
On a balcony of an old English house at the coast, with palm trees in
the garden and the rustling sea in the background, I wore the Syd
Barrett's coat... Pinch me!
I wore the jacket of my idol. The man who meant so much for me. Of
course not in the same way when I was 14 and almost fainted as Koen
Wauters from the Belgian rock band Clouseau
came on TV (yes... everyone has some youthful sins...).
This is different.
Libby has no problem distinguishing the "Sydiots" (terrible word) from
the real fans. And precisely the real fan she embraces. "For us it was
easy, we knew him and he was part of our lives. You had to take some
efforts, by listening to his music and by reading books about him.", she
There is also some small rebellion in her, because she often disagrees
with the "Syd Barrett Estate" (that manages the art pieces, letters,
etc...). The Estate owns everything, even if it is in her hands. And the
Estate doesn't like to share, but she doesn't mind.
Everything comes to an end, we could have stayed for hours, but our trip
had to be continued. I have met a new friend in a once in a lifetime
The book was published. I had attended the exhibition. I visited
Libby. I had seen everything.
Luckily I didn't fall into a black hole! I got inspiration for other
projects, things I need to do. We had an artist in the family, I want to
map his work and career. It will become a long-term project. I also have
a family and work to do, but somehow I'll manage.
So what did this all lead to? A lot. Especially a lot of things I
can't describe, but that are there. Syd Barrett is always floating
somewhere in the back of my mind.
Thanks to: Libby and Neil, AJ, Alex, Amy, Andre, Bill, Felix, Iggy,
Jenny, Julian and all of you for being my Facebook Barrett friends.
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,
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
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.
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
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:
You should get in touch with the archive department of Melody Maker to
track down those 2 photographers. I am pretty sure they where acquainted
with my wonderful guardian angel who was freelancing for all the top
He fled his native motherland when Communist Russia invaded it with the
blessing of America and what was once Great Britain.
Anyway he lived in Earls Court, at the gay end. I didn’t had a clue and
who cares. 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 ;)".
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.
Flower Power hit this year’s National ]azz and Blues Festival at Windsor
in August like a reinforced concrete daisy.
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
“But they are being conventional-they all dress the
same”, one can almost hear the dullards whining.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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."
A bigger version and a (partial) scan of the magazine can be found in
our latest gallery: Music
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
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
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.
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
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
Many thanks to: Dylan Mills, Brooke Steytler, PhiPhi Chavana,
retro68special. ♥ Iggy ♥