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

March 2014

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2014-03-07

Smart Enjoy

Andrew Rawlinson
Andrew Rawlinson.
NSFW warning: this article contains pictures of naked b⊚⊚bs which may result in temporary blindness for minors.

On the 5th of March 2009 the Syd Barrett Trust received Fart Enjoy, a one-off book, created and illustrated by Syd Barrett, believed to be made late 1964 or during 1965. It was donated by Syd's school friend Andrew Rawlinson who had kept it all these years. The day after it was put for auction on eBay. On Monday the 23rd March the highest bid reached £27,323 but this was rejected and brought back to £12,100. Eventually the book sold for £12,600.

Black Holes

The Trust published all the pages of the (f)art-book and a moving essay of Andrew Rawlinson about his friend. Unfortunately this has all disappeared. The trust was constructed around Barrett's heritage, estimated at about one million seven hundred-thousand pounds. Barrett's household articles and furniture made £119,890 for charity, the Two Warriors mosaic went for £10,700 and three (big) Mick Rock prints were auctioned as well, half of the proceedings going to the Fund. (Mick Rock always needs to have a slice of the pie.) And yet, 12 pounds a year to keep their website running was too much to ask, http://www.syd-barrett-trust.org.uk now points to a Japanese website trying to find nurses in Saitama city. (Update 2017: it now simply points to a blank page.)

All related websites (and organisations) seem to have vanished: Syd Barrett Trust, Syd Barrett Fund (the change of name took place at the request of the Barrett family), Interstellar, The City Wakes, Escape Artists,... We came across the rumour that Escape Artists was, and we quote: 'a financially incompetent group'. The Syd Barrett Fund was probably conned by 'useless PR men and bullshitters', but as we can't verify this we'll leave it like that. Eventually Escape Artists dissolved and Rosemary Breen, Syd's sister, teamed up with Squeaky Gate that seems seemed to be a more reliable charity.

Update 8 April 2014: The metaphorical ink on this page wasn't even dry or we were informed, on 30 March 2014, that Squeaky Gate may need to close the books. While chief executive Simon Gunton told the Cambridge News (on the 7th of April) that the fundings, coming from the government, were running dry, the rumour pit in Cambridge has a slightly more salient story of several ten thousands of pounds disappearing from its bank account. Syd Barrett & charity: it's no good trying.
Update 9 April 2014: We have had confirmation that Squeaky Gate is now history.

Fart Enjoy, missing page
The Fart Enjoy missing page.

Piper Gates

Luckily Fart Enjoy was reprinted in its entirety for the 40th anniversary edition of The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn CD-box (2007).

In its entirety?

Well not exactly. Page 13 was missing and replaced by the following cryptic text:

This particular page has been left blank for legal reasons
For further details see www.pinkfloyd.com

For many fans the abundance of the 'fuck' word (9 times) and the presence of a pin-up might have had something to do with that. Especially in America big chains do not like to sell records that may potentially besmirch the frail American psyche with swear words and naked boobs. Going to the official Pink Floyd website obviously didn't explain anything at all, so Keith Jordan of Neptune Pink Floyd contacted the band's management:

Pink Floyd's manager told me earlier that the page is missing from the album booklet because of copyright issues. EMI are not willing to face unlimited litigation against them for including it! So it's not about censorship at all!

Which is weird as the missing page had been published in Tim Willis's Madcap book before and it can be still found on the NPF website (and numerous others) as well.

Fart Enjoy Pin-Up
Fart Enjoy Pin-Up.

Scribbled Lines

Should you not know what all this hassle is about, at the left is the picture in question. It surely gives the impression that Roger Keith Barrett, like most pimpled adolescents, had a rather debatable sense of humour and was overtly sexist, putting raunchy graffiti (FUK, SUK, LIK, TIT, NIPL and a hard to find CUNT), including a stylised penis, all over the picture. Rob Chapman describes it as:

a porn-mag photo of a topless woman encrypted with toilet-wall graffiti daubs.

And Julian Palacios adds that the page reveals Barrett's:

misogynistic adolescent fear and a fascination with naked women.

In Will Shutes' excellent Barrett essay, that like all art essays meanders between the sublime and the slightly ridiculous, he cleverly remarks that the BOYS FUCK GIRL word permutations - on the same page - form 'two tip-to-toe penises'.

  BOYS      FUCK      GIRL
  BOY   FS   UCK      GIRL
  BO   FYUS   CK      GIRL
  B   FOUYCS   K      GIRL
  F   BUOCYK   S      GIRL
  FU   BCOK   YS      GIRL 
  FUC   BK   OYS      GIRL
  FUCK      BOYS      GIRL
  FUCK      BOY   GS   IRL
  FUCK      BO   GYIS   RL
  FUCK      B   GOIYRS   L
  FUCK      G   BIORYL   L
  FUCK      GI   BROL   YS
  FUCK      GIR   BL   OYS
  FUCK      GIRL      BOYS

As if two penises isn't serious enough he has also the following to say about the pin-up:

The voyeuristic theme evident in Fart Enjoy relates to the omnipresence of the sexualized image, and is humorous in its deliberate childishness. In Barrett's most prominent foray into Pop Art, he illustrates the anatomy of an anonymous topless model with tears and glasses, snot, spiders, a cyclist ascending her left breast, and some sort of discharge from her 'NIPL'.
Shirley Anne Field by David Bailey, Playboy March 1966.
Shirley Anne Field by David Bailey, Playboy March 1966.

Beat Girl

For another observer the snot under her nose could also be a moustache, the nipple discharge could be some sort of surrealistic fart (enjoyed or not) and the anonymous topless model could be someone who ran for miss Great Britain in 1955 and who played roles in the cult-horror movie Peeping Tom (1960) and in the ultimate sixties sex comedy Alfie (1966).

In 1963 Playboy called this actress a sex siren who was:

for years exploited as English grist for run-of-the-mill pin-up roles, until her portrayal of Sir Laurence Olivier's mistress in The Entertainer proved she could deliver lines as well as show them.

She must have left an everlasting impression because in the March 1966 issue this 'perky, pretty Lancashire lass' was portrayed by none other than the British photographer of the stars, David Bailey. One of these pictures is the one that was massacred by Syd Barrett for his Fart Enjoy booklet.

As a movie star Shirley Anne Field disappeared in the mid seventies but eventually she returned in My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), stayed for 42 episodes in the Santa Barbara soap (1987) and was last seen on the silver screen in the 2011 comedy The Power Of Three. IMDB lists her impressive career, Shirley Anne Field starred in 70 different movie and TV productions (not counting individual episodes) in nearly 6 decades.

Time Lord Syd
Time Lord Syd. Artwork: Felix Atagong.

Time Lord

Andrew Rawlinson writes the Fart Enjoy booklet is probably from 1965.

I’m not sure about the exact date. I know where I was living, so that places it between the end of 1964 and the summer of 1965. He was in London (Tottenham Street I think, not Earlham Street) and I was in Cambridge.

But unless somebody unequivocally proves that Syd Barrett really was a Time Lord (now here's a daring subject for our satiric The Anchor division, we might say) we seem to have a problem as the David Bailey pictures of Shirley Anne Field date from March 1966 and not from the year before.

How on Earth did Syd Barrett happen to insert a picture from a March 1966 Playboy into a 1965 (f)artwork?

All seems to turn around the exact moment in time when Syd Barrett moved from Tottenham Street to Earlham Street. Mark Blake and others put this in 1965 but Rob Chapman in A Very Irregular Head writes:

During the summer of 1966 Syd moved out of Tottenham Street and with his new girlfriend, fashion model Lindsay Corner, took up residence in the top-floor flat at 2 Earlham Street, just off Shaftesbury Avenue.

One chirping biographer doesn't make spring, especially not this one, so isn't there another way to date Fart Enjoy?

Actually there is.

Dear Roge, Fart Enjoy
"Dear Roge" letter, Fart Enjoy.

Rogue Roger

Page 10 in the booklet has a transcript from a letter (postcard?) from Syd's mother to her son. Some biographers call it a spoof although this, nor the authenticity, can be proven. But made up or not, it contains three interesting sentences.

I hope you are having a nice weekend.
How did the group get on at Essex?
Shall we reckon to set off – Devon-wards – on Sat. 26th?

Let's start with the last line, the one that carries a date. Browsing through calendars from nearly 50 years ago we can see there have only been a few Saturdays the 26th between 1964 and 1966: two in 1964 (September and December), one in 1965 (June) and three in 1966 (February, March and November).

1964
Syd Barrett, as a member of The Hollerin' Blues, didn't have that many gigs in 1964, and these were all around Cambridge. In the autumn of that year he joined the proto-Floyd, who where probably still called The Spectrum Five, but they only had about 3 concerts in London.

1965
Pink Floyd and/or The Tea Set had a slightly busier schedule in 1965, but all in all there were only a dozen of gigs. None of these were in Essex or happened around the only Saturday the 26th of that year.

Playboy March 1966
Playboy March 1966.

1966
"By early 1966 Pink Floyd's fortunes were taking a dramatic turn for the better", writes Glenn Povey in Echoes, but frankly their career only started to mushroom end of September. The Tea Set's first claim for fame was when they were billed, thanks to Nick Sedgwick, for three sets on a two-days festival on Friday the 11th and Saturday the 12th of March 1966, next to real FAMOUS people and bands. Nick Mason remembers:

The only gig that might have brought us to wider attention had been at Essex University. At their rag ball, we shared the bill with the Swinging Blue Jeans, who did appear, and Marianne Faithfull who was billed as appearing – if she managed to return from Holland in time. It didn’t sound hopeful. We were still called Tea Set at the time although we must have given the impression of being in transition to psychedelia, since in spite of having ‘Long Tall Texan’ in our repertoire, where we all sang to the accompaniment of acoustic guitars, somebody had arranged oil slides and a film projection.

Roger Waters (as quoted in Palacios' Dark Globe):

‘We’d already become interested in mixed media,’ recalled Roger Waters. ‘Some bright spark there had given this paraplegic a film camera and wheeled him round London filming his view. Now they showed it up on screen as we played.’

The avant-garde movie lovers at the Church sometimes wonder if this cinematographer wasn't an American who had recently moved to England. Later he would play an important part in the London's Film-Makers' Co-op, that grew out of film screenings at Better Books. But looking into that would take us too far, actually.

The Essex University Rag Ball was the Floyd's first event to be proud of and something Syd would have been bragging about to his mother and friends. Not only was this their only Essex gig in the 1964 – 1966 period, but it also perfectly matches the 'spoof' letter in Fart Enjoy.

I hope you are having a nice weekend.

Refers to the week after the Essex gig when Syd hypothetically received the letter (around 19 March 1966).

How did the group get on at Essex?

Syd's mum asks about the concert of the week before, when The Tea Set had their first breakthrough (12 March 1966).

Shall we reckon to set off – Devon-wards – on Sat. 26th?

Points to a date in the immediate future, Saturday the 26th of March 1966.

Bob Dylan in Playboy, March 1966
Bob Dylan in Playboy, March 1966.

Bob Dylan Schmooze

It's a shame EMI couldn't track down the owner of the copyright of the woman with her boobies out which Barrett cut from a magazine. EMI chose not to include it in the reproduced Fart Enjoy book in PATGOD.

So writes Neptune Pink Floyd on their Facebook page, about a year ago. Well, now that the Holy Igquisition has settled this matter, once and for all, EMI will have no excuse any more not to include the complete Fart Enjoy booklet in - let's say - a 50 years anniversary Immersion set of Pink Floyd's first album.

We think we have gathered enough evidence to bring back the creation date of the Fart Enjoy booklet from a two-years period to roughly one week in 1966. The Church managed to identify the pin-up Syd Barrett drew Kilroy on, as well as the photographer and the magazine it appeared in.

The only question that stays unanswered is: Why did Syd Barrett have this particular Playboy?

Easy.

The Playboy of March 1966 not only had topless pictures of Shirley Anne Field. Pages 41 to 44 and 138 to 142 make room for a 'candid conversation with the iconoclastic idol of the folk-rock set'. Syd Barrett, like all Cantabrigian beatniks, admired Bob Dylan and discussed his records, he had written a parodic song about him, and took Libby Gausden to the Royal Festival Hall on 17 May 1964 to see him.

If we can be sure of one thing, it is that Syd Barrett really bought this Playboy for the interview.


Many thanks to: Anonymous, Giulio Bonfissuto, Mick Brown, Warren Dosanjh, Rich Hall, Alexander Hoffmann, Keith Jordan, Göran Nyström, Neptune Pink Floyd Forum, Vintage Erotica Forum. Update July 2017: images and some text.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Sources (other than the above links):
Atagong, Felix: Fasten Your Anoraks , The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, 8 September 2007.
Beecher, Russell & Shutes, Will: Barrett, Essential Works Ltd, London, 2011, p. 165. (This book has the complete Fart Enjoy.)
Chapman, Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 62, 111.
Mason, Nick: Inside Out: A personal history of Pink Floyd, Orion Books, London, 2011 reissue, p. 35.
Palacios, Julian: Dark Globe, Plexus, London, 2010, p. 92, 98.
Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 32, 48.
Rawlinson, Andrew: Syd Barrett - His Book @ Syd Barrett Research Society, 15 March 2009 (forum no longer active). Rawlinson, Andrew: Syd Barrett - His Book, 20 March 2009 (mirror).
Willis, Tim, Madcap, Short Books, London, 2002, p. 53-55. (This book has a few pages of Fart Enjoy.)

Neptune Pink Floyd forum:
Piper Re-Release - The Missing Page from Fart Enjoy!, started August 31, 2007.
Syd Barrett "Fart Enjoy" work on eBay, started March 16, 2009.
Page missing from the "piper" deluxe edition, started April 13, 2010.

NSFW sources (Warning: porn banners and/or pop-ups!):
Playboy, Europe's New Sex Sirens, September 1963, p. 136.
Playboy, Trio Con Brio, Playboy, March 1966, p. 112-113.
Vintage Erotica Forum: Shirley Anne Field, May 2007 - December 2013.


2014-03-28

An innerview with Men on the Border

When Jumpstart from Men On The Border was released end of November 2013 we didn't suspect that the tracks would be haunting us for weeks to come. Slowly it dawned to us that this record was not just a simple collection of rock songs, but that there was a certain flow in the music, a well hidden concept that was the direct result of their previous album that solely existed of Syd Barrett covers.

We (FA) invited Göran Nyström (GN) and Phil Etheridge (PE) to Atagong mansion where we had the following, Guinness induced, conversation.

Why don't you listen to the Jumpstart album on Spotify while reading this interview? (A Spotify membership is probably needed, but this is free. There is no need to download and install the Spotify player, the music will (hopefully) play in your browser.)
An innerview with Men on the Border
Jumpstart (cover: Ian Barrett)
Jumpstart! Artwork: Ian Barrett.

An innerview with Men On The Border (1)

FA: Shine! was an album with Syd Barrett, so to speak, but Jumpstart is about him, right?

PE: Yes! Jumpstart takes over where Shine! left off. On that album we explored Syd's solo songs. It was fun and it gave us the appetite for more. Then we started to wonder: what happened next in Syd's life?

GN: We tried to send a message by the sequencing of our first album, telling a story of the period 1968-1972-ish and using a fair sprinkling of licentia poetica. On the new album we have stretched that poetic license much further. Jumpstart is all about Syd, but more of a fantasy, a speculation even. The premise is simple. What if Syd, at age 50, would have had an epiphany. A lightning strike, a jumpstart. A reverse perhaps of that electric shock he received in Santa Monica?

FA: Maybe all that Syd needed was a second electrical shock to get him on the rails again? Just like in the comics where the main character regains his memory by a second blow on the head.

GN: That's it. That's the Jumpstart. The kick in the behind. How we used to fix our old TV sets.

PE: Or how my school teachers used to fix me...

GN: The two Jumpstart songs on the album are the fantasy bookends. They speak of that very moment, the awakening in fantasy-land, anno 1996. In-between, 12 songs spread over four "seasons", telling the inner story of the years from 1972 till 1996. It speaks of the fantasy journey of a tormented soul and of reminiscence.

PE: We used only two of Syd's songs and the rest are not trying to be typical Syd songs either. They speak about him, or some sort of fantasy Syd. The song 'Jumpstart' is about fixing your heart, about kicking it into action again and about life over death.

Phil Etheridge by David Parkin
Phil Etheridge by David Parkin.

Autumn

FA: The first season, or song trilogy, starts with 'Baby Lemonade'...

PE: 'Baby Lemonade' is pure Syd of course. We wanted to give it a good solid punk rock drive with psychedelic sonic explorations - the elements that Syd did so well in his heyday. This is when we dive back in time to 1972, through Syd's own reflections on his life, which I found kind of shocking.

GN: And the starting point is the thematic Autumn. A new energy injected into that fading autumn. In the afterglow of a glorious summer comes a season of neglect and departure. In the inescapable poetry of Led Zeppelin: "Leaves are falling all around. It's time I was on my way. Thanks to you, I'm much obliged for such a pleasant stay. But now it's time for me to go." (2)

FA: And rain falls in gray far away... The next track 'Pills' really is a great track, instrument wise.

GN: Yeah. The guitar-work is Phil magic. Sinister. The song is about addiction and relapses. But also about love and hunger. It's all weirdly poetic and ambivalent. How to resist a temptation. A constant inner monologue, very much about pills of course and how that addiction is ended. “Your place by my bed, no more”. Or is it properly ended?

FA: In 'I Don't Want To Be Your Man' one can picture Syd who almost begs to the fans to be left alone, and who is slowly getting more and more angry about being disturbed all the time.

PE: Good point! And that theme appears in a couple of the songs. I think it's partly that but also memories of a time waiting outside a studio and really wanting to contribute. “No more waiting on your steps”. But what the fuck - reaching a conclusion that he never wanted it anyway. At the end it reverts to the question of 'Pills', those that keep wanting him back.

FA: The maniacal Floyd anorak in me also sees a certain lyrical familiarity to Gilmour's plea to the fans 'What Do You Want From Me', which was a more civilised way to show his frustration over the years than Roger Waters did who spat in the face of a fan. Or am I just over-analysing?

GN: It's about dependency and ending a dependency. Whether that is in sex or drugs or rock'n roll. All three components play into most of the songs on Jumpstart. But I guess you just took it one step further! The dependency between the artist and the fan base. Yeah, interesting.

Göran Nyström by David Parkin
Göran Nyström by David Parkin.

Winter

FA: 'Have You Got It Yet', declares the cold winter in Syd's life.

GN: This is the start of the Winter trilogy. "I've felt the coldness of my winter. I never thought, it would ever go. I cursed the gloom that set upon us." (3) The title has an obvious Syd reference. We debated that for a while. In the end we wanted to bring out an element of anger and bitterness.

PE: Riding buses and going into pubs. Never quite able to drown out memories and thoughts. And quite a lot of debate over the title. There’s some tongue in cheek in the lyrics though. As a matter of fact it’s not all dark…

FA: I hear in the frantic guitar solo near the end a glimpse of what really happened between Syd Barrett and Roger Waters on that day he wanted them not to learn 'Have You Got It Yet'.

PE: Could well be. Who knows? Still, the starting point of this song is from a far distance.

GN: Yeah. An alternative title was 'Have You Still Not Got It?'

PE: And we're back in the debate again!

FA: After the mild anarchy of 'Have You Got It Yet' 'The Public' really is a breath of fresh air.

GN: That song is sung by Phil. All other songs are from a Syd perspective, but this one is from the troubadour at the pub watching Syd. That's why it's a kind of Irish pub song, the sort you would hear at the pub. And different in style to everything else on the album.

PE: The lead character joins in for the second half of the last verse. That's the moment when it's becoming clear to him that he absolutely must leave things behind. A song partly about a pub existence, but definitely not Irish. Well, maybe London Irish. 'The Public' does of course carry a dual meaning and the middle verse should make that clear. I'm sure they don't even have public bars in London pubs anymore, but dual meaning was too good to give up.

FA: 'Old Friends' is also one of these earworms, a bit childlike with that 'El Condor Pasa' flute and the 'Effervescing Elephant' nod.

GN: Syd meets ABBA. You will note some sonic references to 'Wish You Were Here'. A song about how old friends always remain a support. Don't they?

PE: Benny Andersson was a conscious musical starting point for this, with the flute and oboe melodies in the middle and the end just a bit longer than you’d expect, typical for ABBA. Lyrically the song is miles from them though and at least for me was one of the darker moments on the album.

FA: I have always been enchanted by the ABBA song 'The Piper' that was the B-side of 'Super Trouper'. I even suspected it contained a hidden message for early Pink Floyd fans: "We're following the piper and we dance beneath the moon..."

GN: The dark side of that moon surely!

Phil Etheridge
Phil Etheridge.

Spring

FA: 'Garden' is the place where one notices spring at first. Syd had a gardener's job once, given to him by an old Cambridge friend...

GN: 'Garden' is about finding solace. Walking with buttercups. Inner monologues. Dwelling on love lost. Rather despairing and probably half crazy. Botanical garden walks. Not gardening. This is also when he starts to realize how deep the love was that he walked away from. "You are the sunlight in my growing. So little warmth, I've felt before. It isn't hard to feel me glowing. I watched the fire that grew so low." (4)

PE: The mid-section with the focus on garden and garden walk is that moment of staring point blank at the essence of existence, the core of the brain of our lead character. The garden and the garden walk. One bite of an apple and then a long walk out.

GN: Or back in again.

FA: 'Destiny Today' is about Syd's long walks along the river Cam?

GN: That is true but it’s more than that. The river symbolises life, as it does in many Floyd songs, and the walk is about finding your destiny. And accepting the fact for what it is. It's a strange warm feeling of peace when you can finally come to terms with what your life became.

PE: And what remains, which is the killer. It's a turning point. Of the album too. This was one of the first songs we recorded for Jumpstart. It set the mood for a kind of reconciliation. Of coming to terms with life and to make the best of whatever it is that remains. Of accepting your destiny, and doing that today.

FA: I hope I don't embarrass you by saying that the atmosphere of this song reminds me of Gilmour's mesmerizing hymns, like 'The Blue' and 'Where We Start'.

GN: That is indeed a great compliment. David lived in his youth close to Grantchester Meadows. I was there in June 2013 and played an early demo of the song right there. Just by the river. To a friend who had been there at the time. It's that kind of soothing chord structure to it. Plus the repetitive lyrics. And Phil plays some of his best guitar ever on it.

PE: I'm blushing. Nah, just kidding. Everything on these two albums is my best stuff ever.

FA: 'Warm From You' starts like a warm spring day... but what is it about, a lost love or the growing expectation for Syd to finally do something with his life...

GN: Love mainly. The purpose of living, I guess. Live to love. It tells a story of first failing and then picking up again. The sun and that revolution can mean many things though. In the case of Syd, we fantasize that love and love lost continued to mean a lot to him. Shining through occasionally. How it "will always be a very special thing to me". 

PE: Like most things in life there’s ambiguity throughout and that’s reflected in most of the songs actually. I unambiguously borrowed a bit from Jimi Hendrix on this and it was a real pleasure to have an opportunity to do that. The end has ‘Hey Joe’ stamped all over it. The sounds at the end are drummer Björn Hammarberg scraping a drumstick over his hi-hat - just a fun detail.

FA: So that was the tune that haunted me and that I couldn't place, shame on me. I also find that the intro has a certain French aspect, I can't stop thinking of Petula Clark's Coeur Blessé...

PE: And strangely enough that leads me to "pour encourager les autres", which is a nice reference a friend of mine used just the other day and possibly the title of a new song, unless it's already been done a whole lot.

Göran Nyström
Göran Nyström.

Summer

FA: 'Terrapin' starts a new summer of love? Physical love or is it the love for music?

PE: The summer of love was very physical, and that’s what 'Terrapin' is about for me. It also reads like an acid trip, which was the other end of the summer of love. 'Terrapin' is also the only track on the album which doesn’t have a keyboard of any sort, only guitars, bass and drums. There are lots of guitars though. There must be a hundred versions of this song on YouTube, mostly live in someone’s bedroom, which says something about its popularity.

GN: "It is the summer of my smiles. Flee from me, keepers of the gloom. Speak to me only with your eyes. It is to you I give this tune." (5) It’s an essential song in the Barrett cannon. It speaks of love very directly. We wanted it to be euphoric rather than subdued. It's the moment of calling out for what all that yearning was about.

FA: But 'Something For the Waiting' is rather introspective again... with a glimpse of misery and despair... begging to god to invent "some kind of help to carry on"....

GN: It was the last song we added. I am not 100% sure if it is a happy or sad song. Obviously it is very desperate. But it also shows a realization and stamina. That there is something worth the waiting for. Unfortunately, as the song goes, the rights to happiness “fell into the hands of Paul McCartney”.

FA: It's the Men On The Border's 'As Tears Go By', so to speak?

PE: Yeah. Olle Ljungström has never given me happy vibes, so I’d go with sad.

GN: It's not a very faithful cover though!

PE: Göran was a bit concerned that I wouldn’t like this when he sent me the acoustic demo, but I loved it right away and it fits. Working on the arrangement was a blast. I used a thumb piano (a birthday present from my sister) at the beginning of the song. I started out playing a sort of non-tune, but Göran suggested the song melody, which focused the whole thing. I also got to use the string quartet idea (Lennart Östblom doing a number of overdubs) which Göran thankfully vetoed on 'No Man’s Land'. This will be more electric live and we’ll debut that in May.

FA: And that is when 'Let's Party' kicks in... which is (for me) the highlight of the album...

PE: That’s great to hear! Jan Stumsner from P-Floyd makes a much appreciated guest appearance on this track. Göran and I each wrote our own parts for 'Let’s Party', basically two separate songs which we melded. Göran’s lyrics are mostly poetic, whereas mine are more about realism, like in 'The Public'. In this case the scenes were experienced by me in 1973 courtesy of Eich Erzmoneit, a German drummer I was playing bass with at the time, who did enjoy his acid and beer.

GN: In the context of the Jumpstart story, this is when Syd in the end is shrugging his shoulders. Saying fuck this and let's party. It's the best we can do. Something like the conclusion of the book 'Candide: or, All for the best'. Playing the cards we are given. It's also a sort of nod to the art rockers saying that there is real life to be enjoyed behind the eyeliners and pretence. Voltaire concludes with Candide saying that "we must cultivate our garden". That garden link again. The heart at the center.

Shine!
Shine!

The Next Year

FA: So that wraps up the Jumpstart journey then? Bringing it all back to the Jumpstart moment with a reprise of the first song and full speed towards the future? Can I bore you once again with a quote from someone else: "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!" (6)

GN: Indeed. Supersonic fighting cocks and all. You have an inner view now. And who knows what the future will bring. One thing is clear, Men On The Border was always about more than the music. We wanted to bring back that old fashioned album experience. That is probably something we will explore further in the future.

Jumpstart (CD graphics)
Jumpstart (CD graphics).

PE: Kajsa-Tuva Henriksson (now Werner), did the previous cover and made justice to the Syd Barrett early story in an amazing way. You can read many things into that picture. She also contributed with an original piece for Jumpstart, that takes the earlier picture – that life of Syd – into the tumbler. It is a fabulous illustration of a Jumpstart, and of a broken but vividly red heart at the center.

GN: Yes indeed. We were also thrilled to have Ian Barrett on board, Syd's nephew and by now a good friend. He contributed to the whole concept in no small way. He took the whole thing one step further by adding the symbolism of Syd’s mirrored guitar and reflections.

Jumpstart by Ian Barrett (early sketch)
Jumpstart by Ian Barrett (early sketch).

PE: That concept is so perfectly in tune with the whole idea of Jumpstart, which is really a concept album about reflections and new energy, and about Syd of course. Maybe that electric bolt in Santa Monica that we started out discussing?

GN: Yes! Maybe that's where that guitar originally got lost? Burnt out by the electric shock? And now we bring it full circle.

PE: Ian made a linoleum cut of those guitar mirrors and then painted this in the famous floorboard colours. He actually made a whole series of prints for us.

GN: We then used the idea of mirrors and reflections and energy in a little photo session we did, courtesy of David Parkin. Our combined photographer and bass player! We are forming a live band now. Band On The Border!

FA: So what is going on with that? What happens next?

PE: We will try out some live gigs and see how it goes. Rehearsals have been ongoing for a few months. It is all very fun and energizing.

GN: Ideas are developing continuously. Check out our Facebook site to be updated. If all goes well, and there is a demand, there could be something unique in the works. It feels like we can see pieces of a big puzzle, a collage if you will.

FA: A collage?

PE: Hey Felix, do you have any more of that Guinness?

© Birdie Hop & The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, 2014.


Many thanks: Ian Barrett (Ian Barrett Art), Phil Etheridge, Göran Nyström.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥ Birdie Hop

Notes and quotes
(1) During the immensely difficult negotiations to have this interview ("Do you mean any colour you like, except blue M&M's or only blue M&M's and no others?") the word 'interview' was wrongly written as 'innerview' on one document, but it stuck. Back to text.
(2) Led Zeppelin - Ramble On. Back to text.
(3) Led Zeppelin - The Rain Song. Back to text.
(4) Led Zeppelin - The Rain Song. Back to text.
(5) Led Zeppelin - The Rain Song. Back to text.
(6) Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Karn Evil 9, 1st impression, part 2. Back to text.