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You might or might not know that Iggy Rose was once Anthony
Stern's muse, she posed before his camera
and featured in one of his avant-garde movies,
that – unforgivably – has only been shown about a dozen of times for the
past 47 years. The situation didn't really sky-rocket when Chimera
Arts took over the publishing rights, they were sitting harder on it
than the CIA does on a torture report. Nothing new, as a matter of fact,
as we already wrote this a couple of years ago (2009) in one of our
It is rumoured that the last festival Eskimo Girl was billed on was held
in a staircase closet somewhere in the Philippines, but we might be
But all this is soon to change. Anthony Stern started a brand new blog Anthony
Stern Films that is promising us a book and a DVD.
Get all from that ant? (as the movie will be named, it appears)
will be an 80 minutes portrait of London 1963-1970, in still pictures,
film and video, by Anthony Stern who lived, loved and worked at the core
of the pop culture genesis. Countless reels of 16mm film and thousands
of photographic negatives from his archives have been viewed and
Satchell-Baeza had a look at an early cut:
Although at the moment unfinished, it’s an incredible,
semi-autobiographical portrait of Cambridge / London / San Francisco in
the 1960s, shot by the artist and film-maker who was there to see it all
unfold. Some major highlights include lost (and recently found) archive
footage of Syd Barrett performing with Pink Floyd, and unseen footage of
Eric Clapton, but the film is full of beautiful moments. (Taken from: A
subterranean afterworld of future dreams.)
There will be footage from Syd Barrett with Pink Floyd, the UFO club
and their liquid light projections, footage of The Rolling Stones,
the voice of John Lennon. But something that makes the Reverend
infinitely happy is that the picture
highlighting this release depicts none other than Iggy, dancing in a
park. So there might be a pretty cool chance that her movie, or at least
a part of it, will be on the DVD as well.
The project consists of a DVD and a book that will not only show the
past. Anthony Stern had the idea to 'unite all Barrett heads'. He took a
movie still of Syd playing at UFO and turned it into a magnet, the Sydge.
You can get one or free, as long as there are copies left and provided
you sent him back a picture of your fridge door (or wherever you have
stuck the magnet):
The fridge door can be a platform and a message board for images of
yourself, family, your favourite icons, pin-ups, newspaper cuttings,
poems, memoranda, shopping lists, favourite witticisms, jokes, puns,
tickets and the detritus of day-to-day life, and of course any form of
homage to Syd Barrett. (Taken from: The
Sydge magnet, well he was a very magnetic chap.)
Some of the results that have been sent in can already be seen here
One Birdie Hop member made it her vocation to distribute several of
these magnets over the States, turning the Sydge into a symbol that will
unite fans all over the globe.
And who knows, if enough people put some imagination and madcappery into
the photos it may grow into a completely different project than it was
intended for, so someone has whispered in our ears. Of course the Church
has already send in its pictures and you can watch these at the Church's
presence on Facebook.
& Syd Lookalike Audition
Anthony's book will also have a chapter called: Syd & Iggy: A
Psychedelic Love Story, yes there is our girl again!, and for this
purpose he is looking for Syd and Iggy lookalikes who can send in their
pictures... Those who want to face fame and glory can have a look at Audition.
To immortalise this demand the blog adds something that can be
considered as being the purest, clearest and biggest movie still we have
seen from the Iggy, the Eskimo Girl movie ever. Here she is, holding
that weird device that inconspicuously looks like a smartphone, but
only... the picture dates from 1968. Was Iggy really a time traveller?
Click to see the picture in full resolution: Iggy.
In June 2008 Anthony Stern gave an introduction to several of his movies
at the Cinemathèque
Française in Paris. A video was shot of the event by Lionel
Soukaz. We took the liberty of removing the French translations and
to upload it again. Antony does mention Syd Barrett and Iggy Rose, but
not to spoil the fun we don't tell you where exactly.
And for those who don't know what Iggy, the Eskimo Girl is all about.
Here is the only known 'free-floating' version on the web, an audience
recording taken from that same lecture in Paris.
We just can't wait for that DVD to appear, but for the moment we (and
you) have to be content with our image
gallery that has some (old) stills of the movie. It will be
(silently) updated when new pictures will appear on the Anthony
Stern Film blog, so be sure to check it out once and a while.
In November of last year, Rich Hall (from 'Birdie
Hop and Sydiots' fame) got in contact with Peter
Jenner and wanted to know if Syd Barrett fans could ask him some
questions. Jenner agreed, not fully realising what would hit him.
A message was put on two Facebook groups and in less than a week over
one hundred different questions had been proposed by its members.
When Jenner got hold of the questions he was 'struck by the quantity'
and kindly asked to slim them down a bit. Peter travels around a lot and
preferred to have the interview over the phone. Diaries were put side by
side to find some free space in our busy agendas and finally a date and
time were agreed on.
And so, on a Friday afternoon a willing volunteer took a deep breath and
dialled the number with trembling fingers. But it turned out to be a
most amazing meeting, a Birdie's journey through space and time...
An Innerview with Peter Jenner
BH: Thank you for according this interview, Mr. Jenner, we at Birdie
Hop are mainly a bunch of weirdos...
PJ: Yes, a bunch of eccentrics...
BH: ...and when we heard that we could have an interview with you
our members gathered about one hundred and twenty different questions to
ask to you...
PJ: Oh my goodness me...
BH: But we toned it down to about 10.
PJ: Otherwise it would go on forever.
BH : Most of the detailed questions were all about the recordings that
are apparently lingering somewhere in the vaults of EMI or Pink Floyd...
PJ: I don't know where they have gone. I have to say some did
escape from me and got to... what was the name of the guy who did this
Barrett group in the Seventies?
PJ: He could have been the one... Anyway I do know that some
tapes did escape from my collection, because I just thought they were so
good. So I hope that they are still around and that people can get them.
But they are around, aren't they? Scream Thy Last Scream and Vegetable
BH: They are still around and it is generally believed Bernard
White released them.
PJ: It might be, but anyway there was someone who used to be in
touch with me and somehow he managed to find those tapes. I don't know
why they never got officially released. I don't know if the family
objected but I think it might have been the Floyd. I think it was Roger
(Waters) and Dave (Gilmour) who stopped it but I don't know what their
position was or why they did it. If it had been the family that would
have been fair enough. Perhaps people have been overprotective.
To me these tracks are like the Van Gogh painting with the birds over
the wheat field, that's what Syd's brain was at. Try to look at the
disturbance of Van Gogh through his paintings. If you want to understand
Syd, if you want to know what was going on with him, you have listen to
those tracks in the same way...
Together with Jugband Blues they seem to me as a sort of an x-ray
into his mind and so I do hope they will come out some day, but if not I
do hope you people will keep them moving around, because I think they
are important works.
BH: The thing is that Scream and Vegetable Man have been
bootlegged so many times now, that there is perhaps no point any more in
releasing them officially?
PJ: It is good they are around, but it would probably be better
if they were officially available and at some time they will.
BH: Let's hope so, are you aware of any live shows that were
taped? Apparently some of the gigs in America were...
PJ: Were they, I have never heard any?
BH: There was a rumour that all concerts in Fillmore were taped...
PJ: They were indeed. But perhaps that started later, because the
Floyd were there quite early. Weren't the archives of the Fillmore
called Bear Tapes or something...
'Bear' Stanley, the Grateful Dead's soundman, allegedly had over
13000 tapes of the San Francisco scene, from 1965 and later, most of the
Dead but he did record other bands as well if he happened to handle the
soundboard. We checked the Grateful Dead touring dates of that period
and theoretically it is possible that Bear might have taped Pink Floyd.
According to David Parker in Random Precision Bill Graham routinely had
all Fillmore gigs taped and a Pink Floyd soundboard recording of their
April 1970 Fillmore show
BH: But nothing ever of The Pink Floyd has been released or...
PJ: I've not known of anything reliable... I think there were
some tapes of the stuff Syd did with Twink
in Cambridge but I've never heard them. I don't know what they're like.
BH: Well we can always ask him.
Easy Action records will (finally!) release the Last
Minute Put Together Boogie Band recording late May 2014. Other
rehearsals and performances tapes may have been made by Victor Kraft who
followed the band but these have never surfaced.
PJ: And there was some stuff around, semi-live stuff recorded by Peter
PJ: There were a couple of film stuff that was done, but that is
all I know about it.
BH: In our group we discussed the sessions Syd Barrett recorded
for the film The
Committee, and it was said that you were in possession of those
tapes. Is this true?
PJ: As far as I know I am not in possession of these tapes, I
might have been given a copy, but I surely not the masters. What was the
name of the director.. my memory!
BH: It was in an article on the online publication Spare Bricks
Steuer. He claims you were given the tapes after the sessions. The
director was Peter
Sykes, by the way.
PJ: It was indeed Max Steuer, and he may have given us the tapes.
But I do not remember them. But many things disappeared with the sudden
collapse of Blackhill. My recollection is that they were less than
amazing. However if I come across anything I will let you know.
BH: Thanks, that would be nice. There still is a lot in the
PJ: Yeah, if they're not already out. Somewhere. If I look on
your list: Double O Bo, I don't know that. I got Stoned
rings a bell. She was a Millionaire that certainly was a tape
which we thought might become a single. Andrew and I both liked that
one. Reaction in G, I don't know about that. In the Beechwoods rings
a bell. I'm a King Bee and Lucy Leave, I don't know what
they were or where they came from.
Because when I was doing sessions with him they were very chaotic, you
know. She Was a Millionaire was knocking around. Golden Hair was
the most articulate, at the time I didn't realise those weren't his
lyrics... It was from James Joyce, wasn't it?
BH: Yes indeed.
PJ: I was hoping that it would get finished, but with Syd it was
really bits and pieces that would come through, bits of songs and bits
of riffs and bits of lyrics. They would just come and then they would go
and occasionally they would came back again... It was incredibly
And I think that Roger and Dave did a lot to it, I don't know how much
Syd really was involved in those tapes. You know we also tried to do
some things with a band. “Syd, try this, try that.” There were various
things we tried but none really worked.
BH: That's a pity... but that was how things were going...
BH: There have been these rumours that Syd was influenced by Keith
Rowe from AMM.
PJ: Well yes, I did take him to see Keith Rowe.
BH: Oh really?
PJ: Yes indeed, and I do think he saw Keith Rowe rolling a
ballbearing up and down his guitar. It certainly did influence some of
Syd's guitar playing, the zippos and things... and I think that the
improvisational part of Pink Floyd was influenced by AMM and Keith Rowe.
I knew these guys, I liked what they did and we were involved with the
AMM record. Syd was also aware of them and perhaps even heard the tape.
In a same way we also took them to the Radiophonic
Workshop at the BBC to meet Delia
Derbyshire. Again how far that influenced Syd or got into his head
or that of the others, I have no idea.
BH: Did Keith Rowe and Syd Barrett actually meet or discussed
PJ: I don't know. I think they may have seen each other but in a
sense I don't think you would need to discuss music. It was obvious what
Keith Rowe was doing. And you don't need to sit there and discuss it.
What's in the question of what chords you are using. It is all about the
approach and the improvisational aspect.
I think Interstellar Overdrive was very influenced by that kind
of stuff. That's an approach to improvisation. Presumably you know
Interstellar Overdrive was recorded twice and mixed together, it was
recorded simultaneously on top of each other.
BH: It is also very interesting to hear the different versions,
because the first version was the one from the movie of Peter Whitehead.
BH: And there is a big difference between both versions. The
early one is still R&B influenced...
BH: And the version on Piper is much more experimental...
PJ: Yes. They were experimenting, they recorded it in the studio
and then they played the song again, listening to the earlier take. It
BH: I think lots of people were surprised when they first heard
it on the record.
PJ: I would think so.
BH: In the middle of '67 however things started to go wrong. The
question that fans still ask today is: did anyone try to get into his
mind or ask what was going wrong?
PJ: We certainly suggested, and I can't quite remember whether we
ever got to him, but we certainly did want him to see Ronny
Laing. But he clearly was unhappy and getting chaotic. The key thing
that I remember was when they came back from America. Andrew (King), my
partner, said that it had been a nightmare. Syd had become hard to
manage and refused to do as would be expected. Things like: “Syd, it's a
TV show, can you play a song?”, that all became very difficult. Andrew
knows much more about that than I do because he was there. He and the
rest of the band. The Hendrix tour was after that, wasn't it?
PJ: That is when it became clear that there really was a major
problem with Syd. That is where Syd started not always being there for
the pick-up and where we had the show with Dave
O'List instead of him. By then he'd moved to Cromwell Road, hadn't
he? Unfortunately by that time I saw less of him, I was close to him
when he was in Earlham Street. Once he'd moved out and ended up in
Cromwell Road... I never knew the people who... and I only know the
legends, the rumours... that Syd was given a lot of acid, that there was
acid every day. It certainly coincides with him becoming more and more
And then he subsequently moved to stay with Storm and Po. So we thought
that might be better and that it might help, but it didn't... So we were
aware there were problems, the band became increasingly aware of the
fact there were performance issues and that it was very hard for them to
work with him... and that is where the breakup with Blackhill occurred
because we were so keen on trying to keep Syd with the band.
Syd wrote all these great songs and there was a lot of pressure during
the summer of '67 for him to write more songs. Which is Why She Is A
Millionaire was knocking around. That is why we ended up with things
like Apples and Oranges, because we needed a follow-up to See
Emily Play. That is when pressure started to get to Syd really.
Having a hit, doing TV shows, being interviewed, posing for magazine
front covers... things started to be more work than he could handle.
BH: Do you think it was something that gradually happened or was
there something like a lost weekend with a massive overdose...
PJ: I think gradually, that was certainly the impression one had.
He just became weirder and weirder and we thought that it was maybe just
a question of fame.
BH: People have said that when they came back from America, Roger
Waters asked you to have Syd fired. Was the band indeed thinking of...
PJ: No, Roger didn't ask to get him fired but it became clear
they were finding it very difficult to work with Syd. It was more my
recollection that they were looking for means to make it work. So that
is when Dave was introduced. What we were doing in a sense was the Brian
Wilson and The Beach Boys solution. We were consciously thinking: “Well
maybe Syd can go on if we take the pressure off him.”
We could all see that he wasn't well, so if we reduced the pressure
maybe he still would be able to write songs and keep the band on the
road. Because none of the band really wrote much. Roger did a little
bit, but these songs weren't, you know... The one single they put
together which wasn't a Syd song did not very well, It Would Be So
Nice (written by Rick Wright) was not a great song. Pow R Toc H
and Set The Controls To The Heart Of The Sun weren't that great
either, in my opinion. We certainly felt that there was a problem with
the songs on the second album which was why there was a certain pressure
to get Vegetable Man and Scream Thy Last Scream on it, they got recorded
because we needed them for the album.
But our ways were parting and I think the band always thought these
songs were too much. By the time the Saucerful record finally got put
together we weren't really working with them any more and we were slowly
moving into history. The rest of the band put that record together,
while I was still working with Syd. My wife and myself, we were trying
to help, help him to stabilise and write...
BH: Was there any truth in the rumours that Syd and Rick tried to
form a band?
PJ: I don't think so, I have never heard that. I mean, once
things were starting to go weird there was no question of anyone wanting
to work with Syd. But we were all close to Syd and we were certainly
hoping that Syd would get back together. That said, Rick and Syd were
quite close, Juliette (Gale, Rick's wife) was sort of sympathetic and we
were close to Juliette... Also, Rick was the other major musician in the
band, because at that stage Roger was not much of a musician.
Roger didn't write very much, but he was already conceptual, to come up
with some of the things he came up with later. But he couldn't really
sing and he couldn't tune his bass guitar. He was not a sort of natural
musician, which makes it all the more remarkable in my book the way he
got to with it all.
BH: Is it true that the Christmas On Earth show, on the 22nd of
December '67, was the turning point and that it was decided then to put
Syd on a 'Brian Wilson' status?
PJ: Was that in Olympia?
BH: Yes. Apparently you took the money and ran...
PJ: I think it was a financially very strange show. It was all a
bit questionable what was happening. I can't really remember what
exactly happened, but I do recall it was all a bit of a disaster. There
wasn't a lot of people there and I think that was really the problem.
Not a lot of people also meant not a lot of money and by that time we
were getting short of cash so we needed whatever we could get.
BH: Legend goes that June
Child cashed the money before Pink Floyd started and that she ran
away with it. After two or three songs the promoter came to you to
reclaim it, because the Floyd was so bad...
PJ: Well, I don't think we ever paid them back! I don't think
that ever happened. It was all a bit too rough, they were wrong as well.
Congratulations to June for getting the money. I'm sure we were all
involved in telling her to go and get it and then... run for it... It
wasn't a great gig.
BH: Apparently not.
PJ: I don't mean just the Floyd, but the whole organisation. It
was a disaster, it was run by an amateur who just thought it would be a
good thing. Because there weren't that many professional promoters, if
you thought you could do it, you did it. After all, Hoppy
(John Hopkins) had done things and Joe
Boyd had done things and neither of them had ever been promoters
before. And we did things and we never had been promoters. It was all
very new, so you did what you thought you could do. Then things like
Middle Earth came along and that was all done by people who never had
done that before. So a lot of people trying things out who did not know
what they were doing, including me...
The Christmas On Earth show was filmed but only a few snippets have
survived. On one of these, an interview with Jimi Hendrix, you can hear
Pink Floyd on the background. Rumour goes the camera crew bought old
film to spare some money, but unfortunately the film negative was so
degraded that most of it was for the rubbish bin. A rough cut was made,
which was seen by Joe Boyd, but nobody knows if it still exists. Anyway,
it is not even clear if the Pink Floyd show was actually recorded or not.
BH: Shortly after that the Floyd went their own way with A
Saucerful of Secrets and Syd Barrett went his way with The Madcap
PJ: Well, in a way he never really made The Madcap Laughs. He did
a series of sessions where I tried to get some recordings from him but
only bits and pieces came together. Nothing ever got to the point of:
"Well that's a record." So we had to try again but everything just
dribbled away. We were thinking: “We'll try some sessions and see what
comes out of it.”, but after we did the sessions we realised we really
hadn't got very much. So then I thought it would be better if we'd leave
Syd for a bit, to wait until he got himself a little bit better and then
try all over again. Eventually we did but still nothing much happened.
We tried to do some things with a band as well, I think we got a band
in, and some musicians to come and play with him, but he couldn't...
that really didn't work either.
I had a second lot of sessions with Syd, a few years later, when Bryan
Morrison asked me to have another go.
BH: That was in 1974 then?
BH: But apparently, nothing really much came out?
PJ: The same thing, nothing really much came out. Because Syd
never had any songs, there would just be these glimpses of songs, it was
really very chaotic.
BH: Some of the material of the 1974 sessions are in the open,
they have been bootlegged.
BH: Some of the tunes he plays are just blues standards. He is
just covering them, if you'd like.
PJ: Well I don't think he was covering them, that was just what
came out (laughs).
BH: Songs he used to listen too when he was 16, 17 years old.
PJ: Probably. He would just play things... working with him on
those sessions was like things coming in and out of fog. At first
nothing much would happen but then the fog would come down and then
there were signs of something. I would think: “Ah, it's going to
happen!” and then it would disappear again. It was just the most
frustrating and difficult thing I have ever been involved in my life.
Because there were signs of things... “Look, it's gonna come, no, no...
it's not.” It's like waiting for the rain during a drought or waiting
for the sun during the winter.
BH: What's your opinion about The Madcap Laughs?
PJ: Well, I think Dave and Roger tried to fish out what they
could fish out and turn it into whatever they could turn it into. And I
was surprised at how good a job they did of it. A lot in there is their
work rather than Syd's, it was them trying to imagine what it was he was
trying to do.
BH: You personally didn't feel it weird that they redid Golden
Hair and Octopus, which was first called Clowns And Jugglers.
They redid it after you had already recorded it on your sessions.
PJ: Golden Hair was the only one from my sessions which almost
might have been a song. There were some old tunes that he had, that I've
heard him play, like Octopus. He had a book of songs and every now and
then we'd go through the old ones. I can't remember what they all were
but they were very childlike, a lot of them, Effervescing Elephant
and things like that. And there was this sort of very childlike aspect
to Syd which was very charming but also, I think, quite disturbing in a
BH: Opel, that was recorded by Malcolm Jones, was
forgotten for the album.
PJ: Yes, and maybe a couple of other things that were half-done
but that weren't dug up. You know, I never had produced anything, I
didn't know what I was doing. I was just there trying, hoping to capture
something. Cause that was what we had been doing with the Floyd. We
didn't know what was going on, songs would just come. I don't think
anyone of us knew what we were doing. Syd had some ideas about the
(Smith) had some ideas. We tried to work them out and surely Norman
helped a lot. The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn sessions were fine but
later we could only see the rot set in. What it was and why it was will
always be one of those mysteries, so I don't know...
BH: Somebody also wanted to know about the famous Rolling Stones
show, at the Hyde Park festival. Everybody says it was a Rolling Stones
show but apparently it was a whole festival with a lot of groups.
PJ: After the Floyd had left we did some shows at the Festival
Hall, perhaps even at the Queen Elisabeth Hall, I'm not sure about that,
and then at Hyde Park.
In June 1968 the Floyd and Roy Harper played and I even think we managed
to put on four different free festivals that summer. The Floyd did the
first one, which was actually quite small, and they returned a couple of
years later (in July 1970). The second summer we had Blind Faith (in
June 1969), that one was really huge and very successful and it launched
Blind Faith into stardom and that was when the Rolling Stones said they
could do it as well. And that was already organised a few weeks later,
BH: The Stones was in July 1969.
PJ: I think so.
BH: Blackhill started as a bunch of enthusiast amateurs with an
amateur band, but in two years time you had become a very big company.
PJ: We were not a big company! No, no, no, no. We were small, but
we just did it. Somebody said: "Let's do that" and we did it. By the
times the Stones came it had turned into a big show but it was still
very amateurish. There was no security, there was hardly any police. No
public litters. No admission either, it was just a free concert and it
was pretty weird.
BH: It probably was still the time that one could contact the
Rolling Stones to ask them things like that.
PJ: Well, it was a hippy era and they asked us, they wanted us to
PJ: We didn't ask them, The Rolling Stones asked us, I think Mick
had worked out that was a way they could relaunch themselves as a live
BH: One of the rumours is that Syd Barrett was also on that
concert, he was even driven by someone of your company there. I don't
know if you know that.
PJ: That might have been the case but I can't remember.
Personally I wouldn't think so, by the time of the Rolling Stones gig he
was pretty far gone. He wasn't, as it were, under our control or care or
anything, he had gone off into his own world. We were happy to have been
part of his world but he didn't seem to want us to be part of his world.
So he might well have been there but he certainly wasn't there for me.
BH: Thank you very much, Mr. Jenner, it was nice talking to you...
Many thanks to Rich Hall, Peter Jansens, Peter Jenner. Inspired by
questions from: Al Baker, Alexander P. Hoffmann, Allen Lancer, Andrew
Charles Potts, Bruno Barbato Jacobovitz, Cathy Peek Collier, Clay
Jordan, Ewgeni Reingold, Gaz Hunter, Gian Palacios-Świątkowski, Göran
Nyström, Jenny Spires, Kiloh Smith, Lisa Newman, Mark Sturdy, Matthew
Horsley, Memo Hernandez, Paul Newlove, Peter 'Felix' Jansens, Rich Hall,
Richard Mason Né Withnell, Stanislav V. Grigorev, Steve Czapla, Steve
Francombe, Tim Doyle. Thanks posted to Giulio Bonfissuto and Raymond
John Nebbitt for spotting errors!
Sources Peter Jenner top picture. Source: Wikipedia,
taken by Ralf Lotys (Sicherlich). Van Gogh, Wheat Field with Crows &
Syd Barrett mashup. Source (painting): Wikipedia,
public domain. Mashup: Felix Atagong. Syd Barrett & Peter Jenner
(cropped). Source: June
Ellen Child, The Cosmic Lady. Originally published in Nick Mason's Inside
Out biography. Peter Jenner third picture. Source: Pasado,
presente y futuro de la música según Peter Jenner @
Movistarnext. June Child (cropped). Source: June
Ellen Child, The Cosmic Lady. Originally published in Nick Mason's Inside
Out biography. The Rolling Stones, Hyde Park. Source: The
Stones in the Park @ Ukrockfestivals, taken by John Leszczynski. Charlie
Weedon, watching the Stones. Source: unknown.