The Church closed its door at the end of March 2015, but promised to keep an eye open for all things relatively Syd-and-Iggy-related. Obviously serendipity meant that, from that moment on, Syd-and-Iggy related matters would regularly smash against the Church's closed windows at the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow, making this one of our busier seasons.
Iggy Rose was a guest on American Dazed (talk) Radio, her first radio-interview ever. The condensed version still is 47 minutes but what an intense 47 minutes they are: Iggy Rose Radio Interview.
In June Iggy was invited to the biennial, second and probably last Birdie Hop Cambridge meeting where she met with Libby Gausden, Jenny Spires and a bunch of Barrett-fans: Iggy Rose in Cambridge.
And then, when you're least expecting it, there is a brand new Iggy picture that make our hormone levels go crazy.
This article follows the same steps as that other one of 2012 that published the discovery of Iggy's 'Pocahontas' picture, that has been an inspiration for so many Iggy fans and their fanart creations: Iggy - a new look in festivals.
The 1967 Festival of the Flower Children
Two weeks after Iggy had visited the National Jazz, Pop, Ballads and Blues Festival at the Royal Windsor Racecourse, where she had her picture taken for Music Maker magazine (see: Iggy - a new look in festivals), there was the first Woburn festival with an equally appealing title: Festival of the Flower Children. Wanting to cash in on the Summer of Love (and the Bank Holiday Weekend of 26-28 August) it tried to be a direct competitor for the first one that was already well established and in its seventh edition. Flower Children also went on for three days but its bill was less abundant, less adventurous and clearly directed at the general public or 'weekend' hippies, rather than the underground elite. The host, the Duke of Bedford, one of those examples the French invented the guillotine for and the living proof that the posh establishment will temporarily adhere an alternative lifestyle if there is a buck to earn, sneered:
Only flower children are allowed in. They are nice peaceful young people who like beat music and coloured lights. They are very different from hippies who take drugs and make trouble. Hippies will definitely be barred.
The Duke of Bedford apparently grabbed 10% of the entrance money estimated at £50.000, according to an article in The Australian Women's Weekly, but the promoters, the Seller brothers, apparently weren't that happy and the financial debacle may have quickened the demise of their mod nightclub Tiles, where Jeff Dexter was the house DJ. The Daily Telegraph, however, wrote that the festival made the nice profit of £20.000. (Much of the information and some of the pictures in this article come from the excellent UK Rock Festivals.) For snobbish left-elitist underground circles and their affiliated magazines is was all a sell-out. Peter Jenner:
Gradually all sorts of dubious people began to get involved. The music business began to take over. (…) There were things like the Festival of the Flower Children.
That the Seller brothers were thinking more in the terms of profit than music or mod culture was perhaps proven by their nightclub Tiles that was described by Tom Wolfe as the 'Noonday Underground'. In the middle of the day, during lunch hour, the club opened and was visited by 'office boys, office girls, department store clerks' and teenagers who had left school at fifteen, for their daily dose of mod music and a Coca-Cola. Tiles aimed for an easy-going public and although it lacked style and personality it did have a proper bar, a good dance floor, a fancy stage and an excellent sound system.
The Flower Children festival aimed at the masses as well, and not to the
hardcore underground, promising bands and artists as Jeff
Bee Gees, Eric
Burdon & The New Animals,
The Kinks (not confirmed), Denny
Laine (from The Moody Blues), Marmalade,
Money & The Big Roll Band, The Move (not confirmed), The Alan
Price Set, The
Small Faces, Al
Syn (a precursor of Yes) and less known bands as Blossom
The Dream (some claim an early incarnation of Tangerine
Gass (not confirmed), Tintern
Abbey and Tangerine
Peel (not confirmed and perhaps this is where the Tangerine
Dream rumour comes from).
With the exception of perhaps Dantalian's Chariot (another band led by Zoot Money) and Tomorrow (with drummer Twink) the bill wasn't really underground, nor psychedelic. Pink Floyd was never considered to appear at the festival, although Rob Chapman pretends the opposite in his immaculate biography. Not that the band would've come as they had already cancelled the Windsor Racecourse gig due to Barrett's erratic behaviour.
For the press the festival was gefundenes fressen and news photographers seemed to outnumber groovers. And now we let you guess, who can be found on one of those pictures, you think?
On the 21st of September the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit was asked the following by Jacinta Storten:
Hi there, do you know if Iggy attended the Festival of the Flower Children love-in at Woburn Abbey in 1967? I have some photos of attendees and one of them looks just like her, on the other hand the photo could be from the Woburn Festival that Fleetwood Mac headlined which I think Pink Floyd were also billed from memory it was 67 or 68. [Note from FA: for the record, at the 1968 version of the Woburn Abbey festival, Fleetwood Mac never showed up, although they were billed. Pink Floyd never played the festival either as they were touring North America on that day.]
Such a mail obviously has the same effect on the Church as a red rag to a bull. We immediately contacted Iggy Rose who wasn't aware of ever being at the festival, but you know the saying 'if you remember the sixties, you weren't there'. We wrote back to Jacinta, asking for a copy of the picture so that we could send it over to Iggy, but due to the quirky way Facebook messaging works sometimes (or should we say: not works) that was ignored. (We have that effect on many people.)
Luckily on the fifth of November the picture appeared on the HeroInSight Tumblr blog:
'Iggy ”The Eskimo” Rose at Festival of the Flower Children Love-in, Woburn Abbey UK, 1967.
As soon as we got hold of the picture we send it to Iggy who confirmed it was indeed her:
My goodness, where did you find that?
I look stoned.
Haha. I can't even remember being there. Lol xxx.
An internet search revealed that the picture is currently hosted at Photo Inventory France, that seems to be owned by an Ebay seller called Photo Vintage France. The picture (30 x 19.5 cm) was put several times on sale before, between June 2012 and August 2015, for the price of 159 Euro, but apparently no buyer has ever been found. Lucky for us, otherwise the picture had perhaps never been found.
We contacted the owner of the Ebay shop, Bruno Tartarin, asking if he could give us more information about this picture. We got a reply pretty fast, but it didn't really give us info we didn't know already:
Cette image vient des archives Holmes-Lebel.
Flower Children, Hippies Rally, Woburn Abbey, Angleterre, circa 1967. RE2173
Tirage argentique d'époque tamponnée.
This image comes from the Holmes-Lebel archives.
Flower Children, Hippies Rally, Woburn Abbey, Angleterre, circa 1967. RE2173
Authentic gelatin-silver photography, stamped.
Internet searches for the Holmes-Lebel company didn't lead to anything substantial apart from the fact that they created / sold pictures for advertisements, movie posters, record and book covers and magazines in the sixties. Also the photographer who took Iggy's picture is a mystery as the agency had several internationally renowned people working for them like Rona Jutka, Raymond Voinquel, Inge Morath, Christian Simonpietri...
Update 2015 12 22: Meanwhile the picture has mysteriously landed
at Atagong Mansion, and for once, the Reverend isn't interested in the
front of the picture, but wants to study the different marks on the
back. There are four in total:
1. a blue stamp of the Holmes-Lebel company with the remark that the document has to be returned after publication: 'document à rendre'.
2. another stamp with the warning that four times the copyright amount will be asked if the document gets lost or damaged: 'en cas de perte ou détérioration des documents il sera perçu quatre fois le prix de cession des droits'.
3. a sticker describing the picture in English:
HIPPIES RALLY (THE FLOWER CHILDREN), WOBURN ABBEY, ENGLAND
Hippy girl dressed in the Indian way.
Copyright HOLMES-LEBEL/I.M.F. n) 3008
4. a remark written in pencil, reading 'woodstook'.
Scans of the stamps, stickers and marks on the back can be found on our
Iggy Tumblr page: Hippy
Porn and the Englishman
A photographer who certainly was present at the Flower Children festival was Londoner Jean Straker whose photo studio was in Soho and who was interviewed in the 6th issue of Oz because his pictures were considered pornographic in the prude interpretation of the English law.
In 1951 he founded the Visual Arts Club where he gave lectures, sold his pictures and where he would have 'photographers, amateur and professional, studying the female nude'. Straker's pictures were considered pornography under the Obscene Publications Act and in 1961 over 1600 of his negatives and 233 of his prints were confiscated. While Straker claimed his pictures were of artistic value the judge didn't follow this explanation. In appeal, Straker got many of his negatives back, but this was forced on a technicality, using a loophole in the law, and the official interpretation was still that his pictures were obscene.
This situation lingered on with Straker trying to fight censorship and in 1967 Jean Straker noted (in Oz 6):
Now, as most lawyers know, I been through all this jazz before; apart from a few thousand motorists, and a few hundred barrow boys, I must be the most prosecuted non-criminal in town.
Jean Straker also visited the Festival of the Flower Children were he might have taken over 220 pictures. Harper's Books currently sells a (partial) archive of 39 different 5 x 8 inch black and white photographs. However, at 3.000 USD for this collection, it is a bit expensive just to find out if the Iggy picture is part of it.
At 165 Euro the Holmes-Lebel piece is almost a bargain.
The who, the what and the where?
There is a big chance we will never know who took Iggy's picture at the festival of the Flower Children. It could've been one of Iggy's froody friends, as we know she knew quite a few free-lance photographers, including the one who took her picture two weeks earlier at the National Jazz, Pop, Ballads and Blues Festival. If only she could remember his name! At the other hand, she could've been invited to the festival by Jeff Dexter, who had developed some interest in her and tried to record her in the studio.
It is possible that the picture was bought by the Holmes-Lebel agency in order to publish it in a French magazine. It would be nice to find that article back, if there ever has been one.
But the good news is that a new Iggy picture has been unearthed and that is was found – again – by one of her many fans. For that the Church (and Iggy Rose) will be eternally grateful to Jacinta 'HeroInSight' Storten...
The quest continues... good hunting my sistren and brethren... and don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't do...
Many thanks to: HeroInSight, Jacinta Storten, Iggy Rose, Bruno Tartarin, UK
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
Some pictures and articles, used for this post, will be published at the Holy Church's Tumblr blog under the Festival of the Flower Children-tag.
Sources (other than the above internet links):
Chapman, Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 179.
Green, Jonathon: All Dressed Up, Pimlico, London, 1999, p. 43, 221.
Green, Jonathon: Days In The Life, Pimlico, London, 1998, p. 112.
Palacios, Julian: Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London, 2010, p. 246.
Photo Inventory France: http://photoinventory.fr/photos/RE2173.png
Pullen, Bob: Photography and Censorship: The Photographs and Ideals of Jean Straker, Photography and Culture, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2008 (online pdf version).