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

December 2017

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2017-12-01

Donate for Iggy’s 70th Birthday!

Iggy Bank

 


Update December 2017: Iggy - as you probably know - died on the 13th of December 2017, about half an hour before her seventieth birthday. However, we are still accepting donations that will be used for her funeral and to help her husband Andy in this difficult period.


Original post:

A message from Libby Gausden, Birdie Hop & The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.

Soon Iggy will celebrate her seventieth birthday. Unfortunately she is not doing well and she needs expensive medicine.

You can help by donating some money. Everything helps.

We guarantee that the money will get to her.

The Iggy Bank are: Libby Gausden (GB), Paula (GB), Lisa (CA), Alex (DE), Felix (BE) and the old bunch. Thanks to Brett for starting this way back in 2012 and all our friends for supporting us.

Now get that money rollin’

The Iggy Bank


A word from the Reverend

Over the years people from around the globe have given Iggy some support, not bragging about it to the outer world. That is why it hurts to see that a Syd Barrett Facebook group posted the following about The Iggy Bank and its plea to raise some money for Iggy Rose.

Him and his blog, in fact anything he's involved in, is everything that's wrong with being a fan of Syd Barrett. (...) I sure wouldn't give him any money for some "cause". (...) Paying Felix is maybe just giving him drinking money.

The Iggy bank (it's a lame name, I agree) was started in January 2012 when some friends wanted to do something for her. Unlike some underground heroes Iggy Rose didn't leave the sixties rich and famous. Iggy lead a simple life, unaware of the fact that her iconic presence helped business hippies selling coffee table books about record sleeves.

This is what we had to say way back in 2012:

The Iggy Bank is and will probably never be something official, we are just a bunch of Internet friends who believe they are real people rather than avatars. We give our word that all proceedings will go to Iggy. Besides, if something would go wrong Libby Gausden has already promised she will kick our butts.

The Iggy Bank Paypal funds are visible and fully open to the people organising it, and it was actually Libby Gausden and Alex from Birdie Hop who asked to resuscitate the 5 years old PayPal account.

Many thanks to all our donators and to the old and new friends who are helping us.

♥ Iggy ♥ Libby Gausden (GB) ♥ Alexander (DE) ♥ Amy (US)Antonio (ES) ♥ Eva (NL) ♥ Lisa (CA).

Thanks Brett for having the idea in 2012.

♥ RIP Bill


2017-12-14

RIP Iggy Rose: 1947-2017

Iggy, mid-seventies.
Iggy, mid-seventies.
Iggy and Andy, London, 2011.
Iggy and Andy, London, 2011.

From Quetesh to Bastet

Quetesh,
Majestic.

Iggy the Eskimo,
Girl of space.

Often very alone,
But always a friend.

Star fallen from the black sky:
Solar, solitary, solstice, soloist.

Pale blue crystal dawn, pearl wine dusk.
A mauve Venus, disrobed on the silk orange milky way.

Magical music, medieval Median, magnetic:
Even in worlds where love is impossible.

Transcended, transparent, translucent, transitory:
Life together unconditionally and forever.

And that black cat caressing him with a glance, the night.
The malefic vision of Lucifer Sam.

© Denis Combet, English translation by Constance Cartmill (2007). Previously published at: Guitars and Dust Dancing.

Iggy and Libby, Cambridge, 2015.
Iggy and Libby, Cambridge, 2015.

♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥ Paula ♥


2017-12-15

Iggy Rose: Eskimos and Unicorns

Iggy, 1967.
Iggy, 1967. Picture: Iggy Stern.

You could find many weird folk running around in London in the sixties, but there was only one Eskimo. On the 13th of December 2017, just a couple of minutes before her seventieth birthday, Iggy Rose, aka Iggy the Eskimo, peacefully died.

Crumbling Land

She was born in the Himalayas, on the fourteenth of December 1947, in a country she has always refused to name, but it was probably that part of India that became Pakistan, after a particular bloody separation, with its death toll running into the hundreds of thousands. Her father was an officer in the British army who married a local beauty. Their first child was Evelyn, but for one reason or another she would be known as Iggy. Her mother gave her an indigenous name as well, Laldingliani, meaning gift of the gods, in a language Iggy never spoke.

Iggy, late forties.
Iggy, late forties.

Update December 2017: Iggy's mother, so was confirmed to us, wasn't from Pakistan, but from Mizoram, situated at the North-East of India, sharing borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Iggy grew up as any normal child, although she already had the special gift of running into trouble. There is the family anecdote of the cat Iggy wanted to pet in the garden, until her parents, or the servants, found out it really was a hungry tiger on the loose.

For a while all went well, with Iggy and family living a luxurious and protected life in one of the British enclaves, politely ignoring that a civil war was raging around them. One day a mob invaded their house, burned it down and, if Iggy’s recitation of the events is accurate, they narrowly escaped a lynching party.

Family picture, late forties, early fifties.
Family picture, late forties, early fifties.

Next stop: Aden, Yemen. Another melting pot of colonial and religious problems. This was only a temporary solution as the family returned to England where they lived the upstairs life. Iggy always stayed vague about her family ties, but there might have been some railway money in the family, from the time that railways were still a great money-making thing.

Rome, late fifties?
Rome, late fifties?

Wild Thing

Iggy hit puberty, running away from home at fourteen, discovering boys, girls, booze, and speed. These were the days when young adults refused to lead the life of their grey parents, refused to listen to that boring BBC and refused to agree with the après-guerre nuclear warmongering. There may also have been some family turmoil, at times Iggy alluded to that, other times she just blamed her exit from home upon her temperamental character.

Iggy danced through life, her pretty looks and free spirit mostly assured her some food and a place to stay. Through a well-known DJ she turned from mods to rockers and Brighton was changed for London.

Enter Brian and Keith and others, for what could be called a groupie career, although she never was a groupie pur sang. In contrast to some flower power beauties who have made a fortune by talking out of bed, Iggy stayed discrete about the people she met, from Beatles to Yardbirds. There is the story how she was at a Rolling Stones party, went 'home' in the evening, slept on the stairs of a house portal, returning the next day as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Probably for Iggy, it was. She never was a trophy hunter, nor a fortune seeker.

Iggy and Jenny Spires met at Biba and they went to a Dusty Springfield après-event. Jenny returned the favour and introduced her to Syd Barrett who had left Pink Floyd, a band Iggy wasn’t particularly fond of. Iggy had always been more of a Motown girl. She stayed for a couple of weeks at Wetherby Mansions and she visited Barrett over the period of a few months, until – one day – Duggie Fields told her that Syd didn’t live there any more.

The legend that Iggy vanished all of a sudden isn’t true, she just wasn’t traceable on the Floydian radar any more. In those days it was enough to move a couple of blocks where she frequented other, equally alternative and underground, circles. There were painters, musicians, actors, movie directors...

Iggy on a movie set, 1974.
Iggy on a movie set, 1974.

Rose Tinted

In coffee table books, invariably written by men, we read how beautiful and carefree British psychedelic underground was. It wasn't always for those who didn't make a fortune out of it. The summer of love wasn't particularly women friendly either. Bad things happened to Iggy. Luckily, many good things as well.

Iggys wedding, 1978.
Iggy's wedding, 1978.

In the mid-seventies psychedelic tomfoolery was over and Iggy had to look for a job. She worked on a horse-farm for a while and met her husband there. They got married in 1978 and relocated to a small village in the Horsham district of West Sussex where she worked in a local supermarket. Even there she was the stuff legends are made of. In a (long defunct) Facebook group people remembered how she would throw groceries at those clients who didn't treat her with respect. The management had to get rid of her before she could injure someone.

The Cambridge City Wakes festival (2008) triggered something of an Iggy the Eskimo revival but Iggy's public life really started when Mark Blake, from Pigs Might Fly fame, wrote about her in a Syd Barrett Mojo Special (2010). One reader actually knew her and her quiet life was suddenly interrupted. She was interviewed for Mojo and she learned there was some kind of Iggy fandom on the world wide web. Contrary to general belief it wasn't The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit who found her. Mark Blake did.

Iggy discovered Facebook and made many, many, many friends.

A rose is a rose is a rose

Iggy was Iggy, nothing less, nothing more. Loud-mouthed, obnoxious, loyal, sweet and with the greatest heart you have ever seen. Talking to Iggy on the phone would mean a constant battering of your eardrums while she rattled a hundred and twenty words a minute. Her emotions could change from joy to anger to uncontrolled sobbing in less than a minute. If she was mad her vocabulary was lively enough to make a sailor blush. Iggy didn't wear masks. Iggy was the truest and most direct and brutally honest person I have ever seen.

Iggys attempt at a selfie, 2014.
Iggy's attempt at a selfie, 2014.

The last time when I spoke to her, I asked: “ Iggy, is it good that I call you from time to time?”
“Why?” she answered. “To check if I am not dead yet?”

I'm gonna miss those comments of her.

Face- and other books

Iggy always had big dreams. If Kathy Etcham, Jenny Fabian and Uschi Obermaier could write books about rock stars, so could she. Unfortunately Iggy's unstoppable enthusiasm for literally everything around her made every attempt to interview her an impossible task. One day she told me that her book needed pictures of unicorns to thank all her lovely Facebook friends for their friendship and love. She was not joking. Iggy was always incredibly happy with the support from her Facebook friends. This was enormously important to her. She was always thankful for that.

It was an honour to have known you, gal.

Sincere condolences to Andy and her family. Many thanks to everyone supporting her.

Dream

If you ever go to heaven there is a rainbow garden where an Eskimo girl is dancing, there are friendly tigers and gentle unicorns. Birds are singing and circling around her like in a Disney movie. Brian is jamming on a sitar. Syd is strumming some chords. It is a happy place.


Many thanks to all who have helped Iggy all these years, her husband, neighbours, friends and caregivers... fans and freaks at birdie hop, clowns & jugglers, late night, no man's land...
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥ Paula ♥


2017-12-24
2017-12-27

Funeral Band

Worthing Crematorium
Worthing Crematorium.

Dark Globe

It is the darkest period of the year, literally and figuratively. Today, the 27th of December 2017, Iggy's funeral takes place at Worthing Crematorium. We can only wish for strength for Iggy's husband, her family, her friends... A big thank you for the Birdies and Nesters who have supported Iggy all these years...

Catharsis

After most funerals, people sit together and commemorate the deceased, and slowly the tears are being replaced with laughter, when funny remembrances and anecdotes fill the atmosphere... It is a necessary part of the grieving process and we are pretty sure that people can go on for hours recalling Iggy's funnier moments.

Sydiots

A couple of years ago, 2013 already!, multi-instrumentalist and Barrett-buff Rich Hall recorded an album called Birdie Hop & the Sydiots. Its concept was to catalogue the wacky aspects of Barrett fandom, including cosmic brides, silly reverends and goofing administrators of various Syd Barrett Facebook groups.

One of the highlights of the album was a track called The Reverend, clearly a reverie about the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and its main obsession: Iggy the Eskimo. For Iggy's seventieth birthday Rich, with some help of his dog Porthos, recorded an acoustic version of the song. Unfortunately Iggy never heard it and as such the song has now become a fitting tribute. From Rich to Iggy, from Porthos to Doogle, we present you Iggy's message that is love.

Gigolo aunts & uncles

Back in better days, June 2015, Iggy was invited to Cambridge at the second Birdie Hop meeting. Men On The Border joined as well, giving an exclusive concert at the Rathmore Club. After the gig there was some time for an acoustic sing-a-long with the band, fans, Cantabrigian mafia rockers and a pretty unstoppable Iggy. Revive it here... original videos from Göran Nyström and Solo En Las Nubes blogger Antonio Jesús Reyes.

Happy belated birthday Iggy. Hundreds of fans will never forget you.


Many thanks to: Rich Hall, Men On The Border, Göran Nystrom, Antonio Jesús Reyes.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥ Paula ♥

Rich Hall: Birdie Hop and The Sydiots
Göran Nystrom: Men On The Border
Anotnio Jesús Reyes : Solo En Las Nubes


2017-12-28

Iggy Rose Memorial Card

Iggy Rose Memorial Card
Iggy Rose Memorial Card. Picture taken by David Stanford.

David Stanford:

It was so sad to be at the funeral. I can advise that her life was celebrated in the manner I am sure she would have approved of. RIP sweet Iggy Rose. ♥ ♥ ♥

  


♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥ Paula ♥