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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
A message from Libby Gausden, Birdie Hop & The Holy Church of Iggy the
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.
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
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby Gausden (GB) ♥ Alexander (DE) ♥ Amy (US)
♥ Antonio (ES) ♥ Eva (NL) ♥ Lisa (CA).
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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...
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...
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.
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
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 ♥