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

March 2021

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2021-03-12

RIP Duggie Fields 1945 – 2021

Duggie Fields, 1970.

The first post that appeared on The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit (on 08-08-08) mentioned Duggie Fields in its second sentence (see that post here: Iggy). For years he was a privileged witness in the world of Sydiots.

In 1963 Duggie went to the Regent Street Polytechnic, where some of the Pink Floyd boys were studying at well.

I met Roger Waters in the same group. On Friday afternoon dances, I was Juliette’s [Gale] dancing partner.

Later he was one of the many people living at 101 Cromwell Road where he witnessed how the Cambridge gang were ‘real acid proselytisers’. Mick Rock:

Apart from Duggie’s room, the rest of the place was full of acid burn-outs.

Syd Barrett used to break into Duggie’s room to read the Dr Strange comic books Fields had imported from the States. Fields was a fan of comics creator Stan Lee. His bedroom wall was covered with Marvel comics. Unfortunately, people used to borrow those and never bring them back.

Duggie and Jules, 1969.
Duggie and Jules, 1969.

Around Christmas 1968 Duggie, Syd and a third tenant called Jules moved to Wetherby Mansions. Jules quickly disappeared. After the sessions for the Barrett album were completed ­ in July 1970 ­ Syd began to spend less time at Wetherby Mansions and by 1971 he was living full time in Cambridge. Duggie would live in the same apartment for the rest of his life, turning it into a colourful bric-a-brac museum of his art.

Duggie was about the most reliable witness about Iggy, who was known as the Eskimo girl, and the one who recognised Syd’s car, a Pontiac Parisienne, in the movie Entertaining Mr Sloane.

The car too has its own mythology. (...) I first saw it at Alice Pollock and Ossie Clark’s New Year’s Eve party at the Albert Hall – a memorable event itself where both Amanda Lear and Yes (separately) took to the stage for the first time. (Taken from: Duggie Fields)

Julian Palacios interviewed Duggie in 1996 for his Syd Barrett biography.

He was so cool. Reserved and wary at first, then about halfway through he became super raconteur.
(email to FA, 10 February 2010).
Duggie and Iggy, 2011.
Duggie and Iggy, 2011.

For the Mortal Remains exhibition, Duggie painted Syd Barrett leaning against a pink convertible. It’s a gripping image, loosely based upon one of Mick Rock’s photographs of the madcap. It shows a headless Syd who seems to be humming a tune, hence the musical note appearing behind him.

Pink Pontiac.
Duggie Fields' Pink Pontiac with Syd.

Although Fields had a great career of his own, painting in a post-modern pop-art comic-strip style, he was forever Syd Barrett’s room-mate which must have been tiring from time to time.

The legend goes that Duggie Fields used to play his records loud. One day he played some Motown and Iggy, in the other room, started to dance, much to the amusement of Syd. They’re all reunited now…

Artscape
ARTSCAPE (juggler6).

In 2011 Antonio Jesús Reyes from sister-blog Solo En Las Nubes had a self-interview (or autoentrevista) with Duggie Fields that was simultaneously published in Spanish and in English. For the Spanish version, go to: Autoentrevista - Duggie Fields - Mucho más que un compañero de piso. The English version can be consulted at: Duggie Fields, much more than a room-mate.

He was truly one on the last real English gentlemen and it was an honour to have known him.


We were also informed of the death of John Davies, one of the hip boys in Cambridge in the early sixties. As a friend of Syd, he used to trade guitar licks and hangout in El Patio. See also: The John Davies Collection


The Church wishes to thank: Antonio Jesús Reyes, Eleonora Siatoni, Julian Palacios, Rich Hall.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

Sources (others than the links above):
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 81, 82.
Chapman, Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 79.
Palacios, Julian: Darker Globe: Uncut and Unedited, private publication, 2021, p. 133, 484.


2021-03-20

Love You Two Times

Like Black holes In The Sky
Like Black Holes In The Sky.

Black Holes

I may have written this before but when my stack of Pink Floyd tribute CDs threatened to become bigger than actual Pink Floyd albums I gave up buying those. Most of the time these albums are quite rubbish anyway and consist of artists who only sell records to their grandmother. I mean, who has ever heard of Stinking Lizaveta and their Matilda Mother cover on the Like Black Holes In The Sky album? Actually that track is quite good, you can have a listen by clicking on the image below.

Matilda Mother - Stinking Kizaveta
Matilda Mother - Stinking Lizaveta.
Hoshizora No Drive
Hoshizora No Drive.

Hoshizora No Drive

It was Göran Nystrom from Men On The Border who reminded me of Love You, a (mostly Italian) Syd Barrett tribute album that was going to appear on the 6th of January 2021. I immediately pre-ordered it, in the heat of the moment, so to speak.

I wanted to have a look at the artists and bands involved and the fact that I couldn’t find them anywhere made me fear for the worst. It is never a good sign if even the record company keeps the actual performers a secret.

I could only hope this wasn’t going to be another Hoshizora No Drive. That is a 2008 Syd Barrett tribute album from Japan that I once received from the head guru of Birdie Hop. Most songs on it sound like Godzilla with a toothache.

Arnord Lane - Baby Cool Vive with Shinobu Goto
Arnord Lane - Baby Cool Vive with Shinobu Goto.
The Madcap Laughs Again
The Madcap Laughs Again.

The Madcap Laughs Again

Mojo had a Madcap Laughs Again CD in 2010. It only scored 53% on the Late Night forum, based on 18 votes. I gave it a 4 myself but the passing of time has somewhat sweetened my opinion, based upon the three or four tracks that aren’t totally shite.

Stand out tracks are Mark Almond’s version of Late Night and Field Music’s Terrapin, although Eternal Isolation, the administrator of the Late Night forum, found that it sounded like a shampoo commercial. But that was 2010, we’re a decade later now.

Late Night - Mark Almond
Late Night - Mark Almond.
Love You Tribute. Art: Matteo Regattin.
Love You Tribute. Art: Matteo Regattin.

Italian Efficacy

The blurb for Love You goes as follows:

Our project is to collect, for the first time, all the songs Syd Barrett recorded after his experience with Pink Floyd. To realize it we invited many artists from various parts of the world – Italy, Mexico, France, Ireland, UK, USA, Sweden, Japan, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands – and asked them to choose one song and re-arrange it in their own way.

Well, let’s be honest, that’s just standard promotional chitchat.

The sixth of January 2021 passed by without a trace and it took until mid-March for the album to finally arrive, proving once again that the terms Italian and Efficacy will never match.

Update 2021.04.01: according to Luca Ferrari the delay was due to problems at Gonzo Multimedia, an English company, BTW.

So enough dilly-dallying let’s play the CDs and publish one of those Holy Church reviews in telegram style.

CD1.

TERRAPIN - ANDREA ACHILLI (Italy) 2'59"
I like the chill-out arrangement but the singing is below par. 5.6/10.

NO GOOD TRYING - LUNA PARK (France) 3'15"
Nice try, but again, the singing could be much better. 5.4/10.

LOVE YOU - EUGENE (Italy) 2'24"
Turning Love You into a novelty tune à la Devo. 5.9/10 for the effort.

NO MAN'S LAND - HUMUS (Mexico) 2'27"
Power version but (again, sigh) average singing. 4.8/10.

DARK GLOBE - BLUEMOSAIKO (Italy) 2'26"
Nice arrangement but… yeah, I’m repeating myself… 5.2/10.

HERE I GO - MAX ZARUCCHI (Italy) 4'52"
0/10. A track Italians invented the word vaffanculo for.

Love You CD1. Art: Matteo Regattin.
Love You CD1. Art: Matteo Regattin.

OCTOPUS - SHERPA (Italy) 4'02"
Very close to the original. With some extra effort, this could’ve been an excellent cover. 6.4/10.

GOLDEN HAIR - IN THE LABYRINTH (Sweden) 7'41"
It starts close to the original, then it glides into a surprisingly nice Indian raga prog-fantasy. Unfortunately, it loses its momentum after a few minutes. This could’ve been saved by adding some uplifting beats. 7.3/10.

LONG GONE – BARYOGENESIS (Italy) 3'27"
Close to the original, it has potential but gimmicks can’t save it. 5.3/10

SHE TOOK A LONG COLD LOOK - ALANJEMAAL (Italy) 5'55"
This starts promising with an intro that puts you on the wrong leg, which – in my opinion – is always a good way to tackle a cover. The singing is – again – awful and what is left is a good old space rocker… 6.9/10.

FEEL - HIS MAJESTY THE BABY (Italy) 3'37"
This is the Luca Ferrari who gave us the quirky Fish Out Of The Water in a previous century. Beautifully written (in Italian), but badly translated into English (not by him, I might say). Unfortunately, his track on Love You is an experiment gone bad. 3.0/10.

IF IT'S IN YOU - HENRIETTA AND THE FIVES (Italy) 3'45"
Despite the quite traditional rendition (with raga influences) I’m going to give this a 6.8/10. At least it is a track that tries to achieve something.

LATE NIGHT - DUNCAN MAITLAND (Ireland) 3'39"
A nice cover from this ex-Pugwash musician. It stays close to the original but manages to bring the message over. 7.0/10.

OPEL - GALERIE 65 (USA) 5'43"
It starts by slowing down the song to a very intimate level. There is a nice instrumental bridge before the song ends with a less convincing epilogue. 6.0/10.

DOLLY ROCKER - THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE (Italy) 3'16"
5.6/10 for the effort. The original is not really great either.

WORD SONG - QUARTO STATO DELLA MATERIA (Italy) 4'37"
I was looking forward to this. The original has got virtually no tune and we all know that the lyrics are an experimental mess. The band QSDM turns it into a REM-like tune. 7.2/10.

SWAN LEE - HIBUSHIBIRE (Japan) 4'07"
This is Hoshizora No Drive all over. The freakbeat outro can't salvage the intro, unfortunately. 3.0/10.

LET'S SPLIT - MICHELE GENTILE (Italy) 2'54"
This one took me by surprise. This could well turn into my personal summer hit. I’ll play it on my radio show one day. 6.9/10.

Love You CD2. Art: Matteo Regattin
Love You CD2. Art: Matteo Regattin.

TWO OF A KIND - DAVE HARRIS & ZEUS B HELD (UK) 2'29"
From Rick Wright’s teammate in Zee, here is Two Of A Kind that might well be a Rick Wright tune anyway. It’s a fun tune and that is how I look at it. 6.3/10.

ASTRONOMY DOMINE - BORIS SAVOLDELLI & UMBERTO PETRIN (Italy) 4'01"
Turning Astronomy into a lounge jazz fantasy. The intro is quite brilliant, but I sense that this tune could’ve been much better. It lacks some salt and pepper, so to speak. 6.0/10.

End of CD1 with an average of 5.5 points out of 10.

CD2

BABY LEMONADE - ST 37 (USA) 6'08"
The musicians try imitating the Baby Lemonade intro and fail at it. Then they try imitating Syd’s vocals. They fail. Then they try to imitate Hawkwind but Hawkwind does it better. 4.8/10.

LOVE SONG - LA FORMA DELLE NUVOLE (Italy) 3'31"
Close to the original, quite folky with a few unexpected surprises which made me add some points. 6.1/10.

DOMINOES - SULA BASSANA (Germany) 5'46"
Tries to give Dominoes an experimental – slightly Floydian – feel but the result is not immediately satisfactory. This is one of those songs that has potential and is asking for better treatment. 6.8/10.

IT IS OBVIOUS - STEREOKIMONO (Italy) 3'30"
Making pub-rock out of Barrett, although the song explores many musical territories. Nice try. 6.6/10.

RATS - PHOSPHENE (UK) 2'14"
Phosphene is John Cavanagh, whom we all revere for his Floydian knowledge. He has tried to turn Barrett into a minimalistic industrial electronic outfit à la Front 242 but doesn’t quite succeed. 4.0/10.

MAISIE – THEEUNFORESEEN (Belgium) 4'04"
Maisie is a somewhat underrated track by Barrett and with this cover version, it will certainly not grow in popularity. 4.7/10.

GIGOLO AUNT - THE AIRWAVES (Sweden) 5'10"
It's OK but could've been a bit more daring and original. With over 5 minutes it takes much too long. 5.8/10.

WAVING MY ARMS IN THE AIR / I NEVER LIED TO YOU - LUCA RAIO (Italy) 5'28"
Song #1 is a folky carbon copy of the original, not bad, but not really inventive. The surprise lies in the bridge between the two parts. Part #2 tries to bring a more emotive version of I Never Lied To You, which has always been one of the more poignant and powerful moments of Barrett, but it fails miserably. 6.1/10.

WINED AND DINED - KABLE (USA) 4'04"
Close to the original. No frills, no thrills. 6.4/10.

WOLFPACK - KEEPER OF ATLANTIS (USA) 5'37"
Yep, it’s again one of those. 3.3/10.

Turtle by Ian Barrett.
Turtle by Ian Barrett.

EFFERVESCING ELEPHANT - BOTTI & PAVONI from GREENWALL (Italy) 3'02"
At least a track where some fantasy has been used. It might even have been sillier for me. 6.5/10.

BIRDIE HOP - TRESPASSERS W (The Netherlands) 3'14"
Yep, it’s again one of those. 3.5/10.

LANKY PART 1 - ALFREDO LONGO feat. SEBA PAVIA 4'31"
A jam imitating a jam. 5.0/10 for the effort.

MILKY WAY - MEN ON THE BORDER (Sweden) 5'10"
A (shortened) track from their Blackbird album. See our review here: Blackbird: Fly Into The Light. One of the very rare occasions on this compilation where you can hear there is a tight band behind the song, rather than a hobby project. 7.2/10.

BOB DYLAN BLUES - JOSS COPE (UK) 4'17"
A man and his guitar in a great version of this tune. 8.0/10.

RHAMADAN - MORNING SCALES THE MOUNTAIN (USA) 9'43"
The story of how Syd and Jerry Garcia met, in syncopated pandemonium. 6.7/10.

VEGETABLE MAN - NICK BENSEN (USA) 3'59"
It’s OK, I guess, but it’s not spectacular. 6.0/10.

End of CD2 with an average of 5.7 points out of 10.

Conclusion: 5.6 points out of 10.

What I feared about this tribute album came true. It's a mixed bag with about the same amount of nays and yeas. A single CD, with half the songs weeded out, would’ve sufficed. (And weirdly enough the average score would then have been 6.66 points out of 10.) What is even more perplexing is the fact that a great part of the human race seems to have lost the ability to sing but that this doesn’t stop them from doing so.

But at least all of the artists can now proudly say to their grand-mum: "Look bonny, I’ve got a record out."

Love You, a tribute to Syd Barrett, compiled by Dario Antonetti and Nino Gatti, is out at Gonzo Multimedia.


♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥