As I get older, one day closer to death to quote the great bard, I see all my old chums and chumnettes getting less and less active on social media, which is a pity but also a bit understandable. At a certain age, you start to understand that life with a spouse, children and grandchildren is getting more important than a Facebook click.
It is nice that Syd Barrett still means something to youngsters and that the online communities keep on gaining young members, gradually replacing the old farts. New faces mean new ideas, new insights and new theories and that can only be encouraged. But that doesn’t want to say that the crusty old dinosaurs who have been roaming through Pink Floyd land for decades no longer have valid things to say.
I know the impatience of the young. I once was young myself although some people will seriously doubt that. But it is not because you discovered this sensational Pink Floyd singer a month ago that you have magically turned into a madcap/mad cat specialist.
At the left, you can see one of the more famous Syd Barrett fakes. Actually, I don’t like the term fake. It is not fake, it is an example of meticulously crafted appropriation art. My good friend Stanislav, a digital artist, crafted these during a long and cold Siberian winter. They were published on his ironic blog ‘Far further than you could possibly imagine’ or on the once leading Syd Barrett forum ‘Late Night’. Not a single soul on there claimed these were real but they did trigger some heated discussions.
Unfortunately, the pictures started to lead their own life on the internet when they appeared on popular image sharing platforms like Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram. Nowadays it is nearly impossible to find the original picture from Mexican featherweight boxer Salvador Sánchez Narváez that inspired Stanislav to create his mashup. Over the years the copy has cannibalised the original. The same happens with all the digitally colourised Pink Floyd pictures that flood the net. They are already replacing the original black and whites and in a couple of years, fans will believe these are originals.
The impertinence of the young was shown in May 2021 when a cover of Have A Cigar was published on Facebook. A nice elderly gentleman, going by the name of Roy Harper, reacted that he had sung the original on the Wish You Were Here album. It didn’t take long before some self-proclaimed Pink Floyd specialist accused him of spreading fake news. That’s why it matters that some old-fashioned sources of information still exist, to keep the idiots away.
So whether it interests anybody or not, let’s get this overview of what happened ten years ago, on this ridiculous example of a blog, started.
2011-2012 - Selfinterview
The Holy Church’s fourth season started with a guest article from the Spanish Syd Barrett blog Solo En Las Nubes.
Webmaster Antonio Jesús managed to interview Warren Dosanjh for his Autoentrevista series and the Holy Church got the honour to publish the interview for the Anglo-Saxon world: Warren Dosanjh, Syd Barrett's first manager.
It’s no shame if you don’t know who Warren Dosanjh is, as we enter proto-Floyd territory here. See? That’s why it’s good there are still some old people around, remembering things.
Other interviews we nicked from Antonio’s blog that fourth (and fifth)
Lee Wood, the man who knows everything
Duggie Fields, much more than a room-mate (who sadly passed away in 2021)
Antonio Jesús Reyes, a new career in a new town
Wondering and Dreaming (a self-interview with Ewgeni Reingold)
John Cavanagh, so much to do, so little time
Jose Ángel González, Spanishgrass & more
Men On The Border, Syd Swedish version
Pink Floyd, believe it or not, is a great band, perhaps the greatest band in the world. The Pink Floyd company, however, is lead by a bunch of greedy bastards who give the record industry a bad name. If Pink Floyd (the band) could create a car it would be – on paper – the best car ever. If Pink Floyd (the company) could build it wheels would be falling off while driving at 120 km/h on the motorway.
2011 was the year some Immersion sets saw the light of day. These were deluxe box sets of the big three: Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall. Soon horror stories were published on several music forums. The disks were not protected in the box and arrived scratched. Blu-ray disks were unplayable and Pink Floyd (the company) was very reluctant to replace those.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t a one time issue. Also, The Early Years (2016) and The Later Years (2019) have had these problems. A decade later people are still complaining on Steve Hoffman’s Music Corner that bit rot has invaded the disks they paid a small fortune for. That’s why The Church decided to take the piss out of Floyd in several satirical articles: Fuck all that, Pink Floyd Ltd.
On the most active (and knowledgeable) Syd Barrett forums (i.c. Late Night) and groups (i.c. Birdie Hop) there has always been some bickering about some minor details. One of these recurring discussions are the colours Syd and Iggy painted the floorboards in, in anticipation of the Storm Thorgerson and Mick Rock photoshoot, for The Madcap Laughs album. (That photoshoot in itself has created several threads about who took what, with Mick Rock recently suggesting he did it all by himself.)
In January 2012 I found it a good idea to assemble different testimonies about the floorboard colours in Syd’s (and Duggie’s) apartment, taken from recent interviews (some by myself) or quotes from magazine articles and books. A majority of the witnesses put the colours as orange (5 votes) and blue (3 votes), but also red (2 votes), purple, turquoise and green were mentioned: The Case of the Painted Floorboards (v 2.012).
What had to be a tongue in cheek article turned into something of a godzillanesque monster.
Jenny Spires and Iggy Rose had a big fight, fuelling their mutual hate for each other that would go on for ages. Unfortunately, the Holy Church, which had an excellent relationship with both of them, was the subject of some collateral damage. Tired of the constant pettifoggeries I left the Birdie Hop community where I had been one of the founding fathers.
The floorboard fiasco was one thing, Spanishgrass another.
A Mexican fan of the Holy Church asked me if I had ever heard of the Spanishgrass urban legend. During Syd Barrett’s lost weekend, which lasted for several decades, he allegedly visited a monastery in Spain, stayed there for several months and recorded some songs on a cheap portable cassette deck.
While this hoax did the rounds in the Spanish speaking hemisphere east and west from the Atlantic ocean it was virtually unknown in English speaking regions. At least I had never heard of it. In the first article (from a series that would take two years to complete) I searched for the origins of the hoax, with the help of Antonio Jesús of Solo En Las Nubes: Spanishgrass or Syd Barrett's lost Spanish record.
But there will be probably more on that next year, if we are still around.
On French Bastille Day of 2012, The Church went into another investigation, this time about the very first Pink Floyd cover versions that have been put on record. I dug into the foggy history of sound-alike recordings that could be found on budget records from the sixties and seventies, recorded by anonymous artists and often released under different names.
The 1967-ish covers of See Emily Play are no exception. They exist in different versions, in different mixes and have been issued under different band names. The full (but still incomplete) story at:The Rape of Emily (three different ones).
See you next year!
The Holy Church has always been helped by a lot of people. Here is a
list of those who participated to one of our articles of the fourth
season, voluntarily or not: 2braindamage, Anton, Antonio Jesús Reyes,
Babylemonade Flowers, Blah F. Blah, Bloco do Pink Floyd, Camilo Franco,
Charlas Bronson, Chris Jones, Cicodelico, Clowns & Jugglers, Colleen
Hart, Denis Combet, Duggie Fields, Ebronte, Eleonora Siatoni, Eric
Burdon, Ewgeni Reingold, Freqazoidiac, Göran Nyström, Greeneyedbetsy,
Helen Smith, Iggy Rose, I Spy In Cambridge, Jancy, Jenell Kesler, Jenni
Fiire, Jenny Spires, JenS, Joe Perry, John Gordon, Julian Palacios,
KenB, Kiloh Smith, Late Night, Lee Wood, Libby Gausden, Listener Klip,
Little Turtle, Lord Drainlid, Margaretta Barclay, Mark Blake, Mark
Jones, Mate, Matt, Michael Brown, Neptune Pink Floyd, Nina, Nipote, No
Man's Land, Pascal Mascheroni, Rescue Rangers, Peter Gilmour, PF
Chopper, Phil Etheridge, Ramjur, Rockin' Bee, Ron Mann, Simone Saibene,
Streetmouse, Viv Brans, Warren Dosanjh and all those that we have
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥