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The Holy Church's secret service, also know as the Igquisition,
has sent over its latest trimester report about all things Iggy.
Underneath the smooth surface of our blog and Facebook
page a maelstrom of facts and rumours are reinforcing and contradicting
each other, making the Church's hidden agenda to inundate the Barrett
world with false and gratuitous information so much harder to achieve.
So let us immediately open this can of worms and have a meditative look
at what the (2013) future may bring (or not).
1. Photo shoot
Recently Iggy was the subject of a photo shoot by a Canadian journalist
/ photographer and we are pretty sure these pictures will eventually
find their way into a magazine or to the different Iggy Rose pages on
Update December 2016: nothing has ever been heard of this photo
2. Rolling Stones
Iggy was also contacted by a renowned journalist and biographer who
wanted to know if she would be willing to share some memories about her
days with the Rolling
Stones, to appear in a new biographical article or even a book about
the band. Iggy Rose has told the Church and Mojo
a few anecdotes about her different encounters with the Stones before,
but it would be nice to see these all bundled into one publication.
Iggy met Syd Barrett in the spring of 1969 but before she had been
spotted in Rolling Stones circles, as has already been revealed in the
Mark Blake's Mojo
article from 2011.
In February '67, [Iggy] narrowly avoided the police raid at Richards'
country pile, in West Wittering: "The night before, I decided not to go,
thank God." A year later, still in the Stones' orbit, she found herself
watching the recording sessions for what became Sympathy For The Devil.
where she was present at several studio sessions.
Iggy 'rolled' into the Stones through Stash
(Prince Klossowski de Rola) who presented her to Brian
Jones. There is a picture of Iggy, taken by Bruce
Fleming, standing close to John
Lennon, at the party of Georgie
Fame's girlfriend Carmen
Jimenez at the Crom (January 1967) and Iggy still remembers eating
Carmen's delicious paella at Brian's apartment just around the corner.
After some time she befriended Keith
Richards although one thing she says she will ever regret is turning
down 'Hot Rod' Stewart
in favour of Keith. Photos of her with the Stones should exist, but
those in her property have all been stolen, lost or destroyed (see also: Iggy
- a new look in festivals).
Having met Keith Richards she also befriended Anita
Pallenberg and went with her to the set of Performance
where most of the action did not take place in front of the camera. Iggy
told the Church:
They used real magic mushrooms... I was at the house [Powis Square,
Notting Hill, FA] when they where getting ready to shoot the bedroom
scene, the lady in charge was getting shrooms for the cast and offered
me some as well.
At the set she met Donald
Cammell, the co-director of the movie and his 'beautiful dusky'
girlfriend (probably Myriam Gibril). Unfortunately this is not the time
nor place to start writing about Iggy's adventures in movie land but we
certainly hope someone will some day.
Donald Cammell would only make half a dozen of movies in 30 years, being
burned after the Performance débâcle (the movie only gained notoriety
decades later), and one of these, White Of The Eye (1987), is known by
Pink Floyd fans for its soundtrack by Nick Mason & Rick Fenn.
On the 15th of June 2013 the first annual Birdie
Hop meeting will take place in Cambridge. It will be a small,
exclusive and informal encounter between about 20 fans from all over the
world and those that still carry Syd Barrett deep in their heart.
Although an agenda has not been set yet there will probably be a guided
Floyd Walking Tour and some drinks in The
Anchor (or another relevant pub) afterwards. The only official
demand to make this fan meeting possible was that the Church would not
be present and in his infinite goodness the Reverend has agreed.
4. The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit next Big Thing
The weirdest rumour, with echoes arriving only this week, is that the
Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is preparing a Big Thing for 2013.
Unfortunately nobody seems to know what this big thing is going to be
and when asked, the Reverend didn't have a clue what it was all about,
so you might as well just forget about that. On the other hand, this
blog publishes nothing but big things, so keep on checking once in a
We have just all had the BEST time ever in Cambridge - with the best
people in the world - we have laughed and hugged and kissed and talked
and none of us wanted to come home! (Libby Gausden Chisman)
Undoubtedly the best, friendliest, most lively and most accurate Syd
Barrett group on Facebook is Birdie
It is the equivalent of Eternal Isolation's Late
Night forum that, let's not be fussy about that, has suffered a
lot from Facebook's ever-groping octopus tentacles. A person (m/f) with
a critical mind could add that Facebook is shallow and volatile, that
any post older than three days tends to disappear in a bottomless pit
never to be found again and that, to the Reverend's mind, there is
continuous repetition and proportionally it can get a bit boring.
But Birdie Hop has an audience. And people who have an audience ought to
be heard. There is no point in constantly hammering that Betamax
is the better recording system when VHS
has conquered the world. Now there's a comparison that seems to be
fruitless today and quite opaque for the young people among us.
Birdie Hop is a spirited place and like Late Night at its peak period it
is the village pub. People come and go, friendships are made (and
sometimes lost) and scarcely hidden love affairs happen, with snogging
outside in the garden under the cherry tree.
But all this happens in the relatively safe environment of cyberspace.
In September of last year the idea was uttered, among Birdie Hop
members, to meet and greet in Cambridge.
(The Holy Igquisiton has vainly tried to find that post back on
Facebook, while on a forum it would take about a minute, perhaps
somebody should call the NSA.)
We all have seen this happen before really, people saying 'let's meet',
but when push comes to a shove, nothing happens. But Birdie Hop has an
excellent set of administrators, not only they are friendly, beautiful
and intelligent but they can be bloody effective as well.
Alexander the Great
Alexander made it his mission to make this happen, immediately a
date was pinpointed (14 to 16 June 2013) and Mick Brown was
kindly asked to act as Birdie's local liaison officer. The bandwagon
started rolling and an I
Spy Syd in Cambridge tour (with a bus) was organised through the
capable hands of Warren
'Bear' Dosanjh. In March of this year Alexander travelled to
Cambridge to tie the loose ends (and test the quality of the local beer)
and from then on it was a restless wait for the day to come.
Here we go. (Underneath text largely taken from Alexander & Warren's
Friday 14 June 2013
An evening at the Cambridge
Blue on Gwydir Street: a totally real ale pub with the best
selection of (Belgian!) ales in Cambridge plus pub grub and a large beer
Saturday 15 June 2013
09.30 Meet at Le
Gros Franck for breakfast and to buy a take-away lunch from a
fantastic choice of international dishes, 57 Hills Road.
10.00 Botanical Gardens, where the actual tour started. Unfortunately
they had to chase a bum away who had been sleeping on Syd's bench.
10.30 Pick-up by coach at the main entrance of the Botanical Gardens in
183 Hills Road, Syd's house.
The Cambridgeshire High School for Boys (now the Hills Road Sixth Form
College), where Syd, Roger Waters, Bob 'Rado' Klose and Storm Thorgerson
Morley Primary Junior School where Mary Waters taught her son and Syd.
The Friends Meeting House on Hartington Grove, where Geoff Mott & The
Mottoes played their one and only gig.
6 St. Margaret's Square, where Syd last lived after moving back to
Cherry Hinton Chalk Pits where some Birdie Hop members did a bizarre
reenactment of the Syd's First Trip movie.
Grantchester Meadows: lunch stop with a pint (BYO) from the Blue Ball
Walk on the meadows...
And a river of green is sliding unseen beneath the trees Laughing as
it passes through the endless summer Making for the sea.
...and back on the bus at David and Peter Gilmour's house, 109
City walk (Corn Exchange, Union Cellar, King´s College, Market Square
Informal meet and goodbye greet at the Earl
of Derby, 129 Hills Road for a full English breakfast from 8.30 in
the morning or lunch from 12.00 for those who couldn't get out of bed.
Unfortunately nobody seemed fit enough to take any pictures or wanted
their pictures to be taken!
Be a part of the legend!
Why don't you join Birdie
Hop, not only you'll be able to see all the pictures of this
amazing journey, but you'll meet a bunch of friendly, sexy people!
The list of attendees of the 2013 meeting not only had the best Birdies
around but also reads like a Cambridge Mafia wet dream: Libby Gausden
Chisman, Neil Chisman, Jenny Spires, Viv Brans, Eva Wijkniet, Sven
Wijkniet, Dave "Dean" Parker, Mrs. Parker, Vic Singh, Brian Wernham,
Mick Brown, Peter Gilmour, Mary Cosco, Antonio (Tio Junior), Mario von
Barrett (González), Fernando Lanzilotto, Giulio Bonfissuto, Hazel
(Libby´s school-friend), George Marshall (school-friend of Syd and Roger
Waters who happened to be drinking in the Blue Ball when the gang
arrived), Gary Hill, Stephen Pyle (only Friday afternoon, afterwards he
had to run a street fest), Warren Dosanjh (tour guide), Alexander P.
Wijkniet: Warren was the best tourguide and took us to the best pubs
in Cambridge. Great guy to talk to and we have to thank him massively
for the effort he made for us.
Brian Wernham: What a great day in Cambridge doing lots of Syd stuff,
meeting some of Syd's old friends, Peter Gilmour and meeting some
wonderful Syd fans as well!
Dosanjh: I have guided nearly all Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett tours
in Cambridge since 2006. But this was the best and most extraordinary
Libby Gausden Chisman: too exhausted to tell you atm - I have lost my
voice due to over talking and over laughing and over kissing and hugging
- it was just the best time evah!
A 'many thanks' line to end this article would merely repeat the people
who are all cited above, but let's have an exception and thank the most
extraordinary person who wrote the most peculiar kind of tunes.
Many thanks to Roger Keith 'Syd' Barrett, for making this all happen
and for creating friends for a lifetime.
See you in 2015...
Update 03 01 2014: Mick Brown made a video of the event that we
forgot all about, so - with over a half year's delay - here it is. Update
16 06 2014: The copyright gestapo censored Mick Brown's original movie,
so a second version was uploaded with an excellent soundtrack by Rich
Hall (taken from his Birdie
Hop and the Sydiots record).
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit celebrates its fifth birthday.
An official statement by the Reverend:
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is five years old. It has always taken
an independent road and has maintained an ironic and satirical view on
Barrett phenomenon and its fans.
We will, however, never spit on the fans. We have embraced the term Sydiot
as our Geusenwort,
meaning that we have reappropriated this derogatory nickname as an
While we have the utmost respect for the casual Barrett fans, the cosmic
brides (persons [m/f] who claim to have a relationship with Syd of some
kind, often crossing spiritual boundaries) and the Sydiots, we
intuitively question the official Barrett
organisations, record companies and nincompoops who circle around Syd
like vultures. We will not automatically endorse their websites, their
records and their books... and this has not always been appreciated. It
seems that nothing has changed much since those days in 1967 when Norman
Smith was reprimanded by his boss:
were ignorant, lazy and paranoid. I'd once been carpeted by Sir
Joseph Lockwood, almost fired, told to stay away from courting Pink
Floyd. But I took no notice.
If Norman Smith had obeyed we would never have had The
Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. Taking no notice was, is, and will
always be the Holy Church's attitude, even if this puts us in the firing
line of some of the minor half-gods and makes us wonder if this Church
was just a waste of time. But:
This is my church This is where I heal my hurt It's a natural grace Of
watching young life shape It's in minor keys Solutions and remedies Enemies
becoming friends When bitterness ends This is my church (Faithless,
is a DJ, 1998)
All tomfoolery aside, we are proud to have put a thing or two on the
Floydian agenda in the past five years that would otherwise have stayed
unnoticed. If we may lead you to one paragraph on this blog, that we are
particularly fond of, it is this
one and we constantly try to live by those standards. So-called
social media make witnesses easy accessible nowadays but this doesn't
give the Sydiot nor the Reverend a wildcard to constantly harass them
with questions about how 'Syd really was'. Remember:
A granddaughter's smile today is of much more importance than the faint
remembrance of a dead rock star's smile from over 40 years ago. (Taken
are all made of stars.)
And for those who don't agree the Church can only bring solace by citing
the following words of that great Cantabrigian band:
So I open my door to my enemies And I ask could we wipe the slate
clean But they tell me to please go fuck myself You know you just
can't win (Pink Floyd, Lost For Words, 1994)
But this speech has been going on for too long, so...
It's a fucking birthday godammit! And we have exactly the right party
album for that... and you can have yours too!
Birdie Hop and the Sydiots
Michael John Hall is a self-publishing artist in the 'alternative'
or 'indie rock' genre with about a dozen releases on his name. In March
2013 he surprised the world with his songs The
Reverend and Uncle Alex and it came to the Church's ears that this
was going to be a part of a quintessential concept album. Written in
about a month's time the album has been released a couple of weeks ago.
Birdies and Barretts
Birdie Hop and the Sydiots is named after a rather decent Facebook
group and its members who range from the wacky to the insane now
that an old cricketer has left the crease. Its first song, Birdie Hop,
is a pastoral tune about this relatively calm oasis and how it is a
reference to all who have enclosed Syd Barrett in their hearts.
I've seen your mother (and she's beautiful) is a track about our
most cherished and most hated family member. Rich Hall perfectly catches
that ambiguity (see also John
Lennon & Roger
Waters) but apparently that is not what the song is about. Let's
just resume by saying that Barrett fans come in different colours and
sizes. Cosmic brides are fans, who declare their unconditional love for
Syd and sometimes meet him on a higher esoteric level. It is good that
what happens in the spirit world cannot be seen by the naked eye
although sometimes weird erotomanic
anecdotes drip through. Cosmic brides are usually harmless, although
they can be annoying when they start messaging people with important
directives from the other side.
With Cheesecake Joe, a catchy hard rock tune built around one of
Birdie Hop's most flamboyant members, the Birdie suite lifts off into
the higher stratosphere. Cheesecake is the deadhead equivalent of the
Floydian fan. He is the UFOnaut who still claims Pink Floyd is a stoner
band and that their main message is to turn on, tune in & drop out...
The Reverend is the first highlight of the album, what a psychedelicate
song, what a fine realistic description of this genius, what an
adoration for Iggy the Eskimo, what a magic looking glass. But even
after having heard this song for about 45 times I still don't know if
the song really isn't an insult packaged as a gift. But walking the thin
line between praise and mockery is what the Holy Church is all about.
Great song. It should be a hit. Really.
A high-res Flash clip of this song can be found here.
And for those who prefer a somewhat lighter YouTube version:
Just when you think that it can't get any better there is Uncle Alex,
an ear-worm of a song. Not wanting to go too far into details I can only
say that some of the apparently throw-away lines are far closer to the
truth than you possibly can imagine. Rich Hall is a poignant observer.
This should even be a bigger hit.
A videoclip for this song can be found on the Reverend's YouTube channel.
Solo en las Nubes could be the theme song for a Sergio
Leone spaghetti western with Antonio
Jesús as the vengeful balded bad-ass. On his own this man is
responsible for most of the Barrett admiration in the Spanish-speaking
world and thus he is, by definition, regarded as a potential danger by
the powers that be. Speak out his name in a certain provincial
university town, close by the river Cam, in East Anglia and gallows are
spontaneously risen again. This is a song that should be played around
camp-fires all over the world. This is an urban hymn.
Jenny and Libby makes me think of the Television Personalities
for one thing or another. Throughout the song Rich Hall name-drops
several Birdie Hop alumni and their doings. I wonder if the artist has
amazing powers of observation and if he knew, when he wrote the song in
spring 2013, that the refrain was predictive for the shape of things to
Jenny and Libby ends, what I call, the birdies section of the album.
This is being followed by the madcap suite, a trilogy about the darker
side of Barrettism where the weirdness, the madness and the
obsessiveness turns into a Stephen
Madcap Laughter & Hammerings
Fuggitaboutit, build around a fifties teenage tragedy song, is
based upon the endless laments of certain self-proclaimed Barrett
Your Significant Other is a track about those weird trolls who
infests groups with different aliases, spreading false information and
starting discussions, sometimes among themselves, just for the sake of
argument. So what's your name today, which identity will you choose?, is
the question Rich Hall asks. Based upon a true story.
Yer List Monger. Call it this album's The
Trial but with a haunting Twin
Peakish atmosphere, a hot burning sun, a mad priest preaching on the
telly about sin and redemption, a fat red-neck orating conspiracy
theories at the end of the bar, suddenly spitting out the venomous
question: are you real Syd Barrett fans? Dwarfs are passing by,
walking backwards and speaking in tongues. Meet the Hannibal
Lecter of the Syd Barrett world.
A Cry From The Outside
Birdie Hop and the Sydiots has its coda with a rather alienated version
of Barrett's Feel
that leaves me with a bitter-sweet taste in the mouth. It's puzzling,
it's not nice. It's all dark, as a matter of fact.
At times Rich Hall's way of words makes me think of Jason
Lytle and Lee
Clayton, his music is a kaleidoscope of sounds that reminds my
fragile memory of T-Rex, neo-psych or garage rock. But of course Rich
Hall is at first Rich Hall and nobody else.
Throughout this article I have dispersed some quotes from Pink Floyd and
I did catch some resemblances here and there with themes from The Wall,
but that is probably because I've recently watched a Mr. Roger Waters
show. Let's hope this album will never grow into a monster and that a 69
years-old Rich Hall will not be obliged to lip-synch next to a 130
metres long plastic wall with hi-tech projections and a ridiculous
flying cactus balloon in the air.
You don't need to be a Birdie
Hop member to enjoy this album as all songs stand by themselves, but
if you grab this and listen to it why don't you let the birdies
know what you think of it.
Birdie Hop and the Sydiots July 2013 Instruments &
vocals by Rich Hall. Mixed by Rich Hall and Ron Bay. Mastered
by Ron Bay.
Thanks: Anonymous • Freqazoidiac • Solo En Las Nubes • Psych62 • Anni •
Bill • Euryale • Brooke • Jeff • Prydwyn • Chris • Helen • Sean •
JenniFire • Sadia • Herman • JenS • Vince666 • Nipote • Gretta • Viv •
Adenairways • Giuliano • Dolly • John • Babylemonade • Duggie •
Synofsound • Mark • Xpkfloyd • Rich • Brett • Krackers • Peter • Phil •
Zag • Warren • Listener • Bob • MOB • Nina • Dark Globe • Emily •
Retro68special • Natashaa' • Vic • Jenny • Neonknight • Lord Drainlid •
Ebronte • Simon • Ian • Will • Motoriksymphonia • NPF • Greeneyedbetsy •
Anton • Hallucalation • PF Chopper • Lee • Felixstrange • Michael •
PhiPhi • Eva • Cicodelico • Julian (Gian) • Denis • Dallasman •
Emmapeelfan • Paro नियत • Ewgeni • Matt • Kiloh • Elizabeth • Alexander
• Kirsty • Paul • Mohammed (Twink) • Nigel • Rusty • Braindamage •
Pascal • Mark • Stanislav • Anthony • I Spy In Cambridge • Mick • Alain
• Wrestling Heritage • Bloco do Pink Floyd • Moonwall • Rod • Charley •
Amy • Joe • Griselda • Eternal • Dominae • Russell • Beate • KenB •
Dan5482 • Tim • Antonio • Party of Clowns • Anne • Late Night • Lori •
Colleen • Brian • Christopher • Jose • Göran • Jancy • Banjer and Sax •
Ron • Vicky • ...and all those we have forgotten to mention!
Is there really a Barrett revival going on, or are we just seeing more
Syd fans because our global village is getting smaller and smaller? I do
remember the early seventies when the only guy you could speak to about
Barrett was a freakish weirdo who smoked pot in the school toilets and
who was generally avoided by everyone, including the school teachers.
The vibrant Birdie
Hop Facebook group is sky-rocketing with over 1200 members and a
dozen new threads a day, but the traditional forum
has come to a standstill and survives on its three posters a day, so the
feeling is a bit ambiguous.
Facebook may be here to stay (but that was once said from MySpace
as well, remember?) but basically it sucks if you want to find
information and you are not employed by the NSA.
While traditional forums have this newbie rule to go looking in the
archives before asking a question this is virtually impossible on
Facebook, because their search system simply doesn't work and links are
automatically made redundant after a certain time. The whole 'group'
concept of Facebook is a laugh, especially for administrators.
Underneath is a screenshot of an actual search on Facebook, trying to
locate the thread
(Facebook link no longer active) this article is about...
So, by design, Facebook groups are condemned to have a flow of
'continuous repetition' to paraphrase the wise words of Dr. Hans
Keller while the one interesting thread is floating down around the
icy waters underground. (Wow, this is a good cigarette.)
Waiting for the man
A couple of weeks ago Baron
of Pink Floyd toying around at the Casa
Madrona hotel in Sausalito
(CA) was posted again and as usual there was that one individual asking
if anybody knew who the bloke was standing behind the boys.
Tea on the terrace at our hotel in Sausalito on the hillside above San
Fransisco Bay (…) I have no idea who our tea-time partner was – the
hotel manager, an under assistant West Coast promotion man, or a vendor
of Wild West apparel? We eventually acquired enough cowboy hats for the
entire population of Dodge City, and Roger commissioned a six-gun
holster in which he carried his wallet.
So here was another quest for the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit,
that splendid non-profit organisation, lead by that fantabulous
mastermind Reverend Felix Atagong who has already solved several
Barrettian riddles in the past.
The obvious first step was to contact the hotel that doesn't hesitate to
put on its website
that it is a legend since 1885 and that it drew celebrities such as Dick
Van Dyke, Carol Burnett, Warren Beatty and the rock band Pink Floyd.
We got a very friendly answer from Stefan Mühle, the general manager,
that our guess was logical but that he didn't know either. Since 1967
the hotel changed hands a couple of times and the finer side of these
anecdotes, that only seem to bother the Sydiots in the world, got lost
in the mist of times.
Before we continue with our quest, let's have a small history lesson.
In the summer of 1967 Syd Barrett suffered from something that
was euphemistically referred to as over-fatigue. The band scrapped some
gigs and send Barrett over to sunny Formentera under supervision of
Hutt, the underground's leading gynaecologist. Unfortunately Smutty,
as he was invariably called by his female patients, was the kind of
doctor who rather prescribed LSD
than aspirin. After some holidays in the sun Syd (and the rest of the
boys) returned to England where the endless treadmill of gigging,
recording, gigging, recording started all over again. (You can read more
about the Floyd's holiday at Formentera
In retrospect this was the moment that someone should've grabbed Syd by
the balls, whether he wanted it or not, drag him back to Cambridge, cold
turkey him and give him some proper therapy, although that was kind of
non-existent in those days. William
Pryor, a Cambridge beat poet who descended from the underground into
a heroine maelström, describes the Cane
Hill drug rehabilitation centre as a 'redecorated ward of a huge
Victorian lunatic asylum village that had been given a coat of paint and
a fancy name' where it was almost easier to score H than in the outside
This is not America
Pink Floyd's first American tour was planned between 23 October and 12
November 1967 but because there was a rather Kafkaesque bureaucratic
system to get work permits up till 15 possible gigs had to be cancelled
(according to Julian
Palacios 8 had already been booked, Mark
Blake sticks to 6 and Syd
Barrett Pink Floyd dot com counts 10).
The trustworthy biographies all have (slightly) different stories but it
is safe to say that the Floyd left for America with at least a week
delay. Unfortunately they still couldn't enter the country and had to
wait in Canada until their permits arrived while the management
frantically tried to reschedule the gigs that had already been confirmed.
The 1967 American tour was disastrous, to say the least, and quite a few
gigs went horribly wrong. Luckily the natives were friendly, so friendly
that at least one band member had to visit a venereal disease clinic
back in the UK. Syd and Peter
Wynne-Willson learned the hard way that American grass was much
stronger than at home, leading to another ruined gig as Syd was
apparently too stoned to handle his guitar. It is an educated guess that
Syd tried some local drug varieties like DMT
that were much stronger than their British counterparts. DOM
or STP or Serenity, Tranquility and Peace allegedly gave synaesthetic
trips that could last for 18 hours and from testimonies by Pete
Townshend, Eric Clapton and Mick Farren it is known that it could take a
week for some (frightening) hallucinatory effects to disappear. Julian
Palacios, who dedicates 11 pages to the Floyd's first American tour in Dark
Associated with the downfall of Haight-Ashbury, on 11 November pink
wedge-shaped pills containing 20-micrograms of DOM hit the Haight.
Haight-Ashbury Medical Clinic treated eighteen cases of acute toxic
psychosis in five hours. When Barrett and Wynne-Willson took STP in San
Francisco, this was in all likelihood the same ‘pink wedge’.
Result: if Syd Barrett had been mad before, this tour only made
him madder. At the Cheetah club he received an electroshock from his
microphone and he reacted by looking around on stage for the next hour
and a half, not singing, not playing his guitar. He would be
incommunicado to the others for the rest of the tour, who weren't very
keen to talk to him anyway. It needs to be said that not all gigs were
catastrophic and some reviewers actually found the band interesting, but
we wouldn't go that far by calling Syd's erratic behaviour a cleverly
performed dadaist statement like Rob
On the cover of the Rolling Stone
A brand new music magazine, called Rolling
Stone, whose first issue had just appeared a couple of days before,
wanted to do a feature on the new English underground sensation. They
send over photographer Baron
Wolman to the Casa Madrona hotel in Sausalito who found the lads in
a good mood and joking around. But when the band performed at Winterland
that night, the 11th of November, Ralph
Gleason of Rolling Stone was so disappointed he decided not to
publish the cover article and just reviewed the concert saying that
'Pink Floyd for all its electronic interest is simply dull in a dance
hall'. This was also the gig where Syd detuned the strings of his guitar
until they fell off, de facto ending his contribution for the
rest of the show. The next day, on the last gig of the American tour,
the band saw Syd walking off stage and for the first time voices were
raised to kick him out.
In retrospect this was another moment that someone should've grabbed Syd
by the balls, whether he wanted it or not, and drag him back to
Cambridge, but the management insisted to immediately fly to Holland.
Thirty-seven years later, Nick Mason more or less apologises:
If proof was needed that we were in denial about Syd's state of mind,
this was it. Why we thought a transatlantic flight immediately followed
by yet more dates would help is beyond believe.
This is the house
Madrona was build in February 1885 for (isn't it ironic?) William
G. Barrett, a wealthy Vermont born lumber baron and
Secretary-Treasurer for the San
Francisco Gas and Electric Company. He and his family lived high
above the town in his beautifully designed Italian Villa country home.
Architecturally, it was a mastery of craftmanship, a tall and stately
mansion which stood upon the hill-side. Its three stories, with handsome
porticos and verandas, projecting cornice with curved brackets, and
hooded windows, received prominent recognition from the community. This
resulted in an article in the Sausalito News in 1885, which praised Mr.
Barrett's "New Mansion... its fine appearance, magnificent view", and
called the Barrett place "one of the finest improved sites in
Sausalito." (Taken from the National
Register of Historic Places.)
In 1906 the house was sold to attorney John Patrick Gallagher who
converted it into a successful hotel. For the next three decades Barrett
House (and its four outbuildings) would be a hotel, a bar 'the Gallagher
Inn' and a brothel, but that last is something you won't find at the
During World War II, the property was used as temporary lodging for
military families in transit and for the labourers of the nearby
(military) shipyard. After the war it fell into disrepair and became
known as a crash pad for the city’s burgeoning beatnik population.
In February 1959 Robert and Marie-Louise Deschamps, who
had just immigrated from France, responded to an ad to run a 'small
hotel'. Their children Marie-France and 24-year old Jean-Marie
were there when they opened a nameless bar on the 27th of April 1959:
The building was in ruins. Mattresses on the floor, broken furniture -
and very little of that. It was not ‘bohemian’ - it was a flop house!
The Deschamps family had no hotel experience and were rather
unpleasantly surprised by the beatniks who rarely paid their bills. The
bar was not an immediate success either, they would often find that the
door had been smashed in at night and the beer stolen. The logical plan
was to close the hotel, evict the hobos and start all over again.
When the renewed hotel, in exclusive French style, and an excellent
restaurant 'Le Vivoir' were opened about a year later Jean-Marie
left the parental home to sail the seven seas, working as a cook on
Norwegian and Swedish ships. He returned to the hotel around the
mid-sixties and moved into Cottage B. Several guests, from the
pre-sixties bohemian days, were still living in the 'attached' cottages,
including a Swedish baron who had served in the Waffen SS, an ex-CIA
agent who claimed to have been a spy in Vienna, a mostly drunk beatnik
writer and adventurer and, last but not least, a continuously depressed
crew member of one of the planes that dropped the atom bomb on Japan.
In 1973 Casa Madrona was damaged by a series of mudslides and scheduled
for demolition, but it was saved in 1976. Since then it changed owner
several times and went even bankrupt in 2009. With the opening of a spa
resort the hotel was, hopefully, given a new life and history.
It is believed that Jean-Marie Deschamps, the owner's son, was
living and working at the hotel when the Pink Floyd stayed there in
November 1967, 2 months before his 32nd birthday. We contacted Baron
Wolman who told us:
While I'm not entirely certain that he was Deschamps himself, for sure
he was a principal in the hotel - owner, manager, chef, etc. Given the
look, however, I would say your educated guess is probably correct...
Comparing the Floydian picture (1967) with one from 2005 it seems pretty
safe to say there is a certain resemblance. Update January
2014: The Deschamps family have confirmed it is Jean-Marie standing
behind Pink Floyd.
Jean was born on January 20, 1936 and passed away on Tuesday, December
8, 2009. In a (French) obituary it is written how Jean-Marie was an
'incorrigible globe-trotting vagabond' whose home was always 'elsewhere'
and an anarchistic supporter of lost causes, like the rights of native
Americans. Later on, despising the Bush administration, he was an ardent
critic of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...
But once a cook, always a cook. The night before he died he asked his
(fourth) wife Monica to note down the Christmas menu for his children
and grandchildren, probably knowing that he wouldn't be there to attend.
January 2010 saw a 'sumptuous feast' at the Barrel Room of the Sebastiani
Winery in Sanoma (CA) where 150 guests honoured their friend,
husband, father, grandfather. The place was a gathering of artists,
writers, businessmen, hosts, globetrotters and vagabonds.
If only someone would have had the guts to find out earlier who was the
man standing behind the band. It would've been swell to ask him about
his meeting with the Floyd in 1967, but unfortunately now it is too late
for that. We are pretty sure that it would have led to a tsunami of
anecdotes as Jean-Marie Deschamps had always been a sailor and a
vagabond at heart.
And we will never know what Syd thought of staying in Barrett House.
An Ending In Style (or not)
We need an addendum as the Pink Floyd in Sausalito saga isn't over yet.
When Pink Floyd roadie Alan Styles, who used to be a punter on the river
Cam, saw the house
boats community in Sausalito he fell in love with the place and
decided not to return home after the 1972-1973 Dark Side of the Moon
tour. Alan, who was some kind of celebrity in Cambridge before anyone
had heard of Pink Floyd, can be seen on the rear cover of the Ummagumma
album and makes out the bulk of the 'musique
concrète' on Alan's
Psychedelic Breakfast (Atom Heart Mother).
In 2000 a short
movie was made about Style's life in Sausalito, but it was only
released after his death in 2011. It is the story of a man wanting to be
free in a world that keeps on abolishing freedom. In a nice gesture to
their old friend Pink Floyd Ltd cleared the copyrights for the movie, as
told by Viper:
Nick Mason messaged me on FB as I'd been asking on his site about
permission to release the video about my uncle. Nick gave me PF's
management details and in turn David Gilmour gave us permission to
release the video as it contains original PF music.
But when the Reverend visited Jon Felix's YouTube
channel this is all he got, apparently EMI (and a lot of other acronyms)
don't give a fuck about what Nick Mason or David Gilmour are deciding or
what friendship, compassion, remembrance and especially respect is all
In some kind of weird Floydian cosmic joke Alan Styles died on the same
day as Jean-Marie Deschamps, but two years later, on the 8th of December
Somewhere we think we should try to make a point, but we can't think of
anything right now.
Note: The memoires of Nick Mason's Inside Out are (90%)
identical between the different editions. However, the hardcover
'deluxe' edition contains hundreds of photos that aren't in the cheaper
soft-cover versions. These pictures all have funny and informative notes
that aren't present in the paperback editions. Back to top.
Many thanks to: the Deschamps family, Jon Felix, Yves Leclerc, Stefan
Mühle (Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa), Viper, Baron Wolman, USA National
Register off Historic Places. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 95-96. Chapman,
Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 198. Leclerc,
Yves: Bum Chromé, Blogspot, 9
décembre 2009, 10
janvier 2010. Mason, Nick: Inside Out: A personal history of
Pink Floyd, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2004, p. 93. Mason,
Nick: Inside Out: A personal history of Pink Floyd, Orion Books,
London, 2011 reissue, p. 98-102. Mühle, Stefan: JM Deschamps
on Baron Wolman picture?, email, 21.10.2013. Palacios, Julian: Syd
Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London, 2010, p.
289-290, 298. Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink
Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 45-46, 69. Pryor, William: The
Survival Of The Coolest, Clear Books, 2003, p. 106. Wolman,
Baron: Casa Madrona - Pink Floyd + unknown man, email, 14.10.2013.
There is a story how Iggy the Eskimo, Syd Barrett and a bunch of other
musicians gatecrashed a Speakeasy gig from a band that would become
rather famous in prog, rock, jazz and even techno circles. It is a
hilarious anecdote, with rumours of mandrax-champagne cocktails and a
lot of twist and shouts. We can imagine how Iggy's roaring laugh echoed
through the club, once you have heard that laugh, it is imprinted in
your memory forever.
The Church is still trying to get some information, tie some loose ends,
interview some people, especially as this happened in the mid-summer of
1969, when everyone thought Iggy had disappeared from Syd's life.
Perhaps she did, perhaps they just met by accident that day. But that is
Little things that matter.
Birdie Hopper Manzano Meza Cota posted a Mick Rock picture a couple of
days ago, it is a new one of Syd and Iggy, which makes us think that
this old geezer still has got some hidden gems in his archive.
In a couple of hours it will be Iggy's birthday. As usual we were too
late posting our card as we only did it this afternoon...
Should you not know it by now, it is Iggy's birthday! So this is the
time and place to shout:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY IGGY ROSE!
LET'S PARTY!!! Please enjoy this mix of visual extravaganza that comes
straight out of the hidden vaults of the Church. Swedish band Men
On The Border were so kind to let us use one of their songs from
their latest album Jumpstart.
Thanks guys, you rock!
Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card (2011) contains a few seconds from a
super-secret mid-Seventies home movie (and we added a nice tune as
well). Flash link (warning: 5 MB!): Happy
Birthday Iggy Rose!or YouTube:
Crystal Blue Postcards
An electronic book of poems and art, dedicated to Syd and his muses, by
Denis Combet, with a little help from his friends Constance Cartmill and
Allison Star. Digital artwork by Jean Vouillon and some tinkering from
Felix Atagong (more about Denis Combet and his Iggy poem(s): Catwoman).
Pascal Mascheroni, from the stoner power trio Rescue Rangers donated the
haunting (& slightly psychedelic) power ballad Guitars and Dust
Dancing from the album with the same name (buy your copy at iTunes: Guitars
and Dust Dancing). In the meanwhile enjoy this Youtube clip with the
smashing artwork from Jean Vouillon.
Let's make this a birthday to remember, brethren and sistren
and don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't do!
The Church wishes to thank Men On The Border (Phil Etheridge & Goeran
Nystroem), Bruce Fleming, Mick Rock, Anthony Stern, Storm Thorgerson,
Iggy Rose, unknown & anonymous..., Denis Combet, Pascal Mascheroni
(Rescue Rangers), Manzano Meza Cota, Christopher Farmer & the nice
people at Birdie Hop, Late Night and all the others that we seem to have
Happy New Year, sistren and brethren of the Holy Church of
Iggy the Inuit. Another year has passed by, with ups and downs, with
happiness and grief, with joy and pain... In our Inuit realm some people
passed away unfortunately, and luckily some new ones were born...
welcome Vasilisa Alla... to this world of magnets and miracles...
Browsing through our scrapbook with unfinished articles, pictures and
movies for the Church we noted this report from our fashion department.
It is a 1969 documentary about Ossie
Clarke with Lindsay Corner as one of the models.
To quote our fashion specialist:
In the first bit Lindsey Corner is on the left, then in the yellow dress
with the blonde in blue, then in the middle with a long pink thing, then
again in yellow with the blonde. She's the one with darker blonde wavy
And yes we are aware of the rumours that circle about Lindsay Corner and
Gala Pinion since a year or two. And no, we don't know when this will
see the light of day...
2013 was a weird year for the Church and its Reverend. Again we thought
we would not be able to write anything for our lustrum, but in the end
we clocked down at 20 slightly stupendous articles.
We started anoraky enough with an article about Syd's hair-length in the
early Seventies, this to please the female audience of our little cult: Hairy
Mess. Sometimes the Reverend regressed into Brian
Eno mood and then he wrote some ditty texts about sweet nothings: King's
The Church's biggest scoop this year was made in collaboration with the
En Las Nubes blog. Not only did Antonio Jesús find back the article
that started the infamous Oseira rumours, but he also managed to
interview the author of the hoax, Jose Ángel González. The Church merely
harvested Antonio's excellent work, like churches mostly do: Spanishgrass.
Facebook's thriving Syd Barrett community, Birdie
Hop, organised a meeting in Cambridge with several young and less
younger Barrett fans, friends and lovers. It was a most amazing meeting
in remembrance of a man who wrote the most peculiar kind of tunes: Birdie
Hop: wasn't it the most amazing meeting?
Did Syd leave us a message in a letter from a decade ago? Sometimes the
truth is more beautiful than the legend: Making
And that is what we will continue to do in 2014, make it a fantastic
year, boys and girls! And everything seems so much brighter... Let's
party! Thanks Men
On The Border!
Many thanks to Alexander, Amy Funstar, Anonymous, Antonio Jesús,
Babylemonade Aleph, Baron Wolman, Birdie Hop, Bob Archer, Brett Wilson,
Cambridge News, Christopher Farmer, Col Turner, Dion Johnson, Elizabeth
Voigt-Walter, Stanislav, Euryale, Göran Nyström, Herman van Gaal, HYGIY,
Joanne 'Charley' Milne, Joe Perry, Jon Felix, Jonathan Charles, Jose
Ángel González, Julia, Kiloh Smith, Kirsty Whalley, Late Night, Laughing
Madcaps, Lori Haines, Mark Blake, MAY, Men On The Border, Michael
Rawding, MvB, No Man's Land, Phil Etheridge, Psych62, Radharani Krishna,
Rich Hall, Rod Harris, Ron Cooper, Simon Hendy, Stefan Mühle, USA
National Register off Historic Places, Viper, Vita, Wolfpack,
Younglight, Yves Leclerc... Love you Swoonies!
And if I go insane, And they lock me away, Will you still let me
join in the game?
In November of last year, Rich Hall (from 'Birdie
Hop and Sydiots' fame) got in contact with Peter
Jenner and wanted to know if Syd Barrett fans could ask him some
questions. Jenner agreed, not fully realising what would hit him.
A message was put on two Facebook groups and in less than a week over
one hundred different questions had been proposed by its members.
When Jenner got hold of the questions he was 'struck by the quantity'
and kindly asked to slim them down a bit. Peter travels around a lot and
preferred to have the interview over the phone. Diaries were put side by
side to find some free space in our busy agendas and finally a date and
time were agreed on.
And so, on a Friday afternoon a willing volunteer took a deep breath and
dialled the number with trembling fingers. But it turned out to be a
most amazing meeting, a Birdie's journey through space and time...
An Innerview with Peter Jenner Concept: Rich Hall -
Interview: Felix Atagong
BH: Thank you for according this interview, Mr. Jenner, we at Birdie
Hop are mainly a bunch of weirdos...
PJ: Yes, a bunch of eccentrics...
BH: ...and when we heard that we could have an interview with you
our members gathered about one hundred and twenty different questions to
ask to you...
PJ: Oh my goodness me...
BH: But we toned it down to about 10.
PJ: Otherwise it would go on forever.
BH : Most of the detailed questions were all about the recordings that
are apparently lingering somewhere in the vaults of EMI or Pink Floyd...
PJ: I don't know where they have gone. I have to say some did
escape from me and got to... what was the name of the guy who did this
Barrett group in the Seventies?
PJ: He could have been the one... Anyway I do know that some
tapes did escape from my collection, because I just thought they were so
good. So I hope that they are still around and that people can get them.
But they are around, aren't they? Scream Thy Last Scream and Vegetable
BH: They are still around and it is generally believed Bernard
White released them.
PJ: It might be, but anyway there was someone who used to be in
touch with me and somehow he managed to find those tapes. I don't know
why they never got officially released. I don't know if the family
objected but I think it might have been the Floyd. I think it was Roger
(Waters) and Dave (Gilmour) who stopped it but I don't know what their
position was or why they did it. If it had been the family that would
have been fair enough. Perhaps people have been overprotective.
To me these tracks are like the Van Gogh painting with the birds over
the wheat field, that's what Syd's brain was at. Try to look at the
disturbance of Van Gogh through his paintings. If you want to understand
Syd, if you want to know what was going on with him, you have listen to
those tracks in the same way...
Together with Jugband Blues they seem to me as a sort of an x-ray
into his mind and so I do hope they will come out some day, but if not I
do hope you people will keep them moving around, because I think they
are important works.
BH: The thing is that Scream and Vegetable Man have been
bootlegged so many times now, that there is perhaps no point any more in
releasing them officially?
PJ: It is good they are around, but it would probably be better
if they were officially available and at some time they will.
BH: Let's hope so, are you aware of any live shows that were
taped? Apparently some of the gigs in America were...
PJ: Were they, I have never heard any?
BH: There was a rumour that all concerts in Fillmore were taped...
PJ: They were indeed. But perhaps that started later, because the
Floyd were there quite early. Weren't the archives of the Fillmore
called Bear Tapes or something...
'Bear' Stanley, the Grateful Dead's soundman, allegedly had over
13000 tapes of the San Francisco scene, from 1965 and later, most of the
Dead but he did record other bands as well if he happened to handle the
soundboard. We checked the Grateful Dead touring dates of that period
and theoretically it is possible that Bear might have taped Pink Floyd.
According to David Parker in Random Precision Bill Graham routinely had
all Fillmore gigs taped and a Pink Floyd soundboard recording of their
April 1970 Fillmore show
BH: But nothing ever of The Pink Floyd has been released or...
PJ: I've not known of anything reliable... I think there were
some tapes of the stuff Syd did with Twink
in Cambridge but I've never heard them. I don't know what they're like.
BH: Well we can always ask him.
Easy Action records will (finally!) release the Last
Minute Put Together Boogie Band recording late May 2014. Other
rehearsals and performances tapes may have been made by Victor Kraft who
followed the band but these have never surfaced.
PJ: And there was some stuff around, semi-live stuff recorded by Peter
PJ: There were a couple of film stuff that was done, but that is
all I know about it.
BH: In our group we discussed the sessions Syd Barrett recorded
for the film The
Committee, and it was said that you were in possession of those
tapes. Is this true?
PJ: As far as I know I am not in possession of these tapes, I
might have been given a copy, but I surely not the masters. What was the
name of the director.. my memory!
BH: It was in an article on the online publication Spare Bricks
Steuer. He claims you were given the tapes after the sessions. The
director was Peter
Sykes, by the way.
PJ: It was indeed Max Steuer, and he may have given us the tapes.
But I do not remember them. But many things disappeared with the sudden
collapse of Blackhill. My recollection is that they were less than
amazing. However if I come across anything I will let you know.
BH: Thanks, that would be nice. There still is a lot in the
PJ: Yeah, if they're not already out. Somewhere. If I look on
your list: Double O Bo, I don't know that. I got Stoned
rings a bell. She was a Millionaire that certainly was a tape
which we thought might become a single. Andrew and I both liked that
one. Reaction in G, I don't know about that. In the Beechwoods rings
a bell. I'm a King Bee and Lucy Leave, I don't know what
they were or where they came from.
Because when I was doing sessions with him they were very chaotic, you
know. She Was a Millionaire was knocking around. Golden Hair was
the most articulate, at the time I didn't realise those weren't his
lyrics... It was from James Joyce, wasn't it?
BH: Yes indeed.
PJ: I was hoping that it would get finished, but with Syd it was
really bits and pieces that would come through, bits of songs and bits
of riffs and bits of lyrics. They would just come and then they would go
and occasionally they would came back again... It was incredibly
And I think that Roger and Dave did a lot to it, I don't know how much
Syd really was involved in those tapes. You know we also tried to do
some things with a band. “Syd, try this, try that.” There were various
things we tried but none really worked.
BH: That's a pity... but that was how things were going...
BH: There have been these rumours that Syd was influenced by Keith
Rowe from AMM.
PJ: Well yes, I did take him to see Keith Rowe.
BH: Oh really?
PJ: Yes indeed, and I do think he saw Keith Rowe rolling a
ballbearing up and down his guitar. It certainly did influence some of
Syd's guitar playing, the zippos and things... and I think that the
improvisational part of Pink Floyd was influenced by AMM and Keith Rowe.
I knew these guys, I liked what they did and we were involved with the
AMM record. Syd was also aware of them and perhaps even heard the tape.
In a same way we also took them to the Radiophonic
Workshop at the BBC to meet Delia
Derbyshire. Again how far that influenced Syd or got into his head
or that of the others, I have no idea.
BH: Did Keith Rowe and Syd Barrett actually meet or discussed
PJ: I don't know. I think they may have seen each other but in a
sense I don't think you would need to discuss music. It was obvious what
Keith Rowe was doing. And you don't need to sit there and discuss it.
What's in the question of what chords you are using. It is all about the
approach and the improvisational aspect.
I think Interstellar Overdrive was very influenced by that kind
of stuff. That's an approach to improvisation. Presumably you know
Interstellar Overdrive was recorded twice and mixed together, it was
recorded simultaneously on top of each other.
BH: It is also very interesting to hear the different versions,
because the first version was the one from the movie of Peter Whitehead.
BH: And there is a big difference between both versions. The
early one is still R&B influenced...
BH: And the version on Piper is much more experimental...
PJ: Yes. They were experimenting, they recorded it in the studio
and then they played the song again, listening to the earlier take. It
BH: I think lots of people were surprised when they first heard
it on the record.
PJ: I would think so.
BH: In the middle of '67 however things started to go wrong. The
question that fans still ask today is: did anyone try to get into his
mind or ask what was going wrong?
PJ: We certainly suggested, and I can't quite remember whether we
ever got to him, but we certainly did want him to see Ronny
Laing. But he clearly was unhappy and getting chaotic. The key thing
that I remember was when they came back from America. Andrew (King), my
partner, said that it had been a nightmare. Syd had become hard to
manage and refused to do as would be expected. Things like: “Syd, it's a
TV show, can you play a song?”, that all became very difficult. Andrew
knows much more about that than I do because he was there. He and the
rest of the band. The Hendrix tour was after that, wasn't it?
PJ: That is when it became clear that there really was a major
problem with Syd. That is where Syd started not always being there for
the pick-up and where we had the show with Dave
O'List instead of him. By then he'd moved to Cromwell Road, hadn't
he? Unfortunately by that time I saw less of him, I was close to him
when he was in Earlham Street. Once he'd moved out and ended up in
Cromwell Road... I never knew the people who... and I only know the
legends, the rumours... that Syd was given a lot of acid, that there was
acid every day. It certainly coincides with him becoming more and more
And then he subsequently moved to stay with Storm and Po. So we thought
that might be better and that it might help, but it didn't... So we were
aware there were problems, the band became increasingly aware of the
fact there were performance issues and that it was very hard for them to
work with him... and that is where the breakup with Blackhill occurred
because we were so keen on trying to keep Syd with the band.
Syd wrote all these great songs and there was a lot of pressure during
the summer of '67 for him to write more songs. Which is Why She Is A
Millionaire was knocking around. That is why we ended up with things
like Apples and Oranges, because we needed a follow-up to See
Emily Play. That is when pressure started to get to Syd really.
Having a hit, doing TV shows, being interviewed, posing for magazine
front covers... things started to be more work than he could handle.
BH: Do you think it was something that gradually happened or was
there something like a lost weekend with a massive overdose...
PJ: I think gradually, that was certainly the impression one had.
He just became weirder and weirder and we thought that it was maybe just
a question of fame.
BH: People have said that when they came back from America, Roger
Waters asked you to have Syd fired. Was the band indeed thinking of...
PJ: No, Roger didn't ask to get him fired but it became clear
they were finding it very difficult to work with Syd. It was more my
recollection that they were looking for means to make it work. So that
is when Dave was introduced. What we were doing in a sense was the Brian
Wilson and The Beach Boys solution. We were consciously thinking: “Well
maybe Syd can go on if we take the pressure off him.”
We could all see that he wasn't well, so if we reduced the pressure
maybe he still would be able to write songs and keep the band on the
road. Because none of the band really wrote much. Roger did a little
bit, but these songs weren't, you know... The one single they put
together which wasn't a Syd song did not very well, It Would Be So
Nice (written by Rick Wright) was not a great song. Pow R Toc H
and Set The Controls To The Heart Of The Sun weren't that great
either, in my opinion. We certainly felt that there was a problem with
the songs on the second album which was why there was a certain pressure
to get Vegetable Man and Scream Thy Last Scream on it, they got recorded
because we needed them for the album.
But our ways were parting and I think the band always thought these
songs were too much. By the time the Saucerful record finally got put
together we weren't really working with them any more and we were slowly
moving into history. The rest of the band put that record together,
while I was still working with Syd. My wife and myself, we were trying
to help, help him to stabilise and write...
BH: Was there any truth in the rumours that Syd and Rick tried to
form a band?
PJ: I don't think so, I have never heard that. I mean, once
things were starting to go weird there was no question of anyone wanting
to work with Syd. But we were all close to Syd and we were certainly
hoping that Syd would get back together. That said, Rick and Syd were
quite close, Juliette (Gale, Rick's wife) was sort of sympathetic and we
were close to Juliette... Also, Rick was the other major musician in the
band, because at that stage Roger was not much of a musician.
Roger didn't write very much, but he was already conceptual, to come up
with some of the things he came up with later. But he couldn't really
sing and he couldn't tune his bass guitar. He was not a sort of natural
musician, which makes it all the more remarkable in my book the way he
got to with it all.
BH: Is it true that the Christmas On Earth show, on the 22nd of
December '67, was the turning point and that it was decided then to put
Syd on a 'Brian Wilson' status?
PJ: Was that in Olympia?
BH: Yes. Apparently you took the money and ran...
PJ: I think it was a financially very strange show. It was all a
bit questionable what was happening. I can't really remember what
exactly happened, but I do recall it was all a bit of a disaster. There
wasn't a lot of people there and I think that was really the problem.
Not a lot of people also meant not a lot of money and by that time we
were getting short of cash so we needed whatever we could get.
BH: Legend goes that June
Child cashed the money before Pink Floyd started and that she ran
away with it. After two or three songs the promoter came to you to
reclaim it, because the Floyd was so bad...
PJ: Well, I don't think we ever paid them back! I don't think
that ever happened. It was all a bit too rough, they were wrong as well.
Congratulations to June for getting the money. I'm sure we were all
involved in telling her to go and get it and then... run for it... It
wasn't a great gig.
BH: Apparently not.
PJ: I don't mean just the Floyd, but the whole organisation. It
was a disaster, it was run by an amateur who just thought it would be a
good thing. Because there weren't that many professional promoters, if
you thought you could do it, you did it. After all, Hoppy
(John Hopkins) had done things and Joe
Boyd had done things and neither of them had ever been promoters
before. And we did things and we never had been promoters. It was all
very new, so you did what you thought you could do. Then things like
Middle Earth came along and that was all done by people who never had
done that before. So a lot of people trying things out who did not know
what they were doing, including me...
The Christmas On Earth show was filmed but only a few snippets have
survived. On one of these, an interview with Jimi Hendrix, you can hear
Pink Floyd on the background. Rumour goes the camera crew bought old
film to spare some money, but unfortunately the film negative was so
degraded that most of it was for the rubbish bin. A rough cut was made,
which was seen by Joe Boyd, but nobody knows if it still exists. Anyway,
it is not even clear if the Pink Floyd show was actually recorded or not.
BH: Shortly after that the Floyd went their own way with A
Saucerful of Secrets and Syd Barrett went his way with The Madcap
PJ: Well, in a way he never really made The Madcap Laughs. He did
a series of sessions where I tried to get some recordings from him but
only bits and pieces came together. Nothing ever got to the point of:
"Well that's a record." So we had to try again but everything just
dribbled away. We were thinking: “We'll try some sessions and see what
comes out of it.”, but after we did the sessions we realised we really
hadn't got very much. So then I thought it would be better if we'd leave
Syd for a bit, to wait until he got himself a little bit better and then
try all over again. Eventually we did but still nothing much happened.
We tried to do some things with a band as well, I think we got a band
in, and some musicians to come and play with him, but he couldn't...
that really didn't work either.
I had a second lot of sessions with Syd, a few years later, when Bryan
Morrison asked me to have another go.
BH: That was in 1974 then?
BH: But apparently, nothing really much came out?
PJ: The same thing, nothing really much came out. Because Syd
never had any songs, there would just be these glimpses of songs, it was
really very chaotic.
BH: Some of the material of the 1974 sessions are in the open,
they have been bootlegged.
BH: Some of the tunes he plays are just blues standards. He is
just covering them, if you'd like.
PJ: Well I don't think he was covering them, that was just what
came out (laughs).
BH: Songs he used to listen too when he was 16, 17 years old.
PJ: Probably. He would just play things... working with him on
those sessions was like things coming in and out of fog. At first
nothing much would happen but then the fog would come down and then
there were signs of something. I would think: “Ah, it's going to
happen!” and then it would disappear again. It was just the most
frustrating and difficult thing I have ever been involved in my life.
Because there were signs of things... “Look, it's gonna come, no, no...
it's not.” It's like waiting for the rain during a drought or waiting
for the sun during the winter.
BH: What's your opinion about The Madcap Laughs?
PJ: Well, I think Dave and Roger tried to fish out what they
could fish out and turn it into whatever they could turn it into. And I
was surprised at how good a job they did of it. A lot in there is their
work rather than Syd's, it was them trying to imagine what it was he was
trying to do.
BH: You personally didn't feel it weird that they redid Golden
Hair and Octopus, which was first called Clowns And Jugglers.
They redid it after you had already recorded it on your sessions.
PJ: Golden Hair was the only one from my sessions which almost
might have been a song. There were some old tunes that he had, that I've
heard him play, like Octopus. He had a book of songs and every now and
then we'd go through the old ones. I can't remember what they all were
but they were very childlike, a lot of them, Effervescing Elephant
and things like that. And there was this sort of very childlike aspect
to Syd which was very charming but also, I think, quite disturbing in a
BH: Opel, that was recorded by Malcolm Jones, was
forgotten for the album.
PJ: Yes, and maybe a couple of other things that were half-done
but that weren't dug up. You know, I never had produced anything, I
didn't know what I was doing. I was just there trying, hoping to capture
something. Cause that was what we had been doing with the Floyd. We
didn't know what was going on, songs would just come. I don't think
anyone of us knew what we were doing. Syd had some ideas about the
(Smith) had some ideas. We tried to work them out and surely Norman
helped a lot. The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn sessions were fine but
later we could only see the rot set in. What it was and why it was will
always be one of those mysteries, so I don't know...
BH: Somebody also wanted to know about the famous Rolling Stones
show, at the Hyde Park festival. Everybody says it was a Rolling Stones
show but apparently it was a whole festival with a lot of groups.
PJ: After the Floyd had left we did some shows at the Festival
Hall, perhaps even at the Queen Elisabeth Hall, I'm not sure about that,
and then at Hyde Park.
In June 1968 the Floyd and Roy Harper played and I even think we managed
to put on four different free festivals that summer. The Floyd did the
first one, which was actually quite small, and they returned a couple of
years later (in July 1970). The second summer we had Blind Faith (in
June 1969), that one was really huge and very successful and it launched
Blind Faith into stardom and that was when the Rolling Stones said they
could do it as well. And that was already organised a few weeks later,
BH: The Stones was in July 1969.
PJ: I think so.
BH: Blackhill started as a bunch of enthusiast amateurs with an
amateur band, but in two years time you had become a very big company.
PJ: We were not a big company! No, no, no, no. We were small, but
we just did it. Somebody said: "Let's do that" and we did it. By the
times the Stones came it had turned into a big show but it was still
very amateurish. There was no security, there was hardly any police. No
public litters. No admission either, it was just a free concert and it
was pretty weird.
BH: It probably was still the time that one could contact the
Rolling Stones to ask them things like that.
PJ: Well, it was a hippy era and they asked us, they wanted us to
PJ: We didn't ask them, The Rolling Stones asked us, I think Mick
had worked out that was a way they could relaunch themselves as a live
BH: One of the rumours is that Syd Barrett was also on that
concert, he was even driven by someone of your company there. I don't
know if you know that.
PJ: That might have been the case but I can't remember.
Personally I wouldn't think so, by the time of the Rolling Stones gig he
was pretty far gone. He wasn't, as it were, under our control or care or
anything, he had gone off into his own world. We were happy to have been
part of his world but he didn't seem to want us to be part of his world.
So he might well have been there but he certainly wasn't there for me.
BH: Thank you very much, Mr. Jenner, it was nice talking to you...
Many thanks to Rich Hall, Peter Jansens, Peter Jenner.
End Credits: Concept & idea: Rich Hall Proposed by Rich
Hall at Birdie Hop & Laughing Madcaps (Syd Barrett Facebook groups) Inspired
by questions from: Al Baker, Alexander P. Hoffmann, Allen Lancer, Andrew
Charles Potts, Bruno Barbato Jacobovitz, Cathy Peek Collier, Clay
Jordan, Ewgeni Reingold, Gaz Hunter, Gian Palacios-Świątkowski, Göran
Nyström, Jenny Spires, Kiloh Smith, Lisa Newman, Mark Sturdy, Matthew
Horsley, Memo Hernandez, Paul Newlove, Peter 'Felix' Jansens, Rich Hall,
Richard Mason Né Withnell, Stanislav V. Grigorev, Steve Czapla, Steve
Francombe, Tim Doyle. Preparation: Felix Atagong & Rich Hall Interview:
Felix Atagong Rough draft: Felix Atagong Editing: Felix Atagong &
Rich Hall Publication: Birdie Hop, The Holy Church of Iggy The Inuit Thanks
to Giulio Bonfissuto and Raymond John Nebbitt for spotting errors!
Sources Peter Jenner top picture. Source: Wikipedia,
taken by Ralf Lotys (Sicherlich). Van Gogh, Wheat Field with Crows &
Syd Barrett mashup. Source (painting): Wikipedia,
public domain. Mashup: Felix Atagong. Syd Barrett & Peter Jenner
(cropped). Source: June
Ellen Child, The Cosmic Lady. Originally published in Nick Mason's Inside
Out biography. Peter Jenner third picture. Source: Pasado,
presente y futuro de la música según Peter Jenner @
Movistarnext. June Child (cropped). Source: June
Ellen Child, The Cosmic Lady. Originally published in Nick Mason's Inside
Out biography. The Rolling Stones, Hyde Park. Source: The
Stones in the Park @ Ukrockfestivals, taken by John Leszczynski. Charlie
Weedon, watching the Stones. Source: unknown.
Hop is not the biggest Syd Barrett (Facebook) group around, it isn't
the oldest Syd Barrett (Facebook) group around, but it surely is the
friendliest Syd Barrett group around. Don't take my word for it, visit
it for yourself one day.
It is a place were you can meet and greet with at least two dozen people
who have met the man in person, as a (hometown) friend, fellow student,
colleague, musician or even lover (but just like in the Cromwellian
heydays it isn't considered cool to bother these people too much). It is
a place were you don't need to expose your poster collection or your
playlist to attract some attention. With the exception of one particular
Reverend, all the administrators are friendly and don't switch into screaming
Roger Waters mode
whenever they have something to say.
The group is lead by Alex, who we call Papa
Smurf but only when he is not there, and who has a myriad of
psychedelic stories to tell if only he wouldn't be so bashful. About a
year ago, Alex invited some international Hoppers for a trip in and
around Cambridge and it still is a meeting people talk about. You can
read more about it here: Wasn't
it the most amazing meeting?
Two weeks ago his busy agenda lead him again into the UK where he
visited Libby Gausden at the south-west coast and headed for Cambridge
where the usual bunch of shady characters were expecting him. But in
between he took a slight detour to a small village in Sussex to have a
drink. And guess who was accidentally having a drink at the same place?
So for all people doubting about Iggy's existence, she's alive and
This is part one of Alexander's adventures in the UK, for part two, go
Hop Facebook group has also a side project where people with a
certain arty je-ne-sais-quoi are trying to get something on the
rails. For the moment it is still vague and too preliminary to predict
what may come out of it, but there are some ideas floating around and
these tend to trigger other ideas, and perhaps one day it will surprise
In contradiction to the Reverend, Rich
Hall - one of Birdie's administrators and the creator of the amazing
tribute album Birdie
Hop and the Sydiots - didn't sit on his lazy ass while Alex was
frolicking with the girls around the British landscape (see part one of
this article: A
sunny afternoon with Iggy). He took Syd's Opel track and
added several guitar layers to the original version to make it sound a
bit more finished. Of course it still has the quirky singing, but Rich's
attempt is something of a definitive version and one that could be put
on any Syd Barrett compilation album to come.
Update 2016 06 17: Soundcloud deleted this version a while ago,
but it can be found on Facebook as well:
In Cambridge Alex had the opportunity to meet some people who already
had an advance copy of the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band
album that will come out any day now. Another reason to join Birdie Hop
is that you read and hear things first, straight from the horse's mouth,
so to speak. And, with Alex's blessing, we publish here what well could
be the very first review of this record in the entire world!
A big thanks to my friend and Punjabi brother Warren
Dosanjh who sent me the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band CD (I
had to look three times on the cover to write that correctly).
Of course, the sound and recording quality is not the best, but not as
bad as I feared. It is much better than the 1967 live recordings we have
of the early Pink Floyd. The main members Jack
Monck and Twink
do a great job in all songs, no doubt. The singer, Bruce Michael Paine,
makes some of the songs sound like a special performance of Uriah
Heep or Steamhammer
(obviously). The track listing is a collection of late fifties or early
sixties blues / rock 'n' roll / boogie tunes and a little bit of early
seventies hard rock as well.
I can only hear two guitars.
I hear the perfection of Fred
Frith in the first four songs and again in track 8 and 9, I´m not so
sure of #8 though. Frith is nearly a perfect guitarist and can almost
play nearly everything, nearly (lol)!
I definitively hear Syd Barrett in tracks 5 to 7. But he is not there
for just a little bit, he is almost dominating the songs. He is strong
and good and I´m sure he had practised a lot before, probably at home.
Syd doesn't has the perfection of Frith but he is full of ideas and he
is able to play parts that others can´t play or that others have not the
craziness to play these parts. But at other times he plays
conventionally and fits in perfectly with the song´s structures.
All in all this is much more than I had expected. I only listened to it
once, but I didn't want to withhold you of my opinion.
A last word. How we look at the quality of the performed songs has got a
lot to do with our viewpoints of today. Today we are spoiled by good
concerts and good audio productions, but I'm sure we would all have been
very happy to be there on the 27th of January 1972 in the Cambridge Corn
Perhaps my expectations were so low that I sound a little bit too
enthusiast now. But I am surprised by Syd´s guitar playing. I never
thought that he was in such a good shape as a guitar player. This lets
me believe that Twink is right and that the Stars concerts were far
better than what was written later by people who weren't there.
In a previous article, The
Last Minute Put Together Reel Story, you could read how the reel
came into place, how a first copy was found back in 1985 and immediately
seized, in about the most moronic way ever, by Pink Floyd Ltd (or EMI),
who put it into one of their secret locker rooms.
The second (and last) copy was found back 20 years later and when it was
put on sale, EMI nor Pink Floyd reacted, which could have been their
ultimate chance to bury this release forever and ever... They were so
full of themselves they thought they could delay this release even with
another copy floating around.
Easy Action purchased it and after an immense struggle, behind the
scenes, to get the copyrights (partially?) settled it was finally
released, in June 2014. Of course this isn't an audiophile release, it
is nothing more than an audience recording (but one of the slightly
better ones) and the band that plays is rough and sloppy at times, but
they seem to enjoy the gig. The Number Nine jam is, for Barrett fanoraks,
as essential as the Rhamadan
download, that – if our information is correct – has disappeared from
the official sydbarrett.com
servers, but can still be downloaded on iTunes.
The Syd Barrett website
is run by One
Fifteen that, like a good dog chained to Pink Floyd Ltd, has to lick
its master's orifices for a living. Is that why you won't find a trace
of LMPTBB on the official Syd Barrett news overview? And now that we are
on to it, stop that irritating jukebox, will you.
But perhaps we, members of the Sydiot league, are just a bit
over-sensitive and too unrealistic to acknowledge that Syd Barrett was
just a very small sardine in a fishbowl of sharks? Isn't the Reverend
getting too geriatric for this kind of goody good bullshit? Anyway, here
is our second article in our Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band series,
because nobody seems to care if we don't.
Update 2016: in January 2016 the official Syd Barrett website
changed hands. It is now maintained by the Barrett family. After a good
start with some out of the ordinary articles about Octopus
Dylan Blues, it has - unfortunately - retreated into internet limbo.
After Barrett's second solo album failed to impress the charts Syd
retreated to Cambridge where it became clear that not all was well (see
also: Hairy Mess).
Trying to find his way back in music, at his own pace, he met Jenny
Spires, who had returned to Cambridge as well and was now married to
bass player Jack Monck whom Syd jammed with at least once. On the
26th of January 1972 Jenny took Syd to an Eddie
‘Guitar’ Burns gig that had Jack Monck and John
'Twink' Alder as backing musicians. Of course Twink was not unknown
to Syd, they once had managed to gatecrash the launch party of King
Crimson's first album, high on a dangerous cocktail of Champagne
Peregrin Took) and mandrax (accidentally misplaced in Iggy Rose's
handbag who would otherwise never carry such a thing with her).
Somehow Jenny and Jack persuaded Syd to bring his guitar and when the
Burns gig ended Syd joined the backing band for an impromptu jam. In Terrapin
3 from February 1973 this gig was reviewed by Mervyn Hughes:
Eddie (Burns) does a solo spot, then announces his “Last Minute Put
Together Boogie Band” which consisted of Twink on Drums and Jack Monck
on Bass. This band was given a set on their own and Syd was roped in to
play too. (…) Although he stood at the back (just jamming as he
obviously didn't know the numbers) play he did.
Our previous article
in the LMPTBB series has a testimony of Jim Gillespie who noted that the
jam with Syd Barrett took place as a supporting act, before the Eddie
'Guitar' Burns gig. He claims the LMPTBB played two short sets, one
before (with Syd) and one after (with Bruce Paine). This is just
another example of how memories can differ between persons, especially
after a four decades interval.
In the extremely well written and definitive Stars (and LMPTBB) article: Twilight
of an Idol, Mark Sturdy quotes another witness, Steve Brink:
There was a real natural musical empathy between the three of them. In
any improvisational band, the musicians have to be interested in what
each other are doing, and Syd was genuinely interested. It was just a
free-form jam for about half an hour – more improvisatory than 12-bar
blues, and I’m sure it changed key on any number of occasions. But
there’s always that moment, that dynamic thing when three musicians make
something that works.
Steve Brink was the man who organised the Six Hour Technicolour Dream
festival the next day and perhaps he was secretly hoping for Barrett to
show up again. We can't be sure of what Syd Barrett thought of it all,
but Jenny Spires, Jack Monck and Twink convinced him to rehearse the
next afternoon. The band tried to have Syd sing at least one of his own
songs, but that plan was abandoned as Syd was still too fragile. Fred
Frith, from Henry
Cow fame, was quite disillusioned and would still be after the gig:
Syd played “Smokestack
Lightning” or variations thereof in every song, and didn’t really
sing at all.
Well let's find out if he spoke the truth, shall we?
Why don't you listen to the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band album
on Spotify while reading this interview? (A Spotify membership is
probably needed, but this is free. There is no need to download and
install the Spotify player, the music will (hopefully) play in your
It is clear that this is not a soundboard, but an on stage recording and
already after 41 seconds there seems to be a microphone falling out.
Actually this is good news because it accentuates Fred Frith's guitar
playing that surely is inventive and most of the time right to the
point. Don't worry, sound quality will get better after a while, or
perhaps it is just our ears getting used to the recording. The first
number undoubtedly is just a warming up for better things to come.
The band introduces itself after the first track. Tape completists like
to have the full recording of a concert, including guitar tunings and
chatter in between numbers, and these seem to be left in. Of course
every commercial release might be edited and snipped here and there, but
if it is done it is pretty well done. However there are some places
where we think some cuts have been made.
L.A. To London Boogie
Singer Bruce Paine announces the second number as one he wrote himself.
Bruce Michael Paine, who sadly passed away in 2009, started as a folk
singer in Greenwich Village (NYC) in the 60's. Like Dylan, his music
became “electrified" by the middle of the decade, and he signed with
Atlantic Records. He joined the Apple
Pie Motherhood Band after their eponymous first album (1968) and
sang on their second and last (Apple Pie, 1969). Both records can be
found on the web and don't really impress, call it contemporary
psychedelic oddities of the average kind.
After Apple Pie (without the crust, as Nick Mason would say) Bruce Paine
stars in the San Francisco production of the musical Hair,
then he moves to London where he meets drummer Twink and bass player
John 'Honk' Lodge, from Junior's
Eyes and later Quiver.
They form a power blues trio, the 'Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band'
(luckily they didn't pick Honk, Twink & Paine for a band's name). After
some demo sessions at Polydor the band is denied a recording contract
and a disillusioned Honk leaves the band. With Jack Monk as replacement
the band mysteriously ends up in Cambridge, but after about ten gigs the
claim for fame is over.
In May 1972 Bruce Paine briefly joins Steamhammer
for their European and UK tour, but then he calls his European adventure
quits and returns to the States to star in another musical, this time Jesus
Later on he will do session and acting work, with (small) roles in
Married with Children and Quantum Leap. According to his self-penned bio
he appeared in numerous films and television series and kept on gigging
with his own band.
L.A. to London Boogie is a straightforward seventies rock song and the
good thing is that about one minute into the tune Paine's micro switches
back on. Remarkable is that Fred Frith keeps throwing arpeggios around
as if they come thirteen in a dozen. All in all the band plays pretty
tight, but the song itself is nothing more than a good average and
leaves no lasting impression.
The third song is called Ice. It is a cover from the first Apple Pie
Motherhood Band album, the one Bruce Paine didn't sing on, and written
by Apple Pie member Ted Demos and session singer Marilyn Lundquist. On
the album Ice is a trippy psychedelic blues that seems to go nowhere in
the end but how does the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band deals with
One thing you can say that it is longer, almost the triple longer than
the original. Frith adds guitar lines that don't always seem to be
coherent in the beginning but that get better later on. At the three
minutes mark Twink and Frith start an experimental cacophony and this
makes us wonder if this is what Spaceward Studios archivist Mark
'FraKcman' Graham described as dreadful, stoned, out-of-key noodlings
Last Minute Put Together Reel Story). It sure is a weird fusion
between blues, hard rock and the avant-garde prog sound of Henry Cow,
the band Frith started in 1968. The prog-rock stoners in the public
must have loved it. Of course this is a cheap reflection afterwards
but in this track Paine really shows he is the right person to star in
those hideous Andrew
Lloyd Webber rock operas, that man has a throat and he knows how
to use it.
A heckler in the audience shouts for some some rock'n roll and we get
the classic Nadine. Also known as "Nadine (Is It You?)" it is a song
written by Chuck
Berry who released it as a single in February 1964. A
straightforward and simple rendition this is, nothing less, nothing
more, these guys know their business.
We haven't said a lot about Twink and Jack Monck yet, but the band
certainly is inspired and well-trained. In the liner notes Twink
reveals that they recorded several demos for Polydor, including L.A.
To London Boogie and one that isn't on this live set, called Smoke.
The band did about 10 gigs in total and as this could well have been
their last gig they were a well oiled machine by now and it shows.
From now on the gig can only get better and better.
Drinkin' That Wine
Time to announce a special guest:
We'd like to bring Syd Barrett up to the bandstand. Will you come on
and (???) how about a hand for Syd Barrett?
We hear some polite applause and a guitar that is plugged in. Bruce
Paine tells the public that the last group he toured with in the
States was Gideon
Daniels' gospel band and that he picked the next song from their
set. There isn't much about him on the net, but one comment on a YouTube
video tells this:
I saw Gideon & Power numerous times, and to this day (…) they were the
best live act I've ever seen -- and that includes Jimi Hendrix. I
remember when Mickey [Thomas] joined. Prior to that, there was Bobby
Castro, Bruce Payne [sic], and Charlie Hickox on piano and vocal.
According to Bruce on the Six Hour Technicolour Dream record the song
is about a funky dude who gets drunk by stealing the mass wine but in
fact this is a traditional communion song that has been described in
several anthologies and studies, like The
Negro And His Songs from 1925 (page 136) and Slave
Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands from 1942 (page 249-251):
The swinging rhythm of the communion song, “Drinkin' of the Wine”,
made it a favorite with the chain-gang for cutting weeds along the
American minstrel Bascom
Lamar Lunsford learned the song around 1900 in Wilkes County,
North Carolina and you can hear him singing it at the beginning of
The history of the Drinkin' That Wine traditional is fascinating (the
Reverend lost nearly three hours reading about it) but it would bring
us too far. What matters for us, Syd fans, is that Syd Barrett plays
on it and that it is a mighty earworm and the catchiest song on the
album. Once you've got in into your head it is difficult to get it out
The track turns into a power blues that pushes Syd's guitar to the
background at points, but his playing can be well distinguished if you
take attention. His playing is in a different style from Frith's,
muddier, sloppier perhaps... He does not spit out the notes at 120
beats per minute but this is about having a good time and not about a
finger speed race.
This is good, this is really good.
As if a gospel wasn't weird enough, in a Floydian context, the gig
turns even weirder. Number Nine is a bluesy jam that starts pretty
traditional and then develops further into space. This could well be
the highlight of the album for vintage Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett
freaks. It catapults this reviewer back to the Abdab days when the
proto-Floyd struggled with psychedelic versions of Louie Louie and
other R&B standards. This may well sound like early Pink Floyd may
have sounded in their experimental days. In the Barrett biographies to
come this track will be described as being as essential as the
Whitehead Interstellar Overdrive and the recently (and reluctantly)
released Rhamadan. We took the liberty of grabbing some comments on Yeeshkul:
Demamo: “The guitar playing and sound is very "Lanky" and "Gigo Aunt"
Orgone Accumulator: “For all his psychedelic leanings, Syd tapped into
that earlier Bo Diddley and Buddy Holly groove, with an emphasis on
Beechwoods: “I must admit that musically I like it and there is an
interesting progression between Interstellar and his '74 guitar pieces
('Chugga Chugga Chug Chug' etc) that is worth hearing.”
Like Rhamadan this isn't easy listening, but just like Rhamadan it
isn't the disaster everyone feared for either. Listen to it,
concentrate, feel the groove. It will grow on you.
Just before the eight minutes mark a micro falls out again for a
couple of seconds, resulting in - weird enough – a better sound
quality because the sound isn't distorted any more.
Gotta Be A Reason
At ten minutes the track segues into Gotta Be A Reason, probably the
second LMPTBB original on this record. This track is only mentioned as
a separate number for copyright (read: financial) reasons because
after the strophe and refrain it further develops into Number Nine
territory. As a matter of fact, early track listings just mentioned it
as Number Nine (Gotta Be A Reason) and not as two separate numbers.
The jam ends somewhat sloppy with Twink, who has been in excellent
shape throughout the record, in an obvious death struggle on drums.
Perhaps it is just a clumsy way to have Syd unplug his guitar and
leave the stage.
What a weird trip it has been.
The eighth track is named Let's Roll on the CD, and this can be open
to some controversy.
Actually this fun piece is a close cover of Elvin
Bishop's Party Till the Cows Come Home that is equally
irresistible (watch this 2013
version and try not to tap your feet), co-written with S. Colby
Miller and recorded on the Elvin Bishop Group's second album Feel
While the lyrics of the verses are different in both versions:
Everybody out for a have a good time I say wiggle baby and I'll be
mine You gotta shake your legs and wiggle with your hip
Kick out the windows bust down the doors We`re drinkin` half
gallons and shoutin` for more Take off your shoes and let yourself
The refrain, melody and chord progression are almost identical:
We're gonna boogie till the rooster crows We're gonna party till
the cows come home Let's roll. Let's roll. (Let it roll in
the Elvin Bishop original).
Bruce Paine toured with Gideon Daniel's gospel band in the USA, before
he went to the UK, and that musician worked, on different occasions,
with Elvin Bishop, so perhaps a link can be found there. Perhaps both
tracks are based on a communal forefather or traditional, who knows?
When the Reverend remarked on Birdie
Hop that he found it weird that none of the Boogie Band song
credits mentions copyright owners, nor lyricists and composers,
although the two owners had nine years to sort this out, the answer -
from a music insider - was laconic as ever:
It is gray area and not as uncommon as you think, especially in the
world of music. (…) The usual reason is that it's a sorted affair,
meaning multi copywriters on the same tune. The composers also have to
agree with how it is going to be submitted to ASCAP or BMI. So rather
than hold it up, the material gets released.
In other words, by not sorting out the copyrights beforehand, the hot
potato is pushed forward until the record has been released. If the
copyright holders eventually find out they can ask for a slice of the
pie (or in this case: potato) and if they don't: tough luck. And just
yesterday morning the Church was informed that the reason why this
release still isn't widely available in the shops is there still is 'a
small issue with agreements...'
Let's Roll aka Party Till the Cows Come Home gets a great round of
applause, but alas it is time to say goodbye with a last tune,
originally from B.B King.
Sweet Little Angel
Shivers down the spine, although the song is given a somewhat shady
treatment, but that adds to its integrity.
Not only a great band was lost with the Last Minute Out Together
Boogie Band, but lead singer Bruce Paine surely deserved a better
musical career than he actually had. If you don't want to buy this
record for Barrett's involvement, do it to remember Bruce Paine. We
certainly hope he is drinkin' that wine with Syd, up there in nirvana.
Guitars (3 different ones)
The Reverend is so tone-deaf that if you play him a trumpet and tell
him it is a guitar, he will believe you. So all we hear, thanks to
god's unequal distribution of the aural senses, is a mud-pool of
guitar noise. Luckily some people can distinct instruments, like Syd
Wonder does on Late
There are three guitarists on this set... Two of them play on tracks
without Syd. Barrett's announced when he joins the group in mid-show,
while Frith isn't. I think Frith plays the entire show, with Bruce
Paine on guitar as well.
This could be correct as Bruce Paine joined LMPTBB the day before, on
the Eddie Burns gig, with his guitar to have a jam.
About the tracks with Syd he adds:
"Drinkin' That Wine" - vocals were recorded very loud; I hear three
guitars. Instrumental sections are from 1:50-3:03 (Syd heavily
distorted, playing rhythm, searching, finding a groove - when he
starts to solo, Paine starts to sing again), and 3:41-4:49 (Syd plays
some solid leads).
"Number Nine" - highlight of the set, it begins with a repeated riff
from Barrett. The band doesn't react, so he stops and they all start
again. Some worthy improvisations emerge, as it continues. Frith's
guitar work is more trebly and rather busy, Barrett's comparatively
relaxed and textural. At times I hear three guitars. I really like
what Syd plays in the last couple of minutes.
"Gotta Be A Reason" - it segues out of Number Nine, in a continuous
performance. Syd solos for about 30 seconds near the beginning. Paine
sings a bit, ceases at 2:05. Three guitars again... Frith becomes very
busy... Barrett responds with strong counter-melodies, seems to vanish
sometime after the 5-minute mark.
Sound quality: slightly above bootleg quality, with tape damage
here and there and mikes that fall out (and are plugged in again).
Towards the middle of the gig the sound gets rather distorted due to
the higher volume levels and there is a lot of resonance. At Yeeshkul,
where sound fanatics reside, questions have already been raised that
the cleaning and denoising was clumsily done, but this can't be
verified without a raw tape leaking out.
Performance: sloppy and muddy at times, but great fun that
still can be felt 4 decades later. The band is a typical seventies
power blues construction, think : Led Zep, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple.
Syd is not in super form, but he isn't that bad either.
Packaging: it looks great, with a 12 page booklet and an
exclusive Twink interview, but lacking song copyright information.
Accuracy: grumpy as we are, we need to get the following of our
chest. The back cover correctly places three asterisks next to the
three tracks that feature Syd Barrett. However, both Fred Frith (who
is on all tracks) and Syd Barrett (who is only on three) get an
asterisk next to their name. Blimey, Easy Action record cover people,
you have had 5 fucking years to get that cover right. As mentioned
above, there are 3 guitar players present, something that is
overlooked as well on the sleeve.
Trivia: the poster, used for the front cover, was meticulously
scanned in by Warren
Dosanjh of I
Spy in Cambridge fame and a honorary member of the Birdie Hop
Facebook group. Eternal thanks to Mohammed Abdullah John Alder, not
only for a magnificent performance but also for rolling, pushing and
squeezing the ball.
Many thanks to: Mohammed Abdullah John 'Twink' Alder, Rick Barnes,
Beechwoods, Birdie Hop, Mick Brown, Cyberspace, Demamo, Chris Farmer,
Late Night, Orgone Accumulator, Syd Wonder, Yeeshkul. ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 171-173. Chapman,
Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p.
283-285. Palacios, Julian: Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe,
Plexus, London, 2010, p. 392-400. Six Hour Technicolour Dream
poster scanned in by Mick Brown.
It is now about a month ago that the 1972 Last
Minute Put Together Boogie Band gig was released by Easy
Action records. LMPTBB was a power rock'n blues trio with the
practically unknown, but excellent, American singer Bruce Paine
on vocals and guitar, Twink on drums and Jack Monck on
bass, replacing Honk who left the band after a Polydor record deal was
The Six Hour Technicolour Dream concert may well have been their
last, and on top of that it had two surprise guests: Fred Frith
(from Henry Cow fame) who probably plays on all tracks, and a local boy
who had once been a rather influential musician, Syd Barrett.
Not only is Syd Barrett dead, he also is neglected, except for the few
who have reappropriated the term Sydiot and gather at the Birdie
Hop group. From the three important Pink Floyd fan-based websites
has published the news about the LMPTBB record. The others don't know,
or don't care, and are still hop-frogging around the Pink Floyd table,
mouths open, hoping for some Division Bell crumbles to fall off. The
official Syd Barrett website,
although run by the people who allowed the LMPTBB record in the first
place, still remains a place that only comes in handy if you want to buy
some (we admit, pretty) t-shirts.
So the Holy
Church of Iggy the Inuit is about the only Floydian (and Barrettian)
place where you can read about this release. Either we are pioneers, or
raving lunatics, so we guess it's up for you to decide. In our fourth
article of the LMPTBB series we interview Carlton Sandercock of
Easy Action records, who have released this fine record.
An innerview with Carlton Sandercock (Easy Action)
BH: How would you describe Easy Action? We see a few (live)
releases on your catalogue that are pretty rare and that could be
CS: Easy Action started out 10 years ago as, predominantly, an
archive rock label, specialising in rare and unreleased recordings. We
had the support of Iggy
Yardbirds, the estates of Marc
Marriott & the surviving members of the MC5,
initially to create box sets for fans that had been audio restored and
lavishly packaged and annotated by good writers and journalists with as
much factual information as is possible.
In that 10 years Easy Action has blossomed and grown in all directions,
we have 10 labels doing material from singer-songwriter Linda
Lewis to punk-metal behemoths Amebix,
but all done with class and passion.
We are also working with new artists, we oversee the estate of the late Nikki
Sudden and his brother Epic
Soundtracks, we manage the affairs of The Damned / Lords of the New
Church songwriter guitarist Brian
We have worked with one studio all the time in London ‘PSB
Music’ who restore and re-master all our releases. Plus we have some
very talented graphic designers on board. Basically a happy creative
BH: In 2005, the Six Hour Technicolour Dream reel was
rediscovered while browsing through the tape archives at Spaceward
Studios. Initially, they were going to issue the concert themselves on
Gott discs, and they even got the approval of Pink Floyd and the Syd
Barrett family. Do you know why they decided to sell it to Easy Action?
CS: To be honest I don't know why they decided to sell the tapes,
as you know they didn't manage to succeed at the auction. My business
partner Steve Pittis is a huge fan of Pink Floyd, the Fairies and
Hawkwind and contacted the seller directly and offered him some cash.
Although we didn't originally think there were more than a couple of
songs by Hawkwind on the reel. Our initial thoughts were to release the
Pink Fairies set as we know them and recoup the cost of buying the
tapes. We weren't sure if we would be allowed to issue the Boogie band
BH: Hawkwind's Six Hour Technicolour Dream gig was already
released in August 2011 as Leave
No Star Unturned (first announced as: The Self Police Parade),
licensed from EMI records. However, the band in its 2011 incarnation was
opposed to EMI being involved, and told the fans more than once that
they considered this a bootleg. Although historically of great
importance, legally these old tapes seem really to be a pain in the ass,
CS: Ha ha, yeah. I contacted Mrs. Brock initially, who informed
me that the recording date of 1972 was EMI territory and they couldn't
give us a licence . So I went to EMI and asked them for a licence and
they gave us a contract, we paid them what we were asked for and went
ahead and put it out.
The band, I appreciate, try and control all their releases and I guess
didn't think we would have any luck whatsoever at EMI... They were
wrong. This is the only time I think in our 10 years where we have
licensed from a major label over the artist. We had absolutely no ‘legal
troubles‘ whatsoever. It's not a bootleg as it has been released
properly and above-board. Royalties have been paid to the contractee.
BH: Were the Hawkwind (legal) troubles the main reason why we had
to wait until 2014 for the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band to
appear? If we are correct, the record was announced a few times over the
years and then delayed again...
CS: As I said we had no ‘legal troubles’ at all and I wanted to
put the Pink Fairies set out next but life gets in the way and we had
more work to deal with tons of other releases.. Also I initially wasn't
sure who else was in the band besides Twink and Jack.
BH: Is it true that Twink (Mohammed Abdullah John Alder) gave the
release a renewed push, somewhere in 2012 or early 2013?
CS: Yes, absolutely true. Twink has been a major driving force in
getting me to put it on the schedule... However we simply didn't have
any thing to use for artwork... There is absolutely nothing from that
time / gig at all. Until we were introduced to Warren
Dosanjh by Slim at Shindig
magazine. Warren had the original poster (possibly the only one
in existence) and lots of encouragement to boot, so NOW we had the
basics of a foundation to try and put something together .
BH: Did you encounter initial resistance to release this
material? Did you find the Floyd to be approving of more Syd material
being released or did they initially try to block it?
CS: None whatsoever, we have been dealing with the company that
looks after Syd's affairs ‘One
Fifteen’ and have a contract for his performance and they are
helping us with marketing it. To be honest Syd is guest for three songs,
this is NOT Interstellar Overdrive live!! This is a boogie band so it's
really not going to worry Pink Floyd. Dave Gilmour's a nice bloke and is
rightly protective of Syd's legacy, but because we have handled it in
the correct manner and not adorned the album with stickers saying SYD in
big letters or anything crass like that it's ok... It is what it is, an
BH: We understand that the Pink Fairies gig is still in the
vaults. Will that gig ever be released as well?
CS: Bloody hope so, although we are hoping to add to that show
and try and do a bigger, better Pink Fairies package... That reminds me,
I must give Sandy (Duncan Sanderson) a call to get the ball
BH: The story of the Six Hours Technicolour Dream reel is
spectacular, to say the least. One copy was found in 1985 and
immediately confiscated, in Chuck Norris style, by an EMI suit. A second
copy was unearthed in 2005 and ended up at Easy Action. But at one point
FraKcman (aka Mark Graham from Spaceward Studios) contradicted his own
story by saying that the first tape contained a Stars gig and the second
a LMPTBB gig. Did Easy Action find out, during the negotiations with EMI
and the bands, if both reels are identical, or not?
CS: Mmm, the men in black... sounds great doesn't it? I was told
an original copy was indeed made of the boogie band years ago, but
before the audio restoration that we did. It was very rough indeed and
was ignored... I'm not sure it was Stars. I think it was an unrestored
version of this show. Just my opinion though.
BH: How are sales figures so far? Is there any interest from the
fans? Are they better or worse than the Hawkwind gig?
CS: Well, it hasn't flown out the door at all. We thought
pre-orders would be huge and that it would then die down to a trickle
once it's been copied and shared free of charge online... I'd say cult
interest only and not as big as the Hawkwind album... As I said before
it is not Syd performing any of his songs... It IS perhaps the
last ever recorded performance of Syd Barrett... maybe Floyd fans don't
see it as important.
BH: Did you, in your struggle to release this gig, hear about
other tapes that still exist, for instance Stars, or early demos from
Barrett with Cantabrigian bands?
CS: Ha ha ha. I fuckin' wish! Not a bleedin' sausage and yes, I
did ask... I do think, seeing as we have released this show legally with
the Barrett estate fully on board and we haven't tried to sell this as a
Syd album or anything tacky like that, should anything crop up, I think
we would get a call...
BH: We, Birdie Hoppers, hope it for you, Carlton, many thanks for
The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band Six Hour Technicolour Dream
gig, on January the 27th 1972, was not, as you probably know, Syd's last
gig, nor was it his last recording. Actually, Syd never joined LMPTBB
but gigged with them twice as a surprise guest. How the tape survived
into the twenty-first century and was finally published by Easy
Action records is a story you can read here: The
Last Minute Put Together Reel Story.
Apparently the vibes were so good that two out of three LMPTBB members
started dreaming of a post-Floyd Barrett band, not very much to the
amusement of singer Bruce Paine if we may believe Joly MacFie
(Twink's business partner in the Cambridge music club Juniper Blossom
and Stars roadie annex sound-man):
I was sharing a house with Twink and Paine. Paine was a somewhat vain
and career oriented American who went on to join Steamhammer. He wasn't
compatible with Syd. When Twink showed more interest in Syd, Bruce got
pissed off and moved out and that was the end of the band. (Taken from
So what's with 1972 Stars reel? @ SBRS (forum no longer active.))
was formed shortly later and would gig about five times, dates and
venues can be found at the Pink
1972 01 26
King's College Cellars
1972 01 27
The Corn Exchange
1972 02 05
The Dandelion Coffee Bar
1972 02 12
Petty Cury, Market Square
1972 02 12
The Dandelion Coffee Bar
1972 02 24
The Corn Exchange
1972 02 26
The Corn Exchange
Pink Floyd biographer Mark
Blake tried to find out more about the mythical Stars tapes, that
have been rumoured to exist, and posted his finding on the Late
Night and Syd Barrett Research Society forums (here edited a bit):
Rehearsal tapes - Twink has mentioned on more than one occasion that Syd
recorded the early practices. It goes without saying that these tapes
must be long lost. Dandelion Cafe - lots of people (Twink, Jack and
possibly Joly [MacFie]) remember Victor Kraft sitting there with his
Nagra tape machine at the Dandelion, and possibly the Corn Exchange as
well. Market Square - recorded, supposedly, by a friend of someone
who mentioned it on the Laughing Madcaps list. The tape, supposedly, is
at the taper's parents' house in Oxford. [Note from FA: this is probably
the tape mentioned at Fortean Zoology. All efforts to make the blogger
move his lazy ass have been effortless: Beatles:
Off topic but not really.] Final Corn Exchange show (with Nektar)
- according to Joly MacFie, his co-roadie Nigel Smith had a friend
called Chris who taped this show.
Although some YouTube videos claim to contain Stars tapes these are
believed to be either fakes
or mislabelled Barrett solo concerts, so it is still waiting for the
real deal, if they not have been buried in the vaults of Pink Floyd Ltd.
But the good news is that the Six Hour Technicolour Dream tape has been
released by Easy Action, that Syd Barrett stars (sorry, we couldn't
resist the joke) on three of its tracks and although the sound quality
is only slightly more than average, the fun is dripping out of our
stereo boxes. Mythical drummer Twink, who is currently recording a
follow-up of his legendary Think Pink album (1968), lend us some of his
time to tell us the following...
An innerview with Mohammed Abdullah John Alder, better known as Twink
BH: Of course we all know this record is interesting for Syd
Barrett's performance, but the real discovery on the Last Minute Put
Together Boogie Band is that amazing singer, Bruce Paine. How did you
and John Lodge (Honk) meet up with him and how did the band come
MAJA: I first met Bruce Paine in the autumn of 1971 at Steve
Brink's boutique "What's In A Name" in Union Rd just before he rented a
room in Steve's cottage which was situated next to the shop. We talked
very briefly about putting a band together because at that time I was
just helping Hawkwind out from time to time. Once Bruce had moved
into the cottage the band came together quite quickly. I recruited John
"Honk" Lodge as our bass player who was living in London but that didn't
seem to get in the way of the band project. Other members included Dane
Stevens (The Fairies & The Cops And Robbers) on vocals & Adam Wildi on
congas but both only lasted one show. We called the band The Last Minute
Put Together Boogie Band.
BH: Who came up with the idea of naming it the Last Minute Put
Together Boogie Band? Is there any explanation for the band's name?
MAJA: Bruce came up with the name and I think it was simply that
the band came together quite quickly once show offers began to come in.
BH: After a record deal with Polydor had failed, Honk left the
band and was replaced by Jack Monck.
MAJA: Yes, "Honk" left immediately the Polydor deal fell through.
I think he was disheartened because Polydor's A&R department made it
clear that after the demos we did for them, we were in. The whole thing
fell down at the contract stage because the contracts manager there was
having a bad day. He refused to raise the contracts and kept playing Led
Zeppelin at full volume which drove us out of his office. He apologised
to me about a month later just after he had been fired from his job. But
the damage was done and there would be no record deal for The Last
Minute Put Together Boogie Band.
BH: Did you meet Syd in Cambridge before the Eddie Guitar Burns
gig? Did you know that Syd was going to jam with LMPTBB on the 26th of
January 1972 or were you as surprised as the audience?
MAJA: I was surprised and happy to see Syd arrive at the Eddie
"Guitar" Burns gig with Jenny and carrying his guitar case. He arrived
while we were sound checking, came to the back of the stage area, took
his guitar out of its case and started to tune up. We had been friends
since 1967 but we had lost touch in '68. It was wonderful to see him
again. The following day Syd came to The Six Hour Technicolour Dream
where The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band was supporting Hawkwind &
The Pink Fairies. Again I was surprised to see him there with his guitar
case. Syd was keen to play so we invited him to join us on stage along
with Fred Frith from the band Henry Cow who was guesting with us
BH: It must not be easy trying to remember a gig from 40 years
ago, but there are two different testimonies about the Kings Cellar's
concert. One witness says that LMPTBB played twice on that concert.
According to him, the opening support gig had Syd, Monck and you. After
the Eddie Guitar Burns gig, LMPTBB returned, this time with Bruce Paine.
According to Terrapin magazine Syd jammed with LMPTBB after the Eddie
Guitar Burns show. Not that it really matters, this only shows how
anoraky we are.
MAJA: The Terrapin report is correct however it is possible the
Syd, Jack & I tuned up together but that was not part of the show.
BH: Now to the Six Hour Technicolour Dream concert of the
following day. How did Fred Frith come on board? Did he know Syd Barrett
was going to be there as well? What was his reaction? What was your
opinion after the gig had ended?
MAJA: We had a lot of contact with Fred Frith & Henry Cow who
frequently played at The 10p Boogie Club which was run by Joly MacFie &
myself at Fisher Hall in Cambridge having taken over the venue from
Jenny Spires & Jack Monck and renamed it Juniper Blossom.
The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band often played there and so did
Henry Cow. Fred Frith guested with The Last Minute Boogie Band there
too. Fred guesting with us at The Six Hour Technicolour was more formal
and when it was decided that Syd would guest too he was welcomed by all
concerned with open arms. Our performance was well received and with
Syd's enthusiastic participation at both the Eddie "Guitar" Burn gig &
The Six Hour Technicolour Dream our creative wheels began to turn
resulting in the formation of STARS with Syd Barrett, Jack Monck &
myself a few days later.
BH: Was this the LMPTBB's last gig? Did anyone say, this is it,
last gig, finished?
MAJA: The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band continued after
Jack & I left for STARS with replacement musicians.
BH: Did you, at one point or another, think of asking Syd to join
MAJA: It was Jack & Jenny that thought about forming a band with
BH: If our information is correct you have been pulling some
strings to make this release possible.
MAJA: The only things that needed sorting out were group members
and song details as well as contract details to include both Bruce Paine
& Roger Barrett's Estates. Then there was restoring, mastering and the
cover to achieve as well. Everyone was very helpful.
BH: As you probably know, Pink Floyd (or EMI) have another copy
of the LMPTBB tape, however at one point there were rumours this tape
actually contains a Stars concert rather. know what they really have?
MAJA: I have no idea what EMI have. It's possible they have a
BH: Any chance that the LMPTBB Polydor tapes will ever see the
light of day? Does anyone know where these demos are?
MAJA: It is possible The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band
demos will be released as they are probably sitting in Polydor's
archives. I think Honk may well have a copy tape.
BH: In retrospect, what was the band you were happiest with? If
you could go back to these days what would you have changed to make it
MAJA: Playing with The Pretty Things made me happy and I wouldn't
want to change a thing.
BH: Many thanks, Mohammed, and good luck with Think Pink 2!
End of part four of our LMPTBB
series. If you don't stop us, there will probably be a part five. You
have been warned.
Many thanks to Mohammed Abdullah John Alder, Rich Hall, Peter Jansens.
Inspired by questions from: Mike Baess, Rick Barnes, Andre Borgdorff,
Anita Buckett, Rich Hall, Jane Harris, Alexander P.H., Peter Felix
Jansens, Raymond John Nebbitt, Lisa Newman, Göran Nystrom, Anni Paisley,
Cheesecake Joe Perry, Paul Piper, Michael Ramshaw, James Vandervest.
While posting Facebook Barrett fan-art has become a booming niche-market
with no immediate end in sight and self-proclaimed visionary Syd
professionals have to devise fraudulent telemarketing schemes to cover
for their rising costs it was pointed to the Church, by someone we know
and admire for years, that Syd Barrett is not, like we wrote in a previous
article, neglected. Ebronte:
Syd is not neglected. Syd is sinking into oblivion, precisely
where it seems his family (and friends?) want him to go. This is thanks
to their continued simplistic insistence that he was a brief spark, who
became "ordinary", and a drug addled loser, and thanks to the dreary
It didn't sell well, and probably anyone who did read it was left
depressed and utterly disinterested in ever reading or hearing another
word about Syd. Too bad that gloomy book came out the same time as
Julian's revised and wonderful
book, most likely obscuring it. (Taken from: An
innerview with Carlton Sandercock (Easy Action), Late Night forum.)
Of course our world has changed as well (“I'm Syd Barrett's biggest fan,
I've watched all his YouTube videos.”) and it is apparently easier
nowadays to sell a Barrett mug
than a Barrett record.
Recently the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band's Six
Hour Technicolour Dream record was released that has a Cambridge
Corn Exchange gig from the 27th of January, 1972. The Last Minute Put
Together Boogie Band were a power blues trio with singer and lead
guitarist Bruce Paine, bass player Jack Monck and drummer Twink.
Through Jenny Spires, who was married to Monck, Syd Barrett got hold of
the band and on that particular night he arrived with his guitar case
and agreed to jam with them for a couple of numbers. Monck and Twink
were thrilled and started Starsa couple of days later, not to the amusement of Bruce Paine who saw
his band going up in smoke. Unfortunately Stars would only survive for a
month as Barrett was still to frail to cope with the stress of gigging,
especially when things got bad on a concert where Stars was the
head-liner, after the sonic bulldozer that was MC5,
and with buses of fans coming over from London, eager to watch the
return of the flamboyant piper. Mark Sturdy:
In reality, Stars simply wasn’t cut out to be a high-profile project:
while the initial shows had not been without their virtues, the band had
existed for less than a month and, as such, was understandably
under-rehearsed. New material was non-existent beyond a couple of loose
12-bar jams, so in effect Stars was little more than a loose covers
band. (Taken from: Twilight
of an Idol.)
We read somewhere that giving Syd Barrett the top position on a much
advertised gig was like throwing him before the lions and it was,
understandably, the end of Stars, and, less understandable, the end of
his musical career, with the exception of the disastrous 1974 sessions.
While Syd Barrett was an unexpected guest on the Six Hour Technicolour
Dream gig, Fred
Frith was not. He had been invited by the Last Minute Put
Together Boogie Band to join them for the show.
Fred Frith was in Cambridge in 1968 when he met with some fellow
students and started the avant-garde band Henry
Cow. Actually the Cow's first concert was supporting Pink Floyd at
the Architects' Ball at Homerton College, Cambridge on 12 June 1968.
Eternal student Frith would also frequent (and jam at) the Juniper
Blossom club that was first run by Jack Monck and Jenny Spires, and
later by Twink and Jolie MacFie.
Since his Henry Cow day's Frith has played in a myriad of bands and his
musical input can be found on over 400
records. So it is a bit awkward to ask him about that one one
concert he played on over 40 years ago, but we tried anyway.
An innerview with Fred Frith
BH: Are you happy with the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band
release and your own input on it? Your guitar is pretty much in front of
the mix most of the time.
FF: I haven’t heard it. I didn’t know about it prior to release
and I don’t have a copy I’m afraid.
BH: At the Six Hour Technicolour Dream, Syd Barrett more or less
was a surprise guest, while your presence had already been agreed on
with Paine, Twink & Monck for that night. At the time, did you find it
significant that Syd Barrett had decided to make a public appearance?
FF: There was a rumour beforehand that Syd might join us. This
was of course exciting for me, given that Syd was one of my heroes.
BH: You have said in an interview:
At the only concert that I did with them, Syd played “Smokestack
Lightning” or variations thereof in every song, and didn’t really sing
at all. To say I was hugely disappointed is maybe the wrong way of
putting it. I was shocked, angry, devastated, that it had come to that.
Now that we finally have the chance to listen to the concert is your
opinion still the same (I need to add that most Barrett anoraks don't
think his playing is that bad at all, but that is why we are sometimes
called Sydiots anyway).
FF: Like I said, I haven’t heard it, but the event I was
referring to wasn’t this concert anyway. After the Corn Exchange gig we
rehearsed together with a view to creating a group for Syd to play his
songs. At the only rehearsal I attended, my memory has him playing
variations of Smokestack Lightning (which, after all, was the prototype
for Candy and the Currant Bun) throughout the session, which was
mercifully not recorded. And please note, I was “shocked, angry and
devastated” BECAUSE of my deep love of Syd’s playing, composing and
legacy, not for any other reason. He was clearly not himself, and that
was really sad.
BH: How was Syd's state of mind during the said Boogie Band
session? Was he into the music, enjoying himself?
FF: He appeared to be mentally completely absent.
BH: What were rehearsals like? Were any numbers written by Syd
FF: As far as I was concerned we were only there in order to try
and play Syd’s songs and give him a vehicle where it might seem possible
to perform again. We did it because of our love and respect for him. I
don’t remember any other material.
BH: Did you ever discuss musical theory with Syd Barrett? If so,
what were his ideas on composition?
FF: Syd was in no state to discuss anything during the very brief
period when our paths crossed. It would have been nice. But his
compositional ideas tend to shine through his compositions, which is the
way it should be.
BH: Did you have contact with Syd outside of the jam environment?
He was not unknown in Cambridge and he did know (and visited) Jenny
Spires, Monck and Twink.
FF: No. We had mutual friends, but we didn’t hang out. I was
young (19) and in awe and would probably have been too shy anyway. I did
talk to Nick Mason about it a few years later when we were working
together. But there wasn’t anything anyone could really do.
BH: Do you know of any other recordings in existence? Rumours go
that Stars rehearsals and gigs have been recorded. You don't have one of
these in your archive, by accident?
FF: I don’t know of anything, no. Certainly not in my possession.
BH: Looking back on the situation, do you find the Boogie Band to
be significant for your career?
FF: It was significant in providing me with some sobering food
for thought. Musically I have no recollection of anything beyond the
fact of having done it. Maybe if I hear the record it’ll stimulate some
BH: Many thanks for the interview and we'll hope that a copy of
that LMPTBB record arrives with you soon...
End of part five of our LMPTBB series. We know that there will be cries
of grief from our many fans, but this is probably the last article in
this series, unless the third Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band
member suddenly decides to answer our calls for another Birdie Hop
It contained, next to a CD and several goodies, a tape reel, marked
'reel four'. An undated letter from High Fidelity GCA Sound, Purveyors
of Fine Audio Equipment, explains how the four reels have been
transferred to CD.
Project instructions: Leopoldo Duran
(customer) provided four reel to reel tapes. Customer stated reels have
been left unprotected in a drafty room. Customer would like archive
copies made from whatever is on tapes. No alterations to the sound are
to be made. Please deliver transferred files on to a compact disc.
Minor water damage to tapes. Main concern is
tape quality. Tape age is estimated to be mid 1970s. Due to the age of
the tape, the tape is oxidizing and showing wear. In order to achieve
the most optimum archival copy, the reel to reel machine heads were
cleaned and aligned before each reel. Tapes were baked to achieve
optimum quality from source. While a digital copy has been created from
the reels provided, certain audio defects remain present. Even with
adequate preventative measures, tape transfer achieved was not optimal.
Listener should expect audio imperfections. This is most noticeable as
minor distortions, speed inconsistencies, and subtle drop outs.
And then there were three
Our assumption that four tapes, each containing different tracks, have
been anonymously 'delivered' to people around the world seems right.
Last week boxes arrived in Spain at the Solo
En Las Nubes webmaster Antonio Jesús (reel 2) and in the USA at Birdie
Hop administrator and music collector (and professional) Rick Barnes
(reel 1). As a matter of fact the Spanishgrass set made it onto Rick
Vinyl Community update on Youtube (skip to 20 minutes to watch the
For the moment we still have no clue about the whereabouts of reel
Next to the music on tape and CD there are some Polaroids from the
Oseira monastery that further immerse the listener into the Spanishgrass
set. These will be published on a daily base at the Spanishgrass
section of our Holy
Church Tumblr page.
The question that troubles most anoraks though is: do the tapes (and CD)
really contain lost Syd Barrett tunes that have been recorded during his
alleged stay at the Oseira monastery, somewhere in the seventies? We
will only publish a review of the record next week, but this is what we
can already divulge.
Save a prayer
Leopoldo Durán, professor of (English) literature, philosophy and
theology, lived for three decades in Great Britain where he was
contacted by Graham Greene after Durán's doctoral dissertation about
priesthood. The two men became friends for life and the author annually
visited the priest at the Oseira monastery. Greene's humorous and
satirical novel Monsignor
Quixote was a direct result of the long religious and political
conversations both friends had, more triggered by visits to local
vineyards than for the need of philosophical discours. Graham
Greene died in 1991, after his final confession was taken by his Spanish
friend. Durán would still correspond with Greene's widow and family
until his dead in 2008 and published several biographical books about
The Durán archives, 48 boxes in total, containing letters, manuscripts,
pictures from Durán, Greene and others are archived at the Georgetown
University Library Special
Collections Research Center, Washington, D.C., but nowhere there is
a trace of a certain Roger Keith Barrett staying at Oseira.
Leopoldo Durán died in 2008, but the alleged Spanishgrass
tapes were only posted six years later to four Syd Barrett scholars, after
the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and Solo En Las Nubes articles about
the 1986 hoax (and its follow-up, by the original author, Jose Ángel
González, in 2003). See: Spanishgrass
or Syd Barrett's lost Spanish record, Spanishgrass,
one year later and subsequent articles on this blog.
Where did the tapes stay between 2008 and 2014? Surely, if Leopoldo
Durán would have had the Spanishgrass tapes, they would logically be in
his archive, but they are not.
Last but not least. In the letter that can be found in the four
Spanishgrass Immersion boxes (with one box still missing), Leopoldo
Durán misspells his own name consequently as Leopoldo Duran, without an
accent on the last a. On top of that Durán was a professor of English
literature, so it is weird that the letter, destined for an English
speaking audience, has been written in Galician.
Sometimes a hoax can be too elaborated...
So who or what is this Spanishgrass band or artist and what is on the
album? Be patient, sistren and brethren, all will be
revealed in due time...
Finally the fourth copy of Spanishgrass has been found. It is
somewhere in that immense country that is Russia, in the hands of the
slightly dadaist artist Stanislav, whom we happen to have met
this summer in Brussels, the territory of Manneken
If this was an episode of Crime
Scene Investigation, where the actors have the uncanny habit of
talking way too fast, we would say that the net closes around the Syd
Barrett Facebook group Birdie
Hop as all people who have received a copy are linked, one way or
another, to that gang. On the other hand, as Birdie Hop undoubtedly is
the best Syd Barrett group around on Facebook this is not really
earth-shattering news either.
The great grey edifice of the Osera monastery stretches out almost alone
within a trough of the Galician hills. A small shop and a bar at the
very entrance of the monastery grounds make up the whole village of
Osera. The carved exterior which dates from the sixteenth century hides
the twelfth-century interior – an imposing stairway, perhaps twenty
metres wide, up which a platoon could march shoulder to shoulder, leads
to long passages lined with guest rooms above the central courtyard and
the cloisters. Almost the only sound during the day is the ring of
hammers where half a dozen workmen are struggling to repair the ravages
of seven centuries. (Graham Greene, Monsignor Quixote)
Let's cut the crap, once and for all. Of course the 2014 Spanishgrass
(Twenty Songs About Space And Siesta) 'immersion' set, that has only
been issued in four copies, isn't Syd Barrett's lost Oseira
record. Syd has never visited that monastery. The Spanish blog Sole
En Las Nubes has dedicated some valuable webspace to investigate the
Spanishgrass hoax and managed to trace it back to a Spanish journalist
and photographer who decided to have some fun in a satirical underground
magazine of the mid-eighties. (Thanks to Antonio Jesús for allowing us
to publish his articles in English: Spanishgrass.)
If you call yourself a decent Barrett-fan you should know that by now,
so don't feel insulted.
But this doesn't mean that there isn't a 'Spanishgrass' record by a
'Spanishgrass' band. The numbered and limited deluxe sets have been sent
to four extremely lucky people on 3 different continents. There also
seems to be a regular CD release, but it is pretty limited as well, and
probably you will have to ask for one if you want to receive it, but of
course you need to puzzle out who is behind the record first. Luckily
the set has been released
this week on Bandcamp where you can listen to it, track per track, or download
the album in its entirety on a 'name your own price' basis (0.00$ is an
option as well).
Why don't you listen to the Spanishgrass album on Bandcamp while
reading this review?
Spanishgrass (Twenty Songs About Space And Siesta)
Spanishgrass 2014 is a re-imagination of a record that never was in the
first place. Its maker had to explore the unexplored, like those
medieval cartographers who wrote hic sunt dracones (here are
dragons) on uncharted regions of their maps and who drew mythological
creatures, dragons and sea serpents on the empty spaces.
The record, 57 minutes in total, has 23 tracks (3 more than on the
'original' Spanisgrass), divided into 4 blocks and closely following the
track-listing and the lyrics that have been published by the Solo
En Las Nubes and Holy Church blogs (Spanishgrass,
the hoax revealed). Supplemental lyrics have been taken from The
White Goddess (Robert Graves, 1948) and Imaginary Lives (Marcel
Like in Eduardo
Galeano's Book of Embraces where every anecdote stands on its
own but interactively forms a complete chapter, each track has its own
merits but unites with the others. The record has been made to listen to
in its entirety, or at least part by part, 4 in total, each separated by
a 'division' Bells track (#1, 2 and 3). An interesting experiment would
be to play the record on shuffle and see what new auditive interactions
The music consists of evocative instrumentals and up-tempo tunes, with a
spacey, early Floydian, guitar sorrowing in the background, psychedelic
keyboards, fragile percussion and spoken word, whispered mostly in
English and sometimes Galician (Na Outra Banda). Soundscapes and musique
concrète are omnipresent: babbling brooks, chirping birds,
whistling teapots (Breakwater and Tea), a lawnmower (Waste Deep) and
some excited monks.
Do not expect an easy parcours, the music can be annoying,
harrowing, exhausting, cathartic, transcendental, repetitive. It is
impossible to fit the tracks into a single category other than that
melting pot that is avant-garde
There are traces of early and vintage Floyd (from Ummagumma to Obscured
By Clouds), haunting rhythms that stay remnant in your mind like those
Seer), seventies porn flick lounge tunes, Tarantinesque
Nyman's repetitiveness and even (cough, cough)... Spanish bluegrass
rockabilly (Grey Trees).
Either you find this record utterly irritating or utterly brilliant and
the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit seems to fall in the second category.
A masterpiece for non easy listeners, but we have never been easy,
Part One: Manantial (Spring) / Reverential Mourners / Black Maid /
Plastic Gunpowder / Bells 1 (approx. 14 minutes)
Part Two: Mouse after a fête / Breakwater and tea / Grey trees / Two
bangers + mash / Whining at the moon / Bells 2 (approx. 15 minutes)
Part Three: Greenland / Eu son Dhaga (I am Dhaga) / Na outra banda (On
the other hand) / Un poeta esquece os días de chuvia (A poet forgets the
rainy days) / Saturnalia / Bells 3 (approx. 16 minutes)
Part Four: William Phips / Stede Bonnet / Gabriel Spenser / Gospel at
Noon / Waste Deep / Frog (approx. 13 minutes).
(This is part three of the the Spanishgrass,
the myth continues... series. Hi-def scans and pictures will be
revealed, on an irregular basis, at our Spanishgrass
Many thanks to Mr. Anonymous for sending us this package. Spanishgrass
can be downloaded at Bandcamp. ♥
Iggy ♥ Libby ♥ Babylemonade Aleph ♥
The second weekend of June has the second Cambridge biennial Birdie Hop
meeting, with special guest stars: Viv Brans, Vic Singh, Peter Gilmour,
Men On The Border, Jenny Spires, Warren Dosanjh, Libby Gausden, Dave
'Dean' Parker & Iggy Rose (and some more).
Unfortunately the Facebook group for this event has been closed for
prying eyes, but some pictures and videos have already leaked out.
Pictures and videos will be regularly uploaded to the Holy Church of
Iggy the Inuit Tumblr
page, as soon as the Holy Igquisiton gets hold of them.
Many thanks to: Sandra Blickem, Mick Brown, Warren Dosanjh, Vanessa
Flores, Tim Greenhall, Alex Hoffmann, Antonio Jesus (Solo En Las Nubes),
Douglas Milne, Göran Nyström (Men On The Border), Vic Singh, Abigail
Thomson-Smith, Eva Wijkniet... ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
June had the second (and if rumours are correct: last) Birdie Hop
meeting in Cambridge with Syd Barrett fans having an informal drink with
some of the early-sixties Cambridge beatniks we know and love so dearly:
Jenny Spires, Libby Gausden, Mick Brown, Peter Gilmour, Sandra Blickem,
Vic Singh, Warren Dosanjh and others...
Special guest star was none other than Iggy Rose who left, if we may
believe the natives, an everlasting impression. You can read all about
it at: Iggy
Rose in Cambridge.
Men On The Border came especially over from the northern parts of
Europe, leaving their igloo, so to speak, to gig at the Rathmore
Club where they not only jammed with other Syd-aficionados, but also
with Redcaps frontman Dave Parker. (For the history of those sixties
Cambridge bands check the excellent: The
Music Scene of 1960s Cambridge.)
The night before however, on Friday June 12th, Men On The Border played
the legendary Prince
Albert (that name always make us chuckle) music pub in Brighton.
This gig was recorded and is now the third album of Men On The Border,
(2012) that consisted of Barrett covers and Jumpstart
(2013) that mainly had original songs but with a slightly concealed
This live release shows that Men On The Border is a tight band and that
they can play their material without having to revert to digitally
wizardry. In a previous review we already remarked that:
...some of the influences of MOTB lay in the pub-rock from Graham Parker
& The Rumour, Rockpile (with Nick Lowe & Dave Edmunds) and the cruelly
under-appreciated The Motors...
This live album certainly proves that. The versions are pretty close to
the recorded versions and singer Göran Nystrom manages once again to
give us goosebumps on Late Night and their own Warm From You
that is a pretty ingenious song if you ask us (with a sly nod to Jimi
So give them a warm hand of applause and make them feel welcome in this
mad cat world of random precision.
01 Terrapin (Jumpstart) 02 No Good Trying (ShinE!)
03 Scream Thy Last Scream (2015 single) 04 Long Gone (ShinE!)
05 Gigolo Aunt (ShinE!) 06 Late Night (ShinE!)
07 Octopus (ShinE!)
08 Warm From You (Jumpstart) 09 Baby Lemonade (ShinE!)
Digital release only, people don't buy plastic any more, unfortunately.
Update 2016 04 03: After the movie was 'found' on Facebook, it
took less than 24 hours before it was deleted from Dailymotion. We hope
that the original uploader will not get into trouble. We are currently
trying to get a reaction from Anthony Stern and Chimera Arts. (More
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, that wacky blog with an even wackier
Reverend vehemently tries to catalogue all things Iggy Rose, and
although several pictures and movies have been unearthed since then, one
important and most reverential piece was still missing in our collection.
Shot in 1968 by Anthony
Stern, 'iggy the eskimo girl' (all in lowercase) showed Iggy
Rose dancing barefoot through London, annoying the square folk who had
to go to work, creating kerfuffle wherever she put her lovely feet and
using something that resembles a smartphone, 30 years before these were
invented. The movie with its Pink Floyd soundtrack, restored in 2008 by Sadia
Sadia from Chimera
Arts, was shown at the legendary The
City Wakes in Cambridge and would now and then resurface on
avant-garde film festivals all over the world.
The movie never made it to the 'big' public though and several demands
of the Church to obtain a copy were politely refused. A one minute 27
seconds audience recording, taken at a Paris movie festival, was the
longest version we had (Iggy,
Eskimo Girl), next to a teaser from City Wakes (Syd
Barrett - Iggy).
Since then it was awfully quiet around the movie maker / glass artist
and frankly, the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit had given up hope to ever
see the 'iggy the eskimo girl' movie in full.
This morning we were informed by an enthusiastic Iggy that a full
version of the movie can be found on Dailymotion,
where it had already been uploaded at the end of the previous year by
someone who is internationally recognised as a Pink Floyd buff. Quality
isn't too bad, although it isn't really spectacular either. This is due
to the fact that it is an audience recording as well, taken from a 2010
film festival in Lille. Some cropping and editing had to be done and the
audio was re-sampled. But as far as we can judge, this is the most
complete version and the closest to the original.
In the same breath Iggy also mentioned that she, with a couple of
friends, had some more tricks up her sleeve, but alas as the Reverend of
the Iggy's Church we had to take a vow of silence. But watch this space
if you want to be kept informed.
So for now, sistren and brethren, here is 'iggy the eskimo
girl'. Enjoy and don't do anything Iggy wouldn't do.
If you dig deeper into the reason you get the message: The above video
has been deleted after a copyright claim.
After the movie was 'found' and published on the Holy Church of Iggy the
Inuit, it took less than 24 hours before it was deleted. Uploaded at the
end of past year it led a calm life at Dailymotion until it was found by
a Birdie Hop group member, if our information is correct. From
there it quietly expanded to other groups and on other people's
timelines, including the one of Iggy Rose. Reactions were generally
ecstatic, except for one.
It didn't take long for Stephen
W. Tayler to claim that this was a copyright infringement. He is a
mixer, music producer, composer and sound designer who has worked on
hundreds of projects, including Kate Bush, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel
and Howard Jones. As a partner in Chimera
Arts he helped restoring eight Anthony Stern movies in 2008,
including 'iggy the eskimo girl'.
Neither Anthony Stern, Sadia Sadia, nor Anthony W. Tayler wanted to give
comments. (Back to top of the article.)
When, a couple of years ago, a Brian
Jones Facebook group wanted to know if any members had ever met him,
Iggy Rose chimed in, in her usual diplomatic style, stating that she
still remembered some of the musician’s anatomical details. As Facebook
groups tend to harbour the bottom layer of human intelligence she wasn’t
believed. Perhaps for the better.
After six decades, Iggy still believes in the interconnected goodness of
people and things, something that was already present in her as a
toddler when she wanted to stroke the cat in the garden and her parents
realised, just in time, that it actually was a tiger. Obviously that was
before they relocated to the UK as there are not so many loose tigers
running around in Brighton. Predators in good old England were mostly of
the human kind and playing rock ’n' roll.
Lost weekends 1967 - 1968
How exactly Iggy met The
Rolling Stones has been shrouded in a cloak of mystery. Probably she
met them through psychedelic nobleman Stash (Stash
Klossowski de Rola) who was in their inner circle. It suffices to
say that one day she met them and that they and some of their
girlfriends liked to have her around.
That Iggy had an eerie timing of turning completely invisible had
already been proven a year and a half before when she was invited to
Keith's 15th century country house, Redlands, in West Withering. In the
early evening of 12 February 1967 police officers raided the place and
arrested Keith, Mick and the mysterious Miss X, who was only wearing a
fur rug, but she was not Iggy.
Other guests present in the house that day were: Nicky Kramer, a
dandy dope head, who was unfortunately repeatedly beaten up by some of
Mick’s rougher associates because they suspected him to be the informant
who gave the Stones away; art dealer Robert
‘groovy Bob’ Fraser and his manservant Mohammed Jajaj; Christopher
Gibbs, a friend of Mick; photographer Michael
Cooper, and last but not least: David
Schneiderman, Sniderman aka David Jove, the ‘acid king’ whose
portable drug cabinet with LSD and dope was never confiscated and who
may have been the real snitch, working for British intelligence and/or
The News Of The World newspaper.
Not present any more were George Harrison and Patti Boyd. They left the
mansion before the bust. Brian Jones and Anita Pallenberg had an
argument in London so they never arrived, much to the disappointment of
the police who raided Jones' house later.
And Iggy the Eskimo was nowhere to be seen because… she got lost on her
way to the doomed place.
I had a lucky escape cause I lost my way after all the directions Keef
gave me. (Birdie Hop, 02 June 2015.)
Michael Cooper has made some 70000 pictures of the Rolling Stones, yet,
the first one with Iggy still has to surface. We know they are there,
Literary hundreds of pictures have been lost. Me and Eric Clapton, Roger
Daltrey, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon… I had quite a few
snapshots with Keef, Brian and Anita…
A great loss happened when Iggy’s suitcase, that contained all her
possessions, was tossed overboard, in the North Sea, after a row with an
abusive friend musician. One picture
that has survived however shows her, Zelig-like indeed, standing next to
John Lennon on Carmen Jiménez’s birthday party, January 1967 at The
Fame had a gorgeous girlfriend, Carmen, and she took me under her
wings when he was touring. Just around the corner of The Cromwellian
Brian Jones has an incredible pad and we all had a scrumptious paella
there, cooked by her. After Brian I rolled into Keef who had a palatial
place at the Chelsea embankment.
In July 1968 Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg and their entourage could be
found in a London house that was easier to find for Iggy. It was the set
for a Donald
Cammell movie that would get cult status: Performance.
This film was one of the rare occasions where there was no real
difference between what happened before and behind the camera, between
fiction and reality... Iggy told us:
They used real magic mushrooms... I was at the house [Powis Square,
Notting Hill, FA] when they where getting ready to shoot the bedroom
scene, the lady in charge was getting shrooms for the cast and offered
me some as well.
Iggy was also proposed a part in the movie for a bedroom scene, but she
politely declined. It didn't stop her though to be friendly with Anita
Pallenberg and with Donald Cammell's 'beautiful dusky' lady, Myriam
On the weekend from the 23rd to the 25th September 2016 BBC4 handed over
its schedule to Keith
Richards (and Julien
Temple) in what was called Keith Richards' Lost Weekend. Apparently
all programs were hand-picked by Keith, ranging from a Hitchcock movie,
cartoons and comedy, documentaries, interviews and obviously some music.
On Sunday morning, starting at 1:25 AM, some Syd Barrett fans did not
only see the object of their adoration on the screen, but Iggy the
Eskimo as well, dancing in a park.
Probably the documentary was a condensed version of Stern's
autobiographical movie Get
All That, Ant that will be premiered at the Cambridge Syd Barrett
movie festival on October the 21st 2016, and that has The Rolling
Stones, Pink Floyd and, of course, Iggy Rose amongst its contributors.
You can read a tad more about the movie, that will hopefully be released
on DVD, on Stern's new website that looks remarkably like a vintage
eighties web-creation: Anthony
Stern Film Archive.
Obviously we had Iggy on the phone about this documentary that she saw
through half-open eyes as she was falling asleep by then. But she did
catch herself in the white dress though...
The fact that Keith Richards, Keith Richards!, hand-picked Anthony
Stern's movie about me is thrilling after all these years.
Must be that he still remembers you, Iggy. Those 'not fit for
publication' scenes happening on the backseat of his Rolls Royce must
have left an unforgettable impression on his scruffy brain, even after
This article is an updated version of Iggy
& the Stones (October 2012). Many thanks to: Lisa Newman,
Anthony Stern, Yeeshkul. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
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).
Last year we didn’t wish Iggy a happy birthday, for reasons that are
well known, but why stop with a fine tradition that has been going on
for many years?
We don’t mean to be disrespectful and obviously we think about the
tragedy that happened just before midnight on the thirteenth of December
2017, but to us and to many others Iggy will always be the
personification of life and joy and happiness. So here we go:
Iggy Rose’s Fantastic Birthday Bash
Iggy’s online birthday festivities started in 2011 as Iggy
Rose's Fantastic Birthday Bash! Its instigator was not the Church,
but – and we quote – "artist and general troublemaker Jenni
Fiire who promised an online celebration to show Iggy Rose how much
we love and appreciate her on her birthday. A groovy electronic party!"
The result was that literally hundreds of messages reached Iggy Rose
that day. Whatever happened to Jenni Fiire, we sometimes wonder? She
disappeared without a trace.
Something to watch: Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card
An electronic birthday card that we made in 2011 featured a home-movie
of Iggy and the wishes at the end show the bumpy ride that history often
makes. Does anyone remember the Facebook groups Clowns & Jugglers
and No Man’s Land? Supposedly this was even before Birdie
Hop was created and many of its members are still around.
Blah F. Blah. Anyone? All these memories coming back, by browsing old
Crystal Blue Postcards
Also in 2011 an electronic book of poems and art, dedicated to Syd and
his muses, was published at the Holy Church. These poems were written by
Denis Combet (with some help from Constance Cartmill and Allison Star).
Digital artwork by Jean Vouillon, image tinkering and book design: Felix
This booklet includes From Quetesh To Bastet, dedicated to Iggy.
For more information about this release (and the 'original' French
version of the Iggy poem De Quétesh à Bastet), check: Catwoman.
In Iggy We Trust, Rich Hall & Porthos
Last year Rich Hall brought an acoustic rendition of his
mulit-million dollars selling hit In Iggy We Trust (aka The
Reverend), with some valuable assistance from his dog Porthos. It
was meant to be included in our annual Iggy Birthday post, but it became
a fitting eulogy instead.
We have written this before. Just when you think that there will be no
more Iggy the Eskimo news, she hits you hard, surprising the
fans, posthumously reaching from those Elysian
Fields where there is a special psychedelic corner for free spirits
who are not square, we are sure of that. It is her way of telling us:
don’t you forget about me.
Be assured, Iggy, we won’t.
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is a cabinet of curiosities, situated
in Belgium, and its most precious objects have been brought in by an
international network of Iggy admirers.
Before the Church started in 2008, all that was known about Iggy – with
the exception of the Madcap photo sessions – was that she could be found
in an NME article of November 1966. (See: Bend
2008. Dolly Rocker, aka Gaby or Gabriela, who is from Buenos Aires,
Argentina, recognised Iggy in a Rank Organisation documentary. This more
or less triggered the start of this blog. (See: IN
2012. PhiPhi Chavana, from Hong Kong, found a picture of Iggy in a Music
Maker magazine, belonging to a collector in Sydney (Australia). (See: Iggy
- a new look in festivals)
2015. Jacinta Start, Australia, was pleasantly surprised to be
confronted with Iggy’s picture, originally from the Holmes-Lebel
archives in France. (See: Iggy
- another festival, another look)
2018. We were almost simultaneously warned by Nigel Young (GB), Antonio
Jesùs (Spain) and Alex Hoffmann (Germany) that Iggy was in a
documentary, with an alternative bunch of aristocratic hippies,
travelling in a horse-carriage from London to Port Eliot, St. Germans.
Your Wagon: Iggy movie unearthed!)
2020. On the first spring day of 2020 a message arrived from
Rostov-On-Don, Russia, to inform the Church that an unknown Iggy picture
had mysteriously appeared on a Russian social network.
On the social network VK
(short for Vkontakte), the number one site in Russia, she had found a post
of user CBGB with a more than intriguing picture attached. “Could it be
Iggy?” she asked us.
The post had been there since the first of March 2019 and Google
searches initially led to nothing. Lucky there are several other search
engines around and Yandex,
not coincidentally a Russian one as well, found the picture on three
blogs and, good for us, in a better quality. From there it could be
traced back to its original uploader: Always
Retro, who posted
it somewhere in 2018.
Unfortunately, since the big porn
breakdown from end 2018 Tumblr has become a shadow of its former
self. If a Tumblr blog has been defined as ‘sensitive’, whatever that
means, it becomes virtually impossible to explore it. Although certainly
Always Retro could only be opened in private mode, which means that
looking for a specific date or tag was made impossible. Searching for
the picture was like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.
It took some extra digging and quite some luck and finally the source
could be found in a gallery on ImageVenue,
an anonymous image-sharing website.
Photographer, as the name suggests, is a British photography
magazine that exists since 1884, one year before Kodak marketed the film
roll. It still exists today focusing on digital and analogue photography.
Issue 142 of the fifth of August 1970 had an article about 'Glamour On
The Beach' which has always been a pretext to have some mild eroticism.
The cover girl could possibly be actress Ann
Sidney, aka Miss World 1964. She was pictured by Ken Howard who
worked for several photo magazines. For the article itself, pictures of Raquel
Welch and Alexandra
Bastedo were used. (Although the magazine is called Amateur
Photographer most of the pictures inside are made by professionals.)
Starting on page 28 is an article with the title 'London Salon 1970 –
the Top Print'. It has a picture of minor celebrity Dania Faber
(Montez). She was a pin-up model from Bombay who looked for fame and
fortune in London, trying to become an actress. About a dozen pictures
have survived from her and in the mid-seventies she disappeared
completely from the radar. It was thanks to her picture (and to a
collector's forum) that we could trace the person who owns and scanned
the Amateur Photographer magazine.
And, as you have probably guessed by now, one of those scans contains a
picture of a woman who looks uncannily like Iggy the Eskimo, taken by
the photographer Feri Lukas.
Not much is known of Feri Lukas, other than that he was a photo
journalist for the music magazine Record
Mirror, under the wings of the world famous photographer Dezo
Hoffmann, who began working for the magazine in 1955. Lukas
certainly worked for Record Mirror in 1966 as he is mentioned in a Sonny
& Cher article 'You
Lucky People' from the third of September.
An internet search for Lukas only results in a couple of pictures. A few
of mods and punks in the seventies, one of Muhammad
Ali and one of an old man sitting on a bench that can be found on
several religious inspired blogs. That is all there is to find. Dezo
Hoffmann’s studio had different (rock) photographers who became famous
afterwards, but Feri unfortunately isn’t one of them.
It doesn’t need to be said that the slightly fantastical Facebook group Birdie
Hop (if you look up who started it you’ll understand why) was
immediately buzzing with dozens of reactions from Syd Barrett and Iggy
fans. (Several über-cool members also warned the Church about the
As always reactions were divided between believers and non-believers.
“The lips and eyes are off.” said one. “Their proportions may look
similar at first glance, but there are differences as well. I don't
think it is her.”
But others had the following to say, after they compared the
‘Pocahontas’ picture with this one: “She has the same makeup under the
eyes. (…) The face shape is round like hers, and the eyes look the same
to me. (…) It’s so hard to say but I'm gonna guess yes.”
And: “This just convinced me more! The mouth, the slight overbite, the
round nose, the round face. Exactly the same (to me).”
But what does the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit has to say about this
Well, we are convinced this is Iggy, but up till now there is no proof
and any evidence is – like American lawyers love to say –
circumstantial. But as usual, Iggy will have the last word.
The Iggy Archives
The Reverend delved into his archive that contains transcripts of
conversations with Iggy. One day, in 2011, we started talking about her
modelling career and the people who shot her. Iggy Rose:
You should get in touch with the archive department of Melody Maker to
track down those 2 photographers. I am pretty sure they were acquainted
with my wonderful guardian angel who was freelancing for all the top
At the time this sentence was a mystery to us, but now it’s starting to
get clear. According to Iggy there were three different photographers
who took her pictures for different (music) magazines. Could it be that
Feri Lukas was one of those, perhaps even the man she described as her
East vs West
Here is what she had to say about him.
He fled his native motherland when Communist Russia invaded it with the
blessing of America and what was once Great Britain.
The above sentence is rather important for our investigation, as it
describes the photographer as someone with East-European roots.
Later on there were different uprisings in the east. Iggy could be
referring to the Hungarian
Revolution of 1956 that was stopped when the Soviet army invaded
Budapest. Approximatively 200 000 Hungarians fled as refugees. Other
uprisings took place in East
Germany (1953), Poland
(1956) and Czechoslovakia
(1968, but by then Feri Lukas was already in Great Britain).
short for Ferenc,
is a name from Hungary. Although it roots can also be found in Croatia
and (old) Germany.
(or Lúkas, Lukaš, Lukáš...) is pretty well established in Hungary. The
surname can also be found in Czechia, Germany, Lithuania, Poland,
Slovakia,... These countries (minus one: West Germany) were put under
Russian hegemony after the second world war.
We can be pretty sure that Feri Lukas was Hungarian, or at least from
the part of Europe that was behind the iron
(It may, or may not, be a coincidence but Feri Lukas’ boss Dezo Hoffmann
was born in the Kingdom of Hungary, in a region that later became
Czechoslovakia and that is now Slovakia.)
It is time to put two and two together.
In a chat from 2011, Iggy talked about a freelancing music magazine
photographer with East European roots
In a photo magazine from 1970 a picture of a woman who looks exactly
like Iggy is found.
The picture is from a photographer, with an obvious East European
name, who happened to be a photographer for a music magazine in the
Needless to say this is enough circumstantial evidence to convince us.
The girl in the picture must be Iggy.
More from Iggy
Once Iggy started talking there was no way stopping her. So it is no
wonder she had more things to say about Feri Lukas, during that chat in
Anyway he lived in Earls Court, at the gay end. I didn’t have a clue and
who cares. He was my protector and provider and took thousands of the
most stunning pics. He introduced me to top agents, Ready Steady Go and
took me to the first Glastonbury festival and the Isle of Wight.
He would always take pictures of me as well. I wish I could remember
which festival or what music paper where he had got me on the front
page, but I do remember I had plaits and a band round my forehead... I
looked like Pocahontas, the red Indian squaw.
Later on he introduced me to top modelling agencies and trendy
photographers. I even got to meet the great David Puttman for a Camay
soap TV-ad where I was lying in a bath with lots of bubbles. We spent
ages in his office giggling and laughing while he tried to apologise. I
was the wrong type as the soap company was looking for big blue-eyed
blondes like Twiggy or Jean [Shrimpton].
So there we have it. Not only a new Iggy picture has been unearthed, but
we may also have found who was behind Iggy’s legendary Pocahontas
A last word from Iggy
Iggy also remembered that a good friend of Feri Lukas (if she was still
talking about the same man) was ‘the singer of the musical Hair’, Murray
Head. Just another celebrity she encountered.
To access the photographer’s studio you had to climb on a ladder,
something Iggy did multiple times. Probably that studio was just below
the roof of the house. Bit by bit that place was converted into a huge
I remember one photographer who had covered a whole studio wall with
pics of me. There was a whole batch of rather naughty ones. I hope they
will never be discovered.
Please excuse us, dear Iggy, but we would like to hope the opposite. For
historic research, obviously.
The Church wishes to thank: Bafupo, CBGB, Drosophila, Vita Filippova,
Sara Harp, Alexander Peter Hoffmann, Elizabeth J., Lisa Newman, Old Man
Peace, Joe Perry, Brynn Petty, Catherine Provenzano and the many
contributors at Birdie Hop. ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Some hi-res pictures can be found at our Tumblr page with the Feri
While the Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is more and more
becoming a recluse, living in a corner of a foreign field, it is cool to
notice that the Syd Barrett community keeps on attracting new souls.
The authoritative Birdie
Hop group, with its 7300 members (August 2020) attracts new members
every day. The only negative point is that – due to Facebook’s business
model – really interesting topics (for the extreme Sydiots amongst us)
get pushed down, making them virtually invisible after a couple of days.
New members, and who are we to blame them, will ask the same questions,
will post the same pictures and publish the same songs, due to their
enthusiasm and relative unfamiliarity with the subject.
Quite a few Syd Barrett sites and fora have disappeared over the years.
You may think whatever you want from Barrett-foghorn Kiloh Smith,
but his sydbarrettpinkfloyd blog was an almost endless source of
information, written by him and his many collaborators. The Late
Night forum from Eternal Isolation, officially called the
Late Night Syd Barrett Discussion Room, has 98000 threads but less than
a dozen regular visitors nowadays. And don't let us get us started about
the exclusive Syd Barrett Research Society that was such a
creative pool of information, once upon a time.
But here’s that old fool on the hill pondering again that the good old
days were much better, while the now and the here is in the hands of the
young. But sometimes it is good to have a few dinosaurs around.
Bob Martin is a veteran of Birdie Hop who, end of August 2020,
threw a little bomb in the community with an anecdote he got from Ginger
Gilmour, David’s ex-wife.
I just had a bit of a chat with Ginger Gilmour and she mentioned that
Syd would visit their home in Woodley and record at David's studio. The
interesting bit is it would have been 1971 or later… How cool is that?
And I would like to thank Ginger Gilmour for letting me share this
story. I was not aware that Syd and David spent time together well after
the recording of Syd's solo albums.
This is something new and exciting indeed. The obvious question some
people were and are asking was if these recordings have been saved for
eternity and are still somewhere hidden in Gilmour's archives. That
these archives have some unpublished (Pink Floyd) goodies is well known.
Gilmour used to have the Bob
Dylan Blues reel that allegedly also contains demo versions of
Wolfpack, Waving My Arms in the Air, Jigalo Aunt (sic) and an unreleased
song called Living Alone (aka I Get Stoned).
Bob Martin, however, is prudent.
No one is saying anything came of these recordings, even if they were
kept. But wouldn't that be grand if David did have some jams recorded?
The Geeky Stuff
Let’s try to put a date on these sessions, shall we? The Syd Barrett
anecdote has not been put in Ginger’s ‘Memoirs of the
Bright Side of the Moon’, but she is pretty accurate on dates and
places. (Read our review here: The
Ballad of Fred & Ginger.)
Virginia ‘Ginger’ Hasenbein met David Gilmour backstage on the 28th of
October 1971, at the Hill Auditorium (University of Michigan, USA) and
it was pretty much love at first sight. Ginger followed the band for the
rest of the tour that would go on till the 20th of November, meeting
Gilmour’s parents, who were living in the USA, on the 15th. After the
tour, she emigrated to England where she lived with David in a farm near
Roydon, Essex. Pink Floyd road manager Pete Watts and his girlfriend
Patricia ‘Puddy’ Gleeson stayed with them for some time.
David and Peter spent a lot of time in his studio, which was downstairs
next to the living room.
The two couples didn’t have much free time as the UK Tour ‘72 was
starting in January. But even with Gilmour on the road, the house was
I was alone with the BOYS - David’s friends from Cambridge. Most
evenings I got stuck doing the washing up and keeping them filled with
Tea as they smoked their spliffs and watched telly.
Those boys probably were Emo and a couple of others, but Syd was not
among them. There was also Warwick, the housekeeper, doing the odd job
and taking care of the duck Digby, the cats Gretel and Naomi and a
retired Shire horse, Vim. Emo:
Ginger moved in when she came over. I remember Ginger telling me she met
Syd when he came to the house at Woodley, Essex.
Through Emo we got some extra information from Ginger:
He came to Woodley and David helped him record some music. Syd had to
sit on a stool and David stood behind him and helped him play the
guitar… arms around him… (date forgotten).
And from Bob Martin, we know that Ginger added that Syd would stop by
the house in Woodley quite often.
So if Syd attempted some recordings it may have been in that two months
‘calmer’ period, from November 1971 to January 1972. At the end of
January, the Floyd had a British tour, followed by the Obscured By
Clouds sessions, followed by a Japanese tour, an American tour, another
American tour and a French tour. And in between, they had some recording
sessions for what would become The Dark Side Of The Moon.
It is not that weird that Barrett tried to put his career back on the
rails. His previous album, Barrett, dated from November 1970 and he
hadn’t been doing a lot since. As a matter of fact, he had been doing
February 1971 had seen his last gig, 3 songs only, for BBC radio,
probably with David Gilmour in the band. There were a couple of
interviews, with Syd invariably trying to convince the journalist that
he was still in shape and that a third album was in the works.
I’ve been writing consistently for two years now and I have lots of
undeveloped things lying around. I’m still basically like I’ve always
been, sitting around with an acoustic getting it done. I never get
worried about my writing. (1971 interview in Terrapin 17, 1975.)
I've got some songs in the studio, still. And I've got a couple of
tapes. It should be 12 singles, and jolly good singles. I think I shall
be able to produce this one myself. I think it was always easier to do
that. (Melody Maker, Mar 27 1971, Michael Watts.)
Another trigger might have been the release of the Pink Floyd
in May 1971, that contained four Barrett tracks (and 6 with him in the
band). Syd had a copy of the album and bragged about it to Mick
Rock that it had reached the top 10. Probably his management must
have thought this was the ideal moment to get the third record in the
can and surf on the Pink Floyd wave of fame.
That Syd Barrett was trying to get back in shape could be seen on the
26th and 27th of January 1972. Invited by Jenny Spires Syd went
to an Eddie
‘Guitar’ Burns gig at King’s College Cellars
(Cambridge), bringing his guitar with him. After the official gig Syd, Twink
(John Alder) and Jack
Monck (who was Jenny’s husband) had an impromptu jam.
Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band
Barrett liked the experiment and joined the Last Minute Put Together
Boogie Band the next day on three numbers. LMPTBB was a power blues
outfit built around Twink, Jack Monck and the American singer Bruce
Paine. That day they also had Fred
Frith with them, who was less enthusiast about Barrett than the
others. (Read our Fred Frith interviews at: An
innerview with Fred Frith.)
The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band gig was recorded and officially
released, after a long battle, in 2014. You can read all about it in our
LMPTBB series: LMPTBB.
When Syd Barrett showed interest to start performing again singer and
guitarist Bruce Paine was thanked for his services and a new band was
Bruce Paine continued as the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band and
had at least one gig with Rick
Fenn, Bill Gray and someone called Gary, before joining Steamhammer.
All of a sudden, Syd Barrett had become the leader of a new band,
something he wasn’t really ready for. Stars did six gigs in Cambridge
and somehow the music press got hold of it.
When a Melody Maker journalist published a critical review of one of the
lesser shows, Syd Barrett called it quits. Apart from a jam with Jack
Bruce in the summer of 1973, he would never perform again in public.
Stars, without Syd, still played a few gigs but was disbanded soon after.
The Basement Tapes
That we have never heard of the Barrett-Gilmour home tapes before is
weird, and perhaps not. The Floyd nicely cultivated the Syd Barrett myth
over the years, keeping it mysterious. Take for instance the different
Syd Barrett visits during the Wish You Were Here sessions, with
Gilmour denying that Syd was there on his wedding day, although ten
witnesses, including his ex-wife, tell the opposite. Read all about that
at: Shady Diamond.
David Gilmour has never been the most talkative kind of guy, especially
when it comes to his relationship with Syd.
This was proven once again during the A
Theatre For Dreamers / Von Trapped Family live stream #6 (9 May
2020), that was mainly David Gilmour sharing some thoughts about Syd
Barrett. When asked who was the culprit not wanting to take Syd Barrett
on a gig in January 1968 David Gilmour stays very discreet, even when
pushed by Polly Samson.
David: “Someone...” Polly: “Who?!” David:
“...said...” Polly: “Who?!” David: “...as
we were driving around West-London picking people up about to head off
to some, like Southampton for a gig. Someone said shall we pick Syd up?
Someone else said no, let’s not bother.” (Meanwhile, Polly keeps on
yapping at her husband.) Polly: “Come on, you know who said that!” David:
“Uhm, stop fishing… I actually don’t know. I don’t know the answer to
The Syd Barrett Lyrics Book
The main bulk of the conversation was about the Syd Barrett lyrics book
that David Gilmour is proofreading, comparing the master tapes with the
lyrics that have been written down. Not an easy task so it appears as
the Barrett little black book with his poems in has disappeared.
Another contributor to the Syd Barrett lyrics book will be Rob
Chapman and he had the following to say on Twitter about it:
No doubt publishers will announce this in due course but the Syd Barrett
lyric book has been put back to next year due to the Virus. A pity
because there is going to be an exclusive in there which will make all
Syd fans gasp and spontaneously combust when they read it. (Rob Chapman
April 29, 2020.)
What makes us wonder what this exclusive might be. Perhaps the fact that
David Gilmour still has a few unpublished demos or pictures in his
If we have learned something from our decades-long Pink Floyd admiration
it is that ‘spontaneous’ scoops like this mostly have been organised by
the Floyd’s management. The first 1975 Syd Barrett picture was
coincidentally found when Nick Mason had a book to promote. Years later
a second photo was accidentally revealed on the Pink Floyd exhibition.
But for the exclusive in the Syd Barrett lyrics book, we will still have
to wait a bit.
Many thanks: Rob Chapman, Ebronte, Ginger Gilmour, Bob Martin, Iain
‘Emo’ Moore, Lisa Newman, Ken Sutera Jnr, Swanlee, Wolfpack, Syd Wonder
and the friendly people of Birdie Hop and Late Night. Some pictures and
stuff at our Tumblr: Stars. ♥
Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (other than the above mentioned links): Gilmour, Ginger: Memoirs
of the Bright Side of the Moon, Angelscript International, 2015, p.
31. Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London,
2001, p. 164. Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink
Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 149.
Rieks Korte is a Syd Barrett fan and a lover of rarities as his
Dutch blogs De
Platenkoffer and De
Platenkoldershow show. Unfortunately these blogs haven’t been
updated since 2016 as he also succumbed to the Venus
flytrap that is Facebook.
As such he is a valid contributor to Birdie
Hop, that eclectic mixture of Sydiots (good!) and idiots (not so
good!) who think that publishing the same pictures from Syd Barrett over
and over again is a splendid thing. But who am I to blame others, next
to slightly fantastic The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit (the blog
you are reading now), there is a pretty redundant Tumblr,
a superfluous Facebook
page and a forgettable Twitter
with the same name, that only add to the general obfuscation of the
So far for my introduction that, as the gentle reader knows, mostly has
nothing to do with the rest of the article. This is no exception.
A couple of days ago Rieks Korte wrote
about a Lucifer Sam cover from the band The Graded Grains,
allegedly from 1967, that he described as (possibly) the first Pink
Floyd cover ever. You can listen to it hereafter, before we continue
with our lament. Thank you.
There is a very detailed – official – website
of the band and from there we learn that they were originally based at
Exeter and started in 1964 as The Spartans. They morphed into Clockwork
Orange and finally they settled as The Graded Grains in 1967.
The band went on until 1971, had a bus-load of personnel changes, and
had over 300 gigs in Germany alone. They acted as a warm-up band for
quite a few rock legends: Amen Corner, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown,
Cream, Family, Free, Long John Baldry, The Move, The Pretty Things, The
Searchers, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Traffic and The Who.
A Graded Grains Mk2 was reformed in 1974. That band went on for about a
decade with over a thousand gigs on their list.
Despite these many gigs there are only about 30 recorded tracks of them,
available in collectors circles and never officially released, with the
odd exception here and there.
The first Graded Grains tracks were made at Swan Street Studio, Torquay,
in 1968, engineered by Tony Waldron. It had Cliff Andrews on drums, John
Gregory on guitar and Ian “Bud” Street on bass and vocals.
This session has survived on acetate. Side A has an early version of
Animal Magic (misspelled as Animal Majic), side B has a track that has
been noted down as Lucifer Son but that is a (pretty average)
cover of the Floyd’s Lucifer
Sam, probably to repeat the animal theme on the record's B-side.
While Modbeat66 at YouTube claims this is a 1967 track the Graded
Grains site confirms several times that this session dates from 1968.
That is the date we will work with.
So, is this really the first Pink Floyd cover as has been claimed? No,
it probably isn’t.
As usual, when things involve Syd Barrett and early Pink Floyd, the
Reverend thinks he can give the answers.
First of all, the Lucifer Sam version of The Graded Grains exists only
as an acetate
disc and was never issued as a single. A collector found it in a
London shop and put the track on a 1983 Chocolate
Soup For Diabetics compilation (still as Lucifer Son, by the way).
One source told the Church that the song could be found on an earlier
bootleg, where it was described as a track from an unknown band, but we
didn't find a trace of that album.
Dr Doom, on 45Cat,
claims that there are two known acetates of this record. One was
auctioned in 2004 on eBay and on the third of September 2017 a second
one was sold for £821 on Popsike
(where it was confirmed this was the second known copy of that acetate).
Although recorded in 1968, Lucifer Sam by The Graded Grains has only
been officially released in the mid eighties, so it simply isn't the
Floyd’s first cover version. Some readers might find that we are
stretching the rules a bit...
...but we have an even better argument.
There is a Pink Floyd cover from a Canadian band that dates from 1967, a
couple of months before Graded Grains recorded Lucifer Sam. Three To
One recorded See
Emily Play on the Arc label in 1967 and a year later that same track
appeared on the CTV
After Four compilation.
A second See
Emily Play cover on Arc, using new vocals, but with the same musical
track, was released by the Okey
Pokey Band & Singers on their 1968 Flower
Power album. A shorter version of exactly the same song was put on
an 1968 EP from the band The
Golden Ring, unfortunately that version seems to have disappeared
The Okey Pokey Band and The Golden Ring never existed as such, but were
just fake band names to put on so-called sound-alike records. We have
dedicated a very detailed article about these Canadian Pink Floyd
Rape of Emily (three different ones).
Graded Grains were one of the very first bands to cover a Pink Floyd
tune, only nobody ever heard it before the eighties. They were preceded
by a couple of months by Canadian band Three To One who covered See
Emily Play. Perhaps Graded Grains were the first British band to
have covered a Pink Floyd song, although that is open for discussion.