Shaken not stirred
Moviemaker Anthony Stern, who knew Iggy before she met Syd, has confirmed that the person at the Granny Takes A Trip boutique on the IN Gear movie is indeed her. On his turn he will present a home movie called Iggy Eskimo Girl at The City Wakes festival in Cambridge (see banner at the right side). A short teaser can be found on YouTube.
According to Mick Rock Syd was touched when she left him:
Once I’d developed the film (from The Madcap Laughs photo-session, note by FA), I went round to show Syd the pictures. He took this one opposite (page 21 in the PR-book, note by FA) and scratched some lines and his name onto it. I think there was a bit of negativity directed at Iggy. He just started scratching the print, with a big grin on his face. (Taken from Psychedelic Renegades.)
It could be that the scratches on the picture were destined at Iggy, but why did Syd Barrett scratch (more or less) around her figure? Not (and I hope my shrink will never read this) her face or body, in my garbled opinion the logical thing to do if one would try to express negative or revengeful feelings on a photograph. Syd’s body and face is far more scratched than Iggy’s and Barrett also cut the letters SYD on the picture... Perhaps he was just trying to make clear to Mick Rock that he wanted to get rid of his pop-life alter ego.
Mick Rock writes further that he heard from Duggie Fields, the painter who was Syd Barrett’s roommate and who still lives in the same apartment today, that ‘she later went off with some rich guy in Chelsea and lived a very straight life’.
On my main blog (and also on the Late Night forum) I wrote that none of the Pink Floyd biographers have been really looking for Iggy. Mark Blake, author of Pigs Might Fly, responded: “I can't speak for all the PF or SB biographers, but I certainly tried.”
The only bit of new info I found was that there was a chance 'Iggy' may have gone to school in the South London area, as she was known as one of the regular teenage girls at the dancehalls around Purley and Caterham. This would have been around 1965. Duggie Fields recalls seeing her some time after the Madcap Laughs photo session and she was looking a lot more "sloaney". Most of the people I spoke to who knew her believe Iggy married a rich businessman and doesn't now want to be 'found'. (Taken from The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit on Late Night.)
Although scarce the above information is about the most relevant we have had from a biographer in about 30 years.
The most famous dancehall in Purley was the Orchid Ballroom where The Who, The Troggs and The Hollies gigged a couple of times. It started as a regular dance hall (and concert and sporting events hall) in the Fifties and had a local house band The Jackpots in 1963 and 64.
In the mid Sixties (1964 – 1966) the Orchid Ballroom was the meeting place for the Croydon mods who would assemble every Monday night. Witnesses remember Mike (?) Morton, Tony Crane, Jeff Dexter and Sammy Samwell spinning the records. Pete Sanders and Mickey Finn used to be part of the crowd.
Not all these names ring a bell. I could not trace back Mike Morton, but Lionel Morton was the singer and lead guitarist from the Four Pennies who had a hit in 1963 – 1964 with Juliet. Tony Crane was a member of The Mavericks, a band that became famous when they changed the name to The Merseybeats, later The Merseys (David Bowie would cover their Sorrow on his Pin-Ups album, a tune they had borrowed from The McCoys). Mickey Finn could be the man who was the drummer of T. Rex and who also played on the record made by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, the people who were behind the Granny Takes A Trip boutique.
Elizabeth Colclough used to work at the bar in 1968: "It was the place to go to meet friends old and new, weekday evenings and also at the weekend. We saw some great bands, some who are still going strong today.”
Another witness recalls how Cathy (Mc Gowan), the queen of the mods and presenter of the ever popular Ready Steady Go! Show, came to the Orchid Ballroom to spot for dancers to appear in her show. Seen the fact that Iggy was present at an RSG!-party, organised by the show's main choreographer, it is not improbable that she may have been present at some RSG! television-shows as well, as a dancer or as a pretty face in the public.
A book about the history of the Orchid Ballroom has been made and the Church will try to contact its author, there is the (very small) chance that Iggy is mentioned in it. (Update August 2009: Brian Roote, who studied the history of The Orchid confirmed later to the Church: 'I have no knowledge of this girl whatsoever'.)
Sources (other than the above internet links):
McAleer, Dave: Beatboom!, Hamlyn, London, 1994, p. 57-59.
Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 20.
IN Gear Gallery
Some of Anthony Stern's pictures are somewhat reminiscent of the IN Gear mirror shots that were taken in the Granny Takes A Trip boutique. The Church could finally get hold of the Look at Life Swingin’ London DVD and managed to extract a lot of screenshots. The previous low quality gallery from the IN Gear documentary has now been upgraded with the DVD shots that have a slightly better quality.
Iggy's appearance in the Look At Life documentary has been uploaded on Youtube.
For those that want to watch the complete documentary, don't miss Iggy. She arrives at 1 minute 13 seconds and disappears, with the world's most beautiful smile on her face, at 1 minute and 45 seconds.
The Church is still trying to find more information about the documentary in question but apparently the Rank Organistation archives are a bit quirky. They have been put somewhere, but nobody seems to remember the exact location. Until the moment arrives that the Church will unearth more gruesome details we bid you, dear sistren and brethren, to live long and prosper and to not do do anything that Iggy wouldn’t have done.
Iggy, Eskimo Girl
Did I already mention that the people of the Late Night forum are a bunch of fantastic people? Probably yes, but I will keep on repeating it. Eternal Isolation found a lecture by Anthony Stern, held at La Cinémathèque in Paris in June 2008. Here is how our fellow Europeans describe him:
Anthony Stern était l'un des secrets les mieux gardés de la cinématographie anglaise. La Cinémathèque française lui offre sa première rétrospective. Camarade de classe de Syd Barrett et de David Gilmour, assistant de Peter Whitehead, Anthony Stern a réalisé certains des plus beaux poèmes documentaires des années 60 et 70, à la fois sensuels, endiablés et railleurs. Taken from La Cinémathèque.
(Translation) Anthony Stern is one of England's cinematographic best-kept secrets. The French Cinémathèque offers him his first retrospective. Friend from Syd Barrett and David Gilmour, assistant of Peter Whitehead, Anthony Stern has realised several of the most poetic, sensual, boisterous and mocking documentaries of the 60’s and 70’s.
The lecture, videotaped by a member of the audience, has been issued on YouTube in three consecutive parts, but part 3 is the most interesting for Iggy fans. After the tiresome lecture, due to the fact that Anthony’s English explanation is translated into French and back, a copy is shown of his 1969 movie Wheel, followed by Iggy, Eskimo Girl. Unfortunately only snippets of the different movies have made it onto the web, but any additional material from our goddess is appreciated.
Love in the Woods (Pt. 1)
On 30 June 1990 Pink Floyd played a short – albeit not very sharp - set at the Knebworth Festival. It has to be said that it was not the band’s sole responsibility that the gig was, how shall we call it, mediocre by Floydian standards. On this disastrous occasion, and this occasion alone, a 20 minutes promo film was shown at the beginning of the show, with a short appearance of none other than Iggy the Eskimo, somewhere between the 4 and 5 minutes mark.
The movie consisted of a retrospective of the Floyd’s history and included (parts of) several early songs (together with the predecessor of the promo clip): Arnold Layne, See Emily Play, Point Me At The Sky, It Would Be So Nice and others… Since it started with the first single, the movie had to end with the last one as well. Storm Thorgerson's visual rendition of the coke-euphoric-bring-on-the-digital-sound-effects Learning to Fly from the welcome to the drum machine album A Momentary Lapse of Reason ended the documentary.
In between the vintage scenes, Langley Iddens, who was then caretaker of the Astoria, David Gilmour’s houseboat studio, sits at a table contemplating the band’s past.
Langley Iddens (see top-left picture of this post) was a prominent face on the Momentary Lapse of Reason campaign. He is the man on the cover of the album but also acted in several promo and concert videos. He can be seen as a boat rower (Signs of Life), in flight gear (Learning To Fly) and in a hospital bed (On The Run). As Storm Thorgerson directed these backdrop movies it is logical to assume that also the Knebworth pre-show documentary was made by him.
There are however rumours that Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason was involved in the movie as well. Besides several promo clips of the Sixties the movie also shows pictures, newspaper articles, posters and flyers from the Floyd’s psychedelic past. It is a well-known fact that Mason has always been the archivist of the band, culminating in his personal account of the history of the band, Inside Out. That book, however, doesn’t reveal anything about Mason’s involvement on the Knebworth movie.
A short snippet of the Knebworth teaser, showing a happy Syd Barrett frolicking in a park with Iggy, made a collector’s career under the name Lost In The Woods or Syd Barrett Home Movie. This excerpt can be found several times on YouTube. Those cuts, however, are in a different order than on the original Knebworth feature. The Church has restored the initial flow and presents you hereafter two different versions of the so-called Lost In The Woods video.
Knebworth '90 Special Edition (DVD]
The first is taken from the DVD bootleg Knebworth '90 Special Edition on Psychedelic Closet Records. It is shared around the world amongst fans and it contains the complete concert plus some additional material, like MTV documentaries and interviews with the band.
It's a complete, stereo, recording from the original pay-per-view broadcast of Pink Floyd's appearance at the Knebworth '90 festival. The concert featured seven songs. Only five of these were broadcast. Two of the five were included on the official LD, VHS, and DVD releases. The other three songs haven't been seen since the original broadcast.
According to its maker, the pre-concert-documentary comes from a collector in England who had a first of second gen copy of the tape.
Because the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit firmly believes in abundance, we have added a second version of the same movie, coming from a different source. The uploaded copy has been taken from a coverless VHS tape labelled Pink Floyd film, found at an open air market stall in London, and donated to the Church, in order to repent for his many sins, by Dark Globe.
Dark Globe took it upon him to further analyse the clip, it is obvious that it consists of different movies from different people at different places, and he even went so far as harassing, although the Church prefers the word investigating, some of the people who act in it. But the results of that enquiry will be highlighted in the next post in a couple of weeks.
Enjoy and don’t do anything that Iggy wouldn’t have done.
(This is the first part of the Love In The Woods post. Part 2 can be found here: Love In The Woods (Pt. 2) )