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Iggy was part Inuit
(or Eskimo to use the vernacular of the day). According to Duggie
Fields she wasn't considered a girlfriend of Syd
(Barrett) although he says she probably slept with Syd on more than
one occasion. He goes on to say 'We didn't want her living with us at
the time but she was so beguiling that it was a difficult situation'.
She was a former girlfriend of Anthony
Stern (Movie Director, writer and cinematographer who was a friend
of Syd in the 60's (he lived on Eden Street in Cambridge in the 60's)
and he was a flatmate of and film asssistant to Peter
Whitehead [Tonite Let's All Make Love In London]). Apparently she
was destitute when she arrived at Wetherby Mansions had no money, no job
and few possessions. According to Duggie
Fields she never wore underwear (when she was wearing anything at
all!) and he recalls her getting off a bus wearing a scarf as a skirt!
Iggy apparently 'vanished as quickly as she had come' and a hippie
couple Rusty and Greta (two casual friends of Syd) decided to move in
and lived in the hallway for a while. Later there was Gilly Staples (who
Syd apparently threw across the room on one occasion) and a girl called
Lesley (who sometimes Syd would see and other times would leave her
outside banging on his door to come in). After that Gayla Pinion moved
in around late '69 and subsequently became engaged to Syd on October 1
1970 but they never married.
According to Duggie Fields after Iggy left Syd she apparently went off
with some 'rich guy from Chelsea and lived a very straight life'.
Note: this was the Church's first blog post, basically to test
how things would look in good old, and now depreciated, html 3.2. Update
January 2017: as of January 2017, the website has been refurbished and
upgraded towards html5.
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. A short teaser can could be
found on YouTube.
Update 2016 11 15: meanwhile the video has been deleted by the
super-vigilant Pink Floyd copyright gestapo.
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 old and abandoned 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
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
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
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
The so-called Lost
in the Woods movie, that was part of the Knebworth pre show
documentary, is a mix coming from different people, at different places,
on different occasions. The Church quotes archbishop Dark Globe, who has
scrutinized the movie before:
There's footage of Syd larking around in a garden with friends in 67,
the 'lilac shirt' footage of Syd (late 67/68?) in which Lyndsay Corner
also appears, and the blue suit/yellow ruffled shirt footage of Syd in
the woods with two girls (Iggy and a mystery brunette) from 69.
The home movie footage is multilayered and you can catch glimpses of
different footage superimposed on top of the main footage.
During the bit of Syd in the woods with Iggy, there's some footage of
Syd with an acoustic guitar (at least that's what I can see). The
flashbacks movie only shows tantalising glimpses of the Syd home movie
footage. (taken from Late
The home movie snippets are used twice in the Knebworth documentary.
The documentary starts with Pink (Langley Iddens) pouring a glass of
wine. For the next 39 seconds several vintage clips, taking no longer
than a couple of frames, will be intercepted with shots from the actor.
The first home movie scenes have already ended when the documentary is
just one minute old. The main bunch seems to be filmed at a garden party.
The second home movie scenes arrive about 10 minutes later and will go
on for 42 seconds. The main footage has Syd walking in a park with Iggy
and a mysterious brunette, Syd and Iggy climbing trees, the two woman
running hand in hand, Syd acting funny with a stick in his hand… The
park footage is intercepted a few times by other home movies from other
Part 1: Garden fun – blowing bubbles
Several garden shots have been used in this compilation. There is a
scene with a girl on a swing, people blowing soap bubbles and generally
having fun, Syd eating a - very hard to spot - banana…
The Church tried to identify the people in the movie with the help of
the worldwide web, posting screenshots at several anorak fora, and Dark
Globe took it upon him to show these pictures to David Gale and Matthew
Scurfield after a reading at the City Wakes festival this year.
Hester Page. It could be that screenshots 1 and 2 depict the
same person. She remained unidentified until Dark Globe showed the
pics to David Gale who recognised picture 2 as ‘Hester’. Barrett fan
julianindica could narrow this down to Hester Page. Hester Page gets
mentioned in the Syd Barrett biography by Julian Palacios, aptly
called Lost In The Woods, as part of the 101 Cromwell Rd incrowd.
That two-storey flat in Kensington was the place for many
Cantabrigians to sleep, meet and greet. Syd Barrett and Lindsay
Corner lived there for a while and Pink Floyd used the place to
rehearse (much to the annoyance of painter Duggie Fields). It was
also somewhat of an LSD epicentre and a ‘critical nexus for
Underground activities of every shade and stripe’.
David Gale. This man is David Gale. To quote his own words at
the City Wakes – it’s the hooter that gives me
away. Gale was a schoolmate of David Gilmour and a friend of Syd. In
1965 David’s parents went to Australia for a 6-month period leaving
the house and its garden in the safe hands of their son. It didn’t
take long before the Cambridge jeunesse would meet there and there
is a chance that the first part of the Syd Barrett Home Movie has
indeed been shot in the garden of David Gale’s parents. Nigel
Lesmoir-Gordon and Storm Thorgerson had film cameras so one of them
may have shot the footage (NLG made the iniquitous Syd’s First Trip
movie where David Gale can be seen). It was also at David Gale’s
place that Syd Barrett had a cosmically encounter wit a plum, an
orange and a matchbox, as witnessed by Storm Thorgerson who would
later use this for a record sleeve and for a concert movie.
Lyndsay Corner. David Gale and Matthew Scurfield identify the
girl on a swing as Lyndsay Corner.
Part 2: the Lost In The Woods footage
Mick Rock. When Syd and Iggy are walking in the woods a face
is superimposed. It is Mick Rock who has (probably) shot the movie.
Iggy is wearing the same necklace as on the Madcap Laughs photo
sessions and (perhaps) the same clothes. Syd however has another
shirt than in the Psychedelic Renegades book. The Lost In The Woods
scenes have been edited on the Knebworth documentary and carry parts
from at least 3 other home movies.
Unknown. Syd and another man walking & talking in a garden
in front of a house. Identity Unknown.
Unknown. Syd and a girl blowing bubbles in a park. Identity
Lyndsay Corner. Close-up of Lyndsay Corner (in a park).
Mysterious brunette. 3 people can be identified on the Lost
In The Woods movie: Syd, Iggy and Mick Rock. In several shots with
Iggy and Syd we see a second woman, the mysterious brunette, whose
identity we don’t know yet.
Update: on second thought, she could be Hester Page (see
first picture above), although it is a wild guess. JenS,
however concludes that the girl is not Hester Page. Gretta Barclay
does not recognise her either: "I do not recognise the brunette –
the name Jennie Gordon came to mind, but in truth, I simply have
no idea of who she is."
Pop-art painter Duggie Fields, who still lives in the same apartment,
and Mick Rock have testified that Iggy only stayed at Syd’s place for a
couple of weeks. When Mick Rock showed Syd the pictures of the photo
sessions for the cover of The Madcap Laughs she was already long gone….
According to Duggie Fields, a homeless and drug-addicted couple, Greta
and Rusty, took the vacant place, much to the aggravation of the painter
who had to bring Greta to the hospital after an overdose.
Neither Mick Rock nor Storm Thorgerson give the exact date when The
Madcap Laughs photo shoot was made: the closest thing they can come up
with is Autumn 1969. Syd Barrett and David Gilmour met at the studio on
the 6th of October to sort out the running order of the album. Other
studio work, that didn’t need Syd’s presence, was done the same month:
banding the LP master (9 October) and cutting the LP (16 October). After
hearing the master Malcolm Jones ordered a recut early in November. The
record was officially released on the second of January 1970.
Malcolm Jones recounts:
One day in October or November I had cause to drop in at Syd's flat on
my way home to leave him a tape of the album, and what I saw gave me
quite a start. In anticipation of the photographic session for the
sleeve, Syd had painted the bare floorboards of his room orange and
purple. Up until then the floor was bare, with Syd's few possessions
mostly on the floor; hi-fi, guitar, cushions, books and paintings. In
fact the room was much as appears on the original 'Madcap' sleeve. Syd
was well pleased with his days work and I must say it made a fine
setting for the session due to take place.
Based on this information most anoraks radiocarbon the photo shoot date
in the second half of October, although November is also a possibility.
The Lost In The Woods home move with Syd, Mick, Iggy and the mysterious
brunette should thus be pinpointed to that period (this was written
in December 2008).
Update: But... as the Holy Church would find out the next year
(January 2009) the above photo shoot date appears to be wrong. It is
pretty sure that Iggy left Syd in April 1969. Further analysis of the
Madcap pictures show that several details point to spring 1969, rather
than autumn. For a complete report please consult: Anoraks
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 141. Jones,
Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain
Damage, 2003, p. 13. Palacios, Julian: Lost In The Woods,
Boxtree, London, 1998, p. 241. Parker, David: Random Precision,
Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p. 154-158.
Hello, I would like to try and clarify a couple of things about Ig. She
was a girlfriend of mine.
The above message reached the Reverend a couple of weeks ago. It was
written by JenS, a Cambridge friend of Roger Keith Barrett. She
is the one who introduced Iggy to the Pink Floyd founder exactly
40 years ago.
What follows is her rendition, as told exclusively to The Church of Iggy
the Inuit, and now published for the first time. Her rememberings are
only slightly edited here and there and re-arranged a bit per subject.
Some explanatory notes have been added.
I first met Ig in the summer of 1966. I saw her again in spring 1967 at
Biba. She admired a dress I was wearing and invited me to a party that
night. From then on we used to go clubbing. She was a lovely, sweet,
funny girl and was always on the scene at gigs and events.
where Iggy first met JenS, was without doubt the single most important
boutique of London. The shop features in the IN
Gear documentary that also has Iggy.
The first really important customer to favour Biba was Cathy McGowan,
the Ready Steady Go! presenter who (…) quickly made a new Biba dress a
staple of her weekly wardrobe for the show.
This meant that every Saturday morning ‘teenage girls from all over the
London area would race over to Abingdon Road and the piles of new,
inexpensive clothes that awaited them’.
Ig was not known as Iggy the Eskimo.
She was simply Ig or Iggy and probably picked up the nickname along the
way at school or something. I think she was a Londoner.
She was quite a lot older than us and had been around a while on the
London Club scene. She invited me once to a party with Dusty Springfield
and crew. Later she started hanging out at Granny’s (Granny
Takes A Trip, FA) and turning up at UFO.
Update 2011: It was revealed in March 2011 that Iggy is born in
December 1947, making her a bit younger than Syd Barrett. See The
One important player in Dusty
Springfield’s crew was Vicki Heather Wickman, who managed Dusty and
don’t have to say you love me that became a number one hit
in 1966. Vicky had been a booker-writer-editor-producer of the weekly Ready
Steady Go! shows for many years. Dusty Springfield herself had been
a (part-time) presenter of the RSG!-show and that is probably where she
met her future manager (Update: not quite true - they knew each
other from 1962 and even shared a flat together, see also From
Dusty till Dawn).
Wickham and her team ‘scoured the trendiest clubs looking for good
dancers and stylish dressers to showcase’. The Church has a hunch
feeling that Iggy may have been – during a certain period at least – a
regular at the RSG! Show, especially as she was spotted, in November
1966, at an RSG!-party by New Musical Express (cfr. article: Bend
It will be a ginormous work but the Church is planning to scrutinise
several Ready Steady Go! tapes from that period to see if Iggy can be
found in the public or amongst the dancers.
After our hypothesis that Iggy was probably not Inuit (cfr. article: Eskimono),
the Church received several mails trying to string Iggy’s features to a
certain culture. One of the countries that keep on popping up is
Singapore that was a British colony between 1824 and 1959. Here is what
JenS has to say about Iggy's heritage:
I have no idea about who her parents were. She was a war baby and may
have been Chinese. There was a large Chinese community in London at the
time. Of course Ig the Eskimo is an easy assumption to make. Anyway, I
don't think I can help any further as I never discussed it with her.
Iggy became a Floydian icon when she posed on Syd Barrett's first solo
album The Madcap Laughs, but most witnesses only describe her as one of
Syd's two-week-girlfriends. JenS acknowledges this:
I took Ig to Wetherby Mansions in January or February 1969 where she met
Syd Barrett. He was 22 and she must have been about 24, 25 years old.
The point is she was never Syd's girlfriend as in a ‘relationship’ with
him. She was only at Wetherby Mansons very briefly, a matter of two or
three weeks max.
I've not seen her since but often wondered where she is.
Syd painted the floor of his flat in blue and orange before The Madcap
Laughs photo shoot, but did he do that especially for the photo shoot?
I was staying with Syd between the New Year and March '69. I hadn’t seen
much of him since the summer of 1968 'til then.
Anyway, at that time, the floor was already painted blue and orange and
I remember thinking how good it looked on the Madcap album cover later
on when the album was released. I didn’t see Syd again though until
1971, so it stands to reason the floor was already done when I left.
Mick Rock wrote: "Soon after Syd moved in he painted alternating floor
boards orange and turquoise." This doesn’t imply that it was especially
done for the photo session.
In an interview for the BBC Omnibus documentary Crazy Diamond (November
2001) painter Duggie Fields said that Syd painted the floor
soon after he occupied the flat, not that it was done on purpose for the
It has been assumed by Mick Rock that The Madcap Laughs photo shoot was
held in the autumn of 1969 (cfr. article:Love
In The Woods)
The floor (of Syd’s flat) was not painted prior to, or especially for,
the Madcap photo shoot, which took place in March or April of 1969 and
not October as has been suggested.
I left for the States in March 1969 and Iggy stayed on at the flat with
Syd and Duggie (Fields) and there seemed to be other dropouts around
from time to time.
Ig happened to be there still when the shoot came about, which was great
because we have such a good record of her.
I introduced Iggy to Syd shortly before I left, and she was around when
I left. She wasn’t there for long and generally moved around a lot to
different friends. It’s very doubtful she was still there in October or
November 1969. She just happened to be there for Mick’s photo shoot,
which is great because she was lovely girl.
This is apparently in contradiction with Malcolm Jones who wrote in The
Making Of The Madcap Laughs:
One day in October or November I had cause to drop in at Syd's flat on
my way home to leave him a tape of the album, and what I saw gave me
quite a start. In anticipation of the photographic session for the
sleeve, Syd had painted the bare floorboards of his room orange and
JenS further comments:
I remember reading this once before and being puzzled. It would seem
he’s talking about 1969. But which tape was he leaving? The 1968
sessions or the recuts (from 1969, FA)? It would seem he’s
talking about the recut. It’s a bit confusing especially to me as the
floor was painted, definitely before Christmas 1968.
The Madcap Laughs photo session had to be in the spring of 1969,
probably it occurred the first week in March. Storm and Mick say they
can only come up with the dates of August, or even October, November.
This may have been when they came together to look at the shots for the
cover, in other words when it was known the album would definitely be
released and decisions on the cover had to be made.
Part 2 of JenS's chronicle will further delve into the legendary Madcap
Laughs photo sessions, pinpointing the date somewhere in April 1969.
Sources (other than above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 141. Jones,
Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p.
13. Levy, Shawn: Ready Steady Go!, Broadway Books, New York,
2003, p. 112, p.194-195. Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades,
Plexus, London, 2007, p. 23, p. 58.
Our thanks go to Barrett alumni Stumbling... (aka Beate S.) and
Lost In The Woods (aka Julian Palacios) from the Syd Barrett Research
Society who made this encounter possible... and to JenS for her
invaluable testimony about what really happened in those early days of
Hello, I would like to try and clarify a couple of things about Ig. She
was a girlfriend of mine.
In January or early February 1969, a mutual friend introduced Iggy to
Syd Barrett, the rock star who had left Pink Floyd. To celebrate the
fortieth birthday of this event The Holy Church of Inuit brings you an
exclusive rendition of what happened, as told by JenS, who knew Barrett
in his Cambridge and London days.
In the first part of this article When
Syd met Iggy (Pt. 1), JenS recollected how she met Iggy and how she
introduced the girl to Syd. In the second part she reconstructs the
photo shoot from The Madcap Laughs, Barrett’s first solo album.
1. It is generally believed that The Madcap Laughs photo
sessions, by Storm Thorgerson and Mick Rock, took place in the autumn of
1969, a couple of weeks after the album was cut and a short time before
it hit the shelves of the record stores (see Stormy
2. It is generally believed that Iggy has only been living in
Syd’s apartment for two or three weeks maximum, during which the famous
photo sessions took place, before disappearing completely from the scene.
In our previous article JenS situates this in February or March 1969.
The problem is that there is at least a six months gap between both
dates. JenS however has some strong points favouring her theory.
Daffodils and Pontiacs
Storm Thorgerson probably shot the cover of The Madcap Laughs early in
the year because, according to JenS:
If you look at the vase of flowers next to Syd, they are daffodils. We
get those in March.
Although a valid argument it is not really tight-fitting, but JenS
The car shots (in Mick Rock’s book Psychedelic Renegades, FA)
show there are no leaves on the trees. If this were London, October
or November, there would be leaves on the ground.
Mick Rock’s photo book has got quite a lot of pictures with Syd (and
Iggy) leaning against a neglected Pontiac,
property of Syd.
The car was there at New Year, (Syd didn’t drive it) and it was there
when I left in March, with a borough sticker on it, the remains of which
show on the windscreen in the photo. If Storm and Mick are saying
October or November, was the car there all that time? I don’t know who
would know that.
The previous comment may be completely understandable for Syd Barrett
anoraks, but needs some extra explanation for the casual visitor of the
Church who doesn’t know the fabulous story of Syd’s car.
Tic tac Pontiac
Painter Duggie Fields recalls:
The car too has it’s own mythology. Later on I identified it as the car
used in the film of Joe
Orton’s Loot (not exact, FA), but I first saw it at
Alice Pollock and Ossie Clark’s New Year’s Eve party at the Albert Hall
a memorable event itself where both Amanda Lear and Yes (separately)
took to the stage for the first time. (Taken from: Duggie
Clark, once described as an ‘enigmatic,
bisexual gadabout’, textile designer (and wife) Celia
Birtwell and Alice Pollock had a boutique called Quorum.
It was a haute couture heaven for the Swinging Elite, dressing people
like Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Patti Boyd, Marian Faithfull, Jimi Hendrix,
the Jaggers and The Pink Floyd. His clothes were a reflection of the
past but with the advantages of the new (one of his creations had
discreet pockets ‘to put joints in’). In 1965 Clark was the pioneer of
the flower power look and two years later nearly all of the 2000
boutiques in London would be copying his style. Clark’s haute couture
empire crashed in the seventies; in 1996 he was murdered by his partner.
Mickey Finn, from T. Rex fame, won the Pontiac
Parisienne at the Royal Albert Hall raffle (New Year 1969). He took
possession of it but became paranoid at the unwanted attention it
attracted to himself and his fellow passengers. One day he met Syd and
they simply swapped cars (Syd had a mini).
But Syd never drove it, so it stayed parked outside the house for a
couple of months. A wheel soon went missing and the car accumulated
dust, parking tickets and legal notices. In Mick Rock’s photo book one
can see that a neighbour wrote a plea in the dust of the trunk to have
the car removed. Syd's solution was simple as bonjour: he gave
the car away to a stranger. It was seen being driven around South
Kensington soon after.
A couple of months after Syd (and before him, Mickey Finn) got the car
it was used in the 1970 British movie Entertaining
Mr Sloane (not Loot).
The car, with its cream red and silver interior, is featured prominently
throughout the movie. The flick is not great but the pink Pontiac gives
a shiny performance. Update
December 2009: the above paragraph has been corrected as Syd gave the
car away before the movie was made and not, as is generally
believed, the other way round. For more details: please check Anoraks
This leaves us with another enigma. The car in the movie is pink, but
was midnight blue when Mick Rock photographed Syd with it. Although Mick
Rock seems to remember: "Syd’s car was a conspicuously bright pink
Pontiac Parisienne convertible" several colour pictures, probably taken
by Storm Thorgerson on the same day, testify against this. JenS adds:
Syd's Pontiac was blue, midnight blue as you say. I have no idea if it
was pink before that. I've only heard it was Mickey's and pink from
things I've read. I cannot imagine Syd having it resprayed or painting
It remains a mystery when and why the kameleon car changed its colours
(twice), but if one looks very close at the picture above, there appears
to be a trace of 'brownish' paint under the right front light. Could
this have been its original colour?
Mick Rock has taken a picture of Syd sitting on the hood of his car. A
police label can be seen glued to the windshield. JenS:
Look at the date of the police sticker on Syd’s car. It seems to be
April 1969. It occurred to me that the little twigs on the ground would
come with the March winds, as this was the time of clear-cut seasons.
They are very distinctive.
Unfortunately not all can be read, part of the sticker disappears in the
inner fold of the book and the smaller letters dissolve with the
background. The following is easily distinguishable:
DANGER KEEP OFF (unreadable) THIS IS DANGEROUS
LITTER AND WILL BE REMOVED & DISPOSED OF SEVEN DAYS HENCE
Dated the ___ day of ___ 196_ Registration
No. (if any) ___ F.H. CLINCH, BOROUGH
(unreadable) AND SURVEYOR
F.H. Clinch was appointed in 1964 to the post of Borough Engineer and
Surveyor to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, an appointment
he took up on April the first, 1965. The date on the document is more
difficult to decipher, but after some tweaking it appears to be the 14th
of April 196(9). If the British police was as effective in
1969 as it is now it definitely pins The Madcap Laughs photo shoot date
between the 14th and 21st of April 1969 and not autumn as has
been said before. So the warning more than probably reads as follows:
Dated the 14th day of April
196 Registration No. (if any) VYP74 F.H.
CLINCH, BOROUGH ENGINEER AND SURVEYOR
The legend goes that Syd Barrett gave the car way to an admirer who
happened to like it. It is improbable to assume that the wreck stayed on
the street for six months without any police intervention.
Next week will have the final instalment of our series of JenS's memoirs.
Sources (other than internet links mentioned above) Blake,
Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 141. Green,
Jonathon: All Dressed Up, Pimlico, London, 1999, p. 79-80. Jones,
Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p.
13. Levy, Shawn: Ready Steady Go!, Broadway Books, New York,
2003, p. 112, p.193-195. London Borough Appointments,
Official Architecture and Planning, Vol. 27, No. 9 (September 1964), pp.
1074. Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007,
p. 23, p. 58.
The Church wishes to thank: Dark Globe, Sean Beaver (who watched Loot
just to make sure if the Pontiac figured in it or not), Bea Day,
Julianindica and all the others who contributed to the discussion at
Late Night: The
tale of Syd's car - the movie star... JenS for her invaluable
testimony about what really happened in those early days of 1969.
The Reverend’s last post was rather freewheeling and not always up to
par. For one mystical reason or another Iggy’s divine intervention
didn’t come through, possibly hindered a bit by an abundance of pints of
that black stuff that tastes so good by the gallon.
So it is time to clear things up, like the surge in that same glass,
although what remains isn’t crystal clear at all but rather a dark shade
As always, many thanks to JenS for spending her cybertime with the
Reverend and passing him the stories that happened 40 years ago. It is
obvious that any mistake and/or misinterpretation is entirely by the
hand of the author of this blog and not by his witness.
Gret(t)a and Rusty
The last post may have hinted that Gretta and Rusty were from Cambridge,
just like Syd and (many of) his friends. JenS specifies that they
You may be inferring that Rusty and Greta were from Cambridge but they
were from Suffolk and went to Colchester Art School (50 miles from
Cambridge and London respectively), and had only recently come to
London. They were not on the underground scene as such and later that
summer they left London and went to live in Devon where they then
married and settled.
Update: in an exclusive interview to the Church Margaretta
Barclay pointed out a mistake in the above quote: Gretta
Speaks (Pt. 2)
The importance is not how Greta (or Gretta) is spelled but that is
pronounced as with a double T.
Rusty and Greta, one T or two TT’s, it doesn’t really matter. Her name
And the allegations that they were speed freaks, is once again denied.
Rusty and Gretta were not drug-addicted. Greta may have done a lot of
speed, but she was not drug-addicted and as mentioned at the beginning.
They were goofing.
As Duggie Fields was Syd’s roommate it is logical that he has been
questioned a lot about what happened at Wetherby Mansions. But, and not
only according to JenS, his memories seem to have quite a few holes.
JenS already disproved the story that Gretta went to America in our last
post and now adds:
I think Duggie must have got these two sister muddled and at this time.
Trina was long gone. She went to America in January (1969) but didn’t
know Duggie particularly.
Update: in an exclusive interview to the Church Margaretta
Barclay absolutely denies the drug stories surrounding Rusty and her.
Please consult: Gretta
Wetherby Mansions was a three bedroom apartment and was originally
rented by Duggie Fields, Syd Barrett and Jules, a dropout who nobody
really seems to remember and who disappeared very shortly after they
moved in. After a while the vacant bedroom was given to Gayla Pinion
(top left picture) but this happened after Iggy had cleared the
place (who might have been using the spare bedroom as well). This adds
further proof to the theory, although in reality not a theory anymore,
that the photo sessions for The Madcap Laughs were held in spring, and
not in autumn. When JenS visited Syd Barrett…
…Gayla was not there. She moved in later hooking up with Syd in May or
She was the one who dropped Syd off when he flew out to meet Emo (Iain
Moore) in Ibiza. They had known each other for a few years, as she was
an old school friend of Lindsay’s and used to visit them when they were
staying in Egerton Court.
When Gayla was around (after Iggy had left) Syd’s behaviour or mental
health deteriorated (let it be clear that the former does not imply that
these women actually triggered the situation) as has been stated in
several biographies, perhaps due to an excessive Mandrax intake. Some
events that happened then would fuel the many Crazy Syd legends
that were floating around during the Seventies and Eighties.
When Syd met Iggy
In the first instalment of this series JenS reported:
I took Ig to Wetherby Mansions in January or February 1969 where she met
Syd Barrett. He was 22 and she must have been about 24, 25 years old.
The Church, as churches do, turned this phrase into a slogan and the
reader may have been lured into the idea that January 1969 was the very
first time when Syd and Iggy met. But this might not have been the case
as JenS wishes to clarify:
This is a little misleading and it is unlikely that this was the first
time Syd had met Iggy. She was well known on the scene and it’s more
than likely he’d have come across her before. She was around all the
same venues as the rest of us, UFO, the Speakeasy, the Roundhouse,
Alexandra Palace. Whether he ever chatted to her or was formally
introduced in any way is unknown to me, but what I did was to take her
round to Syd’s new flat. And at the time she had nowhere to live, so she
Here I Go
Malcolm Jones once wrote how he witnessed that Syd Barrett could write a
song in a few minutes of time, referring to Here I Go, probably the
wittiest song ever by Syd. The Church wondered if this track, recorded
on the 17th of April 1969, was perhaps written with Iggy in mind.
This was an inside joke, albeit not a very good one.
Here I Go was a song that Syd Barrett had already home-recorded, on
acoustic guitar, in 1967, although it was then titled Boon Tune.
Purple Gang were looking for a successor of their Granny Takes A
Trip-single Barrett, whose band Pink Floyd had shared the same
studio to record Arnold Layne, handed over the demo tape to Joe
When the gang looked for the tape it was untraceable and Joe Boyd
believed that Syd Barrett had retrieved the demo for use on the first
Pink Floyd record. To make a long (and incredibly complicated) story
short the Purple Gang Boon
Tune single project was abandoned.
Rumours went that The
Deviants stole the original tape out of the studio and at The City
Wakes festival someone said that it has been miraculously found back. It
would be nice if it could be issued on a new Syd Barrett record project
(that was also rumoured at The City Wakes).
Update 2014: The story of Here I Go & The Purple Gang can be
found on the following page: Hurricane
Also the Church’s musings about the songs Dark Globe and Long
Gone have to be taken with lots of grains of salt. We will probably
never know if Iggy was Syd’s muse, or not…
So far for the Reverend's confessions for this week, more to come at a
later stage because that pink Pontiac has given the Church the blues...
Until then, brethren and sistren, and don't do anything
that Iggy wouldn't have done!
Brethren Dan5482 visited the several Church locations (see underneath)
that can be found on the World Wide Web and confessed the following to
Despite all that collective amnesia I think that Iggy can still be
found. There are journalists, detectives... who have found more
However, an intense and widespread interest for her is a necessary
condition. Your Church is a source of hope in this sense. It lets many
people know that once such a mysterious woman existed.
It occurs to me that many people simply don’t want to know who or where
Iggy is. Imagine finding a 70-year old woman and to find out that her
words about that period are as simple and disappointing as "I don't like
to remember that period. I was out of my mind..." That could be the end
of a romantic dream.
Besides the fact that Iggy herself is an extremely intriguing figure,
there is also the possibility of obtaining a new narrative and facts
surrounding Syd Barrett's life in that fabled year of 1969.
Wise words from a wise man.
assumption that Ig was born at the end of World War II is true she is 64
or 65 years old at the moment (provided she is still amongst us). True
believers know the following story for sure… in April, or early May of
1970, Ig closed the door behind her at Wetherby Mansions and was never
seen back… Update: obviously this was written before Ig,
or Emily, was traced back by Mojo magazine.
Mick Rock has apparently stated that he heard from Duggie Fields, the
painter who was Syd Barrett’s roommate, that Iggy ‘went off with some
rich guy in Chelsea and lived a very straight life’ afterwards.
However Mark Blake squeezed a slightly different story out of him:
I have no idea who Iggy was or even what her real name was. She was
never Syd’s girlfriend. They just got together from time to time. (…) I
saw her not long after Syd left the flat and she was looking more like a
Sloane Ranger. I heard she’d become involved with one of the voguish
religious cults at the time.
Nobody knew her real first name, never mind her surname, or if they did,
they weren't telling. 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'.
The Cinderella story may be a case of confabulation.
One witness supposes that Ig married rich and over the years this story
infiltrates the memories of other people who, decades later, believe
this is really how it all happened. This is not done on purpose; our
memory likes to fill in the gaps and if we need to borrow memories of
other people we will subconsciously do that. Pink Floyd history contains
several anecdotes like that and in the several biographies and articles
Floydian insiders have told about situations that were originally
witnessed by others.
Update 2016: After Syd, Iggy met a rich banker who was a witness
of Jehovah, so the rumours were at least based upon some facts. The
relationship didn't last though and Iggy didn't marry 'rich'.
In February of this year Mark Blake reported to the Church:
I spoke to Emo a couple of weeks back and asked about Iggy and he
immediately said he remembered hearing she had gone back to the Far
East/Asia. But, as I have learned since doing the book, everyone has
conflicting memories about these things. (mail to the Reverend on
At The City Wakes festival in October and November of 1988 Anthony
Stern’s Eskimo Girl movie was shown to the public and during the Q&A
afterwards a member of the audience told the director that Iggy was
living in Chelsea. Nobody knows who this person is but if (s)he attended
the festival (s)he must have been a fan of Barrett or one of the members
of the Cambridge or London Underground gang who took this opportunity to
meet again after three decades. The Church would like to invite this
person to come forward and to contact the Reverend.
On the 7th of October 2006 the SydBarrett.net forum got the following
message from a certain YoungForEternity.
Does anyone know roughly how old Iggy would be? There's a woman who
works at a supermarket in my local town who claims to be "the" Iggy and
I don't know whether to believe her or not...I'd appreciate any pointers
or recognisable features? Her name is definitely Iggy, and I've been
studying images but it's difficult to tell... (Taken from whatever
happened to iggy the eskimo?)
The forum in question is no longer active and the messenger only posted
this single item. In 2006 Ig was (probably) 61 or 62 years old so
theoretically she should no longer have been working, as the State
Pension age for women born before 1950 is 60 (in the UK). But of course
there are always exceptions. To qualify for a full basic State
Pension she needed to have built up 39 years of National Insurance
payments and perhaps that may not have been the case. The Church would
also like the author of this post to come forward and to contact the
Update 2016: YoungForEternity was probably closer to the truth
than we all expected. Iggy has indeed been working at a local
Next week, sistren and brethren, the Holy Church of Iggy
the Inuit will celebrate its first birthday and a small and delicate
special treat will be offered. Till then. And remember; don’t do
anything that Ig wouldn’t have done…
Sources (other than internet links mentioned above):
(This is part two of our Mojo magazine review, for part one, click here).
As if the world has suddenly been hit by a temporal rift in spacetime
the March 2010 issue of Mojo music magazine has inundated the stores
bearing a big (slightly photoshopped) portrait of a mister Syd Barrett.
The well-written and rather accurate cover article, by Pat Gilbert,
ranges from page 70 to 81 and tells the story of The Madcap Laughs, Syd
Barrett’s first solo album.
Two other articles are of particular interest to the Church as they
describe the mythical presence of a ‘girl whose naked body graced the
back cover of The Madcap Laughs’.
we discussed the Who’s That Girl article written by Mark
Blake, and this week the Church will scrutinize Paul Drummond’s In
My Room (Mojo 196, p. 82 - 84). Out of courtesy (and for copyright
reasons) the Reverend has decided not to publish the articles as long as
the magazine is for sale in the shops. Update: Direct link to
the article: Mojo
March 2010. (hosted at the Church as the article was removed from
the official Barrett website in 2016).
The article, about The Madcap Laughs photo sessions, has interviews with
Duggie Fields, Mick Rock and - so it seems - Jenny Spires. But although
she was interviewed by email for the main article by Pat Gilbert, she
has told the Church she wasn’t really questioned about Iggy.
I guessed, when I saw it, they must have looked at your site (re Daffodils
and photo shoot etc…), as I was not asked about this
or about Iggy. (JenS, 10th of February 2010, mail to the Church)
The Reverend could do no other thing than to summon the Holy Igquisition
to stick in a few comments as the In The Room article clearly
breathes the holy air of the Church but neglects to mention its
existence in its columns.
Ig and Jenny Spires meeting each other for the first time
Mojo 196 reports:
Jenny Spires first met Iggy in January 1969 and introduced her to Syd
and he let her stay. (p. 83)
The Holy Igquisition wants to set this straight: According to
the Church’s archives JenS first met Ig in summer 1966 (cfr. When
Syd met Iggy). The year thereafter (1967) they met again and from
then one they went on clubbing together. This has once again been
confirmed by Jens this week:
I was surprised they had mistakenly printed that I met her in 1969. This
annoys me really because of its inaccuracy.
The date of The Madcap Laughs photo shoot
Mojo 196 reports:
Iggy’s involvement appears to date the shoot as spring ’69 as she was
long gone by autumn. (p. 83)
The Holy Igquisition wants to set straight: JenS has situated
the photo shoot in spring 1969 (March or April) (cfr. When
Syd met Iggy 1). Further investigations by the Church have
pinpointed a possible date in April 1969 (cfr. When
Syd met Iggy 2).
Mojo 196 reports:
It’s more likely Syd picked them (the daffodils found on the cover of
the album) while in the park with Iggy, as captured on Super-8 film.
The Holy Igquisition wants to set straight: The Holy Church of
Iggy the Inuit has discussed the lost In The Woods movie at great extent
and Pontiacs). However the theory that the Lost in The Woods video
was shot before the photo shoot is new and quite intriguing. However the
idea that Iggy, Mick and Syd picked the daffodils is, according to JenS,
Mojo 196 writes:
When the photo shoot was over, Rock continued outside using Syd’s blue
Pontiac Parisienne as a prop. (…) The life of this inanimate object
(registration: VYP74) helps confirm that the shoot wasn’t in the autumn.
The Holy Igquisition wans to set straight: The story of Syd
Barrett’s car has been the object of different posts at the Church (cfr. When
Syd met Iggy 2), but the initial quest for the car was done at the Late
Night forum by Dark Globe, Sean Beaver and others… they found out
that the car appeared in the movie Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Unlike Mojo
magazine, the Church does like to give credit to the people who deserve
The Holy Igquisition concludes:
It is clear that Mojo magazine has extensively browsed through the pages
of the Holy Church of Inuit but has somehow forgotten to mention
this in its articles. The Holy Igquisition has therefore sent the
following objurgation at Mojo:
It was nice to see that the many theories of the Holy Church of Iggy the
Inuit have been reproduced in The Madcap Laughs photo shoot article,
albeit without mentioning where these originally came from.
However the Holy Igquisiton knows that any true believer will find the
Church, so every Iggy publication will be beneficiary in the end. Ig’s
story as published in the March issue of Mojo may be the butterfly
effect that will cause the storm at the other side of the world. So
perhaps, thanks to Mojo, the Church will be one day able to fulfil its
Rather than to start an endless polemical discussion the Holy Church of
Iggy the Inuit would like to end this post with Duggie Fields’s
magnificent description of our skyclad sistren (p. 82):
I remember being at a 31 bus stop and seeing her coming down the stairs
very elegantly in this gold lame 1940s dress that had bell sleeves that
buttoned to a train but with no underwear and completely exposed…
Not a care in the world.
Lo and behold brethren and sistren, and don't do anything
that Ig wouldn't have done.
In the interview that Iggy - or should we say Evelyn - gave after
nearly 40 years of silence in The
Croydon Guardian she remembers how she helped Syd to paint the
floorboards that would give an extra psychedelic feel to The Madcap
Laughs cover picture.
When Mick turned up to take the photos I helped paint the floor boards
for the shoot, I was covered in paint, I still remember the smell of it.
But Iggy, as we will keep on calling her, isn’t the only one
remembering. Also present were Rusty and Margaretta, better known as
I remember that Iggy was involved with the floor painting project and
that she had paint all over her during the floor painting time but I was
not involved with the painting of the floor.
Several biographies, including Julian Palacios’s Lost In The
Woods (p.241), Tim Willis’s Madcap (p.106) and Mark
Blake’s Pigs Might Fly (p. 141) describe Greta (sic) and
her companion Rusty as homeless ‘speed freaks’. This description almost
certainly comes from painter Duggie Fields who shared the flat with Syd
and who wasn’t very amused with the many people Syd invited to say the
Julian Palacios remembers Duggie Fields from an interview he did in 1996:
He was so cool. Reserved and wary at first, then about halfway through
he became super raconteur. (email to FA, 10 February 2010).
This lead to the following paragraph in the Lost In The Woods
Duggie Fields recalls a steady stream of visitors, ‘some visitors were
parasites and some were confused in their drug use, not even abusing
‘Rusty and Greta were homeless when they came to stay here,’ explains
Fields. ‘Greta became good friends with Jenny Spires, and came into
Syd’s life from that connection. They were in my life to a degree but I
didn’t want them around. (…) They probably brought stimulants for Syd
and he took them.’
Now, for the first time in over 40 years Margaretta Barclay has
decided to share her memories with the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit as
well. But lets starts by setting the record straight:
Your blog relating to Syd Barrett mentions that Rusty and I were drug
addicted. This is most certainly not true and an old friend of
ours - Jenny Spires has made that fact known to you.
My sister Catriona (Trina) and I met Jenny Spires during the mid 1960’s
at a London grooming school. Jenny introduced my sister and I to Syd at
101 Cromwell Rd and at Edgerton Court. Rusty was not with us at that
Rusty and I were not in the ‘steady stream of visitors’. In 1970 we were
in Suffolk at the beginning of that year and Devon for the remainder of
it. Not in London. We were not homeless either. Rusty and I left London
for various reasons but primarily because I was expecting my first child.
Syd was a very dear friend of ours and we did a considerable amount
together in the 60's. Contrary to what I have read, we did not provide
Syd with drugs.
It was of course 40 years ago when Barrett recorded The Madcap Laughs
and memories may have played tricks on people. A famous example is the
Mick Rock statement that Syd Barrett's car was bright pink while the
pictures taken by him on that day show that the car was actually dark
blue. On the DVD The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story Duggie
Fields remembers how Syd painted the floor boards of his flat.
Although the story is rather funny we now know that the actual truth may
have been somewhat different. Similar Syd Barrett myths or legends have
been created (and repeated in books and magazines) that way throughout
the years without veryfying. Margaretta continues:
Without wishing to be vindictive where Duggie Fields and his interviews
are concerned, surely, in order to obtain a balanced view of Syd’s
chosen circle of friends, it would be sensible to back up assumptions
Syd was a highly sensitive, almost delicate person, who was well aware
of his constitution where drugs were concerned and perfectly capable of
not being cajoled in to anything he did not want to do. To my knowledge,
he did not take vast quantities of drugs.
He enjoyed our company and invited us to stay at Wetherby Mansions where
we shared good times together. Iggy was around at that time too and I
remember her helping to paint the room in question. Dominique A., a
French friend of ours, was also close to Syd at this time. Jenny,
Catriona and I lived with her in Chelsea for a time.
Update: the Church managed to contact Dominique A. but she
refused to talk about the past.
According to Margaretta the legends surrounding Syd Barrett contain many
errors and “if they relate to my sister Catriona, Rusty and me, it is my
duty to ensure that they are not perpetuated”.
It is convenient to point a finger at others in order to explain Syd’s
behavioural patterns. Syd behaved in his inimitable way long before he
Duggie did not socialise with us as a group – and his conclusion that I
indulged in such a way - and on my own, is erroneous.
From our point of view Syd was a vulnerable person, we cared for him and
our aim was to encourage him to be creative, to write and play his
guitar. After all, Rusty only wanted to write and play music with Syd -
to give him drugs was not on our agenda; Syd - was ‘far out’ enough
The Reverend was of course anxious to know what kind of music Rusty and
Syd played together:
Rusty and Syd played Syd’s songs and variations on them ’Oh baby my
hairs on end about you’, ‘Octopus’ etc…, as well as songs they created
together and basic blues.
In 1969 we went to Isle of Wight Festival together and at one point, in
an effort to encourage Syd to play his guitar, we took him to stay with
a musician friend of ours in Wales. Gala may remember the journey.
There have indeed been rumours of Syd Barrett visiting the Isle
of Wight festival before and a (much discussed) picture of this
event does exist. Margaretta is formal that the photograph is genuine:
The Isle of Wight picture is definitely of Syd with me beside him. (She
is the woman at his left side, FA.)
Back to Rusty and Gretta. Hoping that the visit would inspire and
encourage Syd to return to the musical ‘land of the living’ they took
him to a ‘brilliant musician’ who lived in Solva, Haverfordwest, Dyfed: Meic
(Update: The next paragraph is totally wrong as the Welsh
musician in question iwas Meic Stevens, not Mike Stevens
(although Meic has also been credited as Mike, early in
his career). But as this Mike Stevens's family was so kind to contact
the Church and as his music is really groovy, the Reverend has decided
not to delete it. See: Gretta
Speaks (Pt. 2))
It is believed that this musician was Mike Stevens from the Welsh
band The Shevells (aka The Welsh Conquerors). In the mid sixties the
band recorded several records featuring Stevens on guitar and vocals.
Around 1966, as Mike Stevens & The Shevells, they recorded a cover
version of Cathy's Clown and the Go-Go
Train and as The Shevelles, Come
On Home. Stevens was an on/off member of the band as he was
apparently also involved in The Squires, originally Tom Jones’s back up
band and the composers of the hit It's Not Unusual. (Information taken
the Church is currently trying to contact M. Stevens.)
In a soon to be published, revised and updated, 2010 edition of Julian
Palacios’s biography Lost
In The Woods the roles of Gretta and Rusty in Syd Barrett’s life
have already been changed for the better. Palacios writes:
Life at home edged further toward the chaotic when Rusty and Greta,
casual friends of Barrett’s, moved in. (…) Only recently arrived in
London, not on the ‘underground scene’, they later left for Devon, where
they married and settled. Greta may have done speed, but the pair were
not the terrible people they have been painted as.
When Rusty B. split with Greta, he came and stayed with Jack Monck and
Jenny (Spires). In late 1972, Jack and Rusty started a new band, Rocks
(Above quotes from 'Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd' by Julian
Palacios - Plexus Books, May September 2010 edition.)
Gretta Barclay remarried, is a proud mother and an even prouder
grandmother, and according to her family ‘she is a wonderful amazing
beautiful lady who has 3 children who love her very much’.
The Reverend can only agree with that. Even for the Church there are
more important things in life than chasing the shadow of a girl who
lived for a while in a house were someone, apparently famous, lived as
The second part of the interview will be published in the weeks to come.
The Church wishes to thank: Margaretta Barclay for her invaluable
testimony about what really happened in those early days of 1969. Julian
Palacios for additional information.
Sources: (other than internet links mentioned above): Blake,
Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press, London, 2007, p.141. Fields,
Duggie interview in: The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story, DVD
UK Ltd 2005. Palacios, Julian: Lost In The Woods, Boxtree,
London, 1998, p. 241. Willis, Tim, Madcap, Short Books,
London, 2002, p. 106.
Purloined Letter (1845) from Edgar
Allan Poe dozens of intelligence officers search a room to
recuperate some blackmailing material but they fail to locate it. Enters C.
Auguste Dupin, probably the very first detective in fiction, who
simply picks the letter from a card-rack. It had never been concealed
but as the policemen had been looking for a hidden object they never
cared to check the paper, lying out in the open.
When the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit started its mission it was
generally believed that The
Madcap Laughs photo shoot had taken place in the autumn of 1969.
Mainly because every Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett related book said so and
- for over 30 years of time - nobody had ever cared to check the facts.
(Also Rob Chapman's A
Very Irregular Head biography, that has just appeared a couple of
days ago, situates the floor paint job and thus the photo shoot
somewhere between August and November 1969.)
Of course the witnesses saying that the shoot had taken place in the
last quarter of 1969 were quite privileged authorities on the life and
works of Barrett and thus their testimonies have never been questioned
(and as we will reveal later, their comments may be - partly - true).
Malcolm Jones was the Harvest manager who partly produced Barrett's
first solo album and who wrote an acclaimed (for Syd fans anyway) book
about these sessions.
One day in October or November (1969, FA) I had cause to drop in
at Syd's flat on my way home to leave him a tape of the album, and what
I saw gave me quite a start. In anticipation of the photographic session
for the sleeve, Syd had painted the bare floorboards of his room orange
and purple. (…) Syd was well pleased with his days work and I must say
it made a fine setting for the session due to take place.
And in his Psychedelic Renegades book Mick Rock writes:
We shot The Madcap Laughs in the autumn of 1969 and I don’t think that
Syd and Duggie Fields had been living in the flat that long. (…) Soon
after Syd moved in he painted alternating floor boards orange and
The above contains a contradiction, although Mick Rock probably isn't
(wasn't) aware of that. Syd Barrett, Duggie Fields and a third tenant
called Jules moved in the apartment in January 1969 (perhaps December
1968) and certainly not later. A while later Jules was kicked out
because he didn't pay the rent.
Duggie Fields recalls in The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story
that the floorboards were painted 'quite quickly' after they had moved
in and said in the Mojo Madcap issue:
When Jules left Iggy came soon after and she wasn't there for long.
Jenny Spires (Syd's ex) brought her round. Iggy was just around, she
didn't officially live here.
has indeed confirmed to the Church: "I took her (Iggy) to Wetherby
Mansions in January 1969." (Did the Reverend ever tell that it was
thanks to biographer Julian Palacios that the Church got in contact with
It is hard to remember things after 40 years, and even harder to
pinpoint an exact date for certain events, but JenS certainly wasn't in
England anymore in April as she had left for America, and by then the
floor boards had already been painted. "When Syd and Gretta et al went
to The Isle of Wight Trina - Gretta's sister - and I were in America and
heading for the Woodstock Rock Festival."
Also Iggy (or Evelyn, in her interview with
the Croydon Guardian) and Margaretta Barclay (in her interview
with the Church) remember the painted floorboards. But opinions differ
whether the floor boards were painted with a photo session in mind or
Just like several (tiny) details in the pictures have given away the
date, the answer may lie in the pictures themselves. What most
people, including the Reverend, have neglected to do for the last 40
years was to look for the obvious. Not so for Late
Night member and Syd Barrett collector Dark Globe:
After reading Jenny Spires's claim that the floorboards were painted
when Syd moved into the flat, long before the Madcap photo session, I
had another look at some of the photos. (…)
gun' for me is the can of paint and paintbrush which appears in one of
the Madcap session photos:
this would imply that the floorboards had only been painted recently.
course, it could be that he was only 'topping them up' but it certainly
looks like he (and maybe Iggy) had done some painting close to the
The photographic evidence is there.
The Mick Rock pictures from Syd Barrett's room not only reveal that
parts of the floor had not
been painted yet but also show that a can of (blue) paint and a big
paintbrush are hiding next to Syd's mattress, together with a coffee mug
and an empty wine glass.
At least two Storm Thorgerson pictures from that spring day show the
paint can as well. The booklet
of the Crazy Diamond Syd Barrett box shows the (partly cut off) can at
the left side of the picture and the print of the so-called toy plane picture
that was sold on eBay in November last
year has it in full. It is a pity that only a very small image of
this print exists and that its owner, if (s)he is aware of its
existence, still hasn't donated some hi-res scans to the Syd Barrett
Whilst Mick Rock was at it he also took some 'nude
study' pictures from Iggy but this time the Reverend will not get
exited over her churrigueresque features but over her dirty feet. Her
feet are black (or should that be: blue?) and probably she had been
walking barefoot over the wet paint.
Stating the obvious is difficult when one is too concentrated on a
subject. Church member Banjer and Sax found a simple explanation
why painting a floor in two different colours will take several days or
Maybe it took several days to complete the job, more than two days, and
they would not necessarily have to have been consecutive days. So maybe
days passed or even months passed between different phases of floor
painting. It seems like it could have been difficult to do both colours
at the same time.
The logical thing to do is indeed wait for the first colour to dry
before starting the second colour. But the mystery of The Madcap Laughs
photo shoot only gets bigger and, as usual, archbishop Dark Globe
is to blame:
There was more than one photo shoot though. A second photo shoot (not by
Mick Rock, but by Storm Thorgerson, FA) shows Syd doing yoga and
posing in front of one of his paintings. The floorboards are painted in
these photos so they were probably taken sometime after the session with
Iggy. Syd's hair is a noticeably longer in these photos too.
These pictures were used by Hipgnosis for the cover of the vinyl
compilation Syd Barrett. It is obvious that they were taken on a
later date: the floor seems to be completely painted, but also the room
has been reorganised. While the far left corner on the daffodil session pictures
is empty it suddenly contains some canvas and paint during the yoga
Perhaps Storm took some photos later in the year and maybe this is how
the legend came into place that The Madcap Laughs photo session was made
This is not as far-fetched as it seems.
Autumn Photo Session
Mick Rock states: "This '69 session was specifically done for Syd's
first solo album, The Madcap Laughs" and Storm Thorgerson more or less
claims that Hipgnosis had been summoned by record company Harvest to do
But if the daffodil photo shoot really took place, as proposed by the
Church between the 14th and 21st of April 1969, Syd
Barrett had only been at two, maximum three, recording sessions for the
album. (If only we could find out the date of the newspaper lying next
to Barrett's bed?)
It is hard to believe that Harvest would approach Hipgnosis after three
studio sessions, especially as Syd Barrett was still regarded as a
liability. Between May and July of the previous year Barrett had wasted
eight recording sessions and basically EMI had given up. Peter Jenner:
It was chaos…. (…) There were always these tantalising glimpses and that
was what kept you going. (…) I think we just came to the conclusion that
we weren't getting anywhere.
So although the April 10 and 11 sessions of 1969 had been very promising
(and the one on the 17th as well) it is unlikely that the managing
director of Harvest was already thinking he had chart material. And
quite rightly so, because the fourth session was disastrous and has been
used in books and articles to emphasize Syd's lunatic behaviour. And it
wasn't getting better...
Different people tell different stories but the bottom line is that less
than a month after the first (April 1969) recording session Malcolm
Jones simply gave up. David Gilmour, who took over the producer seat in
June, maintains until today that he was asked to salvage the sessions
from the dustbin, although Malcolm Jones has tried to minimise this and
claimed that the Madcap project had not really been shelved.
It was already August 1969 when the Cantabrigian Pink Floyd members
started (stereo-)mixing the tapes, and as the band had a busy schedule
and wanted to have some holidays as well, it would take until October
for the master tapes to be ready. Now here is what the Reverend calls an
appropriate moment for the record company to commission a sleeve.
Summer 1969. Harvest hotshots ask Hipgnosis to design a sleeve for the
album that is in its final mix. Storm Thorgerson goes to Syd's flat to
take the so-called yoga-shots,
but decides later, for whatever reason, to use the (Mick Rock
influenced) daffodil-shots instead. (Probably when Thorgerson presented
the sleeve to Harvest, he didn't tell that the pictures came really from
a photo shoot earlier in the year. That's how we know Storm.)
A legend is born.
We leave the last word to JenS who was so friendly to contact us again:
It's truly astonishing about the floor! All I can say is the floor had
already been painted when I arrived. (January 1969, FA)
There were parts of the room unfinished in the bay window and to the
right hand corner of the room and fireplace where Syd's bed was
originally and where Iggy is poised on the stool. I guess they must have
had to paint these remaining bits before the shoot. They may also of
course given it a second, more refreshing coat for the shoot.
Interesting, bit by bit a more accurate picture is emerging.
To accompany this article a new gallery has been uploaded: Paintbox.
Sources (other than the above internet links): Chapman, Rob: A
Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 235. Drummond,
Paul: In My Room, Mojo 196, March 2010, p. 82. Direct link
to the scanned pdf
document (hosted at the Church). Fields, Duggie
interview in: The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story, DVD UK Ltd
2005. Jones, Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain
Damage, 2003, p. 13. Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry
Red Books, London, 2001, p. 136, p. 138. Rock, Mick: Psychedelic
Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 18-19, p. 58. The paint can
pictures can be found at pages 72, 76, 83 and 84. Iggy's dirty feet on
Words: Mark Blake. Pictures: Storm Thorgerson, Iggy Rose, Rank
Organisation. Date: 20 January 2011. Previously published on
If there is one image of Syd Barrett that never ceases to fascinate it's the
back cover of his debut album, The Madcap Laughs. The reason: the
mysterious naked woman perched on a stool with her head thrown back and
face obscured by swathes of long dark hair. Syd's companion was known
only as "Iggy The Eskimo". But as Barrett fans have been
wondering since 1970 - who was Iggy and where did she go?
Rock believed that his cover girl had "married a rich guy and moved
off the scene". Barrett's old flatmate, the artist Duggie Fields,
heard that "Iggy had become involved with one of the voguish religious
cults of the time", before adding to the mythology with a story of once
seeing her disembarking from a Number 31 bus in Kensington, wearing a
1940s-era gold lamé dress, and very little else.
In 2002, Mick's coffee-table book Psychedelic
Renegades featured more shots of Syd and Iggy posing outside the
Earls Court mansion block, alongside Barrett's abandoned Pontiac. Rock's
photos found their way onto most Pink Floyd fansites, where Iggy
had acquired cult status. Before long, The
Holy Church Of Iggy The Inuit, a fansite in her honour, had
appeared, its webmaster, Felix Atagong, sifting through ever scrap of
information gleaned from MOJO and elsewhere with a forensic scientist's
attention to detail. Among Felix's discoveries was a
November 1966 issue of NME which featured a photo of "Iggy who is
half eskimo" dancing at South Kensington's Cromwellian club.
While researching my Pink Floyd biography (2007's Pigs
Might Fly: The Inside Story Of Pink Floyd) I quizzed everyone about
Iggy's whereabouts. Anthony Stern, formerly a schoolmate of David
Gilmour's, told me he had met her at a Hendrix gig and had
just discovered photos he had taken of her on a houseboat in Chelsea;
Anthony had also filmed Iggy dancing in Russell Square. Meanwhile,
former Middle Earth club DJ Jeff Dexter recalled meeting "the
mysterious-looking" Iggy in 1963, when she was a "part of a group of
very wonderful looking South London girls" that danced at The Orchid
Ballroom in Purley. Jeff even hatched a plan with his friend, the late
DJ and Shadows songwriter Ian "Sammy" Samwell, to turn
Iggy and two of her friends into "a British version of The
Supremes. We booked a studio but unfortunately none of them could
sing." Believing that Iggy may have gone to school in Thornton Heath,
Jeff and Anthony contacted The Croydon Guardian, who ran an article - So
Where Did She Go To, My Lovely - enquiring after the whereabouts of the
girl "who entirely captured the spirit of the '60s".
Then, in March 2010, MOJO received a letter from ex-Cambridge mod Pete
Brown, who had "shared some wild nights on the town with Iggy in the
1970s". Pete informed us that Iggy had been last heard of in the '80s
"working at a racing stables... and has since been keeping her
whereabouts quiet." Pete sent a copy of the letter to The Croydon
Guardian, whose reporter traced Iggy through the stables and phoned her
out of the blue. Their subsequent article included a handful of quotes
from its reluctant subject, including the words: "I have now left that
life behind me." Which is why it came as a surprise when my mobile rang
late one Saturday night. "It's Iggy!" declared the voice at the other
end, as if I would have known that already. "I've been reading what you
wrote about me in MOJO... about the pictures of my bottom."
The local newspaper's call had prompted Iggy to borrow a neighbour's
computer and go online for the first time. She was amazed to discover
MOJO, the fansites, the photos, and the wild speculation and
misinformation about her time with Syd Barrett. Which is why, in October
2010, I found myself stepping off a train at an otherwise deserted
Sussex railway station to be met by the woman that had once graced the
cover of The Madcap Laughs. Three hours in a local gastro-pub and
countless phone calls later, Iggy pieced together her story. Some of it
was printed in MOJO
207, the rest is here...
Firstly, why Iggy? "My real name is Evelyn," she explains. "But when I
was a child, my neighbour's young daughter could never pronounce Evelyn,
and always called me Iggy. Now everyone calls me as Iggy. But 'The
Eskimo' nickname was a joke. That was something I told the photographer
from the NME when he took my picture at The Cromwellian." Iggy's father
was a British army officer, who served alongside Louis Mountbatten, and
attended the official handover ceremony from Great Britain to India's
first Prime Minister, Jawaharial Nehru in 1947. "My father also knew all
about Mountbatten's wife's affair with Nehru," she adds mischievously.
During a spell of leave, he had travelled to a remote village in the
Himalayas "where he met the woman that would become my mother." Iggy was
born in Pakistan, and attended army schools in India and Aden, before
the family moved to England. But not, as believed, Thornton Heath. "I
grew up by the seaside," she reveals. "I went to art school. I became a
mod in Brighton, and saw the fights with the rockers, and I met The
Who when they were on Ready Steady Go! I loved soul music, loved The
Righteous Brothers, and I loved dancing, so I used to go to all the
clubs - The Orchid Ballroom in Purley, where I met lovely Jeff Dexter,
The Cromwellian, The Flamingo, The Roaring Twenties..."
It was at The Cromwellian that Iggy encountered Eric Clapton. "I
didn't know who he was at first," she insists. "He took me to meet Lionel
Bart and to a party at Brian Epstein's place..." By the
mid-'60s Iggy had become a Zelig-like presence on the capital's music
scene, sometimes in the company of Keith Moon, Brian Jones,
Keith Richards.... She saw Hendrix make his UK debut at the Bag
O' Nails in November '66, and in February '67, 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.
By then, Iggy had made her film debut. In 1967, IN Gear was a short
documentary screened as a supporting film in cinemas around the country.
Its theme was Swinging London, including the chic Kings Road clothes
shop Granny Takes A Trip, a place, according to the breathless narrator
that "conforms to the non-conformist image of the !" A
mini-skirted Iggy can be seen in one silent clip, sifting through a
rack of clothes and chatting with Granny's co-owner Nigel Waymouth.
By 1967, pop music had changed. The summer before, Iggy had met Syd
Barrett's girlfriend Jenny Spires, and drifted into the Floyd's social
clique, showing up at the UFO club nights where Pink Floyd played
regularly: "When I recently watched that Syd Barrett documentary [The
Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett & Story] and saw Syd in the kaftan,
chanting [on Pow R Toc H], the memories came rushing back," she
explains. "I'd been there. I'd seen that." In April '67, Iggy joined the
counter-culture throng in Alexandra Palace for The
14-Hour Technicolor Dream - "all 14 hours of it!" - where Floyd
played a hypnotic set at dawn.
By early 1968, though Barrett had been replaced by David Gilmour, and,
according to many, was on a drug-fuelled downward spiral. Towards the
end of the year, he moved into a new place with his level-headed friend,
the would-be artist Duggie Fields. The pair took over a two-bedroom flat
Wetherby Mansions in Earls Court. Around January '69, at Jenny
Spires' suggestion, Iggy, needing a place to stay, moved in. She hooked
up with Barrett, but shared a musical bond with Fields: "Duggie and I
were into soul music, and Syd used to laugh at me dancing around to
As Iggy told MOJO 207: "I didn't know Syd had been a pop star."
Elaborating further, "I didn't make the connection between him and the
person I had seen at UFO. I knew he was beautiful looking and he had
real presence, but that was all." Once, when she picked up his acoustic
guitar, fooling around, he took it off her and started playing properly.
"I was overwhelmed. The way he played the guitar, the way he moved. He
said, 'Do you think I look good?'," she laughs. "I said, 'You look
amazing. Wow!' He then said, 'Would you listen to this?' And he bought
out this big, old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape recorder, and said, 'Tell
me what you think'." Syd then played her the songs that would end up on
The Madcap Laughs. One track, Terrapin,
made an immediate impression. "I said, 'That's quite catchy', and, of
course, I don't think Syd was really into catchy...It was a long tape,
and he didn't demand any opinion, but just asked if I thought it was OK.
At the end he said 'Someone at EMI - I cannot remember the name - wants
me to make a record. How would you feel about having a rock star
Words: Mark Blake. Pictures: Iggy Rose, Chris Lanaway. Date: 20
January 2011. Previously published on mojo.com.
While there are many reports of Barrett being withdrawn and even
aggressive at this time, Iggy remembers it differently. "People talk
about Syd's madness and his dark side, but I never saw it," she states.
"We had a wonderful giggly time. There were no sinister moments." Only
briefly did she glimpse a more troubled side to his personality. "One
day, he said to me, 'How do you feel? Are you sad?' I was naked, and he
went and got some paint and painted two great big eyes on my breasts
with two tears coming down, and on my belly button he painted an arrow
and underneath that a picture of me with a big belly, and said, 'There
could be life in there. I could give you life.' But I didn't want that
at all. So I panicked, and scrubbed it off." He was also uncomfortable
with some aspects of fame, as Iggy discovered on a night out with Syd to
The Speakeasy, a music-biz haunt in Margaret Street. "We'd persuaded Syd
to go, but it was full of posers," she admits. "There were a few of us
there. Someone asked the DJ to put on See Emily Play, which was a stupid
thing to do." A hit for Pink Floyd more than two years before, the
dance-floor cleared. "So I went on and started dancing, but Syd ran off.
He was obviously very sensitive about it all."
"We had a wonderful giggly time. There were no sinister moments."
In March '69, Barrett began recording The Madcap Laughs at Abbey Road,
but his erratic behaviour in the studio resulted in Roger Waters
and David Gilmour helping to oversee the sessions. Gilmour was now
living in Richmond Mansions, a block so close to Wetherby Mansions that
he could almost see into Syd and Duggie's kitchen window. One evening,
Syd announced that he had to go out. Iggy wanted to go with him, but
Barrett insisted she remain at the flat. "I think I thought he was
seeing another woman," she says. "I got a bit jealous, a bit pouty -
very silly. Duggie knew where Syd had gone but wouldn't tell me." With
Syd gone, Iggy decided to pay a visit to David Gilmour instead. Fields
helped Iggy back-comb her hair, plaster her face with make-up and paint
her lips black. "I looked like Medusa. Like a banshee. Duggie then took
me round to Dave's place. Dave was very beautiful and very cool, and his
flat was nicer than Syd and Duggie's - it was warmer for a start. Dave
opened the door, took one look at me, but didn't bat an eyelid."
When Iggy walked in, she saw Syd sat in Gilmour's living room. "I went
in, shouting, 'OK, where is she?' thinking there was a woman hiding in
one of the rooms. But, of course, the meeting had been with Dave about
the record they were making together." Barrett left Iggy with Gilmour,
but rather the worse for wear, she knocked the stylus on his record
player accidentally scratching his copy of Pink Floyd's brand new album.
"I have no idea what album it was, only that it was their new album,"
Iggy sighs. (The likely candidate seems to be Soundtrack From The Film
More) "So Dave threw me out... If he ever reads this I would like to say
sorry for scratching his record." Back at Wetherby Mansions, Barrett was
unfazed by her planned defection: "Syd just said, 'Come in love, and
I'll make you a cup of tea'. How sweet."
By now, Barrett had prepared his bedroom for The Madcap... cover shoot,
painting most of the floorboards orange and mauve. On the morning of the
shoot, Syd asked Iggy to help finish the job. "He jumped off the
mattress and said, 'Quick, grab a paint brush.' He did one stripe and I
did another. If you look at Mick Rock's pictures, I have paint on the
soles of my feet." When Rock arrived with the Floyd's sleeve designer Storm
Thorgerson to take the photos, a naked Iggy went to put some clothes
on. "But Syd said, 'No, don't'. That was his wicked sense of humour. I
put the kohl around his eyes that day and tousled up his hair: come on
Syd, give us a smile, moody, moody, moody! But he knew exactly what he
was doing. He was as sharp as anything. He set the tone. He was the
"Syd just said, 'Come in love, and I'll make you a cup of tea'. How
Iggy joined Syd for further photos outside the flat. Later, Rock
recalled showing Barrett one of the pictures and Syd mysteriously
scratching around Iggy's image; an act that has acquired some
significance among Barrett's more earnest devotees. "They're making
something out of nothing," she insists. "Later on, Syd showed me one of
the pictures and said, 'You like that one, don't you? I know why,
because of your cheekbones'. I think I was sucking on a cigarette, and,
yes, I was being vain, I liked the way my cheekbones looked. So he tore
the pic in half and gave it to me. There was nothing more to it than
that." Strangely, Iggy also recalls other photographs being taken that
day, which have never appeared since. "I don't think Storm and Mick were
very impressed by them. If you've ever seen the cover of the Rod
Stewart album, Blondes Have More Fun, they were a bit like that...
Of me and Syd. There were others of me and Syd, as well, which remind me
of the picture of John and Yoko [on Two Virgins] which came out later.
I'd love to see those pictures now."
Before long, Iggy had drifted out of Wetherby Mansions and out of Syd's
life as quickly as she had drifted in. When she returned later, Duggie
told her: "Syd's not here. He's gone back to Cambridge. Don't bother
trying to find him." She never saw him again, and is adamant she only
became aware of her presence on the cover of The Madcap Laughs
after being phoned by the Croydon Guardian: "I went to a boot sale with
my husband... When I saw the cover, I thought, Oh yes, that is my
Although the stories of her marrying a rich banker and joining a
religious cult are untrue, there is a kernel of truth: after Syd, Iggy
began seeing a wealthy businessman who was also a scientologist. However
Duggie Fields' recollection of spotting Iggy climbing off a bus in a
gold lamé dress is not in dispute: "It was a beautiful dress that cost
£50." Still a fixture on the music scene, Iggy recalls accompanying Pink
Fairies' drummer Twink to the Isle Of Wight Festival and turning up
"for the very first Glastonbury... ". But in 1978 Iggy married her
husband, Andrew, and "left that life behind me".
"I heard on the radio that Syd died, and I felt sad, but it was so long
ago," she says. Since reading about those times in MOJO, the memories of
the people and the places have slowly come back to her. "Mick Rock took
some beautiful picture of me," she smiles. "But, of course, I wish I'd
been paid some money for them. Still, it is amazing that people have
been looking for me... and that someone has even set up a website. I
still don't know what to make of all this." The fascination continues.
Last week, Iggy called to tell me she had found a poem online written
about her by a professor at a university in Missouri. "And it's in
French," she said, sounding astonished. "'Iggy l'esquimo, Fille De Le
Space'...it goes. I never believed anyone would ever write a poem for
Those that have been living on planet Magrathea for the past
couple of months may not have been aware that Thursday, 17th of March
2011 was a great day in the life for a Barrett-fan.
The long awaited book 'Barrett',
apparently nobody attempts to use a combination of Madcap or Crazy
Diamond any more, which is a good thing, was launched with a
mega-party and exhibition at Idea
The Church will review the definitive visual companion to the life of
Syd Barrett in the weeks to come so for the moment you have to content
yourself with the message that it is a splendiferous (and heavy... and
pricey) work of art... and love.
Attending the launch were Anthony Stern, Aubrey "Po" Powell, Captain
Sensible, Dark Globe, David Gale, Duggie Fields, Graham Coxon, Ian
Barrett, Irene Winsby, Jenny Spires, John 'Hoppy' Hopkins, Libby
Gausden, Mark Blake, Miles, Philip James, Rosemary Breen, Vic Singh,
Warren Dosanjh and many others... enough to make a Pink Floyd aficionado
But for the Church (and not only for the Church) the star of the evening
undoubtedly was a woman of international mystery... and here are some
pictures of her:
Libby Gausden and Iggy
John "Hoppy" Hopkins and Iggy
Iggy and Andy Rose
Ian Barrett, Iggy and Captain Sensible
Duggie Fields and Iggy
Brian Wernham and Iggy
Iggy having some fun with the paparazzi
Where is Iggy? and who else can you recognise on this picture?
Some answers: Antonio Jesús: "The tall guy in brown is Warren
Dosanjh." Mark Jones: "Duggie Fields." Jenny
Spires: "Nigel Gordon and Jimmie Mickelson, Will Shutes and Viv's
nephew, Kieren and his partner..." Libby Gausden Chisman: "Roe
Barrett and her husband Paul Breen, Buster and his partner who used to
come swimming with Dave Gilmour and me at Jesus Green swimming pool in
One of our brethren told the Reverend afterwards:
I saw Iggy at the launch yesterday. She did very well, considering it
was her first public appearance. She had a legion of female admirers so
she was happy, and people were thrilled to meet her.
The Church wishes to thank: Antonio Jesús, Mark Blake, Libby Gausden
Chisman, Dark Globe, Paul Drummond, Jimmie James, Mark Jones, Jenny
Spires, Brian Wernham and the beautiful people at Late Night and
Facebook. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
In the Seventies, Eigthies, Nineties and Naughties (sic) no
interview with an (ex-) Pink Floyd member could be published without the
obligatory Syd Barrett question. This enervated the interviewees
sometimes at a point that they may have said things they would later
regret but that are continuously repeated, decades later, by Sydiots all
over the world in their quest to prove that member D, R or N still holds
a grudge against that godlike creature named Syd.
I's a bit like Paul McCartney who will, forever and ever, be reminded of
a drag' comment the day John Lennon died, a comment he gave to the
press vultures while he was emotionally exhausted.
In 2005 when Roger Waters' (rather unexciting) Ca Ira opera saw
the light of day he was obliged to face the press, but his management
insisted to talk about the opera and not about Pink Floyd. Belgian
journalist Serge Simonart described this wryly as interviewing
Winston Churchill and only asking about his hobbies. The music
journalist however smuggled in a Barrett-related question and noted down
the following statement:
The press is also to blame, because they want a juicy tale. Syd was a
juicy tale, and that is why his influence seems to be so much bigger
than it was in reality: he barely was a year in the band, and we have
made our best work later without him. (Taken from WHERE ARE THEY NOW...
ROGER WATERS (PINK FLOYD), currently hosted at A
Apart from the fact that Roger Waters needs an extra semi-trailer to
transport his ego while he is on tour, he has a valid point although
some Syd anoraks will obviously not agree with the above.
In December 1968 (give or take a month) Syd Barrett, Duggie Fields and a
drop-out named Jules rented a three bedroom apartment at Wetherby
Mansions. As Jules left a short while later the witnesses who can tell
us something substantial about Syd's daily life are Duggie Fields, Gala
Pinion (who took the spare bedroom about 6 months later), Iggy Rose plus
the circle of close friends and, unfortunately enough, hanger-ons who
were only there for the free food, free booze and free drugs. Syd
Barrett was either a very generous host or simply too spaced-out to
understand that he was being ripped-off.
Our good friend Iggy Rose is rather reluctant to divulge too much to the
outside world and anything that she has told the Reverend stays well
inside the Church's sigillum confessionis. Gala seems to have
disappeared in Germany of all places, so perhaps someone ought to create
a Semi-Holy Church of Jules in order to find and question him.
Most people who knew Syd seem to have valid enough reasons to keep a low
profile, unless they want to sell overpriced Barrett photo books.
The result is that all weight falls upon the man who lived with Syd for
a couple of years and who tried (and succeeded) in making a successful
art career of his own: Duggie Fields. But it must have been, and
probably still is, a pain in the arse that whenever he wants to inform
the press about a new exposition they all friendly smile into his
direction and say: “Fine, but we only want to know about Syd Barrett
So let's set the record straight, shall we? With a little help of our
Spanish-sister-blog Solo En Las Nubes we hereafter present you an
exclusive Duggie Fields self-interview (from the 24th November of 2010)
and we will not add another word about Syd. Sort of.
Artistically, a Duggie Fields interview speaks for itself and needs no
Although there are some obvious influences on his paintings, his art –
like with all great artists - is immediately recognisable. But the
Duggie Fields label is not limited to canvas alone.
His life is filled with very curious anecdotes. One of those is how he
shared a flat with Syd Barrett (and – although only for a couple of
weeks – with Iggy Rose [note from FA]), the protagonist of
this blog. Exclusively for Todos En Las Nubes Mr. Fields has written
this self-interview. An honor.
So how do you start your day...?
Usually at the computer. In the winter in my dressing gown; in the
summer in my underwear, with a cup of green tea....
I check my emails. Facebook.
And then sometimes I sit working on a new idea, a picture or less
frequently a piece
of music. And some times hours can pass without me registering.
What are you working on then now?
On the computer I have a couple of new image ideas started. How well
they’ll develop I don’t yet know. And a new piece of music on the way,
the first for quite some time. There’s also the canvas I’ve been working
on for most of the summer now.
So what’s that all about?
That’s not so easy for me to say. If it has a narrative I’ve yet to work
out what it is about. There seems to be some kind of story. There are
two figures in the picture occupying the same, but not quite the same,
space. Both looking at something but not quite the same something. Both
figures have spiritual overtones. The male figure came from a statue in
the graveyard just around the corner from here. The female figure was a
chance vision at an Arts and Antiques Fair up the road in Olympia.
Photographed randomly, not initially intended to pair with him but
somehow ending there intuitively.
What’s “just around the corner” ?
Just around the corner is Brompton Cemetery. Just around the corner is
also the name of a series of photographs I have been taking. Almost
daily and with my mobile phone and then posted on my Facebook page. The
Cemetery is Victorian, designed to echo on a much smaller scale
St.Peter’s in Rome, and ravishing when over-grown and wild as it was
last year. I photograph in there regularly. Always managing to discover
unseen statues, so many angels, and a wealth of ever-changing imagery.
And also I take pictures just around the corner on the streets where I
And where is that?
Earls Court, an area I’ve lived in now for over 40 years. In the same
home, the one I first got with Syd Barrett shortly after he’d left the
Pink Floyd and which we shared together for a couple of years or so
before he left even further from the life he’d once lived, and that I’ve
lived in ever since.
Have you always taken photographs?
At Art School I did photography briefly as part of my course there,
enjoying time in the dark-room developing, processing and printing my
own film, but not really getting on with their prevailing concepts of
what the subjects should be. Over the years I’ve had various cameras,
though nothing got me so involved again until going digital allowed me
to print and process on screen. The camera phone I enjoy enormously, not
having to carry a separate camera with me, one less item to fill the
pockets and think about. I use it kind of as a visual diary. I upload
the images to Facebook as it is currently simpler than adding them to my
own website the way it is set-up at the moment.
Note: This year (2011) Just Around The Corner evolved into a very
That implies you might change it..?
That will change at some stage, but it’s a job that just adds to the
list of things to do. And right now that’s a growing list. The website
works well enough as it stands. But all its sections, and there are many
already, could be expanded on. Like everything it is a question of time,
and of priorities.
What’s the biggest change then that might happen to it?
Well apart from a dedicated Photography section, I have over 1,000
images to choose from to add there. Mostly landscapes and things, the
“Just around the corner” series, “Tree offerings”, and “Curiosities”.
There is more music to add. Quite a few more pieces in addition to what
is already online. And lastly to update the “Word” section with some new
writing. Have been working for the past few years on anecdotes from my
life, from childhood on. Currently have written up to my early years in
And when might this happen?
You might well ask that. Really it depends. Right now I’m finishing off
one very large acrylic canvas; thinking about what the next one I paint
might be, painting always being my priority over everything, though now
first starting with imagery made on computer whereas before it would
start on tracing and graph paper. Working on a couple of digital images
that will stay digital whatever, possibly being output as digital
printed canvasses an option. As well as continuing with the music piece
I started only recently. So I am occupied, pre-occupied, engaged, and
other-wise committed. Enough in fact to think, this is enough for this
too so I can back get on with some real work, which of course it always
is. Time demanding however rewarding it feels in the process, which it
does, there is never enough of it it seems........
The Holy Igquisition has got a little black book with Roger
Waters' interesting quotes in. Needless to say that this is a very
thin book, with lots of white space, but here is a phrase from the Pink
Floyd's creative genius (his words, not ours) this article
would like to begin with.
There are no simple facts. We will all invent a history that suits us
and is comfortable for us, and we may absolutely believe our version to
be the truth. (…) The brain will invent stuff, move stuff around, and so
from 30 years ago (…) there's no way any of us can actually get at the
The Reverend would – however – first want to ask one fundamental
question, of which our readers may not be quite aware of the
significance of it... If Roger Waters is such a creative genius writing
poignant one-liners criticizing his fellow rock colleagues:
Lloyd-Webber's awful stuff. Runs for years and years and years. (…) Then
the piano lid comes down. And breaks his fucking fingers. (It's
A Miracle, Amused
...why then does he agree to release hyper-priced Immersion boxes
containing a scarf, some marbles, carton toasters, playing cards, other
debris and, oh yeah, incidentally some music as well? One can only
conclude it's a miracle. Let's just hope he doesn't get near a
piano for the next couple of years.
But probably we are too harsh in our criticism, Roger Waters has told
the press before that he is simply outvoted by the other Pink Floyd
members. This is a situation that used to be different in the past when
he reigned over the band as the sun
king, but like he will remember from his Ça
Ira days, these are the pros and cons of capitalist democracy.
A typical Floydian example of false memory syndrome is the visit of Syd
Barrett in the Abbey
Road studios on the 5th of June 1975. It is a mystery to us why EMI
didn't ask for entrance money that day as a complete soccer team,
including the four Pink Floyd members David
Mason, Roger Waters and Rick
Wright, claim they have seen, met and spoken to Syd Barrett.
Roadie (and guitar technician) Phil Taylor remembers he had a
drink in the mess with Syd and David. Stormtrooper Thorgerson
has had his say about it all but if one would give him the opportunity
he would argue – probably in yet another book rehashing the same old
material – that he started the band Pink Floyd at the first place. Other
'reliable' witnesses that day include (alphabetically sorted): Venetta
Fields, backing singer and member of The
Leckie, EMI engineer and producer (but not on Wish
You Were Here) Nick
Sedgwick, friend of Roger Waters and 'official' biographer of Pink
Shirley, Humble Pie drummer and friend of David Gilmour Carlena
Williams, backing singer and member of The Blackberries
Some say that Barrett visited the studio for two or three days in a row
and three people, including his former managers Peter
Jenner and Andrew
King, claim they spoke to Syd Barrett about a month later on David
Gilmour's wedding while the bridegroom himself claims that Syd Barrett
never showed up. To quote Pink Floyd biographer Mark
Blake: “...not two people in Pink Floyd's world have matching
stories...”, and neither do two biographies...
In his most recent, but probably not his last, picture book about Syd
Rock writes the following:
He (Syd Barrett, FA) asked me to take photos for the sleeve of
his first solo album The Madcap Laughs that autumn. At the time he was
living with yet another very pretty young lady known only as Iggy the
Eskimo. She wasn't really his girlfriend although clearly they had a
sexual relationship. But of course her presence in some of the photos we
took that day added an important element that enhanced their magical
Most biographies (all but one, Julian Palacios' Dark
Globe, in fact) put the date of The Madcap Laughs photo shoot in the
autumn of 1969 and this thanks to testimonies of Storm
Thorgerson, Mick Rock and, most of all, Malcolm
Jones. The Church, however, beliefs there is a 'misinformation
effect' in play. Researchers have found out that people will
automatically fill in the blanks in their memory if a so-called reliable
witness comes with an acceptable story. This would not be the first time
this happens in Pink Floyd history. And probably there have been 'cover
picture' meetings after summer between Harvest
perhaps even leading to an alternative Storm Thorgerson photo shoot (the
But in the end it was decided to use the daffodils session from
That the Church's theory (with the help of JenS) wasn't that far-fetched
was proven in March 2010 when the rock magazine Mojo
consecrated a three pages long article to pinpoint the date of the
shooting of The Madcap Laughs, with testimonies from Duggie Fields, Mick
Rock, Jenny Spires and Storm Thorgerson. The article and the Church's
comments can be found at Goofer
Dust [(I've got my) Mojo (working)... Part 2].
We know from JenS, Duggie Fields and Gretta
Barclay that Iggy arrived early 1969, and helped painting the floor,
but the only person who didn't comment on this was Iggy Rose herself. So
one freezing winter day The Holy Church asked her if she could have been
around at Wetherby Mansion, after the summer of 1969...
Iggy Rose: "I don't think it was that late, but I have to admit
it was almost 45 years ago. I remember I was cold, and they had a
one-bar-heater to try and keep me warm. I stayed a week here and there
and I never gave that photo shoot another thought. Later I found out
when Mick Rock came back for the second shoot he was disappointed I
Syd met Iggy (Pt. 1)): "I took Ig to Wetherby Mansions in January or
February 1969 where she met Syd Barrett. (…) I introduced Iggy to Syd
shortly before I left (to America, FA), and she was around when I
left. She wasn’t there for long and generally moved around a lot to
Iggy Rose: "I had absolutely no idea how mammoth he was. Syd
never came on to me as the Big I Am. In fact when he played his rough
tracks of The Madcap Laughs he was so endearingly sweet and appealing...
Even asking me whether it was good enough to take to some bloke at EMI
Margaretta Barclay (Gretta
Speaks (Pt. 2)): "Iggy moved about and stayed with all sorts of
people in all sorts of places without declaring her intention to do so.
To my knowledge there was no ‘when Iggy left Syd’ moment. We were all
free spirits then, who moved whenever and wherever a whim took us."
Iggy Rose: "I wasn't even aware of who Syd Barrett really was. Of
course I knew of Pink Floyd. I must have seen them perform at Crystal
Palace but they were to me an obscure avant-garde underground band, who
played way-out music I couldn't dance to."
Jenny Spires (public conversation at Iggy Roses' Facebook
page): "Ig, Syd painted the floor boards as soon as he moved in
Christmas 68. When I moved in with him in January there were still
patches not done, by the door, in the window under the mattress where we
slept, in top right hand corner of the room. When he painted it
initially, he didn't wash the floor first. He just painted straight onto
all the dust etc... Dave (Gilmour) also painted his floor red..."
Duggie Fields (Mojo): "It was pretty primitive, two-bar electric
fire, concreted-up fireplaces... it was an area in decline. I don't
think there was anything, no cooker, bare floorboards..."
Mate (alleged visitor at Wetherby Mansions, FA): "The
three rooms all faced the street. On entering the house, the first room
was Fields', the second and largest, I guess about 25 square meters,
Barrett's. The third and smallest room was a communal room or a bedroom
for guests. Gala (Pinion, FA) stayed there. In the corridor were
some closets stuffed with clothes.
Then the floor bended to a small bathroom, I think it was completely at
the inside without a window. At the back was the kitchen with a window
to the garden. It was not very big and looked exactly like in the
Fifties. The bathroom was also rather simple, I mean, still with a small
tub. I don't remember how the bathroom floor looked like though."
Update 2016: 'Mate' is an anonymous witness who claims to have
been an amorous friend of Syd Barrett, visiting him several times in
London and Cambridge between 1970 and 1980. However, later
investigations from the Church have found out that this person probably
never met Syd and is a case of pseudologia fantastica. This
person, however, has a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of Syd Barrett and
early Pink Floyd and probably the above description of Syd's flat is
Iggy Rose: "I think Gala had the small room, Duggie the second
and Syd the largest. She had a lot of perfumes and soaps and gave me a
nice bubbly bath once... ...and tampons." (Launches one of her legendary
roaring laughs provoking a temporarily hearing loss with the Reverend.)
Any colour you like
Ian Barrett: "The stereo in the picture ended up at my house, and
I am pretty sure I had the record player in my bedroom for a good few
years. God knows where it is now though..."
Iggy Rose: "I wonder what happened to the old heavy tape recorder
with the giant spools. I remember Syd carrying it over for me to listen
to his rough cut of The Madcap Laughs."
Malcolm Jones (The Making Of The Madcap Laughs): "In anticipation
of the photographic session for the sleeve, Syd had painted the bare
floorboards of his room orange and purple."
Mick Rock (Psychedelic Renegades): "Soon after Syd moved in he
painted alternating floor boards orange
JenS: "I was staying with Syd between the New Year and March '69.
(…) Anyway, at that time, the floor was already painted blue
and orange and I remember thinking how
good it looked on the Madcap album cover later on when the album was
Iggy Rose (The
Croydon Guardian): "When Mick (Rock, FA) turned up to
take the photos I helped paint the floor boards for the shoot, I was
covered in paint, I still remember the smell of it."
Margaretta Barclay (Gretta
Speaks): "I remember that Iggy was involved with the floor painting
project and that she had paint all over her during the floor painting
time but I was not involved with the painting of the floor."
Iggy Rose (Mojo):
"He jumped off the mattress and said, 'Quick, grab a paint brush.' He
did one stripe and I did another. If you look at Mick Rock's pictures, I
have paint on the soles of my feet."
Duggie Fields (The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story): "I think he
painted the floor boards, sort of quite quickly. He didn't prepare the
floor, I don't think he swept the floor actually. (…) And he hadn't
planned his route out of the bed that was over there. He painted around
the bed and I think there was a little problem getting out of the room.
(…) He painted himself in."
Jenny Fabian (Days In The Life):: "He'd painted every other floor
board alternate colours red and green."
Iggy Rose: "I remember the mattress being against the
wall......Soooooo either we ran out of paint, or waited till the paint
dried, so poor Syd was marooned in the middle of the floor. (…) The
floorboards were painted red and blue.
I do remember, as the paint was on my feet and bottom. Did you know that
Syd wanted to take the colours right up the wall?"
Mate: "The planks were painted in a bright fiery-red,
perhaps with a slight tendency towards orange,
and dark blue with a shadow of violet.
Iggy is absolutely right: this was no orange's
orange. The curtains were dark
green velvet." (This witness may be a mythomaniac,
Mick Rock: "They were long exposures because of the low light and
they were push-developed which means that you give the film more time in
the processing fluid. You can tell because the colour changes and
the film starts to break up which causes that grainy effect."
Libby Gausden: "I always thought it was orange
paint, not red." Iggy
Rose: "Careful Libs darling! People will start to analyse that, the
way they did with the dead daffodils." Libby Gausden:
"Well they had faded from red to orange
when I got there."
Jenny Spires (public conversation
at Iggy Roses' Facebook
page): "The floor was painted long before you arrived Ig and was blue
and orange. You and Syd might have given
it another lick of paint and covered up some of the patchiness and bare
floorboard that was under the mattress before the Rock/Thorgersen shoot.
Perhaps, he only had red paint for that,
but it was blue and orange."
Mate: "Even in 1970 there were still unpainted parts in the room,
hidden under a worn rug. I suppose the floor had been beige-white before
Syd and Iggy painted it in dark blue
with a shadow of violet and bright orangy
red . The floor boards had not been carefully painted and
were lying under a thick shiny coat. The original pitch-pine wood didn't
In my impression it was an old paint-job and I didn't realise that Syd
had done it all by himself the year before. I never spoke with him about
the floor as I couldn't predict that it would become world-famous one
day. It is also weird that nearly nobody seems to remember the third
room..." (This witness may be a mythomaniac, see above.)
Mick Rock: "I actually went back a couple of weeks later. We
still didn't know what the LP was going to be called and we thought we
might need something different for the inner sleeve or some publicity
Iggy Rose: "I did go back afterwards and maybe Syd mentioned this
to someone. I wasn't bothered and I didn't know Syd was some big pop
star. He never lived like one and certainly didn't behave like."
When Iggy disappeared it wasn't to marry a rich banker or to go to Asia.
As a matter of fact she was only a few blocks away from the already
crumbling underground scene. One day she returned to the flat and heard
that Barrett had returned to Cambridge. She would never see Syd again
and wasn't aware of the fact that her portrait was on one of the most
mythical records of all time.
Update 2016: The above text, although meant to be tongue in
cheek, created a rift between the Reverend and one of the cited
witnesses, that still hasn't been resolved 4 years later. All that over
a paint job from nearly 50 years ago.
Many thanks to: Margaretta Barclay, Duggie Fields, Libby Gausden, Mate,
Iggy Rose, JenS & all of you @ NML & TBtCiIiY...
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 231-232. Clerk,
Carol: If I'm honest, my idea was that we should go our separate ways,
Roger Waters interview in Uncut June 2004, reprinted in: The Ultimate
Music Guide Issue 6 (from the makers of Uncut): Pink Floyd, 2011, p. 111. Gladstone,
Shane: The Dark Star, Clash 63, July 2011, p. 53 (Mick Rock
picture outtakes). Green,
Jonathon: Days In The Life, Pimlico, London, 1998, p.168. Jones,
Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p.
13. Mason, Nick: Inside Out, Orion Books, London, 2011
reissue, p. 206-208. Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades,
Plexus, London, 2007, p. 18-19, Rock, Mick: Syd Barrett - The
Photography Of Mick Rock, EMI Records Ltd, London & Palazzo Editions
Ltd, Bath, 2010, p. 10-11. Spires, Jenny: Facebook
conversation with Iggy Rose, July 2011.
At the 'Mortal
Remains' Pink Floyd exhibition that is currently running in
London a Polaroid can be found showing Syd Barrett at the Abbey
Road studio in July 1975. This is not the picture that was
magically found back when Nick Mason needed to promote his
biography in 2004 and that dates from June 1975.
Here is what Nick writes about that:
It was during these sessions at Abbey Road, on 5th June, that we had one
totally unexpected visitor. I strolled into the control room from the
studio, and noticed a large fat bloke with a shaven head, wearing a
decrepit old tan mac. He was carrying a plastic shopping bag and had a
fairly benign, but vacant, expression on his face. His appearance would
not have generally gained him admittance beyond studio reception, so I
assumed that he must have been a friend of one of the engineers.
Eventually David asked me if I knew who he was. Even then I couldn’t
place him, and had to be told. It was Syd. More than twenty years later
I can still remember that rush of confusion.
Remember a Day
Confused is what Mason is indeed, as he doesn't mention Syd's second
visit to the studio, a month later, accidentally - or not? - on David
Gilmour's wedding day. In a Mojo interview from 2006 David Gilmour
denied that Syd was at his wedding, although he seems to recall that
Barrett visited the band more than once.
From a 1982 Musician Magazine interview:
He showed up at the studio. He was very fat and he had a shaved head and
shaved eyebrows and no one recognized him at all first off. There was
just this strange person walking around the studio, sitting in the
control room with us for hours. If anyone else told me this story, I'd
find it hard to believe, that you could sit there with someone in a
small room for hours, with a close friend of yours for years and years,
and not recognize him. And I guarantee, no one in the band recognized
him. Eventually, I had guessed it. And even knowing, you couldn't
recognize him. He came two or three days and then he didn't come
anymore. (Taken from: December
1982 - Musician Magazine at Brain Damage)
So, Gilmour does seem to acknowledge that Syd Barrett visited the studio
more than once, only not on his wedding day.
Mark Blake in Pigs Might Fly:
On 7 July, during a break in the Wish You Were Here sessions, Gilmour
married girlfriend Ginger at Epping Forest Register Office, and the Syd
tale takes on another curious twist. In conversation with Mojo magazine
in 2006, Gilmour disputed any stories that Syd had attended his wedding.
Yet at least three of the guests claim they saw Syd at a post-wedding
meal at Abbey Road. Ex-manager Andrew King recalled Barrett looking
‘like the type of bloke who serves you in a hamburger bar in Kansas
City’. Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley referred to him as ‘an
overweight Hare Krishna-type chap’.
One who does remember - obviously, as it was her wedding day - is Ginger
Gilmour in her autobiography Bright
Side Of The Moon:
For one reason or another, Pink Floyd members (and other witnesses)
amalgamated the different Barrett appearances into one, quasi mythical,
event. Venetta Fields hinted already in March 2004 that there were
pictures of the event:
I think there were photos taken at that time... I remember telling
someone that was showing me a photo. I can’t remember who? I may even
have a picture. We took a lot of pictures that day. They had been at the
studio for hours before we got there. I think that while we were there,
Syd came into the studio. Everything stopped. We were all shocked to see
him and the way he looked. (Taken from: An
Interview With Venetta Fields at A Fleeting Glimpse.)
The Gold It's in the...
Another mystery is why Nick Mason, who has meticulously classified the
Pink Floyd archive, only came up with this second picture now – almost
by chance - when he needed to promote yet another Pink Floyd pension
Check extra big pictures and other assorted trivia at our 'IggyInuit'
Tumblr page: 1975.
Many thanks to: Marc-Olivier Becks, Johan Frankelius, Antonio Jesús,
Göran Nystrom. ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (other than the above mentioned links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 231-232. Gilmour,
Ginger: Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon, Angelscript
International, 2015, p. 103-104. Mason, Nick: Inside Out: A
personal history of Pink Floyd, Orion Books, London, 2011 reissue,
Last year in June a French 'Pathe Marconi' edition of Syd
single was sold
for 10,500 Euro, a small fortune, if you ask us, unless you happen
to be an administrator of a Facebook Syd Barrett group. The single came
from the ORTF archives, Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française,
and as such it was 'tattooed', labelled and written on.
So why were collectors so eager to have this (less than mint) vinyl
record in their collection? The French-German television station Arte
tried to find an answer and made a 25 minutes documentary about it all,
existing in two languages.
When you read this the chance is big you can’t watch the show any more
as it was only online for a week, in January 2017. On top of that there
was a geo-block,
except for Belgium. Probably France and Germany are still still thinking
we are one of their underdeveloped colonies.
The reason why this vinyl is so expensive is due to the fact that this
particular edition has only survived in about ten copies (and one of
those was recently lost in a fire). As such it is a Ferrari for vinyl
collectors, as someone states in the documentary. They were only given
away as promotional material and the superfluous copies were melted to
recuperate the vinyl. Isn't recycling a good thing?
The ORTF library got four, numbers two and three went missing over the
years, euphemistically described by the program makers as damaged, and
the first one was auctioned to the public.
Those who are old enough to have seen The
Wall movie in the cinemas may remember the intrepid interview that
two Actuel reporters had with Syd Barrett in Cambridge. (Read it here: French
Magazine Article - ACTUEL) Although the conversation with the madcap
took only about six lines, and was mainly about a bag of laundry, it
created quite a buzz. French like that. That same Actuel magazine also
had an article about an adventurer archaeologist who knew where the
mythical El Dorado could be found. Needless to say he couldn't but
Actuel wrote a ten pages long article about it, just in case.
Arte does pretty much the same when they repeat the rumour that the
Pathe Marconi sleeve could have been drawn by monsieur Barrett
himself. They immediately embark to London to interview Duggie
Fields. Fields doesn't immediately recognise Syd's style, but he
isn't 100% sure either as there are certain Syd-esque style elements in
the drawing. But several other details imply that the sleeve hasn't been
made by Syd.
First of all: it depicts a sea animal, while the Octopus in the song is
a fairground ride. Second: the sleeve has the name of the graphical
artist printed at the right bottom side. Dessin: lilli, it reads, which
means drawing by Lilli.
So those Frenchies could've avoided going to London anyway, but I guess
they had to fill up those 25 minutes. And it is always a pleasure seeing
Duggie, one of the few British gentlemen left. (Read our Duggie Fields
self-interview here: Duggie
Fields, much more than a room-mate)
Peter Jenner has been interviewed as well. He doesn’t really tell us
anything new, but this documentary wasn’t made for Floydian anoraks. He
talks about the fast rocket that Pink Floyd was, unfortunately a rocket
that exploded in mid-flight.
I see him as a shooting star, he lifts off in 1966, he writes his songs,
has an enormous success, and then he disappears.
A third interviewee is Bill Palmieri, an American record collector who
is an esteemed member of several Floydian groups, and who also happens
to have an original French Octopus in his collection, after searching
for it for over thirty years. He thinks there are less than 5 copies of
this 'holy grail' in the hands of collectors. He talks with much love
about his records, about Pink Floyd, about Syd Barrett. It is intriguing
but quite a bit weird as well. It's pretty cool to see that he consults
Floyd On Forty-Five book were the single is listed on page 69.
Plenty of weirdos in Floydian circles, guilty as charged.
Update 19 January 2017: Charles Beterams, author of 'Pink Floyd
in Nederland' and owner of a Floydian collectors shop, estimates there
are still more copies around:
The “less than five” guess is far below what is realistic. I’ve sold two
different copies over the years and know of at least four other copies
in existence. a few dozen at least are left and around.
To further elaborate on the madcap’s enigma a French scholar is asked as
Espitallier, author of the quirky essay Le
Rock Et Autres Trucs and translator of Tim Willis' Madcap in the
language of Molière. He praises the lyrics of Octopus, in his opinion a
predecessor of the lyrics that made progressive bands like Yes and
Genesis so popular.
Syd Barrett is a person who traumatised rock . He was so powerful, so
original, so fast, as a kind of Arthur
The value of this record has skyrocketed over the years. Record
Collector 327 (September 2006) valued it at £650 and in the late
nineties collector David Parker got offered one for £500, a deal he
unfortunately refused and now regrets:
A dealer got in touch with me a few months ago, he was accepting bids
for an ok -but-not-exceptional copy... current highest bid was €6500
(+/- £5740, FA).
An Italian collector signalled us that at the record fair in Utrecht the
price was €16,000 for one and €20,000 for another one in a better
condition. Lots of dough for an Octopus ride, but the copy from the ORTF
archives seems to have beaten the record, for now...
A gallery with screenshots of this documentary on our Tumblr blog: Octopus.
The Church wishes to thank: Charles Beterams, Mary Cosco, Rich Hall,
David Parker ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥ Paula ♥