Fart Enjoy

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Articles

2007-09-08

Fasten Your Anoraks

Missing Fart Enjoy page
Missing Fart Enjoy Page.

No Pink Floyd release nowadays without a controversy between the fans, the (ex-)band members and/or record company. The Pink Floyd's first album 'The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' has been celebrating its fortieth birthday and boys and girls that gravy train is riding again. Out comes a luxury package containing 3 disks: Piper in stereo, Piper in mono and a third disk containing the first 3 singles - 5 tracks, one B-side is exactly the same as on the album version and is not repeated - plus 4 alternative versions of Interstellar Overdrive (twice), Apples And Oranges and Matilda Mother.

So what is the controversy all about then?

1. EMI seems to release a special edition every decade.

Apart from the normal CD-issue that was basically just an analogue copy onto a digital carrier without fuddling we have already had a 1994 remastered stereo version and a limited (only a few million copies or so) 1997 mono version. The card box of the 1997 mono version was far too large to contain a single CD so that everyone could insert The First 3 Singles inside the box (that CD-EP had to be bought separately).

So basically this new edition combines the 1994 and 1997 versions in one package, adding 4 alternative takes. I know that EMI claims that the tapes have been remastered again (Why? Did James Guthrie do a bad job the previous times?) and the odd anorak will be able to tell you that the mono version of 1997 and the mono version of 2007 have a different fade out on one single track.

2. The tracks we are waiting for since decades are not included.

I don’t want to sound too ungrateful, collectors will find the 4 unearthed tracks worthwhile, but the tracks everybody was really waiting for are the final real tracks that Barrett recorded with his band: Scream Thy Last Scream and Vegetable Man. But perhaps these will find a place on an anniversary edition of A Saucerful Of Secrets.

And of course there are dozens of other (un)finished tracks and demos, believed to be lying in the EMI vaults that could have been included.

It would also have been a nice gesture to include the Pink Floyd's very first demo that has been circulating in bootleg circles for decades. Lucy Leave was Barrett's first song that was recorded by the band, including guitarist Bob Klose who would leave between the demo sessions and the band's debut at Abbey Road. The flip side of that acetate was the Slim Harpo classic (I'm A) King Bee, that has also been covered by Muddy Waters, The Rolling Stones, The Doors and The Grateful Dead.

3. One page is missing on the Fart Enjoy booklet.

Included with the Piper deluxe edition is an 'art' booklet that Syd Barrett made around 1965 for his friend Andrew Rawlinson. The existence of it was revealed in the Tim Willis biography Madcap that printed 6 out of the 12 pages (although a bit truncated). The remaining 6 could be found in the British Mojo music magazine (BTW, this month's issue of Mojo has a free CD entitled In Search Of Syd, containing 15 Pink Floyd inspired tracks).

One of the first people who confirmed that Fart Enjoy would be included on Piper was Ian Barrett, Syd's nephew. The official reason why the twelfth page of Fart Enjoy is missing is cryptically confirmed on the booklet:

This particular page has been left blank for legal reasons.
For further details see www.pinkfloyd.com.

Of course going to the official website of Pink Floyd doesn't give you extra information at all. Enough reasons for the fans to start speculating. The missing page contains 9 times the word 'fuck' and variations of the same verb such as 'fuk' and 'fuc'. According to a Pink Floyd manager who spoke with Keith Jordan, the webmaster from Neptune Pink Floyd, the reason was not the smutty language on the page but the accompanying copyrighted picture that couldn't be released. Very strange as the missing page has been published in Tim Willis's book before and can be found on the NPF website as well.

We haven't been amused like that since the Publius days.

Update March 2014: The Holy Church found out who the mystery woman is on the Fart Enjoy booklet and pinpointed the real date that the booklet was created (and that is quite a surprise). Just another world exclusive of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit: Smart Enjoy.


Some of my Pink Floyd related goodies on this webspace (in Flash):
Syd-a-choo-choo (click-n-play puzzle/game)
Pink Floyd Pie Chart (quiz)

This post has been previously published at Felix Atagong's Unfinished Projects.


2013-09-27

Making it clear...

I am him
I am him?

Did Roger Keith Barrett send a Canadian fan a handwritten message, somewhere in 2003? It might be true, or not, depending from your point of view.

Food and drink

The story of Syd turning into an involuntarily hermit may be correct to a certain extent, but this doesn't mean the man didn't interact with the world around him.

Now and then some anecdotes sip through, almost accidentally, like MvB who told the Church that Syd Barrett had dinner at her parent's home one day, probably in 1970. These were strange psychedelic days and her parents, journalists who must have been groovy folk, allowed her to go on her own to Syd's apartment afterwards. She wasn't really impressed with what was happening there, which is slightly understandable, as she was still more or less into Barbie dolls.

It's also weird how this Earth has changed for the past 40 years, because sending a young girl into something that has been described by others as a notorious free drugs & free sex den isn't something we would approve of nowadays, unless that description was an exaggeration as well. But like we said, these were different times.

We all know that Syd Barrett liked a good beer or two. So from time to time he would jump on the tube from Earl's Court, pass Gloucester Road and get off at South Kensington, where he would walk to a pub nearby. All highly irrelevant stuff that Sydiots like to collect, like Panini trading cards.

It is because there is this Barrett's lost weekend which, in his case, took three decades. That is why we cling to every little detail we can get hold of and extrapolate it as being emblematic for his entire life.

Sometimes an anecdote gets to lead its own life like the story that Barrett was writing The History Of Art, a titbit that has been reheated by fans and books and articles for nearly two decades, that can be traced back to a quote from his sister and that was nothing more than a chronological list of painters.

Radharani Krishna (blurred)
Radharani Krishna (intentionally blurred).

Radharani Krishna

Often we are simply willing to believe an unconfirmed anecdote because it is the only thing we can relate to. Rob Chapman in his Irregular Head biography vehemently wanted to debunk the false rumours and 'unsubstantiated nonsense' about the man but quite a few readers feared he might have created one himself.

On pages 365 and following, Chapman recites the charming anecdote of a young child who ran into Barrett's garden to ask him a pertinent question about a make-believe horse. Not only did Barrett patiently listen to her dilemma, he also took the time to explain her that in fairy tales everything is possible, even flying horses. (Taken from: The Big Barrett Conspiracy Theory.)

Chapman didn't materialise this witness from his high hat though as she was originally a Laughing Madcaps group member. Kiloh Smith wittingly observes that this is another proof that Rob Chapman was 'skimming off original material' from forums and mailing groups for his biography. Nothing wrong with that, of course, as long as you give a friendly nod here and there. Radha's first message appeared on the 13th of March 2007:

My name is Radha, and I wanted to say a personal "hello" to everyone in this group as I've just joined today. (Radharani, Laughing Madcaps, 13 March 2007)

Soon Radha (short for Radharani Krishna) added some pretty innocent anecdotes:

I remember he used to walk to the shops in town and sometimes stopped to tell us little kids some silly nonsense rhyme or listen to ours and laugh with us. I never knew he was anybody other than a sweet older fellow who lived up the road and never went to work! (Radharani, Laughing Madcaps, 16 March 2007)

It's a pity really that Radharani's comments, about 40 in total, can only be consulted by accessing the Yahoo Laughing Madcaps group, that for one reason or another has been declared a no tress-passing area for the Church. In 1998 she left Cambridge for London to be 'rich and famous' and that is when she said goodbye to Roger:

He said Cambridge'd be dull without me (…) and we had a long talk that, knowing what I know now, really gives me the old throat-lump. I didn't realise it at the time, but he was really giving me a lot of himself. I think he must have done this with some of the other kids I grew up with who left home the way he had done, with big dreams and not much experience. I think it was his chance to be a dad. (Radharani, Laughing Madcaps, 20 March 2007)

It was at this point when Radha was first accused, in the group's typical cynical style, of being a fraud, she published less and less and finally disappeared in 2008.

I think the myth of RKB as a mean-spirited old curmudgeon or some sort of vacant-eyed schizo burnout is dreadfully one-dimensional and out of touch with the reality and intricacies of human nature. I cannot speak for his interaction with people who came in from the outside, but he was always polite to people in town. Some days he had more time to give than others, but he always waved or smiled as he passed our gate. (Radharani, Laughing Madcaps, 21 March 2007)

When Rob Chapman was researching for his book Radha's existence was confirmed to him by Ian Barrett, who may have met her and who confirmed she had lived two doors away from Roger.

As in all good stories this isn't all. A nice overview of the Radha controversy can be found on the Syd Barrett Pink Floyd blog and if you really want to delve into the sore details you can always check the Neptune Pink Floyd forum.

It's awfully considerate

But people who are accustomed to the Church's customs probably know that the previous was just a lengthy introduction to today’s sermon.

Did Roger Keith Barrett send a Canadian fan a handwritten message, somewhere in 2003? Here is the story that is so unbelievable it could be true.

10 years ago, at 15, Jonathan Charles was a bit Syd Barrett obsessed. He would sit at the computer after school and do tons of research on Syd & early Pink Floyd. Collecting photos, reading articles and interviews, looking for items on eBay. Like the rest of the world he also tried to find out where Syd lived, but Barrett's address was impossible to find. But from time to time he would look for it again and one day a certain Roger Barrett in Cambridge turned up.

I really can't remember exactly where I found it though it was not a typical yellow pages or similar site. I searched the address on a map online to check it out further. I'm pretty sure these were the days before Google street view so I wasn't sure if it really was his place. I decided to send a letter even though I thought I probably wouldn't get a response. I did feel I should leave him alone but my curiosity got the best of me I guess... (Taken from: I sent a letter to Syd in 2003 - was returned with a note.)

In his letter Jon asked a number of things but he mostly wanted to know details about Roger's current life and of course there was the obligatory 'I'm a big fan' stuff. One day an envelope from the UK arrived but with no return address on it. Inside was Jon's original letter with a note added at the bottom. It read:

note at bottom of letter
Note at the bottom of the letter.
DEAR JONATHAN,
NOT ME – I AM NOT THIS MAN – I AM
AN OLD AGE PENSIONER – AND NOT HIM.
SORRY TO DISSAPPOINT YOU.

The note, written in capitals and with several words underlined, stressed several times that the man who had received the letter was not Syd Barrett, all in all a strange way to react. At 15 Jon thought nothing more of it and the letter landed in a drawer until it was rediscovered a few weeks ago.

Jon decided to compare the handwriting of the note (also from the address on the envelope) with that of Syd at a later age and concluded there are some similarities, especially in the M's, N's and T's.

Jon's comparison
Jon's comparison.

As usual in these kind of matters there are opposite views. Alexander, who has some originals from Barrett in his collection, remarked that the capital 'D' is not at all the capital 'D' we know from Syd, but Younglight, at the other hand, also discovered that, in this note, Barrett uses a lowercase-type 'U', just like he had done in the sausage-thief letter from 1963.

sausage thief
Barrett's sausage thief.

A quick check by the Church confirms indeed that Barrett often wrote a lowercase 'U' in uppercase sentences. Examples can be found on a letter to Libby from 1963 or on the 'deddly dumpty' part of the Fart Enjoy booklet.

Although short, a lot can be told by analysing the message. Wolfpack did this at the Late Night forum and returned with a couple of observations.

1. For someone just getting a wrongly addressed letter, this answer is quite long.

The return note is indeed not logical. A normal response would have been: “Sorry Jon, you've send this letter to the wrong address so I am returning it.” There are several stories of how Roger Barrett told visitors that Syd wasn't there and this note surely reflects the same style.

2. The word 'NOT' is used 3 times: two times underscored, the 3rd time double underscored. The writer seems to put a lot of emotion in not being this man.

The note is almost a distress call, all in capitals and stressing several times he is not the man Jonathan thinks he is. But by denying it once too many the author unwillingly admits the opposite.

3. The old age pensioner might hint at being an old retired rock star.

Probably Jon mentioned Syd the rock star in his letter and a logical answer would have been: “Sorry mate, but I have been a bus driver all my life.” Or a teacher, a farmer, an undertaker. But none of that in the answer, an answer that seems to imply: I am an old age pensioner now and not the young music god you take me for but who I once was.

4. The spelling of 'dissappoint' matches with another unverified text, which is certainly in a fan's handwriting.

Wolfpack hints at the Rooftop In A Thunderstorm Row Missing The Point poem where 'dissapear' is written with a double 'S'. Unfortunately an original in Syd's handwriting didn't survive (or went missing) and we only have two (handwritten) copies made by Bernard White, that can be consulted in our Rooftop gallery: Rooftop 1, Rooftop 2.

It leaves us with the puzzling question: did Syd Barrett really write 'dissapear' or did the copier made an error? We will never know until the original shows up that might still be in Storm Thorgerson's psychedelic ordered archives.

Bonhams once tried to sell this copy as a genuine Syd Barrett piece and when the Church revealed this (with the help of many Late Night members) they didn't even thank us for pointing this out to them, read all about that in Bonhams Sells Fake Barrett Poem.

5. The writing style is poetic. The writing style is melodic. The visual composition (text layout) is aesthetic.

This is entirely Wolfpack's point of view and you can check his ideas and theories on the Late Night forum, if you want.

Jon, I'm only dancing...
Jonathan Charles .

I'm not here

The Holy Church asked Jon to get a closer look on the envelope, but all we have obtained so far is that it had two 2 stamps, one of 1£ and one of 5 pence. Jon further explains:

I ended up looking very closely at the post office ink stamp on the envelope and found a date. It should be correct because there is another stamp on the other side that says AU10P. The one on the front is 030810. August 10th, 2003.

So is this note the real deal, or not?

A look at the handwriting seems to point to that direction and the message itself is in accordance with the anecdotes of the mad bard as we know him.

On the other hand this could all be an intelligent and very elaborate hoax, done by someone who admits he was (and still is) somewhat of a Barrett obsessed fan. The comparison of the letters (see image above) could have been made as a 'visual aid' to imitate Syd's handwriting, rather than to prove the opposite.

Adding the deliberate spelling error 'dissapoint' (thus repeating the mistake on the Rooftop poem) could be an indication that the forger thought this spelling error was Barrett's and not Bernard White's.

And then there is still a third possibility, as proposed by Alexander:

...there were not many Roger Barretts in Cambridge which is a small city. And (it is) quite possible that Syd has asked somebody to write something and send it back.
It´s a male longhand, I´m sure. So, not Rosemary, but a brother or the postman or a shop owner etc... etc...

What exactly is a joke

But at then end, does it really matter? If enough people believe this is real, it is real, even if it isn't.

Did Roger Keith Barrett send a Canadian fan a handwritten message, somewhere in 2003? It might be true, or not, but it makes a nice story and adds to the kaleidoscopic viewpoint we have of the man who once was Syd.


Notes:
Radha went to America where she attempted a brief modelling career. She has published some well written slash fiction about the early days of Pink Floyd. Since 2008 she has completely disappeared from the Barrett spectrum.
Jonathan also send a copy of the 'Barrett' note to Mojo where it was (apparently) published in Issue 240, November 2013. Many thanks to Michael Rawding for finding this. This seems to indicate, in our opinion, that a hoax can be ruled out.

The Church wishes to thank: Alexander, Jonathan Charles, Late Night, Laughing Madcaps, MvB, Psych62, Radharani Krishna, Michael Rawding, Wolfpack, Younglight. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Barrett, Ian: personal message on 11 March 2011.
Chapman, Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 365-366.


2014-03-07

Smart Enjoy

Andrew Rawlinson
Andrew Rawlinson.

Warning: this article contains pictures of naked boobs which may result in temporary blindness for minors.

On the 5th of March 2009 the Syd Barrett Trust received Fart Enjoy, a one-off book, created and illustrated by Syd Barrett, believed to be made late 1964 or during 1965. It was donated by Syd's school friend Andrew Rawlinson who had kept it all these years. The day after it was put for auction on eBay. On Monday the 23rd March the highest bid reached £27,323 but this was rejected and brought back to £12,100. Eventually the book sold for £12,600.

Black Holes

The Trust published all the pages of the (f)art-book and a moving essay of Andrew Rawlinson about his friend. Unfortunately this has all disappeared. The trust was constructed around Barrett's heritage, estimated at about one million seven hundred-thousand pounds. Barrett's household articles and furniture made £119,890 for charity, the Two Warriors mosaic went for £10,700 and three (big) Mick Rock prints were auctioned as well, half of the proceedings going to the Fund. And yet, 12 pounds a year to keep their website running was too much to ask, http://www.syd-barrett-trust.org.uk now points to a Japanese website trying to find nurses in Saitama city.

All related websites (and organisations) seem to have vanished: Syd Barrett Trust, Syd Barrett Fund (the change of name took place at the request of the Barrett family), Interstellar, The City Wakes, Escape Artists,... We came across the rumour that Escape Artists was, and we quote: 'a financially incompetent group'. The Syd Barrett Fund was probably conned by 'useless PR men and bullshitters', but as we can't verify this we'll leave it like that. Eventually Escape Artists dissolved and Rosemary Breen, Syd's sister, teamed up with Squeaky Gate that seems to be a more reliable charity.

Update 8 April 2014: The metaphorical ink on this page wasn't dry yet or we were informed, on 30 March 2014, that Squeaky Gate may need to close the books. While chief executive Simon Gunton told the Cambridge News (on the 7th of April) that the fundings, coming from the government, were running dry, the rumour pit in Cambridge has a slightly more salient story of several ten thousands of pounds disappearing from its bank account. Syd Barrett & charity: it's no good trying.
Update 9 April 2014: We have had confirmation that Squeaky Gate is now history.

Fart Enjoy, missing page
The Fart Enjoy missing page.

Piper Gates

Luckily Fart Enjoy was reprinted in its entirety for the 40th anniversary edition of The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn CD-box (2007).

In its entirety?

Well not exactly. Page 13 was missing and replaced by the following cryptic text:

This particular page has been left blank for legal reasons
For further details see www.pinkfloyd.com

For many fans the abundance of the 'fuck' word (9 times) and the presence of a pin-up might have had something to do with that. Especially in America big chains do not like to sell records that may potentially besmirch the frail American psyche with swear words and naked boobs. Going to the official Pink Floyd website obviously didn't explain anything at all, so Keith Jordan of Neptune Pink Floyd contacted the band's management:

Pink Floyd's manager told me earlier that the page is missing from the album booklet because of copyright issues. EMI are not willing to face unlimited litigation against them for including it! So it's not about censorship at all!

Which is weird as the missing page had been published in Tim Willis's Madcap book before and it can be still found on the NPF website (and numerous others) as well.

Fart Enjoy Pin-Up
Fart Enjoy Pin-Up.

Scribbled Lines

Should you not know what all this hassle is about, at the left is the picture in question. It surely gives the impression that Roger Keith Barrett, like most pimpled adolescents, had a rather debatable sense of humour and was overtly sexist, putting raunchy graffiti (FUK, SUK, LIK, TIT, NIPL and a hard to find CUNT), including a stylised penis, all over the picture. Rob Chapman describes it as:

a porn-mag photo of a topless woman encrypted with toilet-wall graffiti daubs.

And Julian Palacios adds that the page reveals Barrett's:

misogynistic adolescent fear and a fascination with naked women.

In Will Shutes' excellent Barrett essay, that like all art essays meanders between the sublime and the slightly ridiculous, he cleverly remarks that the BOYS FUCK GIRL word permutations - on the same page - form 'two tip-to-toe penises'.

  BOYS      FUCK      GIRL
  BOY   FS   UCK      GIRL
  BO   FYUS   CK      GIRL
  B   FOUYCS   K      GIRL
  F   BUOCYK   S      GIRL
  FU   BCOK   YS      GIRL 
  FUC   BK   OYS      GIRL
  FUCK      BOYS      GIRL
  FUCK      BOY   GS   IRL
  FUCK      BO   GYIS   RL
  FUCK      B   GOIYRS   L
  FUCK      G   BIORYL   L
  FUCK      GI   BROL   YS
  FUCK      GIR   BL   OYS
  FUCK      GIRL      BOYS

As if two penises isn't serious enough he has also the following to say about the pin-up:

The voyeuristic theme evident in Fart Enjoy relates to the omnipresence of the sexualized image, and is humorous in its deliberate childishness. In Barrett's most prominent foray into Pop Art, he illustrates the anatomy of an anonymous topless model with tears and glasses, snot, spiders, a cyclist ascending her left breast, and some sort of discharge from her 'NIPL'.

Shirley Anne Field by David Bailey, Playboy March 1966. Beat Girl

For another observer the snot under her nose could also be a moustache, the nipple discharge could be some sort of surrealistic fart (enjoyed or not) and the anonymous topless model could be someone who ran for miss Great Britain in 1955 and who played roles in the cult-horror movie Peeping Tom (1960) and in the ultimate sixties sex comedy Alfie (1966).

In 1963 Playboy called this actress a sex siren who was:

for years exploited as English grist for run-of-the-mill pin-up roles, until her portrayal of Sir Laurence Olivier's mistress in The Entertainer proved she could deliver lines as well as show them.

She must have left an everlasting impression because in the March 1966 issue this 'perky, pretty Lancashire lass' was portrayed by none other than the British photographer of the stars, David Bailey. One of these pictures is the one that was massacred by Syd Barrett for his Fart Enjoy booklet.

As a movie star Shirley Anne Field disappeared in the mid seventies but eventually she returned in My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), stayed for 42 episodes in the Santa Barbara soap (1987) and was last seen on the silver screen in the 2011 comedy The Power Of Three. IMDB lists her impressive career, Shirley Anne Field starred in 70 different movie and TV productions (not counting individual episodes) in nearly 6 decades.

Time Lord Syd
Time Lord Syd. Artwork: Felix Atagong.

Time Lord

Andrew Rawlinson writes the Fart Enjoy booklet is probably from 1965.

I’m not sure about the exact date. I know where I was living, so that places it between the end of 1964 and the summer of 1965. He was in London (Tottenham Street I think, not Earlham Street) and I was in Cambridge.

But unless somebody unequivocally proves that Syd Barrett really was a Time Lord (now here's a daring subject for our satiric The Anchor division, we might say) we seem to have a problem as the David Bailey pictures of Shirley Anne Field date from March 1966 and not from the year before.

How on Earth did Syd Barrett happen to insert a picture from a March 1966 Playboy into a 1965 (f)artwork?

All seems to turn around the exact moment in time when Syd Barrett moved from Tottenham Street to Earlham Street. Mark Blake and others put this in 1965 but Rob Chapman in A Very Irregular Head writes:

During the summer of 1966 Syd moved out of Tottenham Street and with his new girlfriend, fashion model Lindsay Corner, took up residence in the top-floor flat at 2 Earlham Street, just off Shaftesbury Avenue.

One chirping biographer doesn't make spring, especially not this one, so isn't there another way to date Fart Enjoy?

Actually there is.

Dear Roge, Fart Enjoy
"Dear Roge" letter, Fart Enjoy.

Rogue Roger

Page 10 in the booklet has a transcript from a letter (postcard?) from Syd's mother to her son. Some biographers call it a spoof although this, nor the authenticity, can be proven. But made up or not, it contains three interesting sentences.

I hope you are having a nice weekend.
How did the group get on at Essex?
Shall we reckon to set off – Devon-wards – on Sat. 26th?

Let's start with the last line, the one that carries a date. Browsing through calendars from nearly 50 years ago we can see there have only been a few Saturdays the 26th between 1964 and 1966: two in 1964 (September and December), one in 1965 (June) and three in 1966 (February, March and November).

1964
Syd Barrett, as a member of The Hollerin' Blues, didn't have that many gigs in 1964, and these were all around Cambridge. In the autumn of that year he joined the proto-Floyd, who where probably still called The Spectrum Five, but they only had about 3 concerts in London.

1965
Pink Floyd and/or The Tea Set had a slightly busier schedule in 1965, but all in all there were only a dozen of gigs. None of these were in Essex or happened around the only Saturday the 26th of that year.

Playboy March 1966
Playboy March 1966.

1966
"By early 1966 Pink Floyd's fortunes were taking a dramatic turn for the better", writes Glenn Povey in Echoes, but frankly their career only started to mushroom end of September. The Tea Set's first claim for fame was when they were billed, thanks to Nick Sedgwick, for three sets on a two-days festival on Friday the 11th and Saturday the 12th of March 1966, next to real FAMOUS people and bands. Nick Mason remembers:

The only gig that might have brought us to wider attention had been at Essex University. At their rag ball, we shared the bill with the Swinging Blue Jeans, who did appear, and Marianne Faithfull who was billed as appearing – if she managed to return from Holland in time. It didn’t sound hopeful. We were still called Tea Set at the time although we must have given the impression of being in transition to psychedelia, since in spite of having ‘Long Tall Texan’ in our repertoire, where we all sang to the accompaniment of acoustic guitars, somebody had arranged oil slides and a film projection.

Roger Waters (as quoted in Palacios' Dark Globe):

‘We’d already become interested in mixed media,’ recalled Roger Waters. ‘Some bright spark there had given this paraplegic a film camera and wheeled him round London filming his view. Now they showed it up on screen as we played.’

The avant-garde movie lovers at the Church sometimes wonder if this cinematographer wasn't an American who had recently moved to England. Later he would play an important part in the London's Film-Makers' Co-op, that grew out of film screenings at Better Books. But looking into that would take us too far, actually.

The Essex University Rag Ball was the Floyd's first event to be proud of and something Syd would have been bragging about to his mother and friends. Not only was this their only Essex gig in the 1964 – 1966 period, but it also perfectly matches the 'spoof' letter in Fart Enjoy.

I hope you are having a nice weekend.

Refers to the week after the Essex gig when Syd hypothetically received the letter (around 19 March 1966).

How did the group get on at Essex?

Syd's mum asks about the concert of the week before, when The Tea Set had their first breakthrough (12 March 1966).

Shall we reckon to set off – Devon-wards – on Sat. 26th?

Points to a date in the immediate future, Saturday the 26th of March 1966.

Bob Dylan in Playboy, March 1966
Bob Dylan in Playboy, March 1966.

Bob Dylan Schmooze

It's a shame EMI couldn't track down the owner of the copyright of the woman with her boobies out which Barrett cut from a magazine. EMI chose not to include it in the reproduced Fart Enjoy book in PATGOD.

So writes Neptune Pink Floyd on their Facebook page, about a year ago. Well, now that the Holy Igquisition has settled this matter, once and for all, EMI will have no excuse any more not to include the complete Fart Enjoy booklet in - let's say - a 50 years anniversary Immersion set of Pink Floyd's first album.

We think we have gathered enough evidence to bring back the creation date of the Fart Enjoy booklet from a two-years period to roughly one week in 1966. The Church managed to identify the pin-up Syd Barrett drew Kilroy on, as well as the photographer and the magazine it appeared in.

The only question that stays unanswered is: Why did Syd Barrett have this particular Playboy?

Easy.

The Playboy of March 1966 not only had topless pictures of Shirley Anne Field. Pages 41 to 44 and 138 to 142 make room for a 'candid conversation with the iconoclastic idol of the folk-rock set'. Syd Barrett, like all Cantabrigian beatniks, admired Bob Dylan and discussed his records, he had written a parodic song about him, and took Libby Gausden to the Royal Festival Hall on 17 May 1964 to see him.

If we can be sure of one thing, it is that Syd Barrett really bought this Playboy for the interview.


Many thanks to: Anonymous, Giulio Bonfissuto, Mick Brown, Warren Dosanjh, Rich Hall, Alexander Hoffmann, Keith Jordan, Göran Nyström, Neptune Pink Floyd Forum, Vintage Erotica Forum.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Sources (other than the above links):
Atagong, Felix: Fasten Your Anoraks , The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, 8 September 2007.
Beecher, Russell & Shutes, Will: Barrett, Essential Works Ltd, London, 2011, p. 165. (This book has the complete Fart Enjoy.)
Chapman, Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 62, 111.
Mason, Nick: Inside Out: A personal history of Pink Floyd, Orion Books, London, 2011 reissue, p. 35.
Palacios, Julian: Dark Globe, Plexus, London, 2010, p. 92, 98.
Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 32, 48.
Rawlinson, Andrew: Syd Barrett - His Book @ Syd Barrett Rresearch Society, 15 March 2009 (forum no longer active).
Rawlinson, Andrew: Syd Barrett - His Book, 20 March 2009 (mirror).
Willis, Tim, Madcap, Short Books, London, 2002, p. 53-55. (This book has a few pages of Fart Enjoy.)

Neptune Pink Floyd forum:
Piper Re-Release - The Missing Page from Fart Enjoy!, started August 31, 2007.
Syd Barrett "Fart Enjoy" work on eBay, started March 16, 2009.
Page missing from the "piper" deluxe edition, started April 13, 2010.

NSFW sources (Warning: porn banners and/or pop-ups!):
Playboy, Europe's New Sex Sirens, September 1963, p. 136.
Playboy, Trio Con Brio, Playboy, March 1966, p. 112-113.
Vintage Erotica Forum: Shirley Anne Field, May 2007 - December 2013.


2016-01-10

New Syd Barrett Website Launched!

Barrett (1967)
Syd Barrett (1967).

(Warning: this blogpost contains gratuitous nudity.)

Happy New Year, dear sistren and brethren, followers of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, we know these wishes come a tad too late, but for us, Sydiots, the sixth of January is all that more important, isn’t it?

Barrett’s seventieth birthday, as you probably know, was going to be remembered with the launch of a renewed official website at www.sydbarrett.com, under the supervision of Ian and Don Barrett and the help of some fans who want to stay anonymous, except the one bloke who bragged about it on that particular Whining Madcaps group we have long been blocked from.

Who is it who’s credited in 4 Syd books, spent months of (…) free time collating photos of Syd and the early Floyd cos NO ONE else had done it before, (…) has a credit at the end of the Technicolour Dream documentary, was interviewed by Storm for his Syd film, helped Pink Floyd’s manager with the original Syd website THEN was asked by Ian and Don Barrett for (…) help with the new one.

Who you gonna call?
Syd-busters!
The rant goes on after that and we seriously wonder why the man still hasn’t got a statue in that cultural indifferent town that is Cambridge, instead of the one that is going to be erected for Syd.

Antonio Jesus in Brussels (with ginger cat)
Antonio Jesus in Brussels (with ginger cat).

Caturday

Saturday the ninth saw two magical gatherings, one at the Geldart in Cambridge and one at the Cirio in Brussels. The one in Cambridge had the usual gang of Sydiots who don’t want to be remembered of the madcap’s London exploits. The one in Brussels was just an alcoholic debauchery between two webmasters and their mutual adoration for ginger pussies, which is a far more interesting starting point to, uhm..., start a conversation.

But, like we said, on the sixth of January of the year 2016 a new official Syd Barrett website was launched. It also immediately crashed which means that it either was inundated by the amount of hits or that the chosen internet provider happens to be a cheap and cheerful one who can’t handle more than a dozen clicks per minute.

Apart from that the website is a nice surprise, compared to the old one that already looked outdated the day it was uploaded (and that had many wrong entries, including wrong release dates for Syd's solo albums and examples of Stanislav's dadaist fanart that crept into several sections). See: Cut the Cake (2011) and/or Syd's Official site gets a makeover (2010).

Much effort has been put into a short biographical Introduction that tries to condense Syd's life into a readable article that won't scare the fans away. While every Barrett scholar would probably highlight other aspects of the madcap's life it is a nice treat, written by someone who cares.

The Photo section is what probably will attract most of the fans to the new site, publishing many unseen portraits of the artist as a young man, hidden – up till now - in private family albums. Obviously there are also sections of the early Pink Floyd and Syd's solo years, nothing really earth-shattering can be found in there (for the anorak, that is) but it is a nice touch though that the pictures with Syd and Iggy (by Mick Rock) have lost the legend that they were taken during the autumn of 1969. We don't see any Storm or Hipgnosis pictures in there but this could be a coincidence...

A ridiculously wide menu banner (it looks cool on a smartphone though) brings us to the Music page where different songs will be analysed. For the launch it is Octopus that gets the geek treatment, with – next to an introduction – Paul Belbin's Untangling the Octopus essay, in a Julian Palacios revision. It is great to see this 'Rosetta stone for decoding the writing inspirations for one of Syd Barrett's most beloved songs' appear on an official website.

Hidden underneath the introductory Syd Barrett Music page are four sub-sections that are, at first sight, not entirely coherent and can be easily missed.

Octopus (compilation)
Octopus (compilation).

Rocktopus

Syd's Recordings gives an overview of his discography, Pink Floyd and solo, including compilations and different formats. This list omits the 1992 Cleopatra Octopus CD compilation (although you can mysteriously find its cover on a different page) and also two early Pink Floyd compilations: The Best Of The Pink Floyd (1970) and Masters Of Rock (1974). Obviously the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band release that was confiscated by Pink Floyd, unaware of the fact that a second copy of the tape was still hiding in a Cambridge cupboard, is nowhere to be found either.

Syd's Songs publishes a complete list of Barrett's compositions, released and otherwise, and it is a section that gives already much food for debate, especially as an early Pink Floyd Immersion set could be in the make.

Dedicated Albums tends to give an overview of tributes. It is a bit a superfluous (and very incomplete) list, perhaps only added to do Men On The Border the favour they deserve. Personally I don't understand why the pretty ridiculous Vegetable Man Project is listed 6 times, but the equally ridiculous Hoshizora No Drive not. Closer to home I don't see Rich Hall's Birdie Hop And The Sydiots, nor Spanishgrass by Spanishgrass, appearing in the list.

Concert Posters gives what the title says, but also here the list is pretty random, although (early) Pink Floyd poster collectors are known to the people coordinating this section of the website.

But we've seen things change rapidly, even for the past few days, so when you read this some of these glitches may already have been repaired.

Shirley Anne Field by David Bailey, Playboy March 1966
Shirley Anne Field by David Bailey, Playboy March 1966.

Enjoy (f)Art

Obviously there is also an Art section on the site, divided into several sections: Student Days, Later Art, Notebooks & Sketches (this section has some unseen pictures of Roger's notebooks) and Syd's DIY furniture (and his bike). The Fart Enjoy art-book is published as well, but mentions that it was made in 1965, while it contains a pin-up from a 1966 Playboy (don't pretend you didn't see it!) and refers to a March 1966 Pink Floyd gig (see: Smart Enjoy). But here we are meddling with muddy Sydiot territory again.

Last, but not least, there is a Barrett Books entry. Also here it is all in the mind of the webmaster. Needless to say that the 'classic' biographies in the English language have all been mentioned, as well as other publications in a pretty arbitrary way.

London Live by Tony Bacon still makes it to the list. Other than the picture on the front, this book has got no real connection to Syd Barrett. It contains a history of London Clubs and the bands who played there. Pink Floyd is mentioned, obviously, but so are a couple of hundred other bands and artists.

The first two Mick Rock Syd Barrett photo books are included but not the third one: Syd Barrett – Octopus - The Photography Of Mick Rock, EMI Records Ltd & Palazzo Editions Ltd, Bath, 2010. There are other things as well, like the weird way some Italian and French books make it to the list and others don't, but this review is already messy enough.

Oh, by the way, there is a Links page as well (that we nearly missed) but we will not spend another word on it. Just check it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

But it is a start all right, and one in the good direction. Things can only get better.


Many thanks to: Anonymous, Paul Belbin, Mary Cosco, Stanislav Grigorev, Rich Hall, Antonio Jesús, Göran Nyström, Julian Palacios.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥