Iggy Rose

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2008-08-08

Iggy

The Church's first logo, anno 2008.
The Church's first logo, anno 2008.

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'.

Written by acidmandala at The Syd Barrett Archives.

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.


Bend It!

Iggy at The Crom
Iggy dancing at The Crom.

Several Floydian sources publish a scan of a NME (New Musical Express) article from November 1966, featuring Iggy, dancing on a party. Most of the time the date is cited as Wednesday the 16th of November, but the scan of the magazine shows a different date that of Saturday the 26th of November. As NME appeared every Friday the article probably appeared in issue 1037 (of Friday the 25th of November). Of course there is always the chance that the actual pictures were taken on Wednesday the 16th.

Here is the full text that accompanies the pictures:

(On sale Friday, week ending November 26, 1966 - NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS)
DOWNSTAIRS...
On the small, intimate dimly lit dance floor in the basement, it's all happening, PATRICK KERR, dancer from RSG, and his girls demonstrate the bend dance.
Above: Three pop personalities (l to r) ADRIANNE POSTA, FRANK ALLEN (of Searchers) and TWINKLE try the Bend, watched by Cromwellian publicist SIMON HAYES.
Left: Another Bender - model IGGY, who is half-Eskimo.
Below: CHRIS FARLOWE dancing in sheepskin jacket.

The party in question was held at The Cromwellian (3 Cromwell Rd, London SW7). The Crom, as it was generally nicknamed, opened in 1965 in Earls Court, was a three-floor cocktail bar and discotheque and one of the posher (and more expensive) places to be. It was also one of the places for a would-be star to be discovered (or at least they believed it).

The basement described itself as ‘England’s Famous Discotheque (and restaurant)’ where pirate station DJs and well-known bands as Georgie Fame and Zoot Money performed. The ground floor had ‘Harry’s International Bar (and restaurant)’, promising the ‘greatest atmosphere in town’. Upstairs was a gambling area, an ‘Elegant Casino’, where you could try your luck at dice – roulette – black jack – pontoon and poker. Successful musicians, photographers, fashion designers, artists, television personalities (and the odd East End gangster) would hang out at The Crom, where the new m’as-tu-vu elite could enjoy a glass of champagne without being disturbed by obsessive and pushy fans. Ray Davies remembers it as the ideal place to ‘observe the almost endless supply of dolly girls parading in mini-skirts’. Probably the fact that there was ‘free entrance for girls’ helped as well.

Simon Hayes, publicist for The Crom is remembered by pirate radio DJ (and ex-roommate) Phil Martin: “Simon ran a pop PR agency called Ace Public Relations and he and his business (it seemed to me then) were at the absolute epicentre of the Swinging Sixties scene in London at the time.” (Taken from Offshore Radio)

Bend It!
Bend It moves.

No wonder that The Crom was chosen by Patrick Kerr, one of the choreographers of the Ready Steady Go! TV show to present the new dance of the week: the Bend. (Probably he already knew that the RSG! show would end a couple of weeks later.) The Bend was named after the risqué Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich hitsingle Bend It! that had been released in September. According to NME a new version with a different set of words had to be recorded for the US market.
Update July 2010: the story behind the Bend craze can be found in the following article: Rod Harrod remembers The Crom.
Update October 2012: the Bend link at Sixties City seems to be broken, so here is an alternative: the Bend.

Other prominent guests at the party were (according to NME):
Adrienne (with an E) Posta (or Poster). An actress (and singer) who would have a prominent role in the forthcoming movie Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1967). In the next decade her sheepdog would become world-famous, posing for a Dulux paint advertisement campaign. This also led to the single ‘Dog Song’, written by her husband rockstar Graham Bonnett (The Marbles, Rainbow, Alkatrazz).
Frank Allen who joined The Searchers in 1964 and is still with them today.
Twinkle (Lynn Annette Ripley), the first British female singer / songwriter to score in the rock era. Her debut single Terry (1964) had catapulted her into the top3 and was followed by Golden Lights, Tommy, Poor Old Johnny, but with degrading success. (Update: as Simon Hayes and Twinkle were an item it is logical that she was present at the club. See also: Rod Harrod remembers The Crom.)
Chris Farlowe, one of Britain’s earliest exponents of R & B, had been struggling until his 1966 version of Think (Jagger & Richards) made it into the top 20. His following single Out Of Time (also a Rolling Stones tune) became number 1 and Farlowe was voted Best New Singer for 1966, although he had been performing since 1957.

Well so far for the small story, but what really matters is:

What was Iggy doing at The Cromwellian when Patrick Kerr demonstrated the Bend?
Who invited her to the spectacle (knowing that the press was also invited)?
Was she somehow connected to the RSG show (as a dancer, a model or a figurant)?
Was she somehow connected to The Cromwellian?
Was she somehow connected to Simon Hayes and/or his PR company?
What about singer/actress Adrienne Posta, one hit wonder Twinkle and superstar Chris Farlowe?
Was her aim to be discovered by a RSG! talent scout (perhaps not knowing that these were the last weeks of the show)?

The Holy Church Of Iggy the Inuit will continue to investigate this.

Update April the 1st, 2010. A new gallery has been uploaded containing the complete Come with NME for a pic-visit to THE CROMWELLIAN article and pictures from New Musical Express 1037, 25 November 1966. Photographs by Napier Russell & Barry Peake. Words by Norrie Drummond. (Just another world exclusive from the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.)


Sources (other than the above internet links):
Bacon, Tony: London Live, Balafon Books, London, 1999, p. 74-75.
McAleer, Dave, Beatboom!, Hamlyn, London, 1994, p. 93-94 & p. 126-127.
Platt, John: London’s Rock Routes, Fourth Estate, London, 1985, p.137-139.
Tobler, John (editor): NME Rock ‘N’ Roll Years, Hamlyn, London, 1992, p.163.


2008-08-16

IN Gear

Iggy shopping at Granny Takes A Trip
Iggy shopping at Granny Takes A Trip.

Tailor John Pearse, graphic artist Nigel Waymouth (and girlfriend Shelagh York) opened Granny Takes A Trip in 1965. At the entrance was some lettering reading ‘one should either be a work of art or wear a work of art’. Granny Takes A Trip was the first multisex boutique selling miniskirts, op art shirts, garments in loud florals and paisleys… Perhaps more of importance were the second hand ornaments: flapper dresses, Victorian bustles, Boer War helmets, antique military jacquets, Chicago gangster suits, fezzes, turbans and other ‘cleaned and darned exotica’.

Nigel Waymouth: "I was with this girl at the time and she used to collect old clothes. We thought that it might be a good idea to open a shop with all these things. (…) Of course it was terribly vain."

The Granny T-a-T boutique was known for its outrageous decoration. The entrance of the shop changed a few times: in the early days it had a mural of a North American Indian, in 1966 (probably) it was replaced by a pop art picture of Jean Harlow and at a later stage a real Dodge (well, part of it) was pop-artistically glued to the wall.

Granny was expensive, elitist and wasn’t afraid of saying so. Journalist and critic Jonathan Meades once tried to get in dressed in a casual black suit and tie: “I remember Nigel Waymouth sneering at me, you could hardly see his face by through this mass of afro hair. (…) He obviously thought I was a jerk. (…) and wanted me moved out of the way because I was an extremely bad advertisement for his shop.”

"The underground was exactly the same as everything else: there were rich people and there were poor people. It was class ridden. There was no working class in the underground because nobody did any work." (Cheryll Park, art-student).

"The underground had a star system exactly as did pop music and films and everything else." (Andrew Bailey, journalist Variety, Rolling Stone UK).

The press that cherished Swinging London reported vividly about the so-called mundane settings (shops, bars and restaurants) visited by working class heroes such as Michael Caine and Twiggy. The sudden press attention made the flower power movement mushroom and disappear in a couple of months time.

Look At Life
Look At Life.

Look At Life was a series of short documentaries about British life, made by Rank Organisation and shown in the Odeon and Gaumont movie theatres. Between 1959 and 1969 over 500 tongue-in-cheek episodes were made. One particular episode from 1967, called IN Gear, narrated by Michael Ingrams, deals with several Swinging London shops and clubs.

It's the swinging London fashion scene on parade and features an eye-candy array of dazzling & colourful mod fashions! Suits, shirts, pants, shoes, boots, jackets, dresses, belts, bags, hats, caps, ties, skirts, blouses, scarves, dickies, and more! Mary Quant shows off her latest collection! The viewer is taken to King's Road, SOHO, and Carnaby Street.
Some of the shops visited are: "Granny Takes a Trip," "Hung on You," "The Antiques Supermarket," "I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet," and "Gear."
The narrator tells us that, "A year or two ago fashion originated in the haute couture's of Paris, then spread downward through society in ever cheapening copies; now these shops which would have interpreted the mould, originate today's fashion, owing nothing to Paris or anyone else."
Next, it's off to the discotheque club scene where the "in" gear is worn. Clubs include: "Tiles," "Bag of Nails" (the Beatles used to hang out here), "Samantha's," "Georges" and "the Saddle Room." Groovy pop music soundtrack! (Taken from Videobeat.)
Nigel Waymouth
Nigel Waymouth.

When Late Night member dollyrocker watched this particular episode on YouTube he recognised a familiar face at 1:43. The girl who visits the Granny Takes A Trip shop is none other than Iggy the Eskimo. This probably means that she was hired by the makers of the documentary as an actor for the movie and further proof indeed that she was a professional model.

Unfortunately the credits have been cut of from the YouTube video and I’m not sure if they appear on the Swinging London DVD it was taken from (unfortunately the DVD is out of print and its editor DD Home Entertainment is out of business).

We don’t know exactly when the documentary was made but as another shop, Biba, moved somewhere between March and September 1966 to Kensington Church Street, and that location is shown in the movie, one can deduct that the movie dates from summer 1966 - spring 1967.

So far for the small story. But what really matters is:

Who hired Iggy for the documentary?
What agency did she belong to?
If she was a professional model there must still be promo shots or fashion photo shoots available in the darker corners of this world…

A gallery with screenshots of the movie can be visited here.


Sources (other than the above internet links)
Green, Jonathon: All Dressed Up, Pimlico, London, 1999, p. 80-81.
Green, Jonathon: Days In The Life, Pimlico, London, 1998, p.187-190., p. 218-220
Levy, Shawn: Ready Steady Go!, Broadway Books, New York, 2003, p.190-191.


2008-08-24

Stormy Pictures

Iggy on The Madcap Laughs
Iggy on The Madcap Laughs

The most famous Iggy picture, and without this one this blog would probably not even exist, can be found on the back side of Syd Barrett’s solo album The Madcap Laughs (top left pic).

There is a bit of a confusion who made these pictures. Hipgnosis designed the sleeve and Storm Thorgerson writes in his volume Mind Over Matter:

My only decision was to use a 35mm camera and upgraded colour transparency, partly because of the low level light conditions and partly for the grainy effect. (…) Friend and photographer Mick Rock, later famous for his Bowie photos amongst many others also came on the photo session, but I cant remember why. (p.204 of the 2003 edition, p. 234 in the 2007 edition although the index still assumes it is on p. 204).
The Madcap Laughs Front Cover
The Madcap Laughs Front Cover

Dark Globe, member of the Late Night discussion forum, had a quick chat with Storm in July:

There was the chance to see the cover of 'The Madcap Laughs' displayed at a larger size on excellent quality paper. This famous photo was taken by Storm himself for the cover of the album - and not by Mick Rock as some assume. (…) I was lucky enough to talk to Storm himself and tell him how much I admired his work. I also took the opportunity to ask him about the 'Madcap' photo session and enquired whether we would ever see any of his outtakes from that session appear in some form in the future. Unfortunately this doesn't seem likely as he informed me that his photos from that session were now lost.

Hipgnosis was probably commissioned by the record company (Harvest, EMI) to make the record sleeve. Syd Barrett however had another idea and asked his friend Mick Rock, an aspiring would-be photographer, to organise the shooting for the forthcoming album. The result was that the two photographers were present on the same day.

A lot has been written about these sessions, not in the least by Mick Rock who devoted two three books to the subject:

  • Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs - The Mick Rock Photo-Sessions (U.F.O. Books, 1993), a book that was bundled with the album in a limited edition. The introduction of this (sold out and deleted) book can be found on various places on the net. Update 2012: the Geocities link to this page seems to be dead, but luckily there is an archived version: Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs - The Mick Rock Photo-Sessions.

and

  • Psychedelic Renegades - Photographs of Syd Barrett by Mick Rock. Genesis Publications published the first limited edition in 2002 with 320 copies autographed by Roger Barrett & Mick Rock and 630 copies signed by Mick Rock alone (sold out). In 2005, before Barrett passed away, the Deluxe copies already had a collector’s value of 2400 £. In 2007 the book was finally published in a regular version, by Plexus (London) and Gingko (USA).

and (Update January 2012)

  • Syd Barrett - The Photography Of Mick Rock. Tin box, including 128 pages high print quality [Mick Rock's words, not ours, FA] booklet and exclusive 7 inch single 'Octopus' b/w 'Golden Hair'. The rather exaggerated blurb continues: "The booklet features a full introduction, new insights and captions by Mick and quotes from Syd." (EMI Records Ltd & Palazzo Editions Ltd, Bath, 2010).

Mick Rock remembers the day as follows:

The actual session turned out to be a collaboration really because Storm also took some pictures. I remember Storm asking me whether to credit the image, ‘Hipgnosis and Mick Rock’ and I said, ‘No just credit it Hipgnosis’.

Psychedelic Renegades however does not include the sleeve pictures of The Madcap Laughs so in the end it was probably Storm who decided to use only his own material (according to Mick Rock one photo would later surface – uncredited - on Barrett’s second album). Because both sessions were made on the same day the pictures are obviously very similar (some Mick Rock pictures were also used on the Syd Barrett compilation album).


More about the Mick Rock - Storm Thorgerson controversy:
Storm Rock Pictures 
and the ultimate Iggy photoshoot fun quiz
The Iggy IQ Quiz 


2008-08-30

Shaken not stirred

Iggy by Anthony Stern
Iggy by Anthony Stern

Moviemaker Anthony Stern, who knew Iggy before she met Syd, has confirmed that the person at the Granny Takes A Trip boutique on the IN Gear movie is indeed her. On his turn he will present a home movie called Iggy, Eskimo Girl at The City Wakes festival in Cambridge. 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 and Caterham. This would have been around 1965. Duggie Fields recalls seeing her some time after the Madcap Laughs photo session and she was looking a lot more "sloaney". Most of the people I spoke to who knew her believe Iggy married a rich businessman and doesn't now want to be 'found'. (Taken from The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit on Late Night.)

Although scarce the above information is about the most relevant we have had from a biographer in about 30 years.

The most famous dancehall in Purley was the Orchid Ballroom where The Who, The Troggs and The Hollies gigged a couple of times. It started as a regular dance hall (and concert and sporting events hall) in the Fifties and had a local house band The Jackpots in 1963 and 64.

In the mid Sixties (1964 – 1966) the Orchid Ballroom was the meeting place for the Croydon mods who would assemble every Monday night. Witnesses remember Mike (?) Morton, Tony Crane, Jeff Dexter and Sammy Samwell spinning the records. Pete Sanders and Mickey Finn used to be part of the crowd.

Not all these names ring a bell. I could not trace back Mike Morton, but Lionel Morton was the singer and lead guitarist from the Four Pennies who had a hit in 1963 – 1964 with Juliet. Tony Crane was a member of The Mavericks, a band that became famous when they changed the name to The Merseybeats, later The Merseys (David Bowie would cover their Sorrow on his Pin-Ups album, a tune they had borrowed from The McCoys). Mickey Finn could be the man who was the drummer of T. Rex and who also played on the record made by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, the people who were behind the Granny Takes A Trip boutique.

Elizabeth Colclough used to work at the bar in 1968: "It was the place to go to meet friends old and new, weekday evenings and also at the weekend. We saw some great bands, some who are still going strong today.”

Another witness recalls how Cathy (Mc Gowan), the queen of the mods and presenter of the ever popular Ready Steady Go! Show, came to the Orchid Ballroom to spot for dancers to appear in her show. Seen the fact that Iggy was present at an RSG!-party, organised by the show's main choreographer, it is not improbable that she may have been present at some RSG! television-shows as well, as a dancer or as a pretty face in the public.

A book about the history of the Orchid Ballroom has been made and the Church will try to contact its author, there is the (very small) chance that Iggy is mentioned in it.

Update August 2009: Brian Roote, who studied the history of The Orchid confirmed later to the Church: 'I have no knowledge of this girl whatsoever'.

An image gallery with stills of the Iggy, Eskimo Girl movie.


Sources (other than the above internet links):
McAleer, Dave: Beatboom!, Hamlyn, London, 1994, p. 57-59.
Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 20.


2008-09-23

Where did she go?

Iggy by Anthony Stern
Iggy by Anthony Stern.

On September the 17th the Croydon Guardian, a weekly free local newspaper covering South London, devoted an article to Iggy after the Church had revealed that Iggy had probably been a regular visitor at the Purley dancehall The Orchid. The article was brought to my attention by Matthew Taylor from Escape Artists who was so kind to point me to a scan of the article, neatly hidden in a dark corner from the (long deleted) City Wakes website.

It all started with a remark on the Late Night forum why no one had ever tried to locate Iggy. Pink Floyd biographer Mark Blake promptly denied this and added some extra titbits to the Iggy enigma. He had found out that she was probably a South Londoner who used to go dancing in dancehalls in or around Purley. More about the Church’s quest to locate Iggy’s dancing habits can be found on a previous entry on this blog: Shaken not stirred.

This ended with the promise that the Church would try to find some more information about the place and the people who visited it. A mail was send to a historian of the Bourne Society but without success. The same message however to a journalist of the Croydon Guardian was immediately replied. Some initial information was exchanged and journalist Kirsty Walley did an excellent job by getting testimonies, not only from Anthony Stern, but also from a DJ who used to spin records at the Orchid, Jeff Dexter, and who still remembers Iggy.

So, where did she go to, our lovely?
By Kirsty Whalley
In the Swinging 60s she was an iconic model who broke the heart of Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett. Known only as Iggy she is thought to have lived in Thornton Heath and was a regular at the Orchid Ballroom in Purley between 1963 and 1967. Then she vanished and for the past three decades the former 60's in-crowd has wondered where she went?
Former friends, director and artist Anthony Stern and DJ Jeff Dexter, are both searching for the enigmatic model, who featured naked on the cover of Barrett's solo album Madcap Laughs. She was nicknamed "the Eskimo" because it was thought that she was part Inuit. DJ Jeff Dexter, who regularly played at the Orchid, vividly remembers the beautiful girl who used to talk to him while he played his set. He first noticed her in 1963. He said: “Iggy was part of a group of very wonderful looking south London girls. She was unusual because she did not look like anyone else at the time. Since she disappeared, she has become a bit of an enigma.”
Dexter says that he met the director and artist Anthony Stern in 1967 and that Iggy became involved with him at about the same time. Anthony took many pictures of the model and also made a film of her, which will be shown for the first time at the City Wakes festival this October in Cambridge. Stern said: “Iggy was my muse. I met her at a Hendrix gig at the Speakeasy. She was a lovely inspiration and free spirit. I never knew her real name.” “We used to hang out together, occasionally dropping acid, staying up all night, going for walks at dawn in Battersea Park.” The artist said he recently discovered photographs that he took of Iggy on a houseboat near Lots Road in Chelsea. “She entirely captures the spirit of the Sixties, living for the moment, completely carefree.”
Photographer Mick Rock remembers turning up at Barrett’s to take photographs for his solo album cover. At an interview in 199 he said: “Syd was still in his underpants when he opened the door. He’d totally forgotten about the session and fell about laughing. Iggy the Eskimo was naked in the kitchen making coffee. She didn’t mind either. They both laughed a lot and it was a magical session.” The most iconic images of her appear on the album, where she poses naked in the background.
After she broke up with Barrett she disappeared. Felix Atagong, who has set up a website in her honour, said: “According to the painter Duggie Fields, she got married to a rich guy from Chelsea and led a ‘decent’ life after that.”
Anthony and Jeff both admit they have spent time looking for her. “the truth is, if she has not come forward by now, she probably doesn’t want to be found,” said Anthony.
(picture insert: It-crowd icon: Iggy the Eskimo). An online version of the article can be found here.

An entirely new and previously unreleased picture of Iggy accompanies the newspaper article. This comes out of the personal collection of Anthony Stern. It is believed that more pictures from his collection may be unearthed on a later date.


2008-09-28

Jeff Dexter Light & Sound Show

Pink Floyd & Jeff Dexter @ Tiles
Pink Floyd & Jeff Dexter @ Tiles.

Sammy Samwell

Delving deeper into the history of the The Orchid Ballroom (Purley) one cannot go around two musical partners in crime: Jeff Dexter and Sammy Samwell.

Ian ‘Sammy’ Samwell had been a member of The Drifters, the backup band for Harry Webb. They would become a wee bit more successful when Harry changed his name to Cliff Richard (it was Samwell’s idea to cut the final S from Richards to give the pseudonym extra spice). At the same time the backup band was renamed to The Shadows (as there was already an American band call The Drifters). When Hank Marvin joined the band Ian Samwell stepped aside and concentrated on composing hits, producing and disk jockeying.

Samwell was probably the first to acquire a star status as a DJ, before that the DJ had always been the invisible nobody who turned a few singles when the bands on stage were switching places. For the first time in history people came to The Lyceum to see the DJ at work instead of the house band.

As a producer Ian worked with Aynsley Dunbar, Georgie Fame, John Mayall, The Small Faces and he would also be known as the man 'who discovered America'. Ian 'Sammy' Samwell passed away March 13, 2003.

Jeff Dexter

As a youngster Jeff Dexter wasn’t into pop music at all, but dancing with girls was, so he simply gave in. At The Lyceum (1961-ish) he met DJ Sammy Samwell and they soon became friends. Not long after that Jeff made quite a name because he was barred from the dance floor for making an attempt at The Twist, originally a Hank Ballard B-side. When a few weeks later The Twist became a Chubby Checker superhit The Lyceum hired the mod they had banned before. He became a professional dancer and had to instruct the dance crazy public the moves of the week.

Around 1962 – 1963 Jeff moved to The Orchid Ballroom, the biggest ballroom in Europe with four different bars.

Chicken & Chicks, as they called it. Fish bar. Chicken bar. They had this big ice igloo where they sold ice cream sodas. They had an upstairs bar. And they had a roundabout which was another bar, a revolving bar, all in this wonderful huge building. (Taken from DJHistory.)

Jeff Dexter noticed Iggy in 1963.

Iggy was part of a group of very wonderful looking south London girls. She was unusual because she did not look like anyone else at the time. Since she disappeared, she has become a bit of an enigma. (taken from the Croydon Guardian.)

While Ian Samwell was the main DJ at The Orchid Jeff worked as a dancer and singer of the house band and as an occasional DJ. This would become his prime profession and later on he would also spin records at Tiles, UFO and Middle Earth (where John Peel was another DJ).

As a member of the Underground in-crowd, (the index of Days In The Life gives him 20 entries), he would witness the raise and fall of the movement that wasn’t a movement to begin with and the hostile reaction of the powers that be.

Middle Earth closed after the horrible scenes of the police raid. We had had a private party that night and somebody had brought along their children. The police raided, found the children and told the Covent Garden porters we were crucifying children in there. So they smashed the place to pieces. (…) Jenny Fabian and I were locked in the box office while they wrecked the place.

In Jenny Fabian’s semi-auto-biographical account of her Groupie days Jeff Dexter appears as Len although Dexter maintains: “I was the only one she didn’t fuck”.


Sources (other than the above internet links):
Bacon, Tony: London Live, Balafon Books, London, 1999, p. 101.
Green, Jonathon: Days In The Life, Pimlico, London, 1998, p.222, p. 283.


2008-10-11

IN Gear Gallery

Look At Life DVD
Look At Life DVD

Some of Anthony Stern's pictures are somewhat reminiscent of the IN Gear mirror shots that were taken in the Granny Takes A Trip boutique. The Church could finally get hold of the Look at Life Swingin’ London DVD and managed to extract a lot of screenshots. The previous low quality gallery from the IN Gear documentary has now been upgraded with the DVD shots that have a slightly better quality.

Iggy's appearance in the Look At Life documentary has been uploaded on YouTube.

For those that want to watch the complete documentary, don't miss Iggy. She arrives at 1 minute 13 seconds and disappears, with the world's most beautiful smile on her face, at 1 minute and 45 seconds.

A gallery with screenshots of the movie can be visited here.

The Church is still trying to find more information about the documentary in question but apparently the Rank Organistation archives are a bit quirky. They have been put somewhere, but nobody seems to remember the exact location. Until the moment arrives that the Church will unearth more gruesome details we bid you, dear sistren and brethren, to live long and prosper and to not do do anything that Iggy wouldn’t have done.

Update April 2017: replaced invalid 2008 YouTube link with a more modern one.


2008-11-09

Iggy, Eskimo Girl

Iggy, The Eskimo Girl by Anthony Stern
Iggy, The Eskimo Girl by Anthony Stern

Did I already mention that the people of the Late Night forum are a bunch of fantastic people? Probably yes, but I will keep on repeating it. Eternal Isolation found a lecture by Anthony Stern, held at La Cinémathèque in Paris in June 2008. Here is how our fellow Europeans describe him:

Anthony Stern était l'un des secrets les mieux gardés de la cinématographie anglaise. La Cinémathèque française lui offre sa première rétrospective. Camarade de classe de Syd Barrett et de David Gilmour, assistant de Peter Whitehead, Anthony Stern a réalisé certains des plus beaux poèmes documentaires des années 60 et 70, à la fois sensuels, endiablés et railleurs. Taken from La Cinémathèque.
(Translation) Anthony Stern is one of England's cinematographic best-kept secrets. The French Cinémathèque offers him his first retrospective. Friend from Syd Barrett and David Gilmour, assistant of Peter Whitehead, Anthony Stern has realised several of the most poetic, sensual, boisterous and mocking documentaries of the 60’s and 70’s.

The lecture, videotaped by a member of the audience, has been issued on YouTube in three consecutive parts, but part 3 is the most interesting for Iggy fans. After the tiresome lecture, due to the fact that Anthony’s English explanation is translated into French and back, a copy is shown of his 1969 movie Wheel, followed by Iggy, Eskimo Girl. Unfortunately only snippets of the different movies have made it onto the web, but any additional material from our goddess is appreciated.

An image gallery with stills of the movie can be found at the gallery.

Update: the Church made a compilation of Anthony Stern's lecture at La Cinématèque (removing the French translation parts). You can watch it here:

Update April 2017: replaced invalid YouTube link (2008) with a new one.


2008-11-11

Chimera Arts

Iggy in The Eskimo Girl
Iggy in The Eskimo Girl

Ranting is normally destined for the main site of this domain, Unfinished Projects, thank you for visiting once and so often… but rules are to be broken, even Church rules…That horrible blasphemy of a browser, truly a work of the devil and its main representative here on earth, Mr. Bill Gates, messed up the Holy Church’s website the last couple of weeks… but only if you browsed the Holy Church with the dreadful Internet Explorer.

The Reverend found out that the objects that broke the layout were the recently added YouTube movies. It took his holiness hours of his precious time and a couple of Guinness beers to repair the damage done but he appears to have miraculously accomplished this gargantuan chore.

The fact that not one single congregant spotted the mistake fills his Reverend’s heart with joy. Apparently none of you uses Satan’s little browser. But of course it could also be that none of you actually visits this blog or gives a damn about it. In that case the Reverend can only give you Father Jack Hackett’s advice: feck off!

But let us forget and forgive and lead you through the narrow path that leads to all things Iggy. Anthony Stern’s movies are distributed by Chimera Arts and this is what they have to say about our favourite subject:

Iggy The Eskimo Girl
UK/2008/4’/16mm/stereo
Produced by Sadia (2008) and Anthony Stern (1968) • Directed by Stern • Edited by Tayler/Sadia/Stickley
Based on footage originally shot in 1968, this is a portrait of Syd Barrett’s girlfriend Iggy, referred to ubiquitously and affectionately by those who knew her in the late 1960’s as ‘Iggy The Eskimo Girl’. Taken from: Chimera Arts New Films.
Iggy filmstrip
Iggy filmstrip at Chimera Arts

The text is accompanied by 5 stills of the movie that have now been added to the gallery.


2008-11-16

Chelsea Cloisters

Pink Flamingo by Felix Atagong
Pink Flamingo by Felix Atagong.

A rather long post about Mark Blake's Pink Floyd biography Pigs Might Fly has been published on Felix Atagong's (that's me) Unfinished Projects. It contains some bits and pieces about Iggy as well.

Update 2010: as Unfinished Projects is a thing from the past this review has been added to the Holy Church blog: Si les cochons pourraient voler… 

(I don't want to go to) Chelsea

Speaking about Iggy, Anthony Stern's Iggy, Eskimo Girl movie was shown at The City Wakes festival during the first weekend. Unfortunately one of the technicians mistakenly gave the film back to Anthony Stern. As the absence of the film wasn't noticed until just before the next screening it was too late to retrieve the DVD.

After the (first) presentation there was a Q&A round with Anthony. One member of the audience maintained that Iggy is currently living in Chelsea. The Church will try to investigate further into this matter.

Update 2016: this rumour was false, BTW.


2008-12-07

Love in the Woods (Pt. 1)

Langley Iddens
Langley Iddens.

On 30 June 1990 Pink Floyd played a short – albeit not very sharp - set at the Knebworth Festival. It has to be said that it was not the band’s sole responsibility that the gig was, how shall we call it, mediocre by Floydian standards. On this disastrous occasion, and this occasion alone, a 20 minutes promo film was shown at the beginning of the show, with a short appearance of none other than Iggy the Eskimo, somewhere between the 4 and 5 minutes mark.

The movie consisted of a retrospective of the Floyd’s history and included (parts of) several early songs (together with the predecessor of the promo clip): Arnold Layne, See Emily Play, Point Me At The Sky, It Would Be So Nice and others… Since it started with the first single, the movie had to end with the last one as well. Storm Thorgerson's visual rendition of the coke-euphoric-bring-on-the-digital-sound-effects Learning to Fly from the welcome to the drum machine album A Momentary Lapse of Reason ended the documentary.

In between the vintage scenes, Langley Iddens, who was then caretaker of the Astoria, David Gilmour’s houseboat studio, sits at a table contemplating the band’s past.

Langley Iddens (see top-left picture of this post) was a prominent face on the Momentary Lapse of Reason campaign. He is the man on the cover of the album but also acted in several promo and concert videos. He can be seen as a boat rower (Signs of Life), in flight gear (Learning To Fly) and in a hospital bed (On The Run). As Storm Thorgerson directed these backdrop movies it is logical to assume that also the Knebworth pre-show documentary was made by him.

There are however rumours that Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason was involved in the movie as well. Besides several promo clips of the Sixties the movie also shows pictures, newspaper articles, posters and flyers from the Floyd’s psychedelic past. It is a well-known fact that Mason has always been the archivist of the band, culminating in his personal account of the history of the band, Inside Out. That book, however, doesn’t reveal anything about Mason’s involvement on the Knebworth movie.

A short snippet of the Knebworth teaser, showing a happy Syd Barrett frolicking in a park with Iggy, made a collector’s career under the name Lost In The Woods or Syd Barrett Home Movie. This excerpt can be found several times on YouTube. Those cuts, however, are in a different order than on the original Knebworth feature. The Church has restored the initial flow and presents you hereafter two different versions of the so-called Lost In The Woods video.

Knebworth '90 Special Edition (DVD]

The first is taken from the DVD bootleg Knebworth '90 Special Edition on Psychedelic Closet Records. It is shared around the world amongst fans and it contains the complete concert plus some additional material, like MTV documentaries and interviews with the band.

It's a complete, stereo, recording from the original pay-per-view broadcast of Pink Floyd's appearance at the Knebworth '90 festival. The concert featured seven songs. Only five of these were broadcast. Two of the five were included on the official LD, VHS, and DVD releases. The other three songs haven't been seen since the original broadcast.

According to its maker, the pre-concert-documentary comes from a collector in England who had a first of second gen copy of the tape.

White Label [VHS]

Because the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit firmly believes in abundance, we have added a second version of the same movie, coming from a different source. The uploaded copy has been taken from a coverless VHS tape labelled Pink Floyd film, found at an open air market stall in London, and donated to the Church, in order to repent for his many sins, by Dark Globe.

Dark Globe took it upon him to further analyse the clip, it is obvious that it consists of different movies from different people at different places, and he even went so far as harassing, although the Church prefers the word investigating, some of the people who act in it. But the results of that enquiry will be highlighted in the next post in a couple of weeks.

Enjoy and don’t do anything that Iggy wouldn’t have done.

An image gallery with stills of the Lost In The Woods home movies can be found at the gallery.

Update April 2017: 2008 YouTube links have been replaced with their 2017 counterparts.


(This is the first part of the Love In The Woods topic. The second part can be found here: Love In The Woods (Pt. 2))


2009-01-02

Eskimono

Iggy by Anthony Stern
Iggy by Anthony Stern.

To all followers of the cult of Iggy: a happy new year!

The Church received a nice mail from Anthony Stern last week:

I see that you have continued to update your website and that the cult of Iggy is snowballing. Although my Iggy photos were shown on City Wakes website nobody was interested in buying the framed prints.

If you are still looking for a belated Xmas present: Anthony’s Iggy pictures are on sale, signed, numbered and framed: £225 for the Triptychs, individual pictures for £175 (plus postage). For more info please contact Anthony Stern Glass. (The Church is not affiliated with or endorsed by this company.)

Another message came from Mark Blake, author of the Pink Floyd biography Pigs Might Fly:

Good luck with the Iggy hunt. I spoke to Ant Stern and Jeff Dexter again last week. They're no nearer to finding her than they were before. I think it's funny that nobody even knew her real name.

For that matter we don’t even know if she was Eskimaux or not.

My good old encyclopaedia Brittanica divides the people that we commonly describe as Eskimo in two categories: Eurasian and Western Arctic people. The Western Arctic people are the Eskimo (including Inuit and Yupiit) and the Aleuts who originate from North America, Greenland and part of Siberia. Amongst the Eurasian arctic people are the Sami (or Lapps) from northern Fennoscandia and several other cultures dispersed over the Ural Mountains and Siberia.

According to the Narwhal Inuit Art Education Foundation there are no Inuit currently living in England (confirmed to the Church by mail). Is it more logical to believe that Iggy’s roots originate from Europe rather than America or Siberia? In that case Iggy, the Eskimo really had to be nicknamed Iggy, the Lapp by her contemporaries.

Translating these into politically correct terms The Church of Iggy the Inuit really had to be baptised the Holy Church of Iggy the Sami to begin with.

As Mark Blake stated above, we don’t know if Iggy was her real name. Iggy could be an alias or perhaps an anglisized version of a foreign name.

If she has Sami roots her name could be Ing, originally meaning progenitor, ancestor, leader – which of course she is for the Church – Ingegerd or one of the many variants such as Inge, Ingine, Yngva, Ingar, Iŋgir… The more popular Ingrid also has its roots in the Nordic countries and this could have easily been shortened to Iggy by her relatives or friends.

Greenland
Greenland.

The problem is that not a lot of Sami people have the so-called Inuit look Iggy is famous for. There is however a part of Europe (although geographically it belongs to North America) that was originally populated by Inuit people and was later on colonised by Iceland, Norway and Denmark. The Church is of course referring to Greenland.

The Inuit are believed to have crossed from North America to northwest Greenland, the world's largest island, between 4000 B.C. and A.D. 1000. Greenland was colonized in 985–986 by Eric the Red. The Norse settlements declined in the 14th century, however, mainly as a result of a cooling in Greenland's climate, and in the 15th century they became extinct. In 1721, Greenland was recolonized by the Royal Greenland Trading Company of Denmark. (taken from Infoplease)

In November of last year 3 out of 4 Greenlandic voted yes on a referendum that could eventually lead to the complete independence of the country. About 88% of the Greenland population has Inuit(-mixed) roots. The following link shows a (slow-loading) picture of premier Hans Enoksen voting for Self-Governance in Greenland with 5 year old Pipaluk Petersen (added here to show the Inuit characteristics).

So Iggy’s ancestors could have come from Greenland.

Well perhaps... at least one other Iggy enthusiast believes she is not Inuit at all, but (partly) Japanese, probably belonging to the Ainu people of Hokkaidō (who had their own language and were maybe the first settlers on America). Iggy could then be a nickname for Igumi.

And aside from that there might be a very slim chance that Iggy hides behind the Philippine Maria Ignacia as another author from a Floydian biography has whispered in the Church's confessional box.

Update: the above post is somewhat redundant as Iggy Rose's mother came from the Himalayas: Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea 


2009-01-24

When Syd met Iggy (Pt. 1)

Iggy by Mick Rock
Iggy by Mick Rock.
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.

Meeting Iggy

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.

Biba, 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 Mighty Queen.

One important player in Dusty Springfield’s crew was Vicki Heather Wickman, who managed Dusty and co-wrote You 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!).

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.

Iggy’s Parents

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.

Meeting Syd

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’s Appartement

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 photo shoot.


MP3 link: Duggie Fields.

The Madcap Laughs Photo Shoot

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.

and:

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 purple.

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 1969.


2009-05-15

Trip to a Dream Dragon

Iggy, Eskimo Girl stills
Iggy, Eskimo Girl stills.

Last week the Reverend revealed two new Iggy pictures appearing at the Chimera Arts website that distributes the Iggy Eskimo Girl movie in various parts of the world (alas, not those parts of the world the Reverend is familiar with).

Anthony Stern who, should you not know, shot the movie in question recently updated several pages on his site and for those that want to dive into Stern’s work there is an interesting essay about his work as well.

Iggy the Eskimo Girl (1966/2008)

Update 2016: Anthony Stern's main website has been updated and all relevant movie links have disappeared. He has a Film Archive website as well but at the time of writing (November 2016) not much can be found there.

The (now deleted) filmography page has got the following to say about the movie:

Iggy was a model and the girlfriend of Syd Barrett, and appeared on the cover of his album The Madcap Laughs (1970). She was terrific fun to be with and to photograph. I made a short film of her dancing in Russell Square, which portrays her as the ultimate flower child of the 1960s.

That particular page also has a (now deleted) filmstrip dedicated to Iggy showing some screenshots that have never been shown before.

Iggy filmstrip at Anthony Stern (deleted)
Iggy filmstrip at Anthony Stern (deleted)
 

Stern did not only film Iggy, he also made some pictures of her that were premiered after 40 years on The City Wakes Syd Barrett Festival (a glimpse of those can be found in the catalogue of The Other Room). A (then also unpublished) black and white picture of Iggy also accompanied the ‘Where did she go?’ article that appeared in a (free) London newspaper and that was published after some mild excruciating techniques administered by the Church.

An (updated) image gallery with stills of the movie Iggy, Eskimo Girl can be found at the gallery section of the Church

Iggy 'The Eskimo Girl' Triptychs

Stern’s pictures form the so-called Iggy Triptychs, 5 in total. His website has to say the following about these:

I re-discovered these photographs in my cellar in an old suitcase. All the optical effects were obtained in-camera. The colour images of Iggy were taken on a houseboat at Chelsea Reach. In the background you can see Lots Road Power Station. The distortions were achieved using a flexible mirror material called Malinex, as well as a magnifying fresnel screen. I have presented these images at the Ruskin Gallery as triptychs, because they remind me of Francis Bacon images in the same format. (Taken from iggyphotos - link no longer available)

Every triptych also has a page of its own and on these the following titbit can be found:

Iggy was terrific fun to be with and to photograph. I knew her before she was introduced to Syd by JenS, and I remember walking through Battersea Park in the early mornings together.

Here are the individual triptych pages: all pictures © Anthony Stern.

Iggy Triptych 1 by Anthony Stern
Iggy Triptych 1 by Anthony Stern.
Iggy Triptych 2 by Anthony Stern
Iggy Triptych 2 by Anthony Stern.
Iggy Triptych 3 by Anthony Stern
Iggy Triptych 3 by Anthony Stern.
Iggy Triptych 4 by Anthony Stern
Iggy Triptych 4 by Anthony Stern.
Iggy Triptych 5 by Anthony Stern
Iggy Triptych 5 by Anthony Stern.
 

Page 1: http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip1.htm (link no longer active)
Page 2: http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip2.htm (link no longer active)
Page 3: http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip3.htm (link no longer active)
Page 4: http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip4.htm (link no longer active)
Page 5: http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip5.htm (link no longer active)

The photographs on Stern's website are were for sale, signed, framed and numbered, either as triptychs or single images.
(Note: prices in 2009 were £175 for single images and £225 for the triptychs, not including postage).

No Church without some triptychs from our blessed saint and these can be admired in a new image gallery


2009-05-21

Anoraks and Pontiacs

Iggy and a mysterious brunette, running...
Iggy and a mysterious brunette, running...

Although Iggy is the prototype of the vanishing girl we know quite a lot of her through the bits and pieces that have survived that big black hole also knows as the Sixties.

In November 1966, when she was (about) 21 or 22 years old she appeared at The Bend party that was affiliated with the television show Ready Steady Go!

And there was of course her apparition in a 1967-ish documentary, called IN Gear, hinting that Iggy was seeking fame and fortune as a model or an actress. Unfortunately enough it seems impossible (or at least improbable) that the production sheets will ever surface, nobody seems to know where the archives of the Look At Life-series, that ran for a decade between 1959 and 1969 and added up to more than 500 episodes, physically are, if these still exist.

The Reverend has been re-reading some older posts at this funny little place aptly called the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and some need updating.

Lost in the Woods

There is a home movie floating around with Syd and Ig walking in a park, together with – what has been called – a mysterious brunette. Mick Rock probably made the movie around the same period, and with period the Reverend literally means days, The Madcap Laughs photos were made. Iggy is wearing the same clothes on both occasions (and the same necklace), but Syd Barrett not. The mysterious brunette may have been Mick Rock’s girlfriend, one of the (many, according to Duggie Fields) passing female visitors of Syd’s place or, a theory nobody has ever wondered about before, a friend of Ig.

Thanks to the testimony of JenS it is now pretty sure that the photo shoot took place in April 1969, probably in the week between the 14th and the 21st, but not on the 17th as Syd was the whole afternoon in Studio 2, recording the eerie No Man’s Land and the ditty Here I Go. Here is what Malcolm Jones had to say about it:

The following Thursday, as planned, I called a cab and went to collect Syd. We dropped in at Dave Gilmour's flat round the corner to borrow an amplifier, and set off for Abbey Road. At the studio we met up with Jerry Shirley and 'Willie' Wilson, the musicians Syd had invited along. The session was to be done 'live' i.e. everyone recording their parts at the same time, including Syd's vocal and guitar parts.

This session was the last happy and shiny one although nobody would know that beforehand of course. The next session had the motorbike overdubs on the legendary Rhamadan, legendary because Barrett fans know it has been lying in the vaults of EMI for over 40 years now and have been praying and begging to release it ever since.

Update (October 2010): Rhamadan has finally been released as a part of the An Introduction To... Syd Barrett compilation: Gravy Train To Cambridge 

The making of the track Rhamadan is one of those occasions lazy journalists use to prove that Barrett was as mad as a hatter. The track, an 18 to 20 minutes free-form-jam-session between Barrett, Steve Took and some other (unidentified) session players had been recorded the previous year, and in April 1969 Syd found that he still could do something useful with the demo.

Of course all he wanted to do was to put some motorbike overdubs on the track, a failed experiment as found out at the end of the day, but not quite as mad as those lazy journalists want us to believe. Pink Floyd would overdub motorbike sounds on Atom Heart Mother the next year and no one has put them in straitjackets because of that.

The intrinsic value of the track is less legendary tells someone who knows. Random Precision author David Parker is probably the only person in the world who has a full and legit copy of the Rhamadan track in his collection:

Of the 15-20mins that this runs for I reckon Syd plays on about 5 minutes worth. Imagine a longer and looser version of 'Lanky Pt 1' with a lot less guitar on it. (Taken from the Syd Barrett Research Society. Forum no longer active.)

In a, now deleted, post at SBRS Parker explained further that...

…I had to give my word to various people at EMI and Abbey Road, and sign a scarily draconian declaration, not to give out copies…

The April sessions of 1969 had Barrett in an excellent form and Malcolm Jones wanted to get the record done as quickly as possible. Not only he must have been aware of Syd’s mood changes but his bosses had also instructed him to get a move on. So it is absolutely plausible that the order for the cover-shoot was given right after the first session.

Update (October 2010): The Church's opinion has somewhat changed on this subject: The Case of the Painted Floorboards 

Driving Mr Sloane

The Church has written quite a few things about Syd’s blue Pontiac in the past and an error sneaked in at the second When Syd met Iggy...  posting. Originally it read:

Before Syd (and Mickey Finn) got the car it was used in the 1970 British movie Entertaining Mr Sloane. The car, with its cream red and silver interior, is featured prominently throughout the movie. The movie is not great but the pink Pontiac gives a great performance.

The above was not correct as this information was based upon the general belief that The Madcap Laughs photo shoot was held in the autumn of 1969 and not in April. The British Film Institute pinpoints the making of the movie between mid August and beginning of October 1969, four months after Syd gave the car away to someone who admired it. If the car that can be seen in the movie is indeed Syd’s, it was sold, given or lend to the movie crew by its new owner.

1969 Calendar

Because the Reverend thought it might be a good idea and because a lot of work went into coding and debugging The Holy Church of Inuit presents you... a calendar of the year 1969. It puts some dates right, can be generally considered as eye-candy and may be completely ignored...


Notes (other than internet links mentioned above):

Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p. 129-158.
Jones, Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p. 7.

Calendar idea grabbed from http://www.flicklives.com.


2009-08-01

When I'm 64

Iggy 64, by Fratzen
Iggy 64, by Fratzen.

Brethren Dan5482 visited the several Church locations (see underneath) that can be found on the World Wide Web and confessed the following to the Reverend:

Despite all that collective amnesia I think that Iggy can still be found. There are journalists, detectives... who have found more difficult "targets".
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.

If JenS’ 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.

Mark had some extra comments to give at the Late Night discussion forum:

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 23/02/2009)

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 Reverend.

Update 2016: YoungForEternity was probably closer to the truth than we all expected. Iggy has indeed been working at a local supermarket.

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):

Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press, London, 2007, p.141.

Many thanks go to young 3D artist Arthur Fratzen who lend me a copy of his WIP Iggy 64.

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit can be found at: http://atagong.com/iggy. Authorised subsidiaries can be found at:

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Youtube channel
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Facebook Fanpage

The Reverend's MySpace page
The Reverend's Facebook page and last but not least
The Reverend's Unfinished Projects blog.


2009-09-04

From Dusty till Dawn

Douggie Reece and Dusty Springfield
Douggie Reece and Dusty Springfield.

When JenS, who may well have been the person who introduced Iggy to Syd Barrett, told the Church that they both went to a Dusty Springfield party the Reverend was absolutely certain that he had found a solid path to unravel more about Iggy’s past (see: When Syd met Iggy).

Iggy was a bit older than the Cantabrigian underground gang and had already been active in the London club scene for a couple of years.
Update: this is not true, as we would find out later.

DJ Jeff Dexter had already noticed Ig in 1963 in The Orchid at Purley, where she used to go clubbing until 1967. Kathy McGowan and her RSG!-team raided the place to ‘spot for dancers to appear in her show’ (see: Where did she go?).

In 1966 Iggy was spotted on a party at The Cromwellian that was (partly) organised by the main choreographer of the RSG!-show. We will not go further into that as this story has already been told on this blog before (see: Bend It!).

Dusty Springfield started her solo career in 1963 and was voted the Top British Female Artist in the New Musical Express reader's poll in 1964, 1965, and 1968. She appeared a couple of times at the RSG!-show as presenter and would, in total, appear 24 times on the show. In 1965 Springfield hosted a special Motown edition of the RSG!-show and some while later she had her own Dusty show at the BBC.

The Church found it relevant to investigate if there really had been an Iggy – Dusty – RSG! connection somewhere and if some witnesses still remembered her.

The first person to get in touch with the Church was Douggie Reece, bass player (and singer) of The Echoes, Dusty Springfield’s backing band (watch him singing Mockingbird with Dusty). It was Reece who contacted the Reverend after the Church had asked amongst fan-circles if anyone could remember Ig being in and around the Dusty Springfield scene.

I don't remember her at all.
Or the Dusty Springfield scene.
I spent most of the 60's with Dusty maybe I went out to get some cigarettes or something and missed the whole occasion!!!
LOL
Douggie xx

Although it was suggested that it would be a nice name for a tribute band there has apparently never been a Dusty Springfield scene to begin with as far as Douggie Reece remembers, if Ig did ever meet Dusty it may have been purely coincidental.

Another Dusty connoisseur advised the Church to contact Vicki Wickham. Vicki and Dusty had been friends since 1962 and even shared a flat at London's Westbourne Grove. After a brief stint on the radio (as a secretary) Vicki was hired by Ready Steady Go! as talent manager and producer. When Dusty told her friend she had heard a nice Italian song at the SanRemo festival Wickham (co-)translated the tune into English and named it You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me. It would become Dusty’s first number one hit (1966) and was covered quite a few times by other artists, including Elvis Presley (1970, #1 at Billboard Country & Western and #11 at Billboard Top 100) and Guys’n Dolls (#5, UK, 1976). In total more than 80 million copies of the song have been sold worldwide.

After her RSG!-days Wickham moved to America and although she didn’t have a clue how to do it she successfully managed Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendrix, Marc Almond, Morrissey, Holly Johnson and of course, her long-life-friend Dusty Springfield.

It took the Church quite a while to trace Vicki Wickham, and after a trail of bounced faxes and mails, the Reverend wrote a letter in the good old-fashioned way. It pleases the Church a great deal that Vicki Wickham cared to reply:

I am the last person to ask about anything from the 60s 'cos mostly I don't remember!
But definitely do not remember this girl.
Can't help.
Best.
Vicki Wickham

At least we can now say with a certain certitude that Iggy did not belong to the inner circle of Ready Steady Go! but this does not mean that she never has been at the show. The crew of RSG! visited dance halls to recruit good looking youngsters for the audience and organised dance and singing contests where the participants could win ‘passports’ to the show. In the few years that the show existed thousands of people passed through the temple of the mods and Ig may well have been one of them.


Authorised subsidiaries:

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Youtube channel
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Facebook Fanpage
The Holy Chuch of Iggy the Inuit on Twitter


2010-01-30

(I've got my) Mojo (working...)

Mojo March 2010 Cover
Mojo March 2010 Cover.

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’.

Who’s That Girl (page 76 insert) is written by Mark Blake, author of the Pink Floyd biography Pigs Might Fly, and an occasional visitor (and contributor) of the Church. Out of courtesy (and for copyright reasons) the Church will not publish the article 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).

People reading magazines with binoculars will find an odd reference to the Church as the Croydon Guardian article from the 17th September 2008 has been reproduced as well, however in such small print that one needs to xerox it in blow-up mode to distinguish individual letters. The article in full can be consulted at the Church (Where did she go?) but is also still present on the archives of the Croydon Guardian (Where did she go to our lovely?).

Mark Blake writes in Mojo:

In 2008, (Jeff) Dexter and (Anthony) Stern tried to trace the elusive Iggy, and were interviewed in the Croydon Guardian for leads to the whereabouts of the “carefree girl who captured the spirit of the ‘60s”.

Actually the motor behind this article were not Dexter and Stern but the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, after - truth has to be acknowledged – Mark Blake had revealed earlier that Iggy ‘was known as one of the regular teenage girls at the dancehalls around Purley and Caterham’ (see also: Shaken not stirred ).

Researching The Orchid dancehall in Purley, the Reverend found two articles that had appeared in the Croydon Guardian: In dance hall days (9th August 2006) and We remember the Orchid (29th August 2006).

The Church tried to contact Brian Roote in September 2008, an amateur historian writing a book about the Purley dancehall, but this resulted more than a year later in the simple comment: ‘I have no knowledge of this girl whatsoever'.

The Reverend had more chance with journalist Kerry McQueeney author of the two Orchid articles, but no longer working for the Croydon Guardian. He passed the story to Kirsty Whalley who was now editor of the Heritage pages of the newspaper. On the 3rd September of 2008 she replied:

We would like to feature this story in the newspaper next week and hopefully it will prompt a few people to call in.

In the same mail she also asked if the Church could give some leads and amongst the people to contact the Reverend mentioned the names of Mick Rock and Anthony Stern. Kirsty Whalley did an excellent job and did not only interview both men, but also Jeff Dexter who had been a DJ at The Orchid.

The next sermon at the Church will cover the second Iggy-related article from Mojo 196. In My Room, written by Paul Drummond, contains interviews with Duggie Fields, Mick Rock, Storm Thorgerson and Jenny Spires.

The Madcap Laughs Again (Mojo Tribute CD)

Mojo 196 comes with a Madcap Laughs cover CD as interpreted by (amongst others): R.E.M., Captain Sensible, Hawkwind, Jennifer Gentle, Marc Almond and Robyn Hitchcock. Reviews of this CD can be found at Late Night: The Madcap Laughs Again, including the one written by the Reverend.

The Mojo website contains a Syd Barrett top 20 jukebox and three YouTube links to Syd's legendary unreleased material. One of those fan-made videos (Lucy Leave) has been created by limpidgreen aka dollyrocker, a much appreciated Late Night forum member. Way to go, dollyrocker! (All links dead, we're afraid.)


2010-02-05

Goofer Dust [(I've got my) Mojo (working)... Part 2]

Mojo March 2010
Mojo March 2010.

(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’.

Last week 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).

Daffodils

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. (p.83)

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 (cfr. Anoraks 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, quite silly.

Pontiac

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. (p. 84)

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 it.

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:

Mojo comment by Felix Atagong
Mojo comment by Felix Atagong.
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 quest.

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.


2010-02-06

World Exclusive: Ig has been found!

Iggy pop-art
Iggy pop-artish, by Felix Atagong.

Yesterday (5th of February 2010) Mark Blake (Pigs Might Fly, Mojo Magazine) messaged the Reverend with the following cryptic message:

We've received a very interesting letter about the elusive Iggy.
Wanted you to be the first to know!
More news to follow.

Of course the Church immediately contacted the journalist and this is what the Church is allowed to disclose today:

An old acquaintance of Iggy's emailed (Mojo magazine) and shared some info.
She is alive and well and living in southern England.
She has chosen to remain anonymous all these years.

More information will probably be published in the next issue(s) of Mojo and, of course, the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.

(Many thanks to Mark Blake who we are eternally thankful for breaking the news to the Church.)


2010-02-13

Iggy’s first interview in 40 years

Iggy by Anthone Stern
Iggy by Anthony Stern.

Last week The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit published the incredible news that Iggy had been traced back. This was a world exclusive as no other news medium had reported this before.

The news that Iggy had been found was, unfortunately, also all there was to say. Although discreet investigations were done it was soon made clear that she wanted to stay anonymous and that she didn’t want to blow her cover. A short interview was out of the question, even for Mojo magazine and Mark Blake who triggered these latest events.

The Reverend is by all means not a souvenir collector who wanted to ring at her bell like all those true fans used to do at Syd Barrett’s door and her wish to be left in peace was immediately and unconditionally granted.

In September 2008 The Croydon Guardian published an article about Iggy after the Church had contacted the newspaper to get more information about The Orchid dancehall in Purley: Where did she go?  This article unearthed some unpublished pictures by Anthony Stern that were later shown at The City Wakes festival in Cambridge and was also mentioned in the March issue of Mojo.

Kirsty Whalley, the journalist who brought us the first Iggy article in The Croydon Guardian, has now managed to interview Iggy, an interview that can be found in today’s issue of this newspaper.

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.

The Church will not publish the entire interview in its columns - for at least a week - as it can be consulted at the following websites:
Croydon Guardian Tracks Down Elusive Rock Star Muse (The Croydon Guardian)
Croydon Guardian Tracks Down Elusive Rock Star Muse (This Local London)

In the next weeks however the Church will scrutinize the interview, and comments will be added where appropriate. For the moment all we wish to say is hip hip hurray to Kirsty Whalley!


2010-03-25

All about Evelyn

Mojo 197 (April 2010)
Mojo 197 (April 2010).

Nothing is so stupid as New Year resolutions, especially when you read them when the katzenjammer is over. On the second of January of 2010 the Reverend uttered the fear that the Church would soon disappear by lack of Iggy. If this meant one single thing it is that the Reverend is by no means a reliable prophet.

The March edition of the music magazine Mojo, that mysteriously appeared in January 2010, had a 14 pages cover story about the Syd Barrett album The Madcap Laughs that was finally released in January 1970 after nearly twenty months of tinkering. Its main article I'm Not Here (Pat Gilbert) gave the portrait of the artist as a young man and his struggle to get his first solo album done. A small insert Who's That Girl (Mark Blake) tried to reveal some of the mysteries around Iggy The Eskimo, but to no avail (more questions were raised then answered, see: (I've got my) Mojo (working...). Last, but not least, In My Room (Paul Drummond) gave some background information about The Madcap Laughs photo shoot, interviewing Duggie Fields, Storm Thorgerson, inevitably Mick Rock and en passant citing Jenny Spires and the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit (but not in so many words, see Goofer Dust [(I've got my) Mojo (working)... Part 2] .

(For your information: the complete Mojo article can could be downloaded quite legally and for free at the official Syd Barrett website: direct link to the scanned pdf document, hosted since 2016 at the Church.)

It needs to be said that the Mojo article achieved in two week time what the Church couldn't achieve in two years: finding Iggy. On the 6th of February 2010 it was revealed that she was alive and well and living in southern England and although this news was covered by the Church the scoop arrived, noblesse oblige, at the Mojo offices in a letter from an acquaintance of her: Peter Brown (not the Pete[r] Brown from Cream and Piblokto fame).

Part of this letter has been published in issue 197 (April) and goes like this:

Peter Brown letter in Mojo 197
Peter Brown letter in Mojo 197.
One woman,
with many faces
Re Iggy’s whereabouts, I can enlighten you a little on her post-Madcap life. I first met Iggy - her real name was Evelyn - in the early ’70s, when she arrived from the King’s Road to the house where I lived in Brighton with a miscellany of artists and eccentrics.
I spent a lot of time with Iggy including nights ‘on the town’. She was a loose cannon, absolutely stunning, and fab company I soon discovered that it was none other than Iggy gracing my copy of The Madcap Laughs, and told her that Syd had been a peer of mine in Cambridge. I also knew Jenny Spires (who introduced Iggy to Syd), and saw Pink Floyd at various venues. I spent an evening with Syd once and we walked back together to our respective homes near Cherry Hinton in stoned stupor.
In the mid ’80s I learned that Iggy was living in Sussex and working at a racing stables, where she married a farmhand. She’s since kept her whereabouts quiet, though a friend at the stables, who I spoke to recently informs me of Iggy’s low-key flamboyance in the area. There are a wealth of other stories, but brevity forbids!

Next to Brown aka Thongman, Jenny Spires decided to comment as well:

Jenny Spires letter in Mojo 197
Jenny Spires letter in Mojo 197.
I struggle,
you collaborate
I’ve read your Syd article and there are two or three things to correct. First, I met Iggy [the Eskimo] in 1966, not 1969 as stated. Also, the floor was painted as soon as Syd moved into Wetherby Mansions, and was already done when I was there. Part of it, under the bed, wasn’t finished, but was done by the time I left in early 1969. I don’t think it was painted with a photoshoot in mind. Also, in the larger photo, the daffodils look quite fresh, but in the photo used for the cover they are dead. This seems to suggest that that photo was done a couple of weeks later?
With reference to Mandrax - there were no Mandrax in the flat at this stage. These came later, around early summer. This is not to say Syd had never had Mandrax, but they weren’t readily available to him at that time.

It seems now that there is enough material left for the Church to go on with its mission for the next lustrum. So keep watching this space and remember, don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't have done.


The Reverend wants to thank Mojo for donating a copy of the April issue to the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. Thanks guys!


2010-04-02

Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea

This is not Iggy.
This is not Iggy.

Tranquillity is slowly descending upon the Holy Church of Inuit like smog upon Victorian London. Several brethren and sistren of the Church, and one-time visitors who entered through the front gate to study its baroque interior, have passed some valid information to the Reverend and these will be further investigated in the future. The Reverend also wants to apologise to the people that have been contacted (and interviewed) last year, especially those associated with The Cromwellian club. The articles about The Crom have been postponed due to the unexpected result the Mojo Syd Barrett article created, but they will - one day - hopefully appear.

To all our readers: please keep on going on giving the Church information, how futile it may be, but remember that the Reverend will not break its own rules that stay unchanged even now that Iggy (Evelyn) has been found. Especially now that Iggy (Evelyn) has been found.

The Reverend is not a souvenir collector who will ring at her bell like all those so-called (and in the Reverend's eyes: messed up) true fans used to do at Syd Barrett’s door. Evelyn's wish to be left in peace is and will be unconditionally granted. The same goes for other witnesses of the Barrett era, the Church will send them a nice note from time to time, as a reminder of its presence, but will not break their privacy. Some will call this bad journalism but the Church is not dependent from sold issues and follows a strict deontological code.

Croydon Guardian

On the thirteenth of February of this year The Croydon Guardian published a short, hastily noted down, interview with (a quite reluctant) Iggy, titled: Croydon Guardian tracks down elusive rock star muse. Here it is in full (with some comments from the Reverend):

Croydon Guardian tracks down elusive rock star muse
By Kirsty Whalley
An iconic model who stole Syd Barrett’s heart in the 1960s has been found after three decades of anonymity. Known only as Iggy, the enigmatic woman was immortalised posing naked for the Pink Floyd star’s solo album, Madcap Laughs. She disappeared in the late 1970s and has been living in West Sussex, oblivious to her iconic status. In September 2008, the Croydon Guardian appealed for information about the model and, more than a year later, we managed to track her down.

The story of how the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit convinced The Croydon Guardian to assign some place in its columns for the Iggy enigma can be found at Where did she go? and (I've got my) Mojo (working...).

She inspired artist Anthony Stern, who filmed her dancing in Battersea Park and also took striking photographs of her on a houseboat in Chelsea. They were released at the City Wakes festival – a tribute to Syd Barrett – in October 2008, in Cambridge.

The above has of course been extendedly covered by the Church as well: Anthony Stern.

Mr Stern said: “Iggy was my muse. I met her at a Hendrix gig at the Speakeasy. She entirely captures the spirit of the Sixties, living for the moment, carefree.”

Jimi Hendrix gigged quite a few times at The Speakeasy and was spotted there on other occasions as well, for instance on the 22nd of February when he attended a press conference for The Soft Machine.

Jimi Hendrix

The club has been described in the (excellent) London Live book from Tony Bacon as follows (most information about the club has been taken from that book).

When The Speakeasy was opened by Roy Flynn around the end of 1966 in Margaret Street, just north of Soho, the rock elite soon discovered a handy new watering hole, a prime early-hours jamming post, and an altogether useful hanging-out kind of place.

By May 1967 the club was part of the London spot-the-celebrity circle next to - amongst others - the Scotch (of St. James) and of course the Crom. On a good night you could having a drink next to The Bee Gees, Jeff Beck or The Who, although, keeping up his avant-garde experimental jazz appearance, Robert Wyatt from The Soft Machine couldn't care less: "Rock groups meeting in expensive clubs that are difficult to get into? What's all that crap?"

On the 19th of January 1967 Jimi Hendrix gave the first of 3 concerts at The Speak. On top of that he would also jam a few times with other people on stage, including Jose Feliciano and Georgie Fame. That night in January he tried to get into Marianne Faithfull's pants with the seductive remark: "What are you doing with this jerk, anyway?" The jerk in question was of course Mick Jagger who wanted to check out the new kid in town.

Yes-fans will know the club for its owner Roy Flynn. When, on the 13th of December 1968, Sly And The Family Stone didn't show up for their gig an impromptu band was found to take their place. When Roy Flynn saw Yes's performance he was so thrilled that he became their manager for a while. The band eagerly agreed, not because he had some managerial skills but because the restaurant at The Speak had an excellent reputation:

Roy had never managed a band before and he kind of took us on and then the whole world of the Speakeasy opened up (laugh). It was a great club, I mean, it was a wonderful club, it used to close at 4 AM and we would not only rehearse there, we would play there some nights, and of course after a gig if we were playing within, let's say 150 miles from London, we would rush and go to the Speakeasy and eat there, and most of the meals were completely free. So for about a year I ate pretty good. Most of the evenings I ate there. Because that was the life style, we would be in the Speakeasy after 3 AM and the kitchen still would be opened and the food was not fantastic but thanks to Roy Flynn we would get free food and quite a lot of few drinks as well. (Peter Banks, who invented the band's name and left the group in 1970)

The extensive Jimi Hendrix gig database located at Rich Dickinson only mentions 3 genuine Jimi Hendrix performances in 1967: the aforementioned gig on the 19th of January 1967 and two more in March: 8th March 1967 and 21st March 1967. So Iggy (and Anthony Stern) must have attended one of these. For the completists amongst us the Church gives now the complete list of Hendrix sightings at the Speakeasy (1967):
67-01-19: Gig.
67-02-22: Press reception for the Soft Machine.
67-03-08: Gig.
67-03-16: Launching party for Track records (Jimi gives three interviews).
67-03-21: Gig.
67-04-17: Jam (on bass) with Georgie Fame (on organ) and Ben E. King (drums).
67-05-08: Brian Auger Trinity Concert.
67-06-04: Jose Feliciano concert and onstage jam.
67-12-06: Party for The Foundations.
67-12-22: Musicians from Christmas on Earth and Hendrix jam until the morning hours.
67-12-31: New Year's Eve Party where Jimi plays a thirty minute 'Auld Lang Syne'.

London Live

There is quite an intriguing picture on page 103 of the London Live book, showing co-managers Roy Flynn and Mike Carey, sitting at the Speakeasy bar, accompanied by two ladies. According to CowleyMod one of the women undoubtedly is Ig. Although most of the members of the Church do not think it is her the Church wants to give Cowleymod the benefit of the doubt and the visitors of the Church the chance to make up their own mind (click here to see the full picture).
Update (November 2010): it has been confirmed to the Church that the person on the picture is NOT Iggy / Evelyn.

Iggy said: “I cannot believe there is a film of me, that there are photos of me.”
 
Iggy spent a brief part of the 60s living in Croydon with DJ Jeff Dexter, who used to play at the Orchid Ballroom. She said: “The Orchid Ballroom was the place to be, the atmosphere was fantastic. I loved going there, I loved to dance. Jeff wanted to turn me and two other lovely girls into the English version of the Supremes, but that never happened.”
 
She does not like to talk much about Syd Barrett, but admits she lived with him in Chelsea in the late 1960s. She said: “Syd was so beautiful looking. We had a relationship, I lived with him for a while.”

Although the Reverend is aware of at least four witnesses who have confirmed in different biographies (and directly to the Church) that Iggy and Syd weren't an item this is now contradicted by Evelyn herself.

It was at that time she became known as Iggy the Eskimo. She said: “In part I made up the nickname. The rest was the photographer Mick Rock, who asked where I was from. I said ‘my mother is from the Himalayas’ and he said ‘we will call you Iggy the Eskimo’.”
NME, 25th of November 1966
NME, 25th of November 1966.

The Church will not deny that Mick Rock may have thrown around the 'Iggy the Eskimo' nickname to describe the mysterious girl on his pictures but the epithet dates from much earlier. It was first spotted in the NME magazine from the 25th of November 1966 (more than 2 years earlier) where Evelyn was described as 'Another Bender - model IGGY, who is half-Eskimo': Bend It! 

Mick Rock took the pictures for Madcap Laughs. Iggy said: “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. In the pictures my hair looks quite funny, I remember hiding my face behind it because I did not want my mum and dad to see it."

Again other witnesses tell other stories. They claim that Syd (with a little help from Iggy) painted the floor boards early in the year, certainly before April 1969. As Syd only started recording mid-April it is a bit weird that he painted the boards especially for the album cover, unless - of course - he (and with him Mick Rock) already had the cover in mind before the recording sessions started. A theory that is not implausible.

She broke up with Syd Barrett shortly after the photo shoot and moved to Brighton. She said: “I have just been living very quietly, I left London in the 70s and I got married in 1978. I met so many people in the 60s – the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart. I was a free spirit. I have left that life behind me now.”

The Church would gladly accept to publish her memoires though. But until that happens, my dear sistren and brethren, don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't have done…

A new gallery has been uploaded containing the complete Come with NME for a pic-visit to THE CROMWELLIAN article and pictures from New Musical Express 1037, 25 November 1966. Photographs by Napier Russel & Barry Peake. Words by Norrie Drummond. (Just another world exclusive from the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.)


Sources (other than the above internet links):
Bacon, Tony: London Live, Balafon Books, London, 1999, p. 101-104.


2010-05-08

The Case of the Painted Floorboards

Daffodils.
Daffodils.

In The 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.

Paintbox

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.

Why?

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 turquoise.

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.

JenS 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 her?)

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 not.

Paint can.
Paint can.

Gunsmoke

Just like several (tiny) details in the pictures have given away the possible shooting 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. (…)

The 'smoking 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.

Of 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 session.
Paint can, Storm Thorgerson
Paint can, Storm Thorgerson.

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 community.

Iggys Feet
Iggy's Feet, Mick Rock.

Dancing Barefoot

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 even weeks:

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 session pictures.

The Church already hinted in a previous post:

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 after summer.

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 the cover.

Newspaper.
Newspaper, Mick Rock.

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.

A sequel to this article created a great rift in Syd Barrett-land: The Case of the Painted Floorboards (v 2.012)


Many thanks to: Dark Globe, Banjer and Sax, JenS.

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 page 69.


2010-07-03

Syd meets... a lot of people

Meic Stevens
Meic Stevens.

Syd meets Meic

A couple of weeks ago this blog published excerpts from Meic Stevens' autobiography Hunangofiant y Brawd Houdini (in Welsh, but awesomely translated by Prydwyn) describing how the Cymry bard encountered Syd Barrett in the late Sixties.

These meetings, as far as the Church is aware, have never been mentioned before, not in any of the four main Syd Barrett biographies and not on any website, blog or forum dedicated to the Pink Floyd frontman. It is a bit weird, seen the fact that the biography already appeared in 2003.

Normally Syd related news, regardless of its triviality, is immediately divulged through the digital spider web tying Syd anoraks together. The Church does not want to take credit for this find, it is thanks to Prydwyn, who contacted the Church, that we now have this information, and we hope that it will slowly seep into the muddy waters of the web. (Strange enough the Church post was almost immediately detected by (Welsh) folk music blogs but completely ignored by the Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett communities. Is the rumour true that there is a general Syd Barrett fatigue going on?)

The psychedelic London Underground was not unlike the rapid transit system that listens to the same name. The counterculture wasn't really an organised movement, but constituted of many, independent stations with tubes going from one station to the other. Some persons travelled a lot, switching from line to line using intersecting stations as apparently Syd Barrett's Wetherby Mansions flat was one, much to the dismal of Duggie Fields who wanted to produce his art in peace.

Spike Hawkins
Spike Hawkins.

Syd meets Spike Hawkins

In a YouTube interview Rob Chapman, author of the Syd Barrett biography A Very Irregular Head, recalls how he found out that beatnik and poet Spike Hawkins was an acquaintance of Syd Barrett. He was interviewing Pete Brown for his book and when the interview was over he remarked that some Barrett lyrics had a distinct Spike Hawkins style. At that point Pete Brown remarked: "I think Spike Hawkins knew Syd Barrett." Without that lucky ad hoc comment we would (probably) never have known that the two artists not only knew, but also met, each other at different occassions, although it was probably more a Mandrax haze that tied them rather than the urge to produce some art together.

Syd meets Dominique

The Church already mentioned the names of Meic Stevens, Jenny Spires, Trina Barclay, Margaretta Barclay and her friend, painter and musician Rusty Burnhill (who used to jam with Barrett), Iggy (or Evelyn, who is rather reluctant to talk about the past) and the French Dominique A., who was - at a certain moment - rather close to Barrett.

Dominique is, like they say in French, un cas à part. Unfortunately nobody seems to know what happened to her, but if the six degrees of separation theory is accurate it might not be too difficult to find her. The problem is that nobody remembers if she stayed in Great Britain or returned to France. But if you read this and have a granny, listening to the name Dominique A., who smiles mysteriously whenever you mention the name Pink Floyd, give us a call.

Update May 2011: thanks to its many informants, the Church has traced the whereabouts of Dominique. She currently lives in a small village, close to Bayonne, near the Bay of Biscay (French: Golfe de Gascogne). Unfortunately she doesn't want to talk about the past.

A mysterious brunette.
A mysterious brunette.

Syd meets Carmel

Church member Dark Globe compared the English version of Meic Stevens' biography Solva Blues (2004) with the excerpts of the Welsh version we published at Meic meets Syd and found a few differences. Apart from the fact that Meic Stevens also had an Uncle Syd who appears quite frequently in the book there are some minor additions in the English version, absent from the original Welsh.

The Welsh version notes fore instance that 'Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd came to see us in Caerforiog':

Syd Barrett o Pink Floyd fydde’n dod i’n gweld ni yng Nghaerforiog.

The English version adds a small, but in the life of a Barrett anorak, rather important detail. It reads:

Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd who used to visit us at Caerforiog with his girlfriend Carmel.

It is the first time the Church (and Dark Globe) hears from this lady, and she is probably one of those two-week (or even two-day) girlfriends Mick Rock and Duggie Fields have been talking about.

(Warning Label: The picture just above has been taken from the Mick Rock movie Lost In The Woods, nobody knows for sure who is the mysterious brunette. This blog does not imply she is Dominique A. or Carmel, for that matter.)

Drug problem

The second reference (about Syd visiting the Outlander sessions) also has one addition in the English version. Solva Blues adds the line:

I wouldn't have thought he had a drug problem - no more than most people on the scene.

If there is one returning constant about the underground days it is its general tunnel vision. In the brave new psychedelic world every move, the crazier the better, was considered cool and there was a general consensus to deny any (drug related) problem that could and would occur. Rob Chapman is right when he, in his rather tempestuous style, writes:

What do you do if your lead guitarist is becoming erratic / unstable / unhinged?
Simple.
You send him off round the UK on a package tour (…) with two shows a night for sixteen nights.

Nick Mason acknowledges this illogical (not to use another term) behaviour:

If proof was needed that we were in denial about Syd's state of mind, this was it.
Why we thought a transatlantic flight immediately followed by yet more dates would help (Syd) is beyond believe.
R.D. Laing
R.D. Laing

Syd almost meets R.D. Laing

Of course looking for professional psychiatric help in those crazy days wasn't that simple either. Bluntly said: you could choose between the traditional cold shower - electroshock therapy or go for anti-psychiatry.

Although it is impossible to turn back the clock it still is the question if experimental anti-psychiatry would have helped Barrett. In a previous post we have given the example how an experimental therapist administered LSD to a Cantabrigian friend of Syd as an alternative way of therapy and R.D. 'I like black people but I could never stand their smell' Laing was no exception to that.

Pink Floyd's manager Peter Jenner made an appointment for Syd with R.D. Laing, but Syd refused to go on with it, but this didn't withhold Laing to make the following observations as noted down by Nick Mason:

Syd might be disturbed, or even mad. But maybe it was the rest of us (Pink Floyd, note by FA) who were causing the problem, by pursuing our desire to succeed, and forcing Syd to go along with our ambitions.

This is the main theory that is overzealously, but not always successfully, adhered by Chapman in his Syd Barrett biography. R.D. Laing ended his Barrett diagnosis, who he never met, by saying:

Maybe Syd was actually surrounded by mad people.

Although some biographers may think, and there they are probably right, that the other Pink Floyd members may have been an ambitious gravy train inspired gang, there was also the small matter of a 17,000 British Pounds debt that the architectural inspired band members still had to pay off after the split. They didn't burden Syd Barrett, nor Peter Jenner and Andrew King with that. Now that is what the Church calls accountancy.

We now know that giving Syd Barrett the time and space, outside the band, to meddle at his own pace with his own affairs and music was not entirely fruitful either. In the early to mid Seventies Syd Barrett entered a lost weekend that would almost take a decade and that is a blank chapter in every biography, apart from the odd Mad Syd anecdote.

Mini Cooper (based upon a remark from Dark Globe)

It is also interesting that Meic Stevens mentions Syd's Mini Cooper:

He was a very good-looking boy, always with a beautiful girl on his arm when he was out or driving his Mini Cooper.

Presumably this is the same car Syd drove all over England in, following the band, when he was freshly thrown out of the Floyd.

Syd swapped this Mini Cooper for a Pontiac Parisienne (and not a Buick as car fanatic Nick Mason writes, although Buick and Pontiac were of course closely related brands) with T-Rex percussionist Mickey Finn in the beginning of 1969, which would date the first meetings between Stevens and Barrett prior to the Mick Rock photo sessions.

But that photo session has been discussed here ad nauseum already so we won't get further into that. So, my sistren and brethren, bye, bye, till the next time, and don't do anything Iggy wouldn't have done. Especially at this warm weather.

(This article is a (partial) update from this one: Meic meets Syd)


Many thanks go to: Dark Globe for checking the English version of Meic Stevens' autobiography. Prydwyn for checking and translating the Welsh version of Meic Stevens' autobiography.

Sources: (other than internet links mentioned above):

Chapman, Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 201, p. 227.
Green, Jonathon: Days In The Life, Pimlico, London, 1998, p. 210. (R.D. Laing quote)
Mason, Nick: Inside Out: A personal history of Pink Floyd, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2004, p. 87-88, p. 95, p. 129.
Stevens, Meic: Hunangofiant y Brawd Houdini, Y Lolfa, Talybont, 2009, p. 190-191, p. 202.
Stevens, Meic, Solva Blues, Talybont, 2004 (English, slightly updated, translation of the above).

Rob Chapman's An Irregular Head biography has been reviewed at: The Big Barrett Conspiracy Theory


2010-11-13

2011

Imaginary Mojo cover.
Imaginary Mojo cover.

On Friday, the fifth of November, an entrepreneurial rock journalist of the best music magazine in the world, who happens to have written - en passant - the most accurate Pink Floyd biography in ages, met a mysterious Asian looking lady. Although this was meant to be kept secret the news had leaked to the headquarters of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit before the meeting even took place. Thus are the hidden special forces of the Holy Igquisition.

We can now say it is official. The Mojo issue of January, the 1st, 2011 will have an Iggy / Evelyn interview by Mark Blake. It will have a recent picture of her and - perhaps - an unpublished photograph from the Seventies.

Update December 2010: the January issue of Mojo (nr. 206) doesn't have the Iggy interview (yet), although Mark Blake is omnipresent with a 13-pages in-depth article about Freddie Mercury and Queen. (If you are still looking for a Xmas present: Mark Blake has just written a pretty Queen biography: Is This The Real Life? The Untold Story Of Queen, Arum books).

For the rest the Reverend is as anxious as you to read the interview, dear followers of the Church who not only visit us from the United Kingdom and the States (the mythical place Tarzana comes to mind), but also from the northern chilly depths of Oslo, the accordion larded ruelles of Montmartre and several unspeakable places in Russia and the rest of the world.

And late last night when the Reverend was contemplating his inner musings he was interrupted by the tantalising ping of an incoming mail. It read as follows:

Hello Felix.
I am truly overwhelmed by your interest in me.

And ended with:

Yours truly and eternally.
Iggy.

The bit in between shall remain a mystery for now, but hopefully 2011 shall start with a bang. Have some patience, brethren and sistren, and remember...don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't do.

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit wishes to thank Mark Blake, Natasha M. and of course... Iggy / Evelyn.

P.S. We have from a quite reliable source that the picture taken at the Speakeasy club isn't Evelyn at all. The Church apologises for the inconvenience: Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea.


2011-01-02

Iggy’s second interview in 40 years

Mojo 207
Mojo 207.

Happy New Year, children of the revolution! What a long strange trip 2010 has been. The first half of it showed the Church's biggest parade, with plenty of clowns and jugglers and a couple of anoraky world exclusive Barrett-scattering things.

Our solar, solitary, solstice, soloist star, fallen from the black sky (to paraphrase French historian and poet Dr. Denis Combet) was discovered by the team of Mojo magazine early 2010. The Church retaliated with Gretta Barclay's first (and only) interview in 4 decades, an extensive study of Welsh folk legend Meic Stevens' meetings with Syd Barrett in the early Seventies and a couple of articles about The Cromwellian club and casino, including some anecdotes from Rod Harrod, the man who practically launched Jimi Hendrix's career.

Those exhilarating things inevitably lead to the Church's petite mort, a period of melancholy and transcendence, for the second half of 2010. But this was just a temporarily breakdown. Several findings of the Church were quoted in the most recent Syd Barrett biography by Julian Palacios, the Reverend has just been granted his first interview (to appear [hopefully] on a Spanish Barrett blog) and in November agent provocateur Mark Blake let the Church know that Evelyn (Iggy) had agreed on an interview for Mojo magazine. On top of that Ig, our Ig, send the Church a lovely note that mellowed the Reverend’s heart. 2011 promises to be great.

Iggy The Eskimo! Found!
Iggy The Eskimo! Found!

The February issue from Mojo (# 207) - OUT NOW – contains Mark Blake's much expected Iggy interview. As is our habit the Church will not publish the article as long as the magazine is for sale in the shops. So why are you still reading this blog then? Open those Xmas and New Year envelopes, jump on that bike with the basket and the bell that rings, and hurry up to the shop!

Only after you have bought, borrowed or stolen (the Reverend will forgive but not visit you in prison!) Mojo 207 and read the article you are allowed to come back at the Church where additional bits and pieces may (or may not) be revealed the following weeks. According to someone who knows there is 'a wealth of other interview material' that didn't make it into printed matter but that might see the light of day on several places of the metaverse. Some day. Perhaps.

Mojo: mysterious comment.
Mojo: mysterious comment.

PS: The Mojo website has got a strange anonymous cryptic comment, posted the 2nd of January at 04:46PM. It goes 'love you mark blake thank you for being [actually: bèing] so real hang in there felix atagong'.

The Church may happen to believe to know from whom it has arrived.


Still looking for a Xmas present: Mark Blake has just written a pretty good Queen biography: Is This The Real Life? The Untold Story Of Queen, Aurum Press Ltd.
ISBN: 9781845135973
(The Church is not affiliated with or endorsed by this company.)

2011-01-08

Iggy The Eskimo Phones Home

Mojo 207.
Mojo 207.

The Reverend was silently contemplating the long cold winter, sitting in his rocking chair, reading in Glenn Povey's Pink Floyd bible Echoes, woollen socks tightly stuck to the wood stove, a pipe in the mouth and a glass of flaming Italian Sambuca with 3 coffee beans in his immediate reach when his laptop went ping. A minute or so later his HTC smart-phone went ping as well. Thirty seconds later his iTouch went ping. This meant serious business, probably instigated by the Holy Igquisition.

At the forum of a well-known Pink Floyd website somebody had posted a scan of the latest Iggy interview, done by Mark Blake, and published in Mojo 207 (February 2011 issue). Last week, the Church had promised that the interview would not be published here as long as the issue is for sale in the shops but extraordinary occurrences demand for extraordinary measures. So here it is. Enjoy!

IGGY THE ESKIMO PHONES HOME
SYD BARRETT'S ENIGMATIC COVER COMPANION CLEARS UP SOME QUERIES

BY MARK BLAKE
In March 2010, MOJO 196's cover story on Syd Barrett's The Madcap Laughs pondered the whereabouts of 'Iggy The Eskimo', the naked girl on the LP sleeve. It came as a shock to the object of Syd obsessives' fascination; who contacted MOJO after reading the magazine for the first time last summer. “I knew nothing about any of this,” says Iggy (real name: Evelyn) who married in 1978 and lives near the English South Coast. “I went to a boot sale with my husband to find The Madcap Laughs. When I saw the cover I thought, Oh, yes, that is my bottom.”
Iggy (she gave 'the Eskimo' name to an NME photographer as a joke) grew up in the Far East. Her father was an English army officer, while her mother came from “a remote village in the Himalayas”. After moving to England Iggy was briefly an art student, a Brighton mod and London scenester, dancing on Ready Steady Go! and hanging out with Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and the Stones.
But in 1969, she ended up at the Earls Court flat Barrett shared with the painter Duggie Fields. She and Syd became an item.
“I didn't know Syd had been a pop star,” she insists, though she'd seen Pink Floyd at the UFO club and Alexandra Palace. “Duggie and I were into soul music, and Syd used to laugh at me dancing to Motown.”
One day after Iggy had been messing around on Syd's guitar he took the instrument from her and began playing.
“It was the first time I'd heard or seen him to do this, and my mouth just dropped. He had this reel-to-reel tape recorder and he played me these songs he'd written. The one that stood out went, “I really love you and I mean you' [Terrapin] and I remember telling him, That's very catchy,” she laughs.
Barrett then told Iggy someone at EMI wants me to make a record, how would you feel about having a rock star boyfriend?”
Later photographer Mick Rock and designer Storm Thorgerson would call to take the album sleeve image. At Syd's suggestion Iggy was naked: “It was his wicked sense of humour,” she says. “People talk about Syd's madness and his dark side but I never saw it. We had a wonderful giggly time.”
“I put the Kohl around his eyes that day and tousled his hair: Come on Syd, give us a smile, moody, moody, moody! But he knew exactly what he was doing.”
After a few months Iggy moved on. Returning to the flat later she was told by Duggie Fields, “Syd's gone back to Cambridge, don't bother trying to find him.”
Contrary to mythology, she never joined a religious cult or married a banker. “I heard on the radio that Syd died, and I felt sad but it was so long ago,” she reflects. It wasn't until I went online for the first time and read these things that I realised anyone remembered me. I'm incredibly flattered.”
Iggy in 2010
Iggy in 2010.

A while ago Mark Blake also had the following to say to the Church:

I have a wealth of other interview material with Iggy. Mojo are interested in running this additional stuff on their website: there are also pics of her from early 60s and late 70s. The extra interview material contains some good stuff for the Syd obsessives, including stuff about the Madcap photo shoot.

And today he added at the Fleeting Glimpse forum:

Just a little more Iggy info for anyone interested: there's a chance that MOJO will run some additional interview material on their website www.mojo4music.com. Iggy also talked about a trip to the Speakeasy with Syd Barrett and had plenty more to say about the photo-shoot for the album cover. There are also some more photos of Iggy from back in the day.

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit wishes to thank Mark Blake and Mojo for their authorisation to publish this interview. In the next couple of weeks the Church will probably add some comments, reflections and musings.

And for those new believers, here is a quick overview of the Iggy events of past year:

January 2010:
The Mojo articles that started it all
(I've got my) Mojo (working...) and
Goofer Dust [(I've got my) Mojo (working)... Part 2] 

February 2010:
The Church reveals that Iggy has been found (by a Mojo reader):
World Exclusive: Ig has been found! and
All about Evelyn 
The Croydon Guardian tracks down and interviews Iggy:
Iggy’s first interview in 40 years and
Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea  

November 2010:
The Church finds out that attemps have been made to interview Evelyn: 2011

January 2011:
Mojo publishes Iggy's second interview: Iggy’s second interview in 40 years  

This is it for this week, and my dear sistren and brethren, don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't have done!


Still looking for a Xmas present: Mark Blake has just written a pretty decent Queen biography: Is This The Real Life? The Untold Story Of Queen, Aurum Press Ltd. ISBN: 9781845135973 (The Church is not affiliated with or endorsed by this company.)

2011-01-14

Iggy The Eskimo Phones Home (2)

Despite the sad news of a couple of days ago (see: RIP Paul Lincoln) the Church has to look forward. If anyone would understand this it would surely be Paul Lincoln. As a wrestling promoter he bloody well knew that each knockout was followed by another match in the ring. Unfortunately no one will leave the final round unharmed, not even Dr Death himself.

Kurt Vonnegut once wrote: "So it goes."


Wedding Bells 1978
Wedding Bells 1978.

To all Iggy pilgrims around the world our most solemn greetings. 2011 started with a bigger bang propelling shock-waves into all known dimensions of our universe. Not only our heart was shattered by all the reverberating news but also Evelyn's.

Past week she confessed to Mark Blake that "she is delighted and a bit shocked by all the interest". As was expected the recent Mojo interview raised more new questions than answers. But asking for more is of course the core business of Syd-anoraks and Iggy-fans alike.

If Ig had never done an interview before, it is not because she avoided the publicity but simply because nobody had ever asked. Mark Blake explains that there is no 'big mystery'. Evelyn went on with her life and didn't read music magazines or looked herself up on the Internet. "Simple as that." Mark Blake and Iggy did talk about a lot more than what has been printed on page 18 of the latest Mojo magazine: “More questions will be covered in the extended version of the interview due for Mojo's website.”

Once the complete interview is published the Church will of course further comment on it. So what follows is not an in-depth analysis of the Mojo interview but just a few quick points the Reverend would like to make.

After moving to England Iggy was briefly an art student, a Brighton mod and London scenester, dancing on Ready Steady Go! and hanging out with Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and the Stones.

This single sentence contains enough information to provide the Church with at least an entire trimester of articles.

Mod

Was Evelyn, as a mod, present at the seaside riots of May 1964? Wikipedia and the BBC write that over the Whitsun weekend (May 18 and 19, 1964), thousands of mods descended upon Margate, Broadstairs and Brighton to find that an inordinately large number of rockers had made the same holiday plans. The worst violence took place at Brighton, where fights lasted two days and moved along the coast to Hastings and back.

RSG!

This news made the Reverend's turned up nose turn up a bit more wanting to shout to the world: told you so! The Church has been hinting since day one that Ig had been dancing at RSG! but proof had never surfaced, until now.

Hanging out

Not only did Iggy meet Clapton, Hendrix and the Stones but according to her first interview (see: Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea) she also encountered the Beatles, the Who and Rod Stewart.

Syd, the pop star

“I didn't know Syd had been a pop star,” she insists, though she'd seen Pink Floyd at the UFO club and Alexandra Palace. One day after Iggy had been messing around on Syd's guitar he took the instrument from her and began playing. “It was the first time I'd heard or seen him to do this, and my mouth just dropped.”

This is not as contradictory as it seems. Mark Blake, who spoke to Iggy this week, further explains:

She asked me to clarify a couple of things: Iggy didn't make the connection between Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd because she saw so many groups, went to so many clubs, and knew so many musicians.
It was the '60s and these people were busy living their lives, with no idea that 40 years on a music magazine would be asking them such detailed questions about it. This is why it was a shock to her when he started playing the guitar at the flat.
Sometimes, it is tempting for people - including writers - to read too much into all this. Years later, when she watched the Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story documentary, she saw the footage of Syd "in his kaftan, chanting" (on Pow R Toc H [actually on Astronomy Domine, note by FA]) and remembered seeing him doing this at UFO. The memories came back. But she hadn't thought about all this for many many years.

Over the next few weeks the Church will of course try to reveal more about Iggy's flamboyant past and here are already some tidbits you can chew on for now.

Mick Rock pictures

Iggy doesn't have any snapshots of her and Syd, or any of his possessions. Unfortunately, she no longer has the photo she had of the two of them, which he tore in half.

We know for sure that Syd tore and/or scratched a few photos when Iggy left him, but not that she was aware of that. There is the scratched picture that Mick Rock published in his Psychedelic Renegades photo-book (see: When Syd met Iggy... (Pt. 3)) and a 'half-picture' is in the possession of Margaretta Barclay, published at the Church about a year ago: “This picture of Iggy was given to me by Syd but for some unknown reason she had been torn off it.” (see: Gretta Speaks (Pt. 2)).

Gigs & festivals

Iggy was at the Technicolour Dream "all 14 hours of it!" - and tried, but couldn't spot herself in the documentary DVD. Iggy was also at the Isle Of Wight festival in 1970, where she went with Twink of the Pink Fairies. She also attended the first Glastonbury Fayre (1971).

A new picture

And for those loyal fans who have been reading this article till the end, a small surprise. Apparently Evelyn isn't too happy with the picture that could be found in the latest Mojo. So she asked if we had any objections in publishing a new one. You bet we don't. Here it is.

Iggy 2011
Picture © Iggy 2011. Photograph taken by Amy-Louise.

The model

Just another rumour to end this post with. Recently Iggy did a photo-shoot with a photography student she knows, and if all goes well one of these shots could be used for the Mojo website interview as well.

The Church wishes to thank: Mark Blake, Mojo, Amy-Louise, Kieren and of course... ♥ Iggy ♥.

Sources: all news in this post is nicked from Mojo magazine and Mark Blake, including:
Late Night forum: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit
Late Night forum: Questions for Iggy
A Fleeting Glimpse forum: Syd's Iggy Found!


Mark Blake's interview with Iggy can be found at: Iggy The Eskimo Phones Home 

2011-01-21

EXCLUSIVE: The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo

Syd Barrett, The Madcap Laughs.
Syd Barrett, The Madcap Laughs.

Words: Mark Blake.
Pictures: Storm Thorgerson, Iggy Rose, Rank Organisation.
Date: 20 January 2011.
Previously published on mojo.com.

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?

Photographer Mick 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."

Iggy on Worthing Beach.
Relaxing on Worthing Beach, early '60s.

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.

Iggy at granny Takes A Trip,1967.
Iggy at Granny Takes A Trip, 1967.

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 at 29 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 Motown."

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 boyfriend?'"

Click here for Part 2


Previously published on mojo.com. Many thanks to Mark Blake for allowing us to host this article.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2011-01-22

Mojo Exclusive: The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo

Iggy 1978 (courtesy: Mojo magazine)
Iggy 1978 (courtesy: Mojo magazine).

Since yesterday, Mark Blake's 'director cut edition' of his Iggy interview can be found on the Mojo website. For those that are not 'in' let's recapitulate a bit.

Update August 2013: The articles are no longer on the Mojo website. Mark Blake allowed us to host them at the Church.

Somewhere in November 2010 the Church of Iggy the Inuit prophesied that a lucubrated (second) Iggy interview was in the make and that after other attempts had not always been successful. Basically Iggy had been scared off when she had been questioned – out of the blue - by a journalist, early 2010. Imagine that you have been living a quiet life for a couple of decades and suddenly someone pokes you in the stomach and urges you to start digging in a very far past, asking what you did on a particular April night in 1969. Then you find out that there is a lunatic on the cybergrass who has written over sixty articles about you. It would scare the hell out of this Reverend, I can assure you that.

Contradictory to yours truly, Mark Blake is reliable, loyal and, above all, discreet. He managed to regain Ig's confidence and they agreed to do an interview on her terms. Mojo 207 (February 2011 issue) had indeed the promised Iggy article on page 18, but... - let's not beat around the bush - we Iggy aluminati were a bit disappointed with its scarce content.

Once again the Church (accurately) predicted that the printed piece in Mojo was but a mere teaser for an expatiated article that would soon appear in cyberspace. And what an article that is! It contains some pretty unseen pictures and enough material to keep on adding comments on this blog for many, many months to come. The interview – the Reverend guarantees you - will be research material for all Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd biographies to come, not that the Church is really asking for new biographies, but that is entirely besides the point.

Iggy 1978 (exclusive to the Church)
Iggy 1978 (exclusive to the Church).

As is the habit with the Church the interview will only be commented upon after it has been around for a while, but it already needs to be said that Ig's words smash several of the Church's axioms to pieces. Normally a Church doesn't like to see its dogmas destroyed but here is what we call divine intervention.

To end this sermon, my loyal brethren and sistren, the Reverend ordains you to immediately leave the Church and not to come back until you have thoroughly consulted Mark Blake's The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo. The Church does not want to prejudice you. Read it first and we'll talk about it afterwards.

Oh and another thing... the above picture is an unpublished photograph of Iggy in the Seventies. The Reverend wishes to thank Iggy for her trust and confidence in us.

The Mark Blake Iggy tapes can be found at:
Iggy The Eskimo Phones Home (Mojo 207 article - hosted at the Church)
The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo - part 1 (hosted at the Mojo website Church, update August 2013)
The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo - part 2 (hosted at the Mojo website Church, update August 2013)

A very recent Iggy mug shot, exclusive for the Church: Iggy 2011 

The most recent Iggy articles are being discussed at:
Late Night forum: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit
Late Night forum: Questions for Iggy
A Fleeting Glimpse forum: Syd's Iggy Found!

Many thanks go to: Mark Blake, Mojo, Kieren and all those supportive Barrett friends at Late Night (more about them later, in a new post).


Mark Blake has just written a decent Queen biography: Is This The Real Life? The Untold Story Of Queen, Aurum Press Ltd - ISBN: 9781845135973. Of course you still check out his much acclaimed Pink Floyd biography, although it lacks a bit in the Iggy department [insert sardonic smiley here]: Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story Of Pink Floyd, Aurum Press Ltd - ISBN-10: 1845132610 / ISBN-13: 978-1845132613. (The Church is not affiliated with or endorsed by this company.)

2011-02-05

Reaction time

Iggy, Seventies
Iggy in the Seventies.

Prologue

Let's start with what you are all waiting for. At the left you find another unpublished picture, from the mid Seventies, Iggy was so friendly to mail us. The recent interviews at Mojo, probably the best music magazine in the world, by Mark Blake, probably the best music journalist in the world, has triggered a gentle snowfall of friendly reactions all over the web.

At night, before going to sleep, you notice but a few snowflakes falling down and you think: is this all? But the next morning the garden has been transformed in a peaceful white blanket only disturbed by the parallel stepping marks of a passing Lucifer Sam.

The Church has gathered some of these heartwarming reactions. Let's start with one from the city of light:

I’ve just read Mark Blake’s article and I am extremely moved to read Iggy’s words about those months with Syd in 1969 and extremely moved to see her on a brand new photo. She looks like an attractive lady.
Some elements are quite interesting : the fact that Syd wanted Iggy to be naked on the photos and the fact he decided not to smile on the photos are a great new perspective on that shooting.
Also the fact that she confirms she and him were together (which some people seemed to doubt about these latest years) is a lovely confirmation. And when she says he wasn't a dark-minded man and used to laugh a lot with her, this is so cute...
By the way, the article ends with Iggy saying she’s very flattered to discover she hasn’t been forgotten by everyone: what a pity we have no (mail) address to write a small message to her, to tell her that not only many of us hadn’t forgotten her at all but, on the contrary, her photos and especially the album sleeve have been part of our lives. (Taken from: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit @ Late Night.)

Questions for Iggy

The past year several questions have been submitted to be asked to Iggy, for the then unlikely event an interview would take place. Some of those have been asked by Mark Blake and were (partially) answered in the Mojo extended interviews:

I would just ask her what she remembers about Syd...
Dear Iggy, do you have anything of Syd's that I can have?
Did you think there was anything wrong with Syd mentally?
Do any particular discussions stand out for you... were they deep and philosophical, did you discuss current events or just what you needed at the market...
In his song "Dark Globe" Syd Barrett says: "I'm only a person with Eskimo chain". Do you think that is/could be a reference to you?
Maybe you have some personal photos/snapshots of Syd.
Was Syd violent towards you like he was with others girlfriends?
Were you at the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream at the Alexandra Palace? If yes could you tell us your impressions about that?
What do you think happened to Syd in 1967/1968?
What happened to you after you last saw Syd?
Would you prefer to be called Iggy or Evelyn?

Mark Blake added to this:

Off the top of my head, (…) Iggy doesn't have any snapshots of her and Syd, or any of his possessions (unfortunately, she no longer has the photo she had of the two of them, which he tore in half, mentioned in some of the books). She was at the Technicolour Dream '"all 14 hours of it!" - and tried but couldn't spot herself in the documentary DVD. She was also at the Isle Of Wight festival in 1970 (went with Twink of the Pink Fairies) and the first Glastonbury Fayre. (Taken from Questions for Iggy @ Late Night.)

People and places

The recent interviews show that Iggy met a lot of people and visited lots of places in Swingin' London. The Croydon Guardian and Mojo articles mention Brian Epstein, Brian Jones, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, Keith Richards, Rod Stewart & other assorted Beatles, Who and Rolling Stones. Oh yeah, and of course also a bloke named Syd Barrett.

The clubs she visited did not only include the Cromwellian, the Flamingo, the Orchid Ballroom, the Roaring Twenties and the Speakeasy, but in a mail to the Church Iggy also remembers other places like the Alexandra & Crystal Palace, Annabel's, Bag O'Nails, Embassy, Garrick & Hurlingham private clubs, Roundhouse (Chalk Farm), UFO, Marquee, Middle Earth, Tramps (Tramp Club?) and generally everything that was located in or around Carnaby Street. Needless to say that we try to look further into that for the next couple of months.

But after the many pages the Church and Mojo have dedicated to Evelyn, it is perhaps better to let Ig speak for herself. She send a long mail to the Church and we hope she doesn't mind that we will publish some of its heartwarming highlights here. Ig doesn't have an Internet account so the mail was written and send by a friend. The Church took the liberty of omitting some names and places.

Iggy wishes to express her thrill and excitement for putting this factual and honest portrayal of her and is enchanted by your unwavering interest. She is utterly flabbergasted of the magnitude of it all.
Many thanks to Mark Blake, for his perseverance and the genuine way he has cared for and protected Iggy.
Many thanks go to Ig's wonderful husband and to her most trusted and loyal friends [some deletions here by the Church] and Z., who was there for us right at the beginning by printing hundreds of pages on her computer.

But some old friends from the past haven't been forgotten either:

Iggy also feels the need to mention the charismatic Jeff Dexter, who has given so much of his precious time by always welcoming and receiving all her calls at all hours day and night.
Anthony Stern, Storm Thorgerson, Mick Rock, who created such amazingly beautiful images. To debonair Nigel Waymouth and the extraordinary couple Pete and Sue.
Many thanks and good love for the wonderfully exquisite description of Iggy. She is totally overwhelmed and humbled by the delightful memories of her.
Much love,
Iggy

Vintage groupies

Reading the pages that a good friend had printed for her, Iggy got hold of the Vintage Groupies website that also dedicated some space to her. She asked the Church:

Felix, would you do me a really big favour and contact vintage groupies (little queenies) to express my gratitude to all the lovely people who left all the nice comments about me.
Love from Iggy.

Immediately after it had been published several reactions arrived:

Wow, thanks so much Felix for the message, please tell to Iggy thanks so much from Little Queenies :)
This is so great, she is so kind to think about us :)
Warm regards to her and to you Felix
Elia & Violeta, Barcelona, Spain
Its wonderful, to hear from her.
Dancas
So amazing! Thank you so much for not only sharing the interviews but relaying the message to us here at Vintage groupies! So fantastic.
Lynxolita
Iggy now (photo: Chris Lanaway)
Iggy, 2011 (photo: Chris Lanaway).

Iggy the Eskimo 2011 photo shoot
by Chris Lanaway

The Mojo article had a recent Iggy picture, taken by Chris Lanaway. A second picture has recently turned up at his Tumblr account. Chris writes:

Here is a teaser from a recent series which will be viewable soon: Iggy the Eskimo.

A hi-res version of the picture in question can be found here.

This article has nearly ended, and we pass the word to Anne from Paris who passed us a letter for Evelyn:

Dear Iggy,
Because you told Mark (Blake) that you were surprised and flattered to discover that so many persons were interested in you (and I'd even say that they're your fans!), I want to tell you that many of us have got a great tenderness for you; you've been part of our lives during decades and were at the same time a magnificent mystery and a flesh and blood woman in Syd's life, two good reasons not to be able to forget you!
Of course, the fact that in these latest years, a great deal of beautiful photos of you appeared just increased the admiration and fascination about you.
I hope that the affection, admiration and fascination that many of us have been feeling towards you warm you up and that you'll stay in touch with us in any way you want ("us" means Felix, Mark, Syd's fans and even maybe, one day, the organization around Syd's memory in Cambridge).
Needless to say that not only was it a great relief and a great joy that you were found again last year, but it's also a great joy now to see new photos of you.
Friendly regards.
Anne (Paris, France)
(I've got the "Madcap laughs" since 1988, I was 17 then)

From an entirely different continent comes the following:

It was really nice to know that you are around and OK. My happiness is enormous! I’ve just loved your recent interviews and pictures. You are indeed a beautiful person! I hope you share with us some of your views and stories on those fabled years that influenced the cultural paradigms in so many ways and in so many countries. I wish you the best with all my heart.
Peace and Love,
Dan, Ottawa, Canada

And...

HI. My name is Griselda. I just wanted to say I am a big fan of Iggy. When I saw on your website that she was going to be on Mojo Magazine, I was so excited. I can't imagine how you felt!
You may find it strange that a 19 year old girl is so interested in Evelyn, but I really think she was a wonderful model. The pictures taken by Anthony Stern are really beautiful. She was such a free spirit, living in the moment. I think most models today are so polished up, their too skinny, or try to change their looks as much as possible to look like Barbies or something. That's why I love Iggy so much because she was a natural beauty, and she didn't have to try hard to look wonderful in pictures.
Take Care.
Griselda, USA

Space girl

The Mojo (extended) interview ends with an excited Iggy who phones Mark Blake out of the blue.

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 l’espace.'...it goes. I never believed anyone would ever write a poem for me."

Although the professor actually lives in Manitoba, Canada, where the temperature descended to a blistering minus 41 degrees in January, the news arrived to him. Probably by sledge-dog express, driven by – who else? – an Eskimo.

In the summer of 2006 Denis Combet wrote a collection of poems as a tribute to the musician and painter Roger Keith Barrett who passed away in Cambridge on the 7th of July 2006. The poems highlight the life of the young artist as a nonconformist who preferred – or was forced – to withdraw from the music world for a more humble existence. They were published (in an English translation) in the online magazine Ecclectica of February 2007.

The Church got the permission to pick an Iggy dedicated poem out of the collection, not only in English, but also the original French version, that had never been published before: From Quetesh to Bastet / De Quétesh à Bastet .

Unfortunately these poems never went into print, because of the high cost involved for publishing poetry, that often sells no more than a few dozen of copies. But miracles sometimes do happen and hopefully we might read more from Denis Combet in the near future.

Epilogue

In the next post the Church will probably give a detailed analysis of the latest Iggy interviews, until then, sistren and brethren. We leave the last word to Anne from Paris:

I don’t think Iggy's mystery will be over from now on;
I do think the mystery that comes out of her photos in the 60’s just cannot die.

The Church wishes to thank: Anne, Dan, Dancas, Denis, Ela & Violetta (Little Queenies), Griselda, Jenny, Kieren, Lynxolita, Mark, Zoe, Late Night, Mojo magazine & Vintage Groupies and all others who commented and contributed.

Last but not least: ♥ Iggy ♥ and her loyal friends who pass her messages to and fro.


The Mark Blake Iggy tapes can be found at:
Iggy The Eskimo Phones Home (Mojo 207 article - hosted at the Church)
The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo - part 1 (hosted at the Mojo website Church, update August 2013)
The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo - part 2 (hosted at the Mojo website Church, update August 2013)


2011-02-20

Give birth to a smile...

Smiling Iggy.
Smiling Iggy.

The Church of Iggy the Inuit may not have as many adherers as, let's say: the Lady Gaga fanclub, but we're quite happy with it. Iggy (Evelyn) has earned a place in our hearts and that not only for that COD (Crusty Old Dinosaur) of a Reverend. It constantly amazes us that - even today - young people still discover Ig's beauty and joyfulness, as proven in the following letter:

Dear Iggy,
Thank you for the wonderful interview and for the lovely new photos you shared with us. It was really endearing of you to talk about your relationship with Syd. It was nice to hear you guys had a wonderful time together. It was really nice on your part to also share your experiences during those days; the people you met and the places and festivals you attended.
I would also like to say you still and always will be a beautiful model to me. I love all your beautiful pictures, (you look like a beautiful princess with the white dress) and the short film clips we have of you on the web. You truly are a fun and lovely person.
Thanks again for opening your heart to us and I wish you the best in life
Griselda, California, USA

When the lady smiles

Yesterday the Reverend came across her unforgettable smile again that has been immortalised in a Look At Life documentary from 1967 called: IN Gear. An unconfirmed story goes that Granada Television burned about 500 Look At Life originals (and negatives) at a certain point in history. Luckily several (restored) movies have been issued on DVD recently, although it could be that some documentaries have been lost forever. Nobody really knows really. But the IN Gear movie is still available on the Swingin' London DVD, while the stock lasts, as the company that distributed them did the indecent thing of going bankrupt. (More to read at: Iggy Goes Shopping.)

Syd Barrett, taken by Iggy
Syd Barrett, taken by Iggy.

Not only the Reverend is susceptible to her laugh, also a kid named Syd Barrett kinda liked her. One spring-day in 1969 Mick Rock and Storm Thorgerson knocked at Syd's door to take the pictures that would later adorn The Madcap Laughs. A lot has been said about this photo-shoot, also at the Church, and it is the Reverend's impression that the truth still hasn't fully emerged, mainly due to the fact that both photographers have slightly different memories about it all and are, still after all these years, arguing like young boys to make out who has the biggest one. (It was then that the Pink Floyd composed their track: Careful with that Pentax, Eugene). But be cognisant, brethren and sistren, that no storm will stop the Church and that the Reverend will leave no rock unturned. (More to read at: Storm Rock Pictures.)

Enough dilly-dallying Syd Barrett thought that day, let's take those pictures and let's get on with it. Iggy, feet still dirty from the freshly painted floor, was there to help him:

I put the Kohl around his eyes that day and tousled his hair: Come on Syd, give us a smile, moody, moody, moody! But he knew exactly what he was doing.

Indeed, Syd Barrett put himself into Arthur Rimbaud mood and refused to smile on the pictures. With hindsight one could link that to the title of his first solo-album, only that album didn't have a title yet and most of the tracks still had to be canned. After a while the action was moved to the outside, probably at Mick Rock's demand. Several of these pictures, with Syd and Ig, have appeared in Rock's Psychedelic Renegades book and some can be consulted at our Street Life gallery, although it needs to be said that the Church has done its utmost best to remove that Syd Barrett character from the pictures and to put Iggy at its focal point.

It is also believed that Storm Thorgerson joined the lot and that he took the few colour pictures that have survived us into the third millennium. In a previous post the Church discussed these (and all other) pictures of The Madcap Laughs: A Bay of Hope (2009, already!)

Syd Smiles!
Syd Smiles!

Gentle ladies take Polaroids

One of the outside colour pictures (to be found on some versions of the vinyl compilation A Nice Pair) show Syd Barrett with a broad smile as if his serious mask had finally been shattered to pieces. Who or what had penetrated his defence barrier?

When this picture was discussed a while ago at the Late Night forum Dominae suggested:

I'm almost certain it is from a Polaroid. I wonder if Iggy took it? It's so rare to see a broad smile. (Taken from Photo Upgrade at Late Night.)

But this proposition was almost immediately abandoned as being a lot of rubbish, until on Valentine Day of this year, Iggy told the Church through Mark Blake:

Yes, it was me that took the picture of Syd smiling in the street.

Two days later she added some further explanations:

Well spotted Dominae. I was the one who took the picture. I think Mick Rock handed me the Polaroid. I remember squealing with delight when the photo appeared. It was the first time I had seen a Polaroid.

Also her encouragements towards Syd to finally break into a smile ("Come on Syd, give us a smile, moody, moody, moody!") was probably uttered on the street with the Polaroid in her hand and not above in the flat, as she previously told Mark Blake. Her softly spoken magic spells had finally laser-beamed through Syd's defence shield and Mick Rock turned the magical moment into some portraits where the mad-cat really laughed (see Psychedelic Renegades, page 33) .

But this still doesn't account for the fact how on earth this photo ended up at the Hipgnosis archives (together with quite a few Mick Rock prints). Perhaps the Polaroid belonged to Storm Thorgerson as Mick Rock only had a second-hand 35mm camera that he had bought from Po (Aubrey Powell). Nothing to get worried about now, but it might be a sweet revenge to know that for decades, people thought they had been looking at Syd Barrett: taken by Storm, while it really was: Syd Barrett, taken by Iggy.

Update 2011 02 21: the quite exquisite (but hyper-expensive) Barrett coffee-table book will have some Storm Thorgerson outtakes of The Madcap Laughs photo-shoot as well. Dark Globe already had an exclusive preview of this work and commented:

This [solo years, note by FA] section starts with a brace of very rare photos from the 'Madcap Laughs' session taken by Storm Thorgerson. These were taken at the same session which is documented in Mick Rock's 'Psychedelic Renegades' book and most of them haven't been seen before. Perhaps the best of the lot is the one of Syd sitting on the painted floorboards and smiling broadly (perhaps at Iggy?) (Taken from: The 'Barrett' book - a preview.)

Stand by me

Before we end our sermon, dear sistren and brethren, just another thing. Last year the Church suggested that Iggy could possibly be found on a John Lennon portrait that was taken during a party at the Cromwellian in January 1967. To know the outcome, please follow the guide and head your browsers towards the following path: Dr Death and other assorted figures...

And for the meantime, don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't do.


The Church wishes to thank:
Mark Blake, Dark Globe, Dominae, Griselda and the beautiful people at Late Night.
♥ Iggy ♥


2011-03-13

The Mighty Queen

Eskimo Rose.
Eskimo Rose.

In January of this year Mojo published a (way too short) Mark Blake article about Iggy, who – in the Sixties - was metonymically but erroneously described as an Eskimo. There is a realistic chance that this blog, politically correct named the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, would never have seen the light of day if Iggy had been nicknamed something else.

Titled SYD BARRETT'S ENIGMATIC COVER COMPANION CLEARS UP SOME QUERIES the article actually added to the mystery, although Mark Blake is, of course, not to blame: Iggy is just mysterious by nature. And the more we find out, the more mysterious it gets.

The Church was erected for just that, to reveal the enigma behind an enigmatic woman but now that Evelyn has stepped into Mark Zuckerberg's limelight the Church has made a deliberate step backwards. Let it be known that the Church will be discreet about present Evelyn. She is not Truman Burbank and it is none of our business what she had for breakfast this morning anyway (bacon butties and a steaming hot cup of tea, if you wanna know, and the Reverend had some croissants and a cup of coffee).

Mark Blake also published an extended 'director's cut' of his interview and now the time for the Church has come to comment, amend or append on some of his poignant paragraphs. We will be cruel and ruthless although the reader should realise that above every line a virtual 'Well done, Mark Blake!' Church sign is blinking. A bit like this:

Well done, Mark Blake!

NME 1037

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. (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 3)
Mark Blake
Mark Blake.

Mark gives the Reverend too many credits here. The Church mainly rips other people's ideas (not an uncommon practice with Churches, although they mostly prefer to rip other people's wallets) and the November 26, 1966 New Musical Express Iggy picture was not discovered by the Church. The scan was already floating around on the web. Neptune Pink Floyd, for instance, published it in November 2006, two years before the Church started.

However the Church did trace a copy of that particular NME, hoping there would be some extra news about Evelyn, but to our regret Iggy is not mentioned at all in the accompanying text (several scans of NME 1037 can be found in our gallery).

The Croydon Guardian

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". (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 4)

Time to pull the plug of that 'Well done, Mark Blake!' sign above we're afraid, as The Croydon Guardian was informed by none other than the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.

After the Church was informed that Iggy had been a regular visitor of The Orchid in Purley the Reverend googled and found two Croydon Guardian articles about the dance hall: In dance hall days (9th August 2006) and We remember the Orchid (29th August 2006).

The Church contacted Brian Roote, a historian from the Bourne Society who had been researching the history of the Orchid, but without success. Journalist Kerry McQueeney, author of the Orchid articles, passed the Church mail to Kirsty Whalley, editor of the Croydon Guardian Heritage pages. She replied the Church on the third September of 2008:

We would like to feature this story in the newspaper next week and hopefully it will prompt a few people to call in.
Kirsty Whalley
Kirsty Whalley.

Kirsty Whalley also asked the Church for a decent Iggy picture and here is what the Reverend answered:

Probably the best way to get an (unpublished) picture of Iggy is to contact Anthony Stern (former boyfriend of Iggy in 1966) who made a movie with her that will be shown on The City Wakes festival in Cambridge, so more than 40 years after it was filmed. (Taken from: Visitor at Orchid Ballroom - 1965 – 1967, mail to Kirsty Whalley, 3 September 2008 22:04.)

Kirsty Whalley took the information, given by the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, to heart (probably the first time in the Reverend’s entire career that a woman actually listened to his advice) and interviewed Anthony Stern who also donated a previous unpublished picture of Evelyn, just like the Church had predicted. She then did an excellent job by contacting Jeff Dexter (or perhaps Jeff Dexter contacted her after having spoken to Anthony Stern) and wrote a damn fine article: Where did she go? 

It took over a year for someone to 'call in', because in February 2010 Kirsty Whalley published the very first Iggy interview in 40 years that even took the Church by surprise (see: Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea). What the Reverend doesn't understand though is why the Croydon Guardian journalist doesn't like to be reminded that it was the Church who gave her the scoop. So no pretty blinking Church sign for you, Kirsty!

From Dieppe to Delhi

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. (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 7)
Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten.
Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten.

Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, born in 1900 and killed by an IRA bomb in 1979, was destined to pursue a glorious military career. Like so many of his aristocratic peers this career was not per se based on actual military performances but on the amount of names he had been given at birth. After a military débâcle at Dieppe in 1942, where 3,623 out of 6,086 soldiers, mostly Canadians, were either killed, wounded, or captured by the Germans, Mountbatten was given a new military playground as Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Command. The Dieppe raid (unauthorised by the general staff) provoked a schism between the Canadian and British army leaders during the second world war and the mistrust would linger on for decades to come.

In 1947 Mountbatten was nominated Viceroy and Governor-General of India and his principal task was to lead India (separated from Pakistan) in a peaceful way towards independence. This lead to one of the bloodiest massacres the subcontinent has ever seen. Muslims fled from India to Pakistan, Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan to India and about 500,000 people lost their lives in the process (death toll numbers vary from 200,000 to a million).

Up the Khyber

"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. (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 7)

In the night of 14 to 15 August 1947 India and Pakistan officially separated from London and because this had been supervised so well by Mountbatten, he was entitled to another promotion. From now on he could add the title of Governor-General of India on his business card. In other words: Mountbatten was now the de facto monarch of the new state.

Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten
Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten.

Lucky there was still his wife, Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten. Her part-time job was to visit the refugee camps her husband was so kind to fill up and to hump India's prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, although there are some biographers who maintain that their relationship was purely platonic.

But enough politics. Around that time Iggy's father, posted in Pakistan, went for an evening stroll in the Himalaya's where his spell of leave soon developed in a spell of love. It is believed that in March 1947 the couple did exchange something more than friendly kisses. The Church always believed that Iggy was somewhat older than Syd Barrett (see: When Syd met Iggy), but this new evidence shows she is nearly two years younger than him (and, should this be of any interest to anyone, both Syd and Ig were born on a Sunday).

If Ig attended school in Pakistan, the family must have been there until early 1950. Although the country was independent several hundred of British officers stayed in Pakistan until the Pakistan army had enough officers to take care of its own. There was a 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment at Rawalpindi (Pakistan), with Indian bases at Amritsar, Calcutta, Jhansi, Jullunder (Jalandhar) and Lahore (Pakistan) but the Church's research couldn't link Ig's father to this battalion. The Wiltshire Regiment left the Indias in October 1947, but her father stayed in Pakistan for a couple of years longer.

Map of Aden
Map of Aden.

The garden of Aden

It is not that weird either that the family was dispatched to Aden. Before 1937 Aden was an (overseas) part of British India and after that it became a separate British Crown colony, much to the enjoyment of philatelists from all over the world. It would stay under British reign until 1963 and in 1967 it was absorbed by the People's Republic of South Yemen.

Kids could go to the Khormaksar primary and secondary school (close to the RAF airport base), but there was the (Roman-Catholic) Good Shepherd Convent School for girls as well, the Isthmus School and the Selim Girl's School that was badly damaged in the anti-Semitic pogroms from 1947.

There are quite a few blogs and forums about Aden with hundreds of pictures of the fifties and sixties, but the Reverend couldn't find Iggy back, yet. The Mojo article has a picture from Ig at Worthing Beach, in the early Sixties, so around 1963 they may have returned to England.

London Underground

In January 1969 Iggy met Syd, thanks to their common friend Jenny Spires. The outside world didn't always realise that Ig and Syd became an item. Ig was unaware that Syd had been a pop star, but then one day:

He [Syd] 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 boyfriend?'" (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 12)

This may have happened in the weekend of 12 and 13 April 1969 after Malcolm Jones and Syd had started working on the new album:

During the tea break we discussed going back to some of the songs started the previous year, in particular 'Golden Hair', and perhaps 'Late Night' although the original version of that had been destroyed, it seemed. We returned to the studio and started work on another new song, 'Terrapin'. In one take Syd laid down a guitar and vocal track that was to be the master! At my suggestion Syd double tracked his vocal part, and that was it!

One day Syd Barrett disappeared from the flat and Iggy, in a jealous mood, fearing he was seeing another woman, tracked down her friend in David Gilmour's appartment, just a few blocks away.

"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..." (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 2, paragraph 3)

Here is again an excellent opportunity to grab the Church's copies of Glenn Povey's 'Echoes' and David Parker's 'Random Precision'. According to David Parker Barrett had his last recording session with Malcolm Jones on the 3rd and 4th of May, while the David Gilmour sessions started a month later (see our 1969 calendar). On the 6th of May however 'a set of rough mixes' of the album was made, presumably to be handed over to Gilmour (and Waters), who had promised to finalise the album (it is significant that on that tape Opel, Swan Lee and Rhamadan are still present).

But probably Barrett, Jones, Gilmour and Waters had been discussing about all this before. The Church has always believed that Iggy left Syd somewhere in April and up till now Ig's visit to Gilmour's apartment fits nicely into that scheme.

Mark Blake wisely deducts the scratched record has to be 'More'. More was released on Friday, the 13th of June 1969, but of course Gilmour may have had a copy some weeks before. Another, but more unlikely, candidate is 'Ummagumma'. Although only released in November the Floyd had already been recording some pieces for this album in January and February, together with the 'More' sessions, so perhaps Gilmour and Barrett could've listened to an acetate instead. And of course the live tracks of that album must have been circulating amongst the band members as well.

But there is still another possibility. Margaretta Barclay told the Church she has a postcard sent to her and Ig at Wetherby Mansions in June 1969 so perhaps Ig's departure took place after More had been officially released (see: Gretta Speaks 2).


Notes (other than internet links mentioned above):
Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p. 139-158.
Jones, Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p. 7.
Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 104-112.

The Church wishes to thank: Adenairways.com, Mark Blake, Jenny Spires, Natashaa' and the beautiful people at Late Night.
♥ Iggy ♥


2011-04-10

Iggy at the Exhibition

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 Generation, London.

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 drool...

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:

Iggy

Iggy
(picture courtesy and © A Fleeting Glimpse)

Libby Gausden and Iggy

Libby and Iggy
(picture courtesy and © Paul Drummond), this image may not be published without the permission of its owner.)

John "Hoppy" Hopkins and Iggy

Hoppy and Iggy
(picture courtesy and © Jimmie James)

Iggy and Andy Rose

Iggy and Andy Rose
(picture courtesy and © Jimmie James.)

Ian Barrett, Iggy and Captain Sensible

Ian Barrett, Iggy and Captain Sensible
(picture picture courtesy and © Captain Sensible)

Duggie Fields and Iggy

Duggie Fields and Iggy
(picture picture courtesy and © Jenny Spires)

Brian Wernham and Iggy

Brian Wernham and Iggy
(picture courtesy Brian Wernham, photographer unknown)

Iggy having some fun with the paparazzi

Iggy Superstar
(pictures courtesy and © Red Carpet)

Where is Iggy?
and who else can you recognise on this picture?

Flower People
(picture courtesy and © sydbarrettbook)

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 Cambridge."

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.

It was a night of Happy Talk indeed.


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 ♥


2011-04-15

Rockadolly

What a strange few weeks it has been. A new Barrett book was launched with a big Syd exhibition in London, attended by the crème de la crème of the Cambridge mafia, freewheeling dharma buns, madcap mad cats, Sydney fans, look-alikes and collectors, Late Night friends, the odd blurry rock star, unfortunately no Reverend and at least one thief, but more of that later.

Iggy by Dolly Rocker
Iggy by Dolly Rocker.

Syd Barrett | Art and Letters

The Barrett book, that the Church still has to savor in detail, but like Romeo thought he ought to do with Julia, the Reverend is waiting till the time is ripe, is indebted to (amongst others) eternal goddesses Libby Gausden and Jenny Spires, whose presence radiated through the vernissage.

Mount Olympus is a place filled with many splendors. For many it was an unsurpassed surprise when Iggy appeared, like Ayesha out a pillar of fire, leaving a trail of buzzed excitement wherever she went. She said: "Captain?" and he sensibly said: "Wot!" dragging Ian Barrett over to have their picture taken. Red carpet paparazzi asked her to do the famous Iggy pose and fans wanted her to autograph the Barrett book although she has, strictly speaking, nothing to do with the book at all. (Several pictures of Iggy at the IG (!) Gallery can be found at the appropriately titled post: Iggy at the Exhibition.)

Barrett, the book

There isn't really a trace of Iggy in the Barrett book, apart from the well known Madcap back cover shot that has been reproduced on page 178, but pages 114 to 121 contain a few outtakes of The Madcap Laughs photo sessions, wrongly dated as Beecher & Shutes maintain they were taken in autumn 1969. Probably autumn 1969 was when a second photo session by Storm Thorgerson took place, the so-called yoga shots that have already been discussed extensively on this place before (see, for instance: The Case of the Painted Floorboards).

Iggy revealed to Mark Blake that, on the same day, there was an alternative photo session as well:

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. (Taken from: The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 2)

But despite some discrete investigations nothing so far nothing has been unearthed, yet.

La Gazza Ladra

That not all Syd Barrett fans are trustworthy holy men proves the following story.

Last Saturday, 9th of April, a self-portrait of the artist as a young man (page 187 in the Barrett book) was stolen from the Idea Generation Gallery between 2:15 and 3 PM. It belonged to Libby Gausden since 1962, who had received the painting as a present from her boyfriend Syd and who had lend it to the exhibition to commemorate the Barrett book-launch.

In a short press release Libby stated that she was devastated: “I am very upset at the theft of the painting, it has huge personal value to me and I am appealing for its safe return.”

For once the Barrett and Pink Floyd community reacted unisono, fans and foes all alike condemned the theft and promised to be on the lookout for the painting and to return it immediately to Libby if it would show up.

And the improbable did happen. On Tuesday, the 12th, the painting was brought back to the gallery which provoked the following dry comment from Libby (once she had finished jumping up and down in the air): “'I'd give it to you if I could - but I 'borrowed' it.”

Miracles do happen from time to time.

Iggy Fandom

Iggy has been a source of inspiration through the ages: Anthony Stern, Storm Thorgerson, Mick Rock... and it will never change. The fantastic drawing at the top of this post has been made by Dolly Rocker from Buenos Aires, proving that we are all Eskimos in our hearts. Thanks Gaby!


Beecher, Russell & Shutes, Will: Barrett, Essential Works Ltd, London, 2011.
The Church wishes to thank: Mark Blake, Libby Gausden Chisman, Dolly Rocker, Jenny Spires and the beautiful people at Late Night and Facebook.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2012-01-15

The Case of the Painted Floorboards (v 2.012)

Syd Barrett, Mick Rock
Syd Barrett tinbox, by Mick Rock.

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 truth.

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:

Did you understand the music Yoko?
Or was it all in vain?
(5.01 AM, The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking)

and,

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 To Death),

...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.

Venetta Fields & Carlena Williams, 1975 (courtesy of A Fleeting Glimpse).
Venetta Fields & Carlena Williams, 1975 (courtesy of A Fleeting Glimpse).

Remembering Games

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 Gilmour, Nick 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 Blackberries
John Leckie, EMI engineer and producer (but not on Wish You Were Here)
Nick Sedgwick, friend of Roger Waters and 'official' biographer of Pink Floyd
Jerry 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...

(For those interested there is a Syd Barrett visits the Wish You Were Here sessions bit at the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit as well: Wish You Were... but where exactly?)

Iggy outtake (Mick Rock)
Iggy outtake by Mick Rock.

Amnesydelicate Matters

In his most recent, but probably not his last, picture book about Syd Barrett Mick 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 durability.

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 and Hipgnosis, perhaps even leading to an alternative Storm Thorgerson photo shoot (the so-called yoga pictures). But in the end it was decided to use the daffodils session from spring.

JenS convinced the Church that the Madcap photo shoot took place in the first quarter of the year 1969. Most is dispersed on several articles throughout the years but the following posts give a digest of what probably happened: When Syd met Iggy... (Pt. 2), Rock - Paper - Scissors, The Case of the Painted Floorboards.

In My Room (Mojo)
In My Room (Mojo).

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 wasn't there."

JenS (When 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 different friends."

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 to record..."

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 on Facebook.
Jenny Spires on Facebook.

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 pretty accurate.

JenS (Addenda and Errata with Gala and Gretta): "Gala was not there (early 1969, FA). She moved in later hooking up with Syd in May or June."

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.)

Still Life with stereo, tape recorder and pot of paint
Still Life with stereo, tape recorder and pot of paint.

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 and turquoise."

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 released."

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."

Mick Rock (Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs - The Mick Rock Photo-Sessions): "There had been no discussion about money at all. Later on I did get a very minor payment but it couldn't have been more than 50£ and I don't know if it came from Syd or EMI."

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."


MP3 link: Duggie Fields.

Jenny Fabian (Days In The Life):: "He'd painted every other floor board alternate colours red and green."

Iggy outtake (Mick Rock)
Iggy outtake by Mick Rock.

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, see above.)

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 on Facebook
Jenny Spires on Facebook.

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 shine through.

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 shots."

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.

You have been reading a sequel of The Case of the Painted Floorboards. Two new - previously unpublished - Mick Rock pictures have been added to the Bare Flat gallery.

♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2012-07-07


2012-09-28

Iggy - a new look in festivals

National Jazz and Blues Festival, 1967
National Jazz and Blues Festival, 1967.

The inhabitants of the distant planet Tralfamadore have a phrase, the laity equivalent of the earthly inshallah that goes like this: So it goes. The saying is a combination of fatalism, stoicism and acceptance, usually for when a bad thing happens, without giving a moral or religious judgement to the incident itself.

One night, drunk, we were having a race with a friend who owned a car. A famous roundabout outside Cambridge at the end of the Hauxton half-mile, ten miles out of town. We gave this guy a big start. Then Syd and I climbed on my old Norton motorcycle. I drove as fast as I could to this roundabout and back. As we drove into the front drive of his mother’s house, as he was getting off the back tire went bang! A puncture, a big split in the rear tyre. Only by a hair’s breadth did Pink Floyd ever exist at all. Syd and I could so easily have been killed. (Roger Waters, Bogotá, 2007)

So it goes.

The most ardent Syd Barrett fans will probably be very angry (again!) at Roger Waters for nearly killing Syd, not realizing that if Roger had succeeded in finishing off his friend (and probably himself as well in the process) there would have been no Syd Barrett, nor Pink Floyd, fans to begin with. On the other hand, we would never have had the Roger Waters album Amused To Death, nor any other of his solo stinkers, so here is valid proof that there is some sense of a meta-physical equilibrium in the universe.

The 1967 National Jazz, Pop, Ballads and Blues Festival

genuine NJBF invitation, but with a fake name
Genuine NJBF invitation, but with a fake name.

In August 1967 a three days music festival took place at the Royal Windsor Racecourse, also known among the locals as the Balloon Meadow. In 1961 the festival had been called National Jazz Festival, but the organisation kept on adding music genres to the title to reflect the musical changes that took place in Britain. Four years later the festival was named the National Jazz and Blues Festival and the 1967 edition listened to the slightly overinflated National Jazz, Pop, Ballads and Blues Festival. Frankly, for this reason alone, it's a good thing the festival never survived into the nineties or they would have needed 99-cm-long tickets.

In 1967 jazz had become a small part of the bill with afternoon gigs only and in the evening the festival had become a de-facto popular music jukebox with a rather impressive list of groovy bands who got between 20 to 30 minutes to present their case, the only exception the top act who got an abundant 45 minutes. Not that weird, because the director of the NJPB&B festival was none other than Harold Pendleton, owner of the legendary Marquee club and director of the National Jazz Federation. Bands that were considered hot and had shown their popularity in the club came on the short-list for the festival and one example is the Belgian power-trio Adam's Recital who only gave us one excellent single and then disappeared.

As such it was no surprise that The Pink Floyd had conquered the second best place on the line-up of Saturday 12 August, leaving the top of the bill to Paul Jones of Manfred Mann fame (who was booed off the stage), but beating Zoot Money, Arthur Brown, Amen Corner and 10 Years After in the race.

The festival was not entirely unbespoken, as usual there were the traditional jazz lovers who moaned that their jazz festival wasn't a real jazz festival any more and had sold out to those dreadful pop-bands. But the blues and rock fans also complained about the 1000 Watts experimental WEM hi-fi installation that fell out during several concerts and was inadequate to give the rock fans the volume they needed. On top of that the posh neighbours of the Balloon Meadow had issued a complaint, leading to the arrest of Charlie Watkins of WEM (Watkins Electric Music), and in order to continue with the festival the volume had to be turned down, despite the crappy PA system.

A host of guitarists like Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and David O'List, had their sound reduced to a near pathetic level. (Melody Maker)

The Lovely Ones

For many visitors from the country this was their first encounter with hippies who could only be found in their London ghetto. One photographer commented:

The Lovely Ones
The Lovely Ones.
All those lovely, beautiful people. With their John Lennon spectacles and Scott McKenzie moustaches. And their garlands of flowers; their cowbells; and their joss sticks. So lovely... dressed in mum's tablecloth and the front room curtains. So lovely with their talk of peace... and their skip-like walk over the grass. This was not a love-in, or particularly a gathering of hippies, though they were there in their hundreds.

And amongst the flower girls one particular specimen stood out, she was (and still is) a true goddess of psychedelia and Pink Floyd fans amicably know her as Iggy the Eskimo.

Iggy the Eskimo Pocahontas

Last year Iggy Rose confided to the Holy Church that there were still some unseen pictures of her, hidden in music magazine archives, waiting to be unearthed:

I had teamed up with a photographer who was freelancing for all the top music papers. He fled his native motherland when Communist Russia invaded what was once Great Britain [Note from FA: Afghanistan?].

Anyway he lived in Earls Court, at the gay end and he didn't have a clue who cared. He was my protector and provider and took thousands of the most stunning pics. He introduced me to top agents, Ready Steady Go and took me to the first Glastonbury festival and the Isle of Wight.

He would always take pictures of me as well. I wish I could remember which festival or what music paper where he had got me on the front page, but I do remember I had plaits and a band round my forehead... I looked like Pocahontas, the red Indian squaw.

Later on he introduced me to top modelling agencies and trendy photographers. I even got to meet the great David Puttman for a Camay soap TV-ad where I was lying in a bath with lots of bubbles. We spent ages in his office giggling and laughing while he tried to apologise. I was the wrong type as the soap company was looking for big blue-eyed blondes like Twiggy or Jean [Shrimpton].

Unfortunately most of the Iggy Rose pictures have disappeared through the years, including those that were in her property. S, a rock star she was hanging out with at the time, 'was one of the many people who destroyed hundreds of my photos' and in an unfortunate freaky incident a suitcase with her personal belongings was tossed over the railings of a ship crossing the North Sea. One of the mythical lost photo sessions are an intimate set from her with Syd Barrett, perhaps taken by a photographer other than Mick Rock and Storm Thorgerson, around the time that also The Madcap Laughs cover-shoot took place.

So it goes.

And the chance that the picture of Iggy as Pocahontas would ever show up was close to zero.

Then a miracle happened that could only take place in our global village.

The Phi Factor

On the 25th of August the Church received a message from PhiPhi Chavana (Hong Kong) that she had found a new Iggy pic in a 1967 magazine that was auctioned on eBay. The Music Maker magazine of October 1967 belonged to retro68special from Sydney (Australia) who was selling his wide collection of sixties and seventies film, video, vinyl, books, zines, comics, memorabilia and ephemera...

Retro68special had scanned 16 out of the 52 pages magazine, including a big centrefold of a flower power girl who looked unmistakably like Iggy. Discreet investigations were undertaken to see if the girl on the picture was Ig and on the first of September we received confirmation it was her indeed: "...those beads left great big dents in my forehead ;)".

Music Maker
Music Maker, October 1967.

Musik Maker

Music Maker was a short-lived music magazine that ran from September 1966 till December 1967. As a monthly offshoot from the Melody Maker stable it was edited by Jack Hutton and Bob Houston and more interested in jazz, folk and serious popular music than in those weird psychedelic fiddlings. It clearly used a more adult style than its weekly counterparts, giving full credits to the authors of the articles, but alas, not to the people who took the pictures.

The October 1967 issue that was on sale has in-depth interview with and articles about: Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, Brian Epstein, Hank, Thad & Elvin Jones, Stan Kenton, Lulu, Frank Zappa and a photo-journalistic impression of the National Jazz and Blues Festival, with a text written by Chris Welch.

WINDSOR-A NEW LOOK IN FESTIVALS (Chris Welch)

Flower Power hit this year’s National ]azz and Blues Festival at Windsor in August like a reinforced concrete daisy.

Hippies completely replaced the familiar beatniks of yesteryear. Beads and bells ousted duffle coats and cider jugs.

Both groups and audience alike adopted colourful, inventive clothes-kaftans, scarves and brilliantly hued trousers and jackets.

As hippies seek free expression in music and general activities, so they seek freedom of dress, and only the dullards of society can feel resentment at their massive break with convention.

“But they are being conventional-they all dress the same”, one can almost hear the dullards whining.

Not true. While businessmen desperately trail the hippies to their lairs to cash in on whatever trend may be showing on the surface, your real hippy is always one jump ahead and trying to be original and creative.

Many of the groups at Windsor were still playing the old soul and Carnaby Street groove, but there were several representatives of the “new wave” in pop which have been drastically altering the scene in a matter of weeks. Pop has never moved at such a fast pace.

There was Tomorrow in action, a fantastic new group featuring “Teenage Opera” man Keith West. There was Dantalian’s Chariot, Eric Burdon and the New Animals, the Nice and many other happy happenings.

Whereas the soul bands seemed happy in the past to play “Knock On Wood” and “Sweet Soul Music” all night, and inviting the audience to “clap their hands”, the new groups use as much original material as possible or at least obscure American songs which make good vehicles for instrumental and vocal expression.

The Nice, for example, who caused a minor sensation by releasing doves of peace during their act, play numbers from the “Cosmic Sounds”, Electra album, film themes and strange originals.

Beautiful maidens abounded at the festival, collectively referred to as “Creamcheese”, which stems from the Mothers Of Invention’s famous Suzie. Most of the girls now wear Eric Clapton hairstyles or affect American Indian garb. Or is it Indian Indian? Geography has gone to pot.

Musically the finest contributions to the Festival were by Clapton, Tens Years After, Tomorrow, Pat Arnold and the Nice, John Mayall, Peter Green, Donovan and Denny Laine.

They all point to a happy, creative pop future - if only people will leave them alone. - CHRIS WELCH

And here finally is the picture we have been looking for, for all these months, and before we forget: "Just another world exclusive of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit."

Iggy at Windsor, 1967
Iggy at Windsor, 1967.

A bigger version and a (partial) scan of the magazine can be found in our latest gallery: Music Maker Magazine.

Iggy at Windsor, 1967. Rough scan.
Iggy at Windsor, 1967. Rough scan.

Incarceration of a Flower Child

After PhiPhi Chavana warned the Reverend about the new Iggy Rose picture the scan from the seller was examined by some Church alumni who all agreed that the image had a serious distorted view at chin level, a carnival mirror effect if you like, due to the bending of the pages in the middle.

So it was absolutely essential that the Church got hold of the magazine. The first thing the Church did when it arrived was to cut it into little pieces and make a flat hi-res scan of the two pages that made the Pocahontas picture.

Unfortunately, this only worsened the case, as the upper and lower piece of the scan did not stitch together and a big crack was visible between the two parts. Lucky for us that wicked tribe of Iggy Rose fans has nothing but nice people amongst it ranks and Brooke Steytler came to the rescue using his magical inpainting skills.

Page crack.
Page crack.

Serendipity & more to come

All this makes us think.

What if retro68special had not put up his collection for sale?
What if he had not scanned the page with Iggy?
What if PhiPhi Chavana had not seen it on eBay?
What if PhiPhi Chavana had not recognised Iggy and had not been aware of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit?
What if Brooke Steytler had not proposed to use his photoshopping superpowers?

That's a lot of knots and we can only conclude that the Church is protected by a special guardian angel, but we all know who she is, don't we?

So it goes.

As Music Maker was a spin-off of Melody Maker it is not impossible that the weekly magazine may have Iggy related pictures as well, the same goes for Disc and Music Echo, another weekly magazine from the same stable. And while we're at it, why not have a go at NME 1075 that had an article by Keith Altham and Norrie Drummond about the festival. The hunt continues.

P.S. The Pink Floyd didn't play the National Jazz, Pop, Ballads and Blues Festival after all, this was the summer that Syd Barrett suffered from extreme exhaustion and went to Formentera with his gynaecologist (!) to get some rest. The Nice replaced the Floyd's spot and did in fact play twice on the festival. More about Syd at Formentera: Formentera Lady.


Many thanks to: Dylan Mills, Brooke Steytler, PhiPhi Chavana, retro68special.
♥ Iggy ♥

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Arthur Brown - Windsor 1967 Interview, 7 and a half minute BBC report of the festival (mostly about Arthur Brown)
Palacios, Julian: Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London, 2010, p. 30. The original transcript of the Radio Bogotá interview can be found at A Fleeting Glimpse.
Rose, Iggy: chat with Felix Atagong, 16 October 2011.
7th National Jazz & Blues Festival @ The Marquee Club
The Seventh National Jazz and Blues Festival @ UK Rock Festivals
The Lovely Ones picture (text on back), courtesy of Carl Guderian

Visit the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Facebook page for discussions, comments and other pictures.


2012-10-26

Iggy & the Stones

Iggy (fantasy)
Iggy, mid Seventies.

The Holy Church's secret service, also know as the Igquisition, has sent over its latest trimester report about all things Iggy. Underneath the smooth surface of our blog and Facebook page a maelstrom of facts and rumours are reinforcing and contradicting each other, making the Church's hidden agenda to inundate the Barrett world with false and gratuitous information so much harder to achieve. So let us immediately open this can of worms and have a meditative look at what the (2013) future may bring (or not).

1. Photo shoot

Recently Iggy was the subject of a photo shoot by a Canadian journalist / photographer and we are pretty sure these pictures will eventually find their way into a magazine or to the different Iggy Rose pages on the web.

Update December 2016: nothing has ever been heard of this photo project.

2. Rolling Stones

Iggy was also contacted by a renowned journalist and biographer who wanted to know if she would be willing to share some memories about her days with the Rolling Stones, to appear in a new biographical article or even a book about the band. Iggy Rose has told the Church and Mojo a few anecdotes about her different encounters with the Stones before, but it would be nice to see these all bundled into one publication.

Iggy met Syd Barrett in the spring of 1969 but before she had been spotted in Rolling Stones circles, as has already been revealed in the Mark Blake's Mojo article from 2011.

In February '67, [Iggy] narrowly avoided the police raid at Richards' country pile, in West Wittering: "The night before, I decided not to go, thank God." A year later, still in the Stones' orbit, she found herself watching the recording sessions for what became Sympathy For The Devil. where she was present at several studio sessions.
Carmen Jimenez, a Beatle and Iggy
Carmen Jimenez, a Beatle and Iggy (picture: Bruce Fleming).

Iggy 'rolled' into the Stones through Stash (Prince Klossowski de Rola) who presented her to Brian Jones. There is a picture of Iggy, taken by Bruce Fleming, standing close to John Lennon, at the party of Georgie Fame's girlfriend Carmen Jimenez at the Crom (January 1967) and Iggy still remembers eating Carmen's delicious paella at Brian's apartment just around the corner.

After some time she befriended Keith Richards although one thing she says she will ever regret is turning down 'Hot Rod' Stewart in favour of Keith. Photos of her with the Stones should exist, but those in her property have all been stolen, lost or destroyed (see also: Iggy - a new look in festivals).

Having met Keith Richards she also befriended Anita Pallenberg and went with her to the set of Performance where most of the action did not take place in front of the camera. Iggy told the Church:

They used real magic mushrooms... I was at the house [Powis Square, Notting Hill, FA] when they where getting ready to shoot the bedroom scene, the lady in charge was getting shrooms for the cast and offered me some as well.
Pallenberg & Cammell
Anita Pallenberg & Donald Cammell.

At the set she met Donald Cammell, the co-director of the movie and his 'beautiful dusky' girlfriend (probably Myriam Gibril). Unfortunately this is not the time nor place to start writing about Iggy's adventures in movie land but we certainly hope someone will some day.

Donald Cammell would only make half a dozen of movies in 30 years, being burned after the Performance débâcle (the movie only gained notoriety decades later), and one of these, White Of The Eye (1987), is known by Pink Floyd fans for its soundtrack by Nick Mason & Rick Fenn.

More about the movie at the excellent Another Nickle In the Machine blog: Donald Cammell’s Performance at Powis Square.

Syd's Bench, Cambridge.
Syd's Bench, Cambridge.

3. Cambridge Summer Meeting 2013

On the 15th of June 2013 the first annual Birdie Hop meeting will take place in Cambridge. It will be a small, exclusive and informal encounter between about 20 fans from all over the world and those that still carry Syd Barrett deep in their heart. Although an agenda has not been set yet there will probably be a guided Cambridge Pink Floyd Walking Tour and some drinks in The Anchor (or another relevant pub) afterwards. The only official demand to make this fan meeting possible was that the Church would not be present and in his infinite goodness the Reverend has agreed.

4. The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit next Big Thing

The weirdest rumour, with echoes arriving only this week, is that the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is preparing a Big Thing for 2013. Unfortunately nobody seems to know what this big thing is going to be and when asked, the Reverend didn't have a clue what it was all about, so you might as well just forget about that. On the other hand, this blog publishes nothing but big things, so keep on checking once in a while.


Many thanks to: Alexander P. HB.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2013-02-15

When Hendrix met Iggy

Jimpress 100
Jimpress 100.

Somewhere mid December we were informed by Iggy that she had been asked some questions by the British Jimi Hendrix magazine: Jimpress.

Jimpress started in July 1991 and is currently at its 100th issue and obviously no other issue than this centenary one was suited to welcome Iggy Rose. Pages 9 to 17 have the article Mr Love, where author Tim Greenhall examines several events from Brook Street 23 in London.

Mr Love, The Jimi Hendrix London Experience, Tim Greenhall examines events in Brook Street

The article starts with the memories of Doug Kaye, who used to work in his brother's restaurant in Brook Street. Above the Mr Love restaurant was a flat where a certain Jimi Hendrix and Kathy Etchingham set up residence. Doug first met Jimi at the cigarettes machine and they started talking about blues music. Doug lend Jimi two blues albums that he never saw back but that are now part of the Jimi Hendrix exposition at the EMP museum in Seattle.

Doug Kaye started the secret Mr Love Facebook group (later renamed to Echoes) that unfortunately has been declared terra incognita for the Reverend but that accommodates quite a few Sixties celebrities among its members (and many of those are friends of Iggy Rose as well).

Jimi's cavalry jacket
Jimi's cavalry jacket.

One of them, mentioned in the article, is Robert Orbach who owned I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet and who sold Jimi Hendrix his trademark cavalry jacket. The Hussars tunic dated from 1850 and was the personal property of Robert who wore it in his shop. Jimi Hendrix first proposed to buy it for 20£ but Orbach told the item was not for sale. Over the next few days Hendrix and his manager would drop by with higher bids and at the end the uniform changed owner for the tenfold of the originally proposed price. To modern 2013 standards Hendrix must have paid the equivalent of about 2000£ (or 2320€ or 3100$), but as it became one of the most renown jackets in the world of rock that price was probably a fair one.

Jeff Dexter probably doesn't need to be introduced to Iggy Rose fans, he tried to make a record with her but this miserably failed when he found out at the studio that non of the girls he had chosen for his Motown-like act actually could sing. Dexter met Hendrix on different occasions.

Introducing John Altman would take us at least three Church blog posts, so we will just say he is a (film & ad) composer, music arranger, orchestrator, conductor, an occasional contributor to Monty Python and that he has more anecdotes up his sleeve than the Reverend has ever got hangovers in his entire life. John Altham talked most about jazz with Jimi and Hendrix confided him he wanted to take some guitar lessons from John McLaughlin.

Iggy Rose @ Jimpress

And then it is finally time to attribute some lines to our goddess:

One of the group's most colourful ladies is the lovely “Iggy Rose”. Iggy was Syd Barrett's girlfriend and met Jimi on a few occasions. She is probably best known for being the model on the cover of Barrett's album The Madcap Laughs, however she has been seen in many a sixties nostalgia film, most notably Granny Takes A Trip which you can find on YouTube no doubt. Iggy also worked in the store of the same name.

Note: as far as we know Iggy did not work at Granny's. The article from Tim Greenhall continues:

I asked Iggy what she remembered about Jimi in that time ?
I never really spent much time chatting but was in his presence. I met Kathy Etchingham on a couple of occasions. I knew Noel Redding quite well. I remember seeing him at The Bag o'Nails where he blew everyone away. I just feel very fortunate to have met him and will always be grateful for that.

...the article ends with a thank you note to Iggy:

I would particularly like to thank Iggy for putting me in contact with Jeff Dexter, Robert Orbach and John Altman.
Mr Love in Jimpress 100
Iggy Rose in Jimpress 100.

Hendrix at the Church

The Church has destined a few articles to the Iggy Rose - Jimi Hendrix connection before.

Anthony Stern, who immortalised her in his movies and pictures, first met Iggy at a Hendrix concert at the Speakeasy, this was told in the different press articles Kirsty Whalley wrote about Iggy Rose: Where did she go? and Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea.

In 2010 the Church interviewed Rod Harris, who has been described as the man who launched Jimi Hendrix in the UK: Rod Harrod remembers The Crom. Co-owner from The Cromwellian club Bob Archer told the Church he was the first to book Jimi Hendrix:

True fact is the first place Jimi [Hendrix] played in London was The Crom. He sat in with Brian Auger. Chas [Chandler] brought him in the first night he arrived. Kathy [Etchingham] worked a bit for me. Taken from: The Wrestling Beatle.

And in his 2011 Mojo article Pink Floyd biographer Mark Blake revealed that Iggy saw Hendrix make his UK debut at the Bag O' Nails in November '66: The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo.

Mr. Love
Mr. Love.

A few years ago the Church asked Iggy what she did remember of that Hendrix gig and here is what she confided to the Church (unpublished before):

I think the first mind-blowing experience I had of watching Jimi Hendrix's explosive performance was at the Bag 'O Nails on November the 25th, 1966.
I actually sat on the edge of its tiny stage waiting for the gig to start.
The so-called super cool blasé London in-crowd didn't realise what hit them. From the very first stupendous chord this felt like a typhoon blasting away all sense and reason, reducing everyone in the public into a quivering state of amazement. This phenomenally unique sound provoked a spontaneous eruption in the crowd. Suddenly everyone leapt to their feet with a roar, clamouring to get near the stage to absorb the extraordinary.
And as if that wasn't enough, as soon as Jimi dropped to his knees and started to play the electric guitar with his tongue the roomful of trendy clubbers went ballistic and then he hadn't set his guitar on fire yet. For me it looked like he continued through the night producing spectacular feats of unparalleled works of genius.
Then of course his electrifying voice that touched and melted the most vital. This was oozing raw scalding sex, a river of molten lava erupting from a volcano. Hendrix created an uncontrollable sensation of having multiple orgasms.

Unfortunately the pictures that were in her possession from Jimi Hendrix (with her?) have been lost through the years, as well as those with Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, George Harrison, Brian Jones, Anita Pallenberg, 'Keef' Richards and 'lovely' Keith Moon... (and then there is still a hidden, but rather naughty, but rather arty, Syd & Iggy Madcap Laughs photo session that is in ultra safe hands somewhere).

But not all is lost, the Church also heard that some people want to contact Iggy for a new Rolling Stones related project. The Reverend is pretty sure that somewhere there must be pictures, probably in private hands: Iggy & the Stones.


Many thanks to Tim Greenhall from Jimpress and to all contributors from previous articles mentioned here: Bob Archer, Mark Blake, Rod Harris, Kirsty Whalley...
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Jimpress can be contacted (and bought) at http://www.jimpress.co.uk/
Jimpress is on Facebook as well.

Sources:
Rose, Iggy: Jimi Hendrix at Bag 'O Nails, chat / phone conversation(s) with Felix Atagong somewhere in 2011.


2013-03-16

King's Road Chic(k)

A familiar face?
A familiar face?

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit lives by the grace of its visitors. Some of them have become friends for life, others see in the Church the coming of the anti-Syd and would like to see it and its Reverend destroyed. Such is life.

But it's always a joy when sudden, out of the blue, a message arrives from someone unknown, that contains a ray of hope, a glimpse of things to come...

From Kathmandu to London

So when the Church's Facebook page received a message from Christopher Farmer, near Kathmandu, Nepal, that there was a possibility that Iggy Rose could be seen on a picture taken in London in 1970 the Reverend's heart skipped a beat or two.

Iggy Pocahontas Rose
Iggy 'Pocahontas' Rose.

We immediately thought of a repetition of the 'Pocahontas' photo at the National Jazz, Pop, Ballads and Blues Festival in 1967 (see: Iggy - a new look in festivals). Iggy had asked us before if we had seen this picture but as long as nobody could tell us the issue, year or even name of the magazine it had been published in this was like looking for a needle in a large field of haystacks. But it was miraculously found by PhiPhi Chavana (aka Chang Yat Fei) in Hong Kong and that made the Church and Iggy Rose, who hadn't seen this picture in over 45 years, tremendously happy. We are pretty sure that there is a realistic chance to find at least one other Iggy picture if someone would have the courage to browse through all issues of Disc and Music Echo, Melody Maker, Music Maker and NME from the years 1965 to 1968. Still a couple of haystacks, but slightly smaller ones.

This new picture, so told us Christopher Farmer, was taken on King's Road in 1970 by John Hendy and depicts a barefoot Asian flower girl with an uncanny resemblance to the person we all know. Immediately the Reverend's mind went on overdrive as all the parts of the puzzle seemed to match.

Although several people claim that Iggy Rose had vanished in the middle of 1969, even going so far as saying she had returned to Asia or had married a rich banker, she was careening through life (to use a Barrett related idiom) less than 2 miles away. The rumour about the banker wasn't that far-fetched as a matter of fact, but due to the Reverend's seal of confession we have to keep this mystery intact.

In our article Syd meets... a lot of people we have compared the underground with the London rapid transit system that listens to the same name:

The counter culture wasn't really an organised movement, but constituted of many, independent stations with tubes going from one station to the other.
The Myers twins by Cecil Beaton, c.1968.
The Myers twins by Cecil Beaton, c.1968.

From London to Cadaqués

And like the commuter who takes the same station day after day and year after year, without realising that there could be something interesting going on in a station nearby Iggy disappeared from the Floydian underground ghetto and was not traced back for nearly 40 years. She was, however, spotted (or better said: not spotted until the Church poked with a few sticks) a bit later in the bohemian avant-garde art-house movie world, hanging out with people like John Myers who played one of the Von Meck twins in Ken Russell's controversial biopic The Music Lovers.

Some years later, John Myers, and his brother Dennis, were among the artists and the eccentrics who used to visit Salvador Dalí's villa in Cadaqués, Spain. When the twins arrived at Cadaqués, Dalí immediately adopted them and gave them a distinguished place in his group, baptising them as 'Castor and Pollux'. Since then, for over 35 years, they live in the same village in Spain where they have an olive tree farm.

Iggy lookalike by John Hendy
Iggy lookalike by John Hendy.

From King's Road to Earl's Court Square and back

Iggy did attempt to visit Wetherby Mansions some months later. The door was opened by Duggie Fields who said that Syd had returned to Cambridge. In a few months time the Floydian free-for-all oasis had vaporised. Those who had their things together programmed their future by marrying, raising kids, finding regular jobs and living the once despised bourgeois square life. Those who didn't have their things together and were still squatting in Syd's room were ordered by Barrett, by phone from his Cambridge parental house, through Duggie Fields, to pack their bags and leave...

But, to finally get back to topic, it was clear that a picture of Iggy Rose walking on King's Road in the early Seventies was not something that would particularly shock the Reverend. When questioned about his father's photography Simon Hendy told the Church the following:

My dad (John Hendy) was just an amateur photographer. He lived in Northampton and simply visited Kings Road once or twice a year from 1967 to 1975 to take photos. Strangely, it's pretty much the only street photography he did. You may notice a certain emphasis on photos of young ladies, and I think this was the primary reason for the photos! (Mail from Simon Handy to the Reverend, 9 February 2013.)

The pictures of John Hendy can be found on several places, but they were originally published on a blog called My Dad's Photos – John Hendy photography. On the top bar there is a King's Road menu and the third picture of the 1970 's album is the one we are looking for.

At first sight we understood why several people think this is Iggy and for the very first moments we were fooled as well, but at second glance there was something that made us doubt. Obviously the best person to judge was Iggy Rose herself and she immediately denied that it was her. So the case is closed: this is NOT Iggy.

But this doesn't take away that the series of King's Road pictures, taken between 1967 to 1975, is a superb collection and that it shows us a pattern-card of the hip birds that roamed London in the Sixties, it is pretty fun to watch the distinct change in clothes and styles over this period.

Amanda Lear in Ossie gear
Amanda Lear in Ossie gear.

Bentleys & Pontiacs

We know this sounds contradictory, but several (black & white) pictures of the 1968 series show a multicoloured 1958 Bentley S1 that belonged to Apple, the Beatles' company. There is an excellent website, dedicated to this car alone, and John Hendy's pictures are also featured there.

Speaking about cars, the John Hendy collection has also been spotted by the Proud Gallery in Chelsea who used some of the pictures in their March 2013 exhibition “Ossie Clark: The King of the King’s Road Reigns Again”.

Visitors of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit may know Ossie Clark from the Pontiac Parisienne that can be seen on the famous Madcap pictures that were taken in April 1969 by Mick Rock (for the purists among us we repeat once again that the pictures on the actual The Madcap Laughs album have been taken or are at least licensed to Storm Thorgerson). The darkblue car that was parked in front of Syd's apartment was given away in a raffle on the 19th of December 1968 in the Royal Albert Hall, one day after the famous Alchemical Wedding from John & Yoko in the same venue.

Duggie Fields has named it the Ossie Clark's New Year's Eve party on his website but the actual show could have been announced with a different title. There is hardly any information about this event, apart from the fact that Yes played a gig and that Amanda Lear was present as well, but she was probably there as a fashion model and not as a singer / performer.

Breaking free of traditional fashion shows, with their calm, measured presentation, Ossie Clark turned his shows into theatrical events. They were held at venues like the Albert Hall and Dingwalls dance hall in Camden. In attendance were rock stars and artists, the rich and the fashionable. (Taken from: V&A.)

And of course everybody knows that Amanda Lear was a muse and protégé of Salvador Dali as well, that she knew the Myers twins in London and Spain and that, perhaps, she has met Iggy Rose as well.

But that is another story we need to be discrete about...


Many thanks to Euryale, Christopher Farmer, Simon Hendy.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Links & Things
Christopher Farmer, who lead us to the Iggy lookalike picture, has a website with photos, taken by his father in 1947 in Palestina: Palestine 1947
Simon Hendy, has different websites with his dad's pictures:
My Dad's Photos – John Hendy photography
John Hendy Photography
My Dad's Photos on Facebook

Further Reading
Pontiac Parisienne: When Syd met Iggy... (Pt. 2) 
Myers Twin Interview: Dalí sigue vivo en la memoria (thanks to Euryale for pointing this article out to the Church and translating it to English!)
Ossie Clark, the King Of The Kings Road in Holland Park


2013-08-24

O tempora o mores!

Deleted: Mark Blake's Iggy Rose interview.
Deleted: Mark Blake's Iggy Rose interview.

Be careful what you post on the Internet they say.
Everything you publish on the Internet will stay there forever, they say.
But when the Reverend, a couple of days ago, wanted to check the (excellent) Mark Blake article about Iggy Rose, that was published on the Mojo blog, way back in January 2011, he couldn't find it. Vanished.

Mojo's big spring cleaning

Apparently Mojo, that still is the world's best music magazine, no doubt about that, has refurbished its website and with refurbish we really mean that they threw a few year's worth of articles in the dustbin. These are the days when publishers are more interested in selling printed paper than in maintaining their archives. So be it. It's a stupid joke, we know it, but apparently the magazine seems to have lost its mojo.

Luckily the Holy Igquisition still had a copy somewhere and Mark Blake was so cool to allow us to stick it on our memo board in our cyberkitchen where it will stay until eternity or until we are too old to renew our domain. So if you can all step a little closer you can, from now on, read it here:

1. EXCLUSIVE: The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo (hosted at the Church)
2. The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 2 (hosted at the Church)
3. The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo (hosted, since January 2016, at Mark Blake's blog)

Peeterman
Peeterman.

Stella by Artois

Similar thoughts came over the Reverend a couple of weeks ago when he remarked that the Louvain Stella Artois brewery, whose history goes back to 1366, keeps on weeding in its beers now that it has become the biggest concern in the world. In its social responsibility program that has been called Better World there is no place for local tradition. Gone are the 56 Louvain brewers, each with their own brands, tastes and flavours. Peeterman from brewery De Eendracht, in the 18th century the most popular beer in Louvain and surroundings, disappeared after Stella Artois bought its competitor.

Tumblr & Twitter

But this is called progress, we guess, so The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit gladly joins internationalisation. To conquer the world we have now, next to a Facebook and a Twitter division, a Tumblr blog as well. We are not really sure what the point is of having a Tumblr blog other than having it, but surely something will come out of it some day. Or not. The future will bring what the future will bring.

Keep on visiting the Church, sistren and brethren, and certainly don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't do.


Many thanks to Mark Blake.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit can also be found on:
Facebook
Twitter
Tumblr

Notes:
O tempora o mores! (Oh the times! Oh the customs!) is an exclamation from a speech by Marcus Tullius Cicero in 63 BC.
Peeterman (from brewery De Eendracht) may not be confused with Peeterman Artois that was put on the English market a couple of years ago (and that also has disappeared). Brewery De Eendracht started in 1901 but Peeterman beer was already mentioned in a dictionary from 1773.


2013-12-14

Happy Birthday Iggy Rose!

One

There is a story how Iggy the Eskimo, Syd Barrett and a bunch of other musicians gatecrashed a Speakeasy gig from a band that would become rather famous in prog, rock, jazz and even techno circles. It is a hilarious anecdote, with rumours of mandrax-champagne cocktails and a lot of twist and shouts. We can imagine how Iggy's roaring laugh echoed through the club, once you have heard that laugh, it is imprinted in your memory forever.

The Church is still trying to get some information, tie some loose ends, interview some people, especially as this happened in the mid-summer of 1969, when everyone thought Iggy had disappeared from Syd's life. Perhaps she did, perhaps they just met by accident that day. But that is for later.

Little things that matter.

Two

Birdie Hopper Manzano Meza Cota posted a Mick Rock picture a couple of days ago, it is a new one of Syd and Iggy, which makes us think that this old geezer still has got some hidden gems in his archive.

Iggy and Syd, Mick Rock
Iggy & Syd. Picture: Mick Rock.

Three

In a couple of hours it will be Iggy's birthday. As usual we were too late posting our card as we only did it this afternoon...

Happy Birthday, Iggy!
Happy Birthday, Iggy!

Should you not know it by now, it is Iggy's birthday! So this is the time and place to shout:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IGGY ROSE!

Four

LET'S PARTY!!! Please enjoy this mix of visual extravaganza that comes straight out of the hidden vaults of the Church. Swedish band Men On The Border were so kind to let us use one of their songs from their latest album Jumpstart. Thanks guys, you rock!

Men On The Border
Let's Party (yeah yeah)
Jumpstart © 2013

Five

And now for the classics:

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card (2011) contains a few seconds from a super-secret mid-Seventies home movie (and we added a nice tune as well). Flash link (warning: 5 MB!): Happy Birthday Iggy Rose! or YouTube:

Crystal Blue Postcards

An electronic book of poems and art, dedicated to Syd and his muses, by Denis Combet, with a little help from his friends Constance Cartmill and Allison Star. Digital artwork by Jean Vouillon and some tinkering from Felix Atagong (more about Denis Combet and his Iggy poem(s): Catwoman).

Crystal Blue Postcards (Flash pageFlip presentation, 2011).

Guitars and Dust Dancing by Rescue Rangers

Pascal Mascheroni, from the stoner power trio Rescue Rangers donated the haunting (& slightly psychedelic) power ballad Guitars and Dust Dancing from the album with the same name (buy your copy at iTunes: Guitars and Dust Dancing). In the meanwhile enjoy this Youtube clip with the smashing artwork from Jean Vouillon.

WHY DON'T YOU WISH IGGY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY?

Instead of reading and watching all this you should be heading at Facebook where you can leave your messages, poems, songs and images at: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and of course on Iggy's personal page as well.

Let's make this a birthday to remember, brethren and sistren and don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't do!


The Church wishes to thank Men On The Border (Phil Etheridge & Goeran Nystroem), Bruce Fleming, Mick Rock, Anthony Stern, Storm Thorgerson, Iggy Rose, unknown & anonymous..., Denis Combet, Pascal Mascheroni (Rescue Rangers), Manzano Meza Cota, Christopher Farmer & the nice people at Birdie Hop, Late Night and all the others that we seem to have forgotten...

Men On The Border
http://menontheborder.com/
http://www.facebook.com/MenOnTheBorder

Birdie Hop
http://www.facebook.com/groups/birdiehop

♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥


2014-04-05

Magnets & Miracles

Sydge @ Atagong Mansion
Anthony Stern's Sydge (Syd magnet).

You might or might not know that Iggy Rose was once Anthony Stern's muse, she posed before his camera and featured in one of his avant-garde movies, that – unforgivably – has only been shown about a dozen of times for the past 47 years. The situation didn't really sky-rocket when Chimera Arts took over the publishing rights, they were sitting harder on it than the CIA does on a torture report. Nothing new, as a matter of fact, as we already wrote this a couple of years ago (2009) in one of our magnificent articles. It is rumoured that the last festival Eskimo Girl was billed on was held in a staircase closet somewhere in the Philippines, but we might be slightly exaggerating.

But all this is soon to change. Anthony Stern started a brand new blog Anthony Stern Films that is promising us a book and a DVD.

Update 2016: in October 2016 the movie was premiered during the Cambridge Syd Barrett movie festival. A couple of weeks earlier a shortened version was shown at the BBC. No news from a book or DVD though. More information:
Lost Weekends 
Memory Marbles (2016): new Iggy pictures found! 

Iggy in the green
Iggy the Eskimo (still from Anthony Stern movie).

Auntie Stern

Get all from that ant? (as the movie will be named, it appears) will be an 80 minutes portrait of London 1963-1970, in still pictures, film and video, by Anthony Stern who lived, loved and worked at the core of the pop culture genesis. Countless reels of 16mm film and thousands of photographic negatives from his archives have been viewed and digitalised. Sophia Satchell-Baeza had a look at an early cut:

Although at the moment unfinished, it’s an incredible, semi-autobiographical portrait of Cambridge / London / San Francisco in the 1960s, shot by the artist and film-maker who was there to see it all unfold. Some major highlights include lost (and recently found) archive footage of Syd Barrett performing with Pink Floyd, and unseen footage of Eric Clapton, but the film is full of beautiful moments. (Taken from: A subterranean afterworld of future dreams.)

There will be footage from Syd Barrett with Pink Floyd, the UFO club and their liquid light projections, footage of The Rolling Stones, the voice of John Lennon. But something that makes the Reverend infinitely happy is that the picture highlighting this release depicts none other than Iggy, dancing in a park. So there might be a pretty cool chance that her movie, or at least a part of it, will be on the DVD as well.

Magnetism

The project consists of a DVD and a book that will not only show the past. Anthony Stern had the idea to 'unite all Barrett heads'. He took a movie still of Syd playing at UFO and turned it into a magnet, the Sydge. You can get one or free, as long as there are copies left and provided you sent him back a picture of your fridge door (or wherever you have stuck the magnet):

The fridge door can be a platform and a message board for images of yourself, family, your favourite icons, pin-ups, newspaper cuttings, poems, memoranda, shopping lists, favourite witticisms, jokes, puns, tickets and the detritus of day-to-day life, and of course any form of homage to Syd Barrett. (Taken from: The Sydge magnet, well he was a very magnetic chap.)
Sydge
Anthony Stern's Sydge (Syd magnet).

Some of the results that have been sent in can already be seen here and here. One Birdie Hop member made it her vocation to distribute several of these magnets over the States, turning the Sydge into a symbol that will unite fans all over the globe.

And who knows, if enough people put some imagination and madcappery into the photos it may grow into a completely different project than it was intended for, so someone has whispered in our ears. Of course the Church has already send in its pictures and you can watch these at the Church's presence on Facebook.

Iggy by Anthony Stern
Iggy the Eskimo (still from Anthony Stern movie).
Iggy & Syd Lookalike Audition

Anthony's book will also have a chapter called: Syd & Iggy: A Psychedelic Love Story, yes there is our girl again!, and for this purpose he is looking for Syd and Iggy lookalikes who can send in their pictures... Those who want to face fame and glory can have a look at Audition.

To immortalise this demand the blog adds something that can be considered as being the purest, clearest and biggest movie still we have seen from the Iggy, the Eskimo Girl movie ever. Here she is, holding that weird device that inconspicuously looks like a smartphone, but only... the picture dates from 1968. Was Iggy really a time traveller? Click to see the picture in full resolution: Iggy.

Antony Qui?

In June 2008 Anthony Stern gave an introduction to several of his movies at the Cinemathèque Française in Paris. A video was shot of the event by Lionel Soukaz. We took the liberty of removing the French translations and to upload it again. Antony does mention Syd Barrett and Iggy Rose, but not to spoil the fun we don't tell you where exactly.

And for those who don't know what Iggy, the Eskimo Girl is all about. Here is the only known 'free-floating' version on the web, an audience recording taken from that same lecture in Paris.

We just can't wait for that DVD to appear, but for the moment we (and you) have to be content with our image gallery that has some (old) stills of the movie. It will be (silently) updated when new pictures will appear on the Anthony Stern Film blog, so be sure to check it out once and a while.

For our other articles about Stern's magic, please check: Anthony Stern's (Moving) Pictures. Now if only that Storm Thorgerson movie would see the light of day.


Many thanks to: Lisa Newman, Anthony Stern.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥ Birdie Hop


2014-04-19


2014-06-06

A sunny afternoon with Iggy

Birdie Hop
Birdie Hop. Artwork: Felix Atagong.

Birdie Hop is not the biggest Syd Barrett (Facebook) group around, it isn't the oldest Syd Barrett (Facebook) group around, but it surely is the friendliest Syd Barrett group around. Don't take my word for it, visit it for yourself one day.

It is a place were you can meet and greet with at least two dozen people who have met the man in person, as a (hometown) friend, fellow student, colleague, musician or even lover (but just like in the Cromwellian heydays it isn't considered cool to bother these people too much). It is a place were you don't need to expose your poster collection or your latest Spotify playlist to attract some attention. With the exception of one particular Reverend, all the administrators are friendly and don't switch into screaming Roger Waters mode whenever they have something to say.

The group is lead by Alex, who we call Papa Smurf but only when he is not there, and who has a myriad of psychedelic stories to tell if only he wouldn't be so bashful. About a year ago, Alex invited some international Hoppers for a trip in and around Cambridge and it still is a meeting people talk about. You can read more about it here: Wasn't it the most amazing meeting? 

Two weeks ago his busy agenda lead him again into the UK where he visited Libby Gausden at the south-west coast and headed for Cambridge where the usual bunch of shady characters were expecting him. But in between he took a slight detour to a small village in Sussex to have a drink. And guess who was accidentally having a drink at the same place?

Iggy & Alex, May 2014 Iggy & Alex, May 2014 Iggy & Alex, May 2014
Iggy Rose & Alex, May 2014.

So for all people doubting about Iggy's existence, she's alive and kicking all-right.

This is part one of Alexander's adventures in the UK, for part two, go here: Boogie Wonderland 


Many thanks to: Alexander P. HB.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2014-12-12

The perfect Xmas gift: put Iggy on your fridge!

Flower Children by Anthony Stern
Flower Children (movie festival), Anthony Stern.

In April the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit reported about the Sydge that was part of Anthony Stern's new project that can more or less be followed on his Anthony Stern Films blog. Something will, hopefully sooner than later, be compiled on a DVD that will contain an overview of Stern's career. In September there was a screening of his movies at BFI that was immediately sold out and was described it as follows:

In the most swinging of decades Anthony Stern was friends with ‘Pink Floyd,’ worked closely with cult director Peter Whitehead and also shot a series of his own vibrant, playful 16mm titles. Infused with the spirit of the psychedelic lightshow and the French New Wave, they paint a joyous, celebratory picture of the 1960s counter culture as it came into full dizzy bloom. In Iggy the Eskimo Girl (1966. 4min), red double-deckers whizz by while Syd Barrett’s then-girlfriend cavorts joyously in the bright London sun; and in Nothing To Do With Me (1968. 35min) Stern’s mentor Peter Whitehead – arguably at the peak of his own creative powers – opens his mind and riffs on the themes of alienation and his relationship with the camera. Also included in the programme is the mind-bending, truly psychedelic San Francisco (1968. 15min), which features an unreleased version of the Floyd’s ‘Interstellar Overdrive,’ alongside never-before-seen footage of the USA in 1968.

The DVD is not out yet, but there is something else you can get from Ant. Those who didn't get a Sydge (Syd Barrett fridge magnet) in the past (see: Magnets & Miracles), can now buy a limited set from him, containing two magnets: one with Syd Barrett and the other one with Iggy, taken from one of the triptychs Ant made from her in 1967. We'll let Stern speak for himself:

Sydge & Iggnet
Sydge & Iggnet.

The Sydge & The Iggnet have landed!
Get your Sydge Magnet and Iggy Iggnet here!
£15 for both (excl. postage)
Please email anthony@anthonysternglass.com

An early bird told us these limited collectibles will have a numbered card of authenticity, signed by Anthony Stern and perhaps... someone else. So get yours now, as your life will otherwise be empty! You can take it horse riding or swimming... You can give it to the ones you care for. Don't leave your house without a Sydge or Iggnet.


Many thanks to: Anthony Stern. (The Church is not affiliated with or endorsed by this company.)
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2015-01-04

Bend It (2015): New Iggy Picture Found

Iggy, November 1966 (photoshopped)
Iggy the Eskimo, The Cromwellian, November 1966 (photoshopped).

Could 2015 start any better, we ask you?

Friday evening, the second of January, the Reverend was happily chatting with Iggy Rose when John Cavanagh (musician and author of the 33 1/3 book The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, see also Antonio Jesús’ interview at: John Cavanagh, so much to do, so little time) send the following post to Facebook:

Dear Iggy, with happy new year wishes for 2015 comes a question. I've had this album since the early 2000s and I wonder, is you I see on the cover?

The picture in question was from a CD-compilation called Ripples Volume 4 - Uptown Girls And Big City Boys, issued by Sequel Records in 1999 (NEMCD 455) and since long out of print. The eight Ripples compilations on the Castle / Sequel label were all issued between 1999 and 2000 and contain mostly rare items of British ‘sunshine’ pop and mod. In 2007 the label dissolved when Sanctuary, who had bought them in 2000, became part of Universal Music Group.

While the Reverend was hesitant at first it was Iggy who confirmed it was indeed her.

Iggy Rose: Felix, I was always at that club... look at my dress... same as the black and white picture of me dancing.
The Reverend: I didn't recognise you.
Iggy Rose: It does look odd, LOL... but it’s my button nose, my eyes and baby face...
Iggy at the Crom
Iggy the Eskimo. NME 1064, November 1966.

Iggy was of course referring at the black & white picture that we published on the very first day of the Church (see: Bend It!). There was no mistake possible, this was Iggy in the same silver dress.

The conversation at Facebook then turned to the time and place where this picture was taken. Not Tiles, like someone suggested, but The Cromwellian. The diagonal wooden ornaments on the wall, behind the crowd, are the same as on the pictures that can be found in NME 1037 (see triangle.jpg at our NME Cromwellian gallery). It also seems this picture was taken at the same November 1966 night of the postiche British Bend dance-craze competition. Iggy is posing next to Patrick Kerr, choreographer of the Ready Steady Go! show, who had been hired by the managers of Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich to devise a Bend It novelty dance to avoid an obscenity ban (see Bend It (2013)).

In the background, behind Iggy, is standing another celebrity, as was pointed out by Astro Mocker. It is none other than Chris Farlowe, whose Stones’ cover Out Of Time hit number one in July of that year. The single had been produced by Mick Jagger, who also can be heard on backing vocals (and on acoustic guitar was Jimmy Page, by the way). From the eleven singles Farlowe recorded as a solo artist for the Immediate label five contained Stones covers. Paint It Black and Out Of Time would also surface, next to a shortened version of Pink Floyd's Interstellar Overdrive, on the 1968 soundtrack of Tonight Let’s All Make Love In London.

Iggy the Eskimo on the 'Uptown Girls And Big City Boys' CD cover.

The NME pic-visit to The Cromwellian has a picture that was taken just before or after the one with Iggy. It shows Farlowe looking at the photographer (either Napier Russell or Barry Peake) with Patrick Kerr at the right side: Farlowe.jpg.

Farlowe & Kerr
Chris Farlowe & Patrick Kerr, The Cromwellian, November 1966.

John Cavanagh found out that the copyrights of the picture belong to Pictorial Press Ltd (yeah, this one: Pictorial Press selling fake Pink Floyd pictures!) and a search on their public database finds some other pictures of the same night, all without Iggy though. The nice thing is that they are in colour, so we will contact them to ask what pictures they still have hidden in their closet as they logically must have all shots of that night. Fingers crossed.

But, do you know what this actually wants to say?
That Iggy can now be found on two record covers.
Or to quote her once again:

It is meeeeeeeee.
WHOOOOOOHOOOOOO.
WOWEEEEE.

We just couldn't say it better.


Many thanks to: John Cavanagh, Sean Cowell, Joe Foster, Lori Haines, Antonio Jesús, Astro Mocker, Iggy Rose.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2015-05-26

Iggy Rose Radio Interview

Dazed Radio
Dazed Radio.

Iggy Rose enters the pantheon of Jenny Spires and Libby Gausden!

An Iggy Rose radio interview was diffused on Monday night, the 25th of May at 10 PM EST at Nikki Palomino's (talk) radio show Dazed Radio on Whatever 68. As for UK based people it was already Tuesday 26th at 3 o’clock in the morning, and 4 AM for those in Western Europe, we had to wait for an archived version.

The complete radio show, one hour and a half, with several guests has been hosted at Nikki Palomino's Mixcloud page: Dazed Radio Show Recorded Live 5.25.15.

A condensed version (47 minutes) with only the Iggy parts has been hosted on the Reverend's Soundcloud spot:

Direct link for troubled browsers: Dazed Radio Show (condensed) 5.25.15.

Quoting one of the listener's who told the Church:

Iggy sounds great, her voice is so warm, not at all what I expected her to sound like, for some reason. I can imagine a conversation with her would be such fun.

We can only say it is.


Many thanks to: Nikki Palomino.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2015-06-14

Iggy Rose in Cambridge

Iggy Rose by Vic Singh
Iggy Rose by the legendary Vic Singh.

The second weekend of June has the second Cambridge biennial Birdie Hop meeting, with special guest stars: Viv Brans, Vic Singh, Peter Gilmour, Men On The Border, Jenny Spires, Warren Dosanjh, Libby Gausden, Dave 'Dean' Parker & Iggy Rose (and some more).

Unfortunately the Facebook group for this event has been closed for prying eyes, but some pictures and videos have already leaked out.

Iggy Rose and Goran Nystrom
Iggy Rose, in great shape, & Göran Nyström from Men on the Border.

Pictures and videos will be regularly uploaded to the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Tumblr page, as soon as the Holy Igquisiton gets hold of them.

Iggy Rose admiring a record cover
Iggy Rose admiring a record cover. Picture: Mick Brown.

For the latest (public) pictures and videos of the 2015 Birdie Hop event, please check: http://iggyinuit.tumblr.com/tagged/june-2015.
Our review of the first Birdie Hop meeting in 2013: Birdie Hop: wasn't it the most amazing meeting? 


Many thanks to: Sandra Blickem, Mick Brown, Warren Dosanjh, Vanessa Flores, Tim Greenhall, Alex Hoffmann, Antonio Jesus (Solo En Las Nubes), Douglas Milne, Göran Nyström (Men On The Border), Vic Singh, Abigail Thomson-Smith, Eva Wijkniet...
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2015-10-10

Iggy - another festival, another look

Festival of the Flower Children
Festival of the Flower Children.

The Church closed its door at the end of March 2015, but promised to keep an eye open for all things relatively Syd-and-Iggy-related. Obviously serendipity meant that, from that moment on, Syd-and-Iggy related matters would regularly smash against the Church's closed windows at the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow, making this one of our busier seasons.

Iggy Rose was a guest on American Dazed (talk) Radio, her first radio-interview ever. The condensed version still is 47 minutes but what an intense 47 minutes they are: Iggy Rose Radio Interview.

In June Iggy was invited to the biennial, second and probably last Birdie Hop Cambridge meeting where she met with Libby Gausden, Jenny Spires and a bunch of Barrett-fans: Iggy Rose in Cambridge.

And then, when you're least expecting it, there is a brand new Iggy picture that make our hormone levels go crazy.

This article follows the same steps as that other one of 2012 that published the discovery of Iggy's 'Pocahontas' picture, that has been an inspiration for so many Iggy fans and their fanart creations: Iggy - a new look in festivals.

The 1967 Festival of the Flower Children

Poster courtesy Oscar Wilson
Festival of the Flower Children. Poster: courtesy Oscar Wilson."

Two weeks after Iggy had visited the National Jazz, Pop, Ballads and Blues Festival at the Royal Windsor Racecourse, where she had her picture taken for Music Maker magazine (see: Iggy - a new look in festivals), there was the first Woburn festival with an equally appealing title: Festival of the Flower Children. Wanting to cash in on the Summer of Love (and the Bank Holiday Weekend of 26-28 August) it tried to be a direct competitor for the first one that was already well established and in its seventh edition. Flower Children also went on for three days but its bill was less abundant, less adventurous and clearly directed at the general public or 'weekend' hippies, rather than the underground elite. The host, the Duke of Bedford, one of those examples the French invented the guillotine for and the living proof that the posh establishment will temporarily adhere an alternative lifestyle if there is a buck to earn, sneered:

Only flower children are allowed in. They are nice peaceful young people who like beat music and coloured lights. They are very different from hippies who take drugs and make trouble. Hippies will definitely be barred.
Dancing Flower Children (The Australian Women's Weekly)
Dancing Flower Children (The Australian Women's Weekly).

The Duke of Bedford apparently grabbed 10% of the entrance money estimated at £50.000, according to an article in The Australian Women's Weekly, but the promoters, the Seller brothers, apparently weren't that happy and the financial debacle may have quickened the demise of their mod nightclub Tiles, where Jeff Dexter was the house DJ. The Daily Telegraph, however, wrote that the festival made the nice profit of £20.000. (Much of the information and some of the pictures in this article come from the excellent UK Rock Festivals.) For snobbish left-elitist underground circles and their affiliated magazines is was all a sell-out. Peter Jenner:

Gradually all sorts of dubious people began to get involved. The music business began to take over. (…) There were things like the Festival of the Flower Children.

That the Seller brothers were thinking more in the terms of profit than music or mod culture was perhaps proven by their nightclub Tiles that was described by Tom Wolfe as the 'Noonday Underground'. In the middle of the day, during lunch hour, the club opened and was visited by 'office boys, office girls, department store clerks' and teenagers who had left school at fifteen, for their daily dose of mod music and a Coca-Cola. Tiles aimed for an easy-going public and although it lacked style and personality it did have a proper bar, a good dance floor, a fancy stage and an excellent sound system.

Sleeping Flower Child (The Australian Women's Weekly)
Sleeping Flower Child (The Australian Women's Weekly).

The Flower Children festival aimed at the masses as well, and not to the hardcore underground, promising bands and artists as Jeff Beck, The Bee Gees, Eric Burdon & The New Animals, The Kinks (not confirmed), Denny Laine (from The Moody Blues), Marmalade, Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band, The Move (not confirmed), The Alan Price Set, The Small Faces, Al Stewart, The Syn (a precursor of Yes) and less known bands as Blossom Toes, Breakthru, The Dream (some claim an early incarnation of Tangerine Dream?), The Gass (not confirmed), Tintern Abbey and Tangerine Peel (not confirmed and perhaps this is where the Tangerine Dream rumour comes from).

With the exception of perhaps Dantalian's Chariot (another band led by Zoot Money) and Tomorrow (with drummer Twink) the bill wasn't really underground, nor psychedelic. Pink Floyd was never considered to appear at the festival, although Rob Chapman pretends the opposite in his immaculate biography. Not that the band would've come as they had already cancelled the Windsor Racecourse gig due to Barrett's erratic behaviour.

For the press the festival was gefundenes fressen and news photographers seemed to outnumber groovers. And now we let you guess, who can be found on one of those pictures, you think?

Flower Mother and Child (The Australian Women's Weekly)
Flower Mother and Child (The Australian Women's Weekly).

Inside heroes

On the 21st of September the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit was asked the following by Jacinta Storten:

Hi there, do you know if Iggy attended the Festival of the Flower Children love-in at Woburn Abbey in 1967? I have some photos of attendees and one of them looks just like her, on the other hand the photo could be from the Woburn Festival that Fleetwood Mac headlined which I think Pink Floyd were also billed from memory it was 67 or 68. [Note from FA: for the record, at the 1968 version of the Woburn Abbey festival, Fleetwood Mac never showed up, although they were billed. Pink Floyd never played the festival either as they were touring North America on that day.]

Such a mail obviously has the same effect on the Church as a red rag to a bull. We immediately contacted Iggy Rose who wasn't aware of ever being at the festival, but you know the saying 'if you remember the sixties, you weren't there'. We wrote back to Jacinta, asking for a copy of the picture so that we could send it over to Iggy, but due to the quirky way Facebook messaging works sometimes (or should we say: not works) that was ignored. (We have that effect on many people.)

Luckily on the fifth of November the picture appeared on the HeroInSight Tumblr blog:

Iggy the Eskimo, Festival of the Flower Children, 1967.
Iggy the Eskimo, Festival of the Flower Children, 1967.

'Iggy ”The Eskimo” Rose at Festival of the Flower Children Love-in, Woburn Abbey UK, 1967.

As soon as we got hold of the picture we send it to Iggy who confirmed it was indeed her:

My goodness, where did you find that?
I look stoned.
Haha. I can't even remember being there. Lol xxx.

An internet search revealed that the picture is currently hosted at Photo Inventory France, that seems to be owned by an Ebay seller called Photo Vintage France. The picture (30 x 19.5 cm) was put several times on sale before, between June 2012 and August 2015, for the price of 159 Euro, but apparently no buyer has ever been found. Lucky for us, otherwise the picture had perhaps never been found.

We contacted the owner of the Ebay shop, Bruno Tartarin, asking if he could give us more information about this picture. We got a reply pretty fast, but it didn't really give us info we didn't know already:

Cette image vient des archives Holmes-Lebel.
Flower Children, Hippies Rally, Woburn Abbey, Angleterre, circa 1967. RE2173
Tirage argentique d'époque tamponnée.
Translation:
This image comes from the Holmes-Lebel archives.
Flower Children, Hippies Rally, Woburn Abbey, Angleterre, circa 1967. RE2173
Authentic gelatin-silver photography, stamped.

Internet searches for the Holmes-Lebel company didn't lead to anything substantial apart from the fact that they created / sold pictures for advertisements, movie posters, record and book covers and magazines in the sixties. Also the photographer who took Iggy's picture is a mystery as the agency had several internationally renowned people working for them like Rona Jutka, Raymond Voinquel, Inge Morath, Christian Simonpietri...

Update 2015 12 22: Meanwhile the picture has mysteriously landed at Atagong Mansion, and for once, the Reverend isn't interested in the front of the picture, but wants to study the different marks on the back. There are four in total:
1. a blue stamp of the Holmes-Lebel company with the remark that the document has to be returned after publication: 'document à rendre'.
2. another stamp with the warning that four times the copyright amount will be asked if the document gets lost or damaged: 'en cas de perte ou détérioration des documents il sera perçu quatre fois le prix de cession des droits'.
3. a sticker describing the picture in English:

HIPPIES RALLY (THE FLOWER CHILDREN), WOBURN ABBEY, ENGLAND
Hippy girl dressed in the Indian way.
Copyright HOLMES-LEBEL/I.M.F. n) 3008

4. a remark written in pencil, reading 'woodstook'.

Scans of the stamps, stickers and marks on the back can be found on our Iggy Tumblr page: Hippy Girl.

Jean Straker (taken from Oz 6, 1967)
Jean Straker (taken from Oz 6, 1967).

Porn and the Englishman

A photographer who certainly was present at the Flower Children festival was Londoner Jean Straker whose photo studio was in Soho and who was interviewed in the 6th issue of Oz because his pictures were considered pornographic in the prude interpretation of the English law.

In 1951 he founded the Visual Arts Club where he gave lectures, sold his pictures and where he would have 'photographers, amateur and professional, studying the female nude'. Straker's pictures were considered pornography under the Obscene Publications Act and in 1961 over 1600 of his negatives and 233 of his prints were confiscated. While Straker claimed his pictures were of artistic value the judge didn't follow this explanation. In appeal, Straker got many of his negatives back, but this was forced on a technicality, using a loophole in the law, and the official interpretation was still that his pictures were obscene.

This situation lingered on with Straker trying to fight censorship and in 1967 Jean Straker noted (in Oz 6):

Now, as most lawyers know, I been through all this jazz before; apart from a few thousand motorists, and a few hundred barrow boys, I must be the most prosecuted non-criminal in town.

Jean Straker also visited the Festival of the Flower Children were he might have taken over 220 pictures. Harper's Books currently sells a (partial) archive of 39 different 5 x 8 inch black and white photographs. However, at 3.000 USD for this collection, it is a bit expensive just to find out if the Iggy picture is part of it.

At 165 Euro the Holmes-Lebel piece is almost a bargain.

Flower Child by Jean Straker
Flower Child by Jean Straker.

The who, the what and the where?

There is a big chance we will never know who took Iggy's picture at the festival of the Flower Children. It could've been one of Iggy's froody friends, as we know she knew quite a few free-lance photographers, including the one who took her picture two weeks earlier at the National Jazz, Pop, Ballads and Blues Festival. If only she could remember his name! At the other hand, she could've been invited to the festival by Jeff Dexter, who had developed some interest in her and tried to record her in the studio.

It is possible that the picture was bought by the Holmes-Lebel agency in order to publish it in a French magazine. It would be nice to find that article back, if there ever has been one.

But the good news is that a new Iggy picture has been unearthed and that is was found – again – by one of her many fans. For that the Church (and Iggy Rose) will be eternally grateful to Jacinta 'HeroInSight' Storten...

The quest continues... good hunting my sistren and brethren... and don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't do...


Many thanks to: HeroInSight, Jacinta Storten, Iggy Rose, Bruno Tartarin, UK Rock Festivals.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Some pictures and articles, used for this post, will be published at the Holy Church's Tumblr blog under the Festival of the Flower Children-tag.

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Chapman, Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 179.
Green, Jonathon: All Dressed Up, Pimlico, London, 1999, p. 43, 221.
Green, Jonathon: Days In The Life, Pimlico, London, 1998, p. 112.
Palacios, Julian: Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London, 2010, p. 246.
Photo Inventory France: http://photoinventory.fr/photos/RE2173.png
Pullen, Bob: Photography and Censorship: The Photographs and Ideals of Jean Straker, Photography and Culture, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2008 (online pdf version).


2015-11-14

Men On The Border: Live in Brighton

Live in Brighton
Live in Brighton, Men On The Border.

June had the second (and if rumours are correct: last) Birdie Hop meeting in Cambridge with Syd Barrett fans having an informal drink with some of the early-sixties Cambridge beatniks we know and love so dearly: Jenny Spires, Libby Gausden, Mick Brown, Peter Gilmour, Sandra Blickem, Vic Singh, Warren Dosanjh and others...

Special guest star was none other than Iggy Rose who left, if we may believe the natives, an everlasting impression. You can read all about it at: Iggy Rose in Cambridge.

Men On The Border came especially over from the northern parts of Europe, leaving their igloo, so to speak, to gig at the Rathmore Club where they not only jammed with other Syd-aficionados, but also with Redcaps frontman Dave Parker. (For the history of those sixties Cambridge bands check the excellent: The Music Scene of 1960s Cambridge.)

The night before however, on Friday June 12th, Men On The Border played the legendary Prince Albert (that name always make us chuckle) music pub in Brighton. This gig was recorded and is now the third album of Men On The Border, after ShinE! (2012) that consisted of Barrett covers and Jumpstart (2013) that mainly had original songs but with a slightly concealed madcap theme.

This live release shows that Men On The Border is a tight band and that they can play their material without having to revert to digitally wizardry. In a previous review we already remarked that:

...some of the influences of MOTB lay in the pub-rock from Graham Parker & The Rumour, Rockpile (with Nick Lowe & Dave Edmunds) and the cruelly under-appreciated The Motors...
Men On The Border. Picture: Vic Singh.
Men On The Border. Picture: Vic Singh.

This live album certainly proves that. The versions are pretty close to the recorded versions and singer Göran Nystrom manages once again to give us goosebumps on Late Night and their own Warm From You that is a pretty ingenious song if you ask us (with a sly nod to Jimi Hendrix)...

So give them a warm hand of applause and make them feel welcome in this mad cat world of random precision.
 

Tracklist:

01 Terrapin (Jumpstart)
02 No Good Trying (ShinE!)

03 Scream Thy Last Scream (2015 single)
04 Long Gone (ShinE!)

05 Gigolo Aunt (ShinE!)
06 Late Night (ShinE!)

07 Octopus (ShinE!)

08 Warm From You (Jumpstart)
09 Baby Lemonade (ShinE!)

Digital release only, people don't buy plastic any more, unfortunately.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017WFLEH8/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6MStF6YtxCYNY7FTIoeNzq


Many thanks: Göran Nystrom, Vic Singh.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2015-12-13

Happy Birthday Iggy Rose!

Lost for words. That is what we are this year, with only a few hours left to celebrate Iggy’s birthday, on the fourteenth of December. Next to a legend, she is also a good personal friend and an incorrigible prankster. Today as well she managed to confuse us with one of her practical jokes that made us shake our head in disbelief. She’s a real sweetie, our Ig.

So, dear sistren and brethren, followers of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, let us raise our glasses high to the Eskimo, because without her this earth would be quite a dreary place.

Birthday Greetings, Felix Atagong
Birthday Greetings, Felix Atagong.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IGGY ROSE!

And because traditions are traditions, and meant to be kept alive, we will continue with our annual sing-along and poetry reading that turn this birthday into a real birthday bash.

Partytime Iggy

LET'S PARTY!!! Please enjoy this mix of tracks that have been made the past few years to celebrate our goddess. Swedish band Men On The Border were so kind to let us use one of their songs from their latest (studio) album Jumpstart. Thanks guys, you rock!

Men On The Border
Let's Party (yeah yeah)
Jumpstart © 2013

Reverends & Eskimos

In 2013 Rich hall made a concept album that has this fine pearl... (click on the image below for the hi-res Flash version)

The Reverend by Rich Hall.
The Reverend. Sound: Rich Hall. Vision: Felix Atagong. (hi-res, Flash)

For those who haven't got a Flash-enabled webbrowser, let's try it another way. Here is a, somewhat downgraded, version on Youtube, but don't let that spoil the fun.

Rich Hall
The Reverend
Birdie Hop © 2013.

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card (2011) contains a few seconds from a super-secret mid-Seventies home movie (and we added a nice tune as well). Flash link (warning: 5 MB!): Happy Birthday Iggy Rose! or YouTube:

Crystal Blue Postcards

An electronic book of poems and art, dedicated to Syd and his muses, by Denis Combet, with a little help from his friends Constance Cartmill and Allison Star. Digital artwork by Jean Vouillon and some tinkering from Felix Atagong (more about Denis Combet and his Iggy poem(s): Catwoman).

Crystal Blue Postcards, Denis Combet.

Link: Crystal Blue Postcards (Flash pageFlip presentation, 2011).

Guitars and Dust Dancing by Rescue Rangers

In 2011, Pascal Mascheroni, from the stoner power trio Rescue Rangers donated the haunting (& slightly psychedelic) power ballad Guitars and Dust Dancing from the album with the same name (buy your copy at iTunes: Guitars and Dust Dancing). In the meanwhile enjoy this Youtube clip with the smashing artwork from Jean Vouillon.

WHY DON'T YOU WISH IGGY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY?

Instead of reading and watching all this you should be heading at Facebook where you can leave your messages, poems, songs and images at: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and of course on Iggy's personal page as well.


The Church wishes to thank Constance Cartmill, Denis Combet, Phil Etheridge, Amy Funstar, Rich Hall, Pascal Mascheroni, MAY, Goeran Nystroem, Allison Star, Anthony Stern, Jean Vouillon, Brett Wilson and all the others that we seem to have forgotten...
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥


2016-10-01

Lost Weekends

Iggy, The Eskimo Girl (Anthony Stern)
Iggy, The Eskimo Girl (Anthony Stern).

When, a couple of years ago, a Brian Jones Facebook group wanted to know if any members had ever met him, Iggy Rose chimed in, in her usual diplomatic style, stating that she still remembered some of the musician’s anatomical details. As Facebook groups tend to harbour the bottom layer of human intelligence she wasn’t believed. Perhaps for the better.

After six decades, Iggy still believes in the interconnected goodness of people and things, something that was already present in her as a toddler when she wanted to stroke the cat in the garden and her parents realised, just in time, that it actually was a tiger. Obviously that was before they relocated to the UK as there are not so many loose tigers running around in Brighton. Predators in good old England were mostly of the human kind and playing rock ’n' roll.

Lost weekends 1967 - 1968

How exactly Iggy met The Rolling Stones has been shrouded in a cloak of mystery. Probably she met them through psychedelic nobleman Stash (Stash Klossowski de Rola) who was in their inner circle. It suffices to say that one day she met them and that they and some of their girlfriends liked to have her around.

She was present, Zelig-like as Mark Blake later wrote in his Iggy article The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo, during the Sympathy For The Devil recording sessions, early June 1968, although there isn't a trace of her in the Jean-Luc Godard movie with the same name. Talking about a missed opportunity...

That Iggy had an eerie timing of turning completely invisible had already been proven a year and a half before when she was invited to Keith's 15th century country house, Redlands, in West Withering. In the early evening of 12 February 1967 police officers raided the place and arrested Keith, Mick and the mysterious Miss X, who was only wearing a fur rug, but she was not Iggy.

Robert Fraser, Mick Jagger being arrested
Rober Fraser & Mick Jagger.

Other guests present in the house that day were:
Nicky Kramer, a dandy dope head, who was unfortunately repeatedly beaten up by some of Mick’s rougher associates because they suspected him to be the informant who gave the Stones away;
art dealer Robert ‘groovy Bob’ Fraser and his manservant Mohammed Jajaj;
Christopher Gibbs, a friend of Mick;
photographer Michael Cooper, and last but not least:
David Schneiderman, Sniderman aka David Jove, the ‘acid king’ whose portable drug cabinet with LSD and dope was never confiscated and who may have been the real snitch, working for British intelligence and/or The News Of The World newspaper.

Not present any more were George Harrison and Patti Boyd. They left the mansion before the bust. Brian Jones and Anita Pallenberg had an argument in London so they never arrived, much to the disappointment of the police who raided Jones' house later.

And Iggy the Eskimo was nowhere to be seen because… she got lost on her way to the doomed place.

I had a lucky escape cause I lost my way after all the directions Keef gave me.
(Birdie Hop, 02 June 2015.)
David Schneiderman and Keith Richards
David Schneidermann & Keith Richards.

Photographic Evidence

Michael Cooper has made some 70000 pictures of the Rolling Stones, yet, the first one with Iggy still has to surface. We know they are there, somewhere…

Literary hundreds of pictures have been lost. Me and Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon… I had quite a few snapshots with Keef, Brian and Anita…

A great loss happened when Iggy’s suitcase, that contained all her possessions, was tossed overboard, in the North Sea, after a row with an abusive friend musician. One picture that has survived however shows her, Zelig-like indeed, standing next to John Lennon on Carmen Jiménez’s birthday party, January 1967 at The Cromwellian.

Georgie Fame had a gorgeous girlfriend, Carmen, and she took me under her wings when he was touring. Just around the corner of The Cromwellian Brian Jones has an incredible pad and we all had a scrumptious paella there, cooked by her. After Brian I rolled into Keef who had a palatial place at the Chelsea embankment.
Myriam Gibril
Myriam Gibril.

Performance

In July 1968 Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg and their entourage could be found in a London house that was easier to find for Iggy. It was the set for a Donald Cammell movie that would get cult status: Performance. This film was one of the rare occasions where there was no real difference between what happened before and behind the camera, between fiction and reality... Iggy told us:

They used real magic mushrooms... I was at the house [Powis Square, Notting Hill, FA] when they where getting ready to shoot the bedroom scene, the lady in charge was getting shrooms for the cast and offered me some as well.

Iggy was also proposed a part in the movie for a bedroom scene, but she politely declined. It didn't stop her though to be friendly with Anita Pallenberg and with Donald Cammell's 'beautiful dusky' lady, Myriam Gibril...

(A great article on the movie can be found at: Donald Cammell’s Performance at Powis Square.)

Lost Weekend 2016

On the weekend from the 23rd to the 25th September 2016 BBC4 handed over its schedule to Keith Richards (and Julien Temple) in what was called Keith Richards' Lost Weekend. Apparently all programs were hand-picked by Keith, ranging from a Hitchcock movie, cartoons and comedy, documentaries, interviews and obviously some music.

On Sunday morning, starting at 1:25 AM, some Syd Barrett fans did not only see the object of their adoration on the screen, but Iggy the Eskimo as well, dancing in a park.

Lost and Found: The Memory Marbles of Anthony Stern
Lost and Found: The Memory Marbles of Anthony Stern.

The 45 minutes documentary was called Lost and Found: The Memory Marbles of Anthony Stern and is unfortunately the only piece of the Richards weekend that can't be found on the BBC4's iPlayer. We have already established before that Anthony Stern has seriously lost his marbles when it comes to copyrights: Iggy The Eskimo Girl (full movie).

Probably the documentary was a condensed version of Stern's autobiographical movie Get All That, Ant that will be premiered at the Cambridge Syd Barrett movie festival on October the 21st 2016, and that has The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and, of course, Iggy Rose amongst its contributors.

You can read a tad more about the movie, that will hopefully be released on DVD, on Stern's new website that looks remarkably like a vintage eighties web-creation: Anthony Stern Film Archive.

Miss Rose

Obviously we had Iggy on the phone about this documentary that she saw through half-open eyes as she was falling asleep by then. But she did catch herself in the white dress though...

The fact that Keith Richards, Keith Richards!, hand-picked Anthony Stern's movie about me is thrilling after all these years.

Must be that he still remembers you, Iggy. Those 'not fit for publication' scenes happening on the backseat of his Rolls Royce must have left an unforgettable impression on his scruffy brain, even after 48 years...


This article is an updated version of Iggy & the Stones (October 2012). Many thanks to: Lisa Newman, Anthony Stern, Yeeshkul.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2016-10-21

Memory Marbles (2016): new Iggy pictures found!

Anthony Stern
Anthony Stern.

In our previous post (Lost Weekends) we told how Keith Richards (with some help from Julian Temple) took over the BBC4 broadcasting schedule on the weekend from the 23rd to the 25th September 2016.

One of the documentaries shown was called Lost and Found: The Memory Marbles of Anthony Stern. Unfortunately it was the only original piece that couldn't be re-watched on the BBC4 iPlayer, probably due to copyright restrictions.

The Birdie Hop group, that has a soft spot for Iggy Rose, looked for people who had a copy, but could only find some pictures and snippets, taken with mobile phones, from TV screens. Quality wasn't excellent, but it was all we had.

Then professional Syd Barrett movie collector Hallucalation chimed in. This man has already unearthed 'lost' Pink Floyd reels earlier and again he did the impossible and traced back a digital copy of the Anthony Stern BBC4 documentary. (A 2012 self-Interview with this remarkable man, taken from Solo En Las Nubes, can be found at Wondering and Dreaming (a self-interview with Ewgeni Reingold).)

Even if your heart isn't necessary with Pink Floyd, nor with Iggy the Eskimo, it is an excellent documentary, not only of the swinging sixties, but of life in that decade in general. If the documentary was a shortened version of Take All That From Ant, that has its premiere today in Cambridge, by the way, then that movie is going to be a killer.

Iggy the Eskimo, by Anthony Stern.
Iggy the Eskimo. Pictures: Anthony Stern.

Several entirely new pictures of Iggy have been unearthed, several 'better' screenshots of the Iggy, the Eskimo movie have been grabbed and these can be seen on our Tumblr Memory Marbles page. For your amusement we have of course also added some Pink Floyd at UFO shots.

Enjoy.


This article is an update from Lost Weekends. Many thanks to: Hallucalation, Antonio Jesús, Lisa Newman, Anthony Stern, Yeeshkul.

The Iggy the Eskimo Memory Marbles photo series on Tumblr.
Yeeshkul: Film and Photography by Anthony Stern.

♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2016-12-14

Happy Birthday, Iggy!

Happy Birthday, Iggy!
Happy Birthday, Iggy!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IGGY ROSE!

And because traditions are traditions, and meant to be kept alive, we will continue with our annual sing-along and poetry reading that turn this birthday into a real birthday bash.

Partytime Iggy

LET'S PARTY!!! Please enjoy this mix of tracks that have been made the past few years to celebrate our goddess. Swedish band Men On The Border were so kind to let us use one of their songs from their latest (studio) album Jumpstart. Thanks guys, you rock!

Men On The Border
Let's Party (yeah yeah)
Jumpstart © 2013

Reverends & Eskimos

In 2013 Rich hall made a concept album that has this fine pearl... (click on the image below for the hi-res Flash version)

The Reverend by Rich Hall (hi-res, Flash)
The Reverend. Sound: Rich Hall. Vision: felix Atagong (hi-res, Flash).

For those who haven't got a Flash-enabled webbrowser, let's try it another way. Here is a, somewhat downgraded, version on Youtube, but don't let that spoil the fun.

Rich Hall
The Reverend
Birdie Hop © 2013.

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card (2011) contains a few seconds from a super-secret mid-Seventies home movie (and we added a nice tune as well). Flash link (warning: 5 MB!): Happy Birthday Iggy Rose! or YouTube:

Crystal Blue Postcards

An electronic book of poems and art, dedicated to Syd and his muses, by Denis Combet, with a little help from his friends Constance Cartmill and Allison Star. Digital artwork by Jean Vouillon and some tinkering from Felix Atagong (more about Denis Combet and his Iggy poem(s): Catwoman).

Crystal Blue Postcards, Denis Combet.

Crystal Blue Postcards (Flash pageFlip presentation, 2011).

Guitars and Dust Dancing by Rescue Rangers

In 2011, Pascal Mascheroni, from the stoner power trio Rescue Rangers donated the haunting (& slightly psychedelic) power ballad Guitars and Dust Dancing from the album with the same name (buy your copy at iTunes: Guitars and Dust Dancing). In the meanwhile enjoy this Youtube clip with the smashing artwork from Jean Vouillon.

WHY DON'T YOU WISH IGGY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY?

Instead of reading and watching all this you should be heading at Facebook where you can leave your messages, poems, songs and images at: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and of course on Iggy's personal page as well.


The Church wishes to thank Constance Cartmill, Denis Combet, Phil Etheridge, Amy Funstar, Rich Hall, Pascal Mascheroni, MAY, Goeran Nystroem, Allison Star, Anthony Stern, Jean Vouillon, Brett Wilson and all the others that we seem to have forgotten...
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥


2017-01-04

Happy New Year 2017 (and Happy Birthday Syd)

We wish you a very happy 2017, sistren and brethren of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. Last year was a pretty active one, on the Iggy, Syd and Pink Floyd front, although that didn't always show on the site you are currently reading.

Luckily there is a Tumblr micro-blog that we daily update, with coloured photographs!, a Facebook timeline and a Twitter account.

A short and sweet 2016 Tumblr overview

Barrett Celebration at The Geldart, Cambridge.
January 2016: (Private) Barrett Tribute and sing-along at The Geldart, Cambridge.
Barrett Celebration announced at Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
February 2016: Barrett Celebration announced at Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
Barrett bike wheel tribute artwork announced at Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
March 2016: Barrett 'bike wheel' tribute artwork announced at Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
Mojo Syd Barrett special
April 2016: Mojo Syd Barrett special.
French Octopus single sells for 10,500 Euro.
May 2016: French Octopus single sells for 10,500 Euro.
La gazza ladra. Picture by Charlie Gilmour.
June 2016: La gazza ladra. Picture by Charlie Gilmour.
David Gilmour, Tienen, 28.07.2016.
July 2016: David Gilmour, Tienen, 28.07.2016. Picture: Felix Atagong.
Anthony Stern Iggy Rose 'Iggnet' magnet.
August 2016: Anthony Stern's Iggy Rose 'Iggnet' magnet.
The Cracked Ballad of Syd Barrett, NME 1974.
September 2016: The Cracked Ballad of Syd Barrett, NME 1974.
Graham Coxon and Rosemary Breen, Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
October 2016: Graham Coxon and Rosemary Breen, Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
Programme of Syd Barrett: A Celebration.
November 2016: Programme of Syd Barrett: A Celebration (8 pages).
Merry Christmas from Terrapin.
December 2016: Merry Christmas from Terrapin.

The Church wishes to thank: Mick Brown, Mary Cosco, Rich Hall, Lisa Newman, Göran Nyström, Anthony Stern, Perse pigs, County cunts and Cambridge spies.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥