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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
"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 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
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
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.)
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
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
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…
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,
Some of Anthony Stern's pictures are
somewhat reminiscent of the IN
Gear mirror shots that were taken in the Granny Takes A Trip
boutique. The Church could finally get hold of the Look at Life Swingin’
London DVD and managed to extract a lot of screenshots. The previous low
quality gallery from the IN
Gear documentary has now been upgraded
with the DVD shots that have a slightly better quality.
Iggy's appearance in the Look At Life documentary has been uploaded on YouTube.
For those that want to watch the complete
documentary, don't miss Iggy. She arrives at 1 minute 13 seconds and
disappears, with the world's most beautiful smile on her face, at 1
minute and 45 seconds.
The Church is still trying to find more information about the
documentary in question but apparently the Rank Organistation archives
are a bit quirky. They have been put somewhere, but nobody seems to
remember the exact location. Until the moment arrives that the Church
will unearth more gruesome details we bid you, dear sistren and brethren,
to live long and prosper and to not do do anything that Iggy wouldn’t
Update April 2017: replaced invalid 2008 YouTube link with a more
Hello, I would like to try and clarify a couple of things about Ig. She
was a girlfriend of mine.
The above message reached the Reverend a couple of weeks ago. It was
written by JenS, a Cambridge friend of Roger Keith Barrett. She
is the one who introduced Iggy to the Pink Floyd founder exactly
40 years ago.
What follows is her rendition, as told exclusively to The Church of Iggy
the Inuit, and now published for the first time. Her rememberings are
only slightly edited here and there and re-arranged a bit per subject.
Some explanatory notes have been added.
I first met Ig in the summer of 1966. I saw her again in spring 1967 at
Biba. She admired a dress I was wearing and invited me to a party that
night. From then on we used to go clubbing. She was a lovely, sweet,
funny girl and was always on the scene at gigs and events.
where Iggy first met JenS, was without doubt the single most important
boutique of London. The shop features in the IN
Gear documentary that also has Iggy.
The first really important customer to favour Biba was Cathy McGowan,
the Ready Steady Go! presenter who (…) quickly made a new Biba dress a
staple of her weekly wardrobe for the show.
This meant that every Saturday morning ‘teenage girls from all over the
London area would race over to Abingdon Road and the piles of new,
inexpensive clothes that awaited them’.
Ig was not known as Iggy the Eskimo.
She was simply Ig or Iggy and probably picked up the nickname along the
way at school or something. I think she was a Londoner.
She was quite a lot older than us and had been around a while on the
London Club scene. She invited me once to a party with Dusty Springfield
and crew. Later she started hanging out at Granny’s (Granny
Takes A Trip, FA) and turning up at UFO.
Update 2011: It was revealed in March 2011 that Iggy is born in
December 1947, making her a bit younger than Syd Barrett. See The
One important player in Dusty
Springfield’s crew was Vicki Heather Wickman, who managed Dusty and
don’t have to say you love me that became a number one hit
in 1966. Vicky had been a booker-writer-editor-producer of the weekly Ready
Steady Go! shows for many years. Dusty Springfield herself had been
a (part-time) presenter of the RSG!-show and that is probably where she
met her future manager (Update: not quite true - they knew each
other from 1962 and even shared a flat together, see also From
Dusty till Dawn).
Wickham and her team ‘scoured the trendiest clubs looking for good
dancers and stylish dressers to showcase’. The Church has a hunch
feeling that Iggy may have been – during a certain period at least – a
regular at the RSG! Show, especially as she was spotted, in November
1966, at an RSG!-party by New Musical Express (cfr. article: Bend
It will be a ginormous work but the Church is planning to scrutinise
several Ready Steady Go! tapes from that period to see if Iggy can be
found in the public or amongst the dancers.
After our hypothesis that Iggy was probably not Inuit (cfr. article: Eskimono),
the Church received several mails trying to string Iggy’s features to a
certain culture. One of the countries that keep on popping up is
Singapore that was a British colony between 1824 and 1959. Here is what
JenS has to say about Iggy's heritage:
I have no idea about who her parents were. She was a war baby and may
have been Chinese. There was a large Chinese community in London at the
time. Of course Ig the Eskimo is an easy assumption to make. Anyway, I
don't think I can help any further as I never discussed it with her.
Iggy became a Floydian icon when she posed on Syd Barrett's first solo
album The Madcap Laughs, but most witnesses only describe her as one of
Syd's two-week-girlfriends. JenS acknowledges this:
I took Ig to Wetherby Mansions in January or February 1969 where she met
Syd Barrett. He was 22 and she must have been about 24, 25 years old.
The point is she was never Syd's girlfriend as in a ‘relationship’ with
him. She was only at Wetherby Mansons very briefly, a matter of two or
three weeks max.
I've not seen her since but often wondered where she is.
Syd painted the floor of his flat in blue and orange before The Madcap
Laughs photo shoot, but did he do that especially for the photo shoot?
I was staying with Syd between the New Year and March '69. I hadn’t seen
much of him since the summer of 1968 'til then.
Anyway, at that time, the floor was already painted blue and orange and
I remember thinking how good it looked on the Madcap album cover later
on when the album was released. I didn’t see Syd again though until
1971, so it stands to reason the floor was already done when I left.
Mick Rock wrote: "Soon after Syd moved in he painted alternating floor
boards orange and turquoise." This doesn’t imply that it was especially
done for the photo session.
In an interview for the BBC Omnibus documentary Crazy Diamond (November
2001) painter Duggie Fields said that Syd painted the floor
soon after he occupied the flat, not that it was done on purpose for the
It has been assumed by Mick Rock that The Madcap Laughs photo shoot was
held in the autumn of 1969 (cfr. article:Love
In The Woods)
The floor (of Syd’s flat) was not painted prior to, or especially for,
the Madcap photo shoot, which took place in March or April of 1969 and
not October as has been suggested.
I left for the States in March 1969 and Iggy stayed on at the flat with
Syd and Duggie (Fields) and there seemed to be other dropouts around
from time to time.
Ig happened to be there still when the shoot came about, which was great
because we have such a good record of her.
I introduced Iggy to Syd shortly before I left, and she was around when
I left. She wasn’t there for long and generally moved around a lot to
different friends. It’s very doubtful she was still there in October or
November 1969. She just happened to be there for Mick’s photo shoot,
which is great because she was lovely girl.
This is apparently in contradiction with Malcolm Jones who wrote in The
Making Of The Madcap Laughs:
One day in October or November I had cause to drop in at Syd's flat on
my way home to leave him a tape of the album, and what I saw gave me
quite a start. In anticipation of the photographic session for the
sleeve, Syd had painted the bare floorboards of his room orange and
JenS further comments:
I remember reading this once before and being puzzled. It would seem
he’s talking about 1969. But which tape was he leaving? The 1968
sessions or the recuts (from 1969, FA)? It would seem he’s
talking about the recut. It’s a bit confusing especially to me as the
floor was painted, definitely before Christmas 1968.
The Madcap Laughs photo session had to be in the spring of 1969,
probably it occurred the first week in March. Storm and Mick say they
can only come up with the dates of August, or even October, November.
This may have been when they came together to look at the shots for the
cover, in other words when it was known the album would definitely be
released and decisions on the cover had to be made.
Part 2 of JenS's chronicle will further delve into the legendary Madcap
Laughs photo sessions, pinpointing the date somewhere in April 1969.
Sources (other than above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 141. Jones,
Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p.
13. Levy, Shawn: Ready Steady Go!, Broadway Books, New York,
2003, p. 112, p.194-195. Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades,
Plexus, London, 2007, p. 23, p. 58.
Our thanks go to Barrett alumni Stumbling... (aka Beate S.) and
Lost In The Woods (aka Julian Palacios) from the Syd Barrett Research
Society who made this encounter possible... and to JenS for her
invaluable testimony about what really happened in those early days of
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
Bend party that was affiliated with the television show Ready Steady
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
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
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.
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
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.
Words: Mark Blake. Pictures: Storm Thorgerson, Iggy Rose, Rank
Organisation. Date: 20 January 2011. Previously published on
If there is one image of Syd Barrett that never ceases to fascinate it's the
back cover of his debut album, The Madcap Laughs. The reason: the
mysterious naked woman perched on a stool with her head thrown back and
face obscured by swathes of long dark hair. Syd's companion was known
only as "Iggy The Eskimo". But as Barrett fans have been
wondering since 1970 - who was Iggy and where did she go?
Rock believed that his cover girl had "married a rich guy and moved
off the scene". Barrett's old flatmate, the artist Duggie Fields,
heard that "Iggy had become involved with one of the voguish religious
cults of the time", before adding to the mythology with a story of once
seeing her disembarking from a Number 31 bus in Kensington, wearing a
1940s-era gold lamé dress, and very little else.
In 2002, Mick's coffee-table book Psychedelic
Renegades featured more shots of Syd and Iggy posing outside the
Earls Court mansion block, alongside Barrett's abandoned Pontiac. Rock's
photos found their way onto most Pink Floyd fansites, where Iggy
had acquired cult status. Before long, The
Holy Church Of Iggy The Inuit, a fansite in her honour, had
appeared, its webmaster, Felix Atagong, sifting through ever scrap of
information gleaned from MOJO and elsewhere with a forensic scientist's
attention to detail. Among Felix's discoveries was a
November 1966 issue of NME which featured a photo of "Iggy who is
half eskimo" dancing at South Kensington's Cromwellian club.
While researching my Pink Floyd biography (2007's Pigs
Might Fly: The Inside Story Of Pink Floyd) I quizzed everyone about
Iggy's whereabouts. Anthony Stern, formerly a schoolmate of David
Gilmour's, told me he had met her at a Hendrix gig and had
just discovered photos he had taken of her on a houseboat in Chelsea;
Anthony had also filmed Iggy dancing in Russell Square. Meanwhile,
former Middle Earth club DJ Jeff Dexter recalled meeting "the
mysterious-looking" Iggy in 1963, when she was a "part of a group of
very wonderful looking South London girls" that danced at The Orchid
Ballroom in Purley. Jeff even hatched a plan with his friend, the late
DJ and Shadows songwriter Ian "Sammy" Samwell, to turn
Iggy and two of her friends into "a British version of The
Supremes. We booked a studio but unfortunately none of them could
sing." Believing that Iggy may have gone to school in Thornton Heath,
Jeff and Anthony contacted The Croydon Guardian, who ran an article - So
Where Did She Go To, My Lovely - enquiring after the whereabouts of the
girl "who entirely captured the spirit of the '60s".
Then, in March 2010, MOJO received a letter from ex-Cambridge mod Pete
Brown, who had "shared some wild nights on the town with Iggy in the
1970s". Pete informed us that Iggy had been last heard of in the '80s
"working at a racing stables... and has since been keeping her
whereabouts quiet." Pete sent a copy of the letter to The Croydon
Guardian, whose reporter traced Iggy through the stables and phoned her
out of the blue. Their subsequent article included a handful of quotes
from its reluctant subject, including the words: "I have now left that
life behind me." Which is why it came as a surprise when my mobile rang
late one Saturday night. "It's Iggy!" declared the voice at the other
end, as if I would have known that already. "I've been reading what you
wrote about me in MOJO... about the pictures of my bottom."
The local newspaper's call had prompted Iggy to borrow a neighbour's
computer and go online for the first time. She was amazed to discover
MOJO, the fansites, the photos, and the wild speculation and
misinformation about her time with Syd Barrett. Which is why, in October
2010, I found myself stepping off a train at an otherwise deserted
Sussex railway station to be met by the woman that had once graced the
cover of The Madcap Laughs. Three hours in a local gastro-pub and
countless phone calls later, Iggy pieced together her story. Some of it
was printed in MOJO
207, the rest is here...
Firstly, why Iggy? "My real name is Evelyn," she explains. "But when I
was a child, my neighbour's young daughter could never pronounce Evelyn,
and always called me Iggy. Now everyone calls me as Iggy. But 'The
Eskimo' nickname was a joke. That was something I told the photographer
from the NME when he took my picture at The Cromwellian." Iggy's father
was a British army officer, who served alongside Louis Mountbatten, and
attended the official handover ceremony from Great Britain to India's
first Prime Minister, Jawaharial Nehru in 1947. "My father also knew all
about Mountbatten's wife's affair with Nehru," she adds mischievously.
During a spell of leave, he had travelled to a remote village in the
Himalayas "where he met the woman that would become my mother." Iggy was
born in Pakistan, and attended army schools in India and Aden, before
the family moved to England. But not, as believed, Thornton Heath. "I
grew up by the seaside," she reveals. "I went to art school. I became a
mod in Brighton, and saw the fights with the rockers, and I met The
Who when they were on Ready Steady Go! I loved soul music, loved The
Righteous Brothers, and I loved dancing, so I used to go to all the
clubs - The Orchid Ballroom in Purley, where I met lovely Jeff Dexter,
The Cromwellian, The Flamingo, The Roaring Twenties..."
It was at The Cromwellian that Iggy encountered Eric Clapton. "I
didn't know who he was at first," she insists. "He took me to meet Lionel
Bart and to a party at Brian Epstein's place..." By the
mid-'60s Iggy had become a Zelig-like presence on the capital's music
scene, sometimes in the company of Keith Moon, Brian Jones,
Keith Richards.... She saw Hendrix make his UK debut at the Bag
O' Nails in November '66, and in February '67, narrowly avoided the
police raid at Richards' country pile, in West Wittering: "The night
before, I decided not to go, thank God." A year later, still in the
Stones' orbit, she found herself watching the recording sessions for
what became Sympathy For The Devil.
By then, Iggy had made her film debut. In 1967, IN Gear was a short
documentary screened as a supporting film in cinemas around the country.
Its theme was Swinging London, including the chic Kings Road clothes
shop Granny Takes A Trip, a place, according to the breathless narrator
that "conforms to the non-conformist image of the !" A
mini-skirted Iggy can be seen in one silent clip, sifting through a
rack of clothes and chatting with Granny's co-owner Nigel Waymouth.
By 1967, pop music had changed. The summer before, Iggy had met Syd
Barrett's girlfriend Jenny Spires, and drifted into the Floyd's social
clique, showing up at the UFO club nights where Pink Floyd played
regularly: "When I recently watched that Syd Barrett documentary [The
Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett & Story] and saw Syd in the kaftan,
chanting [on Pow R Toc H], the memories came rushing back," she
explains. "I'd been there. I'd seen that." In April '67, Iggy joined the
counter-culture throng in Alexandra Palace for The
14-Hour Technicolor Dream - "all 14 hours of it!" - where Floyd
played a hypnotic set at dawn.
By early 1968, though Barrett had been replaced by David Gilmour, and,
according to many, was on a drug-fuelled downward spiral. Towards the
end of the year, he moved into a new place with his level-headed friend,
the would-be artist Duggie Fields. The pair took over a two-bedroom flat
Wetherby Mansions in Earls Court. Around January '69, at Jenny
Spires' suggestion, Iggy, needing a place to stay, moved in. She hooked
up with Barrett, but shared a musical bond with Fields: "Duggie and I
were into soul music, and Syd used to laugh at me dancing around to
As Iggy told MOJO 207: "I didn't know Syd had been a pop star."
Elaborating further, "I didn't make the connection between him and the
person I had seen at UFO. I knew he was beautiful looking and he had
real presence, but that was all." Once, when she picked up his acoustic
guitar, fooling around, he took it off her and started playing properly.
"I was overwhelmed. The way he played the guitar, the way he moved. He
said, 'Do you think I look good?'," she laughs. "I said, 'You look
amazing. Wow!' He then said, 'Would you listen to this?' And he bought
out this big, old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape recorder, and said, 'Tell
me what you think'." Syd then played her the songs that would end up on
The Madcap Laughs. One track, Terrapin,
made an immediate impression. "I said, 'That's quite catchy', and, of
course, I don't think Syd was really into catchy...It was a long tape,
and he didn't demand any opinion, but just asked if I thought it was OK.
At the end he said 'Someone at EMI - I cannot remember the name - wants
me to make a record. How would you feel about having a rock star
Don't mind the title of this article as that is a load of bollocky
clickbait, but today...
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit celebrates its 10th birthday!
Would you believe that the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit actually
started as a joke? And that this happened 10 years ago? On the 8th of
A New Religion
It all started with a fun thread, titled: Possibility
of new religion, on the Late
Night Syd Barrett Discussion Room. On the 4th of December 2007 Stanislav,
an international Syd Barrett prankster whose Dadaist Photoshop creations
even fooled the official Syd Barrett website (and who still manages to
confuse Barrett fans today!), uttered the possibility of a Syd Barrett
based religion. Dani proposed to name it Barrett's Temple, Felix
asked who would be the holy virgin and Kim Kastekniv suggested it could
be none other than Iggy.
The thread meandered on, not always in good taste, until Felix Atagong,
yes - him again, came up with the Congregation Of Saint Iggy,
adding a picture of Iggy the Eskimo, blessed by heavenly rays. (That
Felix-made picture however, already had been posted on the 29th of
August 2007 on a 'Syd
and women'-thread and may be much older, perhaps even dating from
Astral Piper days.)
It was more a joke than anything else, an early attempt that lead to
nothing. A couple of months later, on the 21st of March 2008 Dolly
Rocker recognised Iggy the Eskimo in a 1967 Rank Organisation Look At
Life documentary called IN Gear (Late Night forum link: Iggy
Shopping in Shops?). It lead to another Atagong comment (with the
That's it. I'm starting the Church of Iggy! Nice find btw...
But as procrastinating is a pricey synonym for Atagong nothing happened,
again... but somewhere in a dark corner of Felix's mind a minuscule seed
was growing into a tiny plant.
The City Wakes
Meanwhile some people in Cambridge wanted to celebrate Syd Barrett in a
festival that was called The City Wakes. It was announced in July
2008, asking Barrett fans to step in and join their knowledge, and a
semi-official subforum was opened at Late Night, that was pretty huge in
those days and would even grow more popular thanks to the festival. (The
City Wakes forum
is still on the web, and as such, the only 'official' trace it ever
happened. Much kudos to Eternal Isolation for keeping it alive!)
The City Wakes is a series of arts events that together make up the
first ever official tribute to Syd Barrett.
The festival was authorised by the Barrett family and organised by Escape
Artists who tried to swindle the family out of Syd's heritage as
much as possible. Potty mouths also rumoured that the two top dog Syd
Barrett photographers, obviously we won't cite their names for privacy
reasons, filled their pockets with their 'charitable' contributions.
But of course, nobody was aware of this by then and fans were more than
happy to be able to attend the festival, that would be held in October –
November 2008. The festival promised a Barrett art exhibition 'The Other
Room', concert performances, guided tours, music workshops, a
1960s-style happening, a Storm Thorgerson exhibition, lectures and
'talks' with members of the Cambridge mafia and Pink Floyd biographers,
The motives for the start of The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit on the
8th of August 2008 have been lost in the mist of time and as such the
Reverend needs to reconstruct his train of thought, but it is certain
that the announcement of The City Wakes festival was an important
Another Syd blog
Since the dawn of the internet several Syd Barrett related fan-sites
existed, but many simply disappeared or merely prolonged their existence
in a vegetative state. (A bit like the official Syd Barrett website now,
we might add. Announced with much pride, pomp and circumstance in
January 2016 and doing absolutely nothing ever since, not even
correcting the mistakes that crept in at launch.)
So a new Syd Barrett blog wouldn't be that bad, Felix Atagong thought.
But why Iggy?
There had always been a recurring interest for Iggy the Eskimo at Late
Night and, before that, on the Astral Piper forum. For those who are too
young to remember, Astral Piper was a Syd Barrett fan made website and
forum, run by an enthusiast webmaster who was apparently less enthusiast
when it came to money matters. The forum closed down in 2007 when the
internal quibbling between 'astralpiper1' and some unfortunate members
became too distracting to go on. The website, however, was salvaged from
destruction and a copy lives further on at the Atagong domain: ASTRAL
PIPER Redux 2013.
On those fora, Sydiots discussed Iggy's 'history' and her disappearance
since ages and some new (although very scarce) information had been
unearthed with the IN Gear movie. As such there was already some kind of
a small fan-base present.
The only problem, so thought Felix Atagong during a sleepless night, was
that the scarce Iggy evidence was shattered all over the internet.
“Wouldn't it be nice to assemble all information at one place for aeons
This question became even more pertinent when Anthony Stern hit the
Stern and Stubborn
Stern had been a part of the Cambridge set in the mid-sixties, with
beat poets, aspiring musicians and artists meeting at the local
coffee-bar El Patio. Ant and his pal Syd had a mutual art exhibition, in
the summer of 1964, above the Lion and Lamb pub in Milton. Just like Peter
Whitehead and Storm
Thorgerson he was an aspiring photographer and would-be movie maker.
Around 1967 he and Syd discussed co-writing and -producing a movie 'The
Rose Tinted Monocle' but the project unfortunately never materialised.
(A Barrett-less version was later torpedoed by Pink Floyd manager Steve
However, Anthony Stern did make a few Floyd-related movies and one of
those, using the Floyd's hit-single 'See Emily Play', was the legendary 'Iggy
Eskimo Girl', a relic that had been hidden for four decades. That
movie and a set of unseen Iggy 'triptych' pictures would be a part of The
Other Room exhibition. On the 25th of July 2008 a teaser was
published on YouTube
and it is even more of a miracle that this is still online a decade
Barrett - Iggy.
From Eskimo to Inuit
Surely there was enough material now (and more would certainly surface
in the near future) for an Iggy the Eskimo blog. It must have been at
that point that Felix Atagong's mind went into overdrive and less than
two weeks later the first post at The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit was
published. That first post, titled: Iggy,
was literally copied from a (now untraceable) Acid Mandala forum post at The
Syd Barrett Archives, and turned out well, all things considered.
But why Iggy the Inuit?
Not out of political correctness, a newspeak term that has as much
impact on the Reverend than a fart in a wind tunnel, but as an ironic
nod, perhaps inspired by Metal Mickey's comment on Late Night nearly a
Not to get all PC on you folks but, 'eskimo' is apparently not a very
nice term and not commonly used anymore...the correct tribal/nation name
is Inuit or Innu...so there! (Metal
Mickey Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:01 am.)
It was clear from the beginning that The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit
would not take Syd Barrett, nor Pink Floyd idolatry too seriously. Fun
fact: the decision to call it a Church was directly inspired by a
humoristic Star Trek page that listened (and still listens to) the name: The
First Church of Shatnerology.
It was now time to boldly go where no Eskimo (or Inuit) had gone before.
The Church wishes to thank all of those who started rolling the ball 10
years ago. Unfortunately, many of them have already left the scene. :
Alien Brain, Astral Piper, Sean Beaver, Bell That Rings, Mark Blake,
Charley, Dani, Dark Globe, Bea Day, Dolly Rocker, Ebronte, Eternal
Isolation, Gnome, Juliian Indica (aka Julian Palacios), Kim Kastekniv,
Little Minute Gong, Madcap Syd, Metal Mickey, Music Bailey, Mystic
Shining, Psych 62, Silks (नियत), Stanislav, Stars Can Frighten, Syd
Barrett's Mandolin, Anthony Stern, The Syd Barrett Sound... (Sorry to
those we have forgotten to mention.)