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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 be found on YouTube.
According to Mick Rock Syd was touched when she left him:
Once I’d developed the film (from The Madcap Laughs photo
session, note by FA), I went round to show Syd the pictures.
He took this one opposite (page 21 in the PR-book, note by FA)
and scratched some lines and his name onto it. I think there was a bit
of negativity directed at Iggy. He just started scratching the print,
with a big grin on his face. (Taken from Psychedelic Renegades.)
It could be that the scratches on the picture were destined at Iggy, but
why did Syd Barrett scratch (more or less) around her figure? Not (and I
hope my shrink will never read this) her face or body, in my garbled
opinion the logical thing to do if one would try to express negative or
revengeful feelings on a photograph. Syd’s body and face is far more
scratched than Iggy’s and Barrett also cut the letters SYD
on the picture... Perhaps he was just trying to make clear to Mick Rock
that he wanted to get rid of his pop-life alter ego.
Mick Rock writes further that he heard from Duggie
Fields, the painter who was Syd Barrett’s roommate and who still
lives in the same apartment today, that ‘she later went off with some
rich guy in Chelsea and lived a very straight life’.
On an old and abandoned blog (and also on the Late Night forum) I wrote
that none of the Pink Floyd biographers have been really looking for
Iggy. Mark Blake, author of Pigs
Might Fly, responded: “I can't speak for all the PF or SB
biographers, but I certainly tried.”
The only bit of new info I found was that there was a chance 'Iggy' may
have gone to school in the South London area, as she was known as one of
the regular teenage girls at the dancehalls around Purley
This would have been around 1965. Duggie Fields recalls seeing her some
time after the Madcap Laughs photo session and she was looking a lot
more "sloaney". Most of the people I spoke to who knew her believe Iggy
married a rich businessman and doesn't now want to be 'found'. (Taken
Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit on Late Night.)
Although scarce the above information is about the most relevant we have
had from a biographer in about 30 years.
The most famous dancehall in Purley was the Orchid Ballroom where The
Who, The Troggs and The Hollies gigged a couple of times. It started as
a regular dance
hall (and concert and sporting events hall) in the Fifties and had a
local house band The
Jackpots in 1963 and 64.
In the mid Sixties (1964 – 1966) the Orchid Ballroom was the meeting
place for the Croydon mods who would assemble every Monday night.
Witnesses remember Mike (?) Morton, Tony Crane, Jeff Dexter and Sammy
Samwell spinning the records. Pete Sanders and Mickey Finn used to be
part of the crowd.
Not all these names ring a bell. I could not trace back Mike Morton, but
Lionel Morton was the singer and lead guitarist from the Four
Pennies who had a hit in 1963 – 1964 with Juliet. Tony
Crane was a member of The Mavericks, a band that became famous when they
changed the name to The
Merseybeats, later The Merseys (David Bowie would cover their Sorrow
on his Pin-Ups album, a tune they had borrowed from The McCoys). Mickey
Finn could be the man who was the drummer of T. Rex and who also
played on the record made by Hapshash
and the Coloured Coat, the people who were behind the Granny Takes A
Elizabeth Colclough used to work at the bar in 1968: "It was the place
to go to meet friends old and new, weekday evenings and also at the
weekend. We saw some great bands, some who are still going strong today.”
Another witness recalls how Cathy
(Mc Gowan), the queen
of the mods and presenter of the ever popular Ready Steady Go! Show,
came to the Orchid Ballroom to spot for dancers to appear in her show.
Seen the fact that Iggy was present at an RSG!-party,
organised by the show's main choreographer, it is not improbable that
she may have been present at some RSG! television-shows as well, as a
dancer or as a pretty face in the public.
A book about the history of the Orchid Ballroom has been made and the
Church will try to contact its author, there is the (very small) chance
that Iggy is mentioned in it.
Update August 2009: Brian Roote, who studied the history of The
Orchid confirmed later to the Church: 'I have no knowledge of this girl
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
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
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
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.
Have you ever seen President Sarkozy
on the telly giving a speech? He always thinks he is doing a bloody
Hamlet. His performances, because that is what he thinks they are,
remind me more of Louis
de Funès (or for the non-Francophiles among us: Benny Hill)
than Napoleon Bonaparte, another one of those short short-tempered
little men with a short fuse who think they can rule the world.
This post contains a fairly well hidden review of the Pink Floyd
biography Pigs Might Fly by Mark Blake.
Eloquence is a French way of speech but that was not what I was thinking
of when I read the following, decades ago:
Je ne sais qui doit le plus à l’autre! La France ou le Pink Floyd? Le
Pink Floyd peut-être. (translation) I don’t know who owes the
other more! France or Pink Floyd? Pink Floyd perhaps.
The above is the start of a French rock biography (1977 edition), called Pink
Floyd, written by Rock & Folk journalist Jean-Marie Leduc
and issued by Albin
& Folk was an excellent French music magazine, that started in
1966, hence its name, and that wanted to inform the French public from
the new trends in modern pop music. Jean-Marie Leduc hopped to London
and wrote several articles about the London Underground music scene and
le pouvoir des fleurs. He discovered this incredible band that would
soon be the French progressive student movement’s darling,lePink Floyd.
Although the most common language at London at that time was the
language of love it would’ve helped Jean-Marie Leduc a little bit if he
had actually understood some English. Which he didn’t. Probably the acid
didn’t help either. That didn’t stop him to write a Pink Floyd biography
that was published in October 1973, and that could still be found, a
decade later, in every bookstore and self-respecting newspaper and
magazine shop in France. Selling figures nearly must have achieved the
same height as a regular Pink Floyd album; Leduc’s Pink Floyd was an
instant classic and a steady seller.
It was also full of blunders. At page 19 Leduc wrongly mistakes the Pink Flamingo
club for the band and throughout the book he will name the lads le
Flamant Rose. This (wrong) translation was taken over by all French
rock magazines and it would take Rock & Folk until July 1994 to
officially denounce the rumour that a Pink Floyd is a Phoenicopterus
Roseus. Another botch is on page 49 where Leduc claims that...
...le 2 novembre (1967) (…) un nouveau simple du groupe
“Apologises / Jugband blues” est commercialisé en Angleterre’.
(translation) on the 2nd of November (1967) (...) a new single of the
band is released in England: “Apologises / Jugband blues” .
This one simple sentence has made French speaking Pink Floyd fans look
for this non-existent track of the band for over a decade. At the end of
the book the mistake is repeated at the discography, Jean-Marie Leduc
keeps on maintaining that the Floyd’s third single was Jugband
blues / Apologies (please note the different orthography and running
Update November 2011: it was later cleared out that once again it
had been Leduc's extended knowledge of the English language that made
him misunderstand 'Apples and Oranges' for 'Apologies' or 'Apologises'.
Jean-Marie Leduc’s biography was probably the very first biography on
the band, as Charles
Beterams wrote in the Echoes, a Dutch fan club magazine, and despite
the mistakes it also contains a stunning revelation about the bands
first recording, forgotten by most of the biographies that would come
next. Leduc interviewed Nick Mason in 1973 and asked if Astronomy
Domine was the Floyd’s first composition. Mason answered (translated
from French back into English):
Not true. Our first composition was titled Lucy Lee in blue tight
or something similar. We recorded it on acetate but it was never
Once again Jean-Marie Leduc’s average knowledge of the English language
made him note the song as Lucy Lee, and not as Lucy
Leave, although Nick Mason’s pronunciation of the song title
may not have been too comprehensible as well. It would take ages for
another journalist to re-discover the truth about the band’s first
One bloke who does remember Lucy Leave is Mark Blake. In 2007 he wrote a
Pink Floyd biography entitled Pigs Might Fly but because I am such a
stingy money spender I wanted to wait until the paperback came
sailplaning to me. The last couple of years it is raining Pink Floyd
related books and accessories as if all kind of shady people want to
have their free ride on the gravy train. It is of course a double
feeling, here we are Pink Floyd fans wanting to know everything (and we
mean everything) on the band but on the other hand we feel as if we are
inside an orange squeezer (or to use Gerald
Scarfe’s weird world of Floydian symbolism: a meat
grinder). The last thing I’ve read on Pink Floyd merchandising is
will bring out a range of shoes
based on the cover art of three of their albums. Part of me is yelling
yuck!, but another part is jumping up and down, not a pretty sight if
you would catch me on my webcam.
About a decade ago, perhaps a bit longer, small record companies
suddenly discovered the tribute album. I jumped on it as a hungry louce
on a passing German shepherd dog. But when my heap of tribute records,
all made to honestly commemorate the band and not to make a quick buck,
started to become bigger than my genuine Pink Floyd collection I simply
gave up. I think that Babies
Go Pink Floyd was the last tribute album I bought, partially because
the concept attracted me. If you also feel tempted to listen to it. Don’t. Not
only the record is tripe and you wouldn’t want to confront any baby with
it without giving him or her a lifelong phobia for Pink Floyd music but
also it doesn’t actually motivates grown-ups either to start
procreating, normally a quite amusing and satisfactory pastime.
Recently I found this add from Dwell
records that goes something like this:
The biggest names in hard rock and avant-garde metal have come together
to pay tribute to the madcap genius of Syd Barrett. Featuring some of
heavy-metals most influential players, this is a hard-rocking trip
through the music world’s most idiosyncratic minds.
Some of the bands present on the record are the following: Dreg, Giant
Squid, Jarboe, Kylesa and my favourite Stinking Lizaveta. Except in some
distant Norwegian fjordic regions where these bands are probably world
famous amongst the local satanic
black metal scene these bands don’t really merit the eptitheton
‘biggest name in hard rock’ to begin with. I would have written the add
for this album a little bit less triumphant:
Several virtually unknown hard rock and avant-garde metal bands that are
constantly struggling to have a record contract have come together to
rip off the musical heritage of Syd Barrett. Featuring some of
heavy-metals obscurest players, this is a fruitless hard-rocking trip
trying to get a fan-base that exceeds the dozen.
Now that is what I call a more realistic description of the project. You
can listen to the songs at MySpace
and I have to confess they don’t all sound like rubbish to me.
But all the above was merely a long, way too long, way to say that I
quit buying Pink Floyd tribute records a while ago as most were, are and
will be… full of crap. I had the same compulsive buying disorder when it
came to Pink Floyd related music magazines and books. Despite the fact
that I can’t play guitar I have dozens of guitar magazines that promise
you the tablature of the third guitar solo in Comfortably Numb and a
brand new exclusive Pink Floyd interview that was in fact already
published in another guitar magazine from three years before that I
already had in my scrapbook.
I define myself more than the average Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett fan,
but less than an anorak, fanorak suits me fine.. Anoraks have the
tendency to start flame wars because someone has told that Syd Barrett
was wearing green socks on the 7th of August 1967 while every aficionado
knows he was wearing brown socks that day. (To avoid death threats: I’ve
just made this whole sock-thing up, but the 7th of August 1967 was of
course an important day in Floydian history, about the importance of
green socks, just check David Gilmour’s inside sleeve of his About Face
album and shiver.)
So I quit buying Pink Floyd books as well, more or less… the last I
bought was The
Rough Guide To Pink Floyd that can now be found at local lo-price
bookshops for the third of the price I bought it for. That is a very
nice Pink Floyd biography by the way, and if you are in search for one,
well don’t hesitate and get it. It’s cheap and cheerful.
Pigs Might Fly
But this post was originally intended as a review of Pigs Might Fly, a
Pink Floyd biography by Mark
Blake and all I did until now is take the piss out of:
a) the very first Pink Floyd biography by Jean-Marie Leduc; b) the
various tribute cds that do exist; c) the growing pile of Pink Floyd
So I had given up buying Pink Floyd biographies but when I wrote on the
Late Night forum that nobody had ever tried to locate Syd’s girlfriend
we know as Iggy Mark Blake promptly replied
that he certainly had. I more or less apologised and answered that I
would read his biography.
So I did.
Who am I to post a review about a book that Record
Collector choose as book of the year, that Q
magazine described as a ‘detailed, orderly, first-rate read’, while Mojo
praised its ‘heroic research’. It’s excellent, well written, full of
anecdotes and it seems to please the casual and the more ardent fan of
the band, although it still forgets to mention the colour of socks Syd
Barrett was wearing on the 7th of August 1967. Anoraks will always find
something to grumble about. I did. I found a mistake from microscopical
importance about the Publius
affair but only people daft enough to look for the Enigma mystery will
probably realise that.
A while ago I started a side-project called the Holy
Church of Iggy the Inuit. In it I am looking for the whereabouts of
the girl who appeared on the cover of the Syd Barrett album The
Madcap Laughs. It is rather amazing how many bits and pieces can be
found after all these years, but apparently Iggy was quite a character
in those flowery powery days. The time was ripe as other people
suddenly started to reveal their Iggy memories, amongst them Anthony
Stern who made a four-minute movie about her in the Sixties that was
premiered this year.
I wrote some things about Iggy that I thought were revolutionary but
apparently Mark Blake had unravelled these before in his biography, only
he didn’t need as many space to write these things down than I did and
if this review goes on like this it might be longer than the book itself.
On page 140 Mark Blake writes about how Iggy performed The Bend (Church
It!), on the next page he reveals the existence of the Anthony Stern
movie (before it became an item on YouTube)
and how she used to go dancing at The Orchid in Purley (Church article: Shaken
not stirred). And all this a year before the Church was started and
something of an Iggy hype was created. Hats off to Mark Blake.
Mark Blake is not only an accurate but also a beautiful writer (I’m not
speaking about his physical appearance here), reading the bit about the
Live 8 reunion gave me tears in my eyes although I normally only weep
when I read sweet little things about dying puppies. That more or less
sums it up really; Pigs Might Fly moved me and I thank Mark Blake a lot
(In America the book has been published under the alternative title
Comfortably Numb, this was the working title of the book but as the
cover has a snapshot from Battersea Power Station, including flying pig
balloon, this was changed
for the European market.)
A final word about Jean-Marie Leduc
One of the funnier parts of the very first Pink Floyd biography are the
translated song texts. The Floyd’s first album is called Le
joueur de flûte aux grilles de l’aube, but my favourite
still is a song that is called Bonbons et pain aux raisins. And
what to think about the following, I let you guess what song this has
been taken from:
De tortueux signes voltigent. Lueur. Lueur. Lueur. Fla. Pom. Pom. Escaliers
d’épouvante et lois de mort…
And a final word for collectors
If you are looking for a copy of the Pink Floyd book by Jean-Marie Leduc
be sure to buy the Albin Michel / Rock & Folk versions (several editions
from 1973 till 1983). In 1987 another book by Jean-Marie Leduc, also
called Pink Floyd, and in the same mini format, was presented to the
public by Le Club Des Stars / Seghers. Although based upon the previous
versions this book has been completely rewritten and most of the errors
have been edited out.
(More scans of the Jean-Marie Leduc biographies can be found on our
If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Fasten
Your Anoraks (The lyrics above are Leduc's French
translation of Astronomy Domine.)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 Update March 2018:
Iggy's mother did not live in the Himalaya's, but at the Lushai Hills, a
mountain range in Mizoram and Tripura, India.
The best Pink Floyd book I've read in years is of course Mark
Blake's Pigs Might Fly. Don't tell this to his friends and relatives
but I know from a reliable source that he prays at the Holy
Church of Iggy the Inuit from time to time.
The funniest book about the Floyd are the memoirs, not of Nick gentleman
drummer boy Mason, although they are good for a chuckle or two, crusty
apple pie indeed, but those of Guy
Pratt. About a third of My Bass and Other Animals colours
pink as Guy joined the diet Floyd, although diet was not exactly the
right word to describe the intake of Mr. Gilmour at that time, on their A
Momentary Lapse of Reason world tour. Pratt has a very weird kind of
humour and one of his pranks was an attempt to crash the Pink Floyd tour
plane by frantically running up and down the corridor, in mid-flight!
Normal bands have a tour bus; Pink Floyd has a tour plane and the
drummer was flying it. If you don’t want to read the book, you can watch
where Guy tells about his Floydian encounters.
The best, best as in anoraky, Syd Barrett biography is Julian Palacios' Lost
in the Woods, he is a silly bugger if you ask me as he invited the
Church on the SBRS
forum. Around this time a second (more condensed, I’m afraid) version of
his book should finally appear. So far for this commercial break-up.
Speaking about Barretthings, the amount of Syd related books is slowly
overhauling the man’s solo output and recently two new ones (in French)
have made it onto my desk. Written by Jean-Michel
Espitallier, Syd Barrett, le rock et autres trucs, looked the
most promising. It doesn't claim to be a biography but a personal
rendition, part essay, of a French Barrett connoisseur.
In my opinion France and rock go together like Germany and humour, Italy
and efficiency, Belgium and world soccer finales but this one, I hoped,
could be an exception as Mr. Jean-Michel Espitallier is not only is a
devoted Barrett fan, but also the translator of the French edition of
Tim Willis' Madcap biography, a renowned minor poet
Xavier Enderby) and drummer of the French rock band Prexley?
(although that last is not exactly a reference, see above).
The title is a nice pun, un jeu de mots, as it can be interpreted
as rock and other stuff but also as rock and other tricks.
That is why I preferred to start with this tome instead of the other
French Barrett book lying on my desk, called The First Pink Floyd,
already deserving the price for lamest title of the year.
Stuff & tricks
It is 30 November 2004 and Jean-Michel Espitallier is nervously
strolling around St. Margaret’s Square hoping to get a glimpse of the
man who was once known as Syd but now prefers to be called Roger. When
Syd-Roger drives by (in his sister's car) and the vehicle has to stop at
the crossroads - I deliberately use this term here - where Jean-Michel
is sitting on a bench, both men meet in the eye and both pretend, for a
couple of minutes, not to see the other one. This anecdote sets the tone
of the book, marvellously described by the drummer who can't hide his
poetic roots. Strong stuff. Nice trick.
I once remarked at the, now defunct, Astral Piper forum that I couldn’t
understand the romantic feelings some female Barrett fans had for Syd. I
mean, this guy was a slightly disturbed diabetic senior and if I should
have asked them to have a fling with my grandfather they would’ve been
insulted… Espitallier is aware of this dichotomy and compares Syd
Barrett to Peter Pan. Syd was a Cambridge youngster who refused to grow
up and died in the early Seventies when he, like Icarus, reached for the
sky too soon. After all these years, fans were still hoping to find a
glimpse of Syd, although only Roger had survived.
From old aged Roger it goes to old aged rock. Espitallier makes the
point that we have forgotten about the My
Lai massacre but only remember its soundtrack. Good Morning
Vietnam has turned into an infomercialised cd-compilation (I have a Tour
Of Duty TV-Shop-six-pack myself). Television documentaries use The
Mamas and The Papas to comment napalm
warfare. We look at a vintage take of an American soldier who has just
placed a bullet through a women’s head but all we discuss is Suzy Q by
the Creedence Clearwater Revival. Although the above is not
really new, innovative or original, it is good to see it in print from
time to time.
Jean-Michel Espitallier is not always well informed. I can forgive him
that he mistakes the Dutch designer
duo Simon Posthuma and Marijke Koger for a couple of Germans but
when it comes to Syd some facts should better have been checked before
putting it into print. That Mick Rock did not shoot the cover
of The Madcap Laughs is perhaps stuff for anoraks (Mick Rock
himself has more or less hinted he was behind it anyway, a fact that
Storm Thorgerson denies) but the story that, shortly before his death,
Syd Barrett found a guitar from his brother-in-law and started strumming
it can be found in the Mike Watkinson & Pete Anderson Crazy
Diamond biography, that appeared 15 years before Syd Barrett passed
away. And that particular anecdote probably dated already from a few
years before it went into print. There are so many myths about Syd
Barrett that one doesn’t need to create new ones.
It is perhaps understandable, the man is a poet and not a biographer.
His book is about the Barrett phenomenon and not about the historical
Lost in translation
Jean-Michel Espitallier writes : Il y a la musique qui nous rentre
dans le cerveau musical et il y a la musique qui passe directement dans
Espitallier not only has been hit in the stomach by Syd’s music but
received some hits on the head as well, resulting in some serious brain
damage. He heard his first Syd song in 1973 and remembers it as Babe
Lemonade; actually it is Baby Lemonade. And Jean-Michel’s lethargic
song title memories keep on going on. Barrett’s James Joyce adaptation
is baptized Golden Air (not Hair) and Syd’s final Pink Floyd
statement Jugband Blues is changed to Jugband Blue. A couple of
decades ago I started reading a promising French novel but quit after a
dozen pages because the author kept on insisting on a Beatles’ song
called Eleanor Rugby. Things like that make me grind my teeth. It
makes me even wonder if Jean-Michel Espitallier is a real Barrett fan or
a mere fraud trying to cash in, like a few others, on the Barrett
legacy. For Ig’s sake, it just takes a 10 seconds look on a record
sleeve to see if a title has been noted down without mistakes.
The book ends with a list of creative geniuses who stopped being
creative at a certain point in their lives. One of these persons is the
19th century poet Arthur
Rimbaud, who stopped writing at 21 and proclaimed: Merde à la
poésie! I would like to end this review with: Merde au poète!
But let’s have a look at the pros and cons of his Syd-hiking first (bad
pun, I know)…
Pros: instead of the umpteenth biography this book is a personal
journey from the author through music, art and literature, using the
Barrett legend as a guide. Interesting viewpoints about music, fandom,
culture and politics are intertwined with nice wordplays such as ‘Bob
Dylan had a Plan Baez’.
Cons: actually Jean-Michel Espitallier gets more Barrett song
titles wrong than he gets them right. At a certain moment I even thought
he did it on purpose, the man is a poet after all.
I used to have this philosophy teacher who subtracted points from our
exam results if we made spelling mistakes. Although we were angry with
the man in those days I can now see he had a point (our points,
actually). So out of 10, Syd Barrett, le rock et autres trucs gets
an 8 for its content, but I feel obliged to subtract at least 5
points for its many mistakes.
...it is silent in here. Did a poet pass or did someone fart?
Espitallier, Jean-Michel: Syd Barrett, le rock et autres trucs,
Rey, Paris, 2009, 192 pages, 17 €.
Note: This book grew out of an essai radiophonique
Jean-Michel Espitallier gave on radiostation France Culture on 4
November 2007. Called Syd Barrett Quand Même it can be found
on the (interesting) French Floyd fansite Seedfloyd.
Webbrowser version: http://www.seedfloyd.fr/article/syd-barrett-quand-meme.
Direct downloads in MP3 or WMA format can be found on the same page.
Brethren Dan5482 visited the several Church locations (see underneath)
that can be found on the World Wide Web and confessed the following to
Despite all that collective amnesia I think that Iggy can still be
found. There are journalists, detectives... who have found more
However, an intense and widespread interest for her is a necessary
condition. Your Church is a source of hope in this sense. It lets many
people know that once such a mysterious woman existed.
It occurs to me that many people simply don’t want to know who or where
Iggy is. Imagine finding a 70-year old woman and to find out that her
words about that period are as simple and disappointing as "I don't like
to remember that period. I was out of my mind..." That could be the end
of a romantic dream.
Besides the fact that Iggy herself is an extremely intriguing figure,
there is also the possibility of obtaining a new narrative and facts
surrounding Syd Barrett's life in that fabled year of 1969.
Wise words from a wise man.
assumption that Ig was born at the end of World War II is true she is 64
or 65 years old at the moment (provided she is still amongst us). True
believers know the following story for sure… in April, or early May of
1970, Ig closed the door behind her at Wetherby Mansions and was never
seen back… Update: obviously this was written before Ig,
or Emily, was traced back by Mojo magazine.
Mick Rock has apparently stated that he heard from Duggie Fields, the
painter who was Syd Barrett’s roommate, that Iggy ‘went off with some
rich guy in Chelsea and lived a very straight life’ afterwards.
However Mark Blake squeezed a slightly different story out of him:
I have no idea who Iggy was or even what her real name was. She was
never Syd’s girlfriend. They just got together from time to time. (…) I
saw her not long after Syd left the flat and she was looking more like a
Sloane Ranger. I heard she’d become involved with one of the voguish
religious cults at the time.
Nobody knew her real first name, never mind her surname, or if they did,
they weren't telling. Duggie Fields recalls seeing her some time after
the Madcap Laughs photo session and she was looking a lot more
"sloaney". Most of the people I spoke to who knew her believe Iggy
married a rich businessman and doesn't now want to be 'found'.
The Cinderella story may be a case of confabulation.
One witness supposes that Ig married rich and over the years this story
infiltrates the memories of other people who, decades later, believe
this is really how it all happened. This is not done on purpose; our
memory likes to fill in the gaps and if we need to borrow memories of
other people we will subconsciously do that. Pink Floyd history contains
several anecdotes like that and in the several biographies and articles
Floydian insiders have told about situations that were originally
witnessed by others.
Update 2016: After Syd, Iggy met a rich banker who was a witness
of Jehovah, so the rumours were at least based upon some facts. The
relationship didn't last though and Iggy didn't marry 'rich'.
In February of this year Mark Blake reported to the Church:
I spoke to Emo a couple of weeks back and asked about Iggy and he
immediately said he remembered hearing she had gone back to the Far
East/Asia. But, as I have learned since doing the book, everyone has
conflicting memories about these things. (mail to the Reverend on
At The City Wakes festival in October and November of 1988 Anthony
Stern’s Eskimo Girl movie was shown to the public and during the Q&A
afterwards a member of the audience told the director that Iggy was
living in Chelsea. Nobody knows who this person is but if (s)he attended
the festival (s)he must have been a fan of Barrett or one of the members
of the Cambridge or London Underground gang who took this opportunity to
meet again after three decades. The Church would like to invite this
person to come forward and to contact the Reverend.
On the 7th of October 2006 the SydBarrett.net forum got the following
message from a certain YoungForEternity.
Does anyone know roughly how old Iggy would be? There's a woman who
works at a supermarket in my local town who claims to be "the" Iggy and
I don't know whether to believe her or not...I'd appreciate any pointers
or recognisable features? Her name is definitely Iggy, and I've been
studying images but it's difficult to tell... (Taken from whatever
happened to iggy the eskimo?)
The forum in question is no longer active and the messenger only posted
this single item. In 2006 Ig was (probably) 61 or 62 years old so
theoretically she should no longer have been working, as the State
Pension age for women born before 1950 is 60 (in the UK). But of course
there are always exceptions. To qualify for a full basic State
Pension she needed to have built up 39 years of National Insurance
payments and perhaps that may not have been the case. The Church would
also like the author of this post to come forward and to contact the
Update 2016: YoungForEternity was probably closer to the truth
than we all expected. Iggy has indeed been working at a local
Next week, sistren and brethren, the Holy Church of Iggy
the Inuit will celebrate its first birthday and a small and delicate
special treat will be offered. Till then. And remember; don’t do
anything that Ig wouldn’t have done…
Sources (other than internet links mentioned above):
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
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
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
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
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
Night forum member. Way to go, dollyrocker! (All links dead, we're
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
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.
In the interview that Iggy - or should we say Evelyn - gave after
nearly 40 years of silence in The
Croydon Guardian she remembers how she helped Syd to paint the
floorboards that would give an extra psychedelic feel to The Madcap
Laughs cover picture.
When Mick turned up to take the photos I helped paint the floor boards
for the shoot, I was covered in paint, I still remember the smell of it.
But Iggy, as we will keep on calling her, isn’t the only one
remembering. Also present were Rusty and Margaretta, better known as
I remember that Iggy was involved with the floor painting project and
that she had paint all over her during the floor painting time but I was
not involved with the painting of the floor.
Several biographies, including Julian Palacios’s Lost In The
Woods (p.241), Tim Willis’s Madcap (p.106) and Mark
Blake’s Pigs Might Fly (p. 141) describe Greta (sic) and
her companion Rusty as homeless ‘speed freaks’. This description almost
certainly comes from painter Duggie Fields who shared the flat with Syd
and who wasn’t very amused with the many people Syd invited to say the
Julian Palacios remembers Duggie Fields from an interview he did in 1996:
He was so cool. Reserved and wary at first, then about halfway through
he became super raconteur. (email to FA, 10 February 2010).
This lead to the following paragraph in the Lost In The Woods
Duggie Fields recalls a steady stream of visitors, ‘some visitors were
parasites and some were confused in their drug use, not even abusing
‘Rusty and Greta were homeless when they came to stay here,’ explains
Fields. ‘Greta became good friends with Jenny Spires, and came into
Syd’s life from that connection. They were in my life to a degree but I
didn’t want them around. (…) They probably brought stimulants for Syd
and he took them.’
Now, for the first time in over 40 years Margaretta Barclay has
decided to share her memories with the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit as
well. But lets starts by setting the record straight:
Your blog relating to Syd Barrett mentions that Rusty and I were drug
addicted. This is most certainly not true and an old friend of
ours - Jenny Spires has made that fact known to you.
My sister Catriona (Trina) and I met Jenny Spires during the mid 1960’s
at a London grooming school. Jenny introduced my sister and I to Syd at
101 Cromwell Rd and at Edgerton Court. Rusty was not with us at that
Rusty and I were not in the ‘steady stream of visitors’. In 1970 we were
in Suffolk at the beginning of that year and Devon for the remainder of
it. Not in London. We were not homeless either. Rusty and I left London
for various reasons but primarily because I was expecting my first child.
Syd was a very dear friend of ours and we did a considerable amount
together in the 60's. Contrary to what I have read, we did not provide
Syd with drugs.
It was of course 40 years ago when Barrett recorded The Madcap Laughs
and memories may have played tricks on people. A famous example is the
Mick Rock statement that Syd Barrett's car was bright pink while the
pictures taken by him on that day show that the car was actually dark
blue. On the DVD The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story Duggie
Fields remembers how Syd painted the floor boards of his flat.
Although the story is rather funny we now know that the actual truth may
have been somewhat different. Similar Syd Barrett myths or legends have
been created (and repeated in books and magazines) that way throughout
the years without veryfying. Margaretta continues:
Without wishing to be vindictive where Duggie Fields and his interviews
are concerned, surely, in order to obtain a balanced view of Syd’s
chosen circle of friends, it would be sensible to back up assumptions
Syd was a highly sensitive, almost delicate person, who was well aware
of his constitution where drugs were concerned and perfectly capable of
not being cajoled in to anything he did not want to do. To my knowledge,
he did not take vast quantities of drugs.
He enjoyed our company and invited us to stay at Wetherby Mansions where
we shared good times together. Iggy was around at that time too and I
remember her helping to paint the room in question. Dominique A., a
French friend of ours, was also close to Syd at this time. Jenny,
Catriona and I lived with her in Chelsea for a time.
Update: the Church managed to contact Dominique A. but she
refused to talk about the past.
According to Margaretta the legends surrounding Syd Barrett contain many
errors and “if they relate to my sister Catriona, Rusty and me, it is my
duty to ensure that they are not perpetuated”.
It is convenient to point a finger at others in order to explain Syd’s
behavioural patterns. Syd behaved in his inimitable way long before he
Duggie did not socialise with us as a group – and his conclusion that I
indulged in such a way - and on my own, is erroneous.
From our point of view Syd was a vulnerable person, we cared for him and
our aim was to encourage him to be creative, to write and play his
guitar. After all, Rusty only wanted to write and play music with Syd -
to give him drugs was not on our agenda; Syd - was ‘far out’ enough
The Reverend was of course anxious to know what kind of music Rusty and
Syd played together:
Rusty and Syd played Syd’s songs and variations on them ’Oh baby my
hairs on end about you’, ‘Octopus’ etc…, as well as songs they created
together and basic blues.
In 1969 we went to Isle of Wight Festival together and at one point, in
an effort to encourage Syd to play his guitar, we took him to stay with
a musician friend of ours in Wales. Gala may remember the journey.
There have indeed been rumours of Syd Barrett visiting the Isle
of Wight festival before and a (much discussed) picture of this
event does exist. Margaretta is formal that the photograph is genuine:
The Isle of Wight picture is definitely of Syd with me beside him. (She
is the woman at his left side, FA.)
Back to Rusty and Gretta. Hoping that the visit would inspire and
encourage Syd to return to the musical ‘land of the living’ they took
him to a ‘brilliant musician’ who lived in Solva, Haverfordwest, Dyfed: Meic
(Update: The next paragraph is totally wrong as the Welsh
musician in question iwas Meic Stevens, not Mike Stevens
(although Meic has also been credited as Mike, early in
his career). But as this Mike Stevens's family was so kind to contact
the Church and as his music is really groovy, the Reverend has decided
not to delete it. See: Gretta
Speaks (Pt. 2))
It is believed that this musician was Mike Stevens from the Welsh
band The Shevells (aka The Welsh Conquerors). In the mid sixties the
band recorded several records featuring Stevens on guitar and vocals.
Around 1966, as Mike Stevens & The Shevells, they recorded a cover
version of Cathy's Clown and the Go-Go
Train and as The Shevelles, Come
On Home. Stevens was an on/off member of the band as he was
apparently also involved in The Squires, originally Tom Jones’s back up
band and the composers of the hit It's Not Unusual. (Information taken
the Church is currently trying to contact M. Stevens.)
In a soon to be published, revised and updated, 2010 edition of Julian
Palacios’s biography Lost
In The Woods the roles of Gretta and Rusty in Syd Barrett’s life
have already been changed for the better. Palacios writes:
Life at home edged further toward the chaotic when Rusty and Greta,
casual friends of Barrett’s, moved in. (…) Only recently arrived in
London, not on the ‘underground scene’, they later left for Devon, where
they married and settled. Greta may have done speed, but the pair were
not the terrible people they have been painted as.
When Rusty B. split with Greta, he came and stayed with Jack Monck and
Jenny (Spires). In late 1972, Jack and Rusty started a new band, Rocks
(Above quotes from 'Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd' by Julian
Palacios - Plexus Books, May September 2010 edition.)
Gretta Barclay remarried, is a proud mother and an even prouder
grandmother, and according to her family ‘she is a wonderful amazing
beautiful lady who has 3 children who love her very much’.
The Reverend can only agree with that. Even for the Church there are
more important things in life than chasing the shadow of a girl who
lived for a while in a house were someone, apparently famous, lived as
The second part of the interview will be published in the weeks to come.
The Church wishes to thank: Margaretta Barclay for her invaluable
testimony about what really happened in those early days of 1969. Julian
Palacios for additional information.
Sources: (other than internet links mentioned above): Blake,
Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press, London, 2007, p.141. Fields,
Duggie interview in: The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story, DVD
UK Ltd 2005. Palacios, Julian: Lost In The Woods, Boxtree,
London, 1998, p. 241. Willis, Tim, Madcap, Short Books,
London, 2002, p. 106.
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
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:
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
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
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!
History, as we know it, is the story of royalty and generals and does
not contain the memory of the millions who succumbed or who tried to
build a normal life.
This also applies to modern popular history. Pink Floyd & Syd
Barrett biographies and the so-called Sixties counter-culture
studies that have appeared all repeat the memories of a small, nearly
incestuous, circle of people who made it, one way or another. You always
stumble upon those who have become the royalty and generals of the
Underground. Others are less known, the lower rank officers, but still
Other people had less luck, but at least we know some of their stories.
Syd Barrett, although a millionaire in pounds, still is the prototype of
the drug-burned psychedelic rock star. But there are other members of
the Sixties Cambridge mafia, a term coined by David Gilmour, who didn’t
make it and whose stories are less known.
Ian Pip Carter, whose career started in Cambridge in the early
Sixties as pill pusher, had to fight a heroine addiction for most of his
life. After a visit to his friend (and employer) David Gilmour in Greece
Pip was imprisoned for drug possession where he was forced to go cold
turkey but he fell again for the drug once released, despite the fact
that the Pink Floyd guitarist send him to (and paid for) several rehab
sessions. “The needle had dug so far; searching relentlessly for a vein,
(that it) had decimated the nervous system in his left arm”, writes
Matthew Scurfield in his account of the Cantabrigian London mob.
Described by Nick Mason as 'one of the world's most spectacularly inept
roadies' the Floyd eventually had to let Pip go. He was the one who
accidentally destroyed a giant jelly installation at the Roundhouse on
the 15th October 1966 by parking the Pink Floyd van in the middle of it
or, different witnesses tell different stories, by removing the wooden
boards that supported the bath that kept the jelly. (You can read the story,
taken from Julian Palacios 1988 Lost In The Woods biography here.)
In 1988 Carter was killed during a pub brawl in Cambridge. Mark Blake
writes how David Gilmour used to help his old Cambridge friends whenever
they were in financial trouble and Pip had been no exception.
People familiar with the finer layers of the Syd Barrett history know
Charan Singh, the Master of the Sant
Mat sect, rejected the rock star for obvious reasons. The religion
was strictly vegetarian, absolutely forbid the use of alcohol and drugs
and didn’t allow sex outside marriage. Syd 'I've got some pork
chops in the fridge' Barrett hopelessly failed on all those points.
It is believed that John Paul Robinson, nicknamed Ponji, a very ardent
follower of the Path, tried to lure Syd into the sect after he had
visited India in 1967. And probably it had been another Cantabrigian,
Paul Charrier who converted Ponji first. (Paul Charrier was one of the
people present at Syd's trip in 1965 where he was intrigued for hours by
a matchbox, a plum and an orange. This event later inspired Storm
Thorgerson for the Syd Barrett (compilation album) record cover
and an impressive and moving Pink Floyd backdrop movie.)
John Paul Robinson had his own demons to deal with and in the Sixties he
visited a progressive therapist who administered him LSD to open his doors
of perception. Only after he had returned from India he ‘literally
seemed to be shining with abundance’, passing the message to all his
friends that he had been reborn. Ponji gave up his job, wanted to lead
the life of a beggar monk, but his internal demons would take over once
in every while.
He'd sit on the stairs with his elbows on his knees and forehead placed
carefully at the tips of his fingers, reeling out the same old mantra
proclaiming how he was just a tramp, that his body was an illusion, a
mere prison, a temporary holding place for his soul.
The story goes that he shouted ‘I refuse to be a coward for the rest of
my life’ just before he jumped in front of an oncoming train (1979?).
We only happen to know these people in function of their relationship
with Syd Barrett. Their paths crossed for a couple of months and we, the
anoraks, are only interested in that one small event as if for the rest
of these peoples lives nothing further of interest has really happened.
But the truth is that their encounter with Barrett is just one small
glittering diamond out of a kaleidoscope of encounters, adventures,
joys, grieves, moments of happiness and sadness. It is the kaleidoscope
of life: falling in love and making babies that eventually will make
babies on their own. A granddaughter's smile today is of much more
importance than the faint remembrance of a dead rock star's smile from
over 40 years ago.
The Church should be probing for the kaleidoscope world and not for that
one single shiny stone. Syd may have been a star, but our daily universe
carries millions of those.
Dedicated to those special ones whose story we will never know.
Thanks to: Iain Moore, Paro नियत (where are you now?)
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press, London, 2007, p. 47, p. 337. Palacios,
Julian: Lost In The Woods, Boxtree, London, 1998, p. 85. Scurfield,
Matthew: I Could Be Anyone, Monticello Malta 2009, p. 151, p.
208, p. 265-266. Photo courtesy of William Pryor, p. 192.
Update 2016: In the 2015 coming of age novel Life
Is Just..., Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon describes early sixties Cambridge
and the submersion into eastern religions. Update 2019 08 02:
Pip picture added.
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
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
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
old lady from London-by-the-Sea.
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.
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.
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
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.
Update March 2017: Iggy's mother, so was confirmed to us, wasn't
from the Himalayas. She probably lived near the The Lushai Hills (or
Mizo Hills), a mountain range in Mizoram, situated at the North-East of
India, sharing borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
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
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
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.
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
And for those new believers, here is a quick overview of the Iggy events
of past year:
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.)
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."
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
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.
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.
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,
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.
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 ♥.
Words: Mark Blake. Pictures: Storm Thorgerson, Iggy Rose, Rank
Organisation. Date: 20 January 2011. Previously published on
If there is one image of Syd Barrett that never ceases to fascinate it's the
back cover of his debut album, The Madcap Laughs. The reason: the
mysterious naked woman perched on a stool with her head thrown back and
face obscured by swathes of long dark hair. Syd's companion was known
only as "Iggy The Eskimo". But as Barrett fans have been
wondering since 1970 - who was Iggy and where did she go?
Rock believed that his cover girl had "married a rich guy and moved
off the scene". Barrett's old flatmate, the artist Duggie Fields,
heard that "Iggy had become involved with one of the voguish religious
cults of the time", before adding to the mythology with a story of once
seeing her disembarking from a Number 31 bus in Kensington, wearing a
1940s-era gold lamé dress, and very little else.
In 2002, Mick's coffee-table book Psychedelic
Renegades featured more shots of Syd and Iggy posing outside the
Earls Court mansion block, alongside Barrett's abandoned Pontiac. Rock's
photos found their way onto most Pink Floyd fansites, where Iggy
had acquired cult status. Before long, The
Holy Church Of Iggy The Inuit, a fansite in her honour, had
appeared, its webmaster, Felix Atagong, sifting through ever scrap of
information gleaned from MOJO and elsewhere with a forensic scientist's
attention to detail. Among Felix's discoveries was a
November 1966 issue of NME which featured a photo of "Iggy who is
half eskimo" dancing at South Kensington's Cromwellian club.
While researching my Pink Floyd biography (2007's Pigs
Might Fly: The Inside Story Of Pink Floyd) I quizzed everyone about
Iggy's whereabouts. Anthony Stern, formerly a schoolmate of David
Gilmour's, told me he had met her at a Hendrix gig and had
just discovered photos he had taken of her on a houseboat in Chelsea;
Anthony had also filmed Iggy dancing in Russell Square. Meanwhile,
former Middle Earth club DJ Jeff Dexter recalled meeting "the
mysterious-looking" Iggy in 1963, when she was a "part of a group of
very wonderful looking South London girls" that danced at The Orchid
Ballroom in Purley. Jeff even hatched a plan with his friend, the late
DJ and Shadows songwriter Ian "Sammy" Samwell, to turn
Iggy and two of her friends into "a British version of The
Supremes. We booked a studio but unfortunately none of them could
sing." Believing that Iggy may have gone to school in Thornton Heath,
Jeff and Anthony contacted The Croydon Guardian, who ran an article - So
Where Did She Go To, My Lovely - enquiring after the whereabouts of the
girl "who entirely captured the spirit of the '60s".
Then, in March 2010, MOJO received a letter from ex-Cambridge mod Pete
Brown, who had "shared some wild nights on the town with Iggy in the
1970s". Pete informed us that Iggy had been last heard of in the '80s
"working at a racing stables... and has since been keeping her
whereabouts quiet." Pete sent a copy of the letter to The Croydon
Guardian, whose reporter traced Iggy through the stables and phoned her
out of the blue. Their subsequent article included a handful of quotes
from its reluctant subject, including the words: "I have now left that
life behind me." Which is why it came as a surprise when my mobile rang
late one Saturday night. "It's Iggy!" declared the voice at the other
end, as if I would have known that already. "I've been reading what you
wrote about me in MOJO... about the pictures of my bottom."
The local newspaper's call had prompted Iggy to borrow a neighbour's
computer and go online for the first time. She was amazed to discover
MOJO, the fansites, the photos, and the wild speculation and
misinformation about her time with Syd Barrett. Which is why, in October
2010, I found myself stepping off a train at an otherwise deserted
Sussex railway station to be met by the woman that had once graced the
cover of The Madcap Laughs. Three hours in a local gastro-pub and
countless phone calls later, Iggy pieced together her story. Some of it
was printed in MOJO
207, the rest is here...
Firstly, why Iggy? "My real name is Evelyn," she explains. "But when I
was a child, my neighbour's young daughter could never pronounce Evelyn,
and always called me Iggy. Now everyone calls me as Iggy. But 'The
Eskimo' nickname was a joke. That was something I told the photographer
from the NME when he took my picture at The Cromwellian." Iggy's father
was a British army officer, who served alongside Louis Mountbatten, and
attended the official handover ceremony from Great Britain to India's
first Prime Minister, Jawaharial Nehru in 1947. "My father also knew all
about Mountbatten's wife's affair with Nehru," she adds mischievously.
During a spell of leave, he had travelled to a remote village in the
Himalayas "where he met the woman that would become my mother." Iggy was
born in Pakistan, and attended army schools in India and Aden, before
the family moved to England. But not, as believed, Thornton Heath. "I
grew up by the seaside," she reveals. "I went to art school. I became a
mod in Brighton, and saw the fights with the rockers, and I met The
Who when they were on Ready Steady Go! I loved soul music, loved The
Righteous Brothers, and I loved dancing, so I used to go to all the
clubs - The Orchid Ballroom in Purley, where I met lovely Jeff Dexter,
The Cromwellian, The Flamingo, The Roaring Twenties..."
It was at The Cromwellian that Iggy encountered Eric Clapton. "I
didn't know who he was at first," she insists. "He took me to meet Lionel
Bart and to a party at Brian Epstein's place..." By the
mid-'60s Iggy had become a Zelig-like presence on the capital's music
scene, sometimes in the company of Keith Moon, Brian Jones,
Keith Richards.... She saw Hendrix make his UK debut at the Bag
O' Nails in November '66, and in February '67, narrowly avoided the
police raid at Richards' country pile, in West Wittering: "The night
before, I decided not to go, thank God." A year later, still in the
Stones' orbit, she found herself watching the recording sessions for
what became Sympathy For The Devil.
By then, Iggy had made her film debut. In 1967, IN Gear was a short
documentary screened as a supporting film in cinemas around the country.
Its theme was Swinging London, including the chic Kings Road clothes
shop Granny Takes A Trip, a place, according to the breathless narrator
that "conforms to the non-conformist image of the !" A
mini-skirted Iggy can be seen in one silent clip, sifting through a
rack of clothes and chatting with Granny's co-owner Nigel Waymouth.
By 1967, pop music had changed. The summer before, Iggy had met Syd
Barrett's girlfriend Jenny Spires, and drifted into the Floyd's social
clique, showing up at the UFO club nights where Pink Floyd played
regularly: "When I recently watched that Syd Barrett documentary [The
Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett & Story] and saw Syd in the kaftan,
chanting [on Pow R Toc H], the memories came rushing back," she
explains. "I'd been there. I'd seen that." In April '67, Iggy joined the
counter-culture throng in Alexandra Palace for The
14-Hour Technicolor Dream - "all 14 hours of it!" - where Floyd
played a hypnotic set at dawn.
By early 1968, though Barrett had been replaced by David Gilmour, and,
according to many, was on a drug-fuelled downward spiral. Towards the
end of the year, he moved into a new place with his level-headed friend,
the would-be artist Duggie Fields. The pair took over a two-bedroom flat
Wetherby Mansions in Earls Court. Around January '69, at Jenny
Spires' suggestion, Iggy, needing a place to stay, moved in. She hooked
up with Barrett, but shared a musical bond with Fields: "Duggie and I
were into soul music, and Syd used to laugh at me dancing around to
As Iggy told MOJO 207: "I didn't know Syd had been a pop star."
Elaborating further, "I didn't make the connection between him and the
person I had seen at UFO. I knew he was beautiful looking and he had
real presence, but that was all." Once, when she picked up his acoustic
guitar, fooling around, he took it off her and started playing properly.
"I was overwhelmed. The way he played the guitar, the way he moved. He
said, 'Do you think I look good?'," she laughs. "I said, 'You look
amazing. Wow!' He then said, 'Would you listen to this?' And he bought
out this big, old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape recorder, and said, 'Tell
me what you think'." Syd then played her the songs that would end up on
The Madcap Laughs. One track, Terrapin,
made an immediate impression. "I said, 'That's quite catchy', and, of
course, I don't think Syd was really into catchy...It was a long tape,
and he didn't demand any opinion, but just asked if I thought it was OK.
At the end he said 'Someone at EMI - I cannot remember the name - wants
me to make a record. How would you feel about having a rock star
Words: Mark Blake. Pictures: Iggy Rose, Chris Lanaway. Date: 20
January 2011. Previously published on mojo.com.
While there are many reports of Barrett being withdrawn and even
aggressive at this time, Iggy remembers it differently. "People talk
about Syd's madness and his dark side, but I never saw it," she states.
"We had a wonderful giggly time. There were no sinister moments." Only
briefly did she glimpse a more troubled side to his personality. "One
day, he said to me, 'How do you feel? Are you sad?' I was naked, and he
went and got some paint and painted two great big eyes on my breasts
with two tears coming down, and on my belly button he painted an arrow
and underneath that a picture of me with a big belly, and said, 'There
could be life in there. I could give you life.' But I didn't want that
at all. So I panicked, and scrubbed it off." He was also uncomfortable
with some aspects of fame, as Iggy discovered on a night out with Syd to
The Speakeasy, a music-biz haunt in Margaret Street. "We'd persuaded Syd
to go, but it was full of posers," she admits. "There were a few of us
there. Someone asked the DJ to put on See Emily Play, which was a stupid
thing to do." A hit for Pink Floyd more than two years before, the
dance-floor cleared. "So I went on and started dancing, but Syd ran off.
He was obviously very sensitive about it all."
"We had a wonderful giggly time. There were no sinister moments."
In March '69, Barrett began recording The Madcap Laughs at Abbey Road,
but his erratic behaviour in the studio resulted in Roger Waters
and David Gilmour helping to oversee the sessions. Gilmour was now
living in Richmond Mansions, a block so close to Wetherby Mansions that
he could almost see into Syd and Duggie's kitchen window. One evening,
Syd announced that he had to go out. Iggy wanted to go with him, but
Barrett insisted she remain at the flat. "I think I thought he was
seeing another woman," she says. "I got a bit jealous, a bit pouty -
very silly. Duggie knew where Syd had gone but wouldn't tell me." With
Syd gone, Iggy decided to pay a visit to David Gilmour instead. Fields
helped Iggy back-comb her hair, plaster her face with make-up and paint
her lips black. "I looked like Medusa. Like a banshee. Duggie then took
me round to Dave's place. Dave was very beautiful and very cool, and his
flat was nicer than Syd and Duggie's - it was warmer for a start. Dave
opened the door, took one look at me, but didn't bat an eyelid."
When Iggy walked in, she saw Syd sat in Gilmour's living room. "I went
in, shouting, 'OK, where is she?' thinking there was a woman hiding in
one of the rooms. But, of course, the meeting had been with Dave about
the record they were making together." Barrett left Iggy with Gilmour,
but rather the worse for wear, she knocked the stylus on his record
player accidentally scratching his copy of Pink Floyd's brand new album.
"I have no idea what album it was, only that it was their new album,"
Iggy sighs. (The likely candidate seems to be Soundtrack From The Film
More) "So Dave threw me out... If he ever reads this I would like to say
sorry for scratching his record." Back at Wetherby Mansions, Barrett was
unfazed by her planned defection: "Syd just said, 'Come in love, and
I'll make you a cup of tea'. How sweet."
By now, Barrett had prepared his bedroom for The Madcap... cover shoot,
painting most of the floorboards orange and mauve. On the morning of the
shoot, Syd asked Iggy to help finish the job. "He jumped off the
mattress and said, 'Quick, grab a paint brush.' He did one stripe and I
did another. If you look at Mick Rock's pictures, I have paint on the
soles of my feet." When Rock arrived with the Floyd's sleeve designer Storm
Thorgerson to take the photos, a naked Iggy went to put some clothes
on. "But Syd said, 'No, don't'. That was his wicked sense of humour. I
put the kohl around his eyes that day and tousled up his hair: come on
Syd, give us a smile, moody, moody, moody! But he knew exactly what he
was doing. He was as sharp as anything. He set the tone. He was the
"Syd just said, 'Come in love, and I'll make you a cup of tea'. How
Iggy joined Syd for further photos outside the flat. Later, Rock
recalled showing Barrett one of the pictures and Syd mysteriously
scratching around Iggy's image; an act that has acquired some
significance among Barrett's more earnest devotees. "They're making
something out of nothing," she insists. "Later on, Syd showed me one of
the pictures and said, 'You like that one, don't you? I know why,
because of your cheekbones'. I think I was sucking on a cigarette, and,
yes, I was being vain, I liked the way my cheekbones looked. So he tore
the pic in half and gave it to me. There was nothing more to it than
that." Strangely, Iggy also recalls other photographs being taken that
day, which have never appeared since. "I don't think Storm and Mick were
very impressed by them. If you've ever seen the cover of the Rod
Stewart album, Blondes Have More Fun, they were a bit like that...
Of me and Syd. There were others of me and Syd, as well, which remind me
of the picture of John and Yoko [on Two Virgins] which came out later.
I'd love to see those pictures now."
Before long, Iggy had drifted out of Wetherby Mansions and out of Syd's
life as quickly as she had drifted in. When she returned later, Duggie
told her: "Syd's not here. He's gone back to Cambridge. Don't bother
trying to find him." She never saw him again, and is adamant she only
became aware of her presence on the cover of The Madcap Laughs
after being phoned by the Croydon Guardian: "I went to a boot sale with
my husband... When I saw the cover, I thought, Oh yes, that is my
Although the stories of her marrying a rich banker and joining a
religious cult are untrue, there is a kernel of truth: after Syd, Iggy
began seeing a wealthy businessman who was also a scientologist. However
Duggie Fields' recollection of spotting Iggy climbing off a bus in a
gold lamé dress is not in dispute: "It was a beautiful dress that cost
£50." Still a fixture on the music scene, Iggy recalls accompanying Pink
Fairies' drummer Twink to the Isle Of Wight Festival and turning up
"for the very first Glastonbury... ". But in 1978 Iggy married her
husband, Andrew, and "left that life behind me".
"I heard on the radio that Syd died, and I felt sad, but it was so long
ago," she says. Since reading about those times in MOJO, the memories of
the people and the places have slowly come back to her. "Mick Rock took
some beautiful picture of me," she smiles. "But, of course, I wish I'd
been paid some money for them. Still, it is amazing that people have
been looking for me... and that someone has even set up a website. I
still don't know what to make of all this." The fascination continues.
Last week, Iggy called to tell me she had found a poem online written
about her by a professor at a university in Missouri. "And it's in
French," she said, sounding astonished. "'Iggy l'esquimo, Fille De Le
Space'...it goes. I never believed anyone would ever write a poem for
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.
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.
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.)
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
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
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
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
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
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
Much love, Iggy
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
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 the Eskimo 2011 photoshoot 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
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:
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
Peace and Love, Dan, Ottawa, Canada
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
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
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.
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
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
Last but not least: ♥ Iggy ♥ and her loyal friends who pass her
messages to and fro.
In January of this year Mojo
published a (way too short) Mark
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
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 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.
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 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,
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
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
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
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.
Update March 2018: Iggy's mother, so was confirmed to us, wasn't
from Pakistan, but from Mizoram, situated at the North-East of India,
sharing borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar. Probably that is where Iggy
was born and went to school. The 'evening stroll' of Iggy's dad did not
take place in the Himalaya's, but at the Lushai Hills, a mountain range
in Mizoram and Tripura, India.
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
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
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.
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
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 ♥
The Anchor's editor was kindly asked, although summoned would be a more
appropriate term, to do an independent review of an interview of the
Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit that recently appeared on
the extraordinary Spanish Barrett blog Solo
en las Nubes (Alone in the Clouds).
Run by Antonio Jesús the blog is a mix of information and
fun, containing several references to La Sagrada Iglesia de Iggy La
Esquimal, that could be without doubt a title for one of the weirder Pedro
Almodóvar movies. Quite recently, in a dark corner of The
Anchor, dimly lit by a dripping candle in a bottle on the rough
wooden table, I bend over to the gorgeous black-haired girl sitting in
front of me, slowly whispering 'La Sagrada Iglesia de Iggy La Esquimal'
in her ears (actually, in one ear only as it is quite infeasible to
whisper in two ears at the same time, except for Mick Jagger perhaps).
Oh Alex Fagotin baby, she passionately sighed with heaving
breasts, say that to me one more time, but unfortunately my hair already
had caught fire by then.
One very interesting part of the Spanish Barrett blog are the so-called self-interviews
(or autoentrevista) and so far Antonio has persuaded Duggie
Fields and Laughing Madcaps front-man Kiloh Smith to reveal
their souls in these autobiographical Rorschach
Titled 'Felix Atagong: "Un hombre sincero"' the latest
self-interview has provoked roars of hysterical laughter from the Åland
Islands to Wallis
and Futuna. We reveal no real secrets if we tell you that the
Reverend has left a trail of female victims from Oslo to Tarzana
and rumour goes there will be more to follow despite many international
The Reverend's self-interview can already be described as absolute
rock-bottom and without doubt it will be voted the all-time-worst-entry
at the - otherwise excellent - Spanish Barrett blog. Time to let you
decide for yourself what a kind of pompous pathetic pumpernickel that
Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit really is. Ladies and
gentlemen, the Anchor presents, but not too proudly: Felix Atagong: an
Felix Atagong: "Un hombre sincero"
Even the roads of rock are unfathomable.
Felix Atagong, from Belgium, has created a blog dedicated to Iggy, the
model of The Madcap Laughs album. Nobody knew her whereabouts for almost
forty years. The coincidence of life, meaning that it is not
coincidental at all, has lead this case to an unexpected but
In his self-interview, Mr. Atagong, the Sherlock Holmes of the Floydian
world (he even helped to clarify the Publius Enigma) and always
committed to the truth he slowly peels the layers of the story of his
blog, and more... (introduction written by Antonio Jesús)
1. What is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit?
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is a blog for Syd Barrett fans dealing
with the – very short – period in 1969 when Syd's alleged girlfriend
Iggy lived with the singer. Apart from some unverified rumours about her
Eskimo roots nobody really knew something about her, nor what happened
to her after her sudden disappearance in 1969.
2. How did it all start?
The Church more or less started as a prank. Discussing the (theoretical)
possibility of a Barrett religion on the Late Night forum I mentioned a Saint
Iggy Congregation in 2007 and when, in March 2008, DollyRocker
recognised Iggy acting in a 1967 British documentary, I jokingly announced
the Church's birth. But the idea still ripened for five months before
any blog post appeared.
3. What were your intentions?
These were quite ambiguous by design.
Obviously the Church frame, lead by an all-knowing Reverend who
addresses his flock in a swollen and theatrical language, is satirical.
I wanted to imitate those overzealous fans, who can't stop arguing that
Barrett is the world's most underrated musical genius and graphical
artist and who painstakingly, almost in religious stupor, scrutinize
every minute of his life.
But while I was developing the blog I soon realised that I was
painstakingly, almost in religious stupor, collecting all available
puzzle pieces that lay shattered over the net, on blogs, in forums, that
were published in different articles and biographies, thus creating the
ultimate Iggy repository.
Both concepts share an an osmotic relationship and - by being what it is
and what it pretends to be – the Church has evolved into a meta-concept,
although that thin ironic line is probably completely ignored by the
people who visit it.
4. But the Church did trigger an Iggy revival, didn't it?
Not really. Every avalanche starts with a couple of snowflakes and by
sheer luck the Holy Church happened to be on the right place at the
right time. After nearly 40-years of silence several people
simultaneously remembered Iggy. Most of the time the Church was not
involved but has been monitoring and commentating these events. What
nobody expected, except perhaps for the Holy Igquisition, is that it
resulted in some sort of Iggymania.
Iggymania started when Mojo magazine put Syd Barrett on its cover in
2010. Of course that cover story was all about The Madcap Laughs 40th
birthday but the Church had clearly inspired one of the articles. Not
only did this boost the hits on the website but a few days later The
Church could reveal that Evelyn (Iggy) had been found back as well and
that thanks to Mojo.
Beginning of this year Pink Floyd biographer Mark Blake could finally
interview Iggy and that is when Iggymania fully exploded.
5. Not bad for something that started as a joke.
The Church had already turned serious when JenS shared her memories with
us, revealing that she (probably) introduced Iggy to Syd and pinpointing
The Madcap Laughs photo-shoot date in spring, rather than in the autumn
of 1969. Some time later another acquaintance of Syd gave her first
interview ever to the Church. Margaretta Barclay and her boyfriend Rusty
were regular visitors at Syd's flat and they even tried to resuscitate
Barrett's interest in music by dragging him over to Meic Stevens, who is
still some kind of weird folk cult figure.
I find it rewarding that some of the Church theories have been reprinted
in magazine articles and biographies, so I guess we're not all rubbish
6. But finding Iggy also presented a major crisis for the Church,
It is the ambiguity of all organisations that have a certain goal. What
do you do if the goal has been reached? What will Greenpeace do if
no-one hunts little seals any more? The worst thing that could happen to
the Church was to find Iggy! But every time the Reverend uttered the
fear there would be lack of Iggy, something new turned up. And 2011 has
already proved to be no exception.
Thinking about the future the Church did some reorganising and will
continue developing into other areas, of course not neglecting its
primary task to inform about al things Ig. One of the new items at the
Church will be a gossip corner called 'The Anchor', named after the
Cambridge pub Syd Barrett used to visit in the early Sixties. We hope it
will stir things up as the Barrett community has become quite lethargic
lately. We're all old farts who fall asleep after our afternoon tea and
7. The question we are all waiting for: is Iggy aware of it at all
and what does she think of the Church?
Evelyn kept a low profile over the years, although she apparently never
hid the fact that she had been on the cover of The Madcap Laughs album.
But the path of Iggy and the path of the Barrett fan community simply
didn't converge for the last 40 years.
Recently Iggy has contacted the Church and she gave us valuable
information. However the question is what will happen when Iggymania
freezes over. I feel it a bit hypocrite to say that now, but it was
never the Church's intention to invade Iggy's privacy.
8. This interview should have at least one anoraky question,
reflecting the true nature of the Church. Does the 'eskimo chain' line
in Barrett's Dark Globe refer to Iggy?
Dark Globe is a very poignant, hermetic track and, as is the case in
many of Syd's songs, its lyrics can be interpreted in different ways. I
think Julian Palacios describes it as a lament to Pink Floyd or
something of that order. It also reads as a goodbye song to a past love
and here is where the 'eskimo chain' line fits in – or doesn't.
I'm only a person with Eskimo chain I tattooed my brain all the way... Won't
you miss me? Wouldn't you miss me at all?
Most people who read Barrett blogs will know that Barrett recorded under
the guidance of Malcolm Jones, but somewhere in May 1969 he passed the
torch to David Gilmour (Roger Waters would join in as well on a later
date). Jones had given up in desperation, as Peter Jenner had done the
year before, that last one declaring that the sessions had been 'chaos'.
Finally it was David Gilmour who pleaded Harvest records to allow
Barrett a third and final chance to finish his solo record. Of course
this is just one interpretation and not all biographers and witnesses
agree with that. Another story goes that Malcolm Jones simply invited
Gilmour (and Waters) for marketing reasons: three Pink Floyd members for
the price of one, so to speak (four if one adds Rick Wright who might
have done some uncredited overdubs on Golden Hair). Probably the truth
lies, as is often the case, somewhere in the middle.
The first session of the third recording round took place on the 12th of
June 1969. Barrett premiered two new songs: Dark Globe and Long Gone. On
the third (and final) session (26th of July) Roger Waters joined David
Gilmour and a couple of other attempts were made of the same songs.
(this alternative version of Dark Globe, now retitled as Wouldn't You
Miss Me, was later released on the Opel outtakes album.)
It would be logical to see Long Gone and Dark Globe as an indivisible
pair as they are both sad love songs. But there is an abundance of that
theme on The Madcap Laughs. Jenny Spires told the Church: “Syd wrote
songs and not all of them were about one person or another. It was his
job. (…) Syd was not romantically inclined this way. 'I'm only a person
with Eskimo chain' refers to the evolutionary chain, not to a specific
person. He was on a very much higher spiritual plane, not so much on the
But on the other hand Syd liked to put wordplay and little nods to
reality in his texts. Pink Floyd's second single See Emily Play refers
to psychedelic debutante Emily Young and to Libby Gausden, Jennifer
Gentle from Lucifer Sam is a mixture between Jenny Spires and an ancient
English ballad called 'There were three sisters' (Jennifer, Gentle and
Dark Globe also contains the verse: “'The poppy birds way, swing twigs
coffee brands around.” At first sight this is just a nature description
set in a romantic mood but if one knows that a former girlfriend of Syd
was Vivian 'Twig' Brans it becomes quite clear that Syd has cryptically
entered her name in that line.
So while Dark Globe may have no-one specific in mind the Eskimo chain
line may have been a slight nod toward Iggy.
9. This explanation made my appetite grow for more. How can one join
To paraphrase Groucho Marx: I don't want to belong to any Church that
will accept me as a member, so you can't. The Church does have some
loyal friends though who have helped by passing on valuable information.
Basically the Church just reaps what others have sown (a common practice
amongst churches, I might add). Many kudos go to a long list of loyal
brainstormers, informants, witnesses and friends (and I already want to
apologise for the ones I have forgotten): Anne, Anthony, Bea, Denis,
DollyRocker, Douggie, Eternal, Gretta, Jenny, Julian, Kieran, Lisa,
Mark, Paro, Prydwyn, Rod, Sadia, Sean, Vicky, our many visitors and
fans... And of course Iggy herself.
10. What is this recurring thing about the Holy Igquisition?
Nobody expects the Holy Igquisition!
Self-interview courtesy of: Solo en las Nubes (2011) - Felix
Atagong: "Un hombre sincero", introduction written by
Antonio Jesús. Self-interview written in December 2010 and updated in
The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical
division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad
character. More info: The
Anchor. Read our legal stuff: Legal
Those that have been living on planet Magrathea for the past
couple of months may not have been aware that Thursday, 17th of March
2011 was a great day in the life for a Barrett-fan.
The long awaited book 'Barrett',
apparently nobody attempts to use a combination of Madcap or Crazy
Diamond any more, which is a good thing, was launched with a
mega-party and exhibition at Idea
The Church will review the definitive visual companion to the life of
Syd Barrett in the weeks to come so for the moment you have to content
yourself with the message that it is a splendiferous (and heavy... and
pricey) work of art... and love.
Attending the launch were Anthony Stern, Aubrey "Po" Powell, Captain
Sensible, Dark Globe, David Gale, Duggie Fields, Graham Coxon, Ian
Barrett, Irene Winsby, Jenny Spires, John 'Hoppy' Hopkins, Libby
Gausden, Mark Blake, Miles, Philip James, Rosemary Breen, Vic Singh,
Warren Dosanjh and many others... enough to make a Pink Floyd aficionado
But for the Church (and not only for the Church) the star of the evening
undoubtedly was a woman of international mystery... and here are some
pictures of her:
Libby Gausden and Iggy
John "Hoppy" Hopkins and Iggy
Iggy and Andy Rose
Ian Barrett, Iggy and Captain Sensible
Duggie Fields and Iggy
Brian Wernham and Iggy
Iggy having some fun with the paparazzi
Where is Iggy? and who else can you recognise on this picture?
Some answers: Antonio Jesús: "The tall guy in brown is Warren
Dosanjh." Mark Jones: "Duggie Fields." Jenny
Spires: "Nigel Gordon and Jimmie Mickelson, Will Shutes and Viv's
nephew, Kieren and his partner..." Libby Gausden Chisman: "Roe
Barrett and her husband Paul Breen, Buster and his partner who used to
come swimming with Dave Gilmour and me at Jesus Green swimming pool in
One of our brethren told the Reverend afterwards:
I saw Iggy at the launch yesterday. She did very well, considering it
was her first public appearance. She had a legion of female admirers so
she was happy, and people were thrilled to meet her.
The Church wishes to thank: Antonio Jesús, Mark Blake, Libby Gausden
Chisman, Dark Globe, Paul Drummond, Jimmie James, Mark Jones, Jenny
Spires, Brian Wernham and the beautiful people at Late Night and
Facebook. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
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
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
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
La Gazza Ladra
That not all Syd Barrett fans are trustworthy holy men proves the
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
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 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 ♥
Yesterday, on Friday the 11th of June 2011, the Reverend of the Holy
Church of Iggy the Inuit was waiting on a bench at the central bus
station when a man addressed him in French, but he soon switched over to
"I see you are reading a nice book about Pink Floyd. I used to be a Pink
Floyd fan myself. Syd Barrett, the madcap loves."
At least it sounded like 'the madcap loves' in my ears and not 'the
madcap laughs', but perhaps the man had just a small problem with
English pronunciation. Never have made that link myself, I can only
smilingly agree that the madcap loves is one of the better
Floydian slips ever.
The madcap loves, I love it.
But perhaps I just misheard the thing, my ears aren't any more what they
used to be, after having been mistreated by Iron Maiden on my iPod for
the last lustrum.
Mad cat's something you can't explain
A trademark rhyme in Barrett's Octopus
song is the line that named the album:
The madcaplaughed at the man on the border Heigh-ho,
Huff the Talbot.
But Rob Chapman, in an interesting YouTube interview
about his biography A
Very Irregular Head, is of the opinion that Barrett did not sing mad-cap
but mad cat. In that case the title of Barrett's first solo
album is based upon a misunderstanding from producer David
The mad cat laughed at the man on the border Heigh-ho,
Huff the Talbot.
Since Paul Belbin's excellent cyber-essay 'Untangling
the Octopus' (2005), hosted at the Church with the author's
permission, we know that the Octopus song (also titled Clowns
and Jugglers in an earlier stage) is packed with obscure literary
references, disclaiming the rumour that Barrett wrote his songs in a
drug influenced frenzy. One of the characters ripped by Syd Barrett
comes from an anonymous nursery rhyme called 'Huff
the Talbot and our cat Tib':
Huff the talbot and our cat Tib They took up sword and
shield, Tib for the red rose, Huff for the white, To fight upon
For the adherers of the mad cat theory it is perhaps of importance here
that the dog's adversary in the battle of Bosworth
just above is not a mad-cap but a cat called Tib.
Rob Chapman also mentions nonsense poet Edward
Lear as a further influence on Barrett but he didn't catch the
There was an old man on the Border, Who lived in the
utmost disorder; He danced with the cat, And made
tea in his hat, Which vexed all the folks on the Border.
You don't need to be a genius to reconstruct how the dancing cat from
Lear's man on the border and Tib, the warrior cat at Bosworth field,
amalgamated into the mad cat character in Octopus.
But, as with all things Syd, things aren't always that simple. The
madcap believers have a point as well as a madcap galloping chase does
appear in an early incarnation of Clowns and Jugglers:
Sit up, touching hips to a madcap galloping chase "Cheat"
he cried shouting “Kangaroo!”
The wind one morning sprang up from sleep, Saying, “Now for a frolic!
now for a leap! Now for a madcap, galloping chase! I’ll
make a commotion in every place!”
In that case David Gilmour mistook one line for the other and the
album's title may have been taken from a quote that didn't make it on
Salvation Came Lately
But the above has got absolutely nothing to do with today's article and
the Reverend duly apologises for the confusion.
Sitting on a bench at the bus station he was addressed by a man who had
found a common point of interest: Pink
Floyd. To prove that the traveller wasn't talking bollocks, the
sharp-dressed man suddenly sang the following lines from Jugband
I don't care if the sun don't shine and I don't care if nothing is
mine and I don't care if I'm nervous with you I'll do my loving in
Asked to sing a favourite line from a Floyd tune (luckily that never
happens) I would never quote an early song, so the choice of this man
was quite interesting, to say the least. Unfortunately, the strophe was
followed by the announcement that he didn't listen to the Floyd any
more, only to religious music.
To my shame I have to admit that the Reverend didn't see it coming that
another Reverend was trying to lure him into the tentacles of another
Church... Coincidentally we had to take the same bus and we talked like
close friends until it was time for the ambassador of god to leave the
ambassador of Iggy.
The 'book' I was reading wasn't a book but a special 82 pages issue from
the French rock magazine Vibrations,
entirely dedicated to Pink Floyd (7,90 €). Printed on luxurious glossy
paper it assembles articles (translated in French) from well known Q,
Mojo and NME journalists, such as Martin Aston, the Church's partner in
Blake, Pat Gilbert, Chris Salewicz and the French Aymeric Leroy, who
apparently has written an acclaimed biography on the band: 'Pink Floyd: Plongée
dans l'oeuvre d'un groupe paradoxal'.
The times are long gone when I bought everything that was from far or
nearby Pink Floyd related, I even resisted buying Pink Floyd coffee mugs
a couple of week ago, something that would have been impossible for me
in the past millennium, so here is a biography I wasn't aware of. Not
that I am planning to buy it. There isn't one single French Pink Floyd
or Syd Barrett biography that doesn't clash with my personal beliefs of
what a good biography should be.
Update 2011 06 20: Unfortunately the Internet isn't the safe
place any more where you can insult someone without being noticed.
Aymeric Leroy got hold of this post and wanted to set a few things
Thanks for mentioning my book on your blog. I'd just like to point out
that it isn't a "biography", more like a critical assessment of the
band's entire discography, which does include background info of a
biographical nature, but primarily an analysis of the music and lyrics.
The stuff I wrote for the special issue of "Vibrations" is expanded from
the more biographical passages of the book, but the book isn't an
"expanded" version of those. There are other people who did a great job
telling the band's history, and I relied on their work, but my reason
for adding yet another book to the impressive PF bibliography was to try
and do something different - write about the actual music for at least
75% of the book.
Duly noted, Aymeric, and perhaps the Church will have a go at your book
then, one of these days...
Uncut and uncombed
It promises to be a hot Pink Floyd year, this year, and the makers of Uncut
magazine have issued a 146 pages Pink Floyd special in their The
Ultimate Music Guide series. It isn't such a classy edition as the
French Vibrations, but of course the good news is that it
contains at least twice as much information. With at least one article
or interview per Pink Floyd record this obviously is the 'better buy' of
the two, although the initial set-up is more or less the same. The Uncut
special assembles old articles and a few new ones and promises to be an
That an enjoyable read isn't always the same as an accurate read proves
Allan Jones' The Madcap Laughs & Barrett article on pages 32 till 35. He
starts with mentioning that Syd Barrett entered Studio 3 on the 6th of
May 1968, for the first of six sessions that would follow. I don't know
what it is with this 6-sessions-myth but Rob Chapman claims exactly the
same in his biography. As I always seem to have recalled 9 sessions
instead of 6 it is time for yet another anoraky investigation.
So not for the first time in my career as Reverend of the Holy Church of
Iggy the Inuit I have counted the 1968 Madcap recording dates, as
noted down in David Parker's excellent sessionography Random
Precision. It all starts in the beginning of May.
1968 05 06 – In the morning EMI engineers had been transferring
two Pink Floyd tracks 'In the Beechwood' (aka 'Down in the
Beechwoods') and 'Vegetable Man' for Syd Barrett to work on, but when
Barrett finally arrived he decided to record two new songs instead:
'Silace Lang' (aka 'Silas Lang') and 'Late Night'. Session One.
According to the Allan Jones article Barrett recorded the rambling
'Rhamadan' the day after. Wrong. The next day would have been the
seventh of May, but Barrett only re-entered the studio one week later.
1968 05 13 – 'Silas Lang' (take 1) and 'Late Night' (take 6),
were worked on / transferred by Peter Jenner. It is not clear if Syd
Barrett was present in the studio or if this was merely a technical
session. Of course this could have been one of those 'chaotic' sessions
where Barrett simply didn't show up, with Peter Jenner trying to salvage
the furniture by using the spare time for some producer’s work. Session
1968 05 14 – 'Rhamadan', 'Lanky' (Pt. 1&2), 'Golden Hair'.
Obviously Barrett and three session musicians were in the studio,
although nobody seems to remember who the backing band members really
were. Session Three.
1968 05 21 – 'Late Night', 'Silace Lang'. This was the day when
Syd Barrett forgot to bring his guitar to the studio and Peter Jenner
had to rent one for £10.50. Always a kind of a joker, our Syd. Session
1968 05 28 – 'Golden Hair', 'Swan Lee' (aka 'Silace Lang'),
'Rhamadan'. This session also included (the same?) three session
musicians. Session Five.
1968 06 08 – Superimposition of titles recorded on 6th, 14th,
21st & 29th [wrong date, FA] of May, 1968, so read the red
form notes. Peter Jenner made a provisional tracklist for what could
have been Barrett's first album:
Silas Lang Late Nights (sic) Golden Hair Beechwoods (originally
recorded with Pink Floyd) Vegetable man (originally recorded with
Pink Floyd) Scream Your Last Scream (sic, originally recorded with
Pink Floyd) Lanky Pt 1 Lanky Pt 2
Looking like a Barrett's fan wet dream the above track listing debunks
the story - still popular at certain disturbed Barrett circles - that
the band Pink Floyd and its members deliberately boycotted their former
Barrett was apparently present at this session as some guitar overdubs
were recorded for 'Swan Lee' (the right title of that track still wasn't
decided). Session Six.
1968 06 14 – cancelled session
1968 06 20 – tape transfers and overdubs on 'Late Night' (noted
down as 'Light Nights'), 'Golden Hair', 'Swanlee' (again another way of
naming this track). Syd Barrett probably did some vocal overdubs. Session
1968 06 27 – 'Swanlee', 'Late Night', 'Golden Hair'. Tape
transfers and possible (vocal) overdubs. This is a bit of a mystery
session as the archives of EMI aren't clear what really happened. Session
1968 08 20 – 'Swan Lee', 'Late Nights', 'Golden Hair', 'Clowns &
Jugglers'. First appearance of the track that would later be named
Octopus. Session Nine.
Session nine is where Peter Jenner decided to pull the plug, and unless
you believe in the conspiracy theory that Jenner was a spy for the Pink
Floyd camp, there must have been a valid reason for it.
So there we have it, the nine chaotic Madcap sessions of the year 1968.
Of course it is clear where the six sessions explanation comes from, if
one omits the second session where Barrett probably never cared to show
up and some tape transfer and overdub sessions you have successfully
diminished nine sessions into six.
It all is a matter of interpretation: at one side you have those who
argue that Barrett recorded a nice collection of great dance songs in
only six sessions, at the other side you have those (including producer,
manager and personal friend Peter Jenner) who claim that nine sessions
weren't enough to produce three decent demos. As always the truth lies
somewhere in the middle.
So the six session myth, as noted down by Allan Jones in the Uncut Pink
Floyd 'Ultimate Music Guide' might not be so far off the truth.
Another misty myth hangs around the cover shoot of the album. Allan
Jones bluntly states, more out of ignorance, I presume, than of
knowledge, that Mick Rock was responsible for the cover. The official
version goes that the pictures, used for the cover, were taken by Storm
Thorgerson, who happened to be at the same place at the same time
(as the picture at the left side proves). The Holy Church of Iggy the
Inuit has already spilled lots of bits and bytes about The Madcap Laughs photo
sessions (in plural), so we won't go further into that.
Iggy 'Eskimo' Rose revealed to Mark Blake that other shots were taken as
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)
Nowadays it is not that certain any more if these shots were taken by
Storm Thorgerson or by Mick Rock. There might even have been a third
photographer at play. It seems that the flat of Syd Barrett was crowded
with people that day and that they all brought a camera. Unfortunately
the naughty Syd & Iggy pictures seem to have disappeared...
Maybe it was because there was too much frontal. Poor Syd, I remember
getting carried away, pulling and pushing him about, getting astride
him. He was in fits of laughter....which of course is not what they [the
photographers] where after. (Iggy Rose, 30 May 2011.)
Riding the Octopus
Allan Jones is of course not a Barrett anorak like yours truly (and most
of the readers of this blog) and thus he has to confide upon other
anoraky people. So he probably doesn't see any harm in the following
Rob Chapman's close reading of the remarkable 'Octopus', for example,
revealed the craft of which Syd was still capable. The song's cleverly
accumulated lyrics drew on diverse literary sources, folklore, nursery
rhymes, and the hallucinatory vernacular of dream states to create a
wholly realised, enraptured universe, halcyon and unique. (p. 35)
This is all true and very beautifully written, but only – and this
brings us back to the starting point of this article – it was Paul
Belbin's essay (compiled with the help of a dozen of contributors) that
revealed the Octopus' hidden lyrics to begin with and that roughly five
years before Chapman's Irregular Head biography. No wonder that Julian
Palacios, a Syd Barrett biographer in his own right, calls it the
Rosetta stone for decoding the writing inspirations for one of Syd
Barrett's most beloved songs.
But all in all Uncut's 'The Ultimate Music Guide' to Pink Floyd seems to
be an essential (and rather cheap, only £5.99) overview of the band and
its records and I like all the articles that I've read so far. I think
it's a gem and a keeper.
The Church wishes to thank: Paul Belbin, Mark Blake, Julian Palacios and
the wandering anonymous Pink Floyd lover from the Embassy of God.
Top picture: variation on a theme from The
Kitten Covers. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
Sources: (other than internet links mentioned above) Belbin,
Paul: Untangling the Octopus v2, 2006. PDF
version, hosted at the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. Belbin, Paul &
Palacios, Julian: Untangling the Octopus v3, 2009. PDF
version, hosted at the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. Update
April 2015: same article hosted at Late
Night. Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books,
London, 2001, p. 126-138.
The next months will be musically dedicated to Pink
Floyd and several, if not all, of the serious music magazines are
hanging a separate wagon at EMI's gravy train.
Rock 162 (with AC/DC on the cover) comes with a separate Pink Floyd
24 pages booklet, titled at one side: The making of the Dark Side Of
The Moon, and at the other side (when you turn the booklet around) The
making of Wish You Were Here, written by Pink Floyd biographer Glenn
Povey, with pictures of Jill Furmanovsky.
215, ridiculously called the October 2011 edition while we purchased it
now in August (somebody ought to tell those Mojo editors what a calendar
is), has a 12 pages Pink Floyd cover story from Pigs
Might Fly author Mark Blake and with pictures from... Jill
Furmanovsky, but more about that later.
Rock Prog (out on August 31) will be celebrating the 40-th birthday of Meddle,
an album that – according to their blurb – changed the sound of Pink
Floyd and prog rock forever.
But we start with the most recent Uncut
(that has a Marc Bolan / T-Rex cover, but it didn't cross the Channel
yet) where Nick Mason expresses his belief that there still is room for
a combined Piper/Saucerful Immersion set. That extended CD-box-set would
have early Pink Floyd rarities as Vegetable Man and Scream Thy
last Scream but also...
...we've got some demos that were made really early on, which I think
are just charming. these come from 1965 and include 'Lucy Leave', "I'm A
King Bee", "Walk With Me Sydney", and "Double O-Bo". They're very R'n'B.
Of course we were yet another English band who wanted to be an American
style R'n'B band. We recorded the demo at Decca. I think it must have
been, in Broadhurst Gardens. A friend of Rick's was working there as an
engineer, and managed to sneak us in on a Saturday night when the studio
As all Immersion sets come with some live recordings as well all eyes
(or ears) are pointing into the direction of the Gyllene Cirkeln
gig that was recently sold by its taper to the Floyd. But Mark Jones,
known for his extensive collection of early Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett
pictures, heard something else from his contacts at Pink Floyd Ltd. He
fears that this gig will not be put on an early Floyd immersion set:
I doubt it, my answer from someone 'high up' was 'the Stockholm
recording does not feature Syd's vocals'. I take that means either his
mic was not functioning properly or he was singing off mic. (…) My
answer was from 'high up' and from what I gathered it meant they weren't
Like we have pointed out in a previous article (see: EMI
blackmails Pink Floyd fans!) the September 1967 live set does not
have audible lyrics, due to the primitive circumstances the gig has been
recorded with (or simply because Syd didn't sing into the microphone).
But that set also has some instrumentals that could be put on a rarities
disk: a 7 minutes 20 seconds unpublished jam nicknamed 'Before or
Since' (title given by the taper), Pow R Toc H (without the
jungle sounds?) and Interstellar Overdrive.
It will be a long wait as an early Immersion set can only see the light
of day in late 2012 and only after the other sets have proven to be
Back to Mojo with its Dark Side Of The Moon / Wish You Were
Here cover article. Obviously the 'Syd visits Pink Floyd' anecdote
had to be added in as well and at page 88 Mark Blake tells the different
versions of this story once again (some of them can also be found in
Big Barrett Conspiracy Theory).
In his Lost In Space article Mark Blake also retells the almost
unknown story about an unpublished Pink Floyd book that has been lying
on Roger Waters' shelves for about 35 years. After the gigantic success
of Dark Side Of The Moon the band, or at least Roger Waters,
found it a good idea to have a documentary of their life as successful
rock-stars. Waters asked his old Cambridge friend and golf buddy Nick
Sedgwick to infiltrate the band and to note down his impressions.
Another sixties Cambridge friend was called in as well: Storm
Thorgerson, who hired Jill Furmanovsky to take (some of) the
pictures of the 1974 American tour. Nick and Storm could follow the band
far more intimately than any other journalist or writer as they had been
beatnik buddies (with Syd, David and Roger) meeting in the Cambridge
coffee houses in the Sixties. In his 1989 novel Light Blue With Bulges
Nick Sedgwick clearly describes how a loud-mouthed bass player and the
novel's hero share some joints and drive around on their Vespa
Life on the rock road in 1974 was perhaps too much of a Kerouac-like
adventure. The band had its internal problems, with Roger Waters acting
as the alpha-male (according to David Gilmour in the latest Mojo
article). But there weren't only musical differences, Pink Floyd had
wives and families but they also had some difficulties to keep up the
monogamist life on the road. Then there was the incident with Roger
Waters who heard a man's voice at the other side when he called his wife
When David Gilmour read the first chapters of the book he felt aggrieved
by it and managed to get it canned, a trick he would later repeat with
Nick Mason's first (and unpublished) version of Inside Out. But
also Nick Mason agrees that the book by Nick Sedgwick was perceived, by
the three others, as being to openly friendly towards Roger Waters and
too negative towards the others. Mark Blake, in a Facebook reaction to
the Church, describes the manuscript as 'dynamite'.
Unfortunately Nick Sedgwick died a couple of days ago and Roger Waters
issued the following statement:
One of my oldest friends, Nick Sedgwick, died this week of brain cancer.
I shall miss him a lot. I share this sad news with you all for a good
He leaves behind a manuscript, "IN THE PINK" (not a hunting memoir).
His memoir traces the unfolding of events in 1974 and 1975 concerning
both me and Pink Floyd. In the summer of 1974 Nick accompanied me, and
my then wife Judy, to Greece. We spent the whole summer there and Nick
witnessed the beginnings of the end of that marriage.
That autumn he travelled with Pink Floyd all round England on The Dark
Side Of The Moon Tour. He carried a cassette recorder on which he
recorded many conversations and documented the progress of the tour. In
the spring of 1975 he came to America with the band and includes his
recollections of that time also.
When Nick finished the work in 1975 there was some resistance in the
band to its publication, not surprising really as none of us comes out
of it very well, it's a bit warts and all, so it never saw the light of
It is Nick's wish that it be made available now to all those interested
in that bit of Pink Floyd history and that all proceeds go to his wife
To that end I am preparing three versions, a simple PDF, a hardback
version, and a super de-luxe illustrated limited edition signed and
annotated by me and hopefully including excerpts from the cassettes.
For those interested in the more turbulent episodes of the band Pink
Floyd this will be a very interesting read indeed.
Update 2016 12 04: the Sedgwick Floyd biography 'In The Pink' has
not been published yet. In a 2015 interview for Prog magazine Roger
Waters, however, said that the project was still on. Update
2017 07 30: The 'In The Pink' journal can now be bought at the Pink
Floyd Their Mortal Remains exhibition in London or at a Roger Waters
gig: see In
The Pink hunt is open!
The Church wishes to thank: Mark Blake, Mark Jones & although he will
probably never read this, Roger Waters.
Business as usual at The Anchor. Felix Atagong, that old
drunk hippie, was sitting at the bar, ogling some of the mojito
girls eagerly discussing Justin Bieber's posterior. At his fifth
Guinness Felix usually starts to get all glazzy eyed and wants to start
a Pink Floyd fight. Most of the time it suffices to name-drop Rob
Chapman to make Atagong throw a tantrum, but there weren't enough
spectators today to make this trick worthwhile.
"Alex", he said, "Did I already tell you that David
Gilmour wore a Guinness
t-shirt during the 1974 French tour, just to piss off their sponsor Gini?"
I pretended not having heard this story a dozen times before.
"In 1972", he orated, "Pink
Floyd signed a lucrative publicity contract with Gini, a French übersweet
soft drink. The band went to the Moroccan desert where they had some shots
taken by photographer William Sorano, a fact not a lot of people know
of." Felix likes to brag a lot, especially when he gets a bit light in
"Of course Pink Floyd wasn't a millionaire's super group yet when they
agreed with the deal. They liked to describe themselves as an
underground art band and only the French were daft enough to believe
that. British have this national sport to fool the French and for three
full decades those have thought that 'pink floyd' was English for 'flamant
rose' or 'pink flamingo'. That rumour was started on the mainland by
journalist Jean Marie Leduc after he returned from a trip to London in
sixty-seven. Asking a freaked-out acid head what a pink floyd
really meant he turned into the proverbial sitting duck and eagerly
swallowed the bait."
"So whenever Pink Floyd wanted to get arty-farty they only had to hop
into the nearest ferry to Calais where they were hauled in as national
heroes. One of their sillier projects was to play behind a bunch of men
in tights, jumping up and down in an uncoördinated way, and calling that
a ballet. Of course there was a kind of 'intellectual snobbery' involved
in this all, but even more the Pink Floyd's fine taste for champagne and
oysters that was invariably hauled in by the bucket." Felix had
certainly reached lift-off and would be raving and drooling now for at
least the next half hour to come."
"Another project was the soundtrack for the art movie La
Vallée, a typical French vehicle for long pseudo philosophical
musings about the richness of primitive culture and the sudden urge of a
French bourgeois woman to hug some trees and to hump the local Crocodile
Dundee. Part of the movie is in the kind of English that would turn
Inspector Clouseau green with envy. What does one expects from a bunch
of hippies, making a tedious long journey to a mythical valley they call
'obscured by cloud' (not 'clouds')?"
"The hidden valley is supposed to be a paradise and the story sounds
like a cheap rehash of the ridiculous Star Trek episode, The
Way To Eden. Over the years journalists and biographers have
rumoured that the movie is saved by showing a fair amount of frolicking
in the nude, but it miserably fails in that department as well. Quite
unusual for a French movie of the early seventies, I might add, as the
cinematographic intellectual trend was to show the female form in all
its variety. The only bush that can be seen is the New Guinean forest
"Obviously the Floyd couldn't resist this challenge and helped by the
easy money soundtracks brought in they were wheeled into a château
with a stock of red wine and boeuf bourguignon. Two weeks later
they emerged with one of their finest albums ever." Atagong took another
drink and belched loudly. This had only been the introduction, I feared,
I was right.
"Rick Wright recalls in a 1974 Rock & Folk interview how
their manager Steve
O'Rourke met a bloke on a French beach, waving a fifty thousand
British pounds check in front of him. O'Rourke frantically jumped up and
down, like a dancer from a French avant-garde ballet dancing troupe,
making hysterically pink flamingo quacking sounds. Little did he know
this was going to be first time in Floydian history that the band didn't
manage to trick the French, a tradition that started in 1965 when Syd
Barrett and David Gilmour busked the French Riviera. Of course it is
easy to say in retrospect O'Rourke was duly screwed 'up the khyber'
by the Gini coöperation, but in 1972 it appeared not to be such a bad
deal after all. Part of the deal was that Gini promised to sponsor a
French tour, including radio and television promo spots that
unfortunately have not survived into the 21st century."
"The main problem was that in 1973 Pink Floyd suddenly turned into
millionaire superstars thanks to Dark Side Of The Moon and that
50,000 pounds was now something they spent on breakfast orange juice.
But Gini, waving with the two years old contract, threatened with legal
action and the Floyd reluctantly agreed to meet the conditions."
"In the summer of 1974 Floyd hit France and wherever they appeared a
publicity caravan of 15 people would follow them. It had cute girls who
gave Gini drinks, stickers and fluorescent t-shirts away, 4 'easy
riders' on 750 cc super-choppers
(painted by Jean-Paul
Montagne) and a green 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver
Wraith (numberplate: 567 AAF 75) with a loud stereo installation.
Rumours go that at a certain point the atmosphere was so heated between
the Pink Floyd management and Gini that a minimum distance between band
and publicity people had to be agreed on. But according to Nick Mason,
in his auto-biography Inside Out, it was only the band that got
infuriated, the technical crew quite enjoyed the promo girls and they
exchanged more than soft drinks alone."
"French journalists immediately accused Pink Floyd of a sell-out and the
band rapidly declared that the money was going to charity, something in
the line of a school for handicapped children. Rock & Folk squeezed out
the names of the Ronald
Laing Association and the French hôpital
de Salpêtrière, but reality may have been a bit different.
Nick Mason told Mojo's Mark
Blake this summer that they probably just shelved the money,
although David Gilmour and Roger Waters still keep up it was donated.
Rest me to say that Waters was so angry at the situation that he wrote
an unpublished song about the Gini incident, titled Bitter Love
(aka 'How Do You Feel')." Felix Atagong paused a bit, to have a drink,
so this was a moment for immediate action.
"Out!", I said, "The Anchor is closed."
"But", retaliated the Reverend, "this was just a mere introduction to
start talking about the Wish You Were Here Immersion set that has
just been issued and I would like to say something more about the 1967 Stockholm
Cirkeln show that has finally been weeded out to the public..."
"Out!", I said again, "There is no time for your drunken ramblings any
I pushed Felix Atagong out of the door and I heard him staggering back
home, murmuring incomprehensible things. He'll be back tomorrow anyway.
(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations have
been enlarged for satirical purposes.) The Anchor wishes to thank:
Nipote and PF Chopper at Y.
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 179-183, 214. Blake,
Mark: Lost In Space, Mojo 215, October 2011, p. 85. Feller,
Benoît: Complet, Rock & Folk, Paris, July 1974, p. 44. Leduc,
Jean-Marie: Pink Floyd, Editions Albin Michel, Paris, 1982, p.
125. Mason, Nick: Inside Out, Orion Books, London, 2011
reissue, p. 197-198. (unknown): La "caravane" Pink Floyd-Gini,
Hit Magazine, Paris, July 1974.
One of the promo Pink Floyd Gini choppers is still around today and has
its own Facebook page: The
Pink Floyd Chopper.
The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical
division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad
character. More info: The
Anchor. Read our legal stuff: Legal
On Wednesday, 9 May 2012, it was reported that Clive
Welham passed away, after having been ill for a long time.
50 years earlier, he was the one who introduced a quiet, shy boy to
Roger 'Syd' Barrett at the Cambridge College of Art and Technology. The
boys had in common that they both liked to play the guitar and
immediately became friends, that is how Syd Barrett and David Gilmour
met and how the Pink Floyd saga started.
Just like in the rest of England, Cambridge was a musical melting pot in
the early sixties with bands forming, merging, splitting and dissolving
like bubbles in a lava lamp.
Clive 'Chas' Welham attended the Perse
Preparatory School for Boys, a private school where he met fellow
student David Gilmour. As would-be musicians they crossed the
social barriers and befriended pupils from the Cambridge and County
School for Boys, meeting at street corners, the coffee bars or at home
were they would trade guitar licks. Despite their two years age
difference Clive was invited to the Sunday afternoon blues jam sessions
at Roger Barrett's home and in spring 1962 this culminated in a
'rehearsal' band called Geoff Mott & The Mottoes. Clive
Welham (to Julian Palacios):
There was Geoff Mott [vocals], Roger Barrett [rhythm guitar], and
“Nobby” Clarke [lead guitar], another Perse boy. I met them at a party
near the river. They’d got acoustic guitars and were strumming. I
started picking up sticks and making noise. We were in the kitchen, away
from the main party. They asked me if I played drums and I said, “Not
really, but I’d love to.” They said, “Pop round because we’re getting a
Clive Welham (to Mark Blake):
It was quite possible that when me and Syd first started I didn't even
have any proper drums and was playing on a biscuit tin with knives. But
I bought a kit, started taking lessons and actually got quite good. I
can't even remember who our bass player was...
Although several Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett biographies put Tony Sainty
as the Mottoes' bass player Clive Welham has always denied this: “I
played in bands with Tony later, but not with Syd.”
Another hang-around was a dangerous looking bloke who was more
interested in his motorbike than in playing music: Roger Waters.
He was the one who designed the poster for what is believed to be The
Mottoes' only public gig.
After Clive Welham had introduced David Gilmour to Syd Barrett, David
became a regular visitor as well. Surprisingly enough Syd and David
never joined a band together, starting their careers in separate bands.
Although they were close friends it has been rumoured there was some
pubertal guitar playing rivalry between them.
1962: The Ramblers
The Mottoes never grew into a gigging band and in March 1962 Clive
Welham, playing a Trixon
drum kit, stepped into The Ramblers with Albert 'Albie' Prior
(lead guitar), Johnny Gordon (rhythm guitar), Richard Baker (bass) and
Chris ‘Jim’ Marriott (vocals).
The Ramblers’ first gig was at the United Reformed Church Hall on Cherry
Hinton Road. They used their new Watkins Copycat Echo Chamber giving
them great sound on The Shadows’ Wonderful Land and Move It.
The Ramblers soon acquired a certain reputation and gigged quite a lot
in the Cambridge area. One day Syd Barrett asked 'Albie' Prior for some
rock'n roll advice in the Cambridge High School toilets: “...saying that
he wanted to get into a group and asking what it involved and in
particular what sort of haircut was best.”
Unfortunately the responsibilities of adulthood crept up on him and lead
guitarist 'Albie' had to leave the band to take a job in a London bank.
On Tuesday, the 13th of November 1962, David Gilmour premiered at a gig
at the King's Head public house at Fen Ditton, a venue were they would
return every week as the house band. Gilmour had joined two bands at the
same time and could also be seen with Chris Ian & The Newcomers,
later just The Newcomers. Notorious members were sax-player Dick
Parry, not unknown to Pink Floyd anoraks and Rick
Wills (Peter Frampton's Camel, Foreigner and Bad Company).
Memories have blurred a bit but according to Glenn Povey's Echoes
Gilmour's final gig with The Ramblers was on Sunday, 13 October 1963.
Beginning of 1964 The Ramblers disbanded but three of its 5 members
would later resurface as Jokers Wild.
1963: The Four Posters
But first, in autumn 1963, a band known as The Four Posters was
formed, although it may have been just a temporarily solution to keep on
playing. David Altham (piano, sax & vocals) and Tony Sainty (bass &
vocals) were in it and perhaps Clive Welham (drums). Unfortunately their
history has not been documented although according to Will Garfitt, who
left the band to pursue a painting career, they played some gigs at the
Cambridge Tech, the Gas Works, the Pit Club and the university. Contrary
to what has been written in some Pink Floyd biographies John Gordon was
I was never in The Four Posters. Clive and I were together in The
Ramblers, and we left together to join Dave, David and Tony to create
Jokers Wild. I don't know whether Dave and Tony came from The Newcomers
or The Four Posters...
1964: Jokers Wild
The Ramblers, The Four Posters and The Newcomers ended at about the same
time and the bands more or less joined ranks. Renamed Jokers Wild
in September 1964 it was at first conceived as an all-singing band. “We
were brave enough to do harmony singing that other groups wouldn’t
attempt, including Beach Boys and Four Seasons numbers”, confirmed Tony
Sainty. The band had good musicians, all of them could hold a tune, and
they soon had a loyal fanbase. They became the house-band at Les Jeux
Interdits, a midweek dance at Victoria Ballroom. Clive Welham: “We
came together in the first place because we all could sing.”
Some highlights of their career include a gig with Zoot
Money's Big Roll Band, The
Paramounts (an early incarnation of Procol Harum) and a London gig
as support act for The
Animals. This last gig was so hyped that a bus-load of fans followed
them from Cambridge to the big city of London.
1965: Walk Like A Man
Mid 1965 the band entered the Regent Sound Studios in Denmark Street,
London. They recorded a single that was sold (or given) to the fans
containing Don’t Ask Me What I Say (Manfred
Mann) and Big Girls Don’t Cry (The
Four Seasons). Out of the same session came a rather limited
one-sided LP with three more numbers: Why
Do Fools Fall in Love, Walk
Like a Man and Beautiful
Delilah. This is the only 'released' recording of Jokers Wild
although there might be others we are not aware of. Peter Gilmour
(David's brother) who replaced Tony Sainty on bass and vocals in autumn
1965 commented this week:
Sad news. A great bloke. I'll replay some of those old recordings doing
Four Seasons and Beach Boys numbers with his lovely clear falsetto voice.
Somewhere in October 1965 they played a private party in Great Shelford
together with an unknown singer-songwriter Paul
Simon and a band that was billed as The Tea Set because Pink
Floyd sounded too weird for the highbrow crowd. Clive Welham:
It was in a marquee at the back of this large country house [that can,
by the way, be seen on the cover of the Pink Floyd album Ummagumma,
FA]. I sat on and off the drum kit because of my wrist problems. Willie
Wilson sat in on drums and I came to the front on tambourine.
The musicians enjoyed themselves, jamming with the others and Paul Simon
- 'a pain in the arse', according to drummer Willie Wilson - joined in
on Johnny B. Good. A couple of days later Jokers Wild supported Pink
Floyd again, this time at the Byam Shaw School, Kensington, London. Each
band was paid £10 for that gig.
1965: the Decca tapes
By then Jokers Wild were seriously thinking of getting professional.
They were not only known by the locals in Cambridgeshire, but did
several society parties in London as well. Also the military forces had
discovered them: Jokers Wild was invited for the Admiral League dance at
the Dorchester Hotel in London and played several dances at the RAF and
USAF bases of Mildenhall, Lakenheath, Alconbury and Chicksands. Their
repertoire changed as well, shifting more towards soul, R&B and Tamla
Motown. Libby Gausden: “How we danced to David Gilmour, Peter Gilmour,
David Altham, John Gordon, Tony Sainty and dear Clive xxx.”
Some promoters were sought for and the band recorded a single for Decca:
You Don’t Know Like I Know (Sam
and Dave) / That’s How Strong My Love Is (Otis
Redding), but unfortunately it was never released because the
original version by Sam and Dave had already hit the UK market.
After the Decca adventure the original band slowly evaporated over the
next few months. Peter Gilmour left (probably after the summer of 1966)
to concentrate on his studies. Clive Welham had difficulties combining
his full time job with a semi-professional rock band and had some
medical problems as well. John Gordon further explains:
Clive [Welham] became unable to play any more (with a wrist complaint)
and was replaced by Willie Wilson... and that line-up continued for some
time. It was later still that Tony Sainty was replaced by Rick
[Wills]... and then, when the band was planning trips to France, I had
to 'pass' to finish my degree at college.
1966: Bullit & The Flowers
Now a quartet with David Altham, David Gilmour, John 'Willie' Wilson and newcomer
Rick Wills on bass, they continued using the known brand name, a trick
Gilmour would later repeat (but slightly more successful) with Pink
Floyd, touring around Spain, France and The Netherlands. Another failed
attempt to turn professional made them temporarily change their name to Bullit
and when David Altham also left the remaining trio continued as The
Flowers, mainly playing in France. Around camp-fires on this planet
it is told how a sick (and broke) David Gilmour returned to London, just
in time to get a telephone call from Nick Mason, asking if he had a few
minutes to spare.
2012: Nobody Knows Where You Are
Clive worked at the Cambridge University Press but always continued with
his music. According to Vernon Fitch he played in a band called Jacob's
Ladder in the Seventies and was a successful singer with local
Cambridge band Executive Suite in the Nineties. Helen Smith
remembers him as the leader of Solitaire, what must have been
(according to Colleen Hart) in the mid-Seventies:
A brilliant front man in his band 'Solitaire' - he had a wonderfully
sweet singing voice and could easily hit the high notes!
Update 2012 08 12: In 1978 Clive made a private, non commercial
recording of Peanuts, originally a 1957 hit from Little
Joe & The Thrillers:
David Altham: guitar, saxophone, keyboards, vocals David Gilmour:
guitar, vocals, harmonica John Gordon: rhythm guitar, vocals (1964 to
late 1965) Tony Sainty: bass, vocals (1964 to early 1966) Peter
Gilmour: bass, vocals (early 1966) Clive Welham: drums, vocals (1964
to late 1965) John 'Willie' Wilson: drums (from late 1965)
Jokers Wild #2 (Summer 1966 - Summer 1967 / Source: Glenn Povey) AKA
Bullit (3 summer months in 1966 at the Los Monteros hotel in Marbella?) AKA
The Flowers (end 1966)
David Altham: rhythm guitar (to December 1966) David Gilmour: guitar,
vocals Rick Wills: bass (from January 1967) John 'Willie' Wilson:
According to Julian Palacios in Dark Globe, quoting David Gale,
'perse pigs and county cunts' were friendly nicknames the pupils of
these rivaling schools gave to each other. David Gale's assumption can
be found on YouTube
although it may have been a raunchy joke towards his audience and part
of his 'performance'. (Back to text above.)
Syd Barrett in Jokers Wild?
In an interview for the Daily
Mirror in August 2008 Rosemary Breen (Syd's sister) told:
He [Syd] started his first band, Jokers Wild, at 16. Sunday
afternoons would see Cambridge chaps and girls coming over for a jamming
session. The members of Pink Floyd were just people I knew. Roger Waters
was a boy who lived around the corner and Dave Gilmour went to school
over the road.
This seems to be a slip of the tongue as Syd Barrett never joined the
band. In a message on Facebook,
Jenny Spires adds:
Syd was not in Jokers Wild... He jammed with all the various members at
different times, but he wasn't in it. When I met him in 64, he was
playing with his old Art School band Those Without. He was also in The
Tea Set at the same time. He played with several bands at the same time,
for example if someone needed a bass player for a couple of gigs they
may have asked him to stand in. Earlier, he played with Geoff Mott and
also with Blues Anonymous. There were lots of musician friends in
Cambridge that Syd played and jammed with. (Jenny Spires, 2012 06 30)
Many thanks to: Viv Brans, Michael Brown, Lord Drainlid, Libby Gausden,
John Gordon, Peter Gilmour, Colleen Hart, Chris Jones, Joe Perry,
Antonio Jesús Reyes, Helen Smith, Jenny Spires & I Spy In Cambridge. All
pictures courtesy of I
Spy In Cambridge. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 22-23, 34. Clive
Welham at Cambridge News Death
Notices, May 2012. Dosanjh, Warren: The music scene of 1960s
Cambridge, Cambridge, 2012, p. 42, 46-47. Free download
Spy In Cambridge. Fitch, Vernon: The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia,
Collector's Guide Publishing, Ontario, 2005, p. 342. Gordon, John: Corrections
re Jokers Wild, email, 2012-05-12. Palacios, Julian: Syd
Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London, 2010, p.
27-28, 31. Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink Floyd,
3C Publishing, 2008, p. 13, 20-24, 29.
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
Update December 2016: nothing has ever been heard of this photo
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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:
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
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.
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.
Is there really a Barrett revival going on, or are we just seeing more
Syd fans because our global village is getting smaller and smaller? I do
remember the early seventies when the only guy you could speak to about
Barrett was a freakish weirdo who smoked pot in the school toilets and
who was generally avoided by everyone, including the school teachers.
The vibrant Birdie
Hop Facebook group is sky-rocketing with over 1200 members and a
dozen new threads a day, but the traditional forum
has come to a standstill and survives on its three posters a day, so the
feeling is a bit ambiguous.
Facebook may be here to stay (but that was once said from MySpace
as well, remember?) but basically it sucks if you want to find
information and you are not employed by the NSA.
While traditional forums have this newbie rule to go looking in the
archives before asking a question this is virtually impossible on
Facebook, because their search system simply doesn't work and links are
automatically made redundant after a certain time. The whole 'group'
concept of Facebook is a laugh, especially for administrators.
Underneath is a screenshot of an actual search on Facebook, trying to
locate the thread
(Facebook link no longer active) this article is about...
So, by design, Facebook groups are condemned to have a flow of
'continuous repetition' to paraphrase the wise words of Dr. Hans
Keller while the one interesting thread is floating down around the
icy waters underground. (Wow, this is a good cigarette.)
Waiting for the man
A couple of weeks ago Baron
of Pink Floyd toying around at the Casa
Madrona hotel in Sausalito
(CA) was posted again and as usual there was that one individual asking
if anybody knew who the bloke was standing behind the boys.
Tea on the terrace at our hotel in Sausalito on the hillside above San
Fransisco Bay (…) I have no idea who our tea-time partner was – the
hotel manager, an under assistant West Coast promotion man, or a vendor
of Wild West apparel? We eventually acquired enough cowboy hats for the
entire population of Dodge City, and Roger commissioned a six-gun
holster in which he carried his wallet.
So here was another quest for the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit,
that splendid non-profit organisation, lead by that fantabulous
mastermind Reverend Felix Atagong who has already solved several
Barrettian riddles in the past.
The obvious first step was to contact the hotel that doesn't hesitate to
put on its website
that it is a legend since 1885 and that it drew celebrities such as Dick
Van Dyke, Carol Burnett, Warren Beatty and the rock band Pink Floyd.
We got a very friendly answer from Stefan Mühle, the general manager,
that our guess was logical but that he didn't know either. Since 1967
the hotel changed hands a couple of times and the finer side of these
anecdotes, that only seem to bother the Sydiots in the world, got lost
in the mist of times.
Before we continue with our quest, let's have a small history lesson.
In the summer of 1967 Syd Barrett suffered from something that
was euphemistically referred to as over-fatigue. The band scrapped some
gigs and send Barrett over to sunny Formentera under supervision of
Hutt, the underground's leading gynaecologist. Unfortunately Smutty,
as he was invariably called by his female patients, was the kind of
doctor who rather prescribed LSD
than aspirin. After some holidays in the sun Syd (and the rest of the
boys) returned to England where the endless treadmill of gigging,
recording, gigging, recording started all over again. (You can read more
about the Floyd's holiday at Formentera
In retrospect this was the moment that someone should've grabbed Syd by
the balls, whether he wanted it or not, drag him back to Cambridge, cold
turkey him and give him some proper therapy, although that was kind of
non-existent in those days. William
Pryor, a Cambridge beat poet who descended from the underground into
a heroine maelström, describes the Cane
Hill drug rehabilitation centre as a 'redecorated ward of a huge
Victorian lunatic asylum village that had been given a coat of paint and
a fancy name' where it was almost easier to score H than in the outside
This is not America
Pink Floyd's first American tour was planned between 23 October and 12
November 1967 but because there was a rather Kafkaesque bureaucratic
system to get work permits up till 15 possible gigs had to be cancelled
(according to Julian
Palacios 8 had already been booked, Mark
Blake sticks to 6 and Syd
Barrett Pink Floyd dot com counts 10).
The trustworthy biographies all have (slightly) different stories but it
is safe to say that the Floyd left for America with at least a week
delay. Unfortunately they still couldn't enter the country and had to
wait in Canada until their permits arrived while the management
frantically tried to reschedule the gigs that had already been confirmed.
The 1967 American tour was disastrous, to say the least, and quite a few
gigs went horribly wrong. Luckily the natives were friendly, so friendly
that at least one band member had to visit a venereal disease clinic
back in the UK. Syd and Peter
Wynne-Willson learned the hard way that American grass was much
stronger than at home, leading to another ruined gig as Syd was
apparently too stoned to handle his guitar. It is an educated guess that
Syd tried some local drug varieties like DMT
that were much stronger than their British counterparts. DOM
or STP or Serenity, Tranquility and Peace allegedly gave synaesthetic
trips that could last for 18 hours and from testimonies by Pete
Townshend, Eric Clapton and Mick Farren it is known that it could take a
week for some (frightening) hallucinatory effects to disappear. Julian
Palacios, who dedicates 11 pages to the Floyd's first American tour in Dark
Associated with the downfall of Haight-Ashbury, on 11 November pink
wedge-shaped pills containing 20-micrograms of DOM hit the Haight.
Haight-Ashbury Medical Clinic treated eighteen cases of acute toxic
psychosis in five hours. When Barrett and Wynne-Willson took STP in San
Francisco, this was in all likelihood the same ‘pink wedge’.
Result: if Syd Barrett had been mad before, this tour only made
him madder. At the Cheetah club he received an electroshock from his
microphone and he reacted by looking around on stage for the next hour
and a half, not singing, not playing his guitar. He would be
incommunicado to the others for the rest of the tour, who weren't very
keen to talk to him anyway. It needs to be said that not all gigs were
catastrophic and some reviewers actually found the band interesting, but
we wouldn't go that far by calling Syd's erratic behaviour a cleverly
performed dadaist statement like Rob
On the cover of the Rolling Stone
A brand new music magazine, called Rolling
Stone, whose first issue had just appeared a couple of days before,
wanted to do a feature on the new English underground sensation. They
send over photographer Baron
Wolman to the Casa Madrona hotel in Sausalito who found the lads in
a good mood and joking around. But when the band performed at Winterland
that night, the 11th of November, Ralph
Gleason of Rolling Stone was so disappointed he decided not to
publish the cover article and just reviewed the concert saying that
'Pink Floyd for all its electronic interest is simply dull in a dance
hall'. This was also the gig where Syd detuned the strings of his guitar
until they fell off, de facto ending his contribution for the
rest of the show. The next day, on the last gig of the American tour,
the band saw Syd walking off stage and for the first time voices were
raised to kick him out.
In retrospect this was another moment that someone should've grabbed Syd
by the balls, whether he wanted it or not, and drag him back to
Cambridge, but the management insisted to immediately fly to Holland.
Thirty-seven years later, Nick Mason more or less apologises:
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 is beyond believe.
This is the house
Madrona was build in February 1885 for (isn't it ironic?) William
G. Barrett, a wealthy Vermont born lumber baron and
Secretary-Treasurer for the San
Francisco Gas and Electric Company. He and his family lived high
above the town in his beautifully designed Italian Villa country home.
Architecturally, it was a mastery of craftmanship, a tall and stately
mansion which stood upon the hill-side. Its three stories, with handsome
porticos and verandas, projecting cornice with curved brackets, and
hooded windows, received prominent recognition from the community. This
resulted in an article in the Sausalito News in 1885, which praised Mr.
Barrett's "New Mansion... its fine appearance, magnificent view", and
called the Barrett place "one of the finest improved sites in
Sausalito." (Taken from the National
Register of Historic Places.)
In 1906 the house was sold to attorney John Patrick Gallagher who
converted it into a successful hotel. For the next three decades Barrett
House (and its four outbuildings) would be a hotel, a bar 'the Gallagher
Inn' and a brothel, but that last is something you won't find at the
During World War II, the property was used as temporary lodging for
military families in transit and for the labourers of the nearby
(military) shipyard. After the war it fell into disrepair and became
known as a crash pad for the city’s burgeoning beatnik population.
In February 1959 Robert and Marie-Louise Deschamps, who
had just immigrated from France, responded to an ad to run a 'small
hotel'. Their children Marie-France and 24-year old Jean-Marie
were there when they opened a nameless bar on the 27th of April 1959:
The building was in ruins. Mattresses on the floor, broken furniture -
and very little of that. It was not ‘bohemian’ - it was a flop house!
The Deschamps family had no hotel experience and were rather
unpleasantly surprised by the beatniks who rarely paid their bills. The
bar was not an immediate success either, they would often find that the
door had been smashed in at night and the beer stolen. The logical plan
was to close the hotel, evict the hobos and start all over again.
When the renewed hotel, in exclusive French style, and an excellent
restaurant 'Le Vivoir' were opened about a year later Jean-Marie
left the parental home to sail the seven seas, working as a cook on
Norwegian and Swedish ships. He returned to the hotel around the
mid-sixties and moved into Cottage B. Several guests, from the
pre-sixties bohemian days, were still living in the 'attached' cottages,
including a Swedish baron who had served in the Waffen SS, an ex-CIA
agent who claimed to have been a spy in Vienna, a mostly drunk beatnik
writer and adventurer and, last but not least, a continuously depressed
crew member of one of the planes that dropped the atom bomb on Japan.
In 1973 Casa Madrona was damaged by a series of mudslides and scheduled
for demolition, but it was saved in 1976. Since then it changed owner
several times and went even bankrupt in 2009. With the opening of a spa
resort the hotel was, hopefully, given a new life and history.
It is believed that Jean-Marie Deschamps, the owner's son, was
living and working at the hotel when the Pink Floyd stayed there in
November 1967, 2 months before his 32nd birthday. We contacted Baron
Wolman who told us:
While I'm not entirely certain that he was Deschamps himself, for sure
he was a principal in the hotel - owner, manager, chef, etc. Given the
look, however, I would say your educated guess is probably correct...
Comparing the Floydian picture (1967) with one from 2005 it seems pretty
safe to say there is a certain resemblance. Update January
2014: The Deschamps family have confirmed it is Jean-Marie standing
behind Pink Floyd.
Jean was born on January 20, 1936 and passed away on Tuesday, December
8, 2009. In a (French) obituary it is written how Jean-Marie was an
'incorrigible globe-trotting vagabond' whose home was always 'elsewhere'
and an anarchistic supporter of lost causes, like the rights of native
Americans. Later on, despising the Bush administration, he was an ardent
critic of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...
But once a cook, always a cook. The night before he died he asked his
(fourth) wife Monica to note down the Christmas menu for his children
and grandchildren, probably knowing that he wouldn't be there to attend.
January 2010 saw a 'sumptuous feast' at the Barrel Room of the Sebastiani
Winery in Sanoma (CA) where 150 guests honoured their friend,
husband, father, grandfather. The place was a gathering of artists,
writers, businessmen, hosts, globetrotters and vagabonds.
If only someone would have had the guts to find out earlier who was the
man standing behind the band. It would've been swell to ask him about
his meeting with the Floyd in 1967, but unfortunately now it is too late
for that. We are pretty sure that it would have led to a tsunami of
anecdotes as Jean-Marie Deschamps had always been a sailor and a
vagabond at heart.
And we will never know what Syd thought of staying in Barrett House.
An Ending In Style (or not)
We need an addendum as the Pink Floyd in Sausalito saga isn't over yet.
When Pink Floyd roadie Alan Styles, who used to be a punter on the river
Cam, saw the house
boats community in Sausalito he fell in love with the place and
decided not to return home after the 1972-1973 Dark Side of the Moon
tour. Alan, who was some kind of celebrity in Cambridge before anyone
had heard of Pink Floyd, can be seen on the rear cover of the Ummagumma
album and makes out the bulk of the 'musique
concrète' on Alan's
Psychedelic Breakfast (Atom Heart Mother).
In 2000 a short
movie was made about Style's life in Sausalito, but it was only
released after his death in 2011. It is the story of a man wanting to be
free in a world that keeps on abolishing freedom. In a nice gesture to
their old friend Pink Floyd Ltd cleared the copyrights for the movie, as
told by Viper:
Nick Mason messaged me on FB as I'd been asking on his site about
permission to release the video about my uncle. Nick gave me PF's
management details and in turn David Gilmour gave us permission to
release the video as it contains original PF music.
But when the Reverend visited Jon Felix's YouTube
channel this is all he got, apparently EMI (and a lot of other acronyms)
don't give a fuck about what Nick Mason or David Gilmour are deciding or
what friendship, compassion, remembrance and especially respect is all
In some kind of weird Floydian cosmic joke Alan Styles died on the same
day as Jean-Marie Deschamps, but two years later, on the 8th of December
Somewhere we think we should try to make a point, but we can't think of
anything right now.
Note: The memoires of Nick Mason's Inside Out are (90%)
identical between the different editions. However, the hardcover
'deluxe' edition contains hundreds of photos that aren't in the cheaper
soft-cover versions. These pictures all have funny and informative notes
that aren't present in the paperback editions. Back to top.
Many thanks to: the Deschamps family, Jon Felix, Yves Leclerc, Stefan
Mühle (Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa), Viper, Baron Wolman, USA National
Register off Historic Places. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 95-96. Chapman,
Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 198. Leclerc,
Yves: Bum Chromé, Blogspot, 9
décembre 2009, 10
janvier 2010. Mason, Nick: Inside Out: A personal history of
Pink Floyd, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2004, p. 93. Mason,
Nick: Inside Out: A personal history of Pink Floyd, Orion Books,
London, 2011 reissue, p. 98-102. Mühle, Stefan: JM Deschamps
on Baron Wolman picture?, email, 21.10.2013. Palacios, Julian: Syd
Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London, 2010, p.
289-290, 298. Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink
Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 45-46, 69. Pryor, William: The
Survival Of The Coolest, Clear Books, 2003, p. 106. Wolman,
Baron: Casa Madrona - Pink Floyd + unknown man, email, 14.10.2013.
The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band Six Hour Technicolour Dream
gig, on January the 27th 1972, was not, as you probably know, Syd's last
gig, nor was it his last recording. Actually, Syd never joined LMPTBB
but gigged with them twice as a surprise guest. How the tape survived
into the twenty-first century and was finally published by Easy
Action records is a story you can read here: The
Last Minute Put Together Reel Story.
Apparently the vibes were so good that two out of three LMPTBB members
started dreaming of a post-Floyd Barrett band, not very much to the
amusement of singer Bruce Paine if we may believe Joly MacFie
(Twink's business partner in the Cambridge music club Juniper Blossom
and Stars roadie annex sound-man):
I was sharing a house with Twink and Paine. Paine was a somewhat vain
and career oriented American who went on to join Steamhammer. He wasn't
compatible with Syd. When Twink showed more interest in Syd, Bruce got
pissed off and moved out and that was the end of the band. (Taken from
So what's with 1972 Stars reel? @ SBRS (forum no longer active.))
was formed shortly later and would gig about five times, dates and
venues can be found at the Pink
1972 01 26
King's College Cellars
1972 01 27
The Corn Exchange
1972 02 05
The Dandelion Coffee Bar
1972 02 12
Petty Cury, Market Square
1972 02 12
The Dandelion Coffee Bar
1972 02 24
The Corn Exchange
1972 02 26
The Corn Exchange
Pink Floyd biographer Mark
Blake tried to find out more about the mythical Stars tapes, that
have been rumoured to exist, and posted his finding on the Late
Night and Syd Barrett Research Society forums (here edited a bit):
Rehearsal tapes - Twink has mentioned on more than one occasion that Syd
recorded the early practices. It goes without saying that these tapes
must be long lost. Dandelion Cafe - lots of people (Twink, Jack and
possibly Joly [MacFie]) remember Victor Kraft sitting there with his
Nagra tape machine at the Dandelion, and possibly the Corn Exchange as
well. Market Square - recorded, supposedly, by a friend of someone
who mentioned it on the Laughing Madcaps list. The tape, supposedly, is
at the taper's parents' house in Oxford. [Note from FA: this is probably
the tape mentioned at Fortean Zoology. All efforts to make the blogger
move his lazy ass have been effortless: Beatles:
Off topic but not really.] Final Corn Exchange show (with Nektar)
- according to Joly MacFie, his co-roadie Nigel Smith had a friend
called Chris who taped this show.
Although some YouTube videos claim to contain Stars tapes these are
believed to be either fakes
or mislabelled Barrett solo concerts, so it is still waiting for the
real deal, if they not have been buried in the vaults of Pink Floyd Ltd.
But the good news is that the Six Hour Technicolour Dream tape has been
released by Easy Action, that Syd Barrett stars (sorry, we couldn't
resist the joke) on three of its tracks and although the sound quality
is only slightly more than average, the fun is dripping out of our
stereo boxes. Mythical drummer Twink, who is currently recording a
follow-up of his legendary Think Pink album (1968), lend us some of his
time to tell us the following...
An innerview with Mohammed Abdullah John Alder, better known as Twink
BH: Of course we all know this record is interesting for Syd
Barrett's performance, but the real discovery on the Last Minute Put
Together Boogie Band is that amazing singer, Bruce Paine. How did you
and John Lodge (Honk) meet up with him and how did the band come
MAJA: I first met Bruce Paine in the autumn of 1971 at Steve
Brink's boutique "What's In A Name" in Union Rd just before he rented a
room in Steve's cottage which was situated next to the shop. We talked
very briefly about putting a band together because at that time I was
just helping Hawkwind out from time to time. Once Bruce had moved
into the cottage the band came together quite quickly. I recruited John
"Honk" Lodge as our bass player who was living in London but that didn't
seem to get in the way of the band project. Other members included Dane
Stevens (The Fairies & The Cops And Robbers) on vocals & Adam Wildi on
congas but both only lasted one show. We called the band The Last Minute
Put Together Boogie Band.
BH: Who came up with the idea of naming it the Last Minute Put
Together Boogie Band? Is there any explanation for the band's name?
MAJA: Bruce came up with the name and I think it was simply that
the band came together quite quickly once show offers began to come in.
BH: After a record deal with Polydor had failed, Honk left the
band and was replaced by Jack Monck.
MAJA: Yes, "Honk" left immediately the Polydor deal fell through.
I think he was disheartened because Polydor's A&R department made it
clear that after the demos we did for them, we were in. The whole thing
fell down at the contract stage because the contracts manager there was
having a bad day. He refused to raise the contracts and kept playing Led
Zeppelin at full volume which drove us out of his office. He apologised
to me about a month later just after he had been fired from his job. But
the damage was done and there would be no record deal for The Last
Minute Put Together Boogie Band.
BH: Did you meet Syd in Cambridge before the Eddie Guitar Burns
gig? Did you know that Syd was going to jam with LMPTBB on the 26th of
January 1972 or were you as surprised as the audience?
MAJA: I was surprised and happy to see Syd arrive at the Eddie
"Guitar" Burns gig with Jenny and carrying his guitar case. He arrived
while we were sound checking, came to the back of the stage area, took
his guitar out of its case and started to tune up. We had been friends
since 1967 but we had lost touch in '68. It was wonderful to see him
again. The following day Syd came to The Six Hour Technicolour Dream
where The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band was supporting Hawkwind &
The Pink Fairies. Again I was surprised to see him there with his guitar
case. Syd was keen to play so we invited him to join us on stage along
with Fred Frith from the band Henry Cow who was guesting with us
BH: It must not be easy trying to remember a gig from 40 years
ago, but there are two different testimonies about the Kings Cellar's
concert. One witness says that LMPTBB played twice on that concert.
According to him, the opening support gig had Syd, Monck and you. After
the Eddie Guitar Burns gig, LMPTBB returned, this time with Bruce Paine.
According to Terrapin magazine Syd jammed with LMPTBB after the Eddie
Guitar Burns show. Not that it really matters, this only shows how
anoraky we are.
MAJA: The Terrapin report is correct however it is possible the
Syd, Jack & I tuned up together but that was not part of the show.
BH: Now to the Six Hour Technicolour Dream concert of the
following day. How did Fred Frith come on board? Did he know Syd Barrett
was going to be there as well? What was his reaction? What was your
opinion after the gig had ended?
MAJA: We had a lot of contact with Fred Frith & Henry Cow who
frequently played at The 10p Boogie Club which was run by Joly MacFie &
myself at Fisher Hall in Cambridge having taken over the venue from
Jenny Spires & Jack Monck and renamed it Juniper Blossom.
The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band often played there and so did
Henry Cow. Fred Frith guested with The Last Minute Boogie Band there
too. Fred guesting with us at The Six Hour Technicolour was more formal
and when it was decided that Syd would guest too he was welcomed by all
concerned with open arms. Our performance was well received and with
Syd's enthusiastic participation at both the Eddie "Guitar" Burn gig &
The Six Hour Technicolour Dream our creative wheels began to turn
resulting in the formation of STARS with Syd Barrett, Jack Monck &
myself a few days later.
BH: Was this the LMPTBB's last gig? Did anyone say, this is it,
last gig, finished?
MAJA: The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band continued after
Jack & I left for STARS with replacement musicians.
BH: Did you, at one point or another, think of asking Syd to join
MAJA: It was Jack & Jenny that thought about forming a band with
BH: If our information is correct you have been pulling some
strings to make this release possible.
MAJA: The only things that needed sorting out were group members
and song details as well as contract details to include both Bruce Paine
& Roger Barrett's Estates. Then there was restoring, mastering and the
cover to achieve as well. Everyone was very helpful.
BH: As you probably know, Pink Floyd (or EMI) have another copy
of the LMPTBB tape, however at one point there were rumours this tape
actually contains a Stars concert rather. know what they really have?
MAJA: I have no idea what EMI have. It's possible they have a
BH: Any chance that the LMPTBB Polydor tapes will ever see the
light of day? Does anyone know where these demos are?
MAJA: It is possible The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band
demos will be released as they are probably sitting in Polydor's
archives. I think Honk may well have a copy tape.
BH: In retrospect, what was the band you were happiest with? If
you could go back to these days what would you have changed to make it
MAJA: Playing with The Pretty Things made me happy and I wouldn't
want to change a thing.
BH: Many thanks, Mohammed, and good luck with Think Pink 2!
End of part four of our LMPTBB
series. If you don't stop us, there will probably be a part five. You
have been warned.
Many thanks to Mohammed Abdullah John Alder, Rich Hall, Peter Jansens.
Inspired by questions from: Mike Baess, Rick Barnes, Andre Borgdorff,
Anita Buckett, Rich Hall, Jane Harris, Alexander P.H., Peter Felix
Jansens, Raymond John Nebbitt, Lisa Newman, Göran Nystrom, Anni Paisley,
Cheesecake Joe Perry, Paul Piper, Michael Ramshaw, James Vandervest.
The new Diet Pink
Floyd album The Endless River is conquering the world,
perhaps to the absence of any real competition. We don't think Susan
Boyle's cover version of Wish
You Were Here will pose a real threat, does it? In Holland the
album, currently at number one, sells five
times as much as the number two.
The Endless River is a slow evolving, ambient piece of work with obvious
nods to the Floyd's glorious past... one hears traces of A Saucerful Of
Secrets (Syncopated Pandemonium), Astronomy Domine, Careful With That
Axe Eugene, Cluster One, Interstellar Overdrive, Keep Talking, Marooned,
Money, One Of These Days (I'm Going To Cut You Into Little Pieces), Run
Like Hell, Shine On You Crazy Diamond and probably half a dozen more
we've already forgotten.
The familiarity of it all has created raving enthusiasm for some and
'mainly yesterday's reheated lunch' for others and this also seems to be
the opinion of the press. Mark Blake (in Mojo)
politely describes the album as 'big on atmosphere, light on songs',
Mikael Wood (in the Los
Angeles Times) states that Pink Floyd drifts towards nothingness
with aimless and excruciatingly dull fragments.
While the 1987 A Momentary Lapse Of Reason album was a David
Gilmour solo effort, recorded with 18 session musicians and with the
Pink Floyd name on the cover to sell a few million copies more, The
Endless River originally grew out of jams between Gilmour, Mason &
Actually these were rejected jams, not good enough to include on The
Division Bell, but over the years they seem to have ripened like
good old wine. Well that's the PR story but in reality Andy Jackson,
Phil Manzanera and Martin 'Youth' Glover had to copy bits and pieces
from twenty hours of tape and toy around with every single good sounding
second in Pro
Tools to obtain something relatively close to Floydian eargasm. Phil
Manzanera in Uncut:
I would take a guitar solo from another track, change the key of it,
stick it on an outtake from another track. 'Oh that bit there, it
reminds me of Live At Pompeii, but let's put a beat underneath it.' So
then I take a bit of Nick warming up in the studio at Olympia, say, take
a bit of a fill here and a bit of fill there. Join it together, make a
loop out of it.
This doesn't really sound like an organic created piece of music, does
it? The result is a genetically modified fat-free sounding record
and while this is the most ambient experiment of Pink Floyd it will
never get extreme, despite Martin Glover's presence whose only ambient
house additions seem to be the On The Run VCS3 effect that comes
whooshing in several times. Youth isn't that young and reckless any more
so don't expect anything close to the KLF's Madrugada
Eterna, Jimmy 'Space' Cauty's Mars
or the Orb's A
Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules from the Centre of the
Update April 2017: One and a half year after the record has been
released the involvement of Nick Mason can be finally discussed as well.
Pink Floyd know-all Ron Toon at Steve
Nick had nothing to do with this project except to play a few new drum
tracks basically being brought in as a session drummer. Of course he was
/ is a member of Pink Floyd but his involvement in this project was
minimal at best. The vision was David's and the other producers and Andy
[Jackson] did most of the work. Source: Pink
Floyd - The Early Years 1965-1972 Box Set.
But the music isn't the only thing that seems to be embellished. Last
week long-time Echoes
mailing list member Christopher, also known as 10past10, went on
holidays, taking with him the new Pink Floyd CD and, as reading
material, Nick Mason's Inside Out book. Then something happened
which unleashed the power of his imagination (read Christopher's
The mid-book picture of The Endless River shows the Astoria studio with
Rick Wright, David Gilmour and Nick Mason jamming in 1993, taken by Jill
Furmanovsky. This picture has been stitched out of several shots,
the borders don't match (deliberately) and Nick Mason (or at least his
arms) can be seen twice.
But Christopher was in for another surprise when he looked at the fourth
picture gallery in Nick Mason's Inside Out soft-cover (or on page 313 if
you have the coffee-table edition). It shows another picture of the same
session, with Rick Wright, David Gilmour and Bob Ezrin.
Now look at the man in the middle, the one who doesn't like to be called
If you look closely at every piece of David's clothing, his hair, the
way he is holding his guitar, the chords, the lot. It all matches
exactly ... too much not be a match.
Not only does The Endless River centrefold superimposes Nick Mason
twice, but they have glued in David Gilmour from another shot (and
removed Bob Ezrin).
And still, that is not all.
closely to Gilmour's face in the 1993 picture (left) and to his
face on the 2014 release (right). Christopher explains:
The difference is in the original shot. David has a double chin. In
The Endless River shot it has been dealt with.
There will be no fat on The Endless River, not on the music and
certainly not on Air-Brush Dave.
(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations may
have been enlarged for satirical purposes.)
Many thanks to Christopher (10past10), Ron Toon. Pictures courtesy of
Jill Furmanovsky. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
Sources (other than the above internet links): 10past10
(Christopher), Alcog Dave no more, mail, 2014 11 14. Bonner,
Michael: Coming back to life, Uncut, November 2014, p. 39. Echoes
mailing list: to join just click on the appropriate link on their sexy echoes
subscription and format information webpage.
The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical
division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad
character. More info: The
Anchor. Read our legal stuff: Legal
Christopher's original posting to Echoes: (Back to article)
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2014 18:00:32 +1000 From: 10past10 Subject:
Alcog Dave no more ... To: email@example.com
Hi Ho All,
I do believe there is photographic trickery afoot!
Exhibit A: The centrefold picture in The Endless River depicting
Richard, David and Nick in the studio.
Exhibit B: Inside Out; the fourth lot of pics in the paperback or p313
in hardback (1st ed), depicting Richard, David and Bob Ezrin.
Obviously it is a different pic of Richard and Bob/Nick. But I reckon
the picture of David is the same one; except for one difference.
So, I reckon, to get the wider shot for the TER CD centrefold (I don't
know how it may or may not appear in the other versions as I haven't
seen them yet), they have made a composite photo using the shot of David
rom the one Nick originally published and shots of Richard and Nick from
one or two different pictures.
If you look closely at every piece of David's clothing, his hair, the
way he is holding his guitar, the chords, the lot. It all matches
exactly ... too much not be a match.
Does this matter? Of course not. Why not do that to get what you need.
Obviously Nick himself is double exposed when you look at his arms.
Is it worth pointing out? Yes (but just because you can, not because it
will change the world). Why? Because of the one difference.
The difference is in the original shot David has a double chin. In The
Endless River shot it has been dealt with.
Some time ago I was castigated for calling David, Fat Dave. So I changed
that to Alcog Dave. He is that no more. In my more whimsical moods I
shall hence forth refer to him as "Air-Brush Dave".
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.
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.
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.)
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,
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
This article is an updated version of Iggy
& the Stones (October 2012). Many thanks to: Lisa Newman,
Anthony Stern, Yeeshkul. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
Nine years ago the Reverend made the remark that any new Pink Floyd
release will create some 'controversy between the fans, the (ex-)band
members and/or record company' (Fasten
Almost a decade later, with the release of Pink Floyd The Early Years
1965-1972, nothing has changed. Actually it only got worse.
Pink Floyd have always been a pretty hypocritical band when it comes to
making money. There is nothing bad about trying to make a good living,
obviously, but when you start selling inferior material for overabundant
prices it's like spitting the fans in their face. Not that anyone of
them would do that.
Of course nobody is obliged to buy The Early Years box (approx. 500 Euro
and limited to 28000 copies) but I duly admit: I am an absolute sucker
for anything with the Floyd name on it. And perhaps it's a nice pick-up
line: “Wanna see my Early Years box?”
The Early Years is a somewhat directionless, but nevertheless
interesting, 28 CD, DVD and Blu-ray box containing demos, live tapes
(some of bootleg quality), unreleased tracks, rarities, vinyl singles,
movies and a 2016 remix of Obscured By Clouds. Someone must have said at
a direction committee: 'you know what, we haven't got enough material on
our Obfusc/Ation disk, let's throw in an Obscured By Clouds-remix'.
Not that you hear me complain, Obscured By Clouds is in my personal top
three, before Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall, but it does feel a bit
For this box, Pink Floyd didn't make the silly mistake of adding
marbles, scarves or toasters, like in the Immersion sets. There are
plenty of mini-posters, postcards, ticket replicas and other printed
items though, for those who like that. (Personally, I tend to ignore
that rubble.) An image of some of those, thanks to RobNl, can be found
Another shot can be found at the Church's Tumblr: (Un)Packing
The Early Years #12.
The box has a simplistic, black and white theme, but is... too big. The
outside box is about 41 x 22 x 31 cm, but the actual set tucked inside
only takes 19 x 20 x 14.5 cm. It doesn't take an Einstein to calculate
that 80% of the box is made of... empty spaces. (Sorry, I really
couldn't resist that pun.) I have put the outside box on top of a
wardrobe, where it will probably stay for the rest of my miserable life.
The Early Years #6.
The 'inner box' contains 7 book-boxes, with ridiculously bombastic
cut/up names. 6 of those will be sold separately over the next few
months, the seventh is a bonus set, exclusive to this release alone.
That's why I was waving so enthusiastically with my wallet. Picture: (Un)Packing
The Early Years #14.
The one gadget everyone I have spoken to really wants, me included, is
the Pink Floyd 'matchbox' miniature van. Alas, these have been made for
promotional use only and will probably fetch high prices on eBay.
Update November 2016: meanwhile a Pink Floyd miniature van has
been sold on eBay for the whopping price of 310£ (385$, 364 €), Tumblr
The quality of the book-boxes is not optimal. On the web are already
circulating pictures of pages that are falling out of the sets.
Apparently they have been glued rather flimsily to the spine. Taking out
a disk is always a matter of trial and error, and the first CD I picked
broke one of the plastic 'teeth' holding it.
The inside pages contain pictures of the band, unfortunately the
printing is rather average, although the 'later' sets in my box seem to
be slightly better. Each set also contains a booklet with 'copyrights',
thank you notes, a brief introduction by Mark Blake and seven times the
same text by film archivist Lana Topham, for whatever reason, although I
suppose sloppiness from the editor. These texts are printed in grey on
brownish paper, making it nearly impossible to read them anyway.
If it breathes something, it breathes cheap instead of zen.
When the box was announced, a couple of months ago, in the same
amateurish way The
Endless River was made public, the track-listing had some important
differences, as it listed 5.1 mixes for Meddle and Obscured By
Clouds. These can't be found on the released set (well, kind of) for
reasons that seem to be taken out of a Neighbours
It all starts with the fact that Pink Floyd has had several re-mixing
specialists over the years, notably James
Guthrie and Andy
Jackson, who, in true soap-series tradition, hate each-other's guts
as they belong to rivalling factions.
Andy Jackson, from the David Gilmour camp, was asked to create
the 5.1 mixes for Meddle and Obscured By Clouds and handed these over to Mark
Fenwick, who is Roger Waters' manager. Mark was a good dog
and passed these to Roger, for approval.
Roger Waters remembered that these remixes had originally been promised
to his protégé James Guthrie and when he found out that the 'other side'
had done these, without consulting him, he threw a tantrum like a kicked
So this is, in a nutshell, why the genius of Pink Floyd vetoed against
the inclusion of the Andy Jackson 5.1 mixes, although liner notes and
promotion material had already been printed. All that had to be redone
and the 5.1 disks that had already been pressed were for the dustbin.
Before somebody could say 'several species of small furry animals' the
rift between the David Gilmour and Roger Waters camp was back in place
and it seems that it won't be solved in the near future.
So the Obscured By Clouds and Meddle 5.1 mixes are not in the box,
right? Wrong. Well, partially wrong.
It was found out that the 1971 Blu-ray contains a hidden segment with
the complete Meddle 5.1 mix. However, you can't play it on a regular
Blu-ray player as one needs to extract the files to a computer first (or
burn them on another Blu-ray with the hidden files set to visible).
Apparently this is not an Easter egg but a simple mistake. Or an act of
Insubordin/Ation. Take your pick. Instead of deleting the Meddle 5.1 mix
from the disk the Floyd's technical leprechaun only deleted the shortcut
from the menu.
Keep on smiling, people.
The week before the box got released there was an impromptu announcement
of the record company.
Pink Floyd fans ordering 'The Early Years 1965-1972’ will get an extra
piece of the band’s history.
The box-set will now also include a supplementary disc featuring the
band’s seminal Live At Pompeii concert as a 2016 audio mix.
The 6 tracks totalling over 67 minutes include live versions of 'Careful
With That Axe, Eugene', 'Set the Controls For The Heart Of The Sun',
'One of These Days', 'A Saucerful Of Secrets', ‘Echoes' and an
alternative take of 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene’.
The truth is slightly different. When the sets were already made and put
in the boxes for shipping a bright brain decided it was about time to
check if the disks really contained what was printed on the booklets.
Only then it was found out that the Obfusc/Ation set did not have
Obscured By Clouds, but the Pompeii soundtrack. By then it was too late
to open 28000 shrink wrapped boxes and replace the disks, so the
Obscured remix was put in a carton sleeve and thrown on top of The Early
Years box set, before closing the brown shipping parcel. Picture: (Un)Packing
The Early Years #2.
At least the carton sleeve has the guts to say the truth:
REPLACEMENT CD DISC FOR OBFUSC/ATION PFREY6 – CD (STEREO
2016 MIX OF PINK FLOYD 'LIVE AT POMPEII' CD SUPPLIED IN ERROR)
Some quality control, huh? By the way, the 5.1 Obscured By Clouds mix is
not in the box, but you probably already figured that out.
Update: some boxes seem to come without the Obscured replacement
disk, as was expected...
(For those interested, the Pompeii CD contains an extra take of Careful
With That Axe, Eugene, but no Mademoiselle Nobs. The box also has the
Pompeii movie, without the interviews, without the singing dog, but in
the director's cut version, so I have read. Another Indic/Ation that the
Floyd team doesn't seem to know what lives in the fan community as that
version of the movie is mostly regarded as inferior to the original.)
Update: the new 'mix' of Obscured By Clouds is (to quote
Cenobyte) 'too top endy'. The mix generally repairs the muddiness of the
original mix and brings everything out in a brilliant way, but adds this
layer on top and that kind of ruins it. Some posters even think that
something went wrong during the mastering process. (The same applies to
the new Pompeii mix as well.)
Several Floydian movies can be found in the box, but some come without
English subtitles. This may not be a very big problem for More
but La Vallée is basically spoken in Frenglish. And of
course these boxes are shipped all over the world, to places were people
are not familiar with the English language and could use subtitles.
It only feeds the rumour that the Floyd randomly added things onto the
disks, just to fill them up, regardless of quality.
(Note: in my box, The Committee, that is on another Blu-ray than More
and La Vallée, does have subtitles, even in Dutch.)
The Committee's soundtrack does not contain music from Pink Floyd alone.
One, pretty famous scene has underground colleague Arthur
Brown singing Nightmare,
but his name is not mentioned at all in the booklet. It is weird that a
band that scrutinises YouTube looking for copyright infringements
neglects Mr. Brown's rights.
As a matter of fact Pink Floyd even censored Nightmare from Arthur
Brown's personal YouTube place, a few months ago, because they claimed his
song hurt their copyrights. Unfortunately Arthur Brown doesn't
have a legion of lawyers to fight this.
Don't ask a slice of my pie, how utterly convenient.
Some of the tracks on this Compil/Ation are from inferior or bootleg
quality. We know that and can live with that.
But what if we say that the Pink Floyd mastering team deliberately
ignored some good takes and put inferior ones in the box?
Seems unthinkable for a band that used to flirt with high-end
The 1967 BBC radio sessions, for instance, are in a bad quality,
examples are 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun', 'Reaction in
G' and 'Pow R Toc H' that is even incomplete.
It needs to be said that Pink Floyd consulted the official BBC archives
but these are in a bad state. The BBC had a habit of erasing their own
masters and only has copies of the Pink Floyd 1967 gig 'taken' from the
Top collectors, those that have the 'holy grails', informed the Floyd
that (a copy of?) the masters of the 1967 recording are in a private
collection but the Floyd didn't find it necessary to check this out.
Andy Jackson received high quality stereo copies of the BBC recordings
from at least two sources but the powers that be decided to use the
inferior mono tapes instead.
Isn't is ironic that the 'bootleg' community has better versions of
these Pink Floyd live tapes and early acetates than the band itself and
that they are giving them away for free? The Floyd has thanked them by
shutting down Harvested and threatening to shutdown Yeeshkul in the
past. (More of these vicious rumours at: The
loathful Mr. Loasby and other stories... )
Just as with the Immersion sets some Blu-rays come with errors, in this
case (as far as we know): the 1972 'Obfusc/ation' Blu-ray and bonus
package 'Continu/ation' Blu-ray 1. According to several testimonies the
menu screen loads, but halts there. You better check out your version
before it is too late.
Fans were happy to find out that Seabirds was finally going to
find a place on this collection. Seabirds
is a song written by Roger Waters for the More movie, where it can be
heard during a party scene, but it does not appear on the soundtrack
The song in the box though with the same title is not the one fans were
looking for but an alternate take of the instrumental Quicksilver.
God knows why this was erroneously labelled, but once again it seems
that the Floyd historians didn't do their homework right and just threw
songs on a CD without checking them out first.
Pink Floyd itself issued a statement, trying not to make it sound as an
apology. It appears that the master tape of the 'real' Seabirds was
given to the movie producers who used it for their final cut and who
destroyed the only copy afterwards.
While Pink Floyd is not to blame for that mishap we can at least say
they have been badly communicating to their fans about this track, but
Communic/Ation has never been the Floyd's strongest point.
(Another possible mistake can be found on the Stockholm disk where the
first instrumental number is titled Reaction In G while most
scholars think it is another 'untitled' instrumental, loosely based upon Take
Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk. This was already published by the
Church in 2011 so the Floyd had plenty of time to correct this. See
blackmails Pink Floyd fans!)
At 500 Euro a box this is a pretty hefty Christmas present, especially
when you realise that at least 85% of the box has been circulating
before, on bootlegs. Of course it is true that some visual material has
been beautifully restored and some audio tracks sound crispier than
ever. Other tracks have just been added for the sake of adding them, so
it seems. Anything in the bin we can still use?
There are still plenty of tracks not in the box that the fans were
hoping for. It has already been confirmed that one of these will be
issued as a Vinyl Record Store Day exclusive.
Somehow I have the feeling that during the Cre/Ation of this set, that
took twenty years, the energy went lost, or the interest. Perhaps there
was a lack of time when the deadline came closer. Perhaps a greedy
manager decided that they had already spend too much money on it.
Perhaps Waters and Gilmour, and their servants Guthrie and Jackson, have
been busy rolling over the floor fighting, rather than working together,
in a cooperative way.
This could have been such an exquisite rarities box, an example for
other bands to follow, if only the Floyd had put some extra effort in
it, if only the Floyd had consulted their fanbase that gathers at
specialised music forums.
Nick Mason, the gentleman drummer, probably takes better care of his
cars than he takes care of his musical legacy.
"Those ungrateful fans, it took us 20 years to make this box and Felix
Atagong, the Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, just needed
20 minutes to trash it."
Update: this post was only published for about an hour when a new
'error' was published on one of the forums.
Belgian TV footage (1968): while the image transfer is great,
Pink Floyd made a stupid mistake by overdubbing the video with the
regular stereo versions instead of the original 'mono' sound. This leads
to the following errors: 1. The stereo Paintbox is about 15 seconds
shorter than the mono version, the last seconds of the clip are almost
silent while there was still music during the original TV broadcast. 2.
An unique early version of Corporal Clegg with an alternate ending has
been replaced with the common stereo version. 3. Set The Controls For
The Heart Of The Sun has lost the early mono mix that was used instead
of the album version.
Video transfers. Frame rates differ between 'vintage' movies and
digital technologies like DVD and Blu-ray. When old movies are
transferred to digital they have to be 'stretched' which is a pretty
straightforward process. However, one may not stretch the soundtrack the
same way because it will result in a sound distortion. Guess what, at
least one movie in the box runs with half a tone difference than
So here is another case where bootlegs have it right and the official
version has it wrong. Bunch of amateurs!
There are really too many people to thank for this article, but much
kudos go to Ron Toon and the dozens of others who gave valuable
information on the Steve
Hoffman Music Forum (304 pages!), another thread on the Steve
Hoffman Forum (72 pages!), Yeeshkul
(161 pages!) and A
Fleeting Glimpse (106 pages!). Sleeve illustrations by a forum
member whose post I can't find back any more, anyway thanks!
20 pictures of the (un)packing of the box can be found at the Church's
At the 'Mortal
Remains' Pink Floyd exhibition that is currently running in
London a Polaroid can be found showing Syd Barrett at the Abbey
Road studio in July 1975. This is not the picture that was
magically found back when Nick Mason needed to promote his
biography in 2004 and that dates from June 1975.
Here is what Nick writes about that:
It was during these sessions at Abbey Road, on 5th June, that we had one
totally unexpected visitor. I strolled into the control room from the
studio, and noticed a large fat bloke with a shaven head, wearing a
decrepit old tan mac. He was carrying a plastic shopping bag and had a
fairly benign, but vacant, expression on his face. His appearance would
not have generally gained him admittance beyond studio reception, so I
assumed that he must have been a friend of one of the engineers.
Eventually David asked me if I knew who he was. Even then I couldn’t
place him, and had to be told. It was Syd. More than twenty years later
I can still remember that rush of confusion.
Remember a Day
Confused is what Mason is indeed, as he doesn't mention Syd's second
visit to the studio, a month later, accidentally - or not? - on David
Gilmour's wedding day. In a Mojo interview from 2006 David Gilmour
denied that Syd was at his wedding, although he seems to recall that
Barrett visited the band more than once.
From a 1982 Musician Magazine interview:
He showed up at the studio. He was very fat and he had a shaved head and
shaved eyebrows and no one recognized him at all first off. There was
just this strange person walking around the studio, sitting in the
control room with us for hours. If anyone else told me this story, I'd
find it hard to believe, that you could sit there with someone in a
small room for hours, with a close friend of yours for years and years,
and not recognize him. And I guarantee, no one in the band recognized
him. Eventually, I had guessed it. And even knowing, you couldn't
recognize him. He came two or three days and then he didn't come
anymore. (Taken from: December
1982 - Musician Magazine at Brain Damage)
So, Gilmour does seem to acknowledge that Syd Barrett visited the studio
more than once, only not on his wedding day.
Mark Blake in Pigs Might Fly:
On 7 July, during a break in the Wish You Were Here sessions, Gilmour
married girlfriend Ginger at Epping Forest Register Office, and the Syd
tale takes on another curious twist. In conversation with Mojo magazine
in 2006, Gilmour disputed any stories that Syd had attended his wedding.
Yet at least three of the guests claim they saw Syd at a post-wedding
meal at Abbey Road. Ex-manager Andrew King recalled Barrett looking
‘like the type of bloke who serves you in a hamburger bar in Kansas
City’. Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley referred to him as ‘an
overweight Hare Krishna-type chap’.
One who does remember - obviously, as it was her wedding day - is Ginger
Gilmour in her autobiography Bright
Side Of The Moon:
While clearing his throat, the registrar leaned over towards David and
said, "Excuse me, Sir, the ring?" We both looked at each other with a
look of...OH NO. I had waited all my life for this moment and we had
forgotten to get a ring! Linnie came up to us from behind and offered
for us to use a ring she had gotten from a box of Crackerjacks. An
American sweet popcorn, which always had a surprise gift inside and she
had just happened to eat on the way. God was on our side, even if we
didn't realize it. David eventually had a ring designed in white gold
with two interlocking hearts by a friend who was a designer of jewelry. The
registrar did turn a few shades of red at the thought but proceeded.
When the words, "You may put the ring on her finger" was said, neither
of us knew which finger or which hand David should put it on. Once my
embarrassment settled, I remembered that it was the fourth finger but
not which hand. Boy, were we well rehearsed. I had both fourth fingers
up. We both teetered between them as we tried to get it right and hold
our pride intack. Linnie said in a low whisper trying to say it just low
enough for us to hear, "The right one, the right one." David looked
relieved and chose the right. Phew, at last we heard the words, "You may
kiss the bride." We all went on to celebrate at our local pub with a
giggle and good cheer. What a tale, it has made a sweet story ever since
and brought smiles to my kids' faces many years later. David had to
go to Abbey Road to continue recording Wish You Were Here. I went with
him so that we could share the day together. The band had no idea until
we walked in. There always seem to be stories within stories in our
life. You will see why as you read further. Just to add to the day's
event, when we arrived, Roger walked up to David pulling him aside and
whispered to him, "Look who is sitting on the sofa." They both went
slowly over to the place Roger was referring, Nick and Rick following
discreetly. There is a huge sofa in front of the mixing desk in that
EMI recording room. I don't think any of them were completely certain
who was sitting there until David confirmed it. David looked and his
face clouded over with the reality of what he saw. Under his breath, he
said, "It's Sid." The atmosphere in the room went silent as they
digested the moment. Roger, especially, who is quoted to have had many
mixed emotions for the past came flooding back. There was Sid pear
shape, hairless and overweight. They stood silently in disbelief. Old
memories rushed into their hearts. What happened? His timing was
uncanny! Their lost love and the tragedy of Sid inspired the creation of
"Shine On". And there they were in the middle of recording it when Sid
appeared weather worn and without hair. They stumbled to have a
conversation, inviting him to listen to a track. Sid just sat there
lost, on the sofa, wondering why? What a day to ponder. What a day to
Remember. (Taken from: Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon, p.
For one reason or another, Pink Floyd members (and other witnesses)
amalgamated the different Barrett appearances into one, quasi mythical,
event. Venetta Fields hinted already in March 2004 that there were
pictures of the event:
I think there were photos taken at that time... I remember telling
someone that was showing me a photo. I can’t remember who? I may even
have a picture. We took a lot of pictures that day. They had been at the
studio for hours before we got there. I think that while we were there,
Syd came into the studio. Everything stopped. We were all shocked to see
him and the way he looked. (Taken from: An
Interview With Venetta Fields at A Fleeting Glimpse.)
The Gold It's in the...
Another mystery is why Nick Mason, who has meticulously classified the
Pink Floyd archive, only came up with this second picture now – almost
by chance - when he needed to promote yet another Pink Floyd pension
Previously we have written some bits and pieces about the Wish You Were
Here Syd Barrett appearances. Rather than let you search for these we'll
just copy and paste them here:
Wish You Were... but where exactly?
One of the greatest legends about Syd Barrett is how he showed up at the Wish
You Were Here recording settings on the fifth of June 1975. A Very
Irregular Head merely repeats the story as it has been told in other
biographies, articles and documentaries, including Rick Wright's
testimony that Barrett kept brushing his teeth with a brush that was
hidden in a plastic bag. Roger Waters however claims that Barrett only
took sweets out of the bag. As usual different witnesses tell different
The toothbrush myth is one Chapman doesn't know how to demystify but
Blake may have found a plausible explanation.
The 'toothbrush' and 'bag of candies' may have come out of the story I
heard from somebody else [Nick Sedgwick, see underneath] that was at
Abbey Road that day. They claimed Syd Barrett had a bag filled with
packets of Amplex. For those that don't know or remember, Amplex was a
breath-freshener sweet that was popular in the 70s. This eyewitness
claims that Syd Barrett was nervously stuffing Amplex sweets into his
mouth... another story to add to the pile... but you can see how the
story of 'breath-freshener sweets' could turn into a 'toothbrush' and/or
'a bag of candies'. (Taken from May
5, 2010 Roger Waters TV interview at Late
A typical Floydian example of false memory syndrome is the visit of Syd
Barrett in the Abbey
Road studios on the 5th of June 1975. It is a mystery to us why EMI
didn't ask for entrance money that day as a complete soccer team,
including the four Pink Floyd members David
Mason, Roger Waters and Rick
Wright, claim they have seen, met and spoken to Syd Barrett.
Roadie (and guitar technician) Phil Taylor remembers he had a
drink in the mess with Syd and David. Storm Thorgerson has had
his say about it as well. Other 'reliable' witnesses that day include
(alphabetically sorted): Venetta
Fields, backing singer and member of The
Leckie, EMI engineer and producer (but not on Wish
You Were Here) Nick
Sedgwick, friend of Roger Waters and 'official' biographer of Pink
Shirley, Humble Pie drummer and friend of David Gilmour Carlena
Williams, backing singer and member of The Blackberries
Some say that Barrett visited the studio for two or three days in a row
and three people, including his former managers Peter
Jenner and Andrew
King, claim they spoke to Syd Barrett about a month later on David
Gilmour's wedding while the bridegroom himself claims that Syd Barrett
never showed up. To quote Pink Floyd biographer Mark
Blake: “...not two people in Pink Floyd's world have matching
stories...”, and neither do two biographies...
Nick Sedgwick agrees he never felt comfortable in the presence of Syd,
who was popular, eagerly sought after and always welcome. Syd Barrett
may have been cooler than cool, but at what price? The shock for the
band came years later when they recorded Wish You Were Here. Nick
Sedgwick was around as well:
When I joined the band for lunch one day (there) was a bald fat person
dressed in loose and lace-less hushpuppies, and a pair of outsize
trousers held up by a length of string. (…) I sat for twenty
minutes or so, eating lunch, exchanging random news, acutely aware of
the alarming presence at the head of the table that somehow seemed to
dominate the proceedings. Despite the large number of people – the
Floyd, engineers, EMI employees, personal assistants – these were
noticeably stilted. I avoided eye contact, examined food and ashtrays
during lulls in conversation. Next to me, Roger, no doubt wondering how
long it would take me 'to get it', seemed increasingly amused by my
discomposure. A few more minutes of strained joviality passed, then
Roger nudged me gently. “Have you copped Syd yet?” he said. My head
snapped up, and I swivelled open-mouthed in Syd's direction, instantly
processing the message in a visceral shock of recognition. (…) The
hair was gone – from his head, from his arms, and even from his eyebrows
– and, if he stood erect he would not have been able to view his feet
without tilting his head forward over his belly. Only his eyes were
familiar. (…) Syd drank orange juice almost by the bucket,
chewed Amplex tablets, and observed the action. I asked him what he
thought of the music. There was a prolonged pause, then he answered.
“It's all… all a bit Mary Poppins.” P24-26.
Nick Sedgwick does not agree with the blind adoration some fans have for
Syd Barrett and calls it absurd and morbid. Syd disappeared too soon and
his work, even the one with Pink Floyd, is too fragmented to speak about
an oeuvre. The legend of Syd is not about him being a genius, the legend
is about Barrett disappearing from the spotlights before he could become
a genius. It's the James Dean syndrome and the fact that Syd Barrett
didn't die but just went crazy only adds up to the legend. You can't
deny Sedgwick feels somebody should have tried helping Syd (and all
those others) before it was too late.
In a 2015 interview - for Floydian
Slip - Aubrey Powell tells the story how Syd Barrett entered the
Hipgnosis studio, asking what the others were up to. Po answered that
the band were at Abbey Road, recording a new album. And that is how Syd
knew where to go to to pay them a visit.
Update June 2022: This anecdote is also told in Aubrey Powell's
autobiographical Hipgnosis book Through The Prism.
One day, it must have been the 5th of June 1975, an almost
unrecognisable Syd Barrett enters the office, asking where the band is.
Richard Evans, of the Hipgnosis crew, replies that they are probably at
Abbey Road. Po accompanies Syd to the street where he walks to Soho, ‘a
confused and forlorn figure’.
Check extra big pictures and other assorted trivia at our 'IggyInuit'
Tumblr page: 1975.
Many thanks to: Marc-Olivier Becks, Johan Frankelius, Antonio Jesús,
Göran Nystrom. ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (other than the above mentioned links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 231-232. Gilmour,
Ginger: Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon, Angelscript
International, 2015, p. 103-104. Mason, Nick: Inside Out: A
personal history of Pink Floyd, Orion Books, London, 2011 reissue,
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit celebrates its 10th birthday!
Ten years ago the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit started with a (big)
bang, not coincidentally surfing on the waves that were created by the
Cambridge City Wakes festival, later continuing on its own
momentum. On the 8th day of the 8th month of the 8th year a first
article was posted.
A couple of days later it's birth was also announced on the Late
Night forum, the then leading Syd Barrett community:
OK, the old habitants of this forum must have seen it coming and the
forthcoming Iggy the Eskimo movie triggered it a bit.
Church of Iggy the Inuit
The first post is just a try-out (to
check parameters etc...). The second Bend
It! is what I would like to achieve, a picture of Iggy and a lot of
information about the who's, where's and abouts...
Let me know
what you think of it... BTW, all information is welcome... (and
errorzzz)... (I hope that the subdomain fully works: http://iggy.atagong.com)
Here is how the first header looked like, created in Xara 3D. (The
'vintage' old-school look was done deliberately.)
In the first year of its existence the Church published 37 articles (for
those who love statistics that is 17% of all Church articles in its
first decade). Those from August 2008 presented and analysed some of the
Iggy material that was already available:
Iggy's presence at the 1966 'Bend' dance contest (Bend
It!); her cameo in the recently discovered IN Gear documentary (IN
Gear) and (obviously) her picture on The Madcap Laughs sleeve (Stormy
After a hint from Mark Blake, author of the Pink Floyd biography Pigs
Might Fly, that Iggy used to go dancing around Purley and Caterham,
the Church contacted (local) newspaper The Croydon Guardian, that
had written a few articles about the dancehall The Orchid.
Journalist Kirsty Walley took the bait, she interviewed Anthony Stern
and Jeff Dexter and officially started Iggymania with her
where did she go to, our lovely? (en passant making free
publicity for The City Wakes and The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit).
It gave the Holy Church a certain authority it didn't want in the first
place, but it can't be denied that the search for Iggy was taken pretty
seriously by some people (not in the least the Reverend who also started
to believe in it).
The Other Room
In that very first trimester we obviously reported about The City Wakes
festival, especially when it was Iggy-related. The Trashcan Sinatras
commemorated Syd and Iggy in their song Oranges
And Apples and several articles commented on The
Other Room exhibition where Anthony Stern's Iggy triptychs were
exposed for the very first time: Anthony
As far as we know, The
Other Room catalogue is still the only official printed publication
where some of Anthony Stern's Iggy pictures have been published.
Storm and Rock in the Woods, featuring a mysterious brunette
When the City Wakes festival ended the Reverend thought that the rest of
the season would be more at leisure, and that we would have to fill our
blog with book reviews
and the odd obituary
died in September). But Iggymania had taken its momentum. The snowball
started to roll...
We were informed that Iggy could be found on another Floydian document,
a Syd Barrett Home Movies compilation
that had been shown once (and only once) before a 1990 Pink Floyd
charity concert at Knebworth. The Church (with - again - a lot of help
Night members) could identify most people in the so-called Lost
In The Woods movie with the exception of 'a mysterious brunette' who
was seen walking with Syd and Iggy (Love
in the Woods (Pt. 1) & (Pt.
A decade later she still has not been identified.
Thanks to Julian Palacios, author of two Syd Barrett biographies
and the administrator of a (now deleted) Syd Barrett highbrow 'research'
forum, the Church was contacted, in January 2009, by the person who
introduced Iggy to Syd Barrett four decades before.
This resulted in a few articles that brought forward some new and
interesting findings, promoting the theory that The Madcap Laughs record
sleeve picture had been taken in the spring of 1969 and not in
autumn, as other witnesses used to declare in Pink Floyd and Barrett
biographies. (See: When Syd met Iggy - Pt.
1 - Pt.
2 - Pt.
3 - Pt.
It gave the Church the reputation of being contrarious, but now, ten
years later, this theory seems to be generally accepted. That you read
it at the Church first, is thanks to JenS,
our witness who wanted to remain anonymous, despite the fact that every
level 2 Syd anorak knows who (s)he is.
It would not be the only time the Church had to confront witnesses, who
were high on the Floydian pecking order, with a 'false memory syndrome'.
One of the weirder ones is Mick Rock's theory that Syd Barrett
had a pink convertible parked before his door, while the few coloured
photographs actually show it was 'midnight' blue. A pink car would also
turn light-grey on the various Madcap Laughs BW pictures, but they
invariably show a very dark-grey, almost black, coach.
Also Duggie Fields, who must have passed the car parked in front of his
apartment for months, remembers it as pink and has even painted the car
in that colour, for the artwork that accompanied the Their Mortal
Remains exhibition (2017).
Of course the Pontiac Parisienne, with license plate VYP74, was later
turned into pink for its role in the movie Entertaining Mr. Sloane. This
movie, however, was shot after Syd Barrett seemingly gave it away to a
bystander, although some witnesses still pretend the contrary after all
these years. Others pretend it was a 'chameleon' car that originally was
pink, then painted blue, then painted pink again. You can't win them all.
Update 20181223: Iain Owen Moor (Emo), friend of the Floyd and
the London underground remembers the car, when it was still owned by
Thought it was black. I went in it a few times in 68 (?) with Sue Worth,
Mickey's then girlfriend. The car seems to have had a life of its own
Words of Hope
In May of the Church's first season, however, the Reverend already fell
into a dip, because of... a lack of Iggy. Luckily there was Dan5482 who
gave the Church a thumb's up, adding:
Despite all that collective amnesia I think that Iggy can still be
found. There are journalists, detectives... who have found more
However, an intense and widespread
interest for her is a necessary condition. Your Church is a source of
hope in this sense. It lets many people know that once such a mysterious
His words unknowingly predicted the future, but that is a story we will
keep for August next year, if at least the orange buffoon hasn't pushed
the Armageddon button by then.
The Church wishes to thank all of those who started rolling the ball 10
years ago. Unfortunately, many of them have left the scene. : Alien
Brain, Astral Piper, Sean Beaver, Bell That Rings, Mark Blake, Charley,
Dan5482, Dani, Dark Globe, Bea Day, Dolly Rocker, Ebronte, Eternal
Isolation, Gnome, Juliian Indica, Kim Kastekniv, Little Minute Gong,
Madcap Syd, Metal Mickey, Iain Owen Moor, Music Bailey, Mystic Shining,
Psych 62, Silks (नियत), Stanislav, Jenny Spires, Stars Can Frighten, Syd
Barrett's Mandolin, Anthony Stern, The Syd Barrett Sound... (Sorry to
those we have forgotten to mention.)
In September 2017 the Church was contacted by Robert Treadway who
informed us that he was involved in a movie project for which Paula
Christy and Marsha Allen had written a script.
That last name was the only one that rang a bell, Marsha Allen is a long
time member of the Birdie
Hop group and we may (or may not) have virtually encountered before
on other Barrett meeting places, like the now pretty comatose Late
Night. She also happens to be one of Iggy’s (many) followers.
By then Iggy had disappeared from the net for reasons we couldn’t
divulge, but we passed her a message from the movie makers. We know for
certain she was aware of it, that she was thrilled about the project and
that she was even willing to advise them.
Unfortunately, time ran short and communication between Iggy and the
movie team was lost forever on that dreary December day.
Robert Treadway, after hearing the sad news of Iggy's passing, confirmed
us that they would move forward with the project and now, nearly a year
later, a teaser has been released for Pinked
– a Syd Barrett Film, on YouTube.
The movie makers enlisted the help of Jim Prues, of Panoptic
Media, who directed a number of campaign videos for Bernie Sanders
and others. The initial plan was to make a short promo movie to generate
financial backing and that is the version that was released now.
The actors were, according to our inside source, incredible, rising
above the material. Anthony Dain and Samantha Roman
studied Syd and Iggy in depth before starting their scenes. The lighting
director tried to get the feel and colour of The Madcap Laughs cover
And, obviously, the floorboards had to be recreated as well.
Filmed in July 2018 it seems that an ‘angel
investor’ hasn’t showed up yet. The plan to turn the 8 minutes
trailer into a twenty to thirty minutes short has, we fear, been
postponed although there are rumours that they would like to start a
Pinked - A Syd Barrett Film, Panoptic Media, 2018. Directed by Jim Prues.
Anthony Dain: Syd Barrett Samantha Roman: Iggy the Eskimo
Paula Christy: screenplay, executive producer Marsha Allen :
screenplay, executive producer
Length: 8 minutes 33 seconds.
Hear it and see it first and we'll talk about it afterwards...
Update:2018 12 08: the movie has been removed from YouTube
to correct the 'David Gilmore' error in the introduction, so we were
An off-screen voice telling us that Syd Barrett, co-founder of Pink
Floyd, has left the band and is planning to make a solo album. A fake
newspaper article shows us how a certain David Gilmore (sic) has
replaced Syd. We’re not certain if this error has been put in
deliberately or not, although newspapers (and record sleeves) have
misspelled his name before.
A jealous Iggy complains that she saw Syd over at Gilmour’s den. Syd
explains that he was there because David (and Roger Waters) will produce
his first solo album. This scene is based upon Iggy’s story that she
once had a row with Syd at Gilmour’s flat, ruining the new Pink Floyd
album that was playing on a turntable. Notice the use of some of
Barrett’s lyrics in the dialogue.
Syd gets angry at the fact that his band doesn’t want him any more and
that he has to go solo. Iggy seems to be unaware of the fact that Syd
started The Pink Floyd.
Syd painting and explaining to Iggy he can see colour and sound.
Initial reactions from the fans are quite negative to say the least:
The bad script. The bad acting. The fact that Ig looks like a two-bit
Bollywood starlet. A lot of bad can be packed into 8 minutes.
What bothers most Sydiots is that the actors don’t move, talk and act
like their real-life counterparts.
Well, perhaps that is because it is a movie and a movie is the joined
vision of the director, the authors and the actors. And in true Floydian
tradition these visions may sometimes clash, compromises will have to be
made, budget problems will arise, etcetera... etcetera...
The Reverend's Idea
Time for the Reverend to leave his pulpit and descend to the masses.
As one of those few privileged people who have spoken to Iggy (for
dozens of hours) I immediately remarked that the girl who plays her
doesn’t speak, doesn’t articulate, doesn’t react like the real Iggy
does/did. But that is not the point, this is not a documentary.
The plan is to make a movie about a Syd and an Iggy and that is all that
counts, even if it isn’t perfect and doesn’t fit with the image we have
I can vividly imagine how an excited Iggy would have reacted, in that
loud voice of her that could render any train horn useless.
“FELIX, THEY’RE MAKING A MOVIE ABOUT ME!”
And that’s all that matters.
Our Tumblr page has got some 30+ pictures, some slightly NSFW: Pinked.
We ended the first season on a low note because it seemed that the
entire Iggy story had been told in a handful of articles. It seemed that
she had disappeared and that she would not be found back.
How wrong we were, but we were not the only ones. Duggie Fields (to Mark
I have no idea who Iggy was or even what her real name was. (…) 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.
(As a matter of fact, this was not that far from the truth, but of
course we didn’t know that in 2009. For a while Iggy was signaled in Scientology
circles, one of those incredible stories we might tell you one day.)
Here is an overview of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit’s tumultuous
second season (August 2009 -July 2010).
Fille de l’espace
We celebrated our first birthday with the publication of a brilliant
poem written by Dr.
Denis Combet, professor at Brandon University, Manitoba, Canada, who
specialises in French literature of the 17th and 18th centuries, but he
has also written lyrics for the pretty awesome stoner rock band Rescue
Rangers. In 2006 – 2007 he published a Syd Barrett inspired
multimedia project under the title Guitars and Dust Dancing (that
is unfortunately no longer online, but archive.org has a partially saved
and Dust Dancing).
The Church could exclusively issue the French version of the poem ‘De
Quétesh à Bastet’, dedicated to Iggy the Eskimo, and would
later publish Crystal Blue Postcards, a digital booklet with
(mostly) new poems, dedicated to Syd and Iggy. It can still be found
Iggy was moved to tears when she found out that someone in Canada had
written a poem for her and she kept on repeating that on our weekly
phone-calls. Thanks Denis!
The Iggy story, so we thought, was a dead end street or at least a slow
lane. In absence of our subject of adoration we started a series about
the legendary Cromwellian club, bar and casino. We also looked deeper
into The Bend dance craze, a clever marketing scheme started to twist a Dave
Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich single into a genre.
don’t have to believe us but we think these are still the best articles
about this nightclub on the web, with several interviews from people who
were there. The complete Cromwellian & The Bend series (running from
2008 till 2015): The
The Madcap’s Mojo
2010 started with a bang. Rock magazine Mojo had a Madcap Laughs 40
years anniversary special, annex tribute CD, and it was undoubtedly
clear that some writers had found inspiration at the Church, but without
mentioning where they had found the information. (It needs to be said
that our secret informant in those days, Mark
Blake, who also wrote for the special, was not amongst those.)
We ended our review of the Mojo special with the prophetic words:
Ig’s story as published in 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.
On the fifth of February 2010 Mark Blake informed us that Iggy was alive
and well and living in a small village in Southern England. The Church
were the first to publish this news on this entire planet. World
Exclusive: Ig has been found!
Initially Iggy wanted to anonymously live her life in her little village
in South-England, but her cover was blown by The Croydon Guardian. (Here
was another journalist suffering from amnesia. She didn’t find it
necessary to give a nod to the Church, although it was us who had
informed her about Iggy.)
Timing couldn’t have been better. Iggy was found just when we were going
to publish an interview with Gretta Barclay, who – with her friend Rusty
Burnhill – was a regular visitor at Wetherby Mansions in 1969.
A decade later this is still Margaretta’s one and only interview in the
We also tracked down Rusty Burnhill, living in a small town in Northern
Germany and sent him a polite letter where we asked if we could ask him
some questions. To our amazement he called us a few months later,
started swearing and shouting, threatened to call the police and smashed
down the phone. Needless to say that we didn’t pursue our plans to have
Iggy had been located (by a few journalists) but wasn’t communicating to
the outer world (yet). A decision we obviously accepted. The Church has
never been into trophy hunting.
The Holy Church had already published the intriguing theory that the
painted floorboards at Syd’s flat didn’t date from autumn 1969, but from
spring 1969. This was contradicting all witness reports and all
biographies and obviously it was clear evidence that the Holy Church was
lead by a raving lunatic.
But our anonymous witness JenS had said so, Gretta Barclay and Iggy
confirmed it and more ‘proof’ for this was found by Barrett enthusiast
Dark Globe, a member of the Late Night Syd Barrett forum and one of the
people helping the Church with valid information.
Rob Chapman didn’t update this information in his Syd Barrett biography,
but Julian Palacios did, just before the printing deadline, making him
one of the believers. What was a wacky theory at first, laughed at by
several people, has now become the gospel.
Our review of Rob
Chapman’s Syd Barrett biography A Very Irregular Head
was quite polemic (and made us persona non grata in top level
Barrett circles). We did conclude it was one of the better biographies
around but there was of course the Octopus – Clowns & Jugglers
Rather than stirring up a dying fire and prejudicing you we suggest you
read the review first and we’ll talk about it afterwards.
An intriguing anecdote was told to us by Gretta Barclay. One that also
couldn’t be found in any biography. Syd Barrett and his Welsh
counterpart Meic Stevens, who also suffered from a few psychological
drawbacks, met each other at different occasions.
Prydwyn read Steven’s autobiograpy (in Welsh) and translated the
relevant bits into English for generations to come. One pretty exiting
bit is that the two musicians were filmed by a BBC camera-team, but
apparently the movie has been destroyed, unless it still is hiding in a
BBC archive somewhere.
2019 sees Meic Stevens gigging again in Britain (although he immediately
started with some controversial
On The Border singer Göran Nyström published an excellent follow-up
to our Solva Blues article just a few days ago, with a few new
discoveries. Or how an article from a decade ago inspires people today
to further investigate in all matters Syd.
The Church wishes to thank all of those who helped us 10 years ago.
Unfortunately, many of them have already left the scene. : Anonymous,
Banjer and Sax, Margaretta Barclay, Paul Belbin, Mark Blake, Rusty
Burnhill, Constance Cartmill, Rob Chapman, Denis Combet, Duggie Fields,
Dark Globe, Rod Harrod, JenS, Pascal Mascheroni, Kerry McQueeney, David
Moore, Julian Palacios, Paro नियत, Prydwyn, Douggie Reece, Lynn Annette
Ripley (Twinkle), Brian Roote, Beate S., Jenny Spires, Allison Star,
Jean Vouillon, Kirsty Whalley, Vicky Wickham and the Dutch Dave Dee,
Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich fan community (not online any more)… (Sorry to
those we have forgotten to mention.) ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
The church started as a jokey blog in August 2008, but we had to get
serious when, only a year later, Iggy was found back, thanks to Mark
Blake, from Pigs Might Fly fame. She lived in a village in
West-Sussex, 52 miles from central London in the north and 14 miles from
the south coast, with a population of approximately 5,000.
Those and other stories you can read in the overview of the first two
seasons of The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, a name that Iggy
thoroughly hated, by the way.
In season three the Church had acquired some maturity and because
Iggymania hit us hard there were over 30 articles that year. Here is
what happened a decade ago, a condensed overview of our third season, in
a reader’s digest way.
Somewhere in the early nineties, the Reverend got aware of the band The
Orb, basically because some lazy journalists had baptised them the
Pink Floyd of ambient house. It has been a love/hate relationship ever
since because The Orb used to spit out songs and or remixes by the
bucket-load, often from uneven quality. (Check their 2020 sixteenth or
seventeenth studio album Abolition of the Royal Familia, that is
In August of 2010, the official David
Gilmour blog (that no longer exists) finally confirmed the rumours
that a Floydian Orb partnership was going to take place. You can find
all juicy (and wacky) details in two articles but those aren’t amongst
the Reverend’s bests.
For those fans who might think, what does The Orb has to do with Pink
Barrett or Iggy the Eskimo, there was news about Syd Barrett
compilation number 6 that saw the light of day in October 2010. An
Introduction To Syd Barrett was the first compilation combining solo
and Pink Floyd songs on one single album.
Before you say ‘what the fuck’ this compilation did have some extra bits
and pieces for the Syd Barrett anoraky collector. Four songs had been
remixed, plus one partially re-recorded, by David
Gilmour and for the first time in history, the 20 minutes version of Rhamadan
was offered as a downloadable extra track (for a limited period only).
About a year and a half after Rob
Chapman’s An Irregular Head Julian Palacios’ retaliated
with Dark Globe, a complete re-write of his previous Barrett and
early Pink Floyd biography Lost In The Woods.
Somewhat hermetic and not always the easiest prose to read it still is the
Syd Barrett authoritative biography around, giving credit where credit
is due, a department where Chapman lacked somewhat. Palacios is the kind
of biographer who will give you the brand of the coffee machine that was
used in a bar in Cambridge where Syd used to have an espresso and who is
a bit cross he couldn’t trace back its actual serial number. We have you
edition of February 2011 (#207) put on its cover that Iggy the Eskimo
had been found and surprised us with a (small) article. Mark Blake
promised us a more in-depth article later on while Iggy was learning how
to type the right syllables on her portable phone, leaving a bunch of
quasi undecipherable messages at the Mojo website (for the first time
published here, see underneath).
Meanwhile, the Reverend and Iggy tried to connect, de tâtonnement en
tâtonnement as the French so beautifully say, figuring out what
the future should bring if there was a mutual future, to begin with.
The Strange Tale of Iggy the Eskimo was Mark Blake’s full article that
appeared as a Mojo Exclusive on its website. Unfortunately, it was
deleted a couple of years later. It is not even sure any more if it is
still around on Mark Blake’s own website, but a copy has been saved for
eternity at the Holy Church.
Obviously, the Church had quite a few articles about Iggy's reappearance
in season three:
In January 2011 somebody who appeared to be close to the Barrett
epicentre tried to sell a handwritten poem by Syd Barrett. Only, the
handwriting was not Syd’s, but by Barrett collector Bernard
White, who had published the poem in the fanzine Terrapin.
When the Church tried to investigate we were warned not to dig too deep,
for reasons still unknown, a decade later.
Anno 2020 there is a Syd Barrett lyrics book in the making. Perhaps it
will finally clear the fog around ‘A Rooftop Song In A
Thunderstorm Row Missing The Point’.
Fakes come in all sizes and colours. A Pink Floyd acetate containing Scream
Thy Last Scream and Vegetable Man was analysed by the Yeeshkul
community and proven to be a forgery. It's value dropped from ten
thousand dollars to about zero. Beware for the (many) fake records and
autographed items out there, people!
Fake as well, was an interview with the proprietor and mentor behind the
Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, the famous and agile Reverend Felix
Atagong. Originally issued – in Spanish! - on the fantasticoSolo
En Las Nubes Barrett blog, it gave away all its dirty secrets. Ay
caramba! The English version appeared some while later at the
Church. It truly is an article of epic proportions.
Iggy’s first public appearance in about half a century took place at the Idea
Generation exposition on the 17th of March 2011. A lot of people
were invited and Iggy was pleasantly surprised that she was asked, by
about everyone (minus one), for autographs and pictures.
That she was the star of the evening not only surprised her.
Unfortunately, it also led to a jealous outbreak from someone whom we
will call X. That person had always been high on the Syd Barrett pecking
order and was afraid to lose that spot. Iggy and X would be frenemies
for the rest of their lives, en passant adding the Reverend to
the war zone who was hit by friendly (and less friendly) fire.
In our third season, we also continued our Cromwellian nightclub series
with articles about professional wrestlers Paul Lincoln, Bob 'Anthony'
Archer, Judo Al Hayes and Rebel Ray Hunter who co-owned The Crom and
other clubs in the sixties.
Meanwhile, David Gilmour and Roger Waters are fighting an online battle
to get the most attention of the fans, by releasing home recordings of
Barrett, Floyd and solo songs. Nick Mason (with his Saucerful band) is –
obviously – still the coolest guy around.
See you next year, sistren and brethren!
Many thanks to all collaborators who helped us a decade ago and who are
still helping us today. RIP to those who are no longer around.:
Adenairways, Amy-Louise, Anne, Bob Archer, Emily Archer, Russell
Beecher, Paul Belbin, Mark Blake, Libby Gausden Chisman, Dallasman, Dan,
Dan5482, Dancas, Denis Combet, Dominae & Ela & Violetta (Little
Queenies), Paul Drummond, The Embassy of God, Emmapeelfan, Felixstrange,
Babylemonade Flowers, Gianna, Dark Globe, Griselda, Rich Hall,
Hallucalation, Rod Harrod, JenS, Jimmie James, Mark Jones, Kieren,
Krackers, Lynxolita, Natasha M, Mojo, MOB, Moonwall, Motoriksymphonia,
Natashaa', Giuliano Navarro, Neonknight, Göran Nyström, Julian Palacios,
Alain Pire, PoC (Party of Clowns), Antonio Jesús Reyes, DollyRocker,
Dolly Rocker, Jenny Spires, Vince666, Vintage Groupies, Brian Wernham,
Wrestling Heritage, X, Xpkfloyd, Zag, Zoe and all the beautiful people
Night and Yeeshkul. ♥
Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
The most recent Mojo
has, next to a John Lennon special, an eight pages article about the
ongoing feud between Roger Waters and David Gilmour. It is
titled Burning Bridges and has been written by Pink Floyd
As usual, knowing the Mojo standards, it is a highly readable and
informative article, but it’s all a bit of déjà vu,
especially for members of the Pink Floyd obsessed dinosaur pack. We have
been following that extraordinary band for about forty-five years and
actually, we didn’t need to be reminded of something that happened
thirty-five years ago.
The starting point of the article is the Roger Waters rant
of May of last year (2020) where he was visibly annoyed that the
Floyd website was actively plugging Polly
Samson’s latest novel, but refused to mention the Roger Waters Us
+ Them live release. (For our review of that album or video, please
consult: Them Secrets)
The Odd Couple
We will not get into the fruitless discussion who is right and who is
wrong. There are pros and cons to both sides. Mark Blake quotes Polly
Samson who once said that ‘Roger and David were like a bickering old
divorced couple’. The only error in that quote is the use of the past
tense, because, if the rumour mill is correct, the gap between the
‘genius’ and the ‘voice and guitar’ of Pink Floyd is still there and is
– after a period of apparent reconciliation – again very wide and very
Unfortunately, the Mojo article doesn’t mention the recent quarrels that
have had consequences for the Pink Floyd fan and collector. But don’t
worry, that’s where we – The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit: the thorn in
the flesh of all things Pink – come in.
One of the juicier stories is that the advertised Early Years set
(2016) was different than what finally could be found in the stores. 5.1
Mixes were promised of Meddle
By Clouds but had to be removed due to an ongoing copyrights war
between the Waters and Gilmour camp. Much of the printed material had
already been done and booklets were (allegedly) replaced at the last
minute. (To read the full story: Supererog/Ation:
skimming The Early Years.)
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others
The 5.1 remixing war is not a thing of the past. While a 5.1 version of The
Wall is (apparently) in the pipeline, the 5.1 release of Animals
is not, although it has been finished a while ago. All it is waiting for
is Gilmour’s blessing. And that will not happen soon if our information
One reason could be that David Gilmour is still pissed about the fact
that he only received one songwriting credit for his work on Dogs,
while Roger Waters got four (not counting the copyrights for the
lyrics). Waters added Pigs On The Wing (Part 1 and 2) at the last
minute and got 1 extra credit for each part. David Gilmour didn't like,
and may still not like, that his 17 minutes song was valued less than
the 3 minutes Roger Waters throwaway.
Peace Be With You
In a 2019 interview Waters claimed that he offered a peace plan to
Gilmour, but that it was rejected. Polly Samson, from her side,
twittered that it was not her perfect lover boy who rejected the peace
plan, but the bad guy. Us and them.
As usual Nick Mason is the coolest of them all. He once said that ”if
our children behaved this way, we would have been very cross.” (Read
more about the Pink Floyd wars at: Happy
New Year 2020)
...for something completely different. Here is our yearly overview of
what we have published on our Tumblr
‘sister’ page in 2020.
The Church wishes to thank: Ulrich Angersbach, Edgar Ascencio, Azerty,
Bafupo, Charles Beterams, Birdie Hop, Mark Blake, Brainysod, British
Music Archive, Juliet Butler, CBGB, Rob Chapman, Ron de Bruijn, David De
Vries, Dr Doom, Drosophila, Ebronte, Vita Filippova, Friend of
Squirrels, Ginger Gilmour, Goldenband, Graded Grains, John Gregory,
Hadrian, Hallucalation, Gijsbert Hanekroot, Sara Harp, Hipgnosis Covers,
Alexander Peter Hoffmann, Steve Hoffman Music Forums, Elizabeth Joyce,
Jumaris, Rieks Korte, Mojo, Late Night, Bob Martin, Men On The Border,
Modbeat66, Modboy1, Iain ‘Emo’ Moore, Neptune Pink Floyd, Lisa Newman,
Jon Charles Newman, Göran Nyström, Old Man Peace, Julian Palacios, Emma
Peel Pants, David Parker, Joe Perry, Brynn Petty, Borja Narganes Priego,
Catherine Provenzano, Sophie Partridge. Punk Floyd, Antonio Jesús Reyes,
Ewgeni Reingold, Shakesomeaction, Solo En Las Nubes, Mark Sturdy, Ken
Sutera Jnr, Swanlee, Tomhinde, Wolfpack, Syd Wonder, Randall Yeager,
I was browsing through what was once one of the most important Syd
Barrett groups on Facebook. and it struck me that it was all yesterday’s
jam. The group, with its 8000 members, is a boiling puddle of
continuous repetition, publishing the same (often colourised)
photographs ad infinitum.
If an interesting discussion magically appears it has been instigated by
the same pool of people, about a dozen of them. Most of them I still
remember from over a decade ago, but luckily there are a few exceptions.
As the attention span of the Facebook crowd is very limited, the thread
will quickly descend into the dark and hollow depths, where it eternally
resides in limbo. It is – of course – the business model of Facebook,
but I know from a rather good source that some administrators prefer
quantity over quality. It is a never-ending race to be the biggest Syd
Barrett community, rather than to be the best.
But when something good happens, we are all ears and this time we mean
that literally. Laughing Madcaps, that uncoordinated mob of
Sydiots, led by the uncurbed warlord Kiloh 'mad Max' Smith,
has issued a new version of the unofficial early Pink
Floyd and Syd compilation Have You Got It Yet?, or as we
retards call it: HYGIY? The blurb goes as follows:
This Syd Barrett Have You Got It Yet? (HYGIY?) 3.0 attempts to gather
all of the best quality unofficial material under a single collection.
There may be some stray tracks, that were officially released, contained
here. These tracks are here because the official versions are not
necessarily the best in quality.
The compilation is dedicated to Steve Czapla and Victor E. Reyes (RIP).
I don't say it often, but this time I do. Respect.
Who is Who: Arnold Layne
There are a few, relatively new, people around who manage to find
interesting Pink Floyd related material and one is the person who has
led me to the next story: Eleonora Siatoni. While she has found and
researched the following, all possible mistakes in this article are the
sole responsibility of the Reverend.
Cambridge is a website from the Museum
Of Cambridge that wants to share the extraordinary stories of the
people of Cambridgeshire. One entry, about Laundry Lane, a side
street of Cherry Hinton Road, caught the eye of Eleonora.
Cherry Hinton women had traditionally taken in washing from the
university colleges, delivered by a regular donkey cart service. Empty
ground was used for drying the linen. One of the companies employing
these women was the Cambridge Steam Laundry Co., founded in 1883.
It had 5 acres (slightly over 20,000 square metres) of drying grounds
and served families, schools, hotels and colleges. Around 1964 it was
known as Cambridge Laundry and Cleaners Ltd.
Barbara, who used to live in Laundry Lane number 5 as a child remembers:
In the 50s the cottages were, I think, much as they had been built –
there was no electric lighting upstairs, only cold water to both the
sink and a brick-lined drain in the kitchen and the usual outside toilet
and coal shed in the tiny yard; not unusual in the post-war years, I am
sure. They do look tiny, to accommodate the families with all those
children… but from memory, it was a very happy and safe place to grow
One comment, for Laundry Lane #1, reveals an early Floydian secret. It
was added by a certain KA (identified later as Kevin Arnold).
I was born and lived in Steam Laundry Cottages. My father was Leonard
Percy Arnold, my grandmother was Cecilia Dora Arnold. So many Arnolds
lived and worked at the laundry. John (Beefy) Arnold was my uncle and
had many children.
One notable small-time criminal in our family,
who was well known to the police and an alcoholic, was renowned for
stealing high-end garments and linen from the laundry and selling them
around Cherry Hinton to feed his habit. Later he built his own still in
a shed at the back of the house, also selling cheap liquor.
of his clothing customers and friend was a certain Syd Barrett of Pink
Floyd fame who penned a song called Arnold Layne which became their
debut single. (Link)
In 1939, Steam Laundry cottages, Steam Laundry Lane was occupied by many
of the Arnold family, I myself was born there. Grandmother Cecilia Dora
Arnold had 8 children, all lived & worked at the laundry. Kath Arnold
married into the Abbs family & also lived in the Cottages.
particular member of our family was well known to the police for his
activities (no name to protect remaining relatives). He was a thief & an
alcoholic, stealing high-end linen & clothes from the laundry, he also
built an illicit still in the garden shed.
He was friends with
Roger Barrett, latter to become Syd Barrett.
Because so many
Arnolds occupied the Lane, it was affectionately known as Arnold Lane,
Syd later wrote the song Arnold Layne based on it. If you listen to the
lyrics, you'll understand.
Syd Barrett didn’t live far from Laundry Lane. Hills Road 183 was
situated about 1600 metres from where the Arnolds lived.
So much history around Arnold Lane (Steam Laundry Lane). Cecilia was the
matriarch, children were Leonard (my father), Frank, John, Gertrude,
Ena, Kath, Dora & Gladys. (Link)
Not only was Kevin Arnold an acquaintance of young Syd, but he was also
apparently one of his friends in his later life.
I knew him & visited him shortly before he passed on, most people who
saw him would never have recognised the sad-looking bald guy who lived
in abject poverty, the house was bare, with few comforts, he was often
seen topless, displaying the operation scar from throat to navel. Very
sad ending for such an influential music icon.
Moonshine Washing Line
The Pink Floyd biographies never managed to solve the Arnold
Layne riddle. Mark
Blake notes in Pigs Might Fly:
The lyrics were supposedly inspired by a real incident in Cambridge,
where an unidentified knicker thief had raided Mary Waters’ washing
line. Roger had regaled Syd with the story.
Julian Palacios in Lost In The Woods adds some extra info:
Winifred Barrett, like Mary Waters, took in student boarders, common
practice in Cambridge. Female nursing students from Homerton College
lived in the Barrett home. Roger Waters said, ‘my mother and Syd’s
mother had students as lodgers. There was a girls’ college up the road.
So there were constantly great lines of bras and knickers on our washing
In one curious incident, brassieres, knickers and
garters hanging on washing lines in the Barrett garden proved
irresistible to a local underwear fetishist. This character made off
with nursing students’ undergarments. (…)
said, ‘Arnold Layne happened to dig dressing up in women’s clothing.’ Roger
Waters said, ‘‘Arnold’, or whoever he was, had bits and pieces off our
washing lines. They never caught him. He stopped doing it after things
got too hot for him.’
To identify the thief Julian Palacios quotes David Gale, who – just like
Syd Barrett – used to work for British mail as a student.
David Gale recalled when they were doing their Royal Mail rounds, a van
driver they dubbed ‘Rigor Mortis’ for his laziness would drive them
pointing out knickers on washing lines, exclaiming, ‘Cor, I’d like to
meet the owner of those.’
But there is another theory, coming from Mick Brown, Cambridge music
archivist, painter, cartoonist, satirist and Pink Floyd’s enemy number
one, who we all love to hate. He has been outing Arnold for ages and did
it once again, as a reply to Kevin Arnold’s story:
The real 'Arnold Layne' was John Chambers who came from Sturton Street.
He was well known around Cambridge in the early 1960s and often used to
hang about at the Mill Pond.
The Arnold Layne name was simply a
typical Barrett parody of the Beatles' Penny Lane that was recorded at
the same time. There are loads of Arnolds in Cambridge and they could
all claim to be the source of a famous song.
Here is a photo of one of Syd Barrett's earliest girlfriends. (…) Her
name was Jenny Chambers. She had a brother called John who was
immortalised and renamed Arnold Layne in a song Syd wrote. The photo was
taken in a part of Cambridge known as Stourbridge Common. Update
2021 11 13: Mick Brown has confirmed that the lady is NOT Chambers'
sister, however he stands by his Arnold Layne theory.
This seems to be acknowledged by Roy Alan Ethridge, who was also a part
of the Cambridge mods and rockers in the sixties and an acquaintance of
I knew John Chambers. Mick lived not far (…) and always knew he was
Arnold Layne but was told that it wasn’t him. It was a chap that lived
on Hills Rd. Now we know it was John. He really changed during the 60s
and was often caught snooping up Mill Rd.
According to Brown, Arnold – or John – wasn’t a cross-dresser:
So-called Arnold Layne wasn't a transvestite but a pervert. I remember
him clearly being a friendly chubby little chap who mingled with us down
at the Mill. Yes, he ended up in jail.
His name was John
Chambers. Of course, Syd used Arnold Layne as a parody of the Beatles.
So we have two contradicting stories here (if we forget the story of the
mailman). Kevin Arnold replied that he has at least one picture but is
reluctant to have it published.
I could verify it, but that would mean revealing the name & pic of Roger
(Syd) & my relative together.
In a private chat, that the Church was allowed to see, Kevin Arnold adds
even more details:
Roger was friends with a relative of mine who was, shall we say, less
than honest & often on the wrong side of the law. He used to steal high
end & fancy clothing from the launderette & I believe Roger was one of
the people he sold to. (...)
He and my cousin formed a friendship
although I stress Roger (Syd) was in no way involved in the criminal
I must protect my cousin’s name for the sake of
his remaining family. I will approach them & ask if I can show photos of
him & Syd, but not without permission.
But even when these pictures exist (and there must be some more of a
young Syd Barrett in private collections) it still isn’t proof that the
‘unknown cousin’ was the one and only Arnold Layne. Unless there was
more than one knicker picker running around in Cambridge in those days,
which is not such a crazy idea.
Syd liked to put wordplay and little nods to reality in his texts. Pink
Floyd's second single See
Emily Play refers to psychedelic debutante Emily
Young, his friend Libby Gausden and shows his fondness for the name
Emily that he would’ve liked for a daughter.
Sam has only 8 lines but it is bursting with mystery. The Jennifer
Gentle character is a mixture of Jenny Spires and Rosemary Barrett.
Syd quotes from an ancient English ballad, noted down in 1823 by Davies
Gilbert, called 'The
Three Sisters' or ‘The Riddling Knight’. These sisters (in the
folksong) are Jennifer (or Juniper), Gentle and Rosemaree. In the
ballad, they have to solve a few riddles for the youngest (Rosemaree) to
marry a ‘valiant knight’.
The ballad has some older and darker versions (Inter
Diabolus et Virgo, c. 1450) where the devil threatens to abduct a
young virgin unless she can answer some riddles. Was Syd Barrett aware
of this early version from five centuries before the summer of love? It
is uncanny that the devil appears in his song, disguised as a cat.
Julian Palacios adds some other points of interest regarding Lucifer
Sam. One underground member was ‘Thai Sam’ who dealt acid from a flat in
Beaufort Street, where Sue Kingsford and Alistair ‘Jock’ Findlay lived.
He shared a flat with Thieu, another member of the Cambridge Mafia who
later married Fizz (Frances Fitzgerald).
Last but not least Lucifer Sam could also have been inspired by Peter
‘Lucifer’ Walker, who was a warlock and disciple of Aleister
Crowley. Lucifer was the lead singer of The
Purple Gang and, as most of us will know Syd Barrett, who was
impressed with Peter’s occult appearance, presented them Boon Tune (Here
I Go) and an early version of Jugband Blues to cover. (Read more at: Hurricane
The obfuscated Dark Globe contains the verse: “'The poppy bird’s way.
Swing twigs coffee brands around.” If one
realizes that a former girlfriend of Syd was Vivien Brans,
nicknamed Twig, it becomes clear that Syd has cryptically entered
her name into the song.
Then there is the ‘Eskimo chain’ line that has confused Barrett fans for
decades. Although Jenny Spires vehemently denies that it has something
to do with Iggy the Eskimo the consensus is that Syd added a second,
failed, love interest in the song.
And don’t let us get started about Octopus
(Clowns and Jugglers). You can read all about the many hidden layers in
the excellent Untangling the Octopus essay from Paul Belbin,
first published in 2005, five years before someone else claimed he
discovered it all by himself. If you have an hour to spare you can read
this 'Rosetta stone' for decoding the writing inspirations for one of
Syd Barrett's most beloved songs right here, at the Church: Untangling
the Octopus v2 - 2006 (Paul Belbin) Untangling
the Octopus v3 - 2009 (extended version 3, Paul Belbin & Julian
The previous examples hopefully show that Barrett loved riddles and word
games that he liked to put into his lyrics. So what if Syd mixed several
situations and anecdotes from his past in the song that made Pink Floyd
a force to reckon with?
Syd loved intricate puzzles and this could be a very clever one,
amalgamating John Chambers, Kevin Arnold’s cousin, Rigor Mortis and a
road called Arnold Lane all into one song.
If there is one thing for sure, Syd Barrett will never stop amazing us.
The Church wishes to thank: Kevin Arnold, Barbara, Mark Blake, Mick
Brown, Roy Alan Ethridge, Eleonora Siatoni, Julian Palacios. ♥ Libby
♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (others than the links above): Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly,
Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 75. Palacios, Julian: Darker
Globe: Uncut and Unedited, private publication, 2021, p. 118-119,