This page contains all the articles that match the Mick Rock-tag, chronologically sorted, from old to new.
Most browsers have a search function (Ctrl-F) that will highlight the entry you are looking for.
Alternatively there is the 'Holy Search' search field and the 'Taglist'.
My only decision was to use a 35mm camera and upgraded colour
transparency, partly because of the low level light conditions and
partly for the grainy effect. (…) Friend and photographer Mick Rock,
later famous for his Bowie photos amongst many others also came on the
photo session, but I cant remember why. (p.204 of the 2003 edition, p.
234 in the 2007 edition although the index still assumes it is on p.
Dark Globe, member of the Late
Night discussion forum, had a quick chat with Storm in July:
There was the chance to see the cover of 'The Madcap Laughs' displayed
at a larger size on excellent quality paper. This famous photo was taken
by Storm himself for the cover of the album - and not by Mick Rock as
some assume. (…) I was lucky enough to talk to Storm himself and tell
him how much I admired his work. I also took the opportunity to ask him
about the 'Madcap' photo session and enquired whether we would ever see
any of his outtakes from that session appear in some form in the future.
Unfortunately this doesn't seem likely as he informed me that his photos
from that session were now lost.
Hipgnosis was probably commissioned by the record company (Harvest, EMI)
to make the record sleeve. Syd Barrett however had another idea and
asked his friend Mick
Rock, an aspiring would-be photographer, to organise the shooting
for the forthcoming album. The result was that the two photographers
were present on the same day.
A lot has been written about these sessions, not in the least by Mick
Rock who devoted two three books to the subject:
Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs - The Mick Rock Photo-Sessions (U.F.O.
Books, 1993), a book that was bundled with the album in a limited
edition. The introduction of this (sold out and deleted) book can be
found on various places on the net.
Update 2012: the Geocities link to this page seems to be dead,
but luckily there is an archived version: Syd
Barrett - The Madcap Laughs - The Mick Rock Photo-Sessions.
Psychedelic Renegades - Photographs of Syd Barrett by Mick Rock. Genesis
Publications published the first limited edition in 2002 with 320
copies autographed by Roger Barrett & Mick Rock and 630 copies signed
by Mick Rock alone (sold out). In 2005, before Barrett passed away,
the Deluxe copies already had a collector’s value of 2400 £. In 2007
the book was finally published in a regular version, by Plexus
(London) and Gingko
and (Update January 2012)
Syd Barrett - The Photography Of Mick Rock. Tin box, including 128
pages high print quality [Mick Rock's words, not ours, FA]
booklet and exclusive 7 inch single 'Octopus' b/w 'Golden Hair'. The
rather exaggerated blurb continues: "The booklet features a full
introduction, new insights and captions by Mick and quotes from Syd."
(EMI Records Ltd & Palazzo Editions Ltd, Bath, 2010).
Mick Rock remembers the day as follows:
The actual session turned out to be a collaboration really because Storm
also took some pictures. I remember Storm asking me whether to credit
the image, ‘Hipgnosis and Mick Rock’ and I said, ‘No just credit it
Psychedelic Renegades however does not include the sleeve pictures of
The Madcap Laughs so in the end it was probably Storm who decided to use
only his own material (according to Mick Rock one photo would later
surface – uncredited - on Barrett’s second album). Because both sessions
were made on the same day the pictures are obviously very similar (some
Mick Rock pictures were also used on the Syd Barrett compilation album).
Update August 2017: In the 2017 documentary Shot! Mick Rock hints
that he was behind the cover shot anyway, indirectly implying that it
was not Storm Thorgerson's picture to begin with. For years there have
been rumours in anoraky Floydian circles that Thorgerson and Rock sued
(or threatened to sue) each other for the ownership of these pictures.
Perhaps a deal was made - a bit like the one between Roger Waters and
Pink Floyd over The Wall - that The Madcap Laughs front and back sleeve
pictures officially belong to Hipgnosis (Storm Thorgerson) but the
outtakes to Mick Rock. Syd Barrett related excerpt from Shot!: The
Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock.
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.
It is far from a coincidence that this blog started more or less when
The City Wakes project was announced. The City Wakes is an official Syd
Barrett tribute, held in the city of Cambridge, and it has been
officially opened past week. But the history of the instalment of the
Church will be told on an other day, promised.
Supported by Syd’s family and friends, The City Wakes is the first ever
official tribute to Syd Barrett – original front-man and songwriter for
Pink Floyd. A celebration of Syd’s creativity, The City Wakes focuses on
Syd’s early life in Cambridge, providing a showcase for his remarkable
talent and painting a picture of the explosive and vibrant early 1960s
cultural scene in which he grew up.
Involving many of Syd’s former friends – not least Storm Thorgerson and
Mick Rock - The City Wakes includes concert performances, exhibitions,
guided tours, music workshops, a 1960s style ‘happening’, talks and a
new book of interviews and memorabilia.
The City Wakes has been developed by Escape Artists, a UK arts and
mental health charity and professional production house. Working with
clients in both institutional and non-institutional settings, it aims to
improve quality of life, health and social welfare, by recognising the
vital importance of creativity to an individual’s well being. Funds
generated through The City Wakes project will be used to support the
charity's work in the mental health sector. Escape Artists has been
working in the mental health sector in Cambridge since 1999. (Taken from
The City Wakes - deleted)
One of the exhibitions taking place is called The Other Room, it is held
in the Ruskin Gallery at Anglia Ruskin University, and is open from
24th October to 2nd November 2008.
At the Ruskin
Gallery visitors can see over fifty of Syd's paintings,
the majority of which have never before been seen in public. Also on
display are rare archival-quality prints from Syd's photo-biographer
Mick Rock and original pieces from Pink Floyd's legendary designer Storm
Thorgerson. The exhibition features rare Syd-related memorabilia,
including diaries and correspondence. (Taken from Anglia
Ruskin University - link no longer available)
But of course the Church is far more intrigued by the pictures from the
personal collection of Anthony Stern that are exposed as well: Pink
Floyd performing at UFO (1967-ish) and his Iggy pictures.
The Other Room: Syd Barrett's Art and Life Date: 24
October - 2 November 2008 Time: 10am - 9pm Monday to Friday, 10am -
5pm Saturday and Sunday (link has been deleted).
The Other Room: Syd Barrett's Art And Life was a Cambridge exhibition
that ended a couple of days ago. More details about it could be found in
a previous post: Pictures
at an exhibition.
A lucky wind (thanks SgB!) brought me a copy from the catalogue, an 18
pages booklet. The following can be found inside:
Page 2 & 3: introductions by Stephen Pyle and Anji Jackson-Main,
curators of the exhibition.
Pages 3 to 9 are dedicated to the paintings of Syd Barrett. This is far
the most interesting part of the catalogue as many unseen works of Syd
Barrett are represented here, albeit in a rather small thumbnail format.
I’m pretty sure those pictures will find their way to the specialised
Syd Barrett websites and blogs so I’m not going to put them here.
Pages 10 to 12: photographs by Mick Rock. This reminds me that the
Church still hasn’t dedicated some of its holy space to Mick Rock’s
excellent Psychedelic Renegades book. This will be done during the long
winter days when a lonely hungry wolf howls at the suburbs of Atagong
Page 11: some family snapshots taken by Syd's relatives. I don’t want to
sound too snotty, but I’ve seen these before.
Pages 14 & 15: artwork by Storm Thorgerson (Syd Barrett album cover,
Barrett album cover, The City Wakes green doors poster.)
page 17: colofon.
But The Church is of course most interested in pages 12 and 13 that
contain some pictures from the collection of Anthony Stern (see also: Anthony
Antony Stern’s Iggy pictures can be seen on The City Wakes website, a
link to that particular gallery can be found at the Galleries section of
their blog. And if you have a quick peek you might find something
more... (Update: The City Wakes website no longer exists.)
I want to thank all the members of the Late
Night forum, who visited The City Wakes, for their impressions,
their pictures, their testimonies and the goodies they have been
distributing amongst the other members who couldn’t attend the festival.
On 30 June 1990 Pink Floyd played a short – albeit not very sharp - set
at the Knebworth
Festival. It has to be said that it was not the band’s sole
responsibility that the gig was, how shall we call it, mediocre by
Floydian standards. On this disastrous occasion, and this occasion
alone, a 20 minutes promo film was shown at the beginning of the show,
with a short appearance of none other than Iggy the Eskimo, somewhere
between the 4 and 5 minutes mark.
The movie consisted of a retrospective of the Floyd’s history and
included (parts of) several early songs (together with the predecessor
of the promo clip): Arnold Layne, See Emily Play, Point Me At The Sky,
It Would Be So Nice and others… Since it started with the first single,
the movie had to end with the last one as well. Storm Thorgerson's
visual rendition of the coke-euphoric-bring-on-the-digital-sound-effects Learning
to Fly from the welcome to the drum machine album A
Momentary Lapse of Reason ended the documentary.
In between the vintage scenes, Langley Iddens, who was then caretaker of
David Gilmour’s houseboat studio, sits at a table contemplating the
Langley Iddens (see top-left picture of this post) was a prominent face
on the Momentary Lapse of Reason campaign. He is the man on the cover of
the album but also acted in several promo and concert videos. He can be
seen as a boat rower (Signs of Life), in flight gear (Learning
To Fly) and in a hospital bed (On The Run). As Storm
Thorgerson directed these backdrop movies it is logical to assume that
also the Knebworth pre-show documentary was made by him.
There are however rumours that Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason was
involved in the movie as well. Besides several promo clips of the
Sixties the movie also shows pictures, newspaper articles, posters and
flyers from the Floyd’s psychedelic past. It is a well-known fact that
Mason has always been the archivist of the band, culminating in his
personal account of the history of the band, Inside
Out. That book, however, doesn’t reveal anything about Mason’s
involvement on the Knebworth movie.
A short snippet of the Knebworth teaser, showing a happy Syd Barrett
frolicking in a park with Iggy, made a collector’s career under the name Lost
In The Woods or Syd Barrett Home Movie. This excerpt can be
found several times on YouTube. Those cuts, however, are in a different
order than on the original Knebworth feature. The Church has restored
the initial flow and presents you hereafter two different versions of
the so-called Lost In The Woods video.
It's a complete, stereo, recording from the original pay-per-view
broadcast of Pink Floyd's appearance at the Knebworth '90 festival. The
concert featured seven songs. Only five of these were broadcast. Two of
the five were included on the official LD, VHS, and DVD releases. The
other three songs haven't been seen since the original broadcast.
According to its maker, the pre-concert-documentary comes from a
collector in England who had a first of second gen copy of the tape.
White Label [VHS]
Because the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit firmly believes in abundance,
we have added a second version of the same movie, coming from a
different source. The uploaded copy has been taken from a coverless VHS
tape labelled Pink Floyd film, found at an open air market stall
in London, and donated to the Church, in order to repent for his many
sins, by Dark Globe.
Dark Globe took it upon him to further analyse the clip, it is obvious
that it consists of different movies from different people at different
places, and he even went so far as harassing, although the Church
prefers the word investigating, some of the people who act in it. But
the results of that enquiry will be highlighted in the next post in a
couple of weeks.
Enjoy and don’t do anything that Iggy wouldn’t have done.
The so-called Lost
in the Woods movie, that was part of the Knebworth pre show
documentary, is a mix coming from different people, at different places,
on different occasions. The Church quotes archbishop Dark Globe, who has
scrutinized the movie before:
There's footage of Syd larking around in a garden with friends in 67,
the 'lilac shirt' footage of Syd (late 67/68?) in which Lyndsay Corner
also appears, and the blue suit/yellow ruffled shirt footage of Syd in
the woods with two girls (Iggy and a mystery brunette) from 69.
The home movie footage is multilayered and you can catch glimpses of
different footage superimposed on top of the main footage.
During the bit of Syd in the woods with Iggy, there's some footage of
Syd with an acoustic guitar (at least that's what I can see). The
flashbacks movie only shows tantalising glimpses of the Syd home movie
footage. (taken from Late
The home movie snippets are used twice in the Knebworth documentary.
The documentary starts with Pink (Langley Iddens) pouring a glass of
wine. For the next 39 seconds several vintage clips, taking no longer
than a couple of frames, will be intercepted with shots from the actor.
The first home movie scenes have already ended when the documentary is
just one minute old. The main bunch seems to be filmed at a garden party.
The second home movie scenes arrive about 10 minutes later and will go
on for 42 seconds. The main footage has Syd walking in a park with Iggy
and a mysterious brunette, Syd and Iggy climbing trees, the two woman
running hand in hand, Syd acting funny with a stick in his hand… The
park footage is intercepted a few times by other home movies from other
Part 1: Garden fun – blowing bubbles
Several garden shots have been used in this compilation. There is a
scene with a girl on a swing, people blowing soap bubbles and generally
having fun, Syd eating a - very hard to spot - banana…
The Church tried to identify the people in the movie with the help of
the worldwide web, posting screenshots at several anorak fora, and Dark
Globe took it upon him to show these pictures to David Gale and Matthew
Scurfield after a reading at the City Wakes festival this year.
Hester Page. It could be that screenshots 1 and 2 depict the
same person. She remained unidentified until Dark Globe showed the
pics to David Gale who recognised picture 2 as ‘Hester’. Barrett fan
julianindica could narrow this down to Hester Page. Hester Page gets
mentioned in the Syd Barrett biography by Julian Palacios, aptly
called Lost In The Woods, as part of the 101 Cromwell Rd incrowd.
That two-storey flat in Kensington was the place for many
Cantabrigians to sleep, meet and greet. Syd Barrett and Lindsay
Corner lived there for a while and Pink Floyd used the place to
rehearse (much to the annoyance of painter Duggie Fields). It was
also somewhat of an LSD epicentre and a ‘critical nexus for
Underground activities of every shade and stripe’.
David Gale. This man is David Gale. To quote his own words at
the City Wakes – it’s the hooter that gives me
away. Gale was a schoolmate of David Gilmour and a friend of Syd. In
1965 David’s parents went to Australia for a 6-month period leaving
the house and its garden in the safe hands of their son. It didn’t
take long before the Cambridge jeunesse would meet there and there
is a chance that the first part of the Syd Barrett Home Movie has
indeed been shot in the garden of David Gale’s parents. Nigel
Lesmoir-Gordon and Storm Thorgerson had film cameras so one of them
may have shot the footage (NLG made the iniquitous Syd’s First Trip
movie where David Gale can be seen). It was also at David Gale’s
place that Syd Barrett had a cosmically encounter wit a plum, an
orange and a matchbox, as witnessed by Storm Thorgerson who would
later use this for a record sleeve and for a concert movie.
Lyndsay Corner. David Gale and Matthew Scurfield identify the
girl on a swing as Lyndsay Corner.
Part 2: the Lost In The Woods footage
Mick Rock. When Syd and Iggy are walking in the woods a face
is superimposed. It is Mick Rock who has (probably) shot the movie.
Iggy is wearing the same necklace as on the Madcap Laughs photo
sessions and (perhaps) the same clothes. Syd however has another
shirt than in the Psychedelic Renegades book. The Lost In The Woods
scenes have been edited on the Knebworth documentary and carry parts
from at least 3 other home movies.
Unknown. Syd and another man walking & talking in a garden
in front of a house. Identity Unknown.
Unknown. Syd and a girl blowing bubbles in a park. Identity
Lyndsay Corner. Close-up of Lyndsay Corner (in a park).
Mysterious brunette. 3 people can be identified on the Lost
In The Woods movie: Syd, Iggy and Mick Rock. In several shots with
Iggy and Syd we see a second woman, the mysterious brunette, whose
identity we don’t know yet.
Update: on second thought, she could be Hester Page (see
first picture above), although it is a wild guess. JenS,
however concludes that the girl is not Hester Page. Gretta Barclay
does not recognise her either: "I do not recognise the brunette –
the name Jennie Gordon came to mind, but in truth, I simply have
no idea of who she is."
Pop-art painter Duggie Fields, who still lives in the same apartment,
and Mick Rock have testified that Iggy only stayed at Syd’s place for a
couple of weeks. When Mick Rock showed Syd the pictures of the photo
sessions for the cover of The Madcap Laughs she was already long gone….
According to Duggie Fields, a homeless and drug-addicted couple, Greta
and Rusty, took the vacant place, much to the aggravation of the painter
who had to bring Greta to the hospital after an overdose.
Neither Mick Rock nor Storm Thorgerson give the exact date when The
Madcap Laughs photo shoot was made: the closest thing they can come up
with is Autumn 1969. Syd Barrett and David Gilmour met at the studio on
the 6th of October to sort out the running order of the album. Other
studio work, that didn’t need Syd’s presence, was done the same month:
banding the LP master (9 October) and cutting the LP (16 October). After
hearing the master Malcolm Jones ordered a recut early in November. The
record was officially released on the second of January 1970.
Malcolm Jones recounts:
One day in October or November I had cause to drop in at Syd's flat on
my way home to leave him a tape of the album, and what I saw gave me
quite a start. In anticipation of the photographic session for the
sleeve, Syd had painted the bare floorboards of his room orange and
purple. Up until then the floor was bare, with Syd's few possessions
mostly on the floor; hi-fi, guitar, cushions, books and paintings. In
fact the room was much as appears on the original 'Madcap' sleeve. Syd
was well pleased with his days work and I must say it made a fine
setting for the session due to take place.
Based on this information most anoraks radiocarbon the photo shoot date
in the second half of October, although November is also a possibility.
The Lost In The Woods home move with Syd, Mick, Iggy and the mysterious
brunette should thus be pinpointed to that period (this was written
in December 2008).
Update: But... as the Holy Church would find out the next year
(January 2009) the above photo shoot date appears to be wrong. It is
pretty sure that Iggy left Syd in April 1969. Further analysis of the
Madcap pictures show that several details point to spring 1969, rather
than autumn. For a complete report please consult: Anoraks
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 141. Jones,
Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain
Damage, 2003, p. 13. Palacios, Julian: Lost In The Woods,
Boxtree, London, 1998, p. 241. Parker, David: Random Precision,
Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p. 154-158.
Hello, I would like to try and clarify a couple of things about Ig. She
was a girlfriend of mine.
The above message reached the Reverend a couple of weeks ago. It was
written by JenS, a Cambridge friend of Roger Keith Barrett. She
is the one who introduced Iggy to the Pink Floyd founder exactly
40 years ago.
What follows is her rendition, as told exclusively to The Church of Iggy
the Inuit, and now published for the first time. Her rememberings are
only slightly edited here and there and re-arranged a bit per subject.
Some explanatory notes have been added.
I first met Ig in the summer of 1966. I saw her again in spring 1967 at
Biba. She admired a dress I was wearing and invited me to a party that
night. From then on we used to go clubbing. She was a lovely, sweet,
funny girl and was always on the scene at gigs and events.
where Iggy first met JenS, was without doubt the single most important
boutique of London. The shop features in the IN
Gear documentary that also has Iggy.
The first really important customer to favour Biba was Cathy McGowan,
the Ready Steady Go! presenter who (…) quickly made a new Biba dress a
staple of her weekly wardrobe for the show.
This meant that every Saturday morning ‘teenage girls from all over the
London area would race over to Abingdon Road and the piles of new,
inexpensive clothes that awaited them’.
Ig was not known as Iggy the Eskimo.
She was simply Ig or Iggy and probably picked up the nickname along the
way at school or something. I think she was a Londoner.
She was quite a lot older than us and had been around a while on the
London Club scene. She invited me once to a party with Dusty Springfield
and crew. Later she started hanging out at Granny’s (Granny
Takes A Trip, FA) and turning up at UFO.
Update 2011: It was revealed in March 2011 that Iggy is born in
December 1947, making her a bit younger than Syd Barrett. See The
One important player in Dusty
Springfield’s crew was Vicki Heather Wickman, who managed Dusty and
don’t have to say you love me that became a number one hit
in 1966. Vicky had been a booker-writer-editor-producer of the weekly Ready
Steady Go! shows for many years. Dusty Springfield herself had been
a (part-time) presenter of the RSG!-show and that is probably where she
met her future manager (Update: not quite true - they knew each
other from 1962 and even shared a flat together, see also From
Dusty till Dawn).
Wickham and her team ‘scoured the trendiest clubs looking for good
dancers and stylish dressers to showcase’. The Church has a hunch
feeling that Iggy may have been – during a certain period at least – a
regular at the RSG! Show, especially as she was spotted, in November
1966, at an RSG!-party by New Musical Express (cfr. article: Bend
It will be a ginormous work but the Church is planning to scrutinise
several Ready Steady Go! tapes from that period to see if Iggy can be
found in the public or amongst the dancers.
After our hypothesis that Iggy was probably not Inuit (cfr. article: Eskimono),
the Church received several mails trying to string Iggy’s features to a
certain culture. One of the countries that keep on popping up is
Singapore that was a British colony between 1824 and 1959. Here is what
JenS has to say about Iggy's heritage:
I have no idea about who her parents were. She was a war baby and may
have been Chinese. There was a large Chinese community in London at the
time. Of course Ig the Eskimo is an easy assumption to make. Anyway, I
don't think I can help any further as I never discussed it with her.
Iggy became a Floydian icon when she posed on Syd Barrett's first solo
album The Madcap Laughs, but most witnesses only describe her as one of
Syd's two-week-girlfriends. JenS acknowledges this:
I took Ig to Wetherby Mansions in January or February 1969 where she met
Syd Barrett. He was 22 and she must have been about 24, 25 years old.
The point is she was never Syd's girlfriend as in a ‘relationship’ with
him. She was only at Wetherby Mansons very briefly, a matter of two or
three weeks max.
I've not seen her since but often wondered where she is.
Syd painted the floor of his flat in blue and orange before The Madcap
Laughs photo shoot, but did he do that especially for the photo shoot?
I was staying with Syd between the New Year and March '69. I hadn’t seen
much of him since the summer of 1968 'til then.
Anyway, at that time, the floor was already painted blue and orange and
I remember thinking how good it looked on the Madcap album cover later
on when the album was released. I didn’t see Syd again though until
1971, so it stands to reason the floor was already done when I left.
Mick Rock wrote: "Soon after Syd moved in he painted alternating floor
boards orange and turquoise." This doesn’t imply that it was especially
done for the photo session.
In an interview for the BBC Omnibus documentary Crazy Diamond (November
2001) painter Duggie Fields said that Syd painted the floor
soon after he occupied the flat, not that it was done on purpose for the
It has been assumed by Mick Rock that The Madcap Laughs photo shoot was
held in the autumn of 1969 (cfr. article:Love
In The Woods)
The floor (of Syd’s flat) was not painted prior to, or especially for,
the Madcap photo shoot, which took place in March or April of 1969 and
not October as has been suggested.
I left for the States in March 1969 and Iggy stayed on at the flat with
Syd and Duggie (Fields) and there seemed to be other dropouts around
from time to time.
Ig happened to be there still when the shoot came about, which was great
because we have such a good record of her.
I introduced Iggy to Syd shortly before I left, and she was around when
I left. She wasn’t there for long and generally moved around a lot to
different friends. It’s very doubtful she was still there in October or
November 1969. She just happened to be there for Mick’s photo shoot,
which is great because she was lovely girl.
This is apparently in contradiction with Malcolm Jones who wrote in The
Making Of The Madcap Laughs:
One day in October or November I had cause to drop in at Syd's flat on
my way home to leave him a tape of the album, and what I saw gave me
quite a start. In anticipation of the photographic session for the
sleeve, Syd had painted the bare floorboards of his room orange and
JenS further comments:
I remember reading this once before and being puzzled. It would seem
he’s talking about 1969. But which tape was he leaving? The 1968
sessions or the recuts (from 1969, FA)? It would seem he’s
talking about the recut. It’s a bit confusing especially to me as the
floor was painted, definitely before Christmas 1968.
The Madcap Laughs photo session had to be in the spring of 1969,
probably it occurred the first week in March. Storm and Mick say they
can only come up with the dates of August, or even October, November.
This may have been when they came together to look at the shots for the
cover, in other words when it was known the album would definitely be
released and decisions on the cover had to be made.
Part 2 of JenS's chronicle will further delve into the legendary Madcap
Laughs photo sessions, pinpointing the date somewhere in April 1969.
Sources (other than above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 141. Jones,
Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p.
13. Levy, Shawn: Ready Steady Go!, Broadway Books, New York,
2003, p. 112, p.194-195. Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades,
Plexus, London, 2007, p. 23, p. 58.
Our thanks go to Barrett alumni Stumbling... (aka Beate S.) and
Lost In The Woods (aka Julian Palacios) from the Syd Barrett Research
Society who made this encounter possible... and to JenS for her
invaluable testimony about what really happened in those early days of
Hello, I would like to try and clarify a couple of things about Ig. She
was a girlfriend of mine.
In January or early February 1969, a mutual friend introduced Iggy to
Syd Barrett, the rock star who had left Pink Floyd. To celebrate the
fortieth birthday of this event The Holy Church of Inuit brings you an
exclusive rendition of what happened, as told by JenS, who knew Barrett
in his Cambridge and London days.
In the first part of this article When
Syd met Iggy (Pt. 1), JenS recollected how she met Iggy and how she
introduced the girl to Syd. In the second part she reconstructs the
photo shoot from The Madcap Laughs, Barrett’s first solo album.
1. It is generally believed that The Madcap Laughs photo
sessions, by Storm Thorgerson and Mick Rock, took place in the autumn of
1969, a couple of weeks after the album was cut and a short time before
it hit the shelves of the record stores (see Stormy
2. It is generally believed that Iggy has only been living in
Syd’s apartment for two or three weeks maximum, during which the famous
photo sessions took place, before disappearing completely from the scene.
In our previous article JenS situates this in February or March 1969.
The problem is that there is at least a six months gap between both
dates. JenS however has some strong points favouring her theory.
Daffodils and Pontiacs
Storm Thorgerson probably shot the cover of The Madcap Laughs early in
the year because, according to JenS:
If you look at the vase of flowers next to Syd, they are daffodils. We
get those in March.
Although a valid argument it is not really tight-fitting, but JenS
The car shots (in Mick Rock’s book Psychedelic Renegades, FA)
show there are no leaves on the trees. If this were London, October
or November, there would be leaves on the ground.
Mick Rock’s photo book has got quite a lot of pictures with Syd (and
Iggy) leaning against a neglected Pontiac,
property of Syd.
The car was there at New Year, (Syd didn’t drive it) and it was there
when I left in March, with a borough sticker on it, the remains of which
show on the windscreen in the photo. If Storm and Mick are saying
October or November, was the car there all that time? I don’t know who
would know that.
The previous comment may be completely understandable for Syd Barrett
anoraks, but needs some extra explanation for the casual visitor of the
Church who doesn’t know the fabulous story of Syd’s car.
Tic tac Pontiac
Painter Duggie Fields recalls:
The car too has it’s own mythology. Later on I identified it as the car
used in the film of Joe
Orton’s Loot (not exact, FA), but I first saw it at
Alice Pollock and Ossie Clark’s New Year’s Eve party at the Albert Hall
a memorable event itself where both Amanda Lear and Yes (separately)
took to the stage for the first time. (Taken from: Duggie
Clark, once described as an ‘enigmatic,
bisexual gadabout’, textile designer (and wife) Celia
Birtwell and Alice Pollock had a boutique called Quorum.
It was a haute couture heaven for the Swinging Elite, dressing people
like Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Patti Boyd, Marian Faithfull, Jimi Hendrix,
the Jaggers and The Pink Floyd. His clothes were a reflection of the
past but with the advantages of the new (one of his creations had
discreet pockets ‘to put joints in’). In 1965 Clark was the pioneer of
the flower power look and two years later nearly all of the 2000
boutiques in London would be copying his style. Clark’s haute couture
empire crashed in the seventies; in 1996 he was murdered by his partner.
Mickey Finn, from T. Rex fame, won the Pontiac
Parisienne at the Royal Albert Hall raffle (New Year 1969). He took
possession of it but became paranoid at the unwanted attention it
attracted to himself and his fellow passengers. One day he met Syd and
they simply swapped cars (Syd had a mini).
But Syd never drove it, so it stayed parked outside the house for a
couple of months. A wheel soon went missing and the car accumulated
dust, parking tickets and legal notices. In Mick Rock’s photo book one
can see that a neighbour wrote a plea in the dust of the trunk to have
the car removed. Syd's solution was simple as bonjour: he gave
the car away to a stranger. It was seen being driven around South
Kensington soon after.
A couple of months after Syd (and before him, Mickey Finn) got the car
it was used in the 1970 British movie Entertaining
Mr Sloane (not Loot).
The car, with its cream red and silver interior, is featured prominently
throughout the movie. The flick is not great but the pink Pontiac gives
a shiny performance. Update
December 2009: the above paragraph has been corrected as Syd gave the
car away before the movie was made and not, as is generally
believed, the other way round. For more details: please check Anoraks
This leaves us with another enigma. The car in the movie is pink, but
was midnight blue when Mick Rock photographed Syd with it. Although Mick
Rock seems to remember: "Syd’s car was a conspicuously bright pink
Pontiac Parisienne convertible" several colour pictures, probably taken
by Storm Thorgerson on the same day, testify against this. JenS adds:
Syd's Pontiac was blue, midnight blue as you say. I have no idea if it
was pink before that. I've only heard it was Mickey's and pink from
things I've read. I cannot imagine Syd having it resprayed or painting
It remains a mystery when and why the kameleon car changed its colours
(twice), but if one looks very close at the picture above, there appears
to be a trace of 'brownish' paint under the right front light. Could
this have been its original colour?
Mick Rock has taken a picture of Syd sitting on the hood of his car. A
police label can be seen glued to the windshield. JenS:
Look at the date of the police sticker on Syd’s car. It seems to be
April 1969. It occurred to me that the little twigs on the ground would
come with the March winds, as this was the time of clear-cut seasons.
They are very distinctive.
Unfortunately not all can be read, part of the sticker disappears in the
inner fold of the book and the smaller letters dissolve with the
background. The following is easily distinguishable:
DANGER KEEP OFF (unreadable) THIS IS DANGEROUS
LITTER AND WILL BE REMOVED & DISPOSED OF SEVEN DAYS HENCE
Dated the ___ day of ___ 196_ Registration
No. (if any) ___ F.H. CLINCH, BOROUGH
(unreadable) AND SURVEYOR
F.H. Clinch was appointed in 1964 to the post of Borough Engineer and
Surveyor to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, an appointment
he took up on April the first, 1965. The date on the document is more
difficult to decipher, but after some tweaking it appears to be the 14th
of April 196(9). If the British police was as effective in
1969 as it is now it definitely pins The Madcap Laughs photo shoot date
between the 14th and 21st of April 1969 and not autumn as has
been said before. So the warning more than probably reads as follows:
Dated the 14th day of April
196 Registration No. (if any) VYP74 F.H.
CLINCH, BOROUGH ENGINEER AND SURVEYOR
The legend goes that Syd Barrett gave the car way to an admirer who
happened to like it. It is improbable to assume that the wreck stayed on
the street for six months without any police intervention.
Next week will have the final instalment of our series of JenS's memoirs.
Sources (other than internet links mentioned above) Blake,
Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 141. Green,
Jonathon: All Dressed Up, Pimlico, London, 1999, p. 79-80. Jones,
Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p.
13. Levy, Shawn: Ready Steady Go!, Broadway Books, New York,
2003, p. 112, p.193-195. London Borough Appointments, Official
Architecture and Planning, Vol. 27, No. 9 (September 1964), pp. 1074. Rock,
Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 23, p. 58.
The Church wishes to thank: Dark Globe, Sean Beaver (who watched Loot
just to make sure if the Pontiac figured in it or not), Bea Day, Rich
Hall, Julianindica and all the others who contributed to the discussion
at Late Night: The
tale of Syd's car - the movie star... JenS for her invaluable
testimony about what really happened in those early days of 1969.
Hello, I would like to try and clarify a couple of things about Ig. She
was a girlfriend of mine.
In January or early February 1969, a mutual friend introduced Iggy to
Syd Barrett, the successful rock star who had left his band Pink Floyd.
To celebrate the fortieth birthday of this event The Holy Church of
Inuit brings you an exclusive rendition of what happened, as told by
JenS, who knew Barrett from his Cambridge and London days.
In the first part of this article When
Syd met Iggy (Pt. 1), JenS recollected how she met Iggy and how she
introduced the girl to Syd. In the second part When
Syd met Iggy... (Pt. 2) the photo shoot from The Madcap Laughs,
Barrett’s first solo album, was reconstructed.
The story so far
In December 1968 Syd moved in at Wetherby Mansions, a 3 bedroom
apartment located at the Earls Court Square, with Duggie Fields and
another dropout called Jules, who left the apartment as fast as he had
get in, if he did get in at all.
Syd’s hectic LSD days at 101, Cromwell Rd. were over and his close
friends thought that this was the ideal situation for him to calm down
and to organise the rest of his life. Some money was still coming in
from The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, there was no immediate hurry
to get on the road or in the studio again and there were a couple of
months left to sort things out and to start a brilliant solo career,
based on the abandoned, and rather catastrophic, recording sessions from
the past year. (David Parker lists Syd’s last recording session on 20
July 1968, the session before that dates from 27 June 1968.)
Syd was now involved with ‘silly’ Gilly Staples, a model from Quorum,
the boutique that had given a Pontiac away at New Year 1969, won by
Mickey Finn who, on his turn, had given it to Syd. (Side note: it is the
Church’s first quintessential credo that all things Iggy are related.)
Also Gala Pinion, who had taken the third (empty) bedroom, was a steady
girlfriend and for a couple of weeks, so was Iggy. On top of these
affairs and according to Duggie Fields there were dozens of groupies
around, all the time, all over the place.
Although Syd had, in the eyes of several friends and colleagues, relaxed
a bit, others described him as a typical apathetic acid casualty. And
already a new (legally obtained) drug would replace his LSD intake:
JenS’s story, as has been depicted on the Church for the past few weeks,
has re-thrown the dices somewhat. Up till now it was believed that Iggy
stayed with Syd during the autumn of 1969, at the end or after he had
finished most of The Madcap Laughs sessions.
But as Iggy was apparently around in April 1969, she may have witnessed
the fresh start of the sessions of Syd’s first solo album. Malcolm
Jones, who happened to be A&R of EMI’s brand new progressive rock label
Harvest, wrote it down as follows:
One day, late in March, 1969, I received a message that Syd Barrett had
phoned EMI's studio booking office to ask if he could go back into the
studios and start recording again.
As nobody was apparently very hot to work with Syd Barrett, Malcolm
Jones was more or less forced to produce the record himself but the
songs that were presented to him by Syd at his apartment were good
enough to start with the project. The first session in studio 3 at Abbey
Road took place on Thursday, 10 April 1969 at 7 in the evening. But
recording really started the next day when Syd recorded 3 classic tracks
in two hours time. When they stopped the session at half past midnight 6
tracks had been worked on.
This was Syd at full tilt! At this session Syd was in great form, and
very happy. No matter what people may say to the contrary, Syd was very
together, and this was his first session with the new songs.
From the last article we know that the sleeve pictures were probably
taken between the 14th and 21st of April. Shortly after that Iggy
disappeared. Did this have an effect on Syd’s recording output?
Malcolm Jones recalls how Syd wrote a ditty love song ‘Here I Go’ during
the 17 April sessions in a matter of minutes. That song happens to be
the Reverend’s favourite for many decades now and it makes the Church
wonder if it has been written with Iggy in mind.
When friend and would-be photographer Mick Rock showed his pictures to
Syd, Iggy was long gone. The rock star grabbed one of the pictures and
started scratching it (although the Church wants to stress the fact, for
Freud’s sake, that he scratched around her - cf. top left picture of
Long Gone was one of the songs that were premiered on the 12th of June
1969 with David Gilmour as producer. David Gilmour and Syd Barrett were
back on speaking terms (after David had taken Syd’s place in the band
there had been some frictions). Syd and Malcolm, who lived at Earls
Court Square as well (but not in Syd's house), had been a few times to
David Gilmour’s place, just around the corner, to lend an amplifier for
The Madcap Laughs sessions and David had inquired a few times how the
sessions had been going.
Syd had been signalled backstage at a Pink Floyd show to chit chat with
the old gang and after a while David Gilmour proposed to Malcolm Jones
to produce the rest of the album with Roger Waters. Malcolm Jones did
not protest, he had enough on his plate being the boss of Harvest and
probably, although this is not mentioned in his memoirs, it would be a
nice commercial add-on as well to have two members of Syd’s original
band on the record.
Jones’s last session with Syd had been in early May and Syd had been
pissed that the next session, with David Gilmour, would only take place
a month later. But right now David and the rest of the band were busy
Next to Long Gone, a haunting track about a lost love, Barrett also
premiered another song about the same theme of absence: Dark Globe. The
track has some enigmatic lines that go as follows:
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?
Now that we know that this song was probably written just after Iggy's
disappearance out of Syd’s life, is there a possible correlation between
Gre(t)ta and Rusty
When Iggy left the mansion Greta and Rusty, a couple of ‘speed freaks’,
took the vacant spot for a bed. All biographies, up till now, spell
Gretta’s name wrong, according to JenS:
It should be Gretta. Double T.
Duggie Fields remembers Gretta as follows: “I didn’t want them around.
Greta did a lot of speed and was quite manic.” But JenS, who knew the
couple as well, has a different story to tell:
Rusty and Gretta were not drug-addicted. They never were. They were two
art school kids who drank too much and at a later date, probably goofed
out on Mandrax. Duggie Fields was always very together and a real
gentleman. Their chaos probably fazed him - well, waking to that every
Rusty was a pretty good guitarist and Syd enjoyed playing with him.
Rusty and Gretta were both pretty talented in their way. Just goofing.
That more or less sums it up and is all we known from the couple,
although Duggie Fields recalls that Gretta went to the USA soon after
and was promptly put away in a Texas nuthouse. According to JenS this
Gretta didn't go to the States. Her sister Trina and I were friends and
she went. I'm not sure if Rusty and Gretta continued to visit Syd at
Wetherby Mansions or not. The two of them probably moved on and may have
visited him at a later date, during the summer… I think I read an
interview with Duggie once that said they had been at the flat at some
point, but I don't know when that was.
Update: in an exclusive interview to the Church Margaretta
Barclay absolutely denies the drug stories surrounding Rusty and her.
Please consult: Gretta
Speaks and Gretta
Speaks (Pt. 2).
It would be nice if someone could write the definitive account on the
so-called Cambridge mafia seeking fame and fortune in London, all
those people that have crossed Syd’s path at a certain time and
disappeared again, often without a trace…
The Church wants to apologise for the fact that this third instalment in
the JenS series is not the last as was promised last week. So there will
be no excuse not to come back next week to read further on.
Sources (other than internet links mentioned above):
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press, London, 2007, p.129. Palacios,
Julian: Lost In The Woods, Boxtree, London, 1998, p. 241. Parker,
David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p.
134-158. Jones, Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs,
Brain Damage, 2003, p. 3, p. 6. Willis, Tim, Madcap, Short
Books, London, 2002, p. 105.
The Church wishes to thank JenS for her invaluable testimony about what
really happened in those early days of 1969.
Although Iggy is the prototype of the vanishing girl we know quite a lot
of her through the bits and pieces that have survived that big black
hole also knows as the Sixties.
In November 1966, when she was (about) 21 or 22 years old she appeared
Bend party that was affiliated with the television show Ready Steady
And there was of course her apparition in a 1967-ish documentary, called IN
Gear, hinting that Iggy was seeking fame and fortune as a model or
an actress. Unfortunately enough it seems impossible (or at least
improbable) that the production sheets will ever surface, nobody seems
to know where the archives of the Look At Life-series, that ran for a
decade between 1959 and 1969 and added up to more than 500 episodes,
physically are, if these still exist.
The Reverend has been re-reading some older posts at this funny little
place aptly called the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and some need
Lost in the Woods
There is a home
movie floating around with Syd and Ig walking in a park, together
with – what has been called – a mysterious brunette. Mick Rock probably
made the movie around the same period, and with period the Reverend
literally means days, The Madcap Laughs photos were made. Iggy is
wearing the same clothes on both occasions (and the same necklace), but
Syd Barrett not. The mysterious brunette may have been Mick Rock’s
girlfriend, one of the (many, according to Duggie Fields) passing female
visitors of Syd’s place or, a theory nobody has ever wondered about
before, a friend of Ig.
Thanks to the testimony of JenS
it is now pretty sure that the photo shoot took place in April 1969,
probably in the week between the 14th and the 21st, but
not on the 17th as Syd was the whole afternoon in Studio 2, recording
the eerie No Man’s Land and the ditty Here I Go.
Here is what Malcolm Jones had to say about it:
The following Thursday, as planned, I called a cab and went to collect
Syd. We dropped in at Dave Gilmour's flat round the corner to borrow an
amplifier, and set off for Abbey Road. At the studio we met up with
Jerry Shirley and 'Willie' Wilson, the musicians Syd had invited along.
The session was to be done 'live' i.e. everyone recording their parts at
the same time, including Syd's vocal and guitar parts.
This session was the last happy and shiny one although nobody would know
that beforehand of course. The next session had the motorbike overdubs
on the legendary Rhamadan, legendary because Barrett fans know it
has been lying in the vaults of EMI for over 40 years now and have been
praying and begging to release it ever since.
Update (October 2010): Rhamadan has finally been released as a
part of the An Introduction To... Syd Barrett compilation: Gravy
Train To Cambridge
The making of the track Rhamadan is one of those occasions lazy
journalists use to prove that Barrett was as mad as a hatter. The track,
an 18 to 20 minutes free-form-jam-session between Barrett, Steve Took
and some other (unidentified) session players had been recorded the
previous year, and in April 1969 Syd found that he still could do
something useful with the demo.
Of course all he wanted to do was to put some motorbike overdubs on the
track, a failed experiment as found out at the end of the day, but not
quite as mad as those lazy journalists want us to believe. Pink Floyd
would overdub motorbike sounds on Atom Heart Mother the next year and no
one has put them in straitjackets because of that.
The intrinsic value of the track is less legendary tells someone who
knows. Random Precision author David Parker is probably the only person
in the world who has a full and legit copy of the Rhamadan track in his
Of the 15-20mins that this runs for I reckon Syd plays on about 5
minutes worth. Imagine a longer and looser version of 'Lanky Pt 1' with
a lot less guitar on it. (Taken from the Syd Barrett Research Society.
Forum no longer active.)
In a, now deleted, post at SBRS Parker explained further that...
…I had to give my word to various people at EMI and Abbey Road, and sign
a scarily draconian declaration, not to give out copies…
The April sessions of 1969 had Barrett in an excellent form and Malcolm
Jones wanted to get the record done as quickly as possible. Not only he
must have been aware of Syd’s mood changes but his bosses had also
instructed him to get a move on. So it is absolutely plausible that the
order for the cover-shoot was given right after the first session.
The Church has written quite a few things about Syd’s blue Pontiac in
the past and an error sneaked in at the second When
Syd met Iggy... posting. Originally it read:
Before Syd (and Mickey Finn) got the car it was used in the 1970
British movie Entertaining Mr Sloane. The car, with its cream red
and silver interior, is featured prominently throughout the movie. The
movie is not great but the pink Pontiac gives a great performance.
The above was not correct as this information was based upon the general
belief that The Madcap Laughs photo shoot was held in the autumn of 1969
and not in April. The British
Film Institute pinpoints the making of the movie between mid August
and beginning of October 1969, four months after Syd gave the car away
to someone who admired it. If the car that can be seen in the movie is
indeed Syd’s, it was sold, given or lend to the movie crew by its new
Because the Reverend thought it might be a good idea and because a lot
of work went into coding and debugging The Holy Church of Inuit presents
you... a calendar of the year 1969. It puts some dates right, can be
generally considered as eye-candy and may be completely ignored...
Notes (other than internet links mentioned above):
Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London, 2001,
p. 129-158. Jones, Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs,
Brain Damage, 2003, p. 7.
One of the lesser profane tasks of The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is
to check the amount of iggybility on the World Wide Web and to
act (or react) accordingly. As the one and only keeper of the true faith
this means that in very grave situations the Holy Igquisition has
Here is such a case.
It came to the attention of the Church that the popular website whodatedwho.com
has got a webpage devoted to Iggy. That is no problem as such, but a
closer look on the page in question reveals that it contains some errors
and some unaccredited links.
The Iggy picture gallery
contains a lot of video-screenshots that have been taken from The Holy
Church, but without referencing it. The Igquisition does not need
any divine intervention to make this assumption as several screenshots
have been taken from an alternative copy of the Syd Barrett home video
that isn’t widely available on the web but that belongs to the Church’s archives.
The Holy Church does not pretend to be the one and only gospel
and anyone is entitled to add his (or her) own interpretations on the
web. On the other hand the Holy Church has the ambition to become the
one and only godspell, god spell as in collection of (good) news,
the one a bit more canonical than the other.
After long consideration the Holy Igquisition has decided that
the true believer will find the Church anyway, so every Iggy webpage,
even considered heretic by The Church, will be beneficiary at the end.
But there is another matter with graver consequences the Igquisition
has to look into...
The Who Dates Iggy page has some limited space to add links to
other websites. The most prominent one links to a forum thread located
is Iggy?-thread, dating from 2004, starts with the following remark
‘these are some links to pictures with her (meaning Iggy)
and Mr. Barrett’ and point to 5 pictures located at the pink-floyd.org
The pictures present at this location have been described here and there
as Iggy with Syd, sitting in the back of his garden in Cambridge in
1971. To avoid any rumours of a Syd and Iggy reunion in the Seventies
the Church vehemently wants to contradict this mystification. The woman
present on the picture is not Ig, but Sheila
Rock, Mick Rock’s first wife:
I met my first wife Sheila in 1969 and within about six months we were
married. (…) The images were taken in Syd’s mother’s house to accompany
a small article that I did for Rolling Stone magazine in 1971. (…) By
that time Syd had moved back to Cambridge. The pictures were shot in the
garden. Sheila took the pictures of me and Syd together…
Although all trace of Sheila has been carefully removed from the
pictures in the Psychedelic Renegades book, with the exception of her
hand on Syd’s sleeve on page 132, some uncensored pictures made it to
the fans, probably through Bernard White who issued the Terrapin
magazine in the Seventies. But to settle this matter once and for all:
she is not Ig; she is Sheila
The pictures of Sheila Rock and Syd Barrett, taken by Mick Rock, can be
found on the heretic Madcap
page of pink-floyd.org. Please note that the description of the pictures
is wrong and that the woman on the picture is not Iggy.
Notes (other than internet links mentioned above):
Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 98.
The Reverend wants to apologise for the - sometimes harsh - tone of the
above text. It has been written by the Holy Igquisition, and
nobody expected the Holy Igquisition, not even the Reverend...
Ig's close encounters of the photographical kind were not limited to the
Anthony Stern triptych
series alone. She can be found as well on the cover of the Syd Barrett
Madcap Laughs, still available in any qualitative cd-shop what means
that it is a hell of a job to actually find it. But on top of her
picture you get some decent music as well what is a rather nice bargain.
Thorgerson from the arty farty collective Hipgnosis
claims he shot the cover, although Mick Rock more or less hinted the
same. Both photographers were present at the same place on the same day
for the same purpose. Rock writes that he was asked by Syd Barrett to do
the shoot and that Storm agreed to take him on in the team.
Syd asked me to take the pictures. We had talked about the shoot for a
while, and the day before it happened I told Storm from Hipgnosis, so he
came along because they were putting the package together.
Thorgerson probably was despatched by Harvest
director and Barrett producer ad interim Malcolm Jones and has
stated that another photographer was present as well but that he didn't
know what the fuck he was doing there, although in a slightly more
Friend and photographer Mick Rock, later famous for his Bowie photos
amongst many others, also came on this photo session, but I can’t
remember why. I think it was to help me, which seems ironic given his
subsequent lensmanship and success in the rock business.
It surely was one of Rock’s pics that was put - uncredited - on the back
sleeve of the Barrett
(his second solo) album. For the third release, a repackaging of the two
previous ones, aptly called Syd
Barrett, some other shots from that day in April
1969 were used, but it is not certain if these came from Rock's
second-hand Pentax 35mm camera, bought from that other Hipgnosis team
‘Po’ Powell, or from Storm Thorgerson who also claims he
used a 35mm for the job. (Although his favourite camera at that time was
a Hasselblad 500 c, as used for the Floyd’s Ummagumma cover a couple of
There will always be an enigma surrounding the cover shoot of The Madcap
Laughs. The 1978 book Walk Away René (The Work of Hipgnosis) contains a
detailed description of every picture in the book, except for… The
Madcap Laughs. Unfortunately Storm’s negatives have been lost,
so there will never be a Psychedelic Renegades from his hand.
Psychedelic Renegades, and then we finally get to the subject of
this blog entry, is the photo book Mick Rock made in 2002. The first
edition, by Genesis,
had 320 copies autographed by R.K. Barrett that are worth a small
fortune nowadays. In 2007 a regular edition was published by Plexus
Books (European edition) and Gingko
(for the USA).
There is a possibility that the Mick Rock photo shoot took more than one
day. The pictures in his apartment were taken, together with Storm
Thorgerson. The outside pictures date (perhaps) from the next day.
Nobody can be really sure and Rock isn’t the most reliable witness to
say the least. On page 18 he writes:
We shot The Madcap Laughs in the autumn of 1969 and I don’t think that
Syd and Duggie Fields had been living in the flat that long.
The above is a contradiction as Syd moved in the apartment end 1968,
furthermore the research of JenS,
who was a friend of Syd and Ig, shows that the pictures were probably
taken in April of 1969. Rock also states that:
Syd’s car was a conspicuously bright pink Pontiac Parisienne convertible.
However the few colour pictures of the car show it was (midnight) blue.
But the Church will no longer go further in this matter, if you want you
can read all about in some previous posts, for instance When
Syd met Iggy... (Pt. 2).
About 20 pictures of the book show us a glimpse of Ig, who is described
by Rock as follows…
Known only as Iggy, the half-Eskimo girl had momentarily made her way
into Syd’s life, and flat, at the time when these photos were taken.
Though not part of the original shoot plan, Iggy was an intriguing
accomplice. With no job and little to call her own, Iggy epitomised the
free natured spirit of the psychedelic underground.
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is very proud to announce you 3 new
Iggy galleries: Street
Life, black & white pictures of Iggy in front of the house and
Flat, colour pictures of Iggy, walking around in the nude and
posing on the background in Syd's apartment. Rock
Bottom, black & white nude study of Ig.
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):
To all our sistren and brethren, hail! Might you wonder if
the Church is dead the answer is clear and simple: no! The Church is
contemplating its path and went into an early hibernation to, as the
French say, reculer pour mieux sauter.
One of the main occupations of any holy man is to study the scriptures
and that is what we have been doing so far. The next post is very
academic and thus, by definition, boring, although it starts rather
Last week a professional rock memorabilia seller put some pictures for
sale that he described as:
SYD BARRETT FOUNDING MEMBER OF PINK FLOYD
4 X ORIGINAL MICK ROCK PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN AND PRINTED IN 1974 SHOWING SYD
IN HIS FLAT WITH PAINTED BOARDS, EARLY MICK ROCK PHOTOS ARE NEAR
IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND AND NOW HE PRINTS PHOTOS AT 1000 POUNDS PER PHOTO. THESE
ARE ORIGINAL 6 X 4 INCHES PRINTED BEFORE MICK ROCK BECAME FAMOUS, LONG
AFTER SYD WHO WAS ALREADY FAMOUS.
The 4 prints show Syd Barrett in his apartment and date from The Madcap
Laughs photo sessions where both Mick Rock and Storm Thorgerson showed
The Church has created some controversy concerning the date of the photo
shoot. It has been published in most biographies that the pictures were
taken in the autumn
of 1969, but JenS,
who was a Cantabrigian friend of Syd Barrett and knew Ig as well,
pointed out that the pictures were probably taken in spring. The Church
further narrowed the date of the photo shoot to the week between
the 14th and the 21st of April 1969, and certainly not
1974 as the seller wrote.
The account of the photo shoot also differs from the point of view of
who is telling the story. Storm Thorgerson claims that he shot the
sleeve of The Madcap Laughs, but - in the past - Mick Rock hinted that
he was behind it all.
An unconfirmed story goes that Mick Rock was taking pictures on behalf
of Hipgnosis and gave (some of) his film rolls to Storm Thorgerson who
developed and used some of the pictures for The Madcap Laughs record
It takes a rascal to recognise another one. Mick Rock kept some
negatives in his back pocket and forgot these until he could show
off with his own little private project called Psychedelic Renegades.
(In retrospect this wasn’t a bad thing as Storm Thorgerson has
all the negatives he had in his possession.)
When, a couple of years ago, probably at The
Other Room exhibition, a fan asked Mick Rock to autograph the sleeve
picture of The Madcap Laughs he mysteriously grinned and said something
like ‘I can’t sign pictures that weren’t taken by me, can I?’ and it
still isn’t sure if his comment was ironic or not.
The Church looks at its flock in awe and admiration, which is in shrill
contrast with those other religions that take their believers for total
nincompoops, and the Reverend will let you decide for yourself after
only a tiny amount of brainwashing.
On the Madcap Laughs shooting day several photo series were made. The
series of Mick Rock may have taken two consecutive days instead of one,
but nobody, not even Rock himself, remembers it very well.
THE MICK ROCK COLLECTION
Outside pictures (B&W)
¤ Syd on and around his car, sometimes with Iggy. ¤ Syd & Iggy
on the pavement. ¤ Syd with guitar case and guitar.
These black and white pictures show Syd and Iggy in front of the house.
Syd is sitting on, standing next, leaning against the car, claimed by
Mick Rock to be a pink Pontiac, while it was naturalmente blue.
On some pictures Syd wears a necklace, on others apparently not. Some
cut-outs of these pictures can be found in our Street
Inside pictures (colour)
¤ Syd with (naked) Iggy.
Syd wears a brown jacket, a yellow shirt, and reddish trousers. These
are about the same clothes as on the outside session (the shirt may be
different). Some cut-outs of these pictures can be found in our gallery: Bare
¤ Syd without Iggy.
Syd with blue tie-dyed t-shirt, red trousers, necklace and daffodils. No
shoes. Other pictures have him sitting on the mattress, drinking coffee.
¤ Syd kneeling shirtless on the floor. ¤ Syd and his record
Barrett is shirtless, wears his red trousers, has the necklace (at least
in one picture). Should you care to know, the record player in his room
is a Garrard
SP25 MK2 (thanks mrlimbo!) and the record on the player is from the
soul label Direction, a subsidiary of CBS (thanks infantair!).
(Information grabbed from Late
A few of these pictures appear on the inner sleeve of the double album
Syd Barrett, but none have been directly credited to Mick Rock (the
credits go to Blackhill, Lupus, SKR and Hipgnosis).
Update 27 December 2012: It took some time but Göran Nyström
On The Border) and Giulio Bonfissuto have found enough evidence to
conclude that the record on Syd's turntable is Taj Mahal's The
Natch'l Blues. They did this by comparing the tracks that are
visible on Mick Rock's pictures with the track listing of the record: "4
rather equally short tracks first and then one that is longer. This
should be the album". (Source: Göran Nyström at Laughing
Madcaps [dead link]. Other source at Late Night forum: Syds
Inside pictures (B&W)
¤ Syd with record player and trimphone. ¤ Syd sitting on
Syd is wearing a tie or a scarf, a tie-dyed t-shirt and a different pair
of trousers (dark with rows of lighter spots). A newspaper and a trimphone
are lying next to the mattress. The record player has got a different
record (the one with the Direction label is lying (unprotected)
underneath another one). There is no sign of Iggy in this series.
¤ Iggy nude study.
The (in)famous series of Ig. No sign of Syd here. This series can be
found in our gallery: Rock
in the Woods home movie, probably made by Mick Rock, has Syd walking
around in a yellow shirt and blue jacket and trousers. For completists:
the yellow shirt is not the same as the one he is wearing on some of the
pictures mentioned above.)
THE HIPGNOSIS COLLECTION
The only way to consult the Hipgnosis archives is to wade through record
sleeves and the books from Storm Thorgerson, as most of the negatives
have been misplaced through the years.
The best overview of Storm’s pictures on that day can be found on the inner
sleeve of the compilation album Syd Barrett that appeared in 1974.
Thorgerson has the following to say about its cover: "I made up the
design from photos already taken at The Madcap Laughs session and added
Outside pictures (colour)
¤ Syd leaning against car (with guitar case). ¤ Syd sitting on
Storm Thorgerson took a few colour pictures during the outside sessions. One
of these pictures was used for the cover of A Nice Pair (Pink Floyd
compilation album, that has had different editions with slightly
different covers). Another picture can be found on the following Church
Syd met Iggy... Update 2001 02 19: Iggy has confirmed to
the Church that she took the Polaroid picture of Syd Barrett sitting
next to the car: Give
birth to a smile...
¤ The yoga session.
Syd sitting shirtless and shoeless on the floor and showing his
gymnastic skills. Update October 2010: the Church is now of the
opinion that the yoga pictures may have been the 'real' autumn Madcap
Laughs cover shoot, commissioned by Harvest director Malcolm Jones, when
the album was in its final stages: The
Case of the Painted Floorboards
Until now we only knew the pictures that were used for The Madcap Laughs
and for the Crazy Diamond CD compilation.
¤ The Madcap Laughs front.
Syd, shoeless, in blue shirt and pink trousers crouching (daffodils in
front of him). A bigger version of this photograph can be found on Crazy
Diamond. (See also: Stormy
¤ The Madcap Laughs back.
Syd with yellow shirt and necklace (in red trousers) with Ig leaning
artistically on the chair. A bigger version of this photograph can be
found on Crazy
Diamond (Syd Barrett CD box, 1993).
¤ Syd in brown jacket, sitting on the floor. Ig walking towards the
chimney. ¤ Syd with a toy aeroplane (and daffodils) in front of him.
This last picture
can also be found on A Nice Pair, but not on the edition that has the
Syd Barrett car picture (several version of the Nice Pair sleeve do
exist, as you have figured out by now).
According to the above information the four pictures that were sold on
eBay belong to the Hipgnosis collection and not to Mick Rock.
1. Picture one is the famous Madcap Laughs front-sleeve but in its
entirety. 2. The second picture, with Syd and a toy aeroplane, has
also been published before, but this version is not cropped and shows
more of the surrounding room. 3 & 4. Pictures 3 and 4 have been
unknown until now and have never been published before.
The four pictures were sold for a mere 127.00 £. The Church duly hopes
that the buyer is an authentic fan who will share hi-res scans with the
The seller of the pictures has previously sold one other Syd Barrett
photo from the same session. It was un unknown picture of Syd sitting on
his Pontiac, taking away, once and for all, the rumours that his car was
bright pink. The Reverend wonders if claytonpriory still has
other pictures to sell, perhaps with Ig on the background, although it
is of course regrettable that the collection is divided and sold in
Did this post confuse you?
It confused the Reverend as well, especially when he found out that one
picture, entitled to Mick Rock, actually needs to be credited to
Hipgnosis. Or is it the other way round? That will be discussed in a
later post: A
Bay of Hope (update).
Until then, my brethren and sistren, live long and prosper
and don’t do anything what Ig wouldn’t have done.
Sources (other than the above internet links):
Thorgerson, Storm: Mind Over Matter, Sanctuary Publishing,
London, 2003, p. 204.
A new gallery, called StormWatch
has been made and contains the Madcap pictures, made by Storm Thorgerson
and discussed in this entry. Play the Storm Thorgerson or Mick
Rock Iggy picture
In a previous
post at the Church the Reverend tried to catalogue the different
pictures that were made in Syd Barrett’s flat for the so-called Madcap
It is believed that the (first) session took place in April
1969. Two photographers arrived at the same day at Barrett’s
apartment. They both took pictures while Barrett was posing, sitting on
the floor of his flat, and with Iggy, a friend, a groupie or a temporary
muse walking around in the nude. None of the boys seemed to be
distracted by that. The Sixties were strange days indeed.
That is why there is a certain similarity between the pictures from
Storm Thorgerson (Hipgnosis) and Mick Rock. It has also been hinted that
Mick Rock gave some of his film rolls to Storm Thorgerson for further
use as he apparently thought he had been hired for the job. The stuff
they were smoking was still good in those days.
Dixit Rock one of his pictures appeared (uncredited) on the Barrett
(solo) album and also the inner sleeve from the Syd Barrett
compilation shows several Mick Rock pictures. Mick Rock would later
occasionally work for Hipgnosis and if the Reverend remembers it well
the portraits of Pink Floyd that can be found on Meddle
are his work (although you won’t find that story in Thorgerson’s Mind
Over Matter compendium).
Dark Globe spoke to Storm Thorgerson about the cover of The Madcap
Laughs (probably at Borders,
I once had a chat with Storm at one of his exhibitions, where I
mentioned that many people thought that Mick Rock photographed the
Madcap cover. He expressed a mild annoyance that anyone would think so.
He then jokingly signed my copy of his book 'NOT Mick Rock, but Storm
When I asked if he would consider publishing a book of his Syd photos,
he told me the originals were all lost. It was clearly a subject he
didn't want to discuss so I didn't ask any more about it. I've since
read interviews with him where he says he doesn't like talking about
Syd. Which is fair enough. (Taken from: ‘New’
Mick Rock Syd photos?)
Beate S. had a similar experience, but with Mick Rock, when she wanted
him to sign the cover of The Madcap Laughs album at Borders,
Cambridge (also on the 1st of November 2008):
[Mick Rock] said something like "Can't very well sign something I didn't
do, can I", grinned a bit shy and flipped through the little booklet and
signed. I can't remember the words exactly… but he was not ironic at
all, just telling the truth.
Later that same evening Beate had a chance to talk again to the
He was indeed serious about the cover not being his, no doubt about
that. Later that evening at the party when we found out he was a really
nice bloke, I admit I did not of course inquire any further as that
would have been very rude in the setting. (Bea S., Mick Rock signing,
email, 2 November, 2009.)
It is also possible that some of the photo sessions by Rock or
Thorgerson were made on a later date. Mick seems to remember that he
might have come back another day to do some extra shots, and there is
also the Lost
in the Woods home video, shot by Mick Rock, with Syd, Ig and a
mysterious brunette. When the photographer came back a few weeks later
to show Syd the pictures Iggy was gone and Syd’s mind was far further
away than ever.
Storm Thorgerson was also a close friend of Syd, a friendship dating
from their Cambridge days, and he may have visited him on other
occasions as well. Storm took some photos later in the year (the
pictures) and maybe this is how the legend came into place that The
Madcap Laughs photo session was made after summer.
But this is of course all speculation and memories have become quite
blurry through the mist of time.
The Church regards the Thorgerson versus Rock controversy as settled and
until no further images miraculously appear this subject is considered
closed. The Storm
Watch gallery on this blog has been updated with some new pictures
and one Thorgerson picture that had sneaked into the Mick Rock Bare
Flat gallery has been identified as such (that same gallery also has
been updated with another hi-res scan).
Sistren, brethren, we don't need the Reverend's groove thing
And now make place for some important theological matters. In the past
the Reverend has addressed the believers on this blog with brethren,
using this term for all believers whether they were male, female or all
things in between.
At a recent congress of our arctic coven (and beyond) it was uttered
that brethren is an archaic form destined for men only and that our
female followers should be addressed accordingly. The arctic coven
unanimously voted to use the term sistren
(up against brothress) and the highest level of our church authority has
now approved their plea.
Most of the texts on this blog have now been updated and the believers
will be alternately addressed as sistren and brethren (or brethren
and sistren). These archaic plural forms will also be used to
designate one single member, as in the next example: Iggy was our first skyclad
sistren after all, wearing her uniform with pride.
The Church has got quite a few new projects in the pipeline as people
from all over the Globe are suggesting subjects and people to talk to.
The next article will probably delve deeper into the Cromwellian
days. The Church managed to trace back one of the people who worked at
the club and some memories might be published here shortly.
So until the Reverend has got something new to summon he blesses you, sistren
and brethren, and don’t do anything that Ig wouldn’t have done.
Update 18 December 2011: added Mick Rock's signature from the
collection of Beate S. A high-res scan can be found at our Storm
(This is part two of our Mojo magazine review, for part one, click here).
As if the world has suddenly been hit by a temporal rift in spacetime
the March 2010 issue of Mojo music magazine has inundated the stores
bearing a big (slightly photoshopped) portrait of a mister Syd Barrett.
The well-written and rather accurate cover article, by Pat Gilbert,
ranges from page 70 to 81 and tells the story of The Madcap Laughs, Syd
Barrett’s first solo album.
Two other articles are of particular interest to the Church as they
describe the mythical presence of a ‘girl whose naked body graced the
back cover of The Madcap Laughs’.
we discussed the Who’s That Girl article written by Mark
Blake, and this week the Church will scrutinize Paul Drummond’s In
My Room (Mojo 196, p. 82 - 84). Out of courtesy (and for copyright
reasons) the Reverend has decided not to publish the articles as long as
the magazine is for sale in the shops. Update: Direct link to
the article: Mojo
March 2010. (hosted at the Church as the article was removed from
the official Barrett website in 2016).
The article, about The Madcap Laughs photo sessions, has interviews with
Duggie Fields, Mick Rock and - so it seems - Jenny Spires. But although
she was interviewed by email for the main article by Pat Gilbert, she
has told the Church she wasn’t really questioned about Iggy.
I guessed, when I saw it, they must have looked at your site (re Daffodils
and photo shoot etc…), as I was not asked about this
or about Iggy. (JenS, 10th of February 2010, mail to the Church)
The Reverend could do no other thing than to summon the Holy Igquisition
to stick in a few comments as the In The Room article clearly
breathes the holy air of the Church but neglects to mention its
existence in its columns.
Ig and Jenny Spires meeting each other for the first time
Mojo 196 reports:
Jenny Spires first met Iggy in January 1969 and introduced her to Syd
and he let her stay. (p. 83)
The Holy Igquisition wants to set this straight: According to
the Church’s archives JenS first met Ig in summer 1966 (cfr. When
Syd met Iggy). The year thereafter (1967) they met again and from
then one they went on clubbing together. This has once again been
confirmed by Jens this week:
I was surprised they had mistakenly printed that I met her in 1969. This
annoys me really because of its inaccuracy.
The date of The Madcap Laughs photo shoot
Mojo 196 reports:
Iggy’s involvement appears to date the shoot as spring ’69 as she was
long gone by autumn. (p. 83)
The Holy Igquisition wants to set straight: JenS has situated
the photo shoot in spring 1969 (March or April) (cfr. When
Syd met Iggy 1). Further investigations by the Church have
pinpointed a possible date in April 1969 (cfr. When
Syd met Iggy 2).
Mojo 196 reports:
It’s more likely Syd picked them (the daffodils found on the cover of
the album) while in the park with Iggy, as captured on Super-8 film.
The Holy Igquisition wants to set straight: The Holy Church of
Iggy the Inuit has discussed the lost In The Woods movie at great extent
and Pontiacs). However the theory that the Lost in The Woods video
was shot before the photo shoot is new and quite intriguing. However the
idea that Iggy, Mick and Syd picked the daffodils is, according to JenS,
Mojo 196 writes:
When the photo shoot was over, Rock continued outside using Syd’s blue
Pontiac Parisienne as a prop. (…) The life of this inanimate object
(registration: VYP74) helps confirm that the shoot wasn’t in the autumn.
The Holy Igquisition wans to set straight: The story of Syd
Barrett’s car has been the object of different posts at the Church (cfr. When
Syd met Iggy 2), but the initial quest for the car was done at the Late
Night forum by Dark Globe, Sean Beaver and others… they found out
that the car appeared in the movie Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Unlike Mojo
magazine, the Church does like to give credit to the people who deserve
The Holy Igquisition concludes:
It is clear that Mojo magazine has extensively browsed through the pages
of the Holy Church of Inuit but has somehow forgotten to mention
this in its articles. The Holy Igquisition has therefore sent the
following objurgation at Mojo:
It was nice to see that the many theories of the Holy Church of Iggy the
Inuit have been reproduced in The Madcap Laughs photo shoot article,
albeit without mentioning where these originally came from.
However the Holy Igquisiton knows that any true believer will find the
Church, so every Iggy publication will be beneficiary in the end. Ig’s
story as published in the March issue of Mojo may be the butterfly
effect that will cause the storm at the other side of the world. So
perhaps, thanks to Mojo, the Church will be one day able to fulfil its
Rather than to start an endless polemical discussion the Holy Church of
Iggy the Inuit would like to end this post with Duggie Fields’s
magnificent description of our skyclad sistren (p. 82):
I remember being at a 31 bus stop and seeing her coming down the stairs
very elegantly in this gold lame 1940s dress that had bell sleeves that
buttoned to a train but with no underwear and completely exposed…
Not a care in the world.
Lo and behold brethren and sistren, and don't do anything
that Ig wouldn't have done.
In a previous
post the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit published an interview with
Margaretta Barclay, her first in 40 years, remembering the Syd Barrett
days of 1969.
Margaretta (Gretta), her boyfriend Rusty, JenS,
Iggy and the French Dominique were regular visitors at Wetherby
Mansions, the flat where Syd Barrett lived. Some stories, legends and
rumours surrounding Syd can be traced back to painter Duggie Fields, who
still lives in the flat he co-rented with Syd and Jules (nobody seems to
remember Jules, apparently he disappeared already after a couple of
Syd was a very dear friend of ours and we did a considerable amount
together in the 60's.
He 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
This could be correct. Early 1969 Syd Barrett was very well together, at
least compared to the year before where he – if one may believe those
unverifiable rumours again – even added heroin to his daily stash of
hash and mandrax. Recovering his sanity was one thing, tidying up his
love life another. Tim Willis (in Madcap) writes:
While keeping Gala (Pinion, who moved in at the spare room,
FA) as his serious girlfriend and Gilly Staples as a girlfriend
Barrett began an affair with Iggy the Eskimo.
Iggy (or Evelyn) seems to hint this as well in the reluctant interview
she gave to The
Syd was so beautiful looking. We had a relationship, I lived with
him for a while.
But not everybody seems to be certain of this. Duggie Fields told so in
various biographies. And to the Church JenS and some anonymous witnesses
maintain that Ig and Syd were never an item. Perhaps Gretta Barclay can
shed a light on this?
I would not say that Syd and Iggy were girlfriend and boyfriend. She was
his ‘chosen’ model for the Madcap Laughs Album cover. Whatever
may have occurred between Syd and Iggy was kept to themselves. Neither
was Ig the person to stay long at on place. Iggy moved about and
stayed with all sorts of people in all sorts of places without declaring
her intention to do so. To my knowledge there was no ‘when Iggy left
Syd’ moment. We were all free spirits then, who moved whenever and
wherever a whim took us.
There is an intriguing paragraph in Mick
Rock's Psychedelic Renegades book. When the photographer visits Syd
to show him the pictures of The Madcap Laughs photo shoot Iggy is no
Once I’d developed the film, I went round to show Syd the pictures. He
one opposite and scratched some lines and his name to it. I think
there was a bit of negativity towards Iggy. He just started scratching
the print, with a big grin on his face. There was that other side to Syd
which could be a bit mean and malicious, especially towards women, and
this was one occasion when I saw that.
The Church has always found this comment from Mick Rock a bit over the
top (but the Church has been wrong on more occasions). A while later
Margaretta Barclay received one of the original Mick Rock pictures that
were lying in Syd’s room.
This picture of Iggy was given to me by Syd but for some unknown reason
she had been torn off it.
This is the second documented case where we learn that Syd had taken ‘care’
of an Iggy photo after her departure.
Since a couple of weeks we know Iggy’s real name: Evelyn. Jeff Dexter,
Anthony Stern nor JenS ever knew her real name. How about Margaretta?
Iggy was ‘Iggy’ for me also.
Last year the Church tried to pinpoint the date of The Madcap Laughs
photo shoot. With JenS’s help and after blowing up the photo of the ‘dangerous
litter’ sticker on Syd Barrett’s Pontiac the Church concluded that
the pictures had probably been taken shortly after the 14th of April,
but before the 21st, as the sticker only gave a 7 days notice to get rid
of the car. But Gretta disagrees:
The ‘Madcap’ photo shoot dates are probably incorrect as I have a
postcard from a friend addressed to me, Rusty, Syd and Iggy at the
Wetherby Mansion address dated June 1969.
The Magic Christian
Around about that time we did some film extra work for The Magic
Christian. I have a feeling Iggy came with us? But I cannot confirm this.
Magic Christian is a quite nice satirical (but very sixty-nine-ish)
movie, starring Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers and a bunch of
(uncredited) 60-ies icons: Christopher Lee (as – what else – a vampire),
John Le Mesurier, Peter Graves, Raquel Welsh (as priestess of the whip),
Richard Attenborough, Roman Polanski, Spike Milligan and Yul Brynner (as
a transvestite cabaret singer). Fans will also notice the presence of
John Cleese and Graham Chapman who independently wrote scenes for the
movie (and before they teamed up as Monty Python members).
The movie’s main message is that everything can be bought for money and
has scenes of Peter Sellers, an eccentric billionaire, smearing beluga
caviar over his face in a posh restaurant or cutting up a Rembrandt
painting because he is only interested in the nose. His final trick
(minus one) is to make people dive into a big tub filled with blood,
urine and excrements to fish the thousands of pounds that float in it
(although by all means gross this scene is not so far from what has been
shown in some Endemol TV game shows for the last couple of years).
Update: Margaretta and (perhaps) Iggy weren't the only Wetherby-visitors
who got involved with the movie. JenS commented, after reading this
I was also an extra in the Magic Christian, I was one of Raquel's slave
girls in the Galleon scene, but fortunately taken out in the cutting
room, however this tiny scene took two days to shoot. I had done my
piece the previous year, in 1968! It was interesting for me to see the
others had done some for it in June 69. Films do take a long time in
production! (mail to FA, 29th of April 2010)
But according to the BFI
work on the movie started on the 24th of February 1969 and ended on the
14th of May. This still quite fits the dates we have been proposing for
the photo shoot, but the testimony from Gretta that Ig was still around
in June is intriguing to say the least and will have to be further
In the first part of this series it was told how Gretta, Rusty, Syd and
Gala Pinion visited a brilliant musician who lived in Solva,
Haverfordwest, Dyfed. The Church wrongly assessed it was a certain Mike
Stevens and found some very scarce information on him.
It took not long before several churchgoers made it clear to the
Reverend that the Welsh singer-songwriter in question is better known as Meic
Meic Stevens was discovered by DJ Jimmy ‘Jim‘ll Fix It’ Savile, who saw
him performing in a Manchester folk club in 1965. It is believed that he
was a session man on several recordings (Gary Farr springs to mind) and
he may have issued a solo single for Decca, but without success.
In 1967 Stevens left ‘England’ and retreated to his home village of
Solva and started to write and record songs in Welsh. From 1967 till
1969 several EPs were issued, first under the name Mike Stevens, later
Meic Stevens. (These ultra rare EPs that according to Record Collector
are searched for against exorbitant prices have been re-issued on CD by Sunbeam
In 1970 Meic Stevens made an English mildly psychedelic rock & folk
album – Outlander - for Warner Bros. On several of its tunes it is
pretty clear why he was nicknamed the Welsh Bob Dylan (acoustic guitar
and mouth organ included), although the first and by far the most
powerful track of that album - Rowena - reminds the Reverend of a Roy
Harper in the midst of one of his legendary fits. Obligatory to the
spirit of those days there are some tabla and sitar inspired pieces as
well. Amongst the people involved on that album are Ian ‘Sammy’ Samwell
(a Shadow before Cliff Richard(s) came into the picture and later
manager of the folk-rock band America) and all-round session guitarist
Bernie Holland (but as far as we know, no Syd Barrett).
The record didn’t sell as hoped, but of course - and this isn’t meant as
a pejorative comment - Meic Stevens was fishing in about the same pond
as Kevin Ayers, Michael Chapman, Donovan, Roy Harper and of course Syd
It has come to the Church’s ears that Meic Stevens visited Syd on
several occasions at Wetherby Mansions and that he 'recalls the bare
room with one Telecaster and little else'.
Update: Prydwyn was so kind to translate the Syd Barrett related
parts of Meic Stevens Welsh autobiography into English: Meic
meets Syd. A photograph of Meic Stevens with Syd Barrett (and
perhaps Rusty and Gretta) has also surfaced.
In an old post we had JenS talking about her friends Gretta and Rusty.
However there is a mistake in the following quote:
You may be inferring that Rusty and Greta were from Cambridge but they
were from Suffolk and went to Colchester Art School (50 miles from
Cambridge and London respectively), and had only recently come to London.
Rusty did not go to Colchester art School, he went to Ipswich Art
School. His parents eventually moved to Cambridge and he considered it
his base from that point on.
After a while Rusty and Margaretta went separate ways. Rusty apparently
traveled a lot before settling down on a North Frisian island (Germany)
from 1978 till 1993. After a brief stay in a village in the North of
Germany, where he participated in a few art exhibitions, he moved to a
Hamburg suburb and it is believed he is living there since 1995.
Update: the Church managed to contact Mr. Burnhill, but he
refused to talk about the past. Update 2016 11 26: RIP
We leave the final words to Margaretta Barclay:
I feel that Syd has, in the main, been portrayed wrongly as a drug
orientated and mentally deranged musician.
My impression of Syd
was that he was an intelligent, finely tuned artist and extremely
sensitive artist who could not stand the pressure of the attention his
unique talents attracted.
If he locked himself in his room for
days on end, he was entitled to do so - he certainly was not mad - he
did it to preserve his 'genius sanity' and maybe that is why the album
is titled the Madcap Laughs.
A word of the editor
The posts at The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit are not read by a lot of
people. The topics presented here only trigger a small niche market, to
use the marketing vernacular of today and the blog’s harebrained title
may not really invite readers to click.
The amount of people consulting each topic will lie closer to 100 than
to 500 (and these are totals, not clicks per day). But quantity doesn’t
matter, quality does.
It is clear that The Church is consulted, not only by hardcore Syd fans,
but also by newspaper and music magazine journalists and authors of Syd
Barrett related books that have appeared in the past, that will appear
in the (near) future and even some that are still on the author’s laptop.
Furthermore, several people whose name and fame have been discussed here
(and recently in other places) have visited the Church, so tells us The
And perhaps, one day, some of them will agree to see their story
published here as well.
So long my sistren and brethren, and don’t do anything
that Iggy wouldn’t have done!
The Church wishes to thank: Margaretta Barclay for her invaluable
testimony about what really happened in those early days of 1969. JenS.
Sources: (other than internet links mentioned above): Rock,
Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 20. Willis,
Tim: Madcap, Short Books, London, 2002, p. 107.
Tranquillity is slowly descending upon the Holy Church of Inuit like
smog upon Victorian London. Several brethren and sistren
of the Church, and one-time visitors who entered through the front gate
to study its baroque interior, have passed some valid information to the
Reverend and these will be further investigated in the future. The
Reverend also wants to apologise to the people that have been contacted
(and interviewed) last year, especially those associated with The
Cromwellian club. The articles about The Crom have been postponed due to
the unexpected result the Mojo Syd Barrett article created, but they
will - one day - hopefully appear.
To all our readers: please keep on going on giving the Church
information, how futile it may be, but remember that the Reverend will
not break its own rules that stay unchanged even now that Iggy (Evelyn)
has been found. Especially now that Iggy (Evelyn) has been found.
The Reverend is not a souvenir collector who will ring at her bell like
all those so-called (and in the Reverend's eyes: messed up) true fans
used to do at Syd Barrett’s door. Evelyn's wish to be left in peace is
and will be unconditionally granted. The same goes for other witnesses
of the Barrett era, the Church will send them a nice note from time to
time, as a reminder of its presence, but will not break their privacy.
Some will call this bad journalism but the Church is not dependent from
sold issues and follows a strict deontological code.
On the thirteenth of February of this year The Croydon Guardian
published a short, hastily noted down, interview with (a quite
reluctant) Iggy, titled: Croydon
Guardian tracks down elusive rock star muse. Here it is in full
(with some comments from the Reverend):
Croydon Guardian tracks down elusive rock star muse By Kirsty
An iconic model who stole Syd Barrett’s heart in the 1960s has been
found after three decades of anonymity. Known only as Iggy, the
enigmatic woman was immortalised posing naked for the Pink Floyd star’s
solo album, Madcap Laughs. She disappeared in the late 1970s and has
been living in West Sussex, oblivious to her iconic status. In September
2008, the Croydon Guardian appealed for information about the model and,
more than a year later, we managed to track her down.
She inspired artist Anthony Stern, who filmed her dancing in Battersea
Park and also took striking photographs of her on a houseboat in
Chelsea. They were released at the City Wakes festival – a tribute to
Syd Barrett – in October 2008, in Cambridge.
The above has of course been extendedly covered by the Church as well: Anthony
Mr Stern said: “Iggy was my muse. I met her at a Hendrix gig at the
Speakeasy. She entirely captures the spirit of the Sixties, living for
the moment, carefree.”
The club has been described in the (excellent) London Live book
from Tony Bacon as follows (most information about the club has been
taken from that book).
When The Speakeasy was opened by Roy Flynn around the end of 1966 in
Margaret Street, just north of Soho, the rock elite soon discovered a
handy new watering hole, a prime early-hours jamming post, and an
altogether useful hanging-out kind of place.
By May 1967 the club was part of the London spot-the-celebrity
circle next to - amongst others - the Scotch (of St. James) and of
course the Crom. On a good night you could having a drink next to The
Bee Gees, Jeff
Beck or The
Who, although, keeping up his avant-garde experimental jazz
Wyatt from The Soft Machine couldn't care less: "Rock groups meeting
in expensive clubs that are difficult to get into? What's all that crap?"
On the 19th of January 1967 Jimi Hendrix gave the first of 3 concerts at
The Speak. On top of that he would also jam a few times with other
people on stage, including Jose
Feliciano and Georgie
Fame. That night in January he tried to get into Marianne
Faithfull's pants with the seductive remark: "What are you doing
with this jerk, anyway?" The jerk in question was of course Mick Jagger
who wanted to check out the new kid in town.
will know the club for its owner Roy Flynn. When, on the 13th of
December 1968, Sly
And The Family Stone didn't show up for their gig an impromptu band
was found to take their place. When Roy Flynn saw Yes's performance he
was so thrilled that he became their manager for a while. The band
eagerly agreed, not because he had some managerial skills but because
the restaurant at The Speak had an excellent reputation:
Roy had never managed a band before and he kind of took us on and then
the whole world of the Speakeasy opened up (laugh). It was a great club,
I mean, it was a wonderful club, it used to close at 4 AM and we would
not only rehearse there, we would play there some nights, and of course
after a gig if we were playing within, let's say 150 miles from London,
we would rush and go to the Speakeasy and eat there, and most of the
meals were completely free. So for about a year I ate pretty good. Most
of the evenings I ate there. Because that was the life style, we would
be in the Speakeasy after 3 AM and the kitchen still would be opened and
the food was not fantastic but thanks to Roy Flynn we would get free
food and quite a lot of few drinks as well. (Peter
Banks, who invented the band's name and left the group in 1970)
The extensive Jimi Hendrix gig database
located at Rich Dickinson only mentions 3 genuine Jimi Hendrix
performances in 1967: the aforementioned gig on the 19th of January 1967
and two more in March: 8th March 1967 and 21st March 1967. So Iggy (and
Anthony Stern) must have attended one of these. For the completists
amongst us the Church gives now the complete list of Hendrix sightings
at the Speakeasy (1967): 67-01-19: Gig. 67-02-22: Press
reception for the Soft Machine. 67-03-08: Gig. 67-03-16:
Launching party for Track records (Jimi gives three interviews). 67-03-21:
Gig. 67-04-17: Jam (on bass) with Georgie Fame (on organ) and
Ben E. King (drums). 67-05-08: Brian Auger Trinity Concert. 67-06-04:
Jose Feliciano concert and onstage jam. 67-12-06: Party for The
Foundations. 67-12-22: Musicians from Christmas on Earth and Hendrix
jam until the morning hours. 67-12-31: New Year's Eve Party where
Jimi plays a thirty minute 'Auld Lang Syne'.
There is quite an intriguing picture
on page 103 of the London Live book, showing co-managers Roy Flynn and
Mike Carey, sitting at the Speakeasy bar, accompanied by two ladies.
According to CowleyMod
one of the women undoubtedly is Ig. Although most of the members of the
Church do not think it is her the Church wants to give Cowleymod the
benefit of the doubt and the visitors of the Church the chance to make
up their own mind (click here
to see the full picture). Update (November 2010): it has been
confirmed to the Church that the person on the picture is NOT Iggy /
Iggy said: “I cannot believe there is a film of me, that there are
photos of me.”
Iggy spent a brief part of the 60s
living in Croydon with DJ Jeff Dexter, who used to play at the Orchid
Ballroom. She said: “The Orchid Ballroom was the place to be, the
atmosphere was fantastic. I loved going there, I loved to dance. Jeff
wanted to turn me and two other lovely girls into the English version of
the Supremes, but that never happened.”
She does not
like to talk much about Syd Barrett, but admits she lived with him in
Chelsea in the late 1960s. She said: “Syd was so beautiful looking. We
had a relationship, I lived with him for a while.”
Although the Reverend is aware of at least four witnesses who have
confirmed in different biographies (and directly to the Church) that
Iggy and Syd weren't an item this is now contradicted by Evelyn herself.
It was at that time she became known as Iggy the Eskimo. She said: “In
part I made up the nickname. The rest was the photographer Mick Rock,
who asked where I was from. I said ‘my mother is from the Himalayas’ and
he said ‘we will call you Iggy the Eskimo’.”
Update March 2018: Iggy's mother, so was confirmed to us, didn't
live near the Himalaya's, but at the Lushai Hills, a mountain range in
Mizoram, Mizoram, situated at the North-East of India, sharing borders
with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The Church will not deny that Mick Rock may have thrown around the 'Iggy
the Eskimo' nickname to describe the mysterious girl on his pictures but
the epithet dates from much earlier. It was first spotted in the NME
magazine from the 25th of November 1966 (more than 2 years earlier)
where Evelyn was described as 'Another Bender - model IGGY, who is
Mick Rock took the pictures for Madcap Laughs. Iggy said: “When Mick
turned up to take the photos I helped paint the floor boards for the
shoot, I was covered in paint, I still remember the smell of it. In the
pictures my hair looks quite funny, I remember hiding my face behind it
because I did not want my mum and dad to see it."
Again other witnesses tell other stories. They claim that Syd (with a
little help from Iggy) painted the floor boards early in the year,
certainly before April 1969. As Syd only started recording mid-April it
is a bit weird that he painted the boards especially for the album
cover, unless - of course - he (and with him Mick Rock) already had the
cover in mind before the recording sessions started. A theory that is
She broke up with Syd Barrett shortly after the photo shoot and moved to
Brighton. She said: “I have just been living very quietly, I left London
in the 70s and I got married in 1978. I met so many people in the 60s –
the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart. I was a free
spirit. I have left that life behind me now.”
The Church would gladly accept to publish her memoires though.
But until that happens, my dear sistren and brethren,
don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't have done…
A new gallery has been uploaded containing the complete Come
with NME for a pic-visit to THE CROMWELLIAN article and pictures
from New Musical Express 1037, 25 November 1966. Photographs by Napier
Russel & Barry Peake. Words by Norrie Drummond. (Just another world
exclusive from the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.)
Sources (other than the above internet links): Bacon, Tony: London
Live, Balafon Books, London, 1999, p. 101-104.
Purloined Letter (1845) from Edgar
Allan Poe dozens of intelligence officers search a room to
recuperate some blackmailing material but they fail to locate it. Enters C.
Auguste Dupin, probably the very first detective in fiction, who
simply picks the letter from a card-rack. It had never been concealed
but as the policemen had been looking for a hidden object they never
cared to check the paper, lying out in the open.
When the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit started its mission it was
generally believed that The
Madcap Laughs photo shoot had taken place in the autumn of 1969.
Mainly because every Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett related book said so and
- for over 30 years of time - nobody had ever cared to check the facts.
(Also Rob Chapman's A
Very Irregular Head biography, that has just appeared a couple of
days ago, situates the floor paint job and thus the photo shoot
somewhere between August and November 1969.)
Of course the witnesses saying that the shoot had taken place in the
last quarter of 1969 were quite privileged authorities on the life and
works of Barrett and thus their testimonies have never been questioned
(and as we will reveal later, their comments may be - partly - true).
Malcolm Jones was the Harvest manager who partly produced Barrett's
first solo album and who wrote an acclaimed (for Syd fans anyway) book
about these sessions.
One day in October or November (1969, FA) I had cause to drop in
at Syd's flat on my way home to leave him a tape of the album, and what
I saw gave me quite a start. In anticipation of the photographic session
for the sleeve, Syd had painted the bare floorboards of his room orange
and purple. (…) Syd was well pleased with his days work and I must say
it made a fine setting for the session due to take place.
And in his Psychedelic Renegades book Mick Rock writes:
We shot The Madcap Laughs in the autumn of 1969 and I don’t think that
Syd and Duggie Fields had been living in the flat that long. (…) Soon
after Syd moved in he painted alternating floor boards orange and
The above contains a contradiction, although Mick Rock probably isn't
(wasn't) aware of that. Syd Barrett, Duggie Fields and a third tenant
called Jules moved in the apartment in January 1969 (perhaps December
1968) and certainly not later. A while later Jules was kicked out
because he didn't pay the rent.
Duggie Fields recalls in The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story
that the floorboards were painted 'quite quickly' after they had moved
in and said in the Mojo Madcap issue:
When Jules left Iggy came soon after and she wasn't there for long.
Jenny Spires (Syd's ex) brought her round. Iggy was just around, she
didn't officially live here.
has indeed confirmed to the Church: "I took her (Iggy) to Wetherby
Mansions in January 1969." (Did the Reverend ever tell that it was
thanks to biographer Julian Palacios that the Church got in contact with
It is hard to remember things after 40 years, and even harder to
pinpoint an exact date for certain events, but JenS certainly wasn't in
England anymore in April as she had left for America, and by then the
floor boards had already been painted. "When Syd and Gretta et al went
to The Isle of Wight Trina - Gretta's sister - and I were in America and
heading for the Woodstock Rock Festival."
Also Iggy (or Evelyn, in her interview with
the Croydon Guardian) and Margaretta Barclay (in her interview
with the Church) remember the painted floorboards. But opinions differ
whether the floor boards were painted with a photo session in mind or
Just like several (tiny) details in the pictures have given away the
date, the answer may lie in the pictures themselves. What most
people, including the Reverend, have neglected to do for the last 40
years was to look for the obvious. Not so for Late
Night member and Syd Barrett collector Dark Globe:
After reading Jenny Spires's claim that the floorboards were painted
when Syd moved into the flat, long before the Madcap photo session, I
had another look at some of the photos. (…)
gun' for me is the can of paint and paintbrush which appears in one of
the Madcap session photos:
this would imply that the floorboards had only been painted recently.
course, it could be that he was only 'topping them up' but it certainly
looks like he (and maybe Iggy) had done some painting close to the
The photographic evidence is there.
The Mick Rock pictures from Syd Barrett's room not only reveal that
parts of the floor had not
been painted yet but also show that a can of (blue) paint and a big
paintbrush are hiding next to Syd's mattress, together with a coffee mug
and an empty wine glass.
At least two Storm Thorgerson pictures from that spring day show the
paint can as well. The booklet
of the Crazy Diamond Syd Barrett box shows the (partly cut off) can at
the left side of the picture and the print of the so-called toy plane picture
that was sold on eBay in November last
year has it in full. It is a pity that only a very small image of
this print exists and that its owner, if (s)he is aware of its
existence, still hasn't donated some hi-res scans to the Syd Barrett
Whilst Mick Rock was at it he also took some 'nude
study' pictures from Iggy but this time the Reverend will not get
exited over her churrigueresque features but over her dirty feet. Her
feet are black (or should that be: blue?) and probably she had been
walking barefoot over the wet paint.
Stating the obvious is difficult when one is too concentrated on a
subject. Church member Banjer and Sax found a simple explanation
why painting a floor in two different colours will take several days or
Maybe it took several days to complete the job, more than two days, and
they would not necessarily have to have been consecutive days. So maybe
days passed or even months passed between different phases of floor
painting. It seems like it could have been difficult to do both colours
at the same time.
The logical thing to do is indeed wait for the first colour to dry
before starting the second colour. But the mystery of The Madcap Laughs
photo shoot only gets bigger and, as usual, archbishop Dark Globe
is to blame:
There was more than one photo shoot though. A second photo shoot (not by
Mick Rock, but by Storm Thorgerson, FA) shows Syd doing yoga and
posing in front of one of his paintings. The floorboards are painted in
these photos so they were probably taken sometime after the session with
Iggy. Syd's hair is a noticeably longer in these photos too.
These pictures were used by Hipgnosis for the cover of the vinyl
compilation Syd Barrett. It is obvious that they were taken on a
later date: the floor seems to be completely painted, but also the room
has been reorganised. While the far left corner on the daffodil session pictures
is empty it suddenly contains some canvas and paint during the yoga
Perhaps Storm took some photos later in the year and maybe this is how
the legend came into place that The Madcap Laughs photo session was made
This is not as far-fetched as it seems.
Autumn Photo Session
Mick Rock states: "This '69 session was specifically done for Syd's
first solo album, The Madcap Laughs" and Storm Thorgerson more or less
claims that Hipgnosis had been summoned by record company Harvest to do
But if the daffodil photo shoot really took place, as proposed by the
Church between the 14th and 21st of April 1969, Syd
Barrett had only been at two, maximum three, recording sessions for the
album. (If only we could find out the date of the newspaper lying next
to Barrett's bed?)
It is hard to believe that Harvest would approach Hipgnosis after three
studio sessions, especially as Syd Barrett was still regarded as a
liability. Between May and July of the previous year Barrett had wasted
eight recording sessions and basically EMI had given up. Peter Jenner:
It was chaos…. (…) There were always these tantalising glimpses and that
was what kept you going. (…) I think we just came to the conclusion that
we weren't getting anywhere.
So although the April 10 and 11 sessions of 1969 had been very promising
(and the one on the 17th as well) it is unlikely that the managing
director of Harvest was already thinking he had chart material. And
quite rightly so, because the fourth session was disastrous and has been
used in books and articles to emphasize Syd's lunatic behaviour. And it
wasn't getting better...
Different people tell different stories but the bottom line is that less
than a month after the first (April 1969) recording session Malcolm
Jones simply gave up. David Gilmour, who took over the producer seat in
June, maintains until today that he was asked to salvage the sessions
from the dustbin, although Malcolm Jones has tried to minimise this and
claimed that the Madcap project had not really been shelved.
It was already August 1969 when the Cantabrigian Pink Floyd members
started (stereo-)mixing the tapes, and as the band had a busy schedule
and wanted to have some holidays as well, it would take until October
for the master tapes to be ready. Now here is what the Reverend calls an
appropriate moment for the record company to commission a sleeve.
Summer 1969. Harvest hotshots ask Hipgnosis to design a sleeve for the
album that is in its final mix. Storm Thorgerson goes to Syd's flat to
take the so-called yoga-shots,
but decides later, for whatever reason, to use the (Mick Rock
influenced) daffodil-shots instead. (Probably when Thorgerson presented
the sleeve to Harvest, he didn't tell that the pictures came really from
a photo shoot earlier in the year. That's how we know Storm.)
A legend is born.
We leave the last word to JenS who was so friendly to contact us again:
It's truly astonishing about the floor! All I can say is the floor had
already been painted when I arrived. (January 1969, FA)
There were parts of the room unfinished in the bay window and to the
right hand corner of the room and fireplace where Syd's bed was
originally and where Iggy is poised on the stool. I guess they must have
had to paint these remaining bits before the shoot. They may also of
course given it a second, more refreshing coat for the shoot.
Interesting, bit by bit a more accurate picture is emerging.
To accompany this article a new gallery has been uploaded: Paintbox.
Sources (other than the above internet links): Chapman, Rob: A
Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 235. Drummond,
Paul: In My Room, Mojo 196, March 2010, p. 82. Direct link
to the scanned pdf
document (hosted at the Church). Fields, Duggie
interview in: The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story, DVD UK Ltd
2005. Jones, Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain
Damage, 2003, p. 13. Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry
Red Books, London, 2001, p. 136, p. 138. Rock, Mick: Psychedelic
Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 18-19, p. 58. The paint can
pictures can be found at pages 72, 76, 83 and 84. Iggy's dirty feet on
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
The Church of Iggy the Inuit may not have as many adherers as, let's
say: the Lady
Gaga fanclub, but we're quite happy with it. Iggy (Evelyn) has
earned a place in our hearts and that not only for that COD (Crusty Old
Dinosaur) of a Reverend. It constantly amazes us that - even today -
young people still discover Ig's beauty and joyfulness, as proven in the
Thank you for the wonderful interview and for the lovely new photos you
shared with us. It was really endearing of you to talk about your
relationship with Syd. It was nice to hear you guys had a wonderful time
together. It was really nice on your part to also share your experiences
during those days; the people you met and the places and festivals you
I would also like to say you still and always will be a beautiful model
to me. I love all your beautiful pictures, (you look like a beautiful
princess with the white dress) and the short film clips we have of you
on the web. You truly are a fun and lovely person.
Thanks again for opening your heart to us and I wish you the best in life
Griselda, California, USA
When the lady smiles
Yesterday the Reverend came across her unforgettable smile again that
has been immortalised in a Look At Life documentary from 1967
Gear. An unconfirmed story goes that Granada
Television burned about 500 Look At Life originals (and negatives) at a
certain point in history. Luckily several (restored) movies have been
issued on DVD recently, although it could be that some documentaries
have been lost forever. Nobody really knows really. But the IN Gear
movie is still available on the Swingin'
London DVD, while the stock lasts, as the company that distributed
them did the indecent thing of going bankrupt. (More to read at: Iggy
Not only the Reverend is susceptible to her laugh, also a kid named Syd
Barrett kinda liked her. One spring-day in 1969 Mick
Rock and Storm
Thorgerson knocked at Syd's door to take the pictures that would
later adorn The
Madcap Laughs. A lot has been said about this photo-shoot, also at
the Church, and it is the Reverend's impression that the truth still
hasn't fully emerged, mainly due to the fact that both photographers
have slightly different memories about it all and are, still after all
these years, arguing like young boys to make out who has the biggest
one. (It was then that the Pink Floyd composed their track: Careful with
that Pentax, Eugene). But be cognisant, brethren and sistren,
that no storm will stop the Church and that the Reverend will leave no
rock unturned. (More to read at: Storm
Enough dilly-dallying Syd Barrett thought that day, let's take those
pictures and let's get on with it. Iggy, feet still dirty from the
freshly painted floor, was there to help him:
I put the Kohl around his eyes that day and tousled his hair: Come on
Syd, give us a smile, moody, moody, moody! But he knew exactly what he
Indeed, Syd Barrett put himself into Arthur
Rimbaud mood and refused to smile on the pictures. With hindsight
one could link that to the title of his first solo-album, only that
album didn't have a title yet and most of the tracks still had to be
canned. After a while the action was moved to the outside, probably at
Mick Rock's demand. Several of these pictures, with Syd and Ig, have
appeared in Rock's Psychedelic
Renegades book and some can be consulted at our Street
Life gallery, although it needs to be said that the Church has done
its utmost best to remove that Syd Barrett character from the pictures
and to put Iggy at its focal point.
It is also believed that Storm Thorgerson joined the lot and that he
took the few colour pictures that have survived us into the third
millennium. In a previous post the Church discussed these (and all
other) pictures of The Madcap Laughs: A
Bay of Hope (2009, already!)
Gentle ladies take Polaroids
One of the outside
colour pictures (to be found on some versions of the vinyl
Nice Pair) show Syd Barrett with a broad smile as if his serious
mask had finally been shattered to pieces. Who or what had penetrated
his defence barrier?
When this picture was discussed a while ago at the Late
Night forum Dominae suggested:
I'm almost certain it is from a Polaroid.
I wonder if Iggy took it? It's so rare to see a broad smile. (Taken from Photo
Upgrade at Late Night.)
But this proposition was almost immediately abandoned as being a lot of
rubbish, until on Valentine
Day of this year, Iggy told the Church through Mark
Yes, it was me that took the picture of Syd smiling in the street.
Two days later she added some further explanations:
Well spotted Dominae. I was the one who took the picture. I think Mick
Rock handed me the Polaroid. I remember squealing with delight when the
photo appeared. It was the first time I had seen a Polaroid.
Also her encouragements towards Syd to finally break into a smile ("Come
on Syd, give us a smile, moody, moody, moody!") was probably uttered on
the street with the Polaroid in her hand and not above in the flat, as
she previously told Mark Blake. Her softly spoken magic spells had
finally laser-beamed through Syd's defence shield and Mick Rock turned
the magical moment into some portraits where the mad-cat really laughed
(see Psychedelic Renegades, page 33) .
But this still doesn't account for the fact how on earth this photo
ended up at the Hipgnosis archives (together with quite a few Mick Rock
prints). Perhaps the Polaroid belonged to Storm Thorgerson as Mick Rock
only had a second-hand 35mm camera that he had bought from Po (Aubrey
Powell). Nothing to get worried about now, but it might be a sweet
revenge to know that for decades, people thought they had been looking
at Syd Barrett: taken by Storm, while it really was: Syd Barrett, taken
Update 2011 02 21: the quite exquisite (but hyper-expensive) Barrett
coffee-table book will have some Storm Thorgerson outtakes of The Madcap
Laughs photo-shoot as well. Dark Globe already had an exclusive preview
of this work and commented:
This [solo years, note by FA] section starts with a brace
of very rare photos from the 'Madcap Laughs' session taken by Storm
Thorgerson. These were taken at the same session which is documented in
Mick Rock's 'Psychedelic Renegades' book and most of them haven't been
seen before. Perhaps the best of the lot is the one of Syd sitting on
the painted floorboards and smiling broadly (perhaps at Iggy?) (Taken
'Barrett' book - a preview.)
Stand by me
Before we end our sermon, dear sistren and brethren, just
another thing. Last year the Church suggested that Iggy could possibly
be found on a John Lennon portrait that was taken during a party at the
Cromwellian in January 1967. To know the outcome, please follow the
guide and head your browsers towards the following path: Dr
Death and other assorted figures...
And for the meantime, don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't do.
The Church wishes to thank: Mark Blake, Dark Globe, Dominae, Griselda
and the beautiful people at Late Night. ♥ Iggy ♥
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 Holy Igquisition has got a little black book with Roger
Waters' interesting quotes in. Needless to say that this is a very
thin book, with lots of white space, but here is a phrase from the Pink
Floyd's creative genius (his words, not ours) this article
would like to begin with.
There are no simple facts. We will all invent a history that suits us
and is comfortable for us, and we may absolutely believe our version to
be the truth. (…) The brain will invent stuff, move stuff around, and so
from 30 years ago (…) there's no way any of us can actually get at the
The Reverend would – however – first want to ask one fundamental
question, of which our readers may not be quite aware of the
significance of it... If Roger Waters is such a creative genius writing
poignant one-liners criticizing his fellow rock colleagues:
Lloyd-Webber's awful stuff. Runs for years and years and years. (…) Then
the piano lid comes down. And breaks his fucking fingers. (It's
A Miracle, Amused
...why then does he agree to release hyper-priced Immersion boxes
containing a scarf, some marbles, carton toasters, playing cards, other
debris and, oh yeah, incidentally some music as well? One can only
conclude it's a miracle. Let's just hope he doesn't get near a
piano for the next couple of years.
But probably we are too harsh in our criticism, Roger Waters has told
the press before that he is simply outvoted by the other Pink Floyd
members. This is a situation that used to be different in the past when
he reigned over the band as the sun
king, but like he will remember from his Ça
Ira days, these are the pros and cons of capitalist democracy.
A typical Floydian example of false memory syndrome is the visit of Syd
Barrett in the Abbey
Road studios on the 5th of June 1975. It is a mystery to us why EMI
didn't ask for entrance money that day as a complete soccer team,
including the four Pink Floyd members David
Mason, Roger Waters and Rick
Wright, claim they have seen, met and spoken to Syd Barrett.
Roadie (and guitar technician) Phil Taylor remembers he had a
drink in the mess with Syd and David. Stormtrooper Thorgerson
has had his say about it all but if one would give him the opportunity
he would argue – probably in yet another book rehashing the same old
material – that he started the band Pink Floyd at the first place. Other
'reliable' witnesses that day include (alphabetically sorted): Venetta
Fields, backing singer and member of The
Leckie, EMI engineer and producer (but not on Wish
You Were Here) Nick
Sedgwick, friend of Roger Waters and 'official' biographer of Pink
Shirley, Humble Pie drummer and friend of David Gilmour Carlena
Williams, backing singer and member of The Blackberries
Some say that Barrett visited the studio for two or three days in a row
and three people, including his former managers Peter
Jenner and Andrew
King, claim they spoke to Syd Barrett about a month later on David
Gilmour's wedding while the bridegroom himself claims that Syd Barrett
never showed up. To quote Pink Floyd biographer Mark
Blake: “...not two people in Pink Floyd's world have matching
stories...”, and neither do two biographies...
(A more detailed article about Barrett's visits during the Wish You Were
Here sessions, with pictures!, can be found at: Shady
In his most recent, but probably not his last, picture book about Syd
Rock writes the following:
He (Syd Barrett, FA) asked me to take photos for the sleeve of
his first solo album The Madcap Laughs that autumn. At the time he was
living with yet another very pretty young lady known only as Iggy the
Eskimo. She wasn't really his girlfriend although clearly they had a
sexual relationship. But of course her presence in some of the photos we
took that day added an important element that enhanced their magical
Most biographies (all but one, Julian Palacios' Dark
Globe, in fact) put the date of The Madcap Laughs photo shoot in the
autumn of 1969 and this thanks to testimonies of Storm
Thorgerson, Mick Rock and, most of all, Malcolm
Jones. The Church, however, beliefs there is a 'misinformation
effect' in play. Researchers have found out that people will
automatically fill in the blanks in their memory if a so-called reliable
witness comes with an acceptable story. This would not be the first time
this happens in Pink Floyd history. And probably there have been 'cover
picture' meetings after summer between Harvest
perhaps even leading to an alternative Storm Thorgerson photo shoot (the
But in the end it was decided to use the daffodils session from
That the Church's theory (with the help of JenS) wasn't that far-fetched
was proven in March 2010 when the rock magazine Mojo
consecrated a three pages long article to pinpoint the date of the
shooting of The Madcap Laughs, with testimonies from Duggie Fields, Mick
Rock, Jenny Spires and Storm Thorgerson. The article and the Church's
comments can be found at Goofer
Dust [(I've got my) Mojo (working)... Part 2].
We know from JenS, Duggie Fields and Gretta
Barclay that Iggy arrived early 1969, and helped painting the floor,
but the only person who didn't comment on this was Iggy Rose herself. So
one freezing winter day The Holy Church asked her if she could have been
around at Wetherby Mansion, after the summer of 1969...
Iggy Rose: "I don't think it was that late, but I have to admit
it was almost 45 years ago. I remember I was cold, and they had a
one-bar-heater to try and keep me warm. I stayed a week here and there
and I never gave that photo shoot another thought. Later I found out
when Mick Rock came back for the second shoot he was disappointed I
Syd met Iggy (Pt. 1)): "I took Ig to Wetherby Mansions in January or
February 1969 where she met Syd Barrett. (…) I introduced Iggy to Syd
shortly before I left (to America, FA), and she was around when I
left. She wasn’t there for long and generally moved around a lot to
Iggy Rose: "I had absolutely no idea how mammoth he was. Syd
never came on to me as the Big I Am. In fact when he played his rough
tracks of The Madcap Laughs he was so endearingly sweet and appealing...
Even asking me whether it was good enough to take to some bloke at EMI
Margaretta Barclay (Gretta
Speaks (Pt. 2)): "Iggy moved about and stayed with all sorts of
people in all sorts of places without declaring her intention to do so.
To my knowledge there was no ‘when Iggy left Syd’ moment. We were all
free spirits then, who moved whenever and wherever a whim took us."
Iggy Rose: "I wasn't even aware of who Syd Barrett really was. Of
course I knew of Pink Floyd. I must have seen them perform at Crystal
Palace but they were to me an obscure avant-garde underground band, who
played way-out music I couldn't dance to."
Jenny Spires (public conversation at Iggy Roses' Facebook
page): "Ig, Syd painted the floor boards as soon as he moved in
Christmas 68. When I moved in with him in January there were still
patches not done, by the door, in the window under the mattress where we
slept, in top right hand corner of the room. When he painted it
initially, he didn't wash the floor first. He just painted straight onto
all the dust etc... Dave (Gilmour) also painted his floor red..."
Duggie Fields (Mojo): "It was pretty primitive, two-bar electric
fire, concreted-up fireplaces... it was an area in decline. I don't
think there was anything, no cooker, bare floorboards..."
Mate (alleged visitor at Wetherby Mansions, FA): "The
three rooms all faced the street. On entering the house, the first room
was Fields', the second and largest, I guess about 25 square meters,
Barrett's. The third and smallest room was a communal room or a bedroom
for guests. Gala (Pinion, FA) stayed there. In the corridor were
some closets stuffed with clothes.
Then the floor bended to a small bathroom, I think it was completely at
the inside without a window. At the back was the kitchen with a window
to the garden. It was not very big and looked exactly like in the
Fifties. The bathroom was also rather simple, I mean, still with a small
tub. I don't remember how the bathroom floor looked like though."
Update 2016: 'Mate' is an anonymous witness who claims to have
been an amorous friend of Syd Barrett, visiting him several times in
London and Cambridge between 1970 and 1980. However, later
investigations from the Church have found out that this person probably
never met Syd and is a case of pseudologia fantastica. This
person, however, has a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of Syd Barrett and
early Pink Floyd and probably the above description of Syd's flat is
Iggy Rose: "I think Gala had the small room, Duggie the second
and Syd the largest. She had a lot of perfumes and soaps and gave me a
nice bubbly bath once... ...and tampons." (Launches one of her legendary
roaring laughs provoking a temporarily hearing loss with the Reverend.)
Any colour you like
Ian Barrett: "The stereo in the picture ended up at my house, and
I am pretty sure I had the record player in my bedroom for a good few
years. God knows where it is now though..."
Iggy Rose: "I wonder what happened to the old heavy tape recorder
with the giant spools. I remember Syd carrying it over for me to listen
to his rough cut of The Madcap Laughs."
Malcolm Jones (The Making Of The Madcap Laughs): "In anticipation
of the photographic session for the sleeve, Syd had painted the bare
floorboards of his room orange and purple."
Mick Rock (Psychedelic Renegades): "Soon after Syd moved in he
painted alternating floor boards orange
JenS: "I was staying with Syd between the New Year and March '69.
(…) Anyway, at that time, the floor was already painted blue
and orange and I remember thinking how
good it looked on the Madcap album cover later on when the album was
Iggy Rose (The
Croydon Guardian): "When Mick (Rock, FA) turned up to
take the photos I helped paint the floor boards for the shoot, I was
covered in paint, I still remember the smell of it."
Margaretta Barclay (Gretta
Speaks): "I remember that Iggy was involved with the floor painting
project and that she had paint all over her during the floor painting
time but I was not involved with the painting of the floor."
Iggy Rose (Mojo):
"He jumped off the mattress and said, 'Quick, grab a paint brush.' He
did one stripe and I did another. If you look at Mick Rock's pictures, I
have paint on the soles of my feet."
Duggie Fields (The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story): "I think he
painted the floor boards, sort of quite quickly. He didn't prepare the
floor, I don't think he swept the floor actually. (…) And he hadn't
planned his route out of the bed that was over there. He painted around
the bed and I think there was a little problem getting out of the room.
(…) He painted himself in."
Jenny Fabian (Days In The Life):: "He'd painted every other floor
board alternate colours red and green."
Iggy Rose: "I remember the mattress being against the
wall......Soooooo either we ran out of paint, or waited till the paint
dried, so poor Syd was marooned in the middle of the floor. (…) The
floorboards were painted red and blue.
I do remember, as the paint was on my feet and bottom. Did you know that
Syd wanted to take the colours right up the wall?"
Mate: "The planks were painted in a bright fiery-red,
perhaps with a slight tendency towards orange,
and dark blue with a shadow of violet.
Iggy is absolutely right: this was no orange's
orange. The curtains were dark
green velvet." (This witness may be a mythomaniac,
Mick Rock: "They were long exposures because of the low light and
they were push-developed which means that you give the film more time in
the processing fluid. You can tell because the colour changes and
the film starts to break up which causes that grainy effect."
Libby Gausden: "I always thought it was orange
paint, not red." Iggy
Rose: "Careful Libs darling! People will start to analyse that, the
way they did with the dead daffodils." Libby Gausden:
"Well they had faded from red to orange
when I got there."
Jenny Spires (public conversation
at Iggy Roses' Facebook
page): "The floor was painted long before you arrived Ig and was blue
and orange. You and Syd might have given
it another lick of paint and covered up some of the patchiness and bare
floorboard that was under the mattress before the Rock/Thorgersen shoot.
Perhaps, he only had red paint for that,
but it was blue and orange."
Mate: "Even in 1970 there were still unpainted parts in the room,
hidden under a worn rug. I suppose the floor had been beige-white before
Syd and Iggy painted it in dark blue
with a shadow of violet and bright orangy
red . The floor boards had not been carefully painted and
were lying under a thick shiny coat. The original pitch-pine wood didn't
In my impression it was an old paint-job and I didn't realise that Syd
had done it all by himself the year before. I never spoke with him about
the floor as I couldn't predict that it would become world-famous one
day. It is also weird that nearly nobody seems to remember the third
room..." (This witness may be a mythomaniac, see above.)
Mick Rock: "I actually went back a couple of weeks later. We
still didn't know what the LP was going to be called and we thought we
might need something different for the inner sleeve or some publicity
Iggy Rose: "I did go back afterwards and maybe Syd mentioned this
to someone. I wasn't bothered and I didn't know Syd was some big pop
star. He never lived like one and certainly didn't behave like."
When Iggy disappeared it wasn't to marry a rich banker or to go to Asia.
As a matter of fact she was only a few blocks away from the already
crumbling underground scene. One day she returned to the flat and heard
that Barrett had returned to Cambridge. She would never see Syd again
and wasn't aware of the fact that her portrait was on one of the most
mythical records of all time.
Update 2016: The above text, although meant to be tongue in
cheek, created a rift between the Reverend and one of the cited
witnesses, that still hasn't been resolved 4 years later. All that over
a paint job from nearly 50 years ago.
Many thanks to: Margaretta Barclay, Duggie Fields, Libby Gausden, Mate,
Iggy Rose, JenS & all of you @ NML & TBtCiIiY...
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 231-232. Clerk,
Carol: If I'm honest, my idea was that we should go our separate ways,
Roger Waters interview in Uncut June 2004, reprinted in: The Ultimate
Music Guide Issue 6 (from the makers of Uncut): Pink Floyd, 2011, p. 111. Gladstone,
Shane: The Dark Star, Clash 63, July 2011, p. 53 (Mick Rock
picture outtakes). Green,
Jonathon: Days In The Life, Pimlico, London, 1998, p.168. Jones,
Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p.
13. Mason, Nick: Inside Out, Orion Books, London, 2011
reissue, p. 206-208. Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades,
Plexus, London, 2007, p. 18-19, Rock, Mick: Syd Barrett - The
Photography Of Mick Rock, EMI Records Ltd, London & Palazzo Editions
Ltd, Bath, 2010, p. 10-11. Spires, Jenny: Facebook
conversation with Iggy Rose, July 2011.
On the 6th June of 1970 Syd Barrett gave his short Olympia concert
together with David Gilmour and Jerry
Shirley. We won't get further into the discussion about the set's
brevity and about the fact that a certain faction of Barrett fans and
musicians, including Mohammed Abdullah John 'Twink' Alder, think
that the tape of that gig is in fact a Stars performance of February
1972, but we will use this date as a calibration point for Syd's...
length of hair.
The friendly discussion about the exact colour of Syd's floor boards
created an existential crisis in Barrett-land (see: The
Case of the Painted Floorboards (v 2.012)), with people who refuse
to talk to each other ever since, and the hair-length discussion
promises to be as lively. As a matter of fact Syd's Hair Chronology is
not a new topic, we could find a Late Night forum
thread from 2007, but like all things Syd this discussion comes up
about every 6 months or so.
the second solo album, was released on 14 November 1970 and his
management found it advisable to have some photo shoots and interviews
to promote the album.
Barrie Wentzell had the following to say about this:
Chris Welch and I went along to do a quick interview with Syd at his
managers office. We were a bit apprehensive, as stories of Syd's
behavior of late seemed bizarre. When we got there, we were met by a
very upset guy who said Syd had locked himself into a room and he
wouldn't come out. Oh dear! It seemed the stories were true. Chris and I
spoke to him through the door and tried to convince him that we were his
friends and that everything was ok. He slowly opened the door and
ushered us in quickly shutting and locking the door behind us. He stood
there looking very frightened, muttering, Those people out there are
aliens, and are after me! We tried to tell him that they were his
management and friends and they cared about him, as do we. He seemed
unconvinced, and I took this dark side of Syd pictures and managed to
persuade him to let Chris and I out and that we'd send help. He took the
key from his pocket, unlocked the door. We escaped and Syd locked
himself back inside. Taken from: Snapgalleries.
The pictures of Syd Barrett, taken that day by Barrie Wentzell, have
been nicknamed the 'stoned tramp' session and show an unshaven Syd
Barrett with mid-long hair and a pair of eyes that not always seem to be
focusing on something (see: second picture). One of them appeared in
Melody Maker of the 31st of January 1971, next to the Chris Welch
article that was titled: Confusion
and Mr Barrett. (To add further discombobulation Barrie Wentzell
dates the picture as 1971 on his own website,
but it is – probably – from November 1970.)
Let's Call the Whole Thing Off (aka I like tomato)
In Autumn 1970, Barrett was living semi-permanently in his mother's
house in Cambridge, far away from the frantic London beatnik drug scene
he had been a member, propagator and victim of. He had deliberately left
everything and everybody behind to find some peace of mind. Perhaps he
had decided to follow Gala Pinion, who had found a job at Joshua Taylor,
a Cambridge department store and who had left London a few months
earlier. One of Syd's many dreams was to settle down and start a family.
Gala and Syd officially announced their engagement in October after they
had found a ring at Antiquarius on King's Road.
To celebrate this event a joint family engagement dinner was organised
but that day Syd was not in a very good shape. While Donald, Alan, Ruth,
Roe and Gala's father where staring at each other in silence he threw
some tomato soup over his fiancé and disappeared for the bathroom when
the roast pork arrived... Julian Palacios:
He cut off his long hair to an inch from his skull and returned
downstairs. As though the sixties had never happened, he severed links
with his past with a pair of scissors. He rejoined the family fold,
taking his place at the table in silence. Gala said, ‘No one batted an
eyelid. They carried on with the meal as if nothing had happened, didn’t
say a word. I thought, “Are they mad or is it me?’”
It is not sure when this dinner took place, but it might have been after
the Barrett promo interview(s), so December 1970 seems like a valid
candidate. The dinner fiasco was an omen for things to come, Syd would
spy on Gala at her work and accused her to have an affair with a sales
assistant and with his former drummer, Jerry Shirley. One day Barrett
wrote a formal letter to break off the engagement and she returned the
ring, but he would still harass her for weeks to come. During a final
row, incidentally at Jerry Shirley's place, Barrett finally understood
that he had lost. Even Syd must have grasped at one point that showing
up at night and scaring the shit out of her was not the proper way to
win her back.
A few months later, that same Barrie Wetzell photographed Barrett to
accompany the famous Michael Watts article that appeared in Melody Maker
on the 27th of March 1971 (see third picture above).
Barrett has very short hair and looks rather agile:
Syd Barrett came up to London last week and talked in the office of his
music publisher, his first press interview for about a year. His hair is
cut very short now, almost like a skinhead. Symbolic? Of what, then? He
is very aware of what is going on around him, but his conversation is
often obscure; it doesn't always progress in linear fashion. Taken from: Syd
Barrett interview, Melody Maker, Mar 27 1971, Michael Watts.
The above quote points out that the 'skinhead' pictures date from mid
March 1971, although on Wetzell's website
they are mislabelled as 1970. Steve Turner of Beat Instrumental met Syd
on the 19th of April 1971:
He now has his hair cropped to Love Me Do length but compromises with a
purple satin jacket and stack heeled boots. During the interview he
relights each cigarette from the remnants of the previous one and pivots
his eyeballs at an incredible speed as he speaks. "I've just left a
train and had to pay an awful taxi ride" he says slowly tipping his ash
into an empty coffee cup. "I've come to look for a guitar. I've got a
neck in the other room. Quite an exciting morning for me." Something
about him makes you think that this may well be right. Taken from: Syd
Psychedelic Veteran (free subscription to read).
And in May Barrett had a visit from Mick Rock and his wife Sheila (and
not Iggy Rose as has been hinted here and there). Syds' hair already has
grown a bit (see fourth picture above).
In early 1972, with the Stars gigs, he will have very long hair and a
beard (see fifth picture).
We will never be sure about what Barrett's motivation was for his
actions, but we can be sure about one thing, his hair grew at a
Sources (other than the above internet links): Chapman, Rob: A
Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 281. Palacios,
Julian: Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London,
2010, p. 383, 389. Willis, Tim, Madcap, Short Books, London,
2002, p. 121-123.
Pictures: 1: 1970 06: Syd at Olympia, photographer unknown, Rex
Features. 2: 1970 11: 'Barrett' 'stoned tramp' promo shot by Barrie
Wentzell. 3: 1971 03: 'Barrett' 'skinhead' promo shot by Barrie
Wentzell. 4: 1971 05: Syd in his mother's garden, Cambridge, by Mick
Rock. 5: 1972 02: Syd performing with Stars by Jenny Spires.
Many thanks to: Psych, Stanislav & the gang at Late Night & Birdie Hop. ♥
Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
What is there to say about Storm, except perhaps, like someone put in Birdie
Hop, that he had a great name and a great life?
Thorgerson was a member of the so-called Cambridge mafia, who in the
early Sixties fled their home-town en masse to seek fame and
fortune in the great city. They wanted to study in London, at least that
is what they told their parents, but frankly these youngsters just
wanted to get away from parental guidance and have an uncensored bite of
adult life: sex, drugs and rock'n roll. Paradoxically, or maybe not,
once they arrived in London they immediately flocked together, sharing
apartments and houses and meeting in the same clubs and coffee houses.
The term Cambridge mafia was coined by David
Gilmour to denominate that bunch of relatives, friends and
acquaintances who stuck together, not only in the sixties, but are still
doing today. As a relative young and unknown band Pink
Floyd looked for associates, sound- and light technicians, roadies
and lorry drivers in their immediate neighbourhood, often not further
away than the next room in the same house.
Thorgerson was no exception, he had played cricket in the same team as Bob
Klose and Roger
Waters, and when the Floyd needed a record cover for A
Saucerful Of Secrets, Storm managed to squeeze himself in, staying
there till the end of his life, as the recent variations
of the Dark Side of the Moon cover show us.
But even before Saucerful Storm had been involved with the band, it was
at his kitchen table at Egerton Court that the members, minus Syd
Barrett, discussed the future of Pink Floyd and decided to ask for a
little help from yet another Cantabrigian friend: David Gilmour.
Obviously, this blog would not exist if, in the week from the 14th to
21st April 1969, Storm hadn't made an appointment with history to start
a magical photo shoot.
Julian Palacios in Dark Globe:
Storm Thorgerson supervised the photo session for the cover of The
Madcap Laughs, bringing in Mick Rock to photograph at Syd’s flat. ‘Syd
just called out of the blue and said he needed an album cover,’
confirmed Rock. When Thorgerson and Rock arrived for the shoot, ‘Syd was
still in his Y-fronts when he opened the door,’ Mick explained. ‘He had
totally forgotten about the session and fell about laughing. His lady
friend of two weeks, “Iggy the Eskimo”, was naked in the kitchen
preparing coffee. She didn’t mind either. They laughed a lot, a magical
There has been some muffled controversy who was the brain behind the
pictures of The Madcap Laughs, not really helped by some contradicting
explanations from Storm Thorgerson and Mick
Rock. They both arrived the same day, both with a camera, and
probably Rock handed over (some of) his film rolls to Storm as this was
initially a Hipgnosis
Unfortunately we will never be able to ask Storm whether there was a
third photographer present or not, but the chance is he wouldn't have
remembered anyway. The rumour goes Storm was a rather chaotic person and
that most Barrett negatives disappeared or were misplaced through the
Perhaps the best, or at least the most personal, the most touching, the
most emotional album art by Storm is the cover of the 1974 Syd Barrett
vinyl compilation. It is a simple brown cover with Syd's name in
handwriting and a small picture, taken from what probably was an autumn
or late summer photo session also destined for the cover of The Madcap
Laughs. The pictures of the so-called yoga photo-shoot however where not
used, as we all know, for Syd's first album as Storm decided to use the
daffodil and Iggy session from April instead. Hence the misdating in
nearly all biographies.
In 1974 Harvest decided to package Barrett's two solo albums as a budget
release. Storm, by then de de facto house photographer of Pink
Floyd, was asked to design a new cover. Storm rang at Syd's apartment
but the recalcitrant artist smashed the door when he heard about the
reason for the visit.
Thorgerson went back to the office and decided to make a cover out of
leftover pictures. On top of the brown background he put a plum, an
orange and a matchbox. This was probably the first time that Storm
played a game that he would later repeat with other Floydian artwork,
leaving enigmatic hints that were initially only understood by that
select group of Cantabrigian insiders who had known Syd personally.
Thorgerson's riddles culminated in the art for The
Division Bell (and its many spin-offs) that had a visual companion
for every song of the album, and rather than clarifying or portraying
the lyrics they added to the mystery. It still is his opus magnum
and unfortunately he will not be able any more to top it. We will never
know if he was in with the Publius
Enigma hoax although there have been a few leads pointing that way.
At a later stage Storm lost me somewhat. His mix of photographic
surrealism and mockery became too much a gimmick and the freshness and
inventiveness were gone. The covers of the latest Syd Barrett and Pink
Floyd compilations were not always appreciated by the fans. Perhaps he
was already sick by then.
But these few failings disappear at the magical
visual oeuvre Storm Thorgerson has left us (and not only for Pink
Floyd): A Nice Pair, Argus, Cochise, Dirty Things Done Dirt Cheap,
Flash, Houses of the Holy, Lullubelle III, Picnic, Savage Eye, Sheet
Music, The Lamb Lays Down On Broadway, Tightly Knit, Venus and Mars and
many many more...
Thorgerson was a rock artist without having recorded a single note of
music, he will be missed on Earth, but if there is that nirvana he will
surely be welcomed by Clive, Nick, Pip, Ponji, Rick, Steve, Syd and the
Many thanks to: Lori Haines. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
Sources (other than the above internet links): Palacios,
Julian: Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London,
2010, p. 340.
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.
There is a story how Iggy the Eskimo, Syd Barrett and a bunch of other
musicians gatecrashed a Speakeasy gig from a band that would become
rather famous in prog, rock, jazz and even techno circles. It is a
hilarious anecdote, with rumours of mandrax-champagne cocktails and a
lot of twist and shouts. We can imagine how Iggy's roaring laugh echoed
through the club, once you have heard that laugh, it is imprinted in
your memory forever.
The Church is still trying to get some information, tie some loose ends,
interview some people, especially as this happened in the mid-summer of
1969, when everyone thought Iggy had disappeared from Syd's life.
Perhaps she did, perhaps they just met by accident that day. But that is
Little things that matter.
Birdie Hopper Manzano Meza Cota posted a Mick Rock picture a couple of
days ago, it is a new one of Syd and Iggy, which makes us think that
this old geezer still has got some hidden gems in his archive.
In a couple of hours it will be Iggy's birthday. As usual we were too
late posting our card as we only did it this afternoon...
Should you not know it by now, it is Iggy's birthday! So this is the
time and place to shout:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY IGGY ROSE!
LET'S PARTY!!! Please enjoy this mix of visual extravaganza that comes
straight out of the hidden vaults of the Church. Swedish band Men
On The Border were so kind to let us use one of their songs from
their latest album Jumpstart.
Thanks guys, you rock!
Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card (2011) contains a few seconds from a
super-secret mid-Seventies home movie (and we added a nice tune as
well). Flash link (warning: 5 MB!): Happy
Birthday Iggy Rose!or YouTube:
Crystal Blue Postcards
An electronic book of poems and art, dedicated to Syd and his muses, by
Denis Combet, with a little help from his friends Constance Cartmill and
Allison Star. Digital artwork by Jean Vouillon and some tinkering from
Felix Atagong (more about Denis Combet and his Iggy poem(s): Catwoman).
Pascal Mascheroni, from the stoner power trio Rescue Rangers donated the
haunting (& slightly psychedelic) power ballad Guitars and Dust
Dancing from the album with the same name (buy your copy at iTunes: Guitars
and Dust Dancing). In the meanwhile enjoy this Youtube clip with the
smashing artwork from Jean Vouillon.
Let's make this a birthday to remember, brethren and sistren
and don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't do!
The Church wishes to thank Men On The Border (Phil Etheridge & Goeran
Nystroem), Bruce Fleming, Mick Rock, Anthony Stern, Storm Thorgerson,
Iggy Rose, unknown & anonymous..., Denis Combet, Pascal Mascheroni
(Rescue Rangers), Manzano Meza Cota, Christopher Farmer & the nice
people at Birdie Hop, Late Night and all the others that we seem to have
Never has a Kurt Vonnegut quote been more appropriate than here, we
think. Iggy Rose is no longer on this world, but the third rock didn't
stop turning around the sun. There were no lunar eclipses, although
people from the Hastings and Rother community have been calling the
police out of fear of an alien
invasion. If there was some magical interference, it may have been
that a soft blanket of snow had fallen the night before Iggy's funeral.
So it goes.
Happy New Year, sistren and brethren of the Holy Church of
Iggy the Inuit, followers of Saint Syd and Laldawngliani, gift of
the gods. In 2018 we will continue to be the thorn in the side of all
that is Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett related, because although they have
made some of the best rock music of the latter half of the twentieth
century, their business counterparts are worse than crooked second hand
car dealers when it comes to selling their 'product' and screwing the
customer. (The latest Floydian fuck-all-that consists of Dark Side Of
The Moon Immersion set Blu-rays, suffering from bit rot, and suddenly
refusing to play, about five years after their release.)
Next to the excellent blog you are currently reading we also have a Tumblr
micro-blog that we daily update, with coloured photographs!, a Facebook
timeline and a Twitter
account. Here is what made our Sydiot heart tremble past year, seen
through the pink glasses of the Holy Igquisition.
The Church wishes to thank: An@log, Azerty, Gretta Barclay, Marc-Olivier
Becks, Roddy Bogawa, Carmen Castro, Chris from Paris, Frank Cookson,
Petra Eder, Vanessa Flores, Johan Frankelius, 'Gabi', Libby Gausden,
Stanislav Grigorev, Rich Hall, Paula Hilton, Peter Alexander Hoffman,
The Iggy Bank, Peter Jenner, JenS, Antonio Jesús, Men On The Border,
Mob, Iain Owen Moore, Anna Musial, Lisa Newman, Göran Nyström,
OldPangYau, Peter at the Gates of Dawn, Pink Floyd 1977, Dylan Roberts,
Jenny Spires, TW113079, Venomous Centipede... and all the others... ♥
Libby ♥ Iggy ♥ Paula ♥
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.)
The sweet smell of a great sorrow lies over the land, dear sistren
and brethren, followers of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. But
before we shall dwell on that we want to wish you a Happy New Year. So
here it is. Happy New Year!
The Later Year$
The ending of past year saw the release of The
Later Years, a pretty expensive luxury set of the Diet Floyd.
Basically it is David Gilmour’s scientific method to find out where you
fans really stand.
The set contains about three times the same product, in different
formats, and – although its selling price has descended with about 40%
to 50% - it is still fucking expensive for what it’s really worth. If
you want you can read our article about it here: The
Later Years: Hot Air & Co.
Caught in a cauldron of hate
But that is just economics. What preoccupies us more is that in 2020 the
Waters – Gilmour feud has still not been settled. While in the past it
was Roger Waters who has been designated as the baddy, it is apparently
now David Gilmour’s turn to be the cantankerous one.
In a recent interview, Waters claims that he offered a peace plan to
Gilmour, that was promptly rejected. Polly Samson, from her side,
twittered that it was not her hubby who rejected the peace plan, but the
Two bald men fighting over a comb. A golden comb, embellished with crazy
diamonds, obviously. Decades ago Nick Mason had the following to say
about the ongoing Floyd-war: ”If our children behaved this way, we would
have been very cross.” Seems that the 'children' still haven't learned
Caring about Carin
The Later Years box-set has not only divided fans. There has also been
some grumbling from Jon
Carin, one of the Floyd’s session musicians, who co-wrote Learning
To Fly. It first started with Carin complaining on Facebook that the
Floyd didn’t wish him a happy birthday. We know the Church has been
accused before from inventing stories, but this stuff is so unbelievable
you really can’t make it up.
According to Jon Carin he played the bulk of the piano and keyboards on The
Division Bell (and quite a few on The
Endless River) and not Rick Wright as is generally believed. Why he
has waited a quarter of a century to complain about this is something of
a mystery, unless you mention that magical word that will turn the
meekest lamb into a dog of war: copyrights.
The lost art of conversation
To promote The Later Years David Gilmour has published a 4-part podcast
where he carefully reinterprets the past. Unfortunately what has been
written about Pink Floyd before - by journalists and biographers - can
still be read today, so almost nobody takes the propaganda from Gilmour
seriously, unless you weren’t born yet when he turned a solo album into
a Floyd one.
And where is Nick Mason, I hear you say? While he used to be the
thriving force behind Floydian publicity in the past he is now totally
It’s almost as if there is a saucerful of secrets. Or a true enigma,
The best of Tumblr 2019
But let’s finally start with our traditional annual overview of our
sister blog on Tumblr
that is daily updated with pictures you all have seen before. Have fun!
The Church wishes to thank: Steve Bassett (Madcapsyd), Steve Bennett,
Jumaris CS, Joanna Curwood, Maya Deren, Esfera04, Jenni Fiire,
Freqazoidiac, Rafael Gasent, Nino Gatti, Rich Hall, Harlequin, Dave
Harris, Jabanette, Dion Johnson, Keleven, Simon Matthews, Joanne Milne
(Charley), Rocco Moliterno, Peudent, Poliphemo, RonToon, TopPopper,
Waelz, Wolfpack, Franka Wright and the many collaborators on Steve
Hoffman Music Forums, Yeeshkul and Birdie Hop.
Rock (1948-2021) we have lost another member of the Cambridge mafia,
although he wasn’t from that town, so perhaps Floydian mafia is a better
description. Rock, a Londoner, was a student in Cambridge where he took
a degree in Medieval and Modern Languages. He frequented some of the
local beatniks, Emo (Ian Moore), Pip (Pip Carter) and Fizz (Frances
Fitzgerald), and followed them to London to the legendary 101 Cromwell
Rd drugs pad. Later he moved to Egerton Court where Syd Barrett, Duggie
Fields, David Gale, Dave Henderson, Nigel and Jenny Lesmoir-Gordon,
Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell, Ponji Robinson, Matthew Scurfield, Storm Thorgerson
and Yes-collaborator Roger Dean all lived together.
In the beginning, was Syd
Rock knew Barrett since December 1966, they were hanging out together,
getting high, discussing literature, playing Go,
and developed some kind of virtual friendship that – according to Rock –
would go on for decades. Syd’s last interview, for Rolling Stone in
1971, was taken by Mick Rock. Syd’s last ‘public’ outing was when he
autographed 320 copies of Psychedelic Renegades, a 2002 Mick Rock
coffee table book. Mick was one of the very few photographers who
managed to picture Barrett in a relaxed state, laughing, as the 1971
pictures, taken in Syd’s back garden, prove.
My experience of Syd was he wanted to have fun. But somehow he was
stymied and then he got caught in this trap, this psychological trap and
he couldn’t get out of it.
The last time Mick Rock saw Syd was on an unexpected visit to Rock’s
flat in Notting Hill Gate in early 1973.
Caught in a storm
There has been some animosity for years between Storm
‘Hipgnosis’ Thorgerson and Mick Rock over The
Madcap Laughs pictures. History has been interpreted, changed and
rearranged by both and different versions of what ‘really’ happened can
be found, depending on the source one consults. Julian Palacios keeps it
diplomatic in his Syd Barrett biography:
Storm Thorgerson supervised the photo session for the cover of The
Madcap Laughs, bringing in Mick Rock to photograph, whom Syd requested.
Rock: ‘Syd just called out of the blue and said he needed an album
The Holy Church already mentioned the divergence in a 2008 article: Stormy
Pictures. Legally, the cover and back cover shots for Syd’s first
solo album belong to Hipgnosis. The official story is that these have
been taken by Storm, but Mick Rock has several times suggested that he
was behind it all.
Thorgerson gave his point of view in the 2007 edition of Mind Over
A photo session was duly arranged at Syd’s request in the flat in Earls
Court that he shared with the painter Duggie Fields. (…) My only
decision was to use a 35mm camera (to adapt to Syd’s mercurial moods)
and upgraded colour transparency, partly because of the low-level light
conditions and partly for the grainy effect.
Mick Rock’s presence, that same day, is dryly explained as follows:
Friend and photographer Mick Rock, later famous for his Bowie photos
amongst many others also came on the photo session, but I can’t remember
why. I think it was to help me, which seemed ironic given his subsequent
lensmanship and success in the rock business, especially in New York.
Mick Rock books (three different ones)
Mick Rock has devoted three books entirely to Syd Barrett. Two of them
are part of a box that also contains some music.
Syd Barrett – The Madcap Laughs – The Mick Rock Photo-Sessions
(UFO Books, 1993) is a limited deluxe box combining a book, a vinyl
album and a t-shirt. The elaborate and well-researched text of this
(sold out and deleted) book has been written by Pete Anderson, who is
the co-author of the Syd Barrett biography Crazy Diamond. Pete Anderson
wrongly dates the photoshoot in October and writes:
The task of designing the album sleeve fell to Storm Thorgerson and his
partner Aubrey 'Po' at Hipgnosis.
When it comes to the actual photoshoot there isn’t a single word about
Storm Thorgerson being there. Throughout the essay, it is mildly
suggested that Mick Rock did all by himself.
The startling colour images were taken in a single two-hour session in
the autumn of 1969 in the spartan bedroom of Syd Barrett's Earls Court
flat in London. (...) The sleeve, showing the beleaguered "star"
squatting bird-like in a room devoid of all creature comforts save a
vase of flowers and a battered electric fire, perfectly summed up the
mood of the record which many have interpreted as a scream for help.
But isn’t the above description about the Thorgerson picture? Mick Rock
(and Pete Anderson) carefully dance around the subject.
"We hadn't had any discussion about how the pictures were going to be,"
says Rock. "I suppose the idea had always been to do them in the flat
because Syd had told me about the floorboards and he was pretty excited
about that.” “But there had been no talk of getting a model in.
Iggy just happened to be there. I have no idea where she came from or
where she went to. Everyone just knew her as Iggy the Eskimo." (...) "There
were no curtains, just the bed, Syd's record player, the vase, and maybe
the stool. I can't remember if that was because the floor had just been
painted or because he didn't like furniture."
It is no secret that Mick Rock used to work as a freelancer for
Hipgnosis in his early career. His camera was a black Pentax that he had
bought from Po (Aubrey Powell), equipped with a cheap 28mm wide-angle
Soligor lens. The following paragraph however seems to imply that there
was more than one person around (without naming them):
"I think we did make a conscious decision not to have Iggy's face in the
pictures and we also decided that Syd would look good with a bit of kohl
make-up around his eyes. Iggy put that on. "Syd was pretty passive about
the whole thing and he was never that interested in the pictures
afterwards. (…) Syd could be quite uncommunicative but I can see from
the pictures that he was relaxed that day."
The photoshoot only took about two hours. Mick Rock used only two rolls
of film, simply because he couldn't afford a third.
"There had been no discussion about money at all. Later on I did get a
very minor payment but it couldn't have been more than £50 and I don't
know if it came from Syd or EMI."
Again, not a word about Storm Thorgerson nor Hipgnosis.
Two of a kind
In his other books, Mick Rock is a bit less authoritative.
Psychedelic Renegades – Photographs of Syd Barrett by Mick Rock.
Genesis Publications published a limited first edition in 2002. 320
copies were autographed by Roger Barrett & Mick Rock and 630 copies were
signed by Mick Rock alone. In 2007 the book was published in a regular
version, by Plexus (London) and Gingko (USA).
This is the picture book to get if you are interested in Mick Rock's Syd
pictures. It has an introduction/essay by Rock and throughout the book
there are some observations by the photographer, although these are not
always accurate. Contrary to the first book Rock acknowledges that Storm
was around that day, although he still stresses the fact that the
initiative came from him:
Syd asked me to take the pictures. We had talked about the shoot for a
while, and the day before it happened I told Storm from Hipgnosis, so he
came along because they were putting the package together. So the
actual session turned out to be a collaboration really because Storm
also took some pictures. I remember Storm asking me whether to credit
the image, ‘Hipgnosis and Mick Rock’ and I said, ‘No just credit it
This must have been a decision Rock regretted later.
Syd Barrett – The Photography Of Mick Rock is a tin box
that includes a 128 pages booklet and a 7-inch single 'Octopus' b/w
'Golden Hair' (EMI Records Ltd & Palazzo Editions Ltd, Bath, 2010).
There is an introduction and some observations by Mick Rock who repeats
that Syd asked him to do the photoshoot in autumn.
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit was the first blog in the world where
it was suggested that The Madcap Laughs photoshoot took place during
spring. This theory, originating from Jenny Spires, has now been largely
accepted by Syd fanatics and scholars. It is possible that a second
photoshoot took place later in the year, but the sleeve uses the
pictures of April 1969.
Remarkably, ‘Renegades’ and ‘Octopus’ contain a picture that was cropped
on the back cover of Syd’s second solo album, without crediting Mick
Syd Barrett (1974, double album vinyl compilation)
In 1974 Storm and Po knocked on Syd’s door asking if they could take
some pictures for a budget vinyl compilation that was going to be
released. Barrett never let them in and told his old chums to ‘fuck
off’. Thorgerson designed one of his iconic sleeves instead, the one
with a plum, an orange and a box of matches.
The inner sleeve of the Syd Barrett double album contains a bunch of
disorganised press clippings and pictures of Syd and Pink Floyd. Some of
these undoubtedly are Mick Rock’s. It means that Hipgnosis, at one
point, did have access to Mick Rock’s negatives. It is believed that
Mick Rock gave his film rolls to Storm, to have them developed.
(Pictures of the Syd Barrett inner sleeve can be found at our Storm
There are quite a few Hipgnosis related coffee table books around (the
reverend’s wife claims he’s got at least six too many). We have already
quoted from Mind Over Matter, but what do the others have got to say?
It needs to be said that the sleeve pictures of The Madcap Laughs can
not be found in any of Mick Rock’s books, these can only be found in
Hipgnosis/Storm Thorgerson related works.
Walk Away René
The 1978 book Walk Away René (The Work of Hipgnosis, Paper Tiger, 1978)
contains a detailed description of every picture in the book, except for
The Madcap Laughs. It gives conspiracy theorists a field day, although
it doesn't help anyone any further.
Taken By Storm
Taken By Storm (The Album Art of Storm Thorgerson, Omnibus Press, 2007)
leaves no ambiguity as Storm writes:
He crouched down by the fireplace and I took a 35mm pic quite quickly.
For The Love Of Vinyl
One year later For The Love of Vinyl (The Album Art of Hipgnosis,
Picturebox, 2008) was published and obviously the cover of The Madcap
Laughs is represented as well. Storm Thorgerson:
Back in 1970, the Floyd helped him make a solo album called The Madcap
Laughs. I told him I was coming over to his Earls Court flat to take a
picture. Mick Rock came too. I think Syd painted the floor specially for
us. He crouched. I took a pic. A naked girl appeared. Mick took a pic,
and we went home.
Storm Thorgerson died in 2013. Po published another Hipgnosis book one
year later: Portraits. According to Po, the Madcap sleeve was taken by
Storm Thorgerson, using a Nikon with a 500 ASA 24 x 36 mm film.
Powell writes that Syd invented the word Hipgnosis and that he wrote it
on the front door of the Egerton Court house they all lived in. About
The Madcap Laughs photoshoot Po has the following to say:
Syd's management company, Blackhill, commissioned us to do the Madcap
cover, and Storm went to the flat with our assistant, Mick Rock.
(Translated from the French edition by FA.)
Suddenly Mick Rock has become merely an assistant of Storm Thorgerson.
It gives the story about who did what a completely new insight.
But our investigations aren’t over yet.
In the 2017 documentary Shot! – the Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock –
Mick Rock hints again that he was behind the cover shot.
In the beginning, was Syd. Psychedelic Syd. (…) Syd had actually left
Pink Floyd and was living in relative obscurity. He asked me to take the
cover photo for his solo album The Madcap Laughs.
It is then that the official ‘Hipgnosis’ sleeve picture appears, for the
first time, in a Mick Rock publication, albeit without giving credit to
Storm Thorgerson. The image, with a handwritten title, clearly hints
that it is Mick Rock’s work, not Storm’s. Of course, when this
documentary came out Storm wasn't around anymore to comment on Rock's
interpretation of the past.
I didn't really have any plans. It simply was to shoot El Syd... and
Iggy opened the door in the altogether. All together now, miss Iggy. She
was holding company with Syd... but of course, the gift was the
floorboards. He had moved in not long beforehand and he was painting the
floorboards and he... he was painting all over these... I mean, there
were dog ends buried in there. He didn't clean the floor before he
Rock shows one of the better known Madcap pictures and claims:
That should really have been the cover of The Madcap Laughs. (…) That’s
what me and Syd wanted.
While he testified earlier that Syd wasn’t interested in the pictures at
all, he suggests in Shot! that they both agreed on a sleeve cover, an
opinion that wasn’t followed by Hipgnosis.
For years there have been rumours in anoraky Floydian circles that
Thorgerson and Rock sued (or threatened to sue) each other over the
ownership of The Madcap Laughs pictures. Probably a deal was made – a
bit like the one between Roger Waters and Pink Floyd over The Wall. The
Madcap Laughs front and back sleeve pictures officially belong to
Hipgnosis (Storm Thorgerson). The out-takes belong to Mick Rock. It has
been hinted before that Rock handed over his film rolls to Thorgerson to
have them developed and part of the deal must have been that the
negatives were returned to him.
This could be the reason why the Mick Rock out-takes can’t be found in
Hipgnosis / Storm Thorgerson books. This could be the reason why
‘official’ Madcap pictures can’t be found in any Mick Rock publication,
except for Shot!
Both parties seem to agree that Hipgnosis was commissioned by the record
company (Harvest, EMI) to supervise the record sleeve.
Did Syd Barrett ask his friend Mick Rock, an aspiring would-be
photographer, to organise the shooting for the forthcoming album? As
Rock was freelancing for Hipgnosis and they all were buddies anyway, he
may have warned Storm that Syd was expecting a photographer the next
day. The result was that Storm was there, not as Mick Rock’s colleague,
but as his boss.
We keep hearing from people how nice a person Mick Rock was. From Men On
The Border we have this reaction, coming from Jenny Spires:
The wonderful Mick Rock, unmatched intelligence, kind and generous,
totally lacking in malice, a dear friend. RIP. I will miss you, Mick.
That’s why it is a pity that Storm and Mick never conciliated, fought
over the legacy of the Madcap pictures and refused to give the other one
Because of their stubbornness, there will always be some doubt who took
The Madcap Laughs cover (and back cover) pictures. But it doesn't matter
really. It's the stuff legends are made of.
Many thanks to: Anonymous, Göran Nyström. ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (other than the links above): Chapman, Rob: A Very
Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 385. Palacios,
Julian: Darker Globe: Uncut and Unedited, private publication,
2021, p. 823, 963.
Hipgnosis & Storm Thorgerson: Powell, Aubrey: Hipgnosis, Les
Pochettes Mythiques du Célèbre Studio, Gründ, Paris, 2015,
p. 40, 118 (French edition of Hipgnosis Portraits). Thorgerson, Storm
& Powell, Aubrey: For The Love Of Vinyl, Picturebox,
Brooklyn, 2008, p. 38. Thorgerson, Storm & Curzon, Peter: Mind
Over Matter 4, Omnibus Press, London, 2007, p. 234. Thorgerson,
Storm & Curzon, Peter: Taken By Storm, Omnibus Press, London,
2007, p. 100. Thorgerson, Storm: Walk Away René, Paper
Tiger, Limpsfield, 1989, p. 103.
Mick Rock: Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London,
2007, p. 20. Rock, Mick & Anderson, Pete: Syd Barrett - The
Madcap Laughs - The Mick Rock Photo-Sessions, U.F.O. Books, London,
1993. The text of this book ca be consulted at Luckymojo.com. Rock,
Mick: Syd Barrett - The Photography Of Mick Rock, EMI Records
Ltd, London & Palazzo Editions Ltd, Bath, 2010.
Videos: Syd Barrett related excerpt from Shot!: The Psycho-Spiritual
Mantra of Rock: Syd
Barrett SHOT! Mick Rock Shot! Q&A, hosted by Barney Hoskyns.
Filmed Wednesday 12th July 2017: Mick
Rock Q&A (Syd bit starts at 5:30, do not miss the hilarious
anecdote about David Gilmour being chased by Brian Epstein in his
bedroom). Mick Rock: on shooting Syd Barrett for 'Madcap Laughs'
album cover. Interviewed in his studio, September 2001: Mick
It passed by as a fait-divers. On the third of December Rod Harrod died
in his home village of Dinas Powys in South Wales. Many people,
especially those in Floydian spheres, will not recognise him.
In the early days of the Church, when we were still looking for Iggy, we
had an agreeable conversation with Rod about the heydays of The
Cromwellian and the other clubs Iggy used to frequent. Rod Harrod was
the man who - more or less – discovered Jimi Hendrix and who gave him a
first chance to play at the Scotch of St James Club in London. To read a
bit more about Rod Harrod you can go to these early Church archives: Rod
Harrod remembers The Crom and The
Our condolences to the family, relatives and friends of Rod.
Twenty twenty was a lousy weird year, with – unfortunately – also a few
deceases closer to the Floydian home. The Church also had a few good
moments, even something we could call the highlight in our thirteen
All of these have been illustrated on our Tumblr
sister blog … and here is our annual overview:
Anonymous, Ajay Dep Thanga, Antonio Jesús Reyes, APH, Asdf35, Barbara,
Basit Aijaz, Chandrima Banerjee, Din Nyy, Eleonora Siatoni, Elizabeth
Joyce, Elvee Milai, Euisoo's left sock, Göran Nyström, Gregory Taylor,
Hallucalation, Hmazil, Hnamte Thanchungnunga, Julian Palacios, Kevin
Arnold, Kima Sailo, Lalrin Liana, Lzi Dora Hmar, Mact Mizoram, Mafela
Ralte, Mark Blake, Matthew Cheney, Mick Brown, Myithili Hazarika,
Noeeeayo (Rinnungi Pachuau), Panjee Chhakchhuak, Park Yoongi, Psych62,
Racheliebe (Chha Dok Mi), Ramtea Zote123, Rich Hall, Rinapautu Pautu,
Rob Chapman, Rontoon, Rosang Zuala, Roy Alan Ethridge, Stash Klossowski
de Rola, Stephen Coates, Swanlee, Syd Wonder, Tnama Hnamte, VL Zawni,
Wolfpack, Younglight, Zodin Sanga, Zolad.