Rich Hall

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Articles

2013-03-30

Songs of Praise

Iggy Rose, ca. 1975.
Iggy Rose, ca. 1975.

The BBC describes its program Songs of Praise as 'inspiring hymns and songs, together with uplifting stories of faith from around the UK and beyond' This is what we immediately thought of when church-member Rich Hall from Illinois send us a copy of his song The Reverend.

In our humble opinion there is no other day better than Easter to listen to this gem that perfectly describes the Church, its Reverend and our prime object of adoration, Iggy Rose.

Here it is in splendid hi-res, hi-fi and 25 frames per second. As it is a Flash presentation, it might not be visible on your portable phones and other overpriced Apple stuff like that. A fast internet line is recommended.

The Reverend (hi-res Flash version)

The Reverend by Rich Hall (hi-res, Flash)
The Reverend. Music: Rich Hall. Video: felix Atagong. High resolution, Flash version.

And as this is Easter and Songs of Praise we hereby give you the text, so that you can all join in this magnificent hymn.

The Reverend

Oh, congregation
Standing here before me
I offer you this simple sermon

You can trust in Iggy
She's never led me wrong
In Iggy we trust

Don't put your faith
In medieval superstitions
Believe in something that matters

Release your inhibitions
Sit back; let it envelope you
Soon you'll feel Iggy's love

Out in the snow
The wind was starting to blow
As the sun went down
And the fire began to glow

Have you ever looked for someone so long
You have to wonder if they even exist

Here in my igloo with Iggy the Eskimo
Watching the snow falling down

Devoted listeners
Hanging on my every word
I give you Iggy's love

No need to look we further
We can stop the inquisitions
Iggy's message is love

Don't be afraid
to let yourself go
give in to Iggy's love

You'll feel it wrap around you
It's all you'll need to keep you warm
You're no longer alone.

Have you ever looked for someone so long
You have to wonder if they even exist

Here in my igloo with Iggy the Eskimo
Watching the snow falling down

Have you ever looked for someone so long
You start to wonder if they even exist

Here in my igloo with Iggy the Eskimo
Watching the snow falling down

© Rich Hall, 2013.

The Reverend (YouTube version)

For those who haven't got a Flash-enabled webbrowser, let's try it another way. Here is a, somewhat downgraded, version on Youtube. Even if this was created using a 2.64 Gigabyte AVI file, it has some stuttering and, unfortunately, the music came out not entirely synchronised with the graphics. But don't let that spoil the fun.

Happy Easter!


Richard Michael John Hall is a self-publishing artist in the 'alternative' or 'indie rock' genre with about ten releases on his name. It is rumoured that his next release will be a concept album about the weird world of Barrett anoraks.
Website: Richard Michael John Hall
BandCamp channel: RichMFHall
SoundCloud channel: RichMFHall
YouTube channel: RichFMHall

The Church wishes to thank: Amy Funstar, MAY, Brett Wilson for their (un)willing cooperation in the making of the videoclip.
Thanks to Rich Hall and Joe Perry for making music.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2013-08-08

Reverends and Sydiots

5 years Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit: 5 years.

(This article contains a much concealed review of the Rich Hall album Birdie Hop and the Sydiots, to immediately access it, click here.)

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit celebrates its fifth birthday.

An official statement by the Reverend:

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is five years old. It has always taken an independent road and has maintained an ironic and satirical view on the Syd Barrett phenomenon and its fans.

We will, however, never spit on the fans. We have embraced the term Sydiot as our Geusenwort, meaning that we have reappropriated this derogatory nickname as an honorary title.

While we have the utmost respect for the casual Barrett fans, the cosmic brides (persons [m/f] who claim to have a relationship with Syd of some kind, often crossing spiritual boundaries) and the Sydiots, we intuitively question the official Barrett organisations, record companies and nincompoops who circle around Syd like vultures. We will not automatically endorse their websites, their records and their books... and this has not always been appreciated. It seems that nothing has changed much since those days in 1967 when Norman Smith was reprimanded by his boss:

EMI were ignorant, lazy and paranoid. I'd once been carpeted by Sir Joseph Lockwood, almost fired, told to stay away from courting Pink Floyd. But I took no notice.

If Norman Smith had obeyed we would never have had The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. Taking no notice was, is, and will always be the Holy Church's attitude, even if this puts us in the firing line of some of the minor half-gods and makes us wonder if this Church was just a waste of time. But:

This is my church
This is where I heal my hurt
It's a natural grace
Of watching young life shape
It's in minor keys
Solutions and remedies
Enemies becoming friends
When bitterness ends
This is my church
(Faithless, God is a DJ, 1998)

All tomfoolery aside, we are proud to have put a thing or two on the Floydian agenda in the past five years that would otherwise have stayed unnoticed. If we may lead you to one paragraph on this blog, that we are particularly fond of, it is this one and we constantly try to live by those standards. So-called social media make witnesses easy accessible nowadays but this doesn't give the Sydiot nor the Reverend a wildcard to constantly harass them with questions about how 'Syd really was'. Remember:

A granddaughter's smile today is of much more importance than the faint remembrance of a dead rock star's smile from over 40 years ago. (Taken from: We are all made of stars.)

And for those who don't agree the Church can only bring solace by citing the following words of that great Cantabrigian band:

So I open my door to my enemies
And I ask could we wipe the slate clean
But they tell me to please go fuck myself
You know you just can't win
(Pink Floyd, Lost For Words, 1994)

But this speech has been going on for too long, so...

Let's party!

It's a fucking birthday godammit! And we have exactly the right party album for that... and you can have yours too!

Rich Hall
Rich Hall.

Birdie Hop and the Sydiots

Richard Michael John Hall is a self-publishing artist in the 'alternative' or 'indie rock' genre with about a dozen releases on his name. In March 2013 he surprised the world with his songs The Reverend and Uncle Alex and it came to the Church's ears that this was going to be a part of a quintessential concept album. Written in about a month's time the album has been released a couple of weeks ago.

Birdies and Barretts

Birdie Hop and the Sydiots is named after a rather decent Facebook group and its members who range from the wacky to the insane now that an old cricketer has left the crease. Its first song, Birdie Hop, is a pastoral tune about this relatively calm oasis and how it is a reference to all who have enclosed Syd Barrett in their hearts.

I've seen your mother (and she's beautiful) is a track about our most cherished and most hated family member. Rich Hall perfectly catches that ambiguity (see also John Lennon & Roger Waters) but apparently that is not what the song is about. Let's just resume by saying that Barrett fans come in different colours and sizes. Cosmic brides are fans, who declare their unconditional love for Syd and sometimes meet him on a higher esoteric level. It is good that what happens in the spirit world cannot be seen by the naked eye although sometimes weird erotomanic anecdotes drip through. Cosmic brides are usually harmless, although they can be annoying when they start messaging people with important directives from the other side.

With Cheesecake Joe, a catchy hard rock tune built around one of Birdie Hop's most flamboyant members, the Birdie suite lifts off into the higher stratosphere. Cheesecake is the deadhead equivalent of the Floydian fan. He is the UFOnaut who still claims Pink Floyd is a stoner band and that their main message is to turn on, tune in & drop out...

The Reverend is the first highlight of the album, what a psychedelicate song, what a fine realistic description of this genius, what an adoration for Iggy the Eskimo, what a magic looking glass. But even after having heard this song for about 45 times I still don't know if the song really isn't an insult packaged as a gift. But walking the thin line between praise and mockery is what the Holy Church is all about. Great song. It should be a hit. Really.

A high-res Flash clip of this song can be found here.

The Reverend, by Rich Hall
The Reverend. Sound: Rich Hall. Vision: Felix Atagong. Hi-resolution Flash movie.

And for those who prefer a somewhat lighter YouTube version:

Just when you think that it can't get any better there is Uncle Alex, an ear-worm of a song. Not wanting to go too far into details I can only say that some of the apparently throw-away lines are far closer to the truth than you possibly can imagine. Rich Hall is a poignant observer. This should even be a bigger hit.

A videoclip for this song can be found on the Reverend's YouTube channel.

Solo en las Nubes could be the theme song for a Sergio Leone spaghetti western with Antonio Jesús as the vengeful balded bad-ass. On his own this man is responsible for most of the Barrett admiration in the Spanish-speaking world and thus he is, by definition, regarded as a potential danger by the powers that be. Speak out his name in a certain provincial university town, close by the river Cam, in East Anglia and gallows are spontaneously risen again. This is a song that should be played around camp-fires all over the world. This is an urban hymn.

Jenny and Libby makes me think of the Television Personalities for one thing or another. Throughout the song Rich Hall name-drops several Birdie Hop alumni and their doings. I wonder if the artist has amazing powers of observation and if he knew, when he wrote the song in spring 2013, that the refrain was predictive for the shape of things to come.

Jenny and Libby ends, what I call, the birdies section of the album. This is being followed by the madcap suite, a trilogy about the darker side of Barrettism where the weirdness, the madness and the obsessiveness turns into a Stephen King nightmare...

Blow Syd
Blow Syd.

Madcap Laughter & Hammerings

Fuggitaboutit, build around a fifties teenage tragedy song, is based upon the endless laments of certain self-proclaimed Barrett scholars.

Your Significant Other is a track about those weird trolls who infests groups with different aliases, spreading false information and starting discussions, sometimes among themselves, just for the sake of argument. So what's your name today, which identity will you choose?, is the question Rich Hall asks. Based upon a true story.

Yer List Monger. Call it this album's The Trial but with a haunting Twin Peakish atmosphere, a hot burning sun, a mad priest preaching on the telly about sin and redemption, a fat red-neck orating conspiracy theories at the end of the bar, suddenly spitting out the venomous question: are you real Syd Barrett fans? Dwarfs are passing by, walking backwards and speaking in tongues. Meet the Hannibal Lecter of the Syd Barrett world.

A Cry From The Outside

Birdie Hop and the Sydiots has its coda with a rather alienated version of Barrett's Feel that leaves me with a bitter-sweet taste in the mouth. It's puzzling, it's not nice. It's all dark, as a matter of fact.

At times Rich Hall's way of words makes me think of Jason Lytle and Lee Clayton, his music is a kaleidoscope of sounds that reminds my fragile memory of T-Rex, neo-psych or garage rock. But of course Rich Hall is at first Rich Hall and nobody else.

Throughout this article I have dispersed some quotes from Pink Floyd and I did catch some resemblances here and there with themes from The Wall, but that is probably because I've recently watched a Mr. Roger Waters show. Let's hope this album will never grow into a monster and that a 69 years-old Rich Hall will not be obliged to lip-synch next to a 130 metres long plastic wall with hi-tech projections and a ridiculous flying cactus balloon in the air.

You don't need to be a Birdie Hop member to enjoy this album as all songs stand by themselves, but if you grab this and listen to it why don't you let the birdies know what you think of it.

Birdie Hop and the Sydiots @ Bandcamp

Birdie Hop and the Sydiots
July 2013
Instruments & vocals by Rich Hall.
Mixed by Rich Hall and Ron Bay.
Mastered by Ron Bay.

Streaming & digital download (name your own price system, 0.00 is an option as well).


Sources (other than the above internet links):
Jefferies, Neil, Dartford's Finest Band, Record Collector 417, August 2013, p. 54-55.

Website: Richard Michael John Hall
BandCamp channel: RichMFHall
SoundCloud channel: RichMFHall
YouTube channel: RichFMHall

♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Thanks: Anonymous • Freqazoidiac • Solo En Las Nubes • Psych62 • Anni • Bill • Euryale • Brooke • Jeff • Prydwyn • Chris • Helen • Sean • JenniFire • Sadia • Herman • JenS • Vince666 • Nipote • Gretta • Viv • Adenairways • Giuliano • Dolly • John • Babylemonade • Duggie • Synofsound • Mark • Xpkfloyd • Rich • Brett • Krackers • Peter • Phil • Zag • Warren • Listener • Bob • MOB • Nina • Dark Globe • Emily • Retro68special • Natashaa' • Vic • Jenny • Neonknight • Lord Drainlid • Ebronte • Simon • Ian • Will • Motoriksymphonia • NPF • Greeneyedbetsy • Anton • Hallucalation • PF Chopper • Lee • Felixstrange • Michael • PhiPhi • Eva • Cicodelico • Julian (Gian) • Denis • Dallasman • Emmapeelfan • Paro नियत • Ewgeni • Matt • Kiloh • Elizabeth • Alexander • Kirsty • Paul • Mohammed (Twink) • Nigel • Rusty • Braindamage • Pascal • Mark • Stanislav • Anthony • I Spy In Cambridge • Mick • Alain • Wrestling Heritage • Bloco do Pink Floyd • Moonwall • Rod • Charley • Amy • Joe • Griselda • Eternal • Dominae • Russell • Beate • KenB • Dan5482 • Tim • Antonio • Party of Clowns • Anne • Late Night • Lori • Colleen • Brian • Christopher • Jose • Göran • Jancy • Banjer and Sax • Ron • Vicky • ...and all those we have forgotten to mention!


2014-01-01

Love, Pain & Sorrow

Lindsay Corner, 1969
Lindsay Corner, 1969.

Happy New Year, sistren and brethren of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. Another year has passed by, with ups and downs, with happiness and grief, with joy and pain... In our Inuit realm some people passed away unfortunately, and luckily some new ones were born... welcome Vasilisa Alla... to this world of magnets and miracles...

Browsing through our scrapbook with unfinished articles, pictures and movies for the Church we noted this report from our fashion department. It is a 1969 documentary about Ossie Clarke with Lindsay Corner as one of the models.

To quote our fashion specialist:

In the first bit Lindsey Corner is on the left, then in the yellow dress with the blonde in blue, then in the middle with a long pink thing, then again in yellow with the blonde. She's the one with darker blonde wavy hair basically.

And yes we are aware of the rumours that circle about Lindsay Corner and Gala Pinion since a year or two. And no, we don't know when this will see the light of day...

2013

2013 was a weird year for the Church and its Reverend. Again we thought we would not be able to write anything for our lustrum, but in the end we clocked down at 20 slightly stupendous articles.

We started anoraky enough with an article about Syd's hair-length in the early Seventies, this to please the female audience of our little cult: Hairy Mess. Sometimes the Reverend regressed into Brian Eno mood and then he wrote some ditty texts about sweet nothings: King's Road Chic(k).

For Easter Iggy and the Reverend were remembered in a song from Rich Hall (Songs of Praise) whose concept album Birdie Hop and The Sydiots was released around the Church’s fifth birthday: Reverends and Sydiots. Thanks Rich!

Among the monks

The Church's biggest scoop this year was made in collaboration with the Spanish Sole En Las Nubes blog. Not only did Antonio Jesús find back the article that started the infamous Oseira rumours, but he also managed to interview the author of the hoax, Jose Ángel González. The Church merely harvested Antonio's excellent work, like churches mostly do: Spanishgrass.

Facebook's thriving Syd Barrett community, Birdie Hop, organised a meeting in Cambridge with several young and less younger Barrett fans, friends and lovers. It was a most amazing meeting in remembrance of a man who wrote the most peculiar kind of tunes: Birdie Hop: wasn't it the most amazing meeting? 

Did Syd leave us a message in a letter from a decade ago? Sometimes the truth is more beautiful than the legend: Making it clear... 

2014

And that is what we will continue to do in 2014, make it a fantastic year, boys and girls! And everything seems so much brighter... Let's party! Thanks Men On The Border!


Many thanks to Alexander, Amy Funstar, Anonymous, Antonio Jesús, Babylemonade Aleph, Baron Wolman, Birdie Hop, Bob Archer, Brett Wilson, Cambridge News, Christopher Farmer, Col Turner, Dion Johnson, Elizabeth Voigt-Walter, Stanislav, Euryale, Göran Nyström, Herman van Gaal, HYGIY, Joanne 'Charley' Milne, Joe Perry, Jon Felix, Jonathan Charles, Jose Ángel González, Julia, Kiloh Smith, Kirsty Whalley, Late Night, Laughing Madcaps, Lori Haines, Mark Blake, MAY, Men On The Border, Michael Rawding, MvB, No Man's Land, Phil Etheridge, Psych62, Radharani Krishna, Rich Hall, Rod Harris, Ron Cooper, Simon Hendy, Stefan Mühle, USA National Register off Historic Places, Viper, Vita, Wolfpack, Younglight, Yves Leclerc... Love you Swoonies!

And if I go insane,
And they lock me away,
Will you still let me join in the game?

♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥ Rich ♥ Alexander ♥ Liza ♥


2014-04-25

An innerview with Peter Jenner

In November of last year, Rich Hall (from 'Birdie Hop and Sydiots' fame) got in contact with Peter Jenner and wanted to know if Syd Barrett fans could ask him some questions. Jenner agreed, not fully realising what would hit him.

A message was put on two Facebook groups and in less than a week over one hundred different questions had been proposed by its members.

When Jenner got hold of the questions he was 'struck by the quantity' and kindly asked to slim them down a bit. Peter travels around a lot and preferred to have the interview over the phone. Diaries were put side by side to find some free space in our busy agendas and finally a date and time were agreed on.

And so, on a Friday afternoon a willing volunteer took a deep breath and dialled the number with trembling fingers. But it turned out to be a most amazing meeting, a Birdie's journey through space and time...

An innerview with Peter Jenner
Peter Jenner, 2013 (courtesy of Wikipedia)
Peter Jenner, 2013 (courtesy of Wikipedia).

An Innerview with Peter Jenner

BH: Thank you for according this interview, Mr. Jenner, we at Birdie Hop are mainly a bunch of weirdos...

PJ: Yes, a bunch of eccentrics...

BH: ...and when we heard that we could have an interview with you our members gathered about one hundred and twenty different questions to ask to you...

PJ: Oh my goodness me...

BH: But we toned it down to about 10.

PJ: Otherwise it would go on forever.

BH : Most of the detailed questions were all about the recordings that are apparently lingering somewhere in the vaults of EMI or Pink Floyd...

PJ: I don't know where they have gone. I have to say some did escape from me and got to... what was the name of the guy who did this Barrett group in the Seventies?

BH: Bernard White?

Bernard White started the Syd Barrett Appreciation Society and issued the legendary Terrapin magazine.

PJ: He could have been the one... Anyway I do know that some tapes did escape from my collection, because I just thought they were so good. So I hope that they are still around and that people can get them. But they are around, aren't they? Scream Thy Last Scream and Vegetable Man.

BH: They are still around and it is generally believed Bernard White released them.

PJ: It might be, but anyway there was someone who used to be in touch with me and somehow he managed to find those tapes. I don't know why they never got officially released. I don't know if the family objected but I think it might have been the Floyd. I think it was Roger (Waters) and Dave (Gilmour) who stopped it but I don't know what their position was or why they did it. If it had been the family that would have been fair enough. Perhaps people have been overprotective.

To me these tracks are like the Van Gogh painting with the birds over the wheat field, that's what Syd's brain was at. Try to look at the disturbance of Van Gogh through his paintings. If you want to understand Syd, if you want to know what was going on with him, you have listen to those tracks in the same way...

Van Gogh - Wheat Field with Crows (1890)
Van Gogh - Wheat Field with Crows (1890). Mashup: Felix Atagong.

Together with Jugband Blues they seem to me as a sort of an x-ray into his mind and so I do hope they will come out some day, but if not I do hope you people will keep them moving around, because I think they are important works.

BH: The thing is that Scream and Vegetable Man have been bootlegged so many times now, that there is perhaps no point any more in releasing them officially?

PJ: It is good they are around, but it would probably be better if they were officially available and at some time they will.

BH: Let's hope so, are you aware of any live shows that were taped? Apparently some of the gigs in America were...

PJ: Were they, I have never heard any?

BH: There was a rumour that all concerts in Fillmore were taped...

PJ: They were indeed. But perhaps that started later, because the Floyd were there quite early. Weren't the archives of the Fillmore called Bear Tapes or something...

Owsley 'Bear' Stanley, the Grateful Dead's soundman, allegedly had over 13000 tapes of the San Francisco scene, from 1965 and later, most of the Dead but he did record other bands as well if he happened to handle the soundboard. We checked the Grateful Dead touring dates of that period and theoretically it is possible that Bear might have taped Pink Floyd. According to David Parker in Random Precision Bill Graham routinely had all Fillmore gigs taped and a Pink Floyd soundboard recording of their April 1970 Fillmore show does exist.

BH: But nothing ever of The Pink Floyd has been released or...

PJ: I've not known of anything reliable... I think there were some tapes of the stuff Syd did with Twink in Cambridge but I've never heard them. I don't know what they're like.

BH: Well we can always ask him.

Easy Action records will (finally!) release the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band recording late May 2014. Other rehearsals and performances tapes may have been made by Victor Kraft who followed the band but these have never surfaced.

PJ: And there was some stuff around, semi-live stuff recorded by Peter Whitehead.

BH: The Tonight Let's All Make Love In London soundtrack.

PJ: There were a couple of film stuff that was done, but that is all I know about it.

BH: In our group we discussed the sessions Syd Barrett recorded for the film The Committee, and it was said that you were in possession of those tapes. Is this true?

PJ: As far as I know I am not in possession of these tapes, I might have been given a copy, but I surely not the masters. What was the name of the director.. my memory!

BH: It was in an article on the online publication Spare Bricks with Max Steuer. He claims you were given the tapes after the sessions. The director was Peter Sykes, by the way.

PJ: It was indeed Max Steuer, and he may have given us the tapes. But I do not remember them. But many things disappeared with the sudden collapse of Blackhill. My recollection is that they were less than amazing. However if I come across anything I will let you know.

Barrett & Jenner (67-ish)
Syd Barrett & Peter Jenner (67-ish).

BH: Thanks, that would be nice. There still is a lot in the vaults though.

PJ: Yeah, if they're not already out. Somewhere. If I look on your list: Double O Bo, I don't know that. I got Stoned rings a bell. She was a Millionaire that certainly was a tape which we thought might become a single. Andrew and I both liked that one. Reaction in G, I don't know about that. In the Beechwoods rings a bell. I'm a King Bee and Lucy Leave, I don't know what they were or where they came from.

Because when I was doing sessions with him they were very chaotic, you know. She Was a Millionaire was knocking around. Golden Hair was the most articulate, at the time I didn't realise those weren't his lyrics... It was from James Joyce, wasn't it?

BH: Yes indeed.

PJ: I was hoping that it would get finished, but with Syd it was really bits and pieces that would come through, bits of songs and bits of riffs and bits of lyrics. They would just come and then they would go and occasionally they would came back again... It was incredibly frustrating.

And I think that Roger and Dave did a lot to it, I don't know how much Syd really was involved in those tapes. You know we also tried to do some things with a band. “Syd, try this, try that.” There were various things we tried but none really worked.

BH: That's a pity... but that was how things were going...

PJ: Yes.

BH: There have been these rumours that Syd was influenced by Keith Rowe from AMM.

PJ: Well yes, I did take him to see Keith Rowe.

BH: Oh really?

PJ: Yes indeed, and I do think he saw Keith Rowe rolling a ballbearing up and down his guitar. It certainly did influence some of Syd's guitar playing, the zippos and things... and I think that the improvisational part of Pink Floyd was influenced by AMM and Keith Rowe. I knew these guys, I liked what they did and we were involved with the AMM record. Syd was also aware of them and perhaps even heard the tape. In a same way we also took them to the Radiophonic Workshop at the BBC to meet Delia Derbyshire. Again how far that influenced Syd or got into his head or that of the others, I have no idea.

Peter Jenner (courtesy of Moviestarnext)
Peter Jenner (courtesy of Moviestarnext).

BH: Did Keith Rowe and Syd Barrett actually meet or discussed music?

PJ: I don't know. I think they may have seen each other but in a sense I don't think you would need to discuss music. It was obvious what Keith Rowe was doing. And you don't need to sit there and discuss it. What's in the question of what chords you are using. It is all about the approach and the improvisational aspect.

I think Interstellar Overdrive was very influenced by that kind of stuff. That's an approach to improvisation. Presumably you know Interstellar Overdrive was recorded twice and mixed together, it was recorded simultaneously on top of each other.

BH: It is also very interesting to hear the different versions, because the first version was the one from the movie of Peter Whitehead.

PJ: Yes.

BH: And there is a big difference between both versions. The early one is still R&B influenced...

PJ: Yes.

BH: And the version on Piper is much more experimental...

PJ: Yes. They were experimenting, they recorded it in the studio and then they played the song again, listening to the earlier take. It was double-tracked.

BH: I think lots of people were surprised when they first heard it on the record.

PJ: I would think so.

BH: In the middle of '67 however things started to go wrong. The question that fans still ask today is: did anyone try to get into his mind or ask what was going wrong?

PJ: We certainly suggested, and I can't quite remember whether we ever got to him, but we certainly did want him to see Ronny Laing. But he clearly was unhappy and getting chaotic. The key thing that I remember was when they came back from America. Andrew (King), my partner, said that it had been a nightmare. Syd had become hard to manage and refused to do as would be expected. Things like: “Syd, it's a TV show, can you play a song?”, that all became very difficult. Andrew knows much more about that than I do because he was there. He and the rest of the band. The Hendrix tour was after that, wasn't it?

BH: Yes.

PJ: That is when it became clear that there really was a major problem with Syd. That is where Syd started not always being there for the pick-up and where we had the show with Dave O'List instead of him. By then he'd moved to Cromwell Road, hadn't he? Unfortunately by that time I saw less of him, I was close to him when he was in Earlham Street. Once he'd moved out and ended up in Cromwell Road... I never knew the people who... and I only know the legends, the rumours... that Syd was given a lot of acid, that there was acid every day. It certainly coincides with him becoming more and more weird.

And then he subsequently moved to stay with Storm and Po. So we thought that might be better and that it might help, but it didn't... So we were aware there were problems, the band became increasingly aware of the fact there were performance issues and that it was very hard for them to work with him... and that is where the breakup with Blackhill occurred because we were so keen on trying to keep Syd with the band.

Apples & Oranges Syd wrote all these great songs and there was a lot of pressure during the summer of '67 for him to write more songs. Which is Why She Is A Millionaire was knocking around. That is why we ended up with things like Apples and Oranges, because we needed a follow-up to See Emily Play. That is when pressure started to get to Syd really. Having a hit, doing TV shows, being interviewed, posing for magazine front covers... things started to be more work than he could handle.

BH: Do you think it was something that gradually happened or was there something like a lost weekend with a massive overdose...

PJ: I think gradually, that was certainly the impression one had. He just became weirder and weirder and we thought that it was maybe just a question of fame.

BH: People have said that when they came back from America, Roger Waters asked you to have Syd fired. Was the band indeed thinking of...

PJ: No, Roger didn't ask to get him fired but it became clear they were finding it very difficult to work with Syd. It was more my recollection that they were looking for means to make it work. So that is when Dave was introduced. What we were doing in a sense was the Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys solution. We were consciously thinking: “Well maybe Syd can go on if we take the pressure off him.”

We could all see that he wasn't well, so if we reduced the pressure maybe he still would be able to write songs and keep the band on the road. Because none of the band really wrote much. Roger did a little bit, but these songs weren't, you know... The one single they put together which wasn't a Syd song did not very well, It Would Be So Nice (written by Rick Wright) was not a great song. Pow R Toc H and Set The Controls To The Heart Of The Sun weren't that great either, in my opinion. We certainly felt that there was a problem with the songs on the second album which was why there was a certain pressure to get Vegetable Man and Scream Thy Last Scream on it, they got recorded because we needed them for the album.

But our ways were parting and I think the band always thought these songs were too much. By the time the Saucerful record finally got put together we weren't really working with them any more and we were slowly moving into history. The rest of the band put that record together, while I was still working with Syd. My wife and myself, we were trying to help, help him to stabilise and write...

BH: Was there any truth in the rumours that Syd and Rick tried to form a band?

PJ: I don't think so, I have never heard that. I mean, once things were starting to go weird there was no question of anyone wanting to work with Syd. But we were all close to Syd and we were certainly hoping that Syd would get back together. That said, Rick and Syd were quite close, Juliette (Gale, Rick's wife) was sort of sympathetic and we were close to Juliette... Also, Rick was the other major musician in the band, because at that stage Roger was not much of a musician.

Roger didn't write very much, but he was already conceptual, to come up with some of the things he came up with later. But he couldn't really sing and he couldn't tune his bass guitar. He was not a sort of natural musician, which makes it all the more remarkable in my book the way he got to with it all.

BH: Is it true that the Christmas On Earth show, on the 22nd of December '67, was the turning point and that it was decided then to put Syd on a 'Brian Wilson' status?

PJ: Was that in Olympia?

BH: Yes. Apparently you took the money and ran...

PJ: I think it was a financially very strange show. It was all a bit questionable what was happening. I can't really remember what exactly happened, but I do recall it was all a bit of a disaster. There wasn't a lot of people there and I think that was really the problem. Not a lot of people also meant not a lot of money and by that time we were getting short of cash so we needed whatever we could get.

June Child (67-ish)
June Child (67-ish).

BH: Legend goes that June Child cashed the money before Pink Floyd started and that she ran away with it. After two or three songs the promoter came to you to reclaim it, because the Floyd was so bad...

PJ: Well, I don't think we ever paid them back! I don't think that ever happened. It was all a bit too rough, they were wrong as well. Congratulations to June for getting the money. I'm sure we were all involved in telling her to go and get it and then... run for it... It wasn't a great gig.

BH: Apparently not.

PJ: I don't mean just the Floyd, but the whole organisation. It was a disaster, it was run by an amateur who just thought it would be a good thing. Because there weren't that many professional promoters, if you thought you could do it, you did it. After all, Hoppy (John Hopkins) had done things and Joe Boyd had done things and neither of them had ever been promoters before. And we did things and we never had been promoters. It was all very new, so you did what you thought you could do. Then things like Middle Earth came along and that was all done by people who never had done that before. So a lot of people trying things out who did not know what they were doing, including me...

The Christmas On Earth show was filmed but only a few snippets have survived. On one of these, an interview with Jimi Hendrix, you can hear Pink Floyd on the background. Rumour goes the camera crew bought old film to spare some money, but unfortunately the film negative was so degraded that most of it was for the rubbish bin. A rough cut was made, which was seen by Joe Boyd, but nobody knows if it still exists. Anyway, it is not even clear if the Pink Floyd show was actually recorded or not.

BH: Shortly after that the Floyd went their own way with A Saucerful of Secrets and Syd Barrett went his way with The Madcap Laughs.

PJ: Well, in a way he never really made The Madcap Laughs. He did a series of sessions where I tried to get some recordings from him but only bits and pieces came together. Nothing ever got to the point of: "Well that's a record." So we had to try again but everything just dribbled away. We were thinking: “We'll try some sessions and see what comes out of it.”, but after we did the sessions we realised we really hadn't got very much. So then I thought it would be better if we'd leave Syd for a bit, to wait until he got himself a little bit better and then try all over again. Eventually we did but still nothing much happened.

We tried to do some things with a band as well, I think we got a band in, and some musicians to come and play with him, but he couldn't... that really didn't work either.

I had a second lot of sessions with Syd, a few years later, when Bryan Morrison asked me to have another go.

BH: That was in 1974 then?

PJ: Yes.

BH: But apparently, nothing really much came out?

PJ: The same thing, nothing really much came out. Because Syd never had any songs, there would just be these glimpses of songs, it was really very chaotic.

BH: Some of the material of the 1974 sessions are in the open, they have been bootlegged.

PJ: Right.

BH: Some of the tunes he plays are just blues standards. He is just covering them, if you'd like.

PJ: Well I don't think he was covering them, that was just what came out (laughs).

BH: Songs he used to listen too when he was 16, 17 years old.

PJ: Probably. He would just play things... working with him on those sessions was like things coming in and out of fog. At first nothing much would happen but then the fog would come down and then there were signs of something. I would think: “Ah, it's going to happen!” and then it would disappear again. It was just the most frustrating and difficult thing I have ever been involved in my life. Because there were signs of things... “Look, it's gonna come, no, no... it's not.” It's like waiting for the rain during a drought or waiting for the sun during the winter.

BH: What's your opinion about The Madcap Laughs?

PJ: Well, I think Dave and Roger tried to fish out what they could fish out and turn it into whatever they could turn it into. And I was surprised at how good a job they did of it. A lot in there is their work rather than Syd's, it was them trying to imagine what it was he was trying to do.

BH: You personally didn't feel it weird that they redid Golden Hair and Octopus, which was first called Clowns And Jugglers. They redid it after you had already recorded it on your sessions.

PJ: Golden Hair was the only one from my sessions which almost might have been a song. There were some old tunes that he had, that I've heard him play, like Octopus. He had a book of songs and every now and then we'd go through the old ones. I can't remember what they all were but they were very childlike, a lot of them, Effervescing Elephant and things like that. And there was this sort of very childlike aspect to Syd which was very charming but also, I think, quite disturbing in a way.

BH: Opel, that was recorded by Malcolm Jones, was forgotten for the album.

PJ: Yes, and maybe a couple of other things that were half-done but that weren't dug up. You know, I never had produced anything, I didn't know what I was doing. I was just there trying, hoping to capture something. Cause that was what we had been doing with the Floyd. We didn't know what was going on, songs would just come. I don't think anyone of us knew what we were doing. Syd had some ideas about the songs, Norman (Smith) had some ideas. We tried to work them out and surely Norman helped a lot. The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn sessions were fine but later we could only see the rot set in. What it was and why it was will always be one of those mysteries, so I don't know...

Stones in Hyde Park
The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park.
Charlie Weedon (left), Rolling Stones roadie, friend of Syd Barrett
Charlie Weedon (left), Rolling Stones roadie, friend of Syd Barrett.

BH: Somebody also wanted to know about the famous Rolling Stones show, at the Hyde Park festival. Everybody says it was a Rolling Stones show but apparently it was a whole festival with a lot of groups.

PJ: After the Floyd had left we did some shows at the Festival Hall, perhaps even at the Queen Elisabeth Hall, I'm not sure about that, and then at Hyde Park.

In June 1968 the Floyd and Roy Harper played and I even think we managed to put on four different free festivals that summer. The Floyd did the first one, which was actually quite small, and they returned a couple of years later (in July 1970). The second summer we had Blind Faith (in June 1969), that one was really huge and very successful and it launched Blind Faith into stardom and that was when the Rolling Stones said they could do it as well. And that was already organised a few weeks later, wasn't it?

BH: The Stones was in July 1969.

PJ: I think so.

BH: Blackhill started as a bunch of enthusiast amateurs with an amateur band, but in two years time you had become a very big company.

PJ: We were not a big company! No, no, no, no. We were small, but we just did it. Somebody said: "Let's do that" and we did it. By the times the Stones came it had turned into a big show but it was still very amateurish. There was no security, there was hardly any police. No public litters. No admission either, it was just a free concert and it was pretty weird.

BH: It probably was still the time that one could contact the Rolling Stones to ask them things like that.

PJ: Well, it was a hippy era and they asked us, they wanted us to do it.

BH: Really?

PJ: We didn't ask them, The Rolling Stones asked us, I think Mick had worked out that was a way they could relaunch themselves as a live band.

BH: One of the rumours is that Syd Barrett was also on that concert, he was even driven by someone of your company there. I don't know if you know that.

PJ: That might have been the case but I can't remember. Personally I wouldn't think so, by the time of the Rolling Stones gig he was pretty far gone. He wasn't, as it were, under our control or care or anything, he had gone off into his own world. We were happy to have been part of his world but he didn't seem to want us to be part of his world. So he might well have been there but he certainly wasn't there for me.

BH: Thank you very much, Mr. Jenner, it was nice talking to you...

PJ: It's a mad world we live in, isn't it?

© Birdie Hop & The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, 2014.


Many thanks to Rich Hall, Peter Jansens, Peter Jenner. Inspired by questions from: Al Baker, Alexander P. Hoffmann, Allen Lancer, Andrew Charles Potts, Bruno Barbato Jacobovitz, Cathy Peek Collier, Clay Jordan, Ewgeni Reingold, Gaz Hunter, Gian Palacios-Świątkowski, Göran Nyström, Jenny Spires, Kiloh Smith, Lisa Newman, Mark Sturdy, Matthew Horsley, Memo Hernandez, Paul Newlove, Peter 'Felix' Jansens, Rich Hall, Richard Mason Né Withnell, Stanislav V. Grigorev, Steve Czapla, Steve Francombe, Tim Doyle. Thanks posted to ‎Giulio Bonfissuto and Raymond John Nebbitt for spotting errors!

♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥ Birdie Hop

Sources
Peter Jenner top picture. Source: Wikipedia, taken by Ralf Lotys (Sicherlich).
Van Gogh, Wheat Field with Crows & Syd Barrett mashup. Source (painting): Wikipedia, public domain. Mashup: Felix Atagong.
Syd Barrett & Peter Jenner (cropped). Source: June Ellen Child, The Cosmic Lady. Originally published in Nick Mason's Inside Out biography.
Peter Jenner third picture. Source: Pasado, presente y futuro de la música según Peter Jenner @ Movistarnext.
June Child (cropped). Source: June Ellen Child, The Cosmic Lady. Originally published in Nick Mason's Inside Out biography.
The Rolling Stones, Hyde Park. Source: The Stones in the Park @ Ukrockfestivals, taken by John Leszczynski.
Charlie Weedon, watching the Stones. Source: unknown.


2014-06-06

Boogie Wonderland

Birdie Hop. Artwork: Felix Atagong.

The Birdie Hop Facebook group has also a side project where people with a certain arty je-ne-sais-quoi are trying to get something on the rails. For the moment it is still vague and too preliminary to predict what may come out of it, but there are some ideas floating around and these tend to trigger other ideas, and perhaps one day it will surprise the world.

Opel, 2014

In contradiction to the Reverend, Rich Hall - one of Birdie's administrators and the creator of the amazing tribute album Birdie Hop and the Sydiots - didn't sit on his lazy ass while Alex was frolicking with the girls around the British landscape (see part one of this article: A sunny afternoon with Iggy). He took Syd's Opel track and added several guitar layers to the original version to make it sound a bit more finished. Of course it still has the quirky singing, but Rich's attempt is something of a definitive version and one that could be put on any Syd Barrett compilation album to come.

Update 2016 06 17: Soundcloud deleted this version a while ago, but it can be found on Facebook as well:

Opel upgrade by Rich Hall

Link: Opel (Rich Hall upgrade)

Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band
Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band.

London Cambridge Boogie, 1972

In Cambridge Alex had the opportunity to meet some people who already had an advance copy of the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band album that will come out any day now. Another reason to join Birdie Hop is that you read and hear things first, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. And, with Alex's blessing, we publish here what well could be the very first review of this record in the entire world!

Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band (© Alexander P. HB., 2014)

A big thanks to my friend and Punjabi brother Warren Dosanjh who sent me the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band CD (I had to look three times on the cover to write that correctly).

Of course, the sound and recording quality is not the best, but not as bad as I feared. It is much better than the 1967 live recordings we have of the early Pink Floyd. The main members Jack Monck and Twink do a great job in all songs, no doubt. The singer, Bruce Michael Paine, makes some of the songs sound like a special performance of Uriah Heep or Steamhammer (obviously). The track listing is a collection of late fifties or early sixties blues / rock 'n' roll / boogie tunes and a little bit of early seventies hard rock as well.

I can only hear two guitars.

I hear the perfection of Fred Frith in the first four songs and again in track 8 and 9, I´m not so sure of #8 though. Frith is nearly a perfect guitarist and can almost play nearly everything, nearly (lol)!

I definitively hear Syd Barrett in tracks 5 to 7. But he is not there for just a little bit, he is almost dominating the songs. He is strong and good and I´m sure he had practised a lot before, probably at home. Syd doesn't has the perfection of Frith but he is full of ideas and he is able to play parts that others can´t play or that others have not the craziness to play these parts. But at other times he plays conventionally and fits in perfectly with the song´s structures.

All in all this is much more than I had expected. I only listened to it once, but I didn't want to withhold you of my opinion.

A last word. How we look at the quality of the performed songs has got a lot to do with our viewpoints of today. Today we are spoiled by good concerts and good audio productions, but I'm sure we would all have been very happy to be there on the 27th of January 1972 in the Cambridge Corn Exchange!

Perhaps my expectations were so low that I sound a little bit too enthusiast now. But I am surprised by Syd´s guitar playing. I never thought that he was in such a good shape as a guitar player. This lets me believe that Twink is right and that the Stars concerts were far better than what was written later by people who weren't there.

© Alexander P. HB., 2014.

A detailed review with a full background story and an interview with Twink will appear later on, simultaneously at the Church and Birdie Hop.

This is part two of Alexander's adventures in the UK, for part one, go here: A sunny afternoon with Iggy 
This is also a prequel of our Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band article series: LMPTBB 


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


2014-07-26

An innerview with Mohammed Abdullah John Alder, better known as Twink

Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band
Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band.

We first had the idea of Birdie Hop members asking some questions to Mohammed Abdullah John Alder, also known as Twink, but most of those had already been asked in previous interviews that lay scattered all over the web (see our list underneath). Then the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band record came out and Twink's exclusive interview in the Six Hour Technicolour Dream booklet only triggered more questions from us.

The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band Six Hour Technicolour Dream gig, on January the 27th 1972, was not, as you probably know, Syd's last gig, nor was it his last recording. Actually, Syd never joined LMPTBB but gigged with them twice as a surprise guest. How the tape survived into the twenty-first century and was finally published by Easy Action records is a story you can read here: The Last Minute Put Together Reel Story.

Bruce Michael Paine
Bruce Michael Paine, LMPTBB lead singer.

Apparently the vibes were so good that two out of three LMPTBB members started dreaming of a post-Floyd Barrett band, not very much to the amusement of singer Bruce Paine if we may believe Joly MacFie (Twink's business partner in the Cambridge music club Juniper Blossom and Stars roadie annex sound-man):

I was sharing a house with Twink and Paine. Paine was a somewhat vain and career oriented American who went on to join Steamhammer. He wasn't compatible with Syd. When Twink showed more interest in Syd, Bruce got pissed off and moved out and that was the end of the band. (Taken from So what's with 1972 Stars reel? @ SBRS (forum no longer active.))

Stars was formed shortly later and would gig about five times, dates and venues can be found at the Pink Floyd Archives:

Date Venue City Band
1972 01 26    King's College Cellars    Cambridge    LMPTBB
1972 01 27    The Corn Exchange    Cambridge    LMPTBB
1972 02 05    The Dandelion Coffee Bar    Cambridge    Stars
1972 02 12    Petty Cury, Market Square    Cambridge    Stars
1972 02 12    The Dandelion Coffee Bar    Cambridge    Stars
1972 02 24    The Corn Exchange    Cambridge    Stars
1972 02 26    The Corn Exchange    Cambridge    Stars

Pink Floyd biographer Mark Blake tried to find out more about the mythical Stars tapes, that have been rumoured to exist, and posted his finding on the Late Night and Syd Barrett Research Society forums (here edited a bit):

Rehearsal tapes - Twink has mentioned on more than one occasion that Syd recorded the early practices. It goes without saying that these tapes must be long lost.
Dandelion Cafe - lots of people (Twink, Jack and possibly Joly [MacFie]) remember Victor Kraft sitting there with his Nagra tape machine at the Dandelion, and possibly the Corn Exchange as well.
Market Square - recorded, supposedly, by a friend of someone who mentioned it on the Laughing Madcaps list. The tape, supposedly, is at the taper's parents' house in Oxford. [Note from FA: this is probably the tape mentioned at Fortean Zoology. All efforts to make the blogger move his lazy ass have been effortless: Beatles: Off topic but not really.]
Final Corn Exchange show (with Nektar) - according to Joly MacFie, his co-roadie Nigel Smith had a friend called Chris who taped this show.

Although some YouTube videos claim to contain Stars tapes these are believed to be either fakes or mislabelled Barrett solo concerts, so it is still waiting for the real deal, if they not have been buried in the vaults of Pink Floyd Ltd.

But the good news is that the Six Hour Technicolour Dream tape has been released by Easy Action, that Syd Barrett stars (sorry, we couldn't resist the joke) on three of its tracks and although the sound quality is only slightly more than average, the fun is dripping out of our stereo boxes. Mythical drummer Twink, who is currently recording a follow-up of his legendary Think Pink album (1968), lend us some of his time to tell us the following...

An innerview with Mohammed Abdullah John Alder, better known as Twink
Twink (2013)
Twink (2013).

An innerview with Mohammed Abdullah John Alder, better known as Twink

BH: Of course we all know this record is interesting for Syd Barrett's performance, but the real discovery on the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band is that amazing singer, Bruce Paine. How did you and John Lodge (Honk) meet up with him and how did the band come into place?

MAJA: I first met Bruce Paine in the autumn of 1971 at Steve Brink's boutique "What's In A Name" in Union Rd just before he rented a room in Steve's cottage which was situated next to the shop. We talked very briefly about putting a band together because at that time I was just helping Hawkwind out from time to time. Once Bruce had moved into the cottage the band came together quite quickly. I recruited John "Honk" Lodge as our bass player who was living in London but that didn't seem to get in the way of the band project. Other members included Dane Stevens (The Fairies & The Cops And Robbers) on vocals & Adam Wildi on congas but both only lasted one show. We called the band The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band.

BH: Who came up with the idea of naming it the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band? Is there any explanation for the band's name?

MAJA: Bruce came up with the name and I think it was simply that the band came together quite quickly once show offers began to come in.

BH: After a record deal with Polydor had failed, Honk left the band and was replaced by Jack Monck.

MAJA: Yes, "Honk" left immediately the Polydor deal fell through. I think he was disheartened because Polydor's A&R department made it clear that after the demos we did for them, we were in. The whole thing fell down at the contract stage because the contracts manager there was having a bad day. He refused to raise the contracts and kept playing Led Zeppelin at full volume which drove us out of his office. He apologised to me about a month later just after he had been fired from his job. But the damage was done and there would be no record deal for The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band.

BH: Did you meet Syd in Cambridge before the Eddie Guitar Burns gig? Did you know that Syd was going to jam with LMPTBB on the 26th of January 1972 or were you as surprised as the audience?

MAJA: I was surprised and happy to see Syd arrive at the Eddie "Guitar" Burns gig with Jenny and carrying his guitar case. He arrived while we were sound checking, came to the back of the stage area, took his guitar out of its case and started to tune up. We had been friends since 1967 but we had lost touch in '68. It was wonderful to see him again. The following day Syd came to The Six Hour Technicolour Dream where The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band was supporting Hawkwind & The Pink Fairies. Again I was surprised to see him there with his guitar case. Syd was keen to play so we invited him to join us on stage along with Fred Frith from the band Henry Cow who was guesting with us that night.

BH: It must not be easy trying to remember a gig from 40 years ago, but there are two different testimonies about the Kings Cellar's concert. One witness says that LMPTBB played twice on that concert. According to him, the opening support gig had Syd, Monck and you. After the Eddie Guitar Burns gig, LMPTBB returned, this time with Bruce Paine. According to Terrapin magazine Syd jammed with LMPTBB after the Eddie Guitar Burns show. Not that it really matters, this only shows how anoraky we are.

MAJA: The Terrapin report is correct however it is possible the Syd, Jack & I tuned up together but that was not part of the show.

BH: Now to the Six Hour Technicolour Dream concert of the following day. How did Fred Frith come on board? Did he know Syd Barrett was going to be there as well? What was his reaction? What was your opinion after the gig had ended?

Twink (2014) with Marco Conti, Dane Stevens, Jon Povey. Photo by Carinthia West.
title=Twink (2014) with Marco Conti, Dane Stevens, Jon Povey. Photo; Carinthia West.

MAJA: We had a lot of contact with Fred Frith & Henry Cow who frequently played at The 10p Boogie Club which was run by Joly MacFie & myself at Fisher Hall in Cambridge having taken over the venue from Jenny Spires & Jack Monck and renamed it Juniper Blossom.

The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band often played there and so did Henry Cow. Fred Frith guested with The Last Minute Boogie Band there too. Fred guesting with us at The Six Hour Technicolour was more formal and when it was decided that Syd would guest too he was welcomed by all concerned with open arms. Our performance was well received and with Syd's enthusiastic participation at both the Eddie "Guitar" Burn gig & The Six Hour Technicolour Dream our creative wheels began to turn resulting in the formation of STARS with Syd Barrett, Jack Monck & myself a few days later.

BH: Was this the LMPTBB's last gig? Did anyone say, this is it, last gig, finished?

MAJA: The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band continued after Jack & I left for STARS with replacement musicians.

BH: Did you, at one point or another, think of asking Syd to join LMPTBB?

MAJA: It was Jack & Jenny that thought about forming a band with Syd.

BH: If our information is correct you have been pulling some strings to make this release possible.

MAJA: The only things that needed sorting out were group members and song details as well as contract details to include both Bruce Paine & Roger Barrett's Estates. Then there was restoring, mastering and the cover to achieve as well. Everyone was very helpful.

BH: As you probably know, Pink Floyd (or EMI) have another copy of the LMPTBB tape, however at one point there were rumours this tape actually contains a Stars concert rather. know what they really have?

MAJA: I have no idea what EMI have. It's possible they have a STARS tape.

BH: Any chance that the LMPTBB Polydor tapes will ever see the light of day? Does anyone know where these demos are?

MAJA: It is possible The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band demos will be released as they are probably sitting in Polydor's archives. I think Honk may well have a copy tape.

BH: In retrospect, what was the band you were happiest with? If you could go back to these days what would you have changed to make it better?

MAJA: Playing with The Pretty Things made me happy and I wouldn't want to change a thing.

BH: Many thanks, Mohammed, and good luck with Think Pink 2!

End of part four of our LMPTBB series. If you don't stop us, there will probably be a part five. You have been warned.

© Birdie Hop & The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, 2014.


Many thanks to Mohammed Abdullah John Alder, Rich Hall, Peter Jansens. Inspired by questions from: Mike Baess, Rick Barnes, Andre Borgdorff, Anita Buckett, Rich Hall, Jane Harris, Alexander P.H., Peter Felix Jansens, Raymond John Nebbitt, Lisa Newman, Göran Nystrom, Anni Paisley, Cheesecake Joe Perry, Paul Piper, Michael Ramshaw, James Vandervest.

Some Twink interviews over the years (back to text):
Ivor Trueman, Opel Magazine, 1985 (mirror)
It's Psychedelic Baby, 2012
Laughing Madcaps, 2013
Sophia On Film, 2014
Punk News, 2014
Hit Channel, 2014

♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥ Birdie Hop


2014-12-13

Happy Birthday Iggy Rose!

Magical Iggy

A couple of weeks ago Iggy and the Reverend browsed through a stash of mid-seventies photos and selected nearly 60. They have been (and will still be for quite a while) simultaneously published at Iggy's Facebook page and at the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Tumblr site under the Magical Iggy flag.

How, you didn't know that existed? Here it is again, you ignorant people:
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Tumblr blog, its Magical Iggy section and the Archive.

Magnetic Iggy

Have you seen our latest post about the Syd & Iggy magnet: The perfect Xmas gift: put Iggy on your fridge! To get one, please email anthony@anthonysternglass.com. We assure you that, for once, the money will be well spent.

Iggy magnet
Iggy the eskimo magnet. Picture: Anthony Stern.

Birthday Iggy -14th of December 2014

In less than an hour it will be Iggy's birthday. The Reverend fought blizzards, storms and packs of hungry wolves to go to Louvain's postal station to find out, then, that he had forgotten Iggy's birthday card at home.

Happy Birthday Iggy Rose!

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!

Partytime Iggy

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

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

Reverends & Eskimos

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

The Reverend by Rich Hall (hi-res, Flash)
The Reverend by Rich Hall (hi-res, Flash).

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

Rich Hall
The Reverend
Birdie Hop © 2013.

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card

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

Crystal Blue Postcards

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

Crystal Blue Postcards
Crystal Blue Postcards, Denis Combet (Flash pageFlip presentation, 2011).

Guitars and Dust Dancing by Rescue Rangers

In 2011, Pascal Mascheroni, from the stoner power trio Rescue Rangers donated the haunting (& slightly psychedelic) power ballad Guitars and Dust Dancing from the album with the same name (buy your copy at iTunes: Guitars and Dust Dancing). In the meanwhile enjoy this Youtube clip with the smashing artwork from Jean Vouillon.

WHY DON'T YOU WISH IGGY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY?

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

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 Constance Cartmill, Denis Combet, Phil Etheridge, Amy Funstar, Rich Hall, Pascal Mascheroni, MAY, Goeran Nystroem, Allison Star, Anthony Stern, Jean Vouillon, Brett Wilson and all the others that we seem to have forgotten...
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥


2015-01-01

Of Promises Broken

Sad Barrett
Sad Barrett. Artwork: Felix Atagong.

Happy New Year, sistren and brethren of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. 2014 is gone and again what a long strange trip it has been, to quote – once again - musician, lyricist and poet Robert Hunter. Syd Barrett is dead all right and unfortunately his legacy hasn't been ageing gratefully at all last year. An enlightened visionary once said that if you put two Barrett fans together they will start a group and if you'll put three they will start a fight. This is past year's history in a nutshell and enough reason for the Reverend to say adieu to all Facebook Syd Barrett groups, without exception, even the ones he co-founded. 2014 showed they are as unique as Pepsi is to to Coca Cola, perfect clones and excelling in superfluous and sickly sweet mediocrity. This crusty dinosaur needed to get rid of the bickering, the hijacking of each other's members, the shouting to and fro, the arrogant standpoint of people who never heard of Syd Barrett three months before but who feel it their constitutional right to surpass their ignorance and insult the old farts for the only reason they can.

Luckily there are still some free minds around who do the things they do, unburdened, in all artistic freedom and who we can call our friends. Rich Hall comes to mind, over the years this multi-instrumentalist has acquired an impressive back catalogue of indie records, with of course the impressive Birdie Hop & The Sydiots that appeared in 2013.

This year he surprised the lethargic Syd Barrett world with an enhanced version of the Barrett track Opel. Opal, as some people claim it should be, is a haunting tune and has some of Barrett's finest verse (crisp flax squeaks tall reeds) but it only exists as a demo. Hall added additional layers of guitar, thus creating something that could be close to the definitive Opel / Opal version.

Opel (upgrade) by Rich Hall
Opel (upgrade) by Rich Hall. Opens in a separate window.

Link: Opel (Rich Hall upgrade)

Rich Hall
Rich Hall.

Roger Keith Barrett Superstar

In the privacy of the confessional Rich had already whispered into the Reverend's ears that he was of the opinion that Barrett's seminal 1974 sessions could be turned into something more coherent and because nobody believed him, the Reverend included, he decided to give these tapes the Opel treatment as well.

The Dark Side of the Moon had made Pink Floyd a supergroup and their record companies decided to earn some quick cash, surfing on the success of the million seller. The first budget release was A Nice Pair (1973) that combined the Floyd's first two records, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and A Saucerful Of Secrets, although American copies had some alternative mixes of some of the tracks. Actually this was not such a bad idea, because in America Pink Floyd had been a relatively unknown band till then. The compilation hit the Billboard top 40.

For the first time American kids heard of Syd Barrett and his two solo albums, that had never crossed the ocean, were re-packaged in 1974 as a double album with a 'founder member of Pink Floyd' sticker on the front. The album rose to position 163 in the American charts, which was an unexpected success and made the record executives hunger for more at both sides of the Atlantic.

Bryan Morrison, who was still Barrett's agent, convinced Syd to get back in the studio with Peter Jenner (who we interviewed this year: An innerview with Peter Jenner) to start a third studio project, but it only resulted in some hastily shambolic recordings. But now, in 2014, Rich Hall took the 1974 demos, added extra guitar, bass, drums and sleigh bells (where would rock music be without sleigh bells?) and here is how it sounds. The result is still best described as your drunk uncle torturing his guitar on Christmas eve after his fourth coffee cognac, but kudos to Hall for enriching the demos. At least we hear now where it could have led into if only Barrett would have had the balls...

Tracklisting: Start
Boogie #1 (with a trace of Bo Diddley’s ‘Pretty Thing’) 0'00
Boogie #2 1'28
Boogie #3 2'58
If You Go #1 4'24
If You Go #2 6'38
Untitled 8'25
Slow Boogie 9'40
Fast Boogie 12'22
Ballad 13'30
John Lee Hooker (actually Lighting' Hopkins' Mojo Hand) 15'20
Chooka-Chooka Chug Chug 18'18

Endless Insults

Opposed to a band called Pink Floyd there is a company with the same name that seems to have other interests than to serve the band it represents, even going as far as insulting and legally threatening webmasters and active forum members (read: über-fans) because they dare to write something that doesn't fit into saint David's money scheme, who thinks he is the caretaker of all things Syd Barrett, which – in reality – means buying all possible Barrett-related items, movies and recordings and hiding them in a storage place, out of sight of the public and the fans. Ted Shuttleworth about his Crazy Diamond movie script in 2011:

Presently, the script is with a guy who has been placed in charge of the Syd Barrett estate. He is also David Gilmour's manager, and ostensibly Pink Floyd's manager as well. I have no idea if he's ever read it. I imagine he hasn't. But if a movie about Syd is ever going to seriously happen, he is the man who is going to give the first OK. Maybe one of these days he'll call me back. (Taken from: Ted Shuttleworth and the "Crazy Diamond" Movie)

Well, in the case of the Crazy Diamond movie, that was equally trashed down by Roger Waters and by David Gilmour, this might have been a good thing.

Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band
Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band.

The Last Minute Never Mentioned Boogie Band

Not that the webmasters of the Pink Floyd fan sites are any better. The three big Pink Floyd fan-sites, two of them serious and a third who copies all from the others, wet their trousers whenever a Floyd member or Floyd collaborator does a 'thing' however trivial that 'thing' might be. The Igquisition made a nice table about some recent Floydian events, counting the times they have been mentioned.

   

Event Person AFG BDA NPF
Goldtop 1957 auction Snowy White 2 1 0
Bombay Bicycle Club David Gilmour 1 1 1
Kirsty Bertarelli Nick Mason 1 1 1
Signal To Noise Andy Jackson 2 3 0
The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band Syd Barrett 0 1 0

Of course we don't mind that Snowy White selling his 1957 Goldtop Standard Les Paul guitar gets a mention, it can be heard on the 8-track version of Animal's Pigs On The Wing (this track was later re-issued on Snowy's Goldtop compilation).

It is not more than normal that Nick Mason, sitting in on drums on a (frankly dreadful) Kirsty Bertarelli Christmas single (The Ghosts Of Christmas Past), or David Gilmour, joining Bombay Bicycle Club at the last gig ever on Earls Court, is documented on the fan-sites, that is what fan-sites are for.

But that Andy Jackson's solo album gets mentioned 5 times more by the fan-sites than the The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band, with Syd Barrett guesting on 3 tracks, is frankly unbelievable. The original tape of this concert was confiscated in 1985, in a rather NSA-shaped way, by a Pink Floyd black suit and then hurled into the maelström they call their archive (see: The Last Minute Put Together Reel Story). Luckily a second copy of this tape was found back in 2005 and issued by Easy Action records after nearly a decade of legal struggle.

When I am A Good Dog They Sometimes Throw Me A Bone In

That Neptune Pink Floyd is not aware of this release is probably just a sign of their overall ignorance. However it is more problematic for A Fleeting Glimpse not mentioning it. Col Turner, by his own words a fan of Pink Floyd since 1966, should be well aware of Syd Barrett's importance and legacy. His website, that has attracted over 50 million visitors and whose forum has over 13000 members, brags that it is the most accurate, the most informed and the first to come out with officially confirmed news. Not mentioning the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band could be a sign that Col T only publishes what his One Fifteen puppet master allows him to publish, as the Endless River incident has clearly proven past year (see: The loathful Mr. Loasby and other stories...).

Update 2015 08 02: Browsing through the Late Night forum we came across a post from Lee Wood who made the Syd's Cambridge DVD Box Set, limited to 100 copies, in 2009. He send a copy of the box to one of the leading Pink Floyd fan-sites but was informed by the webmaster that they would not review the release. Lee Wood:

"The Management" of PF seems to like total control. I sent a review copy of the box set to Brain Damage whom I always thought were a good source of information but they couldn't run a review until they got permission from official sources. Needless to say it's been several months and nothing has appeared. So perhaps its not worth looking to them for unbiased information or any form of news of interest to fans. (Source: Syd's Cambridge Box Set.)

Oh by the way, the official Syd Barrett website never mentioned the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band release either. But they are a One Fifteen product as well, and as such only interested in selling t-shirts, some of those are quite nice even.

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit published several articles about this record, with interviews of Carlton Sandercock, Mohammed Abdullah John Alder (Twink for short) and Fred Frith. Pearls for the swine, one might say, because even the self-proclaimed Syd Barrett fans largely ignored this release and were openly shouting for the tracks to be illegally published on YouTube.

Spanishgrass album 2014
Spanishgrass album 2014.

Caca Del Toro

When a Mexican Syd Barrett fan asked the Church, in May 2012, if we knew anything about a third solo album, allegedly recorded in a Spanish monastery, we didn't know this old urban legend would rip the Barrett community open like zombies with their entrails gushing out of their bellies.

All the Church did was looking into this (obvious) myth and reporting about it. The research was taken a step further by Antonio Jesús from the phantasmagorical blog Solo En Las Nubes who not only tracked down the rumour to its source, an article in a satirical magazine, but also managed to interview the person who started this hoax. What we thought was a fine piece of investigative journalism, taking months of research (the last articles were published in 2013), was considered inappropriate by those people who fill their time by studying the hair-length of Barrett (see: Hairy Mess) on coloured photographs that were once published in magazines back home.

However, the myth was far from over. In August of this year, four reel-to-reel tapes were sent in a luxury 'immersion' box to 4 people on 3 continents containing a 2014 re-imagination of the record. Two of them were the people who had published the Spanishgrass files on their blogs: Antonio Jesús & the Reverend. The two others were Rick Barnes, record collector, music investigator, administrator of the Facebook Syd Barrett group Birdie Hop and Stanislav Grigorev, whose Floydian con-artistic artwork even fooled the professionals that are Barrett's management.

Obviously the Church reported and commented about this (quite intriguing and musically excellent) record and published a review when it was streamed on Bandcamp (see: Spanishgrass by Spanishgrass, a review of the 2014 album). Useless to say that it was mostly disregarded by those fans who squawk orgasmically over photoshopped Barrett images where it looks as if someone has just vomited a bowl of three-coloured pasta all over him.

The general disinterest and the continuous backstabbing was a sign o' the times, so thought the Reverend, to seek up new pastures and to say goodbye with a cheerful bless you all.

Welcome to 2015.


♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2015-12-13

Happy Birthday Iggy Rose!

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

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

Birthday Greetings, Felix Atagong
Birthday Greetings, Felix Atagong.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IGGY ROSE!

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

Partytime Iggy

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

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

Reverends & Eskimos

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

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

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

Rich Hall
The Reverend
Birdie Hop © 2013.

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card

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

Crystal Blue Postcards

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

Crystal Blue Postcards, Denis Combet.

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

Guitars and Dust Dancing by Rescue Rangers

In 2011, Pascal Mascheroni, from the stoner power trio Rescue Rangers donated the haunting (& slightly psychedelic) power ballad Guitars and Dust Dancing from the album with the same name (buy your copy at iTunes: Guitars and Dust Dancing). In the meanwhile enjoy this Youtube clip with the smashing artwork from Jean Vouillon.

WHY DON'T YOU WISH IGGY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY?

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


The Church wishes to thank Constance Cartmill, Denis Combet, Phil Etheridge, Amy Funstar, Rich Hall, Pascal Mascheroni, MAY, Goeran Nystroem, Allison Star, Anthony Stern, Jean Vouillon, Brett Wilson and all the others that we seem to have forgotten...
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥


2016-12-14

Happy Birthday, Iggy!

Happy Birthday, Iggy!
Happy Birthday, Iggy!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IGGY ROSE!

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

Partytime Iggy

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

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

Reverends & Eskimos

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

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

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

Rich Hall
The Reverend
Birdie Hop © 2013.

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card

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

Crystal Blue Postcards

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

Crystal Blue Postcards, Denis Combet.

Crystal Blue Postcards (Flash pageFlip presentation, 2011).

Guitars and Dust Dancing by Rescue Rangers

In 2011, Pascal Mascheroni, from the stoner power trio Rescue Rangers donated the haunting (& slightly psychedelic) power ballad Guitars and Dust Dancing from the album with the same name (buy your copy at iTunes: Guitars and Dust Dancing). In the meanwhile enjoy this Youtube clip with the smashing artwork from Jean Vouillon.

WHY DON'T YOU WISH IGGY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY?

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


The Church wishes to thank Constance Cartmill, Denis Combet, Phil Etheridge, Amy Funstar, Rich Hall, Pascal Mascheroni, MAY, Goeran Nystroem, Allison Star, Anthony Stern, Jean Vouillon, Brett Wilson and all the others that we seem to have forgotten...
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥