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The Anchor's editor was kindly asked, although summoned would be a more
appropriate term, to do an independent review of an interview of the
Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit that recently appeared on
the extraordinary Spanish Barrett blog Solo
en las Nubes (Alone in the Clouds).
Run by Antonio Jesús the blog is a mix of information and
fun, containing several references to La Sagrada Iglesia de Iggy La
Esquimal, that could be without doubt a title for one of the weirder Pedro
Almodóvar movies. Quite recently, in a dark corner of The
Anchor, dimly lit by a dripping candle in a bottle on the rough
wooden table, I bend over to the gorgeous black-haired girl sitting in
front of me, slowly whispering 'La Sagrada Iglesia de Iggy La Esquimal'
in her ears (actually, in one ear only as it is quite infeasible to
whisper in two ears at the same time, except for Mick Jagger perhaps).
Oh Alex Fagotin baby, she passionately sighed with heaving
breasts, say that to me one more time, but unfortunately my hair already
had caught fire by then.
One very interesting part of the Spanish Barrett blog are the so-called self-interviews
(or autoentrevista) and so far Antonio has persuaded Duggie
Fields and Laughing Madcaps front-man Kiloh Smith to reveal
their souls in these autobiographical Rorschach
Titled 'Felix Atagong: "Un hombre sincero"' the latest
self-interview has provoked roars of hysterical laughter from the Åland
Islands to Wallis
and Futuna. We reveal no real secrets if we tell you that the
Reverend has left a trail of female victims from Oslo to Tarzana
and rumour goes there will be more to follow despite many international
The Reverend's self-interview can already be described as absolute
rock-bottom and without doubt it will be voted the all-time-worst-entry
at the - otherwise excellent - Spanish Barrett blog. Time to let you
decide for yourself what a kind of pompous pathetic pumpernickel that
Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit really is. Ladies and
gentlemen, the Anchor presents, but not too proudly: Felix Atagong: an
Felix Atagong: "Un hombre sincero"
Even the roads of rock are unfathomable.
Felix Atagong, from Belgium, has created a blog dedicated to Iggy, the
model of The Madcap Laughs album. Nobody knew her whereabouts for almost
forty years. The coincidence of life, meaning that it is not
coincidental at all, has lead this case to an unexpected but
In his self-interview, Mr. Atagong, the Sherlock Holmes of the Floydian
world (he even helped to clarify the Publius Enigma) and always
committed to the truth he slowly peels the layers of the story of his
blog, and more... (introduction written by Antonio Jesús)
1. What is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit?
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is a blog for Syd Barrett fans dealing
with the – very short – period in 1969 when Syd's alleged girlfriend
Iggy lived with the singer. Apart from some unverified rumours about her
Eskimo roots nobody really knew something about her, nor what happened
to her after her sudden disappearance in 1969.
2. How did it all start?
The Church more or less started as a prank. Discussing the (theoretical)
possibility of a Barrett religion on the Late Night forum I mentioned a Saint
Iggy Congregation in 2007 and when, in March 2008, DollyRocker
recognised Iggy acting in a 1967 British documentary, I jokingly announced
the Church's birth. But the idea still ripened for five months before
any blog post appeared.
3. What were your intentions?
These were quite ambiguous by design.
Obviously the Church frame, lead by an all-knowing Reverend who
addresses his flock in a swollen and theatrical language, is satirical.
I wanted to imitate those overzealous fans, who can't stop arguing that
Barrett is the world's most underrated musical genius and graphical
artist and who painstakingly, almost in religious stupor, scrutinize
every minute of his life.
But while I was developing the blog I soon realised that I was
painstakingly, almost in religious stupor, collecting all available
puzzle pieces that lay shattered over the net, on blogs, in forums, that
were published in different articles and biographies, thus creating the
ultimate Iggy repository.
Both concepts share an an osmotic relationship and - by being what it is
and what it pretends to be – the Church has evolved into a meta-concept,
although that thin ironic line is probably completely ignored by the
people who visit it.
4. But the Church did trigger an Iggy revival, didn't it?
Not really. Every avalanche starts with a couple of snowflakes and by
sheer luck the Holy Church happened to be on the right place at the
right time. After nearly 40-years of silence several people
simultaneously remembered Iggy. Most of the time the Church was not
involved but has been monitoring and commentating these events. What
nobody expected, except perhaps for the Holy Igquisition, is that it
resulted in some sort of Iggymania.
Iggymania started when Mojo magazine put Syd Barrett on its cover in
2010. Of course that cover story was all about The Madcap Laughs 40th
birthday but the Church had clearly inspired one of the articles. Not
only did this boost the hits on the website but a few days later The
Church could reveal that Evelyn (Iggy) had been found back as well and
that thanks to Mojo.
Beginning of this year Pink Floyd biographer Mark Blake could finally
interview Iggy and that is when Iggymania fully exploded.
5. Not bad for something that started as a joke.
The Church had already turned serious when JenS shared her memories with
us, revealing that she (probably) introduced Iggy to Syd and pinpointing
The Madcap Laughs photo-shoot date in spring, rather than in the autumn
of 1969. Some time later another acquaintance of Syd gave her first
interview ever to the Church. Margaretta Barclay and her boyfriend Rusty
were regular visitors at Syd's flat and they even tried to resuscitate
Barrett's interest in music by dragging him over to Meic Stevens, who is
still some kind of weird folk cult figure.
I find it rewarding that some of the Church theories have been reprinted
in magazine articles and biographies, so I guess we're not all rubbish
6. But finding Iggy also presented a major crisis for the Church,
It is the ambiguity of all organisations that have a certain goal. What
do you do if the goal has been reached? What will Greenpeace do if
no-one hunts little seals any more? The worst thing that could happen to
the Church was to find Iggy! But every time the Reverend uttered the
fear there would be lack of Iggy, something new turned up. And 2011 has
already proved to be no exception.
Thinking about the future the Church did some reorganising and will
continue developing into other areas, of course not neglecting its
primary task to inform about al things Ig. One of the new items at the
Church will be a gossip corner called 'The Anchor', named after the
Cambridge pub Syd Barrett used to visit in the early Sixties. We hope it
will stir things up as the Barrett community has become quite lethargic
lately. We're all old farts who fall asleep after our afternoon tea and
7. The question we are all waiting for: is Iggy aware of it at all
and what does she think of the Church?
Evelyn kept a low profile over the years, although she apparently never
hid the fact that she had been on the cover of The Madcap Laughs album.
But the path of Iggy and the path of the Barrett fan community simply
didn't converge for the last 40 years.
Recently Iggy has contacted the Church and she gave us valuable
information. However the question is what will happen when Iggymania
freezes over. I feel it a bit hypocrite to say that now, but it was
never the Church's intention to invade Iggy's privacy.
8. This interview should have at least one anoraky question,
reflecting the true nature of the Church. Does the 'eskimo chain' line
in Barrett's Dark Globe refer to Iggy?
Dark Globe is a very poignant, hermetic track and, as is the case in
many of Syd's songs, its lyrics can be interpreted in different ways. I
think Julian Palacios describes it as a lament to Pink Floyd or
something of that order. It also reads as a goodbye song to a past love
and here is where the 'eskimo chain' line fits in – or doesn't.
I'm only a person with Eskimo chain I tattooed my brain all the way... Won't
you miss me? Wouldn't you miss me at all?
Most people who read Barrett blogs will know that Barrett recorded under
the guidance of Malcolm Jones, but somewhere in May 1969 he passed the
torch to David Gilmour (Roger Waters would join in as well on a later
date). Jones had given up in desperation, as Peter Jenner had done the
year before, that last one declaring that the sessions had been 'chaos'.
Finally it was David Gilmour who pleaded Harvest records to allow
Barrett a third and final chance to finish his solo record. Of course
this is just one interpretation and not all biographers and witnesses
agree with that. Another story goes that Malcolm Jones simply invited
Gilmour (and Waters) for marketing reasons: three Pink Floyd members for
the price of one, so to speak (four if one adds Rick Wright who might
have done some uncredited overdubs on Golden Hair). Probably the truth
lies, as is often the case, somewhere in the middle.
The first session of the third recording round took place on the 12th of
June 1969. Barrett premiered two new songs: Dark Globe and Long Gone. On
the third (and final) session (26th of July) Roger Waters joined David
Gilmour and a couple of other attempts were made of the same songs.
(this alternative version of Dark Globe, now retitled as Wouldn't You
Miss Me, was later released on the Opel outtakes album.)
It would be logical to see Long Gone and Dark Globe as an indivisible
pair as they are both sad love songs. But there is an abundance of that
theme on The Madcap Laughs. Jenny Spires told the Church: “Syd wrote
songs and not all of them were about one person or another. It was his
job. (…) Syd was not romantically inclined this way. 'I'm only a person
with Eskimo chain' refers to the evolutionary chain, not to a specific
person. He was on a very much higher spiritual plane, not so much on the
But on the other hand Syd liked to put wordplay and little nods to
reality in his texts. Pink Floyd's second single See Emily Play refers
to psychedelic debutante Emily Young and to Libby Gausden, Jennifer
Gentle from Lucifer Sam is a mixture between Jenny Spires and an ancient
English ballad called 'There were three sisters' (Jennifer, Gentle and
Dark Globe also contains the verse: “'The poppy birds way, swing twigs
coffee brands around.” At first sight this is just a nature description
set in a romantic mood but if one knows that a former girlfriend of Syd
was Vivian 'Twig' Brans it becomes quite clear that Syd has cryptically
entered her name in that line.
So while Dark Globe may have no-one specific in mind the Eskimo chain
line may have been a slight nod toward Iggy.
9. This explanation made my appetite grow for more. How can one join
To paraphrase Groucho Marx: I don't want to belong to any Church that
will accept me as a member, so you can't. The Church does have some
loyal friends though who have helped by passing on valuable information.
Basically the Church just reaps what others have sown (a common practice
amongst churches, I might add). Many kudos go to a long list of loyal
brainstormers, informants, witnesses and friends (and I already want to
apologise for the ones I have forgotten): Anne, Anthony, Bea, Denis,
Dollyrocker, Douggie, Eternal, Gretta, Jenny, Julian, Kieran, Lisa,
Mark, Paro, Prydwyn, Rod, Sadia, Sean, Vicky, our many visitors and
fans... And of course Iggy herself.
10. What is this recurring thing about the Holy Igquisition?
Nobody expects the Holy Igquisition!
Self-interview courtesy of: Solo en las Nubes (2011) - Felix
Atagong: "Un hombre sincero", introduction written by
Antonio Jesús. Self-interview written in December 2010 and updated in
The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical
division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad
character. More info: The
Anchor. Read our legal stuff: Legal
It is with great pleasure that the Reverend introduces a new contributor
at the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. Not only did Antonio Jesús live in
the beautiful city of Cambridge but as editor of the slightly fantastic
Spanish Syd Barrett blog Solo en las Nubes he has published
several Autoentrevista or Self-Interviews with Barrett
specialists, biographers and friends.
These interviews will now find their way to the English speaking part of
the world at the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. We start with a bang as
this one is already a world exclusive, an interview with the manager of
one of Syd's first Cambridge bands: Those Without.
If you would like to visit Cambridge this summer, it is too late to book
Spy Syd In Cambridge tour. In 2008, Warren Dosanjh, Syd Barrett's
first manager, was invited by a non-profit organisation to guide
visitors through the city. Many of these field trips had exclusive and
unexpected guests and left the visitors in awe.
Warren Dosanjh is every inch a guide. I was lucky to attend the very
first tour, still a try-out, and it was a blast. He told us a thousand
and one stories and anecdotes like only an expert could do. On top of
that he also knows the best places in the slummy parts of Cambridge.
But today we're lucky as Warren has decided to give a self-interview for
Solo En Las Nubes.
Where did you meet Syd Barrett for the first time?
We were at the same school. It was called The Cambridgeshire High School
for Boys aka The County. Roger, as he was called then, was a year below
me. I think that Roger Waters was one or two years above.
How well did you know him then?
Quite well but not as a close friend. Many of us were excited about the
emergence of rock'n roll, R&B and to a degree some folk music,
particularly Bob Dylan. Some evenings were spent at Syd's home in Hills
Road or that of a neighbour, Dick Whyte, listening to and playing music.
Did you play a musical instrument?
I tried very hard to learn the 5-string banjo but as I am left-handed it
proved to be too difficult in the long-term.
How did the band Those Without evolve?
Alan 'Barney' Barnes and Steve Pyle came to my home one evening wanting
to form a new band. They were in a band called Hollerin' Blues
but wanted to disband as a means of getting rid of Brian Scott, their
manager. They asked me to be the manager of the new band and I agreed.
And the name Those Without?
Very late that same night Steve spotted a book on my shelf titled Those
Without Shadows by Françoise
Sagan. "That's it! We just drop the word Shadows.", said Steve. All
bands in those days seemed to be called 'The' someone or other and this
was certainly a new concept in band names.
So what was it like being a manager?
Getting the bookings was quite easy I remember. The difficult bits were
having transport for us and the equipment particularly when we played
outside of Cambridge. Luckily I had a lovely girlfriend Vernia whose
father owned a VW
But the most difficult part for me was handling Alan Barnes. He was
without doubt one of the best musicians around, playing keyboards,
harmonica and singing lead. He had a great feel for R&B. But
unfortunately he knew this and could be very contentious and 'up
himself' after a few drinks. There were often occasions when I would
have to take him outside for a quiet word.
So what sort of music did Those Without play?
Mostly R&B. Bands like Jokers Wild were mostly playing cover versions of
pop records in the charts whereas a few bands like ourselves were
playing classic R&B covers of artists like John Lee Hooker, Howlin'
Wolf, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, etc...
How did Syd get in the band?
Syd wanted to have a go at being in a band. He had previously played for
one night at a CND fund-raising event with a band invented for just that
night, called Geoff Mott & The Mottoes. Steve Pyle brought
Syd along to a practise and asked if he could play bass with us and help
out on the vocals. They were at that time both at The Cambridge School
of Art. I remember Syd bringing along The Kinks' new record - 'You
Really Got Me' - and playing it over and over again.
You mention The Kinks - were there any other bands that influenced
It was unique. A melting pot of contrasting views, opinions and
influences that often fused together to create a new exciting life for
young people trying to throw off the shackles of post-war Britain. I
remember Allan Ginsberg giving a poetry reading at King's, Duke
Ellington playing an organ recital at Gt. St Mary's Church, student
'rag' days, continental films at The Arts Cinema, nights in Grantchester
Meadows, smoking my first spliff and losing my virginity. Much much
When did you last see Syd?
I saw him a lot in the 60s. He played with the band about 12 times
before finally settling in London and forming Pink Floyd. When he
returned to Cambridge and after the failure of Stars he became more
reclusive. Sometimes I would pass him in the street as he lived just
around the corner from me but he was always in a different world and I
didn't want to invade his privacy.
We, his school mates and friends, just let him go about his business. We
just remember him not for Pink Floyd but as a well-spoken likeable guy
that we grew up with - a friend who just lost his way.
Check out the I
Spy Syd in Cambridge website that holds many goodies, even now
when the tours no longer exists.
The music scene of Cambridge, Walking Tour, Venues and Bands. A
must read for everyone who is interested in Syd's Cambridge. This 36
pages booklet contains a Cambridge city map and has descriptions of the
different venues and many unknown Cambridge bands of the Sixties.
Researched and compiled by Warren Dosanjh. Edited and layout by Mick
Brown. Further contributions and research: Lee Wood, Alan Willis, Jenny
Spires, Brian Foskett, Viv ‘Twig’ Brans, Stephen Pyle, Albert Prior,
Jess Applin, Cherrill Richardson, Mike Richardson, Hank Wingate, David
Ellingham, Jonathon Church, Sudhir Agar, Dave Parker, Graham Smith, Tony
Middleton, Ivan Carling, Judy Woodford, Jenny Taylor, Stuart Dingley,
Dave Thaxter, Tim Renwick, Pete Rhodes. (March
2011 PDF download, about 5 MB)
of Those Without and Hollerin' Blues, with the staggering news that Syd
Barrett has never been a member of that last band. More about the
of Those Without (with and without Syd).
Pink Floyd Syd Barrett Interviews with Friends (2009): Roger
"Syd" Barrett - Cambridge Autumn 2009 Interviews with friends Richard
Jacobs, Sue Unwin, John Watkins, Stephen Pyle, Warren Dosanjh, Diana
McKenna, et.al. by Alexandros Papathanasiou. Hosted at Youtube: Pink
Floyd Syd Barrett Interviews with Friends.
Reflections: Sixties Counterculture in Cambridge, a film from
Alexandros Papathanasiou & Kameron Stroud (2011). Reminiscence of the
sixties alternative movement in Cambridge by 7 local interviewees,
including Warren Dosanjh and Stephen Pyle. The film reflects the
interviewees memories during that time as well as it addresses their
powerful conclusions about the impact of the 60's alternative generation
on the present time. Hosted at Youtube: part
1 (10:46) and part
2 (10:11). Hosted at Vimeo: Reflections.
Early November 2008, while we were baffled by The
City Wakes festivities in Cambridge, a mystery man send the
following message to some Syd Barrett oriented forums:
Next Week (November 10th) I begin filming a DVD of places associated
with Syd and the roots of Pink Floyd in Cambridge. I'm looking for
someone to assist as a production assistant. This will be PAID work.
Three days - Monday, Tuesday and Friday. There are 25 locations I am
aware of that were not included on the tours and I will also be
including interviews with many people not at the Wakes events.
What does a production assistant do? Lugs equipment, gets coffee but
also has an input into the production and filming. If anyone is
interested please email me. (Taken from: Syd's
Cambridge, help wanted.)
That man was Lee Wood who, in the sixties & seventies played in a
few obscure bands such as The Antlers, The Pype Rhythms, The New
Generation, The Sex and LSD. Because it was so difficult to find obscure
records he opened a record store “Remember Those Oldies” in
1974 that grew into an independent punk rock record company after he had
witnessed a rehearsal session from the legendary punk band The
The sessions were recorded in Spaceward
Studios who are known in Pink Floyd's territorial waters because
they used to have the only tape
in the world of a concert of the Last
Minute Put-Together Boogie Band, recorded on the 27th January 1972
at Corn Exchange, featuring a certain Syd Barrett. Also present were Hawkwind
and their live set of that day has just been issued by Easy
Action. There is no clearance yet for the other bands and at their
website Easy Action has only put the following enigmatic message:
Syd Barrett, Pink Fairies
Easy Action has purchased a number of reels of master tape capturing a
performance by Hawkwind, Pink Fairies and a band hastily assembled
featuring Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett NOT Stars!
Recorded in Cambridge in January 1972, we will be investigating further
copyright clearances and one day hope to produce the whole lot for your
Unfortunately Lee Wood did not become the second Brian Epstein or
Richard Branson. As a newbie in the record business he didn't realise
that even punk bands need a business plan (and some proper bookkeeping).
He kept on releasing those records he liked, and about the only one that
actually made a decent profit was 'Settin'
The Woods On Fire' from rockabilly rockers Matchbox.
Other bands that landed on Raw Records were The Killjoys whose leader
Kevin Rowland would later form Dexy's Midnight Runners, The Soft Boys
(with Robyn Hitchcock) and even Sixties sensation The Troggs:
When I was growing up in the 1960’s I loved The Troggs. It’s a long
story but in 1977 I became their manager and we recorded “Just A Little
Too Much” at the legendary Olympic Studios in London. (…) It was issued
in 1978. (Taken from: Just
A Little Too Much.)
Raw Records also had its Decca
audition disaster. Between 1977 and 1978 Lee Wood literally received
hundreds of demos, after he had put an ad in a music magazine. One came
from an average Manchester band called Warsaw and the tape was
binned without further ado. A year later the band had changed its name
to Joy Division and hit the post punk scene with its dark and
In 1979 the company was losing so much money that the record store
couldn't cope any more for its losses (several singles only had white
sleeves because there was no money to print covers) and after about 30
singles and a few LPs Raw Records was history. (Raw Records history
compiled from: Punk
But a decade before Lee Wood ventured into punk he had been following
the Cambridge R&B scene. Antonio Jesús could persuade him to confess the
following on the Solo en las Nubes blog... and here it is, for
the first time in the English language and exclusively licensed to the
Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit...
I have lived in Cambridge since 1962. My parents moved to a small
village called Histon just outside Cambridge when I was 12 years old and
they ran a Public House.
Did you ever meet Syd or members of Pink Floyd?
I never met Syd but I probably bumped into him (literally) as I used to
go Roller Skating about 3 or 4 times every week at Cambridge Corn
Exchange and I’m told Syd went there with his sister.
I knew David Gilmour to say hello to, as I played in a band and spent a
lot of time in the local music shops. In fact I was in a shop called Ken
Stevens on the day David came in and bought a Fender Stratocaster. 3
days later we all read in Melody Maker magazine he had joined Pink Floyd.
I have since met a lot of his friends. People like Warren (Dosanjh,
Syd Barrett's first manager), the very beautiful Jenny Spires, Clive
Welham (drummer in Geoff Mott and the Mottoes) and many more. Let me say
– I can understand why Syd liked them so much. These people are loyal
friends and wonderful human beings. It is a pleasure to know them.
Did you ever see Pink Floyd play live?
Yes. At The Dorothy Ballroom in Cambridge. Of course they were amazing.
Note: The Floyd played that venue on Friday, 17 February 1967 for the
St. Catherine's College Valentine Ball, with Bob Kidman, Alexis Korner's
Blues Incorporated and Pearl Hawaiians.
What was the music scene like in Cambridge during the period 1965 to
It was probably like any other town or city of its size. There were lots
of groups and a lot of places for them to play. Unlike today you could
put on a concert at virtually any church hall or the back room of a pub
and people would turn up. It was a very vibrant place. The music scene
was incredible. Everything you read about the 60’s – and more. The Corn
Exchange and The Dorothy ballroom put on lots of famous bands every
week. I saw The Who just after My Generation came out, The Kinks, The
Rolling Stones, Spencer Davis Group, The Kinks, Small Faces and many
Did you ever see Syd perform in his first band “Those Without”?
It is possible. When I was 15 some of the older guys who used to drink
in my parents pub in Histon would go to another pub in Cambridge called
"The Racehorse". Even though I was underage they would take me virtually
every week and I saw a lot of bands. I didn’t drink – I just went to see
the bands play. I am sure I saw Jokers Wild play there and I know Those
Without played there around that time. The band I remember the most and
my favourite were called “Something Else” after the Eddie Cochran song
but it is possible I saw Syd play there and didn’t realise it. There was
also another great band from the area where Syd lived called The Go Five.
Note: Those Without played The Racehorse on Sunday, 20 June 1965 while
Jokers Wild had passed there on Friday, the 26th of March 1965. In those
days Jokers Wild were quite popular, in 1965 they swept the Dorothy
Ballroom 9 times and gigged 22 times at Les Jeux Interdits
Were there any other bands in Cambridge who sounded like Pink Floyd?
Yes. There was a group called "This Sporting Life" who really liked them
and copied their light show. They were a really good band. The drummer
was a friend of mine called David Orbell who actually had a professional
recording studio in Histon from 1965 and recorded a lot of bands. He is
certain Syd came over and played guitar with another band on one
Note: the garage freakbeat compilation Le Beat Bespoké 3
(Circle Records, 2008) has an intriguing 1966 track, from an unknown
Cambridge band: Time's
A Good Thing by Syd's Group. Obviously the liner notes hint
that Syd Barrett had a hand in this recording but actually nobody knows
the band members, the record studio or the exact date. While some claim
that the guitar play is similar to Syd's in a typical fuzzy Sixties
style, Kiloh Smith from Laughing
Madcaps has suggested that the track is an Eighties forgery annex
tribute annex pastiche by a neo-garage-freakbeat band. If only someone
could access those tapes in Lee Wood's collection...
He gave me the tapes of a lot of local bands who recorded there,
including "The Wages of Sin" with lead guitarist Tim Renwick. David
lives in somewhere like Brazil nowadays so I never see him.
Do you still have the tapes?
Yes I do. But I sold my old reel-to-reel tape recorder many years ago
and have no way of playing them. But I did hear the track and it is
possible. It certainly sounds like Syds style but was recorded in 1965.
Do you know where the famous bench dedicated to Syd that two fans
told him about when they visited his house is located?
I know exactly where it is. I have visited it on several occasions. The
inscription is not obvious. It doesn’t actually mention Syd by name. I
show details of it on the DVD I produced called "Syd's Cambridge".
Can you tell us what is on the DVD?
The DVD consists of three seperate tours of Cambridge.The first tour is
the City centre. The second tour is the area were Syd grew up and lived.
The third tour is all the places inside and just outside Cambridge
connected with Syd and the early days of Pink Floyd. As I have lived
here all my life I know the city very well. A lot of the books that have
been published have incorrect information so I decided to include all
the correct details. It shows over 30 locations associated with Syd and
Pink Floyd. It even shows the place where Stars played that no one knew
It also corrects details about the only performance by Geoff Mott And
The Mottoes. They didn’t actually play at the Friends Meeting House – or
other places previously mentioned. I give the real location on the DVD.
You can see it all. It also shows the inside of Syds house and garden
and has an interview with the girls in the artshop where Syd bought his
Can you tell me about the special box set as I have heard about it
but never seen one.
The box set is very special. A beautiful pink box with a ribbon
containing two DVD, the tours DVD plus one of Matthew Scurfield and Emo
talking about Syd and life in the 60’s. The box also contains a book of
places connected to the band, the real estate agents details of Syds
house when it was for sale (with details from his sister), a Cambridge
postcard and bookmark, some special wrapping paper I had designed and
specially made and also a small plastic bag with some soil I took from
Syds garden when I visited it. There are also some other items in it.
There were only 100 copies of the box set made. Each one is individually
numbered and when I sent them out to people they were sent from the Post
Office Syd used just round the corner from his house. I also had a
special cardboard posting box made to make sure the box set arrived in
perfect condition. I’m quite proud of it and the comments and thank you
letters I received bear this out.
Some people have asked me about the box set and what it contains, so
The first DVD
is divided into 3 tours. In total we cover 58 locations. There is a lot
of new information, including a review of a little known STARS
performance at The Perse School, with the actual date and a review of
the concert. There is also video of the hall where it took place.
The Geoff Mott And The Mottoes performance did not take place at either
the Friends Meeting House or in the Union Cellars. The DVD reveals for
the first time where this historic event did take place.
As has been revealed - our research proves beyond a shadow of doubt Sid
Barrett was the Double Bass player with the Riverside Jazz Band - not
the drummer as claimed in virtuallly every book and article. We also
discovered the origins of his nickname originally given to him in the
Note: this was later confirmed by Syd's school and scouts group mate
Geoff Leyshon in A very Irregular Head (Rob Chapman, 2010).
The DVD has footage of 183 Hills Road including the back garden and
takes you right up to the front door. There is exclusive footage from
INSIDE the Union Cellars and inside Homerton College. Both of these
locations are not open to the public.
New information about David Gilmour just days before joining Floyd, the
exact location of the park bench dedicated to Syd, the EXACT spot on the
Market Square where STARS performed plus lots of photos from the
1960's/70's including The Dandelion Cafe.
There is also an interview with the girls from the art shop where Syd
(Roger) purchased his brushes and paints.
Plus a lot more - his local shops, post office, supermarket and places
he played when a member of Those Without, including Cheshunt College
The city centre tour is conducted by two friends of Syd and at each
location they reveal details of their times with him.
The box set also includes a DVD
of the City Wakes discussions by Emo and Matthew Scurfield, a book with
maps and places around Cambridge, details
of Syd's house, cuttings
from the local newspaper including adverts for the STARS concerts, a
card and a small sample of soil
taken from 6 St Margaret's Square. There is also exclusive video footage
of Syd's house and garden filmed by me in 2006. (Taken from: Syd's
Cambridge Box Set.)
Syd's Cambridge Box Set Gallery
Our new gallery shows artwork of the (sold out) Syd Barrett Limited
Edition Deluxe Box set issued in 2008 by Sound Publishing. The scans
contain (most) material of the box and follow the numbering of the certificate.
Some parts have (deliberately) not been scanned and some have been
slightly tampered with: Syd's
Cambridge Box Set Gallery. The interesting book
inside the box is Pink Floyd Fans Illustrated Guide of Cambridge
(96 pages) by Mark Warden and Alfredo Marziano. A review of this book
can be found at Brain
Damage and Amazon still has got a few copies left.
Notes (other than internet links mentioned above) Chapman, Rob: A
Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 11-12. Povey,
Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink Floyd, 3C Publishing,
2008, p. 25-27.
In the Seventies, Eigthies, Nineties and Naughties (sic) no
interview with an (ex-) Pink Floyd member could be published without the
obligatory Syd Barrett question. This enervated the interviewees
sometimes at a point that they may have said things they would later
regret but that are continuously repeated, decades later, by Sydiots all
over the world in their quest to prove that member D, R or N still holds
a grudge against that godlike creature named Syd.
I's a bit like Paul McCartney who will, forever and ever, be reminded of
a drag' comment the day John Lennon died, a comment he gave to the
press vultures while he was emotionally exhausted.
In 2005 when Roger Waters' (rather unexciting) Ca Ira opera saw
the light of day he was obliged to face the press, but his management
insisted to talk about the opera and not about Pink Floyd. Belgian
journalist Serge Simonart described this wryly as interviewing
Winston Churchill and only asking about his hobbies. The music
journalist however smuggled in a Barrett-related question and noted down
the following statement:
The press is also to blame, because they want a juicy tale. Syd was a
juicy tale, and that is why his influence seems to be so much bigger
than it was in reality: he barely was a year in the band, and we have
made our best work later without him. (Taken from WHERE ARE THEY NOW...
ROGER WATERS (PINK FLOYD), currently hosted at A
Apart from the fact that Roger Waters needs an extra semi-trailer to
transport his ego while he is on tour, he has a valid point although
some Syd anoraks will obviously not agree with the above.
In December 1968 (give or take a month) Syd Barrett, Duggie Fields and a
drop-out named Jules rented a three bedroom apartment at Wetherby
Mansions. As Jules left a short while later the witnesses who can tell
us something substantial about Syd's daily life are Duggie Fields, Gala
Pinion (who took the spare bedroom about 6 months later), Iggy Rose plus
the circle of close friends and, unfortunately enough, hanger-ons who
were only there for the free food, free booze and free drugs. Syd
Barrett was either a very generous host or simply too spaced-out to
understand that he was being ripped-off.
Our good friend Iggy Rose is rather reluctant to divulge too much to the
outside world and anything that she has told the Reverend stays well
inside the Church's sigillum confessionis. Gala seems to have
disappeared in Germany of all places, so perhaps someone ought to create
a Semi-Holy Church of Jules in order to find and question him.
Most people who knew Syd seem to have valid enough reasons to keep a low
profile, unless they want to sell overpriced Barrett photo books.
The result is that all weight falls upon the man who lived with Syd for
a couple of years and who tried (and succeeded) in making a successful
art career of his own: Duggie Fields. But it must have been, and
probably still is, a pain in the arse that whenever he wants to inform
the press about a new exposition they all friendly smile into his
direction and say: “Fine, but we only want to know about Syd Barrett
So let's set the record straight, shall we? With a little help of our
Spanish-sister-blog Solo En Las Nubes we hereafter present you an
exclusive Duggie Fields self-interview (from the 24th November of 2010)
and we will not add another word about Syd. Sort of.
Artistically, a Duggie Fields interview speaks for itself and needs no
Although there are some obvious influences on his paintings, his art –
like with all great artists - is immediately recognisable. But the
Duggie Fields label is not limited to canvas alone.
His life is filled with very curious anecdotes. One of those is how he
shared a flat with Syd Barrett (and – although only for a couple of
weeks – with Iggy Rose [note from FA]), the protagonist of
this blog. Exclusively for Todos En Las Nubes Mr. Fields has written
this self-interview. An honor.
So how do you start your day...?
Usually at the computer. In the winter in my dressing gown; in the
summer in my underwear, with a cup of green tea....
I check my emails. Facebook.
And then sometimes I sit working on a new idea, a picture or less
frequently a piece
of music. And some times hours can pass without me registering.
What are you working on then now?
On the computer I have a couple of new image ideas started. How well
they’ll develop I don’t yet know. And a new piece of music on the way,
the first for quite some time. There’s also the canvas I’ve been working
on for most of the summer now.
So what’s that all about?
That’s not so easy for me to say. If it has a narrative I’ve yet to work
out what it is about. There seems to be some kind of story. There are
two figures in the picture occupying the same, but not quite the same,
space. Both looking at something but not quite the same something. Both
figures have spiritual overtones. The male figure came from a statue in
the graveyard just around the corner from here. The female figure was a
chance vision at an Arts and Antiques Fair up the road in Olympia.
Photographed randomly, not initially intended to pair with him but
somehow ending there intuitively.
What’s “just around the corner” ?
Just around the corner is Brompton Cemetery. Just around the corner is
also the name of a series of photographs I have been taking. Almost
daily and with my mobile phone and then posted on my Facebook page. The
Cemetery is Victorian, designed to echo on a much smaller scale
St.Peter’s in Rome, and ravishing when over-grown and wild as it was
last year. I photograph in there regularly. Always managing to discover
unseen statues, so many angels, and a wealth of ever-changing imagery.
And also I take pictures just around the corner on the streets where I
And where is that?
Earls Court, an area I’ve lived in now for over 40 years. In the same
home, the one I first got with Syd Barrett shortly after he’d left the
Pink Floyd and which we shared together for a couple of years or so
before he left even further from the life he’d once lived, and that I’ve
lived in ever since.
Have you always taken photographs?
At Art School I did photography briefly as part of my course there,
enjoying time in the dark-room developing, processing and printing my
own film, but not really getting on with their prevailing concepts of
what the subjects should be. Over the years I’ve had various cameras,
though nothing got me so involved again until going digital allowed me
to print and process on screen. The camera phone I enjoy enormously, not
having to carry a separate camera with me, one less item to fill the
pockets and think about. I use it kind of as a visual diary. I upload
the images to Facebook as it is currently simpler than adding them to my
own website the way it is set-up at the moment.
Note: This year (2011) Just Around The Corner evolved into a very
That implies you might change it..?
That will change at some stage, but it’s a job that just adds to the
list of things to do. And right now that’s a growing list. The website
works well enough as it stands. But all its sections, and there are many
already, could be expanded on. Like everything it is a question of time,
and of priorities.
What’s the biggest change then that might happen to it?
Well apart from a dedicated Photography section, I have over 1,000
images to choose from to add there. Mostly landscapes and things, the
“Just around the corner” series, “Tree offerings”, and “Curiosities”.
There is more music to add. Quite a few more pieces in addition to what
is already online. And lastly to update the “Word” section with some new
writing. Have been working for the past few years on anecdotes from my
life, from childhood on. Currently have written up to my early years in
And when might this happen?
You might well ask that. Really it depends. Right now I’m finishing off
one very large acrylic canvas; thinking about what the next one I paint
might be, painting always being my priority over everything, though now
first starting with imagery made on computer whereas before it would
start on tracing and graph paper. Working on a couple of digital images
that will stay digital whatever, possibly being output as digital
printed canvasses an option. As well as continuing with the music piece
I started only recently. So I am occupied, pre-occupied, engaged, and
other-wise committed. Enough in fact to think, this is enough for this
too so I can back get on with some real work, which of course it always
is. Time demanding however rewarding it feels in the process, which it
does, there is never enough of it it seems........
First of all, happy New Year sistren and brethren of the
Church. These wishes do not only come from the Reverend but also from
our mutual point of adoration, our nadir and zenith, Ms. Iggy Rose. With
every contact she proves to us that she still is extremely exuberant,
hilariously silly and all together daft as a brush (all used in a
Today, the 6th of January, is a special day as well for Sydaholics
all over the world and it rejoices us that Iggy has been a part in the
life of the diamond. Our wish to you, dear Iggy, is not to change a bit,
because wherever you walk rainbows magically appear. We take the small
inconvenience for granted that our ears are ringing when we lay down the
phone. Keep on shouting to the world, Iggy, not only your anger, but
your happiness and joy as well.
So now it is about time for La Sagrada Iglesia de Iggy La Esquimal to
return the favour. Antonio Jesús Reyes from the Spanish
Syd Barrett blog has finally found the time to add his version
of the truth and nothing but the truth.
Antonio Jesús Reyes, a new career in a new town
Tell us about your Syd-Floyd connection. How did you end up living in
This is a short but complex story. I met an English girl in Seville
whose mother was moving to Cambridge and I ended up going out with her…
no, not with the mother! So, we decided at some point to move from
Seville to Cambridge although I did not know what to expect.
Things began to get surreal when we went to the first City Wakes concert
(2008). I was introduced to Rosemary Brent, and after the show we
had a drink (without Rosemary). In the pub I introduced my girlfriend’s
mother to a good friend of Syd, who had played the drums in Those
Without (I remembered his name from a picture I saw years ago).
From that moment on, and for the rest of my stay there, these two years
were sydbarretianly amazing. I nearly met every Cambridge mafia
member in town. Two years after the end of it all, I’m still realizing
that I was often ignorant of the fact that I met these people who had
been part of Syd's and the early Floyd’s life.
So coincidentally Stephen Pyle almost became my father-in law. He
told me lots of anecdotes. We talked about films, paintings, music and
his work for The Rolling Stones, Queen, U2… I miss him most of all.
I worked with him at The City Wakes. One day he introduced me to Jenny
Spires at Mick Brown’s and it was only after thirty minutes of
conversation that I realized that I had heard that name before. She was
quite kind to me and has an extraordinary good taste in music.
The Cambridge experience was incredible. My literary idol, Laurence
Sterne, ‘studied’ where David Bowie played in the 70’s and… ...well,
there are too many stories to tell them all.
My relationship finished some time after returning to Seville. Let me
quote John Milton’s Paradise Lost, I can affirm that it is "better to
reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven". My Cambridge bonds are mostly
cut off now but I still appreciate the friendship forgetting they were
connected to one of my idols.
How did you begin to listen to Syd-Floyd music?
I hope I can tell you in a chronological way:
First: in 1994 I was watching a documentary about the career of
Pink Floyd. I remember someone saying something like “If we could make
it without X, we can make it without Y”. I was reading or writing
something while watching it, so I was not paying much attention. First
there came a lot of noise from the TV speakers, which annoyed me… and
then… a piece of music that was enchanting. It was A
Saucerful of Secrets, performed live in Pompeii. It was a
life-changing experience forgotten in a minute or two. I was a teenager,
and it was summer, please, understand me.
Second: one day while listening to the radio, I heard a song that
really touched me. It was 'Wish You Were Here’. I completely
misunderstood every single thing the radio show host said and thought it
was written by Syd Barrett.
Third: in a record store I found the Crazy
Diamond Box. I quickly read the info and I remembered all I seemed
to know about him. There was a mistake in the price as well as one of
those boxes was priced 1700 pts instead of 7100 pts. You don't have to
guess which one I bought.
When I got home, and listened to it, I did not like it at all. With the
passing of time (a year or longer!!) I tried to listen to Opel
and found that it was so different to the stuff I was usually listening
to, that I got hooked.
By chance, a friend of mine lent me The Piper at the Gates of Dawn… I
began to listen to Pink Floyd, the band founded by the Opel guy.
At the time, I was studying English Language and Literature, so Syd was
a source of knowledge here (Lewis Carrol, Hilaire Belloc, Edward Lear,
Wontcha tell us about your blog?
Why not? It all began when I posted Here
I Go, sung by David Gilmour on a radio show. I noticed this post got
some visitors and as it was the only Syd blog in the Spanish language on
this side of the universe, I decided to do something about it.
After some entries I added a device to translate the entries into other
languages. I thought that other people would be interested in some of
the posts like, for example, the ones offering essential and very good
bootlegs. I even dared to share a home-made compilation of the Have
You Go It Yet? series. Things are growing rapidly and news is
becoming the core of the blog.
I also wanted to share things that haven’t got a place in the project
I’m working on, that is, a book about Syd… which is going to be a quite
hard task to do. Time & money, apart from Pink Floyd songs, are quite
annoying. I cannot say much about this yet. There’s always the
bittersweet risk of giving up, so don’t hold your breath, or you’ll
suffocate. I’m trying to do my best, I swear.
The self-interview section is my favourite. I got Duggie Fields, some
Belgian Reverend and Kiloh Smith to interview themselves for the blog
and others are in the pipeline. It is not easy as you run the risk of
being misinterpreted when choosing the subjects. Basically there are
only two rules:
1. Have fun. 2. Free subject matters.
What's next? It was a surprise when I found that www.sydbarrett.org.es
was free… so my blog points to this URL as well. One problem is that my
computer skills are limited. I need designers for the bootlegs and
layout artists for things unseen in the sydbarretian world. The
number of visits is high, the collaborators are scarce. The pipe of the
pipeline is going to explode.
Why Syd Barrett?
His music works like a hyperlink (a thing he has in common with David
Bowie). It’s because of him that I got to know some writers I didn’t
study at the university. His musical influences are quite rich. By
scratching the surface you end up knowing lots of amazing musicians and
albums like Zappa’s Freak-Out, Love’s Forever
Changes, the works of Kevin Ayers, and The Byrds to mention a few.
It made me fully appreciate other genres like psychedelic folk and
blues. Syd's friend, Stephen Pyle, showed me to appreciate blues. He
used to play Bo Diddley (whom he met once!), John Lee Hooker, Jimmy
Reed, Buddy Guy...
With Barrett, I learned to see what’s behind a song. Some of those, for
reasons we know, were under-produced (sometimes, even less than that)
and yet they have reached a kind of status that will make them last
forever. You know they are quite good songs even without a proper
production, even with a quite imperfect performance.
Today, we see the contrary. No matter the means musicians have today,
most of contemporary music seems to suffer from a dance song fate
and their perishability is faster than the yoghourts in your fridge.
There must be something extremely special in those under-produced Syd
Barrett tracks, rougher than demos, that makes them what they are.
Tell us about your favorite music.
Recently, I’ve been listening to Kevin Ayers a lot, and The The. Also
The Beach Boys are on my mp3 player. They are something special. The
sound and the songs of The Beach Boys have a special quality which makes
this music a kind of healing experience, the kind of help we need to
survive modern life. …The Manics, Travis, Maximilian Hecker, Sun Ra…
Spanish singer-songwriters like Nacho Vegas and Diego Vasallo… Good old
rock and roll, like Chuck Berry, Jerry-Lee Lewis, Elvis…
You could say I’m a kind of David Bowie connoisseur. I collaborated on
Nicholas Pegg’s The Complete David Bowie proposing some
ideas I found interesting. I strongly recommend it. Bowie’s 1967 album
is very avant-garde, and very ironic.
In general, I like artists who are innovative, like producer Joe Meek,
and those who can transform the past into something completely different
or revive it in a new and exciting way, like Suede.
What do you think about the recent Pink Floyd
Those are not my cup of tea. These boxes have so much useless gimmicks
and several music stuff is simply repeated! The unreleased material of
every album could have been compiled in the way of The Beatles Anthology
and then everyone would have been satisfied. The Pink Floyd vaults seem
not to be very deep, but the treasures are so hard to get!
I understand that EMI intends to make business, however, at the same
time and paradoxically, they don't make their customers happy. So what’s
this for? To get cash and disappoint people? It makes people eager to
download the stuff instead of buying it.
I don’t need a Piper / Saucerful Immersion set. I don’t want those
marbles, I don’t need a scarf, I don’t use placeholders (I got plenty of
them during my stay in Belgium). I haven’t got a Blue-ray player. In
summary, I don’t want to create more needs… Do ya?
Would Barrett have become a second Bowie if only?
The otherness in Barrett could have derived into something different
from Bowie or the other way round, but never would he have become a
second Bowie. They would have provoked some kind of artistic turmoil in
the best of the senses. Along with Brian Eno, both are (were) aware that
"music is where you can crash your plane and walk away”. Songs like
Arnold Layne, so childlike, or Astronomy Domine, with such an exciting
and new sound, were made with a goal. Bowie and Barrett are the kind of
artists carrying that old Monty Python sentence: “And now… for something
completely different”. That’s what Barrett did most of the times. Every
Syd tune was different.
Best memories of England?
It was all quite surreal. I remember walking on the grass of
Grantchester Meadows, having coffee in The Cambridge Corn Exchange, and
feeling like in a dream I had never dreamed, just because I was there by
chance. I visited every place I had read about in the books, like St.
Margaret Square. I also did the same in London, the three times I went
I arrived there in a sort of tele-transportation. I did not have the
time to think of the things I knew I would see there. And surprises came
in little by little; I did not know the grass of King’s College was the
one mentioned on ‘Brain Damage’, for example.
I remember working for The City Wakes, restoring old magazine adverts
for concerts and saying to myself… “What is this where I’m in??!!”. The
result was part of a collage by Stephen Pyle (again), and it ended up on
the wall of a jazz bar (and part of a postcard collection).
But life was not always easy for an immigrant. All in all it was a
beautiful and wonderful bitter-sweet experience.
Apart from the aforementioned people… who else did you meet?
I met Storm Thorgerson during one of his exhibitions. I had some kind of
problem with him. I had a City Wakes poster with me he made the artwork
for and he put his autograph on it. I was going to leave, when he said
“you have to pay 20 pounds”. I said I did not have a penny! And he let
me go in a… special way.
I had the chance to meet Mick Rock, but I did not make the effort to
avoid another disappointment. Steven Pyle and Mick met… and… during a
chat in a bar, they removed a Syd poster from a wall and Mick dedicated
it to me. Stephen said he was a very nice person, to which I thought…
“****!”, it was like winning the lottery without having a coupon. A good
summary of my stay.
What more can you say?
Not much. Visit Solo
En Las Nubes using the translation tool or read it like that in
order to improve your Spanish. There are a lot of surprises to come, not
only for the Spanish speakers. Cool compilations, some material to read
(in English too) and lots of music recommendations.
The Venn-diagram-intersection of Proto-Floyd, Vintage-Floyd and Syd
Barrett anorak sets isn't that ginormous and even if a same person
carries different identities throughout forums and social media websites
you keep on stumbling upon each other. Unfortunately, the Reverend is
not really sure what the previous sentence really tries to say.
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit came across Ewgeni Reingold
around October 2008 and our Russian friend is the living proof that new
blood can bring a breath of fresh air into our rather sclerotised Syd
Barrett community. Without wanting to sound too morbid we Sydiots
need to realise that there are only a good two, perhaps three, decades
left to unravel those great unsolved Pink Floyd or Syd Barrett
mysteries. After that we will only have memories from third-party
sources and not from the (f)actual people themselves...
All it takes are some adventurous people who dare to ask some questions,
search through archives and go digging for the holy grails that are
still undiscovered. Ewgeni did just that and his YouTube
channel has several gems, not only from Pink Floyd or Syd Barrett, that
would have stayed unnoticed without his research.
The Spanish blog Solo
En Las Nubes had the honour to self-interview Ewgeni and the
Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit simply pinched the result and put is here.
Life isn't fair, but such is life.
What if I told you that the rarest Syd Barrett and early Floyd
audiovisual material has been published on 4 DVDs, that is it of
professional quality, is extremely detailed, has been thoroughly
researched and was compiled by just one person?
One of the greatest pleasures in life is to share what you love. This is
the motto of Ewgeni Reingold, born in the city of Samara (Russia) on 12
May, 1991. He still lives there today and studied German and Public
Relations at its university.
Ewgeni has had the honour to grace us with a self-interview. At the end
of this entry, we'll describe this DVD collection in detail. But for the
moment, let's focus on the what, how, why and when and who is
responsible for such great work.
1. How did you discover Syd Barrett’s music?
Well, I’ve been a music fan since I was four or five years old. My
parents used to play Beatles albums on a vinyl player, so I became an
obsessive Beatles fan. Then I discovered new groups little by little:
The Who, The Kinks, The Hollies, lots of old Merseybeat and all that
things. In April of 2006 I heard a radio show about Syd Barrett. It
smashed my mind completely. All that really weird music, the tragic
story and all that stuff...
I listened to this special late night show with headphones, lying in my
bed. I still remember the really strange feelings when I listened to
“Interstellar Overdrive” for the first time. It was completely new music
to me. Of course, I had listened to several Pink Floyd songs on the
radio and on TV before (like “Time”, “Another Brick” and so on) but I
didn’t like it at that time.
I didn’t expect to listen to THIS Pink Floyd. Fortunately I
taped the program from the radio and listened and listened to it again
and again. I still have this tape.
I became a big Syd fan: I began to search for early Floyd CDs and his
solo albums around town and as I didn’t have Internet at that time,
looking for video stuff and bootlegs.
2. How did you come to the idea of making those Syd DVDs?
It was around 2009. I realised that I had tons of video stuff related to
Syd and the early Floyd. I loved the “Have You Got It Yet?” series so
much, but the quality of the video material was poor. So I thought: “If
I have these videos on my hard drive, why not making the definitive
video anthology covering all the 1966-69 videos? That’s the moment, when
the “Ultimate Collection” DVD’s started to materialize.
I didn’t know how to make DVD’s, so I spent a huge amount of time trying
to make discs. When I finished that, I shared this on Yeeshkul
and was shocked by a wave of greetings from Floyd fans. In the
summer of 2011 after long research and trading with collectors, I
started to make an upgraded anthology – 4 DVD’s (can you imagine?). It
was called “Wondering and Dreaming” and included EVERY bit of known
footage of Syd Barrett on circulation.
3. How long did it take to make “Wondering & Dreaming”?
Almost 2 years. New upgrades and new videos started to appear.
(Amazingly, in the summer of 2010 we got the “Dope”
footage!), I became more interested in trading with other collectors,
not just using sources floating on the Internet. At this time I became
more professional in using video decoding, DVD authoring etc.
Every DVD of this series has liner notes, correct dates and cool picture
4. What’s your favourite video with Syd?
It’s a difficult question; honestly, I like it ALL and can’t choose. I
just hope more footage to appear in the future, especially the recovered
of the Pops” footage.
5. What was the most difficult video to find?
Jungen Nachtwandler” footage from 24.02.1967 (UFO Club). Of course,
this video surfaced around 2004-5, but I was looking for a better
quality copy from the Bavarian Archive. Shit! It took me four years to
get it, and finally I succeeded. You can compare the quality easily and
the new version rocks!
Have you noticed that Soft Machine also appears in this scene?
I also want to mention other rarities: Jugband Blues with the original
soundtrack (it sounds terrible, but this is an alternate unbooted mix!),
Syd’s 1969 home movies in better quality and John
Latham “Speak” – Floyd 66-67 backdrop film.
6. What do you think about the recent Pink Floyd
It was great, those guys changed their minds and gave us the chance
(finally) to hear something new, not just again a “super-dooper-cool”
remastering. Of course, I really want to hear more unreleased Syd music.
The full December ‘64 session, Bike with alternate lyrics (and other
“Piper” era early mixes), the Stockholm tape in full and the holy grail
of all Syd collectors: The De Lane Lea sessions from the Fall of ‘67
(John Latham, “Intremental”, In the Beechwoods, Vegetable Man and Scream
Thy Last Scream). I would pay a high price to hear all that.
7. Can you imagine Syd Barrett today and still active as a musician?
No, I just can’t imagine Syd writing songs and performing in the 80s,
90s, and 2000s. Another Roky Erikson and the Aliens? Definitely not. It
was a tragedy and big loss for popular music, but... Syd belonged more
to the 60s than the 70s.
Most great music was gone in 1971-72 (with the exception of some glam)
and briefly returned in 1976 with punk (just my opinion). I can’t
imagine Syd playing hard rock or progressive and I can’t imagine him and
Pink Floyd in the 70s. By 1970 Syd's songs became darker and depressive.
Songs like “Birdie Hop” or “Word Song” are difficult to listen to, you
know... I think Syd said to us all what he wanted to say and that he
left rock music at the right time.
8. What are your hobbies?
Just listening to music, reading books (not often). My favourite music
era is the 60s: Kinks, Soft Machine, Pretty Things, lots of raw garage
and R&B, proto-punk. My last major discovery is Them with Van Morrison,
T2, and The Untamed. If I had a time machine, I would go back to 1965 or
66 and never return at our times again.
9. Tell us something about the Russian pop-rock panorama.
Well, there is absolutely nothing much to say about that. There is no
normal pop and rock scene, just shit everywhere. “Russian Rock” is
like... well... quasi-folk in the worst sense of the word, and I can't
define that as rock music honestly. You can check examples of this on
Случилось Что-То В Городе Моем
- Группа крови).
The only good example is some good punk rock from the USSR, there were
some nice groups in the mid-80s, but mostly it was just ripped off from
well-known groups like T.Rex etc...
10. What more can you say?
Just do what you want to do and feel free to express yourself. Listen to
great music and keep on rockin'!
Wondering & Dreaming DVD Collection (written by: Ewgeni
Almost 4 years ago I decided to make a first major DVD compilation of
all Syd Barrett material in circulation. The first set was called
“Ultimate Collection” and released in 2009.
But all is different now because this time I used non-compressed sources
for this anthology and also because many upgrades have appeared since
the last time. I decided to make the most complete picture, using all
available sources (such as: there are 4 versions of “Jugband Blues” with
different audio and video, 2 versions of the complete “Look Of The Week”
because I can’t choose what’s the source is the best, etc...)
This 3 DVD set covers the most important years in the Syd Barrett and
early Pink Floyd group history – 1966 to 1969. I also added a 4th bonus
DVD with related material (such as: “Speak” by John Latham)
I would like to thank all people who help me in this project: Pete M,
Ron Toon (& Harvested), Captain Bronstain for his technical help &
patience, Felix Atagong & Mark Jones for his wonderful covers.
1. Syd’s First Trip – Summer of 1966 1.1 Source 1: VHS 1.2
Source 2: HRV (edited, best quality)
2. “San Francisco” by Anthony Stern - 1968 (ARTE rebroadcast) 3.
“Tonight Let’s All Make Love In London” – Floyd’s bits, 1967
4. London 66-67 – Filmed on 30.12.1966 (?), 11/12.01.1967, 17.01.1967 (?) 4.1
Copy from Japan Laserdisc (Interstellar Overdrive & Nick’s Boogie) 4.2
Unissued Fragment 4.3 Promo video for “London 66-67” release (1994) 4.4
Interstellar Overdrive (VH1 edited version)
5. Syd’s Silent Home Movies – 1966 or early 1967 5.1
Source 1 5.2 Source 2
Running Time: 71:18
Wondering & Dreaming DVD 2 (1967) (same download location
1. Scene Special aka “It’s So Far Out It’s Straight Down” – filmed on
27-01-1967 1.1. Full TV Special – Broadcast on 7.03.1967, taken from
2nd Gen S-VHS 1.2. Interstellar Overdrive – without voiceover (HRV) 1.3.
Excerpts from Documentary, best ever quality
2. Excerpt from “Dope” Movie – January or February 1967
3. Excerpt from “Die Jungen Nachtwandler” Documentary, filmed on
24-02-1967 3.1 Interstellar Overdrive - Master Copy from BR 3.2
Interstellar Overdrive – VHS source 3.3 UFO Club – outtakes
4. Arnold Layne – Promo Film, Filmed in Late February 1967 4.1
Master Copy (?) (HRV) 4.2 16:9 Version
5. Beach Home Movies – Spring of 1967 5.1 Zoomed Footage 5.2
Original speed (and silent)
6. Abbey Road Home Movies – April 1967 6.1 Source 1: VHS 6.2
Source 2: HRV (edited, best quality)
7. Bouton Rouge – “Arnold Layne” Second Promo, filmed 29-04-1967 7.1
Original Non-Remastered Source 7.2 HRV Remaster
8. Look Of The Week – 14.05.1967, Source 1 8.1 Raw most
complete source – Pow.R. Toh.H., Astronomy Domine, Interview 8.2
Pow.R. Toh.H. (without logo)
4. Beat Club Mentions – 1967 to 1969 4.1 Hit Parade (22-07-1967) 4.2
“Reaction In G” audio from unknown source, 1969 4.3
Probably Pink Floyd footage, 1969
5. American Bandstand – 7.11.1967 5.1 Complete (Apples &
Oranges, Interview) 5.2 Excerpts without timecode
6. Central Office Of Information (Jugband Blues) – filmed on early
December 1967 6.1 Original Uncut Source with original audio 6.2
Harvested Remaster 6.3 BBC Soundtrack (fake) 6.4 “Seven Ages Of
7. Tomorrow’s World – Filmed on 12.12.1967 7.1 Complete
(Green Onions, Unknown song) 7.2 The Story Of Pink Floyd – first
mention, 1994 7.3 Roger Waters on Jools Holland Show (without
8. Christmas On Earth Continued – 22.12.1967 8.1 Joe Cocker –
“With a Little Help From My friends” promo 8.2.Floyd
Footage – zoomed
9. Home Movies - Filmed Between 1966 and 1969 9.1 New Edit from best
available copy 9.2 Zoomed footage 9.3 Best quality excerpts
1. Jeannetta Cochrane (Peter Whitehead 1967 Footage & IO soundtrack) 2.
John Latham “Speak” (Pink Floyd Backdrop 1966-67 Film) 3.
Road 1967 Footage ? (Taken from “Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd Story” DVD) 4.
Mike Leonard – Pathe Newsreel (1968) 5. Mike Leonard – Pathe
Newsreel Outtakes (1968) 6. Richard Laing ,1966 clip (Infamous Syd’s
related psychiatrist) 7. Duggie Fields, 1975 clip (Syd’s neighbor) 8.
Look At The Life, 1967 Film (feat. Iggy The Eskimo) 9. Excerpts From
Anthony Stern 1968 Movie (feat. Iggy The Eskimo) 10. Peter Whitehead
Interview (1993) 11. “A Day So Dark So Warm” – Syd’s Last Circulating
Footage (1998, Better source, than usual)
Old Documentaries (1988 - ?)
12. Dave & Rick Interview (1988) 13. Knebworth Documentary (1990,
Complete from better source, incl. 1969 Home Footage) 14. Eight Miles
High (Japan Version) 15. Eight Miles High (English VHS) 16. Eight
Miles High (Another Different Version)
Sad News (2006)
17 BBC News # 1 18. BBC News # 2 19. Sky News 20. Auction News 21.
Mick Rock talks about his Book
Oddities (2007 - ?)
22. Seven Ages Of Rock (early Floyd part only) 23. Project Syd –
Friends About Syd 24. Funny Cartoon 25. Here I Go – Promotional
Running Time: 143 Minutes
Although there are several download locations for these DVDs the Church
only deliberately gives the 'official' Yeeshkul torrents. Yeeshkul is a
place where Pink Floyd audio collectors meet and share files through a
torrent network. Registration is needed to access the files.
The official Pink Floyd franchise grows and grows, we have (or have had)
Pink Floyd bags, bottle openers, coasters, golf balls, key-rings, mugs,
playing cards, shoes, shooters, undies, wallets, wine and even incense
sticks. There are countless unofficial (and a few semi-official)
biographical and under-review-style DVDs and if we may believe certain
rumours there are still a few of those in the pipeline.
It is the perfect example to show the difference between a good and an
excellent rock book. The book starts rather traditional with the
well-known story about Syd and the boys and how Syd named the band 'in
partial tribute to two of his favourite blues singers'. Even in 2005
that story was old news and, on top of that, wrong. The chance for Syd
Barrett to have heard a Floyd
Council track before 1965 was infinitely close to zero. As a solo
performer Floyd Council is a footnote in blues history and only Piedmont
blues scholars remember 'Dipper Boy' as a part-time member of Blind Boy
Fuller's busking and recording band (a quick count shows he was only
present on 7 out of about 138 songs).
Although a pleasant read, with the odd interesting titbit here and
there, John Harris's book has quite a few flukes. There isn't a word
about the dozens different vinyl versions of the album, not a word about
its many tributes, covers or parodies, not a word about the hundreds of
bootlegs. It lacks an in-depth description of the songs or the themes on
the album and no mention of how the revolutionary artwork has been
'cited' over the past few decades on records, magazines, books and in a
well-known cartoon show.
The Making Of The Pink Floyd Masterpiece is a nice coffee-table book,
especially if one realises that the artwork has been made by the same
person who designed the record sleeve and for that reason it is
unforgivable that John Harris, throughout the book, insists of naming
that man Storm Thorgeson (without an R).
The Scottish Piper
Not only does John
Piper At The Gates Of Dawn cost about one-third of the above but it
also manages to spell Thorgerson's name right. And if you thought
for a second this post was going to be about Dark Side of the Moon then
you have entered the wrong universe.
Cavanagh's Piper, so tells the blurb, paints a vivid picture of how Pink
Floyd's remarkable debut album was created. It brings to life the
stories behind each track, as well as the Floyd’s groundbreaking live
performances of the time. Generally, most reviewers
think this is an excellent 'little' book about the Floyd's first and who
are we to contradict them? John managed to interview Nick Mason, Peter
Jenner, Jenny Fabian, Storm Thorgerson, Duggie Fields, Peter Whitehead
and this lead to information, that in 2003 when it first came out,
hadn't been told before.
Recently, the Spanish Syd Barrett blog Solo
En Las Nubes published an auto-interview with John Cavanagh, and
the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, as its preferred partner, has
received the exclusive honour of putting the English version on here.
Next to a musician and radio presenter the Scottish John Cavanagh is the
author of a small guide about the Pink Floyd's first album. It is a work
of pleasant reading and essential information. For Solo En Las Nubes he
demonstrates what he knows and what we as well want to know. There will
be no time for boring moments.
Our readers may know you from the book you wrote about Pink Floyd's
Piper at the Gates of Dawn album, that was published in 2003. Could you
tell us something about that?
I was thrilled to be asked to write one of the first books in
Continuum's series on classic albums, especially as it brought so much
to my life on a personal level. The first person I found to interview
Singh, the photographer responsible for the front cover of Piper.
Vic had withdrawn from fashion photography to follow his other artistic
and personal pursuits in the early '70s and no one had sought out his
story in any Pink Floyd books I'd seen, so I was very pleased to find
him. We've become good friends since then and he actually shot the front
cover for one of my own records (the second album I made under the name Phosphene)
using the same lens which he had on the Piper photo session. Since then,
Vic has worked on photo and video work with quite a lot of new artists
in London and he's a man who finds great excitement in the here and now,
which I find very refreshing.
From my first conversation with Vic, the book developed through
discovering many more stories which hadn't been told in print before. I
thought that potential readers were likely to have bought other books on
Pink Floyd, so I wanted to be sure that they felt they weren't just
reading the same old stuff over again. Thankfully, that seems to have
happened, as I've had so many positive thoughts on the book across time
and it has found friends around the world - indeed, I have one very good
friend whom I met thanks to this book, so it has a lot of personal
significance in my life.
You were into Pink Floyd from a very early age - right?
The first Floyd album I bought was Meddle.
That was when I was 9 years old. I discovered Relics
the following summer, as I wanted more Floyd and this compilation LP was
very cheap, so I had the money to buy it! That's what took me towards
Piper - the Relics album and hearing Astronomy Domine on the
radio - but my dad and I shared a lot of musical interests and we had,
in time, all the Pink Floyd albums between us, so that band became a
special thing for both of us and something I associate with discovering
lots of music when I was growing up.
Let's talk about some of the other things you do... you mentioned
your own music: tell me about that.
For a long time, if anyone asked me "do you play anything" (meaning an
instrument), I'd reply that I played other people's records! Then, one
day in 1996 when my friend Gayle and I were planning to do some
recording of a band we knew using an old Ferrograph
valve tape machine, she encouraged me to get out a clarinet, which I
hadn't played in years, and she played a Farfisa Pianorgan. The idea was
just to test the recorder and mics, but after improvising together we
thought that it felt good, we rewound the tape and, in that moment of
listening back, decided we should become a band and so that's how I
found the magic moment of being able to create something as well as play
other people's records!
We made a lot of our own records in the following 4 years, then we had
our solo projects from 2000 onwards, mine is called Phosphene
and Gayle's is called Pefkin.
We played on each others things sometimes too and then one day in late
2010, we ended up doing a show in a wonderful place in Glasgow called
Kinetic Gallery. We were supposed to be playing with a friend who
had to pull out that night, so all of a sudden we were playing a show
which wasn't either of our solo projects and afterwards some friends who
really enjoyed it kept saying that we should do things as Electroscope
again, so we thought, well, why not?
Our first show went really well, so we've continued to enjoy playing
again, we're working on a new album too and we released a compilation of
rare tracks earlier this year called Diapause.
I have a fourth full-length Phosphene album pretty much finished too and
in the time I've made music under that name, I've been privileged to
record with lots of wonderful people, including Bridget
St. John and the late and much missed Lol
You said you played other people's records. I know radio is a big
part of your life.
Oh yes, I've presented all sorts of shows for the BBC since 1990 and I
also have a weekly show which goes out on a station called Radio
Six International which is carried on various stations in such far
flung places as Taiwan, New Zealand and the U.S.
Radio can be such a magical medium and I was very much inspired by
free-spirited djs like Alan Freeman, John Peel and Johnnie Walker when I
was growing up and also by a show called The Sequence which used
improvised passages and Radiophonics to link the records and sessions
they featured. I think that was important in my discovery and
appreciation of abstract sound in music.
All of these things were important in forming my idea of what radio can
be, so I was never going to head down the direction of working in some
computer playlist format... not for me! I still find as much excitement
as ever in putting together programmes with some sort of unusual twists
in them or starting a long live show wherein listener requests will be a
lot of the content and where I have no idea quite which direction we'll
be moving in.
In more recent years, you've moved into producing other people's
records too. How did that happen?
The first of those projects was The Seance at Hobs Lane by Mount
Vernon Arts Lab, aka Drew Mulholland. Drew had already joined with
Electroscope to cover Geoff Goddard's Sky
Men and I'd known him for quite a while. He wanted to make an album
with guests and acoustic instruments on it and he asked if I would work
This was a really interesting process and it also led to my meeting with
some people I would record with subsequently, like Raymond MacDonald and
Isobel Campbell. At the time, the album had limited circulation, as
there were business problems with Cargo, the company who released it,
going bust, but it was re-issued more recently by Ghost
Box Records. It was heartening to read that Seance was one of the
things which inspired the people behind Ghost Box to start a label in
the first place.
After that, other things started to be made here. A lot of the source
material for the album Colleen et les Boites à Musique was recorded
here, although Cecile Schott then manipulated the sounds in her own
unique way, so that was quite different from recording a band or
whatever. I got into that sort of thing rather more, starting with the
first album by Family Elan "Stare of Dawn" and right now I'm working on
the new record by Rab Noakes, which is tremendous fun! I've known him
since I started working at the BBC and we've made, literally, hundreds
of hours of radio shows, but we'd never worked together on his music
before. Amongst many releases, Rab made 2 albums produced by Elliott
Mazer (famed for his work with Neil Young, The Band, etc.), so I was
well pleased when he asked me to produce a record, asking specifically
that I choose the players who would work with him which gave me a lot of
creative input right from the start. At the time of writing (August
2012), we still have some things to add before mixing starts, but we're
both excited by how well it's coming together. In between those points,
there have been albums by Nalle & Ben Reynolds, the debut by Two Wings,
Trembling Bells first two releases, projects with some outstanding
improv players active here in Glasgow including George Burt & Neil
Davidson, Una MacGlone and an album by Lol Cohxill & Raymond MacDonald
(yet to be released), plus the pleasure of working with George Gallacher
and Fraser Watson of the legendary Scottish pop band The Poets on a new
recording for a project being put together by Andrew Loog Oldham.
You mentioned a place called Sharmanka Kinetic Gallery earlier. Tell
me more about that.
Sharmanka is the unique and wonderful world of a Russian sculptor called
Eduard Bersudsky. He and his partner Tatyana came to Scotland in the
'90s and set up a permanent exhibition here which is now located in an
arts centre in Glasgow called Trongate 103. I first saw Eduard's
marvelous mechanical sculpture machines in 2000 and become completely
hooked at once on this work which blends Eastern European woodcarving
traditions with a feel Eduard has for using old bits and pieces to tell
stories. In Russia, Eduard did some public art (a big wooden sculpture
of a lion in a playpark, for example), but most of his creations were
just made and operated in his own apartment using parts of old bicycles,
typewriters, gramophones, you name it along with his carvings.
That's where Tatyana first met Eduard and, as a gifted theatre director,
she saw a possibility to create a show which, in time, has become
aligned to a whole sound and light experience and has toured many parts
of the world.
The machines animate some sort of story, it might be about Soviet
society, literature (for example, Mikhail Bulgakov's Master and
Margarita), film (Fellini's La Strada), something from Eduard's dreams,
it's very wide ranging. However, I thought there was another possibility
and that was to have live players improvising with the machines and
we've been running these shows on the first Thursday of each month since
March 2010. I believe that Sharmanka is one of those things where, in
many years time, people will look at photos or film and marvel that
there was once a place where you could go and see this show, but it's
here right NOW! If anyone reading this is coming to Glasgow - or is here
already - I urge you to have a look at the website (sharmanka.com) and
go along to see this place: I feel you will not regret it!
Sharmanka isn't your only connection to this Trongate 103 place, is
The centre opened in September 2009 and another of the places in there,
Street Level Photoworks, began their exhibitions in this new location
with a retrospective of work by John
"Hoppy" Hopkins. Hoppy was another person I met and
remained friends with through the Piper book, so I was asked to conduct
a public interview with Hoppy in the gallery. This went so well that it
developed into an occasional series of events and I've hosted
discussions there with the likes of Barry
Miles, Jenny Fabian, Jim
Haynes and Joe
Boyd. On one especially memorable Saturday afternoon in 2010, the
room was packed to see Andrew
Loog Oldham in conversation and this was a great day for me as ALO
is someone I admire tremendously for his innovative spirit, style and
chutzpah and he's also no pushover to interview, so that became a
wonderfully memorable event.
You seem attracted to doing lots of different things. Tell us about
some of the "one off" events you've been involved in.
Earlier this year I was one of five people chosen to contribute a
sound-work to a series of pieces called High Slack Low Slack High
devised by a Glasgow-based artist called Minty Donald. The theme of
these pieces was to reflect or respond to the tidal flow of the River
Clyde. My piece used a collage of sounds ranging from underwater
gurglings captured at low tide by a hydrophone to the sounds heard
inside a nuclear submarine. That was quite an experience in itself, to
be permitted to have a peep inside that world and the way sailors live
on these vessels. The sounds were fascinating too.
Then there was an event in an old place here called The Glue Factory
which is indeed an erstwhile glue factory! That was called Games Night
and was a "happening" in the true sense of that term, something unique
for those who attended it. My friend Claire Biddles were co-presenters
of a live game show which, at first, seemed to be an innocuous quiz
event, but as each round unfolded it became increasingly bizarre.
Next month (September 2012) I'm off to the Isle of Lewis to take part in
a show which is part of the celebrations of the centenary of John Cage's
birth. That will be broadcast on American NPR radio stations, so that's
all exciting too. Lewis is one of Scotland's Western Isles, I've never
been there before and I'm staying for a few days so there's a chance to
see round the island and visit some stone age sites there.
Those are some of the things happening this year. I do like the idea of
exploring new things and... I don't know... maybe people get some
sensation of that and respond by asking me to try working in new ways.
Whatever generates it, I'm glad it happens!
What's the most unusual thing you've worked on recently?
Something I've done for a long time is to work as a commercial
voice-over artist. That might involve voicing, say, a radio commercial
for the tourist agency Visit Scotland, perhaps a tv spot for station in
Ontario or some such place or providing the narration for a video for
UNICEF in Vietnam. Recently I've been doing some children's story
narrations which included character voices and even animal noises. Those
were great fun, but I think the most unusual one was the American guy
who commissioned me to read a love letter to his "Scots/Irish lass".
This was, as you may imagine, a very personal thing to be entrusted with
and I'd never been asked to do such a thing before, but I'm pleased to
say that he was very happy with the outcome and, apparently, so was she!
What are your ambitions?
To keep on finding interesting things to do and to be able to enjoy
working on them! I wouldn't say I was "ambitious" in any sense of
wanting, you know, lots of money or anything like that. So long as there
are ample funds to enjoy life and wonderful people to enjoy it with,
places to see, things to discover... next week I'm going on an evening
looking for bats and moths where we'll have a bat detector and be able
to hear their ultra high frequency calls decoded in a range audible by
the human ear. That, to me, is a more interesting thing to look forward
to than be craving some flashy car or something... I don't even drive!
Jose Ángel González (no accent on the first name, please) was born in Santiago
de Compostela on February 28, 1955. Spending most of his youth in Venezuela
he returned to Spain at the age of 17.
For the past 30 years he has been a free-lance journalist, covering a
broad range of the classic and modern media: spoken and written word,
video and television, electronic adventures in cyberworld for official
and private institutions or companies. In those three decades he has
witnessed successive births, deaths and resurrections of magazines and
papers but this hasn't taken away the fun and inspiration to go on
writing. In his own words: telling a story, whatever the medium, is the
most beautiful of the story.
Jose Ángel González is also a photographer, has exhibited his work in
Madrid, Barcelona and San Francisco and has published some work in
magazines. He likes photography as an expressive medium as pictures can
be a workaround for when words aren't telling enough.
In 1986 he published a mockumentary
in La Naval, a shortlived 'Atlantic movement' journal that he
founded. It was a fable about Syd Barrett's alleged stay at the Oseira
monastery. Throughout the entire piece the protagonist's name is
misspelled as Barret, not Barrett. Not that anyone noticed. See: Spanishgrass,
one year later.
Unknown to him the story turned into an urban legend and the Syd in
Oseira rumour was repeated and extrapolated among Spanish Syd Barrett
In 2002 he published a follow-up article on a (disappeared) blog in a
series of hypothetical records. Here is where the Spanishgrass
album was named for the first time.
This added extra fuel on the urban legend and blogs and forums picked up
the 'news'. According to González he was not aware of this until he was
contacted by Antonio Jesús from Solo
En Las Nubes who made it his quest to search for the origins of the
Antonio Jesús has lived in Cambridge where he helped at The
City Wakes festival (2008, already) and met several people of the
pre-Floydian incrowd. His blog Solo
en las Nubes is the starting point for Spanish speaking Barrett fans
all over the world. In a series of so-called Self-Interviews
he has highlighted several personalities of the past and present Syd
As a close collaborator of the Holy Church he decided to investigate the Spanishgrass
hoax, go to the bottom of it and find the source of the urban legend.
Not only he traced back the articles that started the legend but managed
to interview the author, Jose Ángel González.
He is the author of much more than "Syd Barrett looking for celestial
harmony in Oseira" and "Monastic Syd" (aka Spanishgrass).
Once we had found Jose Ángel González, we had no other choice then to
ask about his article of La
Naval... However, there were many other things to talk about as we
had only seen the tip of an artist's iceberg.
What follows are the questions, what follows are the answers ...
About the [Atlantic] movement that started in Vigo... when was the
time when you realized that those changes were going to stay forever?
Have they "stayed forever"? Their remembrance should be personal and not
entrenched in a historical museum. I think that all these changes have
now been usurped by the professionals of recuperation: politicians,
artists in search for the holy grail of early retirement, mediocre
artists, professional curators looking for patronage... They want to be
awarded with an approved nostalgic blessing, they want to give
expression of a comfortable and comforting situation...
I'm thinking of the shameful and manipulative exposition Desembarco
de los 80 (Disembarking of the eighties, 2011 exposition
remembering the Atlantic movement) that was mounted on lies for the
greater glory, also financial, of its survivors... I don’t like the
durability of this idea, although of course I am a human being and I
have the right to worship my private saints.
When the Vigo
movement hatched in the media I was living in Coruña.
I don't call her the Galician A Coruña nor the Spanish La
Coruña, I only use the feminine surname of the city, as she is the lady
whom I love. I was working for the only Galician FM radio-station that
played the Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, Television, Patti Smith or the
First the show was called Frenesí (Frenzy), later El lado salvaje (The
wild side) and it was diffused by Radio Popular in Ferrol,
but recorded in Coruña. Much later the show changed into Vuelo nocturno
(Nightflight) on the FM station Radio
In 1980 I had returned from Madrid where I had been lucky enough to
witness the first concerts of the groups that were liked by the
[Atlantic] movement and I found out that Coruña was a wasteland where
the people of my generation where listening to Emerson,
Lake & Palmer in the best case and to Mercedes
Sosa in the worst.
La Naval [the semi-official magazine of the Atlantic movement]
was not the only project I was involved in. I also organised weekly rock
concerts in a discotheque and co-managed two official rock contests for
The initial musical tristesse that I had found was ameliorating, but not
From the artists of that fruitful era, which one do you prefer?
There is no doubt for me: Siniestro
Total (Total Sinister). They were provocative and cultivated
despite their rudeness and they liked black American blues, which was
quite strange in Galicia, where everything coming from the USA was
considered imperialistic, influenced as we were by our nationalistic
How did La Naval come into place? Where there other competing
magazines? What made it so different?
A new style of magazines was more or less created out of boredom with
the old ones. We worked for newspapers and radio-stations of A Coruña
but it was hard to get some media attention in the city and to have our
alternative agendas published. The La Naval magazine began with 100.000
pesetas I had put aside on a long-termed bank account, the result of an
apartment sale belonging to my parents. I think it will be obvious what
followed: I never recovered the money.
[Note: 100.000 pesetas is roughly 601€, 802$ or 510£. The value today
would be at least the double as in the mid-eighties.]
How was the atmosphere between the collaborators of La Naval?
Although I stayed on the editorial board for all numbers it was not my
thing. The magazine's editorial line was based on the alleged
alternative Atlantic culture, as opposed to the Mediterranean one. It
soon led to an attempt to make a sales brand out of Galicia and to sell
it to the mainland. It gave expression to nationalism, rascally and
low-fi perhaps, but nationalism after all.
And how did La Naval end?
In my case, with a hole in the bank, but others took profit out of it.
For example, Radio
Océano, a band created by two of our founding members, recorded
an album that was paid by national radio, where its leadsinger was
working, by the way.
What do you miss most about the movement?
There was a clan feeling that was not bad, but it was limited to our own
small tribe with mutual masturbation among participating journalists. We
were a Mafia, like any other.
Number "500" had the article about Syd Barrett visiting the Oseira
monastery. Was this based on some urban... or better said: rural legend?
How was the article conceived?
The story was born in me with the fascination I felt for Syd Barrett and
his work. The article uses no legend as a starting point. It is my own
A few years ago the story, without direct references to the original
article, resurfaced on the Internet. How did you react to that?
None whatsoever. La Naval only had a limited impact. Only now I have
learned through you about the impact of the article, and I'm interested
and proud. I find it very funny that an urban legend grew out of it that
has been further associated with others or confirmed by others.
A few years after the publication of the La Naval article I wrote an
extended and corrected version for a series about hypothetical records.
It was published on a blog that eventually ended and added the lyrics of
some of the songs from Spanishgrass.
Why did you choose Syd Barrett as the protagonist of this monastic
adventure? And why Oseira?
Because Syd Barrett is one of my preferential musicians. Because Oseira
is a place of great tellurian force and it seemed appropriate as a
setting for this fiction. The summers of the English author Graham
Greene in the monastery, the power of nature, the retirement, the prime
nobility of those Cistercian monks... All that, my fragile memory
recalls, had to do with the initial idea.
What music are you currently listening to?
I've never stopped listening to old blues (Charlie Patton, Howlin' Wolf,
Bessie Smith...), Bob Dylan, King Crimson, David Bowie, The Beatles...
I'm not seeking for new things. But what has excited me most recently is
How did you get into photography?
I started taking pictures and developing them in a dark room in my
teens, but I had never any other intention than doing some family
snapshots. A few years ago, while recovering from an illness and with my
first digital reflex camera, I started using photography as a form of
therapy, to try to find the humanity that was fleeing from me. Quite
naturally I went back to analog photography. And here I am: I have
already stated a few times that I would like to have more time to pursue
photographic projects. It is not easy ...
What brought you to the USA and San Francisco in particular?
To make a long story short, I was keen to leave Spain and its sadness
In the 'Strike' collection your photos seem not to capture the moment
but the spirit of those who appear in it. Is that the magic 'analog'
touch? And in the 'Her Name is Holga' series you seem to carry away the
dream. Were these pictures taken in th USA? What inspired you?
I can rarely explain a photo, and especially those on the street have
been taken instinctively. Someone said that the photographer is, or
should be, an emissary of his own sadness. I apply that story.
Your blog is superb, in photographic work and in the texts you write.
Do you think there is something in common? What accounts for your
preference for black and white? When do you choose colour instead?
I see in black and white. Always has been. I do not pretend to be better
or more arty: it's a spiritual condition.
And that romance with Holga? What does she has that others do not
camera is a simple, plastic toy, cheap and unsophisticated. I love
flirting with her and I think she fancies me, as she returns miracles. I
have over 50 cameras: if I have to choose just one, it would be the
What is Oraciones sucias (obscene prayers)?
It's a Tumblr,
a scrapbook, a microblog... I have another as well: Hot
Parade, dedicated to photos only. I also have two websites: joseangelgonzalez.com
is my official site, I have recently rebuilt it after an accidental file
loss. On joseangelgonzalez.net
are those photos that embarrass me the least.
Do you have any artistic ambitions to further develop?
Just living and trying to be happy, which is already something.
Is it already over a year ago that this blog reviewed the Men On The
CD? Lots of things happened meanwhile to the Reverend who was recently
spotted at an Andrew
Lloyd Webber's musical. Since then, when he sits in the evening in
his comfy chair, a glass of Amontillado
in his hand, you can hear him murmuring the immortal refrain...
Memory All alone in the moonlight I can smile at the old days I
was beautiful then...
Thinking that we're getting older and wiser When we're just getting
But I have grown older and You have grown colder and Nothing is
very much fun any more. (Taken from: Memory
[Cats] / Near
the End [David Gilmour] / One
of my Turns [Roger Waters])
Andrew Lloyd Webber sickens me. He's in your face all the time and what
he does is nonsense. It has no value. It is shallow, derivative rubbish,
all of it... (Taken from: Who The Hell Does Roger Waters Think He Is?, Q
Magazine, November 1992, hosted at: A
But it is not because the Reverend deliberately ignores Roger Waters'
warnings that he can't recognise decent music any more.
Shine! from Men On The Border is a splendid album that shouldn't be
ignored by the redneck Sydiots out there. Luckily, neither did the
Spanish Syd Barrett blog Solo En Las Nubes and that's how the following
self-interview came into place, an interview with some old friends...
Men On The Border, who or what are they? Are they men or myth? With an
album, artwork and history myth-busting/building, they have rocked the
psychedelic foundations of the Syd Barrett world with a pop mentality.
Yes, pop. This sounds too cool to be true. We decided to find out more.
Phil: Well, wouldn't you like to know! We're just a couple of sticky
Swedes, except for me, because I'm just a Brit with Swedish tendencies. Göran:
And I am just a Swede with British tendencies. Phil: I've now lived
longer in Sweden than I did in Britland. I moved here because of my
spiritual affinity with the elks and they're thin on the ground in
London. Apart from that I've been a fanatic guitarist most of my life. Göran:
They are very thin is what I've heard. Phil: Disappearingly thin. Göran:
How long have you been involved in music?
Phil: All my life, actually from a very early age and my earliest
memories are musical - banging on boxes, as I wanted to be a drummer. Göran:
I wanted to be an astronaut. The space age - and the music that came
with it. Ahhh. Phil: From age 10 and onwards, everything was guitars.
My life is littered with musical tags which can take me back to specific
events in seconds - like most people probably have. Göran: Indeed.
Some good events, some less good, some joyful, some simply embarrassing. Phil:
Music has also steered major life-choices, like my conscious decision to
reject both schooling and religion in my teens. Göran: My music
universe imploded and exploded at the same time. I was a punk rocker, a
prog rocker and a 60s pop fan – all at once. My first band was named
Läder, the second one Yeah. Then I ditched music for education and...
things. Phil: My first band was at the age of 17. Unfortunately I was
unable to also reject the other very basic family philosophy: you have
to have a proper job! Getting a good education was obviously less
important. If I'd put my energies into music instead of a string of shit
jobs in my teens, maybe this album would have been made 20 years ago. Göran:
Maybe it WAS made 20 years ago in a time vortex kind of thingie.
Why did you make the album Shine!?
Phil: I love to make music, I love to play and I love to record in my
studio. If it's my music or someone else's doesn't really matter as long
as it has something to offer. Göran: As it happened, Syd Barrett had
something to offer. Phil: I hadn't actually heard any of his solo
material when we started. I was a Pink Floyd fan, but had completely
missed out on Syd. Göran: This helped to motivate me. I sent him a
first primitive demo. Phil: Making Octopus
whetted my appetite for more. Göran: And this in turn drove me
further. To convince people like Phil! The joy of discovery. Squid for
dinner! Phil: Well, he was dead keen to continue, so to make a whole
album was an easy decision. Göran: We made an early promise to be
ready for a festival the next summer. Phil: Yes. The absolute
deadline for mastering was June 8th 2012.
Can you describe the creative process of making Shine!?
Phil: Göran made acoustic demos which he sent to me. Sometimes I made an
initial draft recording, which I sent back for suggestions on how to
proceed and a few times we sat together and played. Göran: It was a
case of working out some new types of arrangements that would fit Syd’s
songs without losing too much of the feelings behind the songs. Some of
them were “road tested” in some acoustic gigs and more. Phil:
And more? Göran: Dreaming in a forest, Phil. Then I just recorded on
my smartphone and mailed over to Phil and he sent me some new amazing
twists back. Every time was such a joy! Phil: As an example of the
process my string quartet arrangement in the Golden Hair part of No
Man's Land was axed by Göran. Göran: Sorry! Phil: He
came up with another suggestion, the one that ended up on the album. I
thought that was SUCH a good idea, but was actually easily persuaded by
Göran to ditch the strings.... Göran: Creative conflicts. We
bounced things between us to create the right blend. Those strings were
brilliant, but did not work in the context of No Man’s Land. It would
have worked as a stand-alone. Phil: I also waited until all the
Shine! recordings were completed before listening to the originals and
was thus not influenced by them at all. Göran: Well, there was one
where you cheated. Phil: Yes! I actually listened to Gigolo
Aunt because I couldn't figure out the timing from Göran's demo
-there's a half-bar in there. Göran: The fun and beauty of Syd's
songs. Phil: All-in-all there was a LOT of bouncing back and forth. Göran:
Which are your favourite songs on Shine!?
Phil: All of the songs have elements in them which I love. But if I had
to choose one song it would be Opal,
because it has everything. Poignant lyric, great vocals from Göran. Göran:
Well... Phil: And also my best performance ever on a recording. 7
minutes of stark beauty. Göran: Opal was always special and I knew it
had to be on the album. We saved it for last really. It's tricky and I
had to record my demo to Phil in several segments. Phil: Oh yes. A
bit of a puzzle really. Göran: I am very pleased with how it turned
out. Personally I like the duo of Long Gone and No Man’s Land, moving in
that punk/prog territory. Feel is also such a wonderful melody and we
stretched that to tell a bit of a story, but with sound only. Wonderful
guitar work from Phil.
Which great Syd Barrett songs did not make it to be included on
which we recorded a week after the album was released. I love that song,
but because of the deadline we didn't have the spare week we needed to
record it. We'd planned to include that with a string quartet, though
fortunately the quartet idea wasn't included. I love the result on that.
There may be others.... Göran: Terrapin works best as a bonus track
really. There is a thematic structure to Shine! and I am not sure how it
could have fitted in. We had some ideas to include obscure Pink Floyd
stuff, like Scream Thy Last Scream. I am sure that would have been
really interesting, but then again it was never a Syd solo song.
What can you tell us about the artwork included with Shine!?
Göran: Back in March 1971, Syd admitted that at heart he was really a
painter. We just felt we should try to reflect this in our little
tribute. Phil: But none of us can paint. Göran: We tried sonically
to bring more colour to his rather bleak songs and also to illustrate
the whole album with colourful art. Phil: The cover was specially
made for us by a wonderful Swedish artist, Kajsa-Tuva Henriksson.
You can read all sorts of things into that painting. Göran: Yeah. I
first met her at a festival and played some of the early demos for her
and she really liked it. Then later, I described the overall ideas and
parts of Syd’s life. She made that painting to reflect all of this. Phil:
The booklet has one painting for each song in a sort of an exhibition,
where you move through different rooms actually. The paintings were made
by a Syd Barrett fan in the USA, Jennifer D’Andrea. Göran:
I really love those. I have Octopus framed as a constant reminder in my
Now honestly, what is really so great about Syd Barrett?
Göran: It's all great. You cannot easily separate the life and the art
of Syd Barrett. It is all so interwoven, as indeed it is with many great
artists through history. Van Gogh springs to mind, but also many more.
Their art might not have reached their true audience during their life
time, but would grow in importance. Phil: For me it has been a bit of
a discovery really. Göran: So Syd made some great stuff with Pink
Floyd and got that band on track for stardom, but I think he actually
did his best work after Pink Floyd. In a similar way that John Lennon
did his best work at a very vulnerable stage after The Beatles. Their
respective music is so extremely honest, but also very unpredictable and
full of layered meanings. Entering the “Syd universe” is very
worthwhile. We just want to help more people find it. Phil: Turn on,
tune in, rock out!
OK, you've convinced us. Where and how can we buy Shine!?
Göran: We have a few hundred copies left still, stored in USA, UK and
Sweden. Just visit our website and drop us a mail. We are quick to
answer and will happily send the CD to wherever you are. Phil: By
interstellar overdrive. We have fans on our Facebook
page from all over the planet, but no worries, we can mail the CD to all
Last question! Where is the pussy willow that smiled on this leaf -
and if it’s there will you go there too?
Phil: I've been advised by my lawyer not to answer this question, but
Göran, being brave and foolhardy in equal parts, probably has an
exclamation up the sleeve of his kaftan. Göran: The pussy willow is
in springtime Cambridge, and yes we will certainly go there one day to
gig and make recordings. Right Phil? Phil: You’ll have to talk to my
Göran Nyström and Phil Eheridge are preparing a new album called (at
least for now) Jumpstart that will at least have two other Syd
covers and own material. On the third of October 2013 they are billed at
Cruise gig in Sweden.
Iggy Rose enters the pantheon of Jenny Spires and Libby Gausden!
An Iggy Rose radio interview was diffused on Monday night, the 25th of
May at 10 PM EST at Nikki
Palomino's (talk) radio show Dazed Radio on Whatever
68. As for UK based people it was already Tuesday 26th at 3 o’clock
in the morning, and 4 AM for those in Western Europe, we had to wait for
an archived version.