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2012-05-25 Spanishgrass or Syd Barrett's lost Spanish record
2011-12-02 Fuck all that, Pink Floyd Ltd.
Last year, when the Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit was undertaking his annual pilgrimage to Cambridge he halted one afternoon at the shrine lying across the mighty Cam, in other words: The Anchor.
As usual the bouncer / waiter threatened to throw him out if he stayed longer than fifteen minutes without drinking but anyone who knows the Reverend will realise that this would pose no problem.
Even more, after a while the waiter started a friendly chat. “I hate them.”, he sneered, “Those bloody tourists, following that fucking Syd Barrett trail. Looking for the bench at the Garden, asking me what was his favorite seat in this place. How should I know? I wasn't even born when The Wall came out and anyway this place has probably changed furniture six times since then.”
“Look, there's another batch arriving. One of them even has brought a guitar with him. I assure you, if they start singing Here I Go again I'll kick them out in a jiffy. 'nother Guinness then?”
Back at Atagong mansion the Reverend mused about the continuing Church's malaise. “Iggy will never be found.”, he sighed. “I can't keep going on repeating that she danced the Bend at the Cromwellian, can I? We need to broaden our business plan and we need to do it fast, now that we still have something of an attention span.”
“What about t-shirts?”, a Spanish visiting monk wanted to know. This infuriated the Reverend tremendously. “T-shirts!”, he cried, “T-shirts. Who do you think we are, www sydbarrett dot com? Mick Rock, laughing all the way to the bank with his 85 percent commission, is that what you want?”
Everybody silently agreed it was going to be one of these days at the Church. Finally a young novice dared to speak.
“Reverend.”, he asked, “Permission to speak freely.” “Permission granted.”, said the Reverend. The boy with a light in his eyes cleared his throat. “The problem is, Reverend”, he said loud and clear, “that you have become an old fart.” A booing and howling noise, not unlike those dissonances made at the British parliament, rose from the audience. “Shut up!”, commanded the Reverend, “Let the boy speak!”
“I had a look at your agenda recently and the most titillating event was a breakfast meeting with a French member of the Church in Hotel Metropole in Brussels. You invariably fall asleep after your afternoon tea with biscuits, listening to Poor Man's Moody Blues from Barclay James Harvest. I mean, where is the fervor, the schwung, the drive in what we do, in what we feel for. We all need to be kicked in the ass and start propagating Barrettism again.”
It was silent again when the boy sat down. Finally the Reverend spoke. “Son, I like your style. I recognise the fire of a young myself in your words. What is your name?”
“Alex Fagoting, my Reverend.”
“Alex... short for Alexander. Ἀλέξανδρος, a strong name, meaning protector or defender of mankind. This is a powerful omen, as my warrior droog I'll give you carte blanche. So what do you want to do?”
“I want to kick our community a conscience, dear Reverend, starting with the merchants at our temple. For this I will only need one of the Church's crypts that I will baptise The Anchor, named after the Cambridge pub where I was hit a black eye by the bouncer because I wanted to sing Here I Go.”
“Then do as you have told, let it be embroidered into the Church's annals that you have my blessing.”
The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical division, intended for people with a good heart, but a bad character.
Satire: Artistic form in which (human) abuse, folly, shortcomings, stupidity or vices are attacked and/or exposed by means of burlesque, caustic wit, derision, irony, ridicule, sarcasm or other methods.
All characters, incidents portrayed and the names used at The Anchor are fictitious. Any similarity without satiric purpose to names, characters, or history of any person living, dead or dying is entirely accidental, unintentional, coincidental and plain improbable.
Let's have a Guinness!
Posted by Alex Fagoting at 0:01
Edited on: 2012-08-24 14:12
Categories: The Anchor
An overview of the latest posts: Most Recent Articles
Perhaps that is not entirely true, but at least we've got your attention.
Terrapin was a Syd Barrett fanzine appearing from the early till the mid-Seventies. The alternatively wired Bernard White was one of the few who used to run the legendary magazine although it has mainly acquired this status through the amnesic mist of time. The magazine was badly written, badly styled, badly distributed and, to add insult to injury - somewhere in between - the different editors used the scarce pages of their own magazine to fight out some internal editorial wars. Call it a Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit avant la lettre, quoi.
But of course Terrapin occasionally had its peak moments. A young Robert Chapman, whom we all know from his excellent work of fiction A Very Irregular Head, debuted in Terrapin number 2 with his review of the February 1972 Stars gig at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge. He had it mainly wrong, so he was already creating a habit there.
A smart trip
The most intriguing piece in Terrapin did not come from Rob Chapman, nor Bernard White, but from the mad bard himself. Issue 9 (July 1974) had a previously unpublished poem, written by Syd Barrett, titled: A Rooftop Song In A Thunderstorm Row Missing The Point. Several weird theories have surfaced about it and one of them goes that the starting letters of its title form the witty anagram 'a smart trip'. Not all Barrett fans believe the poem was written by Syd, but - and otherwise this article would have no reason at all - let's assume he did. The poem, as it appeared in 1974, can be found in our Rooftop gallery. It is in Bernard White's handwriting, as are most pages of Terrapin, because there was no typewriter around when he created the fanzine.
Fast forward to 2010. On the 4th of December Barrett scholars found that the Bonhams auction house was going to sell the following: Sale 17974 - Entertainment Memorabilia, 15 Dec 2010 - Lot No: 148:
A Syd Barrett poem, circa late 60s/early 70s, signed, in black ballpoint on a small piece of paper, entitled 'A Rooftop Song In A Thunderstorm Row Missing The Point', thirteen lines, beginning, 'With yellow red and foomy food, and quivered / crouching on a golden cushion / Undressed himself to dissapear (sic) through an infinity of pleasure...', the reverse with part of a question/answer piece, one side covered in tape, 12.5 x 13cm (5 x 5in) approx. Estimate: £2,000 - 3,000, EUR 2,300 – 3,500.
(Note: a facsimile can be found at our Rooftop gallery.)
But what was most interesting, intriguing and salivating was the footnote at the bottom of the Bonhams page:
This will feature in a book about Syd to be launched in March 2011, with an exhibition at Idea Generation, and the Barrett family have confirmed this is in Syd's hand.
Almost immediately the allusion that the piece was in Syd's handwriting was questioned by some fans. At the left side there is a snippet of Pink Floyd's See Emily Play and that is how Syd Barrett's handwriting looked like. Late Night member Dark Globe did a fine job by comparing Barrett's and White's handwriting and concluded:
To me, the handwriting on the Bonhams poem itself looks closer to BW's handwriting than to Syd's. (Syd's handwriting tended to slope to the left all throughout his life). I'd guess that the Bonhams item is actually a draft written in a looser hand by Bernard White for the final version which appears in the fanzine. (Taken from: Rooftop for Sale.)
Brettjad at Madcaps Laughing remarked: “I don't get it. If it's Syd's, then why did he write that interview on the reverse?”
A pertinent question indeed. The Anchor took the liberty of taking a closer look at the backside of the document (see gallery). One of the first assumptions the Anchor can make is that the sold snippet was cut out of a larger piece of paper as the top of the backside horizontally slits a sentence in half. But that is not all there is to see.
The backside transcript is (partly) page 5 of Terrapin 10. In other words: here is the original page, in Bernard White's handwriting, before it was printed and distributed to its subscribers in August 1974. The underneath illustration hopefully proofs that both are identical (first line: Terrapin 10; second line: Bonhams poem - back side).
Missing the point
Let's digest this for a while, while we have a go at the poem itself. According to Bonhams, Barrett's family has confirmed it is in Syd's hand although they fail to produce a certificate of authenticity or to simply name the family member who has testified this. If they can't it is hearsay, to say the least.
For the sake of argument, let's believe the poem is in Syd's handwriting. Why then did super-fan & collector Bernard White prefer to publish a copy of the poem in his handwriting rather than to publish Syd's original? Surely someone must have been missing a point?
In Terrapin 9 White thanks 'Hypgnosis for the poem and photos'. Still following Bonhams train of thought this means that Po (Aubrey Powell) or Storm (Thorgerson) gave Bernard White an original Syd Barrett document without asking for a receipt. That's not how we know them, especially not in 1974.
Anoraks have of course spotted the mistake in the previous paragraph. Bernard White thanks Hypgnosis, not Hipgnosis. As legendary as his fanzine are his spelling errors (in one issue he jokingly described himself as 'Bernard M White: spelling mistakes and all other errors'). The Rooftop paper has got two: 'your writting' and 'to dissapear'. White's spelling errors are as unique as his handwriting and the 'dissapear' error is repeated in both versions of the poem. Oops!
Bonhams' Barrett vs Terrapin's White
To end the discussion, once and for all, let's have a look at the two known Rooftop copies: blue is Bonhams (Syd Barrett), red is Terrapin (Bernard White). Hmmm...
It is in a book, ergo it must be true
Not only does Bonhams claim that the poem is in Barrett's handwriting, they also maintain that their version is going to be published 'in a book about Syd to be launched in March 2011, with an exhibition at Idea Generation'.
We also thought that the poem wasn't written in Syd's hand so we haven't included it in the book. I am not sure about the family authentication but I think, as you and we have worked out, that point is irrelevant as we know it's not Syd's writing. (…) A shame though - would have been a great find!
Indeed, there must still be a third version of the Rooftop poem somewhere, the one - (perhaps) in Syd's handwriting - that Bernard White copied in the Hipgnosis headquarters. But that is not the one that was recently auctioned.
It's a gas!
On the 15th of December of 2010 a collector paid 2,160 £ for this original piece of Bernard White's handwriting, probably believing that it was Syd's. (Some information has now been removed from the Bonhams website but the Anchor has a screenshot.)
It was then when the Anchor decided to contact Bonhams to ask them if, perhaps, an eeny weeny teeny meeny mistake had been made.
An automated reply from Leonora O. learned us that she was out until the 5th of January and that for all queries we should try another mail address, that happened to be exactly the same address than the one we had send our questions to. So we waited, until the year was finally over...
In January we contacted Bonhams a second time. We got a reply from Katherine B. who was so friendly to inform us that Stephanie C. was going to answer us immediately.
Just before this article went into print (or should we say: upload) we informed again if Stephanie C. finally had any comments. Alas, she was too busy waiting for the ink to dry on a recently found Apple iPod that has John Lennon's signature on it and couldn't come to the phone.
Bernard White and Syd Barrett, sharing a Guinness at the great gig in the sky, are probably laughing their arses off.
The Anchor wishes to thank:
Dark Globe who made an excellent comparison of Barrett's and White's handwriting at Late Night. Further analysis shows that the letter d in 'seasoned' (from the Bonhams poem) and the letter d in 'Bernard' (as in White's signature) are coming from the same person (post #9).
Posted by Alex Fagoting at 11:29
Edited on: 2012-05-25 12:45
Categories: The Anchor
An overview of the latest posts: Most Recent Articles
What you see at the left is the only remaining copy in the world of an
unreleased 1967 Pink Floyd single: Vegetable
Man / Scream
Thy Last Scream.
Approximate value: 10,000 US dollars, even on a rainy day.
Part one: Holy Syd!
The songs are on an acetate disc and without going to much into detail we can simply say that an acetate is a test pressing of a vinyl record. An acetate has not been made to last and every time a needle reads the groove the acetate is gradually but irrecoverably damaged. Bands and producers often used acetates to test how a record would sound on cheap home record players before sending the master tape to the record factory.
This precious copy is in the hands of Saq, an American collector in Los Angeles who acquired it about 15 years ago and has cherished it ever since. It is, without doubt, what collectors call a 'holy grail': a rare, valuable object sought after by other collectors. One of the side effects of a 'holy grail' is that it can only acquire that status if other collectors are aware of its existence, but not too many. If nobody knows you have an exclusive item it might as well not exist. Syd Barrett already acknowledged this in his Arnold Layne song: it 'takes two to know'.
Holy grails can be frail, especially when they only consist of audio material. One popular Pink Floyd holy grail are, sorry: were, the so-called work in progress tapes of The Wall (most people, websites and bootlegs refer to these as The Wall demos, which they are clearly not, but that is an entirely different discussion). Around 1999 they circulated amongst top-notch collectors and were generally unknown to the public, The Anchor included, until a track called The Doctor (an early version of Comfortably Numb) was leaked as an alt.music.pink-floyd Christmas 2000 gift. It didn't take long before the complete set was weeded to the fans, who were happy to say the least except for the one of the few who had lost their priceless treasure.
Part two: the guns of Navarro
When Barrett fan Giuliano Navarro met Saq in 2009 he was let on the secret and from this moment Giuliano became a man with a mission. He received pictures of the acetate and finally, on the 15th of January 2011, he proudly announced at Late Night:
I tried to stay in communication with him for more than a year and begged him to at least have the tracks recorded. He agreed to do me the favour, and sent the acetate to a professional studio in San Francisco. (...)
After more than a year of waiting, I finally got the tracks and now I want to share them with all of you. We are the real Syd Barrett crazies and we all deserve to listen to his art. There should be no discovery made that ends up back in the vaults.
Giuliano Navarro is, without doubt, a man of honour. But it helped that
Saq didn't really ran the risk that making the content public would ruin
his holy grail (as with The Wall WIP tapes). Quite the contrary:
he still has an ultra-rare acetate from 1967;
is envied by collectors from over the world and, knowing that;
the value of this unique recording can only sky-rocket.
At least that is what he thought until about a couple of weeks ago.
Part three: cracks in the ice
An uproarious bigmouth called Felix Atagong, who also goes by the ridiculous epithet Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, proposed Giuliano to upload the sound files to Yeeshkul. At first the recordings were received with great enthusiasm, but after some days the place was stirring with comments of an entirely different nature.
Yeeshkul is a place where Pink Floyd audio collectors meet and share files through a torrent network. They vary from the average je-ne-sais-quoi fan to the specialised sound freak who has the means and the knowledge to find out whether a certain audio file comes from an earlier or a later generation tape. And obviously this spectacular find was going to be analysed to the bit...
Navarro received MP3 files taken from the acetate and shared these immediately with the fans. Not unusual as MP3 is about the most popular sound format in the world, but it does compress the sound and reduces the quality. The Yeeshkul specialist sound brigade argue that lossless files in 24/96 (or even 24/192) should exist as well. Nobody will be that stupid to put an ultra-rare (and very fragile) acetate on a turntable, only to convert the audio to MP3.
Vince666 did a spectrum analysis of the MP3 files and found that the sound had been mysteriously cut-off at 16 Khz (see left side image). Some members maintain that this is a typical result of MP3 compression, but others disagree. But despite the compression and the obvious quality-loss these mono tracks still sound a lot better than other versions that have been circulating for decades.
Felixstrange (no relative to the Church) discovered 'something which sounds a lot like tape damage at 0:54 during "Scream Thy Last Scream':
The noise a minute into STLS is definitely a result of creases in magnetic tape. However, there is definitely vinyl/acetate surface noise present. I've been doing a lot of vinyl rips lately and I immediately recognized the all-too-familiar clicks of debris in the grooves of a record.
Question: How can a brand new, original EMI master show tape
damage, before it has even been used to make vinyl records out of it?
Answer: It can't.
Part four: screaming vegetables
Vegetable Man and Scream Thy Last Scream (let's shorten that to VM and STLS, shall we?) are both unreleased Syd Barrett - Pink Floyd gems from 1967. EMI has been tempted to put these on compilations before, but for different (copyright) reasons that never happened, luckily two different mixes have leaked to the public.
When (The) Dark Side Of The Moon proved successful EMI compiled early Floyd as A Nice Pair and put the two Barrett solo-albums together in a Syd Barrett budget release. The selling figures (especially in the USA where the solo albums had never been released) were important enough for EMI to beg for a third Syd Barrett solo album. Producer Peter Jenner soon found out that Syd Barrett really wasn't in the singing mood and scraped the barrel in order to find some unreleased material.
On the 13th of August 1974 Peter Jenner (with a little help from John Leckie and Pat Stapley) mixed a stereo tape of unreleased Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd originals, including VM and STLS. This tape, with reference 6604Z, almost immediately evaporated from the EMI archives and re-materialised – so goes the legend – miraculously in one of Bernard White's cupboards.
Almost day by day thirteen years later, Malcolm Jones compiled his personal 'Syd Barratt (sic) Rough Mixes'. It is believed that he accidentally lost this tape just when he was passing by the front door of an anonymous bootlegger.
Part five: check your sources
The Anchor needs to get a bit nerdy and technical here, like those Bible scholars who combine different fourth century Greek editions in order to reconstruct the ultimate Bible source. We are going to compare the different versions of the tracks, so you have been warned.
Barrett fans have strong reasons to believe that the Malcolm Jones 1987 (mono) tapes are the closest to the original 1967 Pink Floyd recordings. In 1974 Peter Jenner added extra effects, echo and reverb to the mix, most notably on VM, and these are absent on the Malcolm Jones tape. The Malcolm Jones mix of STLS fades out, while Jenner's version ends abruptly with – yet – another sound effect.
That is not all. In the case of Vegetable Man there is even a third mix - the so-called Beechwoods tape. It has survived on tape from a 1969 radio show where Nick Mason opened his Pandora’s box of 1967 outtakes. A fan found it back in 2001 and promptly donated it to Kiloh Smith from Madcaps Laughing.
As the acetate allegedly dates from 1967;
Vegetable Man must sound like the Beechwoods version, and
Scream Thy Last Scream must sound like the Malcolm Jones rough mix.
Part six: listen to the music
Yeeshkul member MOB compared all known versions and came back with the following report.
The acetate mix is mono, but definitely different than the Malcolm Jones mono mix from 1987.
The 1967 acetate mix is also different from the 1967 Beechwoods tape, believed to be the most authentic studio version of the song. On the Beechwoods tape, there is absolutely no echo or reverb during the sentence "Vegetable man where are you" but they are present on the acetate.
The only version with extra echo and reverb is the 1974 stereo mix by Peter Jenner.
Actually, if I take the 1974 Jenner stereo mix and convert it to mono, I have the same mix as the "acetate" mix. So to me it seems the current mix is not from 1967 (if it was the case it should be close to the 1967 Beechwoods mix, and it's not), but from 1974.
Maybe the 1974 Jenner versions were copied, traded, with some "mono-ization" in the lineage, then pressed as fake acetates?
Scream Thy Last Scream:
The 1967 acetate mono mix is not the same as the Jones 1987 mono mix (the Jones version fades out during the street noises). Instead of that, on the acetate mix, the street noises end abruptly with an echo effect.
Is it pure coincidence that the echo is exactly the same effect as the one used by Jenner during his 1974 mixdown?
Again, if you mono-ize the 1974 Jenner mix, you have the current acetate mix (minus the scratches and tape flaws). Same effects at the same moments.
Part seven: the time-paradox explanation
Of course this all makes sense, especially in a Barrett universe, and the contradiction can easily be explained.
Somewhere in 1967 Barrett invented a time-travelling device by combining a clock with a washing machine. When asked to compose a third single he hopped to 1974, stole tape number 6604Z from the EMI archives and returned to 1967.
Thus it is perfectly logical that the 1967 acetate sounds exactly like the 1974 Jenner mix and en passant we have solved the mystery how the tape has disappeared from the EMI vaults.
The utterly boring explanation is that the 1967 acetate is fake, counterfeit, a forgery, made by a scrupulous thief to rob a few thousands of dollars from a collector’s pocket. In other words: mono-ization turned into monetisation.
Part eight: let's get physical
The Anchor is like one of those boring Roger Waters songs: once we're in a drive, we can't stop and we have to make extra parts of the same monotonous melody over and over again.
Even without listening to the counterfeit acetate there still is something dubious about it (thanks neonknight, emmapeelfan,...).
Due to their production process and their fragility acetates are - most of the time - single sided, just like the surviving acetates of Arnold Layne and See Emily Play. Albums were even issued on two different single sided acetates to avoid further damage (but some double sided acetates do exist, like the very first Pink Floyd recording with Bob Klose in the band: Lucy Leave / King Bee [but that was definitely not an EMI acetate]);
Engineers at EMI were invariably nerdy administrative types, who attended recording sessions dressed in white lab coats. These cheeky little fellows would never label an acetate without putting the name of the band on top;
Although a pretty fair forgery the label on the record is not identical to the 'official' EMI acetate label, there also seem to be some glue marks that are usually not present on real acetates;
and last but not least;
Acetates are ad hoc test pressings and in the extremely rare case of a double acetate this means that a certain relationship has to exist between both tracks, like both sides from a single or takes from the same session. STLS was recorded on 7 August 1967 (some overdubs were made in December 1967 and January 1968 for a possible inclusion on A Saucerful of Secrets). VM was recorded between 9 and 12 October 1967. They were never meant to be each other's flip side on a single, so finding them on the same acetate simply makes no sense, unless it is a fake, of course.
Part nine: a spoonful of charades
So basically here is what happened:
1. someone, somewhere in summertime, got hold of the Peter Jenner 1974 stereo-mixes of VM and STLS (not that weird as they have been circulating for at least 3 decades);
2. these were copied on a tape (perhaps even a cassette for home entertainment) but unfortunately it was damaged, trampled, eaten and vomited out by the player (crumpled sound between 51 and 55 seconds);
3. this cassette was downgraded from stereo to mono;
4. the mono 'remaster' was cut on acetate, a fake EMI label was glued on it, and sold to a collector (probably in the mid Nineties);
5. the acetate, believed to be genuine by its owner, was copied in a professional studio to (hopefully) a lossless digital format (there are vinyl record clicks to prove that);
6. the digital copy was then converted to MP3 (with a compression cut off at 16 Khz) and torrented through Yeeshkul.
Part ten: let's add some extra confusion
It has now been established that the 1967 acetate is fake and a mere mono copy of the 1974 stereo mix, but there is still some confusion and a bit of hope.
Although a copy from a copy from a copy the acetate sounds better, crispier and fuller than the Jenner mixes that are currently circulating. To put it into technical gobbledygook: the forger has a better sounding, earlier generation tape at his disposal than the one that Barrett collectors have now. This is something what duly pisses most Syd anoraks off.
Instead of sharing the tape to the fans it has been used to produce bootleg acetates. One can assume that the criminal sold more than one unique acetate, so there must be other collectors around who have purchased this record, believing they had the only copy in the world.
The high-priced acetate market is not that big. Perhaps if we stick together, we can trace the seller who must now tremble like a leaf, and before cutting off his balls and roasting them on a fire, confiscate the low generation tape and use it for the better.
Part eleven: last words
What you see at the left is an acetate counterfeit of a nonexistent 1967
Pink Floyd single
Vegetable Man / Scream Thy Last Scream.
Approximate value: 10 US dollars, not a cent more.
Let us be fair: not all is lost for Saq, the current owner.
The Anchor has got an excellent business relationship with Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers Bonhams. For a small 35% commission rate the Anchor is willing to put the acetate on sale at Bonhams as they already have a habit of selling overcharged fake Barrett memorabilia: Bonhams Sells Fake Barrett Poem.
The Anchor wishes to thank: Giuliano Navarro, Hallucalation, Vince666, Felixstrange, MOB, Neonknight, Emmapeelfan and the other participants at Late Night and Yeeshkul.
Posted by Alex Fagoting at 13:58
Edited on: 2011-11-12 16:39
Categories: The Anchor
An overview of the latest posts: Most Recent Articles
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 tests.
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 warnings.
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 honest man...
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 long-awaited path.
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 Jenny Spires shared her memories with us, revealing that she (probably) introduced Ig 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 after all.
6. But finding Iggy also presented a major crisis for the Church, isn't it?
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 biscuits.
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 material.”
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 Rosemaree).
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 the Church?
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 January 2011.
Solo en las Nubes self-interviews (in English)
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.
Felix Atagong: an honest man
Warren Dosanjh, Syd Barrett's first manager
Kiloh Smith Interview, hosted at Syd Barrett Pink Floyd
Lee Wood, the man who knows everything
Duggie Fields, much more than a room-mate
Antonio Jesús Reyes, a new career in a new town
Wondering and Dreaming (a self-interview with Ewgeni Reingold)
Eva Wijkniet: my Syd (Roger) Barrett project
John Cavanagh, so much to do, so little time
Posted by Felix Atagong at 22:49
Edited on: 2012-11-10 19:30
Categories: Self-Interview, The Anchor
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Nick Mason, who has always been the gentleman drummer of the band we call Pink Floyd, once jokingly said that he was mainly in the recycling business nowadays. It might have been on Top Gear, but before all the nitpickers jump on our back instead of ordering a fresh pint of Guinness, we admit we didn't check that.
Always a bit of an existentialist joker, our Nick, but of course there is much truth in what he said. Let's have a look of what the Barrett-driven band has produced for the last couple of decades.
The Gravy Train
1993: Crazy Diamond (Syd Barrett, 3 cd-set digital remaster and
1994: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, stereo digital remaster 1994.
1997: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, mono digital remaster 1997, came with a separate Early Singles EP (other 'regular' stereo Piper releases date from 1999 and 2001).
2001: Echoes, the best of Pink Floyd.
2001: The Best of Syd Barrett: Wouldn't You Miss Me?
2007: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, mono and stereo digital remasters 2007. 40th anniversary edition (2 and 3 disk versions).
2007: Oh By The Way (Pink Floyd anthology).
2010: An Introduction to Syd Barrett (remixed and remastered Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett compilation, see: Gravy Train To Cambridge).
So when something really new comes up, and with really new, we mean really really new the surviving vintage Floyd community suddenly veers up, throws its rollators in the air and shouts with one voice: yes we can! After that the nurses come back and warn us that so much excitement should be avoided and that it is changing nappies time again.
On the 10th of September 1967 Pink Floyd played a gig at the Gyllene Cirkeln (Golden Circle) jazzclub in Stockholm. Jazzclub is a slight overstatement, the place was a restaurant in disguise and Pink Floyd were having a dinner concert as most people were enjoying their Swedish köttbullar slightly wondering where all this estranged noise was coming from.
Swedish chefs are never to be trusted, just dine at Ikea for a change, probably the only restaurant in the world were you can actually take the tables and the chairs back home, and the chef at Gyllene Cirkeln was no exception. While Barrett and Co were swinging their rocks off Anders Lind was taping the gig hoping that in 2011 somebody would be interested. Only someone from Volvo-land can come up with a devilish scheme like that... but to add insult to injury he was probably right as the first public hearing of the Pink Floyd live tape in 3 and a half decades, last Tuesday at the same venue, was an immediate success.
Until now the earliest recorded Floyd gig had been at the Danish Star
Club. It dates from the 13th of September 1967 and was recorded in
Copenhagen, 3 days after the Golden Circle concert. Although only a very
lo-fi recording has survived into this millennium it is much appreciated
by Barrett collectors because it contains 3 officially unreleased early
Pink Floyd songs. Here is the setlist:
Stoned Again (unreleased)
Arnold Layne (single)
Rush In A Million (unreleased)
Matilda Mother (The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn)
Scream Thy Last Scream (unreleased, see also: Scream Thy False Scream)
Astronomy Domine (The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn).
The track listing of the Swedish Golden Circle gig, 3 days earlier, is
rather different. Starting with an unknown seven minutes 20 seconds jam,
it goes like this:
Before or Since ('untitled' and unreleased jam, 7'20")
Matilda Mother (The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, 5 minutes, Syd Barrett vocals inaudible)
Pow R Toc H (The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, 11 minutes)
Scream Thy Last Scream (unreleased, 3 minutes)
Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (A Saucerful Of Secrets, 7 minutes, Roger Waters vocals scarcely audible)
See Emily Play (single, 3 minutes - the only live recording of this track!)
Interstellar Overdrive (The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, 10 minutes)
Pink Floyd fan Göran Nyström who was there told Brain Damage that it was a "great recording except for the singing” although it proves that Syd was, that day, very far from a spent force. Apparently the band had some PA problems, making the vocals inaudible, but otherwise the recording is superb and has an excellent stereo separation. The recording was done by a Revox machine using two microphones on the stage and its quality is nearly soundboard.
The untitled jam session at the beginning of the show was described by Roger Waters as follows: “nobody is ever gonna hear that one again, before or since”, but only a small excerpt of it was played at the event. EMI and/or Pink Floyd are aware of the track and they apparently confirmed to Anders Lind that the track is not Reaction In G, another unreleased Pink Floyd instrumental. Which brings us to the following point.
Payday at EMI
At several strategical places in the Golden Circle club last week the following message could be read:
Pink Floyd Ltd. and/or EMI listened to snippets of the tape before the event and promised the organiser of the event to release the concert as a bonus disk on a future Pink Floyd re-release. According to Brain Damage “the organiser specifically asked that no-one record the audio and post it anywhere online, as that would jeopardise any chance of this”.
The Anchor is well aware of the fact that EMI is close to bankruptcy and that its managers can't afford to snort high quality cocaine any more but we would like to define the above attempt to blackmail the owner of the tape (and with him: the fans) as utter bollocks. First of all the Pink Floyd EMI vaults have quite a few unreleased Pink Floyd tracks and claiming that bootlegs have jeopardised their release is turning the truth upside down a bit. On top of that Anders Lind has confirmed to people attending the show that EMI pushed him to stop the event. Anders Lind who had been to the UK to play the tape for EMI refused to let them have it and finally a compromise was made by deleting the opening jam from last week's show.
The tactic is clear, even if an audience tape is weeded through the appropriate Pink Floyd fan channels, the opening jam will be firmly in the possession of the bloodhounds of EMI and - let us not forget, as they are no angels either - Pink Floyd Ltd, although it is not clear yet that the sale has already been made.
It is pretty sure that audience recordings of the event have been made, but the Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett fan community is reluctant to release those and wants to give EMI the benefit of the doubt.
Against the tide of common sense The Anchor still hopes that an audience recording of last week's event will find its way on the web soon. It will be no match against the semi-professional tape that EMI (or the Pink Floyd management) will have in its hands soon, ready to be digitally remastered. Perhaps an audience recording could convince EMI to get on with it - fast! - as it would only make the appetite for an official release (with the seven missing minutes) bigger.
Update 6th of November 2011: Yeeshkul has now weeded the audience recording of the audience recording...
The Piper Reissue At The Gates Of Dawn
The comment that the gig would be put on yet another release of The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn is a bit of a bummer. A 50 years Piper anniversary release has to wait until 2017 although the good thing is of course that a 45 years release could already see the light of day next year. But why take Piper again? Piper seems to be the new milk cow of EMI and if this goes on like this there will be more Pipers around than Dark Side Of The Moons (see also: Fasten Your Anoraks).
The Anchor's wet dream is of course that this tape would be the ultimate trigger to release a vintage Pink Floyd rarities and demos box set, containing the Stockholm gig, the proto-Floyd sessions with Bob Klose, the pieces that were left of Piper and Saucerful, the aborted singles Scream Thy Last Scream and Vegetable Man and several BBC sessions including the lost Top of The Pops show that was miraculously found back in 2009 and has since then disappeared in an EMI / Pink Floyd Ltd. sealed and secured vicinity.
Come on EMI don't you see that my wallet is burning. But if I were you I would stop threatening and blackmailing the Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd community. It is thanks to us that you will be able to start sniffing that high quality cocaine soon again.
Update 2011 05 09: a 42 seconds snippet of Interstellar Overdrive
surfaced and disappeared today, but Barrett-biographer Julian Palacios
saved it for posterity: Interstellar
Overdrive. As far as some insiders know: EMI still hasn't bought the
tape and a second round of negotiations is underway. The owner, Anders
Lind, insists on a 'use it or loose it' clause in the contract, meaning
that EMI will be legally obliged to release the concert in order to keep
the rights. To be continued...
Update 6th of November 2011: Yeeshkul has now weeded the audience recording of the audience recording... (after 'insiders' had heard from the Pink Floyd camp that an official release of this tape seems improbable, due to the lack of vocals)
The Anchor wishes to thank: Göran Nyström, dallasman, krackers, moonwall, motoriksymphonia, xpkfloyd, zag and the other lovely people at Y.
Posted by Alex Fagoting at 21:14
Edited on: 2011-11-13 0:15
Categories: The Anchor
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Business as usual at The Anchor. Felix Atagong, that old drunk hippie, was sitting at the bar, ogling some of the mojito girls eagerly discussing Justin Bieber's posterior. At his fifth Guinness Felix usually starts to get all glazzy eyed and wants to start a Pink Floyd fight. Most of the time it suffices to name-drop Rob Chapman to make Atagong throw a tantrum, but there weren't enough spectators today to make this trick worthwhile.
"Alex", he said, "Did I already tell you that David Gilmour wore a Guinness t-shirt during the 1974 French tour, just to piss off their sponsor Gini?" I pretended not having heard this story a dozen times before.
"In 1972", he orated, "Pink Floyd signed a lucrative publicity contract with Gini, a French übersweet soft drink. The band went to the Moroccan desert where they had some shots taken by photographer William Sorano, a fact not a lot of people know of." Felix likes to brag a lot, especially when he gets a bit light in the head.
"Of course Pink Floyd wasn't a millionaire's super group yet when they agreed with the deal. They liked to describe themselves as an underground art band and only the French were daft enough to believe that. British have this national sport to fool the French and for three full decades those have thought that 'pink floyd' was English for 'flamant rose' or 'pink flamingo'. That rumour was started on the mainland by journalist Jean Marie Leduc after he returned from a trip to London in sixty-seven. Asking a freaked-out acid head what a pink floyd really meant he turned into the proverbial sitting duck and eagerly swallowed the bait."
"So whenever Pink Floyd wanted to get arty-farty they only had to hop into the nearest ferry to Calais where they were hauled in as national heroes. One of their sillier projects was to play behind a bunch of men in tights, jumping up and down in an uncoördinated way, and calling that a ballet. Of course there was a kind of 'intellectual snobbery' involved in this all, but even more the Pink Floyd's fine taste for champagne and oysters that was invariably hauled in by the bucket." Felix had certainly reached lift-off and would be raving and drooling now for at least the next half hour to come."
"Another project was the soundtrack for the art movie La Vallée, a typical French vehicle for long pseudo philosophical musings about the richness of primitive culture and the sudden urge of a French bourgeois woman to hug some trees and to hump the local Crocodile Dundee. Part of the movie is in the kind of English that would turn Inspector Clouseau green with envy. What does one expects from a bunch of hippies, making a tedious long journey to a mythical valley they call 'obscured by cloud' (not 'clouds')?"
"The hidden valley is supposed to be a paradise and the story sounds like a cheap rehash of the ridiculous Star Trek episode, The Way To Eden. Over the years journalists and biographers have rumoured that the movie is saved by showing a fair amount of frolicking in the nude, but it miserably fails in that department as well. Quite unusual for a French movie of the early seventies, I might add, as the cinematographic intellectual trend was to show the female form in all its variety. The only bush that can be seen is the New Guinean forest unfortunately."
"Obviously the Floyd couldn't resist this challenge and helped by the easy money soundtracks brought in they were wheeled into a château with a stock of red wine and boeuf bourguignon. Two weeks later they emerged with one of their finest albums ever." Atagong took another drink and belched loudly. This had only been the introduction, I feared, I was right.
"Rick Wright recalls in a 1974 Rock & Folk interview how their manager Steve O'Rourke met a bloke on a French beach, waving a fifty thousand British pounds check in front of him. O'Rourke frantically jumped up and down, like a dancer from a French avant-garde ballet dancing troupe, making hysterically pink flamingo quacking sounds. Little did he know this was going to be first time in Floydian history that the band didn't manage to trick the French, a tradition that started in 1965 when Syd Barrett and David Gilmour busked the French Riviera. Of course it is easy to say in retrospect O'Rourke was duly screwed 'up the khyber' by the Gini coöperation, but in 1972 it appeared not to be such a bad deal after all. Part of the deal was that Gini promised to sponsor a French tour, including radio and television promo spots that unfortunately have not survived into the 21st century."
"The main problem was that in 1973 Pink Floyd suddenly turned into millionaire superstars thanks to Dark Side Of The Moon and that 50,000 pounds was now something they spent on breakfast orange juice. But Gini, waving with the two years old contract, threatened with legal action and the Floyd reluctantly agreed to meet the conditions."
"In the summer of 1974 Floyd hit France and wherever they appeared a publicity caravan of 15 people would follow them. It had cute girls who gave Gini drinks, stickers and fluorescent t-shirts away, 4 'easy riders' on 750 cc super-choppers (painted by Jean-Paul Montagne) and a green 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith (numberplate: 567 AAF 75) with a loud stereo installation. Rumours go that at a certain point the atmosphere was so heated between the Pink Floyd management and Gini that a minimum distance between band and publicity people had to be agreed on. But according to Nick Mason, in his auto-biography Inside Out, it was only the band that got infuriated, the technical crew quite enjoyed the promo girls and they exchanged more than soft drinks alone."
"French journalists immediately accused Pink Floyd of a sell-out and the band rapidly declared that the money was going to charity, something in the line of a school for handicapped children. Rock & Folk squeezed out the names of the Ronald Laing Association and the French hôpital de Salpêtrière, but reality may have been a bit different. Nick Mason told Mojo's Mark Blake this summer that they probably just shelved the money, although David Gilmour and Roger Waters still keep up it was donated. Rest me to say that Waters was so angry at the situation that he wrote an unpublished song about the Gini incident, titled Bitter Love (aka 'How Do You Feel')." Felix Atagong paused a bit, to have a drink, so this was a moment for immediate action.
"Out!", I said, "The Anchor is closed."
"But", retaliated the Reverend, "this was just a mere introduction to start talking about the Wish You Were Here Immersion set that has just been issued and I would like to say something more about the 1967 Stockholm Gyllene Cirkeln show that has finally been weeded out to the public..."
"Out!", I said again, "There is no time for your drunken ramblings any more."
I pushed Felix Atagong out of the door and I heard him staggering back home, murmuring incomprehensible things. He'll be back tomorrow anyway.
(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations have
been enlarged for satirical purposes.)
The Anchor wishes to thank: Nipote and PF Chopper at Y.
Sources (other than the above internet links):
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 179-183, 214.
Blake, Mark: Lost In Space, Mojo 215, October 2011, p. 85.
Feller, Benoît: Complet, Rock & Folk, Paris, July 1974, p. 44.
Leduc, Jean-Marie: Pink Floyd, Editions Albin Michel, Paris, 1982, p. 125.
Mason, Nick: Inside Out, Orion Books, London, 2011 reissue, p. 197-198.
(unknown): La "caravane" Pink Floyd-Gini, Hit Magazine, Paris, July 1974.
One of the promo Pink Floyd Gini choppers is still around today and has its own Facebook page: The Pink Floyd Chopper.
Posted by Alex Fagoting at 15:36
Edited on: 2011-12-02 22:27
Categories: The Anchor
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Obviously Felix Atagong returned the next afternoon to that safe heaven
that is The Anchor
for his alcoholic needs.
"I am still pissed off at you, Alex Fagoting", he snarled, "for throwing me out last night."
"Here's a Guinness on the house.", I lied, pretending I would not note it down on his bill. "Simply get pissed instead." He laughed and as if nothing had happened he just continued his story after his first gulp of the day.
Rule #1: a good barkeeper always listens to his customer, but in this case I was humming along while Al Stewart crooned on the background.
"There is this big ambiguity about the Floyd.", Felix started, "In the early seventies they were aspiring leftist rock stars, playing the French communist (and frankly Stalinist) party parties. But at the same time there are these legendary stories about their royalties' catfights. Waters always nagging and later getting 50 percent for his sixth grade pubertal poetry alone and even then whining about his part for the composition as well. In the theoretical (and highly improbable) case that all four members would get even shares this benefited Waters with 62 and a half percent with the others only earning 12 and a half percent each. Not bad for a rock star who bragged in the press about his social housing projects."
"In reality poor Mason only got the crumpets and even these were later regretted by the so-called socialist activist who Roger pretended he was. One could paraphrase George Orwell here: 'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.' Waters would later beg, borrow or steal Orwell's socialist allegory for the Animals album, not realising the ironic fact that by then he had become the upper-pig of the band."
"We all know the story how Clare Torry was only paid 30£ for her contribution on The Great Gig In The Sky, something that would give her headaches for years to come. And Alan Parsons was only getting his EMI salary for his tremendous work on (The) Dark Side Of The Moon, much to his dismay. Even after Pink Floyd had become a financial dinosaur, with an annual turnover that would make some African countries jealous, they were too greedy to give a free copy of the album to the kids singing on Another Brick In The Wall, until the press got hold of it."
"Excusez-moi, Felix.", I said, "But I see some pretty girls who want my attention." On Wednesday afternoon the Barrett Ladies Club meets at The Anchor. First they squabble about the pancakes they are going to order and will argue over the fact that they (the pancakes, not the women... yet) have not been sufficiently soaked in Grand Marnier. After a while the grannies start discussing about the exact type of colour Syd Barrett's floor boards were painted in, a somewhat pointless discussion if you ask me, as in 42 years of time they still haven't reached a consensus. You can only join the Barrett Ladies Club if you know what special birthmark Syd Barrett had and on what buttock it could be found, leaving out all the groovy chicks who had just been passing by for some quick plating...
After the ladies had been supplied with the food and drink (coffee and a thimbleful of eggnog) I returned to the bar where Felix had been contemplating his miserable life in silence. With a little luck he would have continued his inner monologue and not take off from where I had left him.
"Since Nick Mason admitted he was officially in the recycling business I have the utmost respect for him.", Atagong orated. "Even when he tries to sell miniature cars with his signature on. I love his no-nonsense style. While David 'the sound' and Roger 'the genius' are continually trying to convince the public that they and they alone are Pink Floyd Nick gets in 'with a wit drier than an AA clinic' (to quote novelist Kathy Lette). But although Gilmour and Waters are like fire and water... they sound unexpectedly in perfect unison when it comes to grab into the fan's pockets. I suppose that Gilmour is a bit short of cash now that his stepson has been sentenced to pick up the leftover soap in a British prison. And Waters has just married again for the fourth time and Viagra comes expensive nowadays."
I gave a wry smile but Felix couldn't be stopped.
"Even 37 years after the facts Waters and Gilmour try to be politically correct and claim they gave the 1974 Gini-money to charity, but Mason just adds: 'We shelved the cash, point.' Mason also agrees that this is probably the last time in history that they will be able to sell hardware to the fans (meaning CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray disks) rather than downloadable bits and bytes. And by selling these ridiculously expensive collector's boxes record companies and artists have found a new way of income. Pink Floyd could've taken an example to Elvis Costello who openly asks his fans not to buy his latest record at such a ridiculous price..."
"What's the problem then with these Immersion boxes", I asked, "apart from the price?"
"They are a fucking disgrace!", shouted Atagong, so loud that one of the Barrett Gang Bang girls nearly choked on a profiterole. "Let's start with Dark Side Of The Moon, shall we? How many CD-reissues of that album have we already had? Who knows? Four, five? And all of them have been remastered. Are we talking here about one of the best rock albums of all times or does EMI considers Dark Side Of The Moon a new brand of washing powder? An ameliorated version every few years to keep on washing their dirty laundry whiter than white? Does it mean that the earlier versions were all rubbish if the Floyd annex EMI feel the need to keep on going remastering them? On top of that the 6 disks in the Moon-box are highly repetitive...."
"That is quite obvious.", I retaliated, "It's all about the Dark Side,
isn't it?" Felix pointed his finger at a few millimetres from my nose.
"Don't try to be a smart-ass, lad.", he threatened. "That is not what I mean." He looked for and unfortunately found a paper inside his jacket. "I have it all written down for you.", he sycophantically whispered.
Pigs - three different ones
"The Dark Side Of The Moon Immersion set has a DVD and a Blu-ray with multi-channel audio mixes of the album. The 1973 quad mix can be found in 448 kbps, 640 kbps and a 96kHZ/24bit version. If you ask me that is three times the same goody good bullshit. Also the 5.1 surround mix is three times in the box. The Wish You Were Here Immersion set has one disk less than the Dark Side box but EMI still found it necessary to keep going on with their continuous repetition: also here the quad and 5.1 mixes have been inserted three times. But that is not all. For a set that costs the fan an arm and a leg they have been scandalously designed, packed and transported."
The Great Rock'N Roll Swindle
"Several buyers noticed that their disks contained fingerprints although the boxes arrived sealed. I don't give a fuck if EMI uses Korean child-slaves to pack these items but for 120 Euro a piece I would like them to have fat-free fingers. My Immersion boxes arrived with the disks at the bottom dislodged and with scratches that must have arrived somewhere during transport."
"The novelty extras are quite tacky. A separate envelope with a facsimile of a Pink Floyd gig entrance card is something you might pay 50 cents for, but not a lot more. And what to think of the marbles, the scarf and the carton toasters in each box... it feels cheap but alas your wallet reveals it isn't."
"I would like to know who is the EMI fuckwit who decided to package the Dark Side Of The Moon marbles separately in bubble-wrap, but agreed to have the disks attached in such a flimsy way that at the lightest shock they start to travel on their own. Did you understand the music, EMI, or was it all in vain? I know of one customer who had the guts to have 6 Immersion boxes opened in the store before he found one with undamaged disks!"
We're only in it for the money
"And it isn't finished yet. The encrypted Blu-ray disks refuse to play on most PCs. There seems to be a valid technical reason for that, driver issues and so on, but in my opinion EMI deliberately issued a disk that can only be played on stand-alone players, attached to a TV-set. If other companies can manufacture Blu-rays that play faultless on a PC, why not EMI?"
"On top of that the Wish You Were Here Blu-ray, in most European boxes,
has several audible glitches in the 5.1 Surround Mix at the end of Shine
On You Crazy Diamond and on other tracks as well. At 120 Euro a box
these sets are clearly a rip-off, but even at that price EMI fails to
provide us with unscratched and undamaged disks. The only question that
one can ask is indeed:
Why Pink Floyd?
For fuck sake, why?"
Lucky for me at that moment one of the Barrett ladies started strangling another one so I had an excuse to leave Felix behind in his misanthropic misery.
(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations have
been enlarged for satirical purposes.)
The Anchor wishes to thank all people on the Immersion threads at Yeeshkul:
Dark Side of the Moon Immersion Set problems
WYWH Immersion set problems
Floyd Wish You Were Here Immersion Box Set Unboxing 'this is
disgraceful'... (Immersion box picture taken from this video).
Yeeshkul's (very) technical guide for playing the Blu-ray Immersion disks on a non-compatible PC-Blu-ray player: How to play your new blu-ray TDSOTM disc!
Dark Side of The Moon fantasy (top picture), based upon a desktop image from an unknown fan.
Posted by Alex Fagoting at 22:15
Edited on: 2012-11-14 12:06
Categories: The Anchor
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I can personally testify that Pink Floyd was a mythical band in the mid-Seventies, even in dreary Belgium. During the breaks on the school yard, where we would try to hide the cigarette smoke from the teachers, we invariably discussed serious rock music business, and you couldn't get more serious than Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes, Genesis, Van Der Graaff Generator and occasionally Kraftwerk. But the top band on the mythological scale was without doubt: the Pink Floyd.
Not only was their band name medieval English for 'pink flute' (in medieval Dutch a flute was written and pronounced 'floite' or 'fluyte') and as such a mild euphemism for a certain male body part we were slightly getting aware of, but it was also rumoured that Pink Floyd was largely a psychedelic drugs-band. They had a mansion on a Greek island were anybody could go on a holiday and get all the sex, drugs and rock'n roll you wanted for free. Which was pretty close to heaven for the 14-years old hormone driving things we were.
I guess that every country must have their own local Floydian legends. This blog has already written a couple of times about the French who thought until the mid-Nineties (!) that Pink Floyd was the English for pink flamingo. All this can be traced back to a uni-lingual journalist who mistook the Pink Flamingo club for the Pink Floyd band, probably in 1967. Another one of this man's silly mistakes was to note down in the Floyd's first biography ever that they had recorded a single called 'Apologies', a Frenglish misunderstanding of 'Apples and Oranges'. A decade later people were still looking for this non-existing track, including yours truly.
Obviously Syd participates a great deal in these Floydian myths. A very ardent one was the strong belief that there was a third Syd Barrett solo album lying in the vaults of EMI. I still have a vinyl bootleg that promised to be just that although it was quite disappointing when I put it on my turntable.
But this week, thanks to Babylemonade Flowers, I came across an Iberian Floydian legend about a third Barrett album recorded in a Spanish monastery. It is an urban rock-legend over there (and also in South America) and as far as I know it has never crossed the language barrier. I was totally unaware of it but a few Spanish, Galician (and even Italian) blogs and forums have dedicated some space to it. The following text is an adaptation / translation of what could be found so far and they are presented here as such. Not one single letter has been verified for its authenticity. The copyrights of these texts belong to the original authors (see source listing at the bottom). Translation mistakes, typos and all possible errors are entirely the responsibility of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and/or the Anchor.
Lunatic on Spanish grass
In 1978 a bootlegger from A Coruña pressed 20 vinyl copies of a tape that was handed over to her by a monk of the Monastery of Santa María la Real of Oseira. The (original) tape in question contained some unreleased Syd Barrett songs, given to the monk by the madcap himself when he stayed there in 1976 or 1977.
The album was titled 'Spanishgrass - veinte canciones sobre el espacio y la siesta'. Apparently that was the explanation Syd Barrett gave when the monk asked him what the songs were about: twenty songs about the place itself and the daily siesta.
Unfortunately Spanishgrass is nowhere to be found. The only edition of the album, limited to 20 copies on the Nonsense Music record label, was a present from Gem Noya to her closest friends. Before they received the record they had to sign a letter promising they would not distribute or duplicate the material. Noya gave the record as a leaving present, before retiring to a Buddhist community in Pokhara (Nepal), where she possibly still resides.
According to sources close to her family, she burned the original (and only) tape and threw the ashes on the beach of Carnota, near the Monte Pindo mountain. In 1983, three of the songs from the Spanishgrass album were exceptionally played on 'El Lado Salvaje' (The Wild Side), a radio show produced by a local FM radio station in A Coruña. (Note: nobody seems to remember the name of that radio station apparently.)
The album's songs are musically innocent, with simple guitar arrangements. Barrett is almost always strumming a single chord, but the lyrics are interesting: ranging from surreal humour on 'Mouse After A Fête' and 'Two bangers + mash' to pentecostal mysticism, with quotations from ancient Welsh bards songs and extracts from Robert Graves' The White Goddess, a work the English musician consulted in the Oseira library.
Another book that influenced Barrett for his song-cycle was Imaginary Lives by Marcel Schwob. Three songs are about characters that can be found in the book: William Phips, Stede Bonnet and Gabriel Spenser. On top of that, Barrett was captivated by the poems of Alvaro Cunqueiro in his book Herba aquí ou acolá and recorded some tracks in Galician: 'Eu son Dagha', 'Na outra banda' and 'Un poeta esquece os días de chuvia'. (Note: it is not explained how Barrett learned to read and speak Galician.)
Although it has not been confirmed and the monks of Oseira keep quiet out of respect for their guests, Barrett met and befriended the British writer Graham Greene, a regular visitor of the monastery from the early seventies until his death in 1991.
The madcap trails
It is believed Barrett went to Spain for two consecutive years (1976 and 1977). He travelled anonymously, often hitch-hiking or using public transport through Andalusia, Extremadura and Galicia. He was on his own and his luggage was as scarce as revealing: a backpack, an acoustic guitar and the complete works of William Blake. In one of his travels he discovered what would become his private retreat in the north-west of the Iberian peninsula, the Monastery of Oseira.
Nestled in a solitary canyon at the municipality of San Cristovo de Cea (Ourense), the twelfth century Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Oseira was the first Spanish monastery of the Cistercian monastic order, founded in 1098 as a radical alternative to the aristocratic order of Cluny. The Cistercians practised Christian friendship, poverty and mythic culture, and retreated from the world, in locations far from roads and towns.
Syd Barrett was immediately fascinated by the charm of the secluded place, the silent evolution of the monastic life and the monks' hospitality. He stayed in one of the monastic guest-cells during four months of 1976 (September-December) and three months in the following year (April to June). He only left the monastery to wander the hills nearby where he liked two places, Chaira, a wide panoramic grassy terrace situated on nearly 1,200 feet high, and Penedo, a ridge shaded by chestnut trees.
In Oseira, Barrett wrote and recorded numerous songs on a cheap cassette player. He sat in the courtyard of the monastery, often at siesta time, and sang softly, accompanied by his guitar, afraid to disturb the monks. The sound of the recording is technically weak, but is appealing from a poetic perspective: his voice is filtered through the wind and the bubbling of the water in the nearby well.
Simone Saibene: an investigation in 2011
In 2011 Simone Saibene decided to investigate this myth and he has published his findings on the Duellanti blog. The underneath text is a (shortened) rendition, the parts were the author just repeats the above story have been omitted:
Some time ago a Carballiño friend told me that this story was not an urban legend as it would seem at first. I was perplexed and intrigued, and after a couple of months I decided to try to find out the truth.
Syd Barrett seems to have spent two holidays in the Cistercian monastery of Oseira (Ourense), the first between September and December of 1976 and the second between April and June, the following year. Influenced by the archaic beauty of the place, Barrett wrote "twenty songs about its location and the siesta". The tracks are yet unreleased and have been recorded in a very rudimentary way.
3 songs from Spanishgrass have been aired in the early eighties by a radio station and those listening that day have declared that the one-chord songs had no arrangements and were not particularly bright.
In contrast, the texts were more interesting, ranging from surrealist humour to mysticism. What you can find on the net is the transcript of the story that circulated in pubs at Carballiño and Ourense in the eighties. It seems an urban myth, but over the last twenty years a couple of journalists of La Voz de Galicia have dealt with the case without finding confirmations but no denials either. I decided to go hunting for information and I headed for Oseira.
The monastery is in a secluded valley, about a three-quarters drive from Ourense. The nearest town in the vicinity is San Cristovo de Cea, famous for its local bread, with just over 2000 inhabitants and about 10 km of the monastery. In an atmosphere that invites contemplation and meditation, I meet a Cistercian monk who is sprinkling the bushes with a hose. I introduce myself and using the excuse of taking a picture, I ask him some questions.
I ask him about celebrities who have visited Oseira in the past. He speaks of the writer Graham Greene and father Leopoldo Durán, author of a doctoral thesis on power and glory, who spend some time together. Another guest of the monks was Eduardo Pérez Maseda, a Spanish composer and essayist. When I ask a direct question about Syd Barrett the monk smiles:
"I remember him. He was a young Englishman, not Catholic, who always had a guitar with him." I ask for other details. "When I met Barrett," he says, "I had only recently entered the community of the Oseira monks. I saw him for the first time when I passed the cell where he was staying. He had left the door open. As I walked through the hallway, I peeked inside.
Syd Barrett sat in front of his desk, he was writing, there were papers scattered everywhere... He did not turn around after my greeting. I guess that he was composing at the time. A few days later, he showed up and told me he was English and a musician.”
I ask the monk if Barrett recorded songs in those days. He replies that he has never witnessed that, but notes that he had no idea who Barrett really was at that time: "A few years later some youngsters arrived at the monastery, asking around... that's when I realized that he was a famous person..." He continues: "None of these fans were Catholic, they took drugs and were convinced that the monastery was a fun place to be, like a nightclub to smoke marijuana. That's not how you act... are you Catholic?"
Before the conversation takes another turn, I ask for permission to use his name for my article. "Absolutely not! I should not even be here talking to you about these things! This is up to the abbot, my superior..."
We greet each other cordially. I continue my visit with the guide who takes tourists (there aren't that many, to be honest) into the monastery. He is a monk of more or less my age. At the end of the visit I ask him for news about Barrett. He replies: “Yes, there is documentation that proves he stayed here.", but adds that "The monks have stored everything away." They have been forced to deny the reports circulating on the former Pink Floyd member because of the numerous fans who had begun to siege the monastery in the eighties and nineties. Moreover, according to the archives, Barrett may not have been visiting Oseira in the seventies, but in the early eighties. Then he confirms that "...in the monastery there are unreleased recordings of Barrett." I thank the young monk for the information and head back to Ourense.
The day after I still doubt whether this is a legend or not, even if the witnesses that I found seemed to be convincing. Truthful or not, the story is almost unbelievable but still worth of being reported.
Too much monk's business
Here is a list of alleged tracks (some in Galician) on the Syd Barrett Spanishgrass album. (Note: it has not been revealed where this information comes from).
1 Manantial. (Translation: Spring)
2 Reverential mourners.
3 Black maid.
4 Plastic gunpowder.
5 Mouse after a fête.
6 Breakwater and tea.
7 Grey tress.
8 Two bangers + mash.
9 Whining at the moon.
11 Eu son Dhaga. (Translation: I am Dhaga)
12 Na outra banda. (Translation: On the other hand)
13 Un poeta esquece os días de chuvia. (Translation: A poet forgets the rainy days)
15 William Phips.
16 Stede Bonnet.
17 Gabriel Spenser.
18 Gospel at noon.
19 Waste deep.
Ramjur: a visit in 2006
On the Infomusic forum Ramjur wrote about his visit to the monastery. Some parts that are merely repeating the above facts have been omitted.
One day in a relaxed talk with Zappamacías (?!) we started about Syd Barrett, who is believed to have had an extraordinary adventure in Spain. This is a personal experience rather than precise information or a review from a a non-existent disk.
In summer 2006 we went on holiday with a couple of families from Malaga to the north of the peninsula: Salamanca, Leon, and Cantabria, Orense, Oseira. We spend three days in a fantastic and huge Cistercian monastery in a wonderful mountainous enclave.
There were about 20 visitors and we got together for lunch and – for those willing to join - religious services. This was the only time we could meet with the monks. Among the visitors were also some people who were there for religious or meditating reasons. During the meal I got into conversation with a priest on the most diverse issues, including music. I can't remember all details any more but suddenly he asked: “Do you like Pink Floyd?”
I was amused and I said 'naturally' as I have their records and stuff but his next question was: “Do you know Syd Barrett then?” I stopped eating and looked at him closely. That he knew Pink Floyd was not so strange in itself, he was a man of the world and Pink Floyd are well known after all, but Syd Barrett?
I began to inquire what he knew and talked about Barrett's solo albums, but then he surprised me: “Do you know his record Spanishgrass?” I asked if it was a live bootleg, and he said 'no', these were new songs and some were sung in Galician! (I had to laugh - the monastery wine was really good.)
I told him I was totally unaware of that record. Then he dropped the big one: “Do you know that Syd Barrett was here twice?” From my facial expression he realized that I no longer believed him. I had read somewhere before that there had been rumours of Barrett staying in a Spanish monastery, but all that seemed far-fetched. But he said: “If we meet at the next meal I'll show you an article.”
The next day he showed me an article from a newspaper that told the history of Barrett and his album Spanishgrass, he gave it to me and I have it at home, but I cannot find it! (Note: it has been confirmed to the Anchor that articles have indeed appeared in the Spanish (music) press about this.)
Needless to say that after this nice story (which still doesn't mean it is real) I was very impressed. I noted with some certainty that the monks were quite reserved on the matter of Syd Barrett and the pilgrim who gave me the newspaper article did not know much more (or would not tell me). But one guide showing visitors around that day said that Syd Barrett had been one of the 'distinguished visitors' of the monastery together with Graham Greene.
A Genius At Oseira
We end this post with a 2006 article from the Galician newspaper La Voz de Galicia:
There is a legend that says that Syd Barrett visited the monastery of Oseira after retiring from the music business. The story circulated quietly in Carballiño in the eighties and, to add some extra confirmation, everyone noted that in the bar next to the monastery there was a Pink Floyd album that had been given by Syd Barrett himself to the innkeeper.
So far for the story... that may well be continued in later articles...
The above article is entirely based upon unverified 'facts' or rumours that have been published in Spanish, Galician and Italian articles. Many thanks to: Babylemonade Flowers, Antonio Jesús and the correspondents at the underneath forums and blogs.
Sources (other than the above internet links):
The mother of all Oseira articles seems to be one that was posted in 2003 by a certain Eric Burdon, but that has disappeared from the web:
Discos perdidos - Spanish Grass- Syd Barrett (2003, Eric Burdon, dead link)
Syd Barret en Galicia (monasterio de Oseira) @ Ipunkrock (2006, Charlas Bronson quoting Eric Burdon)
SYD BARRETT SPANISHGRASS (1979, NONSENSE) @ Plunderphonics (2007, Little Turtle quoting Eric Burdon)
Spanishgrass: Syd Barrett in Galizia @ Duellanti (2011, Simone Saibene, Galizia dentro)
Spanishgrass el disco "fantasma" de Syd Barrett @ Sinfomusic (2009, Ramjur)
Oseira e o xenio @ La Voz de Galicia (2006, Camilo Franco)
Posted by Alex Fagoting at 13:19
Edited on: 2012-08-01 20:48
Categories: The Anchor
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Warning: Mr. Roger Waters sometimes uses strong language in the underneath article.
When I opened the Anchor this morning I thought I saw a beggar leaning against the door post. I took a broom to wipe the scruffy looking scum-bag away, but I discovered just in time it was none other than... Roger Waters.
“Come in here, Roger”, I said, “long time no see”, which is practically a blatant lie as I had never seen him in my entire life. “Thanks, Sylvester”, he replied, which was weird as well, as Sylvester isn't my name but the name of the dude who used to have The Anchor in the early sixties. By the looks of it Roger Waters was on an Alzheimer-induced trip through memory lane.
Roger sat in front of me while I tried starting a conversation:
“Hello...you wanna cup of coffee?”
He just sat there with wild staring eyes, so I repeated: “I'm sorry, would you like a cup of coffee?”
This time he nodded and for a moment I thought this bloke was even more bonkers than Syd Barrett who used to lick the chalk at the snooker table if you didn't stop him in time: “Ok, you take cream and sugar?”
Waters took a sip of his coffee and he looked as if he really didn't want to be there, wherever that might be. It is a good rule for a bartender to leave a client in peace, if he wants so, or to have a vivid conversation, if he wants so too. I decided, against my intuition, to have another go: “What a show, hey, yesterday night.”
“Yeah, thanks”, he murmured. Waters had probably misunderstood me and thought I had asked him about one of his Wall shows that he has been performing for the fifth consecutive year now.
“No, that is not what I mean, Mister Waters. I meant the Olympics opening show with all that you touch and all that you see and things...”
“It's called Eclipse!”, he snapped, pointing a finger at me: “That whole Olympic opening show was a rip-off of my work, you hear me. Didn't you see the James Bond sequence where the helicopter flies over Battersea Power Station. What did you see, boy, tell me, what did you see?”
“Did I have to see something?”, I asked. I honestly had no idea what he was talking about. I had watched the show with one eye, finding it a load of pretentious crap, and I switched it off when Mike Oldfield and his band started playing Tubular Bells, sounding as if it came out of a tin box.
“I'll show you.”, he said and pressed an iPhone under my nose, “It's on YouTube. Here. You see this helicopter fly over Battersea that has a Pink Floyd pig between its chimneys and then it passes next to Big Ben with the ticking clocks from my brilliant master-work Time.” All I could see was a black screen with a warning:
This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by International Olympic Committee.
“As a matter of fact, it's all dark to me.”, I answered. Roger Waters turned the iPhone around and screamed one of his screams that make his solo albums such a blazing success. He pushed the screen as if it was fabricated by Play-Doh.
“Andre!”, he shouted, “Get me the top buffoon of the Olympics, that crazy hand-clapping Belgian who was standing next to the old bat! ...Where I am, doesn't matter where I am, just get me that wimp!”
Suddenly he remembered that I was still standing behind the bar as well. “How dare they, a fucking copyright claim by the fucking International Olympic Committee. It is my fucking pig, I tell you, and my fucking clocks!”
He pressed the phone again and had his personal secretary in a matter of seconds: “Andre! Check our lawyer if that creepy Danny Boyle person has asked permission to use my pig and my clocks... What do you mean... an academy award winner? Isn't it already bad enough that McDonald's forces the visitors of the games to eat their crap at gunpoint?” I always thought it was physically impossible to smash down an iPhone but Roger Waters apparently succeeded in doing just that.
“Did you know,”, Roger said to me, “that the Olympic show has been co-produced by Mark Fisher. The same Mark Fisher who would still be selling fish and chips if I wouldn't have hired him to supervise the inflatables during the Animals tour? Seems that he has being borrowing from my impressive portfolio as well.”
I opened my mouth, but before a first syllable could escape, Roger's phone rang.
“Yeah Andre... mmh... mmh... mmh.” Waters listened attentively to what was said at the other side. Suddenly his voice turn into a soft grumbling. “The International Olympic Committee didn't ask Roger Waters Ltd for an authorisation to use the pig. Fine, let's close down their circus then... that will learn them...”
From where I was standing I could hear his secretary trying to get a message through to his boss. Suddenly Roger's eyes went very dark: “They have asked Pink Floyd (1987) Ltd for an authorisation... what... do... they... have... to... do... with... my... pig...”
I have once read in a magazine that just before a tornado hits your chicken shack it gets awfully quiet. Roger Waters was awfully quiet now. A good bartender knows what he has to do to prevent a row, so I tried to divert from the subject: “Now that you mention it, those rows of beds in the stadium made me think of Pink Floyd as well.”
“What the fuck a bed has got to do with my work of genius?”, he snorted, “As far as I know no bed has ever been used on a Pink Floyd album. Silly Storm tried once, but he couldn't stand up against my pig. Nobody can stand up against my pig.”
He smiled a big smile, so my trick did work apparently.
“But you are right, the bed thing that was supposedly about the National Health Service stole most of its imagery from me. Suddenly the stadium, with its pyramidal Dark Side of the Moon light towers, was surrounded by a pulsating heart-beat like the Hipgnosis artwork that has been done under my intelligent guidance. Some minutes later giant inflatable marionettes, not unlike my teacher from my Wall, descended from the sky. Poor Gerald Scarfe, he would still be cutting onion rings in a Soho Chop Soy dump if I hadn't employed him on the Wish You Were Here tour.”
He sighed a heavy sigh: “It's awfully difficult to be a genius, Sylvester, but I cope with it rather well.”
Suddenly three men, dressed in white, jumped in the pub. They immediately froze when they saw the man sitting in front of me and slowly walked to him. “Come in here, dear boy.”, one of them smoothly said, “We have to fly you back for your show in Santiago de Chile tonight.”
“Daddy, I wanna go home...”, Roger cried and for a nanosecond I pitied him. “Hush now baby, don't you cry”, said nurse #1, nodding to nurse #2 who had prepared an injectant. “Just a little pinprick, Roger, to keep you going for the show.” Two of them grabbed Roger Waters under his shoulders and dragged him out of the pub, his feet sliding over the Anchor's polished floor.
I could swear I heard a copter leaving off a few minutes later, but perhaps this was my imagination. But what I do know with certainty is that nobody bothered to pay me for the coffee.
(The above article is not entirely based upon facts and some situations
have been enlarged for satirical purposes.)
Many thanks to: 2braindamage, Bloco do Pink Floyd, Matt, NPF.
Neptune Pink Floyd was the first website to publish a 23 seconds excerpt of the Olympics 2012 - James Bond - Battersea movie. In true Olympic spirit it was promptly deleted by YouTube on demand of the IOC.
Pink Floyd feature in London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony @ Brain Damage.
Vimeo: Flying Pig above Battersea & clocks from Time at the Olympics (Bloco do Pink Floyd): Pink Floyd na abertura das Olimpíadas de Londres.
Vimeo: Eclipse (Dark Side Of The Moon) at the Olympics (Bloco do Pink Floyd): "Eclipse" (Pink Floyd) no acendimento da Pira Olímpica.
YouTube: Eclipse from within the stadium (2braindamage): pink floyd eclipse
Posted by Alex Fagoting at 20:47
Edited on: 2012-09-27 22:14
Categories: The Anchor
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