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Stern, who knew Iggy before she met Syd, has confirmed that the
person at the Granny Takes A Trip boutique on the IN
Gear movie is indeed her. On his turn he will present a home movie
called Iggy, Eskimo Girl at The
City Wakes festival in Cambridge. A short teaser can could be
found on YouTube.
Update 2016 11 15: meanwhile the video has been deleted by the
super-vigilant Pink Floyd copyright gestapo.
According to Mick Rock Syd was touched when she left him:
Once I’d developed the film (from The Madcap Laughs photo
session, note by FA), I went round to show Syd the pictures.
He took this one opposite (page 21 in the PR-book, note by FA)
and scratched some lines and his name onto it. I think there was a bit
of negativity directed at Iggy. He just started scratching the print,
with a big grin on his face. (Taken from Psychedelic Renegades.)
It could be that the scratches on the picture were destined at Iggy, but
why did Syd Barrett scratch (more or less) around her figure? Not (and I
hope my shrink will never read this) her face or body, in my garbled
opinion the logical thing to do if one would try to express negative or
revengeful feelings on a photograph. Syd’s body and face is far more
scratched than Iggy’s and Barrett also cut the letters SYD
on the picture... Perhaps he was just trying to make clear to Mick Rock
that he wanted to get rid of his pop-life alter ego.
Mick Rock writes further that he heard from Duggie
Fields, the painter who was Syd Barrett’s roommate and who still
lives in the same apartment today, that ‘she later went off with some
rich guy in Chelsea and lived a very straight life’.
On my main old and abandoned blog
(and also on the Late Night forum) I wrote that none of the Pink Floyd
biographers have been really looking for Iggy. Mark Blake, author of Pigs
Might Fly, responded: “I can't speak for all the PF or SB
biographers, but I certainly tried.”
The only bit of new info I found was that there was a chance 'Iggy' may
have gone to school in the South London area, as she was known as one of
the regular teenage girls at the dancehalls around Purley
This would have been around 1965. Duggie Fields recalls seeing her some
time after the Madcap Laughs photo session and she was looking a lot
more "sloaney". Most of the people I spoke to who knew her believe Iggy
married a rich businessman and doesn't now want to be 'found'. (Taken
Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit on Late Night.)
Although scarce the above information is about the most relevant we have
had from a biographer in about 30 years.
The most famous dancehall in Purley was the Orchid Ballroom where The
Who, The Troggs and The Hollies gigged a couple of times. It started as
a regular dance
hall (and concert and sporting events hall) in the Fifties and had a
local house band The
Jackpots in 1963 and 64.
In the mid Sixties (1964 – 1966) the Orchid Ballroom was the meeting
place for the Croydon mods who would assemble every Monday night.
Witnesses remember Mike (?) Morton, Tony Crane, Jeff Dexter and Sammy
Samwell spinning the records. Pete Sanders and Mickey Finn used to be
part of the crowd.
Not all these names ring a bell. I could not trace back Mike Morton, but
Lionel Morton was the singer and lead guitarist from the Four
Pennies who had a hit in 1963 – 1964 with Juliet. Tony
Crane was a member of The Mavericks, a band that became famous when they
changed the name to The
Merseybeats, later The Merseys (David Bowie would cover their Sorrow
on his Pin-Ups album, a tune they had borrowed from The McCoys). Mickey
Finn could be the man who was the drummer of T. Rex and who also
played on the record made by Hapshash
and the Coloured Coat, the people who were behind the Granny Takes A
Elizabeth Colclough used to work at the bar in 1968: "It was the place
to go to meet friends old and new, weekday evenings and also at the
weekend. We saw some great bands, some who are still going strong today.”
Another witness recalls how Cathy
(Mc Gowan), the queen
of the mods and presenter of the ever popular Ready Steady Go! Show,
came to the Orchid Ballroom to spot for dancers to appear in her show.
Seen the fact that Iggy was present at an RSG!-party,
organised by the show's main choreographer, it is not improbable that
she may have been present at some RSG! television-shows as well, as a
dancer or as a pretty face in the public.
A book about the history of the Orchid Ballroom has been made and the
Church will try to contact its author, there is the (very small) chance
that Iggy is mentioned in it.
Update August 2009: Brian Roote, who studied the history of The
Orchid confirmed later to the Church: 'I have no knowledge of this girl
Sinatras, probably the best band name ever since the Soup
Dragons, have recorded a 6 minutes and 41 seconds single
commemorating Syd Barrett. Oranges And Apples will be released on
the 13th October on iTunes and will later appear on their forthcoming
album In The Music.
A percentage of every sale will be donated to the Syd
Barrett Trust in support of arts in mental health.
The first two minutes of the song can be heard on The
City Wakes and these contain the following lyrics:
Emily and the English Rose Shining out the UFO Hand in hand with
As far as the Church is aware of this is the first time Iggy has ever
been mentioned in a song…
and actually… it is a rather good and catchy tune as well…. Now if only
they could get rid of that iTunes download… 8-(
The Church is still following the path as it leads towards the darkness
in Iggy’s past. In the near future we will dedicate some space to a
movie featuring Syd Barrett and our goddess. It can be found on YouTube
(in rather bad quality) but the Church of Iggy the Inuit managed to
locate a low generation copy. As soon as that version will arrive at
Atagong manor it will be revealed by the Reverend to his disciples.
Until that moment arrives we bid you to live long and prosper, dear brethren
and sistren, and don’t do anything that Iggy wouldn’t have done.
A couple of posts ago it was prophesised in Where
did she go? that some of Anthony Stern’s unpublished Iggy pictures
would find their way to the public. And they will… the City Wakes
website now has an Iggy gallery as well. (Update: this website no
The 15 pictures, sadly in a very small format, come from different
photo-shoots, and with exception of the ironic black and white pictures,
most of them are very representative for the psychedelic era they were
shot in. Signed prints of the Iggy pictures will soon be exclusively
available from the City Wakes website.
Update (2010-2016): Anthony Stern's website no longer contains
these pictures and so the Church has stored these for pure academical
Triptychs. Update (2016): Anthony Stern's 2016 BBC
documentary Memory Marbles contained some new Iggy pictures, they
have been published on Tumblr:Memory
It is far from a coincidence that this blog started more or less when
The City Wakes project was announced. The City Wakes is an official Syd
Barrett tribute, held in the city of Cambridge, and it has been
officially opened past week. But the history of the instalment of the
Church will be told on an other day, promised.
Supported by Syd’s family and friends, The City Wakes is the first ever
official tribute to Syd Barrett – original front-man and songwriter for
Pink Floyd. A celebration of Syd’s creativity, The City Wakes focuses on
Syd’s early life in Cambridge, providing a showcase for his remarkable
talent and painting a picture of the explosive and vibrant early 1960s
cultural scene in which he grew up.
Involving many of Syd’s former friends – not least Storm Thorgerson and
Mick Rock - The City Wakes includes concert performances, exhibitions,
guided tours, music workshops, a 1960s style ‘happening’, talks and a
new book of interviews and memorabilia.
The City Wakes has been developed by Escape Artists, a UK arts and
mental health charity and professional production house. Working with
clients in both institutional and non-institutional settings, it aims to
improve quality of life, health and social welfare, by recognising the
vital importance of creativity to an individual’s well being. Funds
generated through The City Wakes project will be used to support the
charity's work in the mental health sector. Escape Artists has been
working in the mental health sector in Cambridge since 1999. (Taken from
The City Wakes - deleted)
One of the exhibitions taking place is called The Other Room, it is held
in the Ruskin Gallery at Anglia Ruskin University, and is open from
24th October to 2nd November 2008.
At the Ruskin
Gallery visitors can see over fifty of Syd's paintings,
the majority of which have never before been seen in public. Also on
display are rare archival-quality prints from Syd's photo-biographer
Mick Rock and original pieces from Pink Floyd's legendary designer Storm
Thorgerson. The exhibition features rare Syd-related memorabilia,
including diaries and correspondence. (Taken from Anglia
Ruskin University - link no longer available)
But of course the Church is far more intrigued by the pictures from the
personal collection of Anthony Stern that are exposed as well: Pink
Floyd performing at UFO (1967-ish) and his Iggy pictures.
The Other Room: Syd Barrett's Art and Life Date: 24
October - 2 November 2008 Time: 10am - 9pm Monday to Friday, 10am -
5pm Saturday and Sunday (link has been deleted).
The Other Room: Syd Barrett's Art And Life was a Cambridge exhibition
that ended a couple of days ago. More details about it could be found in
a previous post: Pictures
at an exhibition.
A lucky wind (thanks SgB!) brought me a copy from the catalogue, an 18
pages booklet. The following can be found inside:
Page 2 & 3: introductions by Stephen Pyle and Anji Jackson-Main,
curators of the exhibition.
Pages 3 to 9 are dedicated to the paintings of Syd Barrett. This is far
the most interesting part of the catalogue as many unseen works of Syd
Barrett are represented here, albeit in a rather small thumbnail format.
I’m pretty sure those pictures will find their way to the specialised
Syd Barrett websites and blogs so I’m not going to put them here.
Pages 10 to 12: photographs by Mick Rock. This reminds me that the
Church still hasn’t dedicated some of its holy space to Mick Rock’s
excellent Psychedelic Renegades book. This will be done during the long
winter days when a lonely hungry wolf howls at the suburbs of Atagong
Page 11: some family snapshots taken by Syd's relatives. I don’t want to
sound too snotty, but I’ve seen these before.
Pages 14 & 15: artwork by Storm Thorgerson (Syd Barrett album cover,
Barrett album cover, The City Wakes green doors poster.)
page 17: colofon.
But The Church is of course most interested in pages 12 and 13 that
contain some pictures from the collection of Anthony Stern (see also: Anthony
Antony Stern’s Iggy pictures can be seen on The City Wakes website, a
link to that particular gallery can be found at the Galleries section of
their blog. And if you have a quick peek you might find something
more... (Update: The City Wakes website no longer exists.)
I want to thank all the members of the Late
Night forum, who visited The City Wakes, for their impressions,
their pictures, their testimonies and the goodies they have been
distributing amongst the other members who couldn’t attend the festival.
Speaking about Iggy, Anthony Stern's Iggy, Eskimo Girl movie was
shown at The City Wakes festival during the first weekend. Unfortunately
one of the technicians mistakenly gave the film back to Anthony Stern.
As the absence of the film wasn't noticed until just before the next
screening it was too late to retrieve the DVD.
After the (first) presentation there was a Q&A round with Anthony. One
member of the audience maintained that Iggy is currently living in
Chelsea. The Church will try to investigate further into this matter.
The so-called Lost
in the Woods movie, that was part of the Knebworth pre show
documentary, is a mix coming from different people, at different places,
on different occasions. The Church quotes archbishop Dark Globe, who has
scrutinized the movie before:
There's footage of Syd larking around in a garden with friends in 67,
the 'lilac shirt' footage of Syd (late 67/68?) in which Lyndsay Corner
also appears, and the blue suit/yellow ruffled shirt footage of Syd in
the woods with two girls (Iggy and a mystery brunette) from 69.
The home movie footage is multilayered and you can catch glimpses of
different footage superimposed on top of the main footage.
During the bit of Syd in the woods with Iggy, there's some footage of
Syd with an acoustic guitar (at least that's what I can see). The
flashbacks movie only shows tantalising glimpses of the Syd home movie
footage. (taken from Late
The home movie snippets are used twice in the Knebworth documentary.
The documentary starts with Pink (Langley Iddens) pouring a glass of
wine. For the next 39 seconds several vintage clips, taking no longer
than a couple of frames, will be intercepted with shots from the actor.
The first home movie scenes have already ended when the documentary is
just one minute old. The main bunch seems to be filmed at a garden party.
The second home movie scenes arrive about 10 minutes later and will go
on for 42 seconds. The main footage has Syd walking in a park with Iggy
and a mysterious brunette, Syd and Iggy climbing trees, the two woman
running hand in hand, Syd acting funny with a stick in his hand… The
park footage is intercepted a few times by other home movies from other
Part 1: Garden fun – blowing bubbles
Several garden shots have been used in this compilation. There is a
scene with a girl on a swing, people blowing soap bubbles and generally
having fun, Syd eating a - very hard to spot - banana…
The Church tried to identify the people in the movie with the help of
the worldwide web, posting screenshots at several anorak fora, and Dark
Globe took it upon him to show these pictures to David Gale and Matthew
Scurfield after a reading at the City Wakes festival this year.
Hester Page. It could be that screenshots 1 and 2 depict the
same person. She remained unidentified until Dark Globe showed the
pics to David Gale who recognised picture 2 as ‘Hester’. Barrett fan
julianindica could narrow this down to Hester Page. Hester Page gets
mentioned in the Syd Barrett biography by Julian Palacios, aptly
called Lost In The Woods, as part of the 101 Cromwell Rd incrowd.
That two-storey flat in Kensington was the place for many
Cantabrigians to sleep, meet and greet. Syd Barrett and Lindsay
Corner lived there for a while and Pink Floyd used the place to
rehearse (much to the annoyance of painter Duggie Fields). It was
also somewhat of an LSD epicentre and a ‘critical nexus for
Underground activities of every shade and stripe’.
David Gale. This man is David Gale. To quote his own words at
the City Wakes – it’s the hooter that gives me
away. Gale was a schoolmate of David Gilmour and a friend of Syd. In
1965 David’s parents went to Australia for a 6-month period leaving
the house and its garden in the safe hands of their son. It didn’t
take long before the Cambridge jeunesse would meet there and there
is a chance that the first part of the Syd Barrett Home Movie has
indeed been shot in the garden of David Gale’s parents. Nigel
Lesmoir-Gordon and Storm Thorgerson had film cameras so one of them
may have shot the footage (NLG made the iniquitous Syd’s First Trip
movie where David Gale can be seen). It was also at David Gale’s
place that Syd Barrett had a cosmically encounter wit a plum, an
orange and a matchbox, as witnessed by Storm Thorgerson who would
later use this for a record sleeve and for a concert movie.
Lyndsay Corner. David Gale and Matthew Scurfield identify the
girl on a swing as Lyndsay Corner.
Part 2: the Lost In The Woods footage
Mick Rock. When Syd and Iggy are walking in the woods a face
is superimposed. It is Mick Rock who has (probably) shot the movie.
Iggy is wearing the same necklace as on the Madcap Laughs photo
sessions and (perhaps) the same clothes. Syd however has another
shirt than in the Psychedelic Renegades book. The Lost In The Woods
scenes have been edited on the Knebworth documentary and carry parts
from at least 3 other home movies.
Unknown. Syd and another man walking & talking in a garden
in front of a house. Identity Unknown.
Unknown. Syd and a girl blowing bubbles in a park. Identity
Lyndsay Corner. Close-up of Lyndsay Corner (in a park).
Mysterious brunette. 3 people can be identified on the Lost
In The Woods movie: Syd, Iggy and Mick Rock. In several shots with
Iggy and Syd we see a second woman, the mysterious brunette, whose
identity we don’t know yet.
Update: on second thought, she could be Hester Page (see
first picture above), although it is a wild guess. JenS,
however concludes that the girl is not Hester Page. Gretta Barclay
does not recognise her either: "I do not recognise the brunette –
the name Jennie Gordon came to mind, but in truth, I simply have
no idea of who she is."
Pop-art painter Duggie Fields, who still lives in the same apartment,
and Mick Rock have testified that Iggy only stayed at Syd’s place for a
couple of weeks. When Mick Rock showed Syd the pictures of the photo
sessions for the cover of The Madcap Laughs she was already long gone….
According to Duggie Fields, a homeless and drug-addicted couple, Greta
and Rusty, took the vacant place, much to the aggravation of the painter
who had to bring Greta to the hospital after an overdose.
Neither Mick Rock nor Storm Thorgerson give the exact date when The
Madcap Laughs photo shoot was made: the closest thing they can come up
with is Autumn 1969. Syd Barrett and David Gilmour met at the studio on
the 6th of October to sort out the running order of the album. Other
studio work, that didn’t need Syd’s presence, was done the same month:
banding the LP master (9 October) and cutting the LP (16 October). After
hearing the master Malcolm Jones ordered a recut early in November. The
record was officially released on the second of January 1970.
Malcolm Jones recounts:
One day in October or November I had cause to drop in at Syd's flat on
my way home to leave him a tape of the album, and what I saw gave me
quite a start. In anticipation of the photographic session for the
sleeve, Syd had painted the bare floorboards of his room orange and
purple. Up until then the floor was bare, with Syd's few possessions
mostly on the floor; hi-fi, guitar, cushions, books and paintings. In
fact the room was much as appears on the original 'Madcap' sleeve. Syd
was well pleased with his days work and I must say it made a fine
setting for the session due to take place.
Based on this information most anoraks radiocarbon the photo shoot date
in the second half of October, although November is also a possibility.
The Lost In The Woods home move with Syd, Mick, Iggy and the mysterious
brunette should thus be pinpointed to that period (this was written
in December 2008).
Update: But... as the Holy Church would find out the next year
(January 2009) the above photo shoot date appears to be wrong. It is
pretty sure that Iggy left Syd in April 1969. Further analysis of the
Madcap pictures show that several details point to spring 1969, rather
than autumn. For a complete report please consult: Anoraks
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 141. Jones,
Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain
Damage, 2003, p. 13. Palacios, Julian: Lost In The Woods,
Boxtree, London, 1998, p. 241. Parker, David: Random Precision,
Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p. 154-158.
the Reverend revealed two new Iggy pictures appearing at the Chimera
Arts website that distributes the Iggy Eskimo Girl movie in various
parts of the world (alas, not those parts of the world the Reverend is
Stern who, should you not know, shot the movie in question recently
updated several pages on his site and for those that want to dive into
Stern’s work there is an interesting essay
about his work as well.
Iggy the Eskimo Girl (1966/2008)
Update 2016: Anthony Stern's main website has been updated and
all relevant movie links have disappeared. He has a Film
Archive website as well but at the time of writing (November 2016) not much can be found there.
The (now deleted) filmography page has got the following to say about the movie:
Iggy was a model and the girlfriend of Syd Barrett, and appeared on the
cover of his album The Madcap Laughs (1970). She was terrific fun to be
with and to photograph. I made a short film of her dancing in Russell
Square, which portrays her as the ultimate flower child of the 1960s.
That particular page also has a (now deleted) filmstrip dedicated to
Iggy showing some screenshots that have never been shown before.
Stern did not only film Iggy, he also made some pictures of her that
were premiered after 40 years on The City Wakes Syd Barrett Festival (a
glimpse of those can be found in the
Other Room). A (then also unpublished) black and white picture of
Iggy also accompanied the ‘Where
did she go?’ article that appeared in a (free) London newspaper and
that was published after some mild excruciating techniques administered
by the Church.
Stern’s pictures form the so-called Iggy
5 in total. His website
has to say the following about these:
I re-discovered these photographs in my cellar in an old suitcase. All
the optical effects were obtained in-camera. The colour images of Iggy
were taken on a houseboat at Chelsea Reach. In the background you can
see Lots Road Power Station. The distortions were achieved using a
flexible mirror material called Malinex, as well as a magnifying fresnel
screen. I have presented these images at the Ruskin Gallery as
triptychs, because they remind me of Francis Bacon images in the same
format. (Taken from iggyphotos - link no longer available)
Every triptych also has a page of its own and on these the following
titbit can be found:
Iggy was terrific fun to be with and to photograph. I knew her before
she was introduced to Syd by JenS,
and I remember walking through Battersea Park in the early mornings
Page 1: http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip1.htm (link no longer active) Page 2: http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip2.htm (link no longer active) Page 3: http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip3.htm (link no longer active) Page 4: http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip4.htm (link no longer active) Page 5: http://www.anthonysternglass.com/iggytrip5.htm (link no longer active)
The photographs on Stern's website are were for sale, signed,
framed and numbered, either as triptychs or single images. (Note:
prices in 2009 were £175 for single images and £225 for the triptychs,
not including postage).
Brethren Dan5482 visited the several Church locations (see underneath)
that can be found on the World Wide Web and confessed the following to
Despite all that collective amnesia I think that Iggy can still be
found. There are journalists, detectives... who have found more
However, an intense and widespread interest for her is a necessary
condition. Your Church is a source of hope in this sense. It lets many
people know that once such a mysterious woman existed.
It occurs to me that many people simply don’t want to know who or where
Iggy is. Imagine finding a 70-year old woman and to find out that her
words about that period are as simple and disappointing as "I don't like
to remember that period. I was out of my mind..." That could be the end
of a romantic dream.
Besides the fact that Iggy herself is an extremely intriguing figure,
there is also the possibility of obtaining a new narrative and facts
surrounding Syd Barrett's life in that fabled year of 1969.
Wise words from a wise man.
assumption that Ig was born at the end of World War II is true she is 64
or 65 years old at the moment (provided she is still amongst us). True
believers know the following story for sure… in April, or early May of
1970, Ig closed the door behind her at Wetherby Mansions and was never
seen back… Update: obviously this was written before Ig,
or Emily, was traced back by Mojo magazine.
Mick Rock has apparently stated that he heard from Duggie Fields, the
painter who was Syd Barrett’s roommate, that Iggy ‘went off with some
rich guy in Chelsea and lived a very straight life’ afterwards.
However Mark Blake squeezed a slightly different story out of him:
I have no idea who Iggy was or even what her real name was. She was
never Syd’s girlfriend. They just got together from time to time. (…) I
saw her not long after Syd left the flat and she was looking more like a
Sloane Ranger. I heard she’d become involved with one of the voguish
religious cults at the time.
Nobody knew her real first name, never mind her surname, or if they did,
they weren't telling. Duggie Fields recalls seeing her some time after
the Madcap Laughs photo session and she was looking a lot more
"sloaney". Most of the people I spoke to who knew her believe Iggy
married a rich businessman and doesn't now want to be 'found'.
The Cinderella story may be a case of confabulation.
One witness supposes that Ig married rich and over the years this story
infiltrates the memories of other people who, decades later, believe
this is really how it all happened. This is not done on purpose; our
memory likes to fill in the gaps and if we need to borrow memories of
other people we will subconsciously do that. Pink Floyd history contains
several anecdotes like that and in the several biographies and articles
Floydian insiders have told about situations that were originally
witnessed by others.
Update 2016: After Syd, Iggy met a rich banker who was a witness
of Jehovah, so the rumours were at least based upon some facts. The
relationship didn't last though and Iggy didn't marry 'rich'.
In February of this year Mark Blake reported to the Church:
I spoke to Emo a couple of weeks back and asked about Iggy and he
immediately said he remembered hearing she had gone back to the Far
East/Asia. But, as I have learned since doing the book, everyone has
conflicting memories about these things. (mail to the Reverend on
At The City Wakes festival in October and November of 1988 Anthony
Stern’s Eskimo Girl movie was shown to the public and during the Q&A
afterwards a member of the audience told the director that Iggy was
living in Chelsea. Nobody knows who this person is but if (s)he attended
the festival (s)he must have been a fan of Barrett or one of the members
of the Cambridge or London Underground gang who took this opportunity to
meet again after three decades. The Church would like to invite this
person to come forward and to contact the Reverend.
On the 7th of October 2006 the SydBarrett.net forum got the following
message from a certain YoungForEternity.
Does anyone know roughly how old Iggy would be? There's a woman who
works at a supermarket in my local town who claims to be "the" Iggy and
I don't know whether to believe her or not...I'd appreciate any pointers
or recognisable features? Her name is definitely Iggy, and I've been
studying images but it's difficult to tell... (Taken from whatever
happened to iggy the eskimo?)
The forum in question is no longer active and the messenger only posted
this single item. In 2006 Ig was (probably) 61 or 62 years old so
theoretically she should no longer have been working, as the State
Pension age for women born before 1950 is 60 (in the UK). But of course
there are always exceptions. To qualify for a full basic State
Pension she needed to have built up 39 years of National Insurance
payments and perhaps that may not have been the case. The Church would
also like the author of this post to come forward and to contact the
Update 2016: YoungForEternity was probably closer to the truth
than we all expected. Iggy has indeed been working at a local
Next week, sistren and brethren, the Holy Church of Iggy
the Inuit will celebrate its first birthday and a small and delicate
special treat will be offered. Till then. And remember; don’t do
anything that Ig wouldn’t have done…
Sources (other than internet links mentioned above):
Last week The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit published the incredible news that
Iggy had been traced back. This was a world exclusive as no other news
medium had reported this before.
The news that Iggy had been found was, unfortunately, also all there was
to say. Although discreet investigations were done it was soon made
clear that she wanted to stay anonymous and that she didn’t want to blow
her cover. A short interview was out of the question, even for Mojo
magazine and Mark Blake who triggered these latest events.
The Reverend is by all means not a souvenir collector who wanted to ring
at her bell like all those true fans used to do at Syd Barrett’s
door and her wish to be left in peace was immediately and
In September 2008 The Croydon Guardian published an article about Iggy
after the Church had contacted the newspaper to get more information
about The Orchid dancehall in Purley: Where
did she go? This article unearthed some unpublished pictures by
Anthony Stern that were later shown at The City Wakes festival in
Cambridge and was also mentioned in the March issue of Mojo.
Kirsty Whalley, the journalist who brought us the first Iggy article in
The Croydon Guardian, has now managed to interview Iggy, an interview
that can be found in today’s issue of this newspaper.
When Mick turned up to take the photos I helped paint the floor boards
for the shoot, I was covered in paint, I still remember the smell of it.
Tranquillity is slowly descending upon the Holy Church of Inuit like
smog upon Victorian London. Several brethren and sistren
of the Church, and one-time visitors who entered through the front gate
to study its baroque interior, have passed some valid information to the
Reverend and these will be further investigated in the future. The
Reverend also wants to apologise to the people that have been contacted
(and interviewed) last year, especially those associated with The
Cromwellian club. The articles about The Crom have been postponed due to
the unexpected result the Mojo Syd Barrett article created, but they
will - one day - hopefully appear.
To all our readers: please keep on going on giving the Church
information, how futile it may be, but remember that the Reverend will
not break its own rules that stay unchanged even now that Iggy (Evelyn)
has been found. Especially now that Iggy (Evelyn) has been found.
The Reverend is not a souvenir collector who will ring at her bell like
all those so-called (and in the Reverend's eyes: messed up) true fans
used to do at Syd Barrett’s door. Evelyn's wish to be left in peace is
and will be unconditionally granted. The same goes for other witnesses
of the Barrett era, the Church will send them a nice note from time to
time, as a reminder of its presence, but will not break their privacy.
Some will call this bad journalism but the Church is not dependent from
sold issues and follows a strict deontological code.
On the thirteenth of February of this year The Croydon Guardian
published a short, hastily noted down, interview with (a quite
reluctant) Iggy, titled: Croydon
Guardian tracks down elusive rock star muse. Here it is in full
(with some comments from the Reverend):
Croydon Guardian tracks down elusive rock star muse By Kirsty
An iconic model who stole Syd Barrett’s heart in the 1960s has been
found after three decades of anonymity. Known only as Iggy, the
enigmatic woman was immortalised posing naked for the Pink Floyd star’s
solo album, Madcap Laughs. She disappeared in the late 1970s and has
been living in West Sussex, oblivious to her iconic status. In September
2008, the Croydon Guardian appealed for information about the model and,
more than a year later, we managed to track her down.
She inspired artist Anthony Stern, who filmed her dancing in Battersea
Park and also took striking photographs of her on a houseboat in
Chelsea. They were released at the City Wakes festival – a tribute to
Syd Barrett – in October 2008, in Cambridge.
The above has of course been extendedly covered by the Church as well: Anthony
Mr Stern said: “Iggy was my muse. I met her at a Hendrix gig at the
Speakeasy. She entirely captures the spirit of the Sixties, living for
the moment, carefree.”
The club has been described in the (excellent) London Live book
from Tony Bacon as follows (most information about the club has been
taken from that book).
When The Speakeasy was opened by Roy Flynn around the end of 1966 in
Margaret Street, just north of Soho, the rock elite soon discovered a
handy new watering hole, a prime early-hours jamming post, and an
altogether useful hanging-out kind of place.
By May 1967 the club was part of the London spot-the-celebrity
circle next to - amongst others - the Scotch (of St. James) and of
course the Crom. On a good night you could having a drink next to The
Bee Gees, Jeff
Beck or The
Who, although, keeping up his avant-garde experimental jazz
Wyatt from The Soft Machine couldn't care less: "Rock groups meeting
in expensive clubs that are difficult to get into? What's all that crap?"
On the 19th of January 1967 Jimi Hendrix gave the first of 3 concerts at
The Speak. On top of that he would also jam a few times with other
people on stage, including Jose
Feliciano and Georgie
Fame. That night in January he tried to get into Marianne
Faithfull's pants with the seductive remark: "What are you doing
with this jerk, anyway?" The jerk in question was of course Mick Jagger
who wanted to check out the new kid in town.
will know the club for its owner Roy Flynn. When, on the 13th of
December 1968, Sly
And The Family Stone didn't show up for their gig an impromptu band
was found to take their place. When Roy Flynn saw Yes's performance he
was so thrilled that he became their manager for a while. The band
eagerly agreed, not because he had some managerial skills but because
the restaurant at The Speak had an excellent reputation:
Roy had never managed a band before and he kind of took us on and then
the whole world of the Speakeasy opened up (laugh). It was a great club,
I mean, it was a wonderful club, it used to close at 4 AM and we would
not only rehearse there, we would play there some nights, and of course
after a gig if we were playing within, let's say 150 miles from London,
we would rush and go to the Speakeasy and eat there, and most of the
meals were completely free. So for about a year I ate pretty good. Most
of the evenings I ate there. Because that was the life style, we would
be in the Speakeasy after 3 AM and the kitchen still would be opened and
the food was not fantastic but thanks to Roy Flynn we would get free
food and quite a lot of few drinks as well. (Peter
Banks, who invented the band's name and left the group in 1970)
The extensive Jimi Hendrix gig database
located at Rich Dickinson only mentions 3 genuine Jimi Hendrix
performances in 1967: the aforementioned gig on the 19th of January 1967
and two more in March: 8th March 1967 and 21st March 1967. So Iggy (and
Anthony Stern) must have attended one of these. For the completists
amongst us the Church gives now the complete list of Hendrix sightings
at the Speakeasy (1967): 67-01-19: Gig. 67-02-22: Press
reception for the Soft Machine. 67-03-08: Gig. 67-03-16:
Launching party for Track records (Jimi gives three interviews). 67-03-21:
Gig. 67-04-17: Jam (on bass) with Georgie Fame (on organ) and
Ben E. King (drums). 67-05-08: Brian Auger Trinity Concert. 67-06-04:
Jose Feliciano concert and onstage jam. 67-12-06: Party for The
Foundations. 67-12-22: Musicians from Christmas on Earth and Hendrix
jam until the morning hours. 67-12-31: New Year's Eve Party where
Jimi plays a thirty minute 'Auld Lang Syne'.
There is quite an intriguing picture
on page 103 of the London Live book, showing co-managers Roy Flynn and
Mike Carey, sitting at the Speakeasy bar, accompanied by two ladies.
According to CowleyMod
one of the women undoubtedly is Ig. Although most of the members of the
Church do not think it is her the Church wants to give Cowleymod the
benefit of the doubt and the visitors of the Church the chance to make
up their own mind (click here
to see the full picture). Update (November 2010): it has been
confirmed to the Church that the person on the picture is NOT Iggy /
Iggy said: “I cannot believe there is a film of me, that there are
photos of me.”
Iggy spent a brief part of the 60s
living in Croydon with DJ Jeff Dexter, who used to play at the Orchid
Ballroom. She said: “The Orchid Ballroom was the place to be, the
atmosphere was fantastic. I loved going there, I loved to dance. Jeff
wanted to turn me and two other lovely girls into the English version of
the Supremes, but that never happened.”
She does not
like to talk much about Syd Barrett, but admits she lived with him in
Chelsea in the late 1960s. She said: “Syd was so beautiful looking. We
had a relationship, I lived with him for a while.”
Although the Reverend is aware of at least four witnesses who have
confirmed in different biographies (and directly to the Church) that
Iggy and Syd weren't an item this is now contradicted by Evelyn herself.
It was at that time she became known as Iggy the Eskimo. She said: “In
part I made up the nickname. The rest was the photographer Mick Rock,
who asked where I was from. I said ‘my mother is from the Himalayas’ and
he said ‘we will call you Iggy the Eskimo’.”
Update March 2018: Iggy's mother, so was confirmed to us, didn't
live near the Himalaya's, but at the Lushai Hills, a mountain range in
Mizoram, Mizoram, situated at the North-East of India, sharing borders
with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The Church will not deny that Mick Rock may have thrown around the 'Iggy
the Eskimo' nickname to describe the mysterious girl on his pictures but
the epithet dates from much earlier. It was first spotted in the NME
magazine from the 25th of November 1966 (more than 2 years earlier)
where Evelyn was described as 'Another Bender - model IGGY, who is
Mick Rock took the pictures for Madcap Laughs. Iggy said: “When Mick
turned up to take the photos I helped paint the floor boards for the
shoot, I was covered in paint, I still remember the smell of it. In the
pictures my hair looks quite funny, I remember hiding my face behind it
because I did not want my mum and dad to see it."
Again other witnesses tell other stories. They claim that Syd (with a
little help from Iggy) painted the floor boards early in the year,
certainly before April 1969. As Syd only started recording mid-April it
is a bit weird that he painted the boards especially for the album
cover, unless - of course - he (and with him Mick Rock) already had the
cover in mind before the recording sessions started. A theory that is
She broke up with Syd Barrett shortly after the photo shoot and moved to
Brighton. She said: “I have just been living very quietly, I left London
in the 70s and I got married in 1978. I met so many people in the 60s –
the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart. I was a free
spirit. I have left that life behind me now.”
The Church would gladly accept to publish her memoires though.
But until that happens, my dear sistren and brethren,
don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't have done…
A new gallery has been uploaded containing the complete Come
with NME for a pic-visit to THE CROMWELLIAN article and pictures
from New Musical Express 1037, 25 November 1966. Photographs by Napier
Russel & Barry Peake. Words by Norrie Drummond. (Just another world
exclusive from the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.)
Sources (other than the above internet links): Bacon, Tony: London
Live, Balafon Books, London, 1999, p. 101-104.
In January of this year Mojo
published a (way too short) Mark
about Iggy, who – in the Sixties - was metonymically but erroneously
described as an Eskimo. There is a realistic chance that this blog,
politically correct named the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, would never
have seen the light of day if Iggy had been nicknamed something else.
Titled SYD BARRETT'S ENIGMATIC COVER COMPANION CLEARS UP SOME QUERIES
the article actually added to the mystery, although Mark Blake is, of
course, not to blame: Iggy is just mysterious by nature. And the more we
find out, the more mysterious it gets.
The Church was erected for just that, to reveal the enigma behind an
enigmatic woman but now that Evelyn has stepped into Mark
Zuckerberg's limelight the Church has made a deliberate step
backwards. Let it be known that the Church will be discreet about
present Evelyn. She is not Truman
Burbank and it is none of our business what she had for breakfast
this morning anyway (bacon butties and a steaming hot cup of tea, if you
wanna know, and the Reverend had some croissants and a cup of coffee).
Mark Blake also published an extended 'director's
cut' of his interview and now the time for the Church has come to
comment, amend or append on some of his poignant paragraphs. We will be
cruel and ruthless although the reader should realise that above every
line a virtual 'Well done, Mark Blake!' Church sign is blinking. A bit
Before long, The Holy Church Of Iggy The Inuit, a fansite in her honour,
had appeared, its webmaster, Felix Atagong, sifting through ever scrap
of information gleaned from MOJO and elsewhere with a forensic
scientist's attention to detail. Among Felix's discoveries was a
November 1966 issue of NME which featured a photo of "Iggy who is half
eskimo" dancing at South Kensington's Cromwellian club. (The Strange
Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 3)
Mark gives the Reverend too many credits here. The Church mainly rips
other people's ideas (not an uncommon practice with Churches, although
they mostly prefer to rip other people's wallets) and the November 26,
1966 New Musical Express Iggy picture
was not discovered by the Church. The scan was already floating around
on the web. Neptune
Pink Floyd, for instance, published
it in November 2006, two years before the Church started.
However the Church did trace a copy of that particular NME, hoping there
would be some extra news about Evelyn, but to our regret Iggy is not
mentioned at all in the accompanying text
(several scans of NME 1037 can be found in our gallery).
The Croydon Guardian
Believing that Iggy may have gone to school in Thornton Heath, Jeff and
Anthony contacted The Croydon Guardian, who ran an article - So Where
Did She Go To, My Lovely - enquiring after the whereabouts of the girl
"who entirely captured the spirit of the '60s". (The Strange Tale Of
Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 4)
Time to pull the plug of that 'Well done, Mark Blake!' sign above we're
afraid, as The
Croydon Guardian was informed by none other than the Holy Church of
Iggy the Inuit.
The Church contacted Brian Roote, a historian from the Bourne
Society who had been researching the history of the Orchid, but
without success. Journalist Kerry McQueeney, author of the Orchid
articles, passed the Church mail to Kirsty Whalley, editor of the
Croydon Guardian Heritage pages. She replied the Church on the third
September of 2008:
We would like to feature this story in the newspaper next week and
hopefully it will prompt a few people to call in.
Kirsty Whalley also asked the Church for a decent Iggy picture and here
is what the Reverend answered:
Probably the best way to get an (unpublished) picture of Iggy is to
contact Anthony Stern (former boyfriend of Iggy in 1966) who made a
movie with her that will be shown on The City Wakes festival in
Cambridge, so more than 40 years after it was filmed. (Taken from:
Visitor at Orchid Ballroom - 1965 – 1967, mail to Kirsty Whalley, 3
September 2008 22:04.)
Kirsty Whalley took the information, given by the Holy Church of Iggy
the Inuit, to heart (probably the first time in the Reverend’s entire
career that a woman actually listened to his advice) and interviewed
Anthony Stern who also donated a previous unpublished picture
of Evelyn, just like the Church had predicted. She then did an excellent
job by contacting Jeff Dexter (or perhaps Jeff Dexter contacted her
after having spoken to Anthony Stern) and wrote a damn fine article: Where
did she go?
It took over a year for someone to 'call in', because in February 2010
Kirsty Whalley published the very first Iggy interview in 40 years that
even took the Church by surprise (see: Little
old lady from London-by-the-Sea). What the Reverend doesn't
understand though is why the Croydon Guardian journalist doesn't like to
be reminded that it was the Church who gave her the scoop. So no pretty
blinking Church sign for you, Kirsty!
From Dieppe to Delhi
Iggy's father was a British army officer, who served alongside Louis
Mountbatten, and attended the official handover ceremony from Great
Britain to India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharial Nehru in 1947. (The
Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 7)
Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten,
born in 1900 and killed by an IRA
bomb in 1979, was destined to pursue a glorious military career. Like so
many of his aristocratic peers this career was not per se based
on actual military performances but on the amount of names he had been
given at birth. After a military débâcle at Dieppe
in 1942, where 3,623 out of 6,086 soldiers, mostly Canadians, were
either killed, wounded, or captured by the Germans, Mountbatten was
given a new military playground as Supreme Allied Commander South
East Asia Command. The Dieppe raid (unauthorised by the general
staff) provoked a schism between the Canadian and British army leaders
during the second world war and the mistrust would linger on for decades
In 1947 Mountbatten was nominated Viceroy and Governor-General of
India and his principal task was to lead India (separated from
Pakistan) in a peaceful way towards independence. This lead to one of
the bloodiest massacres the subcontinent has ever seen. Muslims fled
from India to Pakistan, Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan to India and
about 500,000 people lost their lives in the process (death
toll numbers vary from 200,000 to a million).
Up the Khyber
"My father also knew all about Mountbatten's wife's affair with Nehru,"
she adds mischievously. During a spell of leave, he had travelled to a
remote village in the Himalayas "where he met the woman that would
become my mother." Iggy was born in Pakistan, and attended army schools
in India and Aden, before the family moved to England. (The Strange Tale
Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 7)
In the night of 14 to 15 August 1947 India and Pakistan officially
separated from London and because this had been supervised so well by
Mountbatten, he was entitled to another promotion. From now on he could
add the title of Governor-General of India on his business card.
In other words: Mountbatten was now the de facto monarch of the new
Lucky there was still his wife, Edwina
Cynthia Annette Mountbatten. Her part-time job was to visit the
refugee camps her husband was so kind to fill up and to hump India's
prime minister Jawaharlal
Nehru, although there are some biographers who maintain that their
relationship was purely platonic.
But enough politics. Around that time Iggy's father, posted in Pakistan,
went for an evening stroll in the Himalaya's where his spell of leave
soon developed in a spell of love. It is believed that in March
1947 the couple did exchange something more than friendly kisses. The
Church always believed that Iggy was somewhat older than Syd Barrett
Syd met Iggy), but this new evidence shows she is nearly two years
younger than him (and, should this be of any interest to anyone, both
Syd and Ig were born on a Sunday).
If Ig attended school in Pakistan, the family must have been there until
early 1950. Although the country was independent several hundred of
British officers stayed in Pakistan until the Pakistan army had enough
officers to take care of its own. There was a 1st Battalion Wiltshire
Regiment at Rawalpindi (Pakistan), with Indian bases at Amritsar,
Calcutta, Jhansi, Jullunder (Jalandhar) and Lahore (Pakistan) but the
Church's research couldn't link Ig's father to this battalion.
The Wiltshire Regiment left the Indias in October 1947, but her father
stayed in Pakistan for a couple of years longer.
Update March 2018: Iggy's mother, so was confirmed to us, wasn't
from Pakistan, but from Mizoram, situated at the North-East of India,
sharing borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar. Probably that is where Iggy
was born and went to school. The 'evening stroll' of Iggy's dad did not
take place in the Himalaya's, but at the Lushai Hills, a mountain range
in Mizoram and Tripura, India.
The garden of Aden
It is not that weird either that the family was dispatched to Aden.
Before 1937 Aden was an (overseas) part of British India and after that
it became a separate British Crown colony, much to the enjoyment of
philatelists from all over the world. It would stay under British reign
until 1963 and in 1967 it was absorbed by the People's Republic of South
Kids could go to the Khormaksar
primary and secondary school (close to the RAF airport base), but there
was the (Roman-Catholic) Good
Shepherd Convent School for girls as well, the Isthmus
School and the Selim
Girl's School that was badly damaged in the anti-Semitic pogroms from
There are quite a few blogs and forums
about Aden with hundreds of pictures of the fifties and sixties, but the
Reverend couldn't find Iggy back, yet. The Mojo article has a picture
from Ig at Worthing Beach, in the early Sixties, so around 1963 they may
have returned to England.
In January 1969 Iggy met Syd, thanks to their common friend Jenny
Spires. The outside world didn't always realise that Ig and Syd became
an item. Ig was unaware that Syd had been a pop star, but then one day:
He [Syd] then said, 'Would you listen to this?' And he bought out this
big, old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape recorder, and said, 'Tell me what
you think'." Syd then played her the songs that would end up on The
Madcap Laughs. One track, Terrapin, made an immediate impression. "I
said, 'That's quite catchy', and, of course, I don't think Syd was
really into catchy...It was a long tape, and he didn't demand any
opinion, but just asked if I thought it was OK. At the end he said
'Someone at EMI - I cannot remember the name - wants me to make a
record. How would you feel about having a rock star boyfriend?'" (The
Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 12)
This may have happened in the weekend of 12 and 13 April 1969 after
Malcolm Jones and Syd had started working on the new album:
During the tea break we discussed going back to some of the songs
started the previous year, in particular 'Golden Hair', and perhaps
'Late Night' although the original version of that had been destroyed,
it seemed. We returned to the studio and started work on another new
song, 'Terrapin'. In one take Syd laid down a guitar and vocal track
that was to be the master! At my suggestion Syd double tracked his vocal
part, and that was it!
One day Syd Barrett disappeared from the flat and Iggy, in a jealous
mood, fearing he was seeing another woman, tracked down her friend in
David Gilmour's appartment, just a few blocks away.
"I went in, shouting, 'OK, where is she?' thinking there was a woman
hiding in one of the rooms. But, of course, the meeting had been with
Dave about the record they were making together." Barrett left Iggy with
Gilmour, but rather the worse for wear, she knocked the stylus on his
record player accidentally scratching his copy of Pink Floyd's brand new
album. "I have no idea what album it was, only that it was their new
album," Iggy sighs. (The likely candidate seems to be Soundtrack From
The Film More) "So Dave threw me out..." (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The
Eskimo Pt. 2, paragraph 3)
Here is again an excellent opportunity to grab the Church's copies of
Glenn Povey's 'Echoes' and David Parker's 'Random Precision'. According
to David Parker Barrett had his last recording session with Malcolm
Jones on the 3rd and 4th of May, while the David Gilmour sessions
started a month later (see our 1969 calendar).
On the 6th of May however 'a set of rough mixes' of the album was made,
presumably to be handed over to Gilmour (and Waters), who had promised
to finalise the album (it is significant that on that tape Opel, Swan
Lee and Rhamadan are still present).
But probably Barrett, Jones, Gilmour and Waters had been discussing
about all this before. The Church has always believed that Iggy left Syd
somewhere in April and up till now Ig's visit to Gilmour's apartment
fits nicely into that scheme.
Mark Blake wisely deducts the scratched record has to be 'More'.
More was released on Friday, the 13th of June 1969, but of course
Gilmour may have had a copy some weeks before. Another, but more
unlikely, candidate is 'Ummagumma'.
Although only released in November the Floyd had already been recording
some pieces for this album in January and February, together with the
'More' sessions, so perhaps Gilmour and Barrett could've listened to an
acetate instead. And of course the live tracks of that album must have
been circulating amongst the band members as well.
But there is still another possibility. Margaretta Barclay told the
Church she has a postcard sent to her and Ig at Wetherby Mansions in
June 1969 so perhaps Ig's departure took place after More had been
officially released (see: Gretta
Notes (other than internet links mentioned above): Parker,
David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p.
139-158. Jones, Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs,
Brain Damage, 2003, p. 7. Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete
history of Pink Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 104-112.
The Church wishes to thank: Adenairways.com, Mark Blake, Jenny Spires,
Natashaa' and the beautiful people at Late Night. ♥ Iggy ♥
First of all, happy New Year sistren and brethren of the
Church. These wishes do not only come from the Reverend but also from
our mutual point of adoration, our nadir and zenith, Ms. Iggy Rose. With
every contact she proves to us that she still is extremely exuberant,
hilariously silly and all together daft as a brush (all used in a
Today, the 6th of January, is a special day as well for Sydaholics
all over the world and it rejoices us that Iggy has been a part in the
life of the diamond. Our wish to you, dear Iggy, is not to change a bit,
because wherever you walk rainbows magically appear. We take the small
inconvenience for granted that our ears are ringing when we lay down the
phone. Keep on shouting to the world, Iggy, not only your anger, but
your happiness and joy as well.
So now it is about time for La Sagrada Iglesia de Iggy La Esquimal to
return the favour. Antonio Jesús Reyes from the Spanish
Syd Barrett blog has finally found the time to add his version
of the truth and nothing but the truth.
Antonio Jesús Reyes, a new career in a new town
Tell us about your Syd-Floyd connection. How did you end up living in
This is a short but complex story. I met an English girl in Seville
whose mother was moving to Cambridge and I ended up going out with her…
no, not with the mother! So, we decided at some point to move from
Seville to Cambridge although I did not know what to expect.
Things began to get surreal when we went to the first City Wakes concert
(2008). I was introduced to Rosemary Brent, and after the show we
had a drink (without Rosemary). In the pub I introduced my girlfriend’s
mother to a good friend of Syd, who had played the drums in Those
Without (I remembered his name from a picture I saw years ago).
From that moment on, and for the rest of my stay there, these two years
were sydbarretianly amazing. I nearly met every Cambridge mafia
member in town. Two years after the end of it all, I’m still realizing
that I was often ignorant of the fact that I met these people who had
been part of Syd's and the early Floyd’s life.
So coincidentally Stephen Pyle almost became my father-in law. He
told me lots of anecdotes. We talked about films, paintings, music and
his work for The Rolling Stones, Queen, U2… I miss him most of all.
I worked with him at The City Wakes. One day he introduced me to Jenny
Spires at Mick Brown’s and it was only after thirty minutes of
conversation that I realized that I had heard that name before. She was
quite kind to me and has an extraordinary good taste in music.
The Cambridge experience was incredible. My literary idol, Laurence
Sterne, ‘studied’ where David Bowie played in the 70’s and… ...well,
there are too many stories to tell them all.
My relationship finished some time after returning to Seville. Let me
quote John Milton’s Paradise Lost, I can affirm that it is "better to
reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven". My Cambridge bonds are mostly
cut off now but I still appreciate the friendship forgetting they were
connected to one of my idols.
How did you begin to listen to Syd-Floyd music?
I hope I can tell you in a chronological way:
First: in 1994 I was watching a documentary about the career of
Pink Floyd. I remember someone saying something like “If we could make
it without X, we can make it without Y”. I was reading or writing
something while watching it, so I was not paying much attention. First
there came a lot of noise from the TV speakers, which annoyed me… and
then… a piece of music that was enchanting. It was A
Saucerful of Secrets, performed live in Pompeii. It was a
life-changing experience forgotten in a minute or two. I was a teenager,
and it was summer, please, understand me.
Second: one day while listening to the radio, I heard a song that
really touched me. It was 'Wish You Were Here’. I completely
misunderstood every single thing the radio show host said and thought it
was written by Syd Barrett.
Third: in a record store I found the Crazy
Diamond Box. I quickly read the info and I remembered all I seemed
to know about him. There was a mistake in the price as well as one of
those boxes was priced 1700 pts instead of 7100 pts. You don't have to
guess which one I bought.
When I got home, and listened to it, I did not like it at all. With the
passing of time (a year or longer!!) I tried to listen to Opel
and found that it was so different to the stuff I was usually listening
to, that I got hooked.
By chance, a friend of mine lent me The Piper at the Gates of Dawn… I
began to listen to Pink Floyd, the band founded by the Opel guy.
At the time, I was studying English Language and Literature, so Syd was
a source of knowledge here (Lewis Carrol, Hilaire Belloc, Edward Lear,
Wontcha tell us about your blog?
Why not? It all began when I posted Here
I Go, sung by David Gilmour on a radio show. I noticed this post got
some visitors and as it was the only Syd blog in the Spanish language on
this side of the universe, I decided to do something about it.
After some entries I added a device to translate the entries into other
languages. I thought that other people would be interested in some of
the posts like, for example, the ones offering essential and very good
bootlegs. I even dared to share a home-made compilation of the Have
You Go It Yet? series. Things are growing rapidly and news is
becoming the core of the blog.
I also wanted to share things that haven’t got a place in the project
I’m working on, that is, a book about Syd… which is going to be a quite
hard task to do. Time & money, apart from Pink Floyd songs, are quite
annoying. I cannot say much about this yet. There’s always the
bittersweet risk of giving up, so don’t hold your breath, or you’ll
suffocate. I’m trying to do my best, I swear.
The self-interview section is my favourite. I got Duggie Fields, some
Belgian Reverend and Kiloh Smith to interview themselves for the blog
and others are in the pipeline. It is not easy as you run the risk of
being misinterpreted when choosing the subjects. Basically there are
only two rules:
1. Have fun. 2. Free subject matters.
What's next? It was a surprise when I found that www.sydbarrett.es
was free… so my blog points to this URL as well. One problem is that my
computer skills are limited. I need designers for the bootlegs and
layout artists for things unseen in the sydbarretian world. The
number of visits is high, the collaborators are scarce. The pipe of the
pipeline is going to explode.
Why Syd Barrett?
His music works like a hyperlink (a thing he has in common with David
Bowie). It’s because of him that I got to know some writers I didn’t
study at the university. His musical influences are quite rich. By
scratching the surface you end up knowing lots of amazing musicians and
albums like Zappa’s Freak-Out, Love’s Forever
Changes, the works of Kevin Ayers, and The Byrds to mention a few.
It made me fully appreciate other genres like psychedelic folk and
blues. Syd's friend, Stephen Pyle, showed me to appreciate blues. He
used to play Bo Diddley (whom he met once!), John Lee Hooker, Jimmy
Reed, Buddy Guy...
With Barrett, I learned to see what’s behind a song. Some of those, for
reasons we know, were under-produced (sometimes, even less than that)
and yet they have reached a kind of status that will make them last
forever. You know they are quite good songs even without a proper
production, even with a quite imperfect performance.
Today, we see the contrary. No matter the means musicians have today,
most of contemporary music seems to suffer from a dance song fate
and their perishability is faster than the yoghourts in your fridge.
There must be something extremely special in those under-produced Syd
Barrett tracks, rougher than demos, that makes them what they are.
Tell us about your favorite music.
Recently, I’ve been listening to Kevin Ayers a lot, and The The. Also
The Beach Boys are on my mp3 player. They are something special. The
sound and the songs of The Beach Boys have a special quality which makes
this music a kind of healing experience, the kind of help we need to
survive modern life. …The Manics, Travis, Maximilian Hecker, Sun Ra…
Spanish singer-songwriters like Nacho Vegas and Diego Vasallo… Good old
rock and roll, like Chuck Berry, Jerry-Lee Lewis, Elvis…
You could say I’m a kind of David Bowie connoisseur. I collaborated on
Nicholas Pegg’s The Complete David Bowie proposing some
ideas I found interesting. I strongly recommend it. Bowie’s 1967 album
is very avant-garde, and very ironic.
In general, I like artists who are innovative, like producer Joe Meek,
and those who can transform the past into something completely different
or revive it in a new and exciting way, like Suede.
What do you think about the recent Pink Floyd
Those are not my cup of tea. These boxes have so much useless gimmicks
and several music stuff is simply repeated! The unreleased material of
every album could have been compiled in the way of The Beatles Anthology
and then everyone would have been satisfied. The Pink Floyd vaults seem
not to be very deep, but the treasures are so hard to get!
I understand that EMI intends to make business, however, at the same
time and paradoxically, they don't make their customers happy. So what’s
this for? To get cash and disappoint people? It makes people eager to
download the stuff instead of buying it.
I don’t need a Piper / Saucerful Immersion set. I don’t want those
marbles, I don’t need a scarf, I don’t use placeholders (I got plenty of
them during my stay in Belgium). I haven’t got a Blue-ray player. In
summary, I don’t want to create more needs… Do ya?
Would Barrett have become a second Bowie if only?
The otherness in Barrett could have derived into something different
from Bowie or the other way round, but never would he have become a
second Bowie. They would have provoked some kind of artistic turmoil in
the best of the senses. Along with Brian Eno, both are (were) aware that
"music is where you can crash your plane and walk away”. Songs like
Arnold Layne, so childlike, or Astronomy Domine, with such an exciting
and new sound, were made with a goal. Bowie and Barrett are the kind of
artists carrying that old Monty Python sentence: “And now… for something
completely different”. That’s what Barrett did most of the times. Every
Syd tune was different.
Best memories of England?
It was all quite surreal. I remember walking on the grass of
Grantchester Meadows, having coffee in The Cambridge Corn Exchange, and
feeling like in a dream I had never dreamed, just because I was there by
chance. I visited every place I had read about in the books, like St.
Margaret Square. I also did the same in London, the three times I went
I arrived there in a sort of tele-transportation. I did not have the
time to think of the things I knew I would see there. And surprises came
in little by little; I did not know the grass of King’s College was the
one mentioned on ‘Brain Damage’, for example.
I remember working for The City Wakes, restoring old magazine adverts
for concerts and saying to myself… “What is this where I’m in??!!”. The
result was part of a collage by Stephen Pyle (again), and it ended up on
the wall of a jazz bar (and part of a postcard collection).
But life was not always easy for an immigrant. All in all it was a
beautiful and wonderful bitter-sweet experience.
Apart from the aforementioned people… who else did you meet?
I met Storm Thorgerson during one of his exhibitions. I had some kind of
problem with him. I had a City Wakes poster with me he made the artwork
for and he put his autograph on it. I was going to leave, when he said
“you have to pay 20 pounds”. I said I did not have a penny! And he let
me go in a… special way.
I had the chance to meet Mick Rock, but I did not make the effort to
avoid another disappointment. Steven Pyle and Mick met… and… during a
chat in a bar, they removed a Syd poster from a wall and Mick dedicated
it to me. Stephen said he was a very nice person, to which I thought…
“****!”, it was like winning the lottery without having a coupon. A good
summary of my stay.
What more can you say?
Not much. Visit Solo
En Las Nubes using the translation tool or read it like that in
order to improve your Spanish. There are a lot of surprises to come, not
only for the Spanish speakers. Cool compilations, some material to read
(in English too) and lots of music recommendations.
Update 2016 04 03: After the movie was 'found' on Facebook, it
took less than 24 hours before it was deleted from Dailymotion. We hope
that the original uploader will not get into trouble. We are currently
trying to get a reaction from Anthony Stern and Chimera Arts. (More
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, that wacky blog with an even wackier
Reverend vehemently tries to catalogue all things Iggy Rose, and
although several pictures and movies have been unearthed since then, one
important and most reverential piece was still missing in our collection.
Shot in 1968 by Anthony
Stern, 'iggy the eskimo girl' (all in lowercase) showed Iggy
Rose dancing barefoot through London, annoying the square folk who had
to go to work, creating kerfuffle wherever she put her lovely feet and
using something that resembles a smartphone, 30 years before these were
invented. The movie with its Pink Floyd soundtrack, restored in 2008 by Sadia
Sadia from Chimera
Arts, was shown at the legendary The
City Wakes in Cambridge and would now and then resurface on
avant-garde film festivals all over the world.
The movie never made it to the 'big' public though and several demands
of the Church to obtain a copy were politely refused. A one minute 27
seconds audience recording, taken at a Paris movie festival, was the
longest version we had (Iggy,
Eskimo Girl), next to a teaser from City Wakes (Syd
Barrett - Iggy).
Since then it was awfully quiet around the movie maker / glass artist
and frankly, the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit had given up hope to ever
see the 'iggy the eskimo girl' movie in full.
This morning we were informed by an enthusiastic Iggy that a full
version of the movie can be found on Dailymotion,
where it had already been uploaded at the end of the previous year by
someone who is internationally recognised as a Pink Floyd buff. Quality
isn't too bad, although it isn't really spectacular either. This is due
to the fact that it is an audience recording as well, taken from a 2010
film festival in Lille. Some cropping and editing had to be done and the
audio was re-sampled. But as far as we can judge, this is the most
complete version and the closest to the original.
In the same breath Iggy also mentioned that she, with a couple of
friends, had some more tricks up her sleeve, but alas as the Reverend of
the Iggy's Church we had to take a vow of silence. But watch this space
if you want to be kept informed.
So for now, sistren and brethren, here is 'iggy the eskimo
girl'. Enjoy and don't do anything Iggy wouldn't do.
If you dig deeper into the reason you get the message: The above video
has been deleted after a copyright claim.
After the movie was 'found' and published on the Holy Church of Iggy the
Inuit, it took less than 24 hours before it was deleted. Uploaded at the
end of past year it led a calm life at Dailymotion until it was found by
a Birdie Hop group member, if our information is correct. From
there it quietly expanded to other groups and on other people's
timelines, including the one of Iggy Rose. Reactions were generally
ecstatic, except for one.
It didn't take long for Stephen
W. Tayler to claim that this was a copyright infringement. He is a
mixer, music producer, composer and sound designer who has worked on
hundreds of projects, including Kate Bush, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel
and Howard Jones. As a partner in Chimera
Arts he helped restoring eight Anthony Stern movies in 2008,
including 'iggy the eskimo girl'.
Neither Anthony Stern, Sadia Sadia, nor Anthony W. Tayler wanted to give
comments. (Back to top of the article.)