The Cromwellian

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2008-08-08

Bend It!

Iggy at The Crom
Iggy dancing at The Crom.

Several Floydian sources publish a scan of a NME (New Musical Express) article from November 1966, featuring Iggy, dancing on a party. Most of the time the date is cited as Wednesday the 16th of November, but the scan of the magazine shows a different date that of Saturday the 26th of November. As NME appeared every Friday the article probably appeared in issue 1037 (of Friday the 25th of November). Of course there is always the chance that the actual pictures were taken on Wednesday the 16th.

Here is the full text that accompanies the pictures:

(On sale Friday, week ending November 26, 1966 - NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS)
DOWNSTAIRS...
On the small, intimate dimly lit dance floor in the basement, it's all happening, PATRICK KERR, dancer from RSG, and his girls demonstrate the bend dance.
Above: Three pop personalities (l to r) ADRIANNE POSTA, FRANK ALLEN (of Searchers) and TWINKLE try the Bend, watched by Cromwellian publicist SIMON HAYES.
Left: Another Bender - model IGGY, who is half-Eskimo.
Below: CHRIS FARLOWE dancing in sheepskin jacket.

The party in question was held at The Cromwellian (3 Cromwell Rd, London SW7). The Crom, as it was generally nicknamed, opened in 1965 in Earls Court, was a three-floor cocktail bar and discotheque and one of the posher (and more expensive) places to be. It was also one of the places for a would-be star to be discovered (or at least they believed it).

The basement described itself as ‘England’s Famous Discotheque (and restaurant)’ where pirate station DJs and well-known bands as Georgie Fame and Zoot Money performed. The ground floor had ‘Harry’s International Bar (and restaurant)’, promising the ‘greatest atmosphere in town’. Upstairs was a gambling area, an ‘Elegant Casino’, where you could try your luck at dice – roulette – black jack – pontoon and poker. Successful musicians, photographers, fashion designers, artists, television personalities (and the odd East End gangster) would hang out at The Crom, where the new m’as-tu-vu elite could enjoy a glass of champagne without being disturbed by obsessive and pushy fans. Ray Davies remembers it as the ideal place to ‘observe the almost endless supply of dolly girls parading in mini-skirts’. Probably the fact that there was ‘free entrance for girls’ helped as well.

Simon Hayes, publicist for The Crom is remembered by pirate radio DJ (and ex-roommate) Phil Martin: “Simon ran a pop PR agency called Ace Public Relations and he and his business (it seemed to me then) were at the absolute epicentre of the Swinging Sixties scene in London at the time.” (Taken from Offshore Radio)

Bend It!
Bend It moves.

No wonder that The Crom was chosen by Patrick Kerr, one of the choreographers of the Ready Steady Go! TV show to present the new dance of the week: the Bend. (Probably he already knew that the RSG! show would end a couple of weeks later.) The Bend was named after the risqué Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich hitsingle Bend It! that had been released in September. According to NME a new version with a different set of words had to be recorded for the US market.
Update July 2010: the story behind the Bend craze can be found in the following article: Rod Harrod remembers The Crom.
Update October 2012: the Bend link at Sixties City seems to be broken, so here is an alternative: the Bend.

Other prominent guests at the party were (according to NME):
Adrienne (with an E) Posta (or Poster). An actress (and singer) who would have a prominent role in the forthcoming movie Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1967). In the next decade her sheepdog would become world-famous, posing for a Dulux paint advertisement campaign. This also led to the single ‘Dog Song’, written by her husband rockstar Graham Bonnett (The Marbles, Rainbow, Alkatrazz).
Frank Allen who joined The Searchers in 1964 and is still with them today.
Twinkle (Lynn Annette Ripley), the first British female singer / songwriter to score in the rock era. Her debut single Terry (1964) had catapulted her into the top3 and was followed by Golden Lights, Tommy, Poor Old Johnny, but with degrading success. (Update: as Simon Hayes and Twinkle were an item it is logical that she was present at the club. See also: Rod Harrod remembers The Crom.)
Chris Farlowe, one of Britain’s earliest exponents of R & B, had been struggling until his 1966 version of Think (Jagger & Richards) made it into the top 20. His following single Out Of Time (also a Rolling Stones tune) became number 1 and Farlowe was voted Best New Singer for 1966, although he had been performing since 1957.

Well so far for the small story, but what really matters is:

What was Iggy doing at The Cromwellian when Patrick Kerr demonstrated the Bend?
Who invited her to the spectacle (knowing that the press was also invited)?
Was she somehow connected to the RSG show (as a dancer, a model or a figurant)?
Was she somehow connected to The Cromwellian?
Was she somehow connected to Simon Hayes and/or his PR company?
What about singer/actress Adrienne Posta, one hit wonder Twinkle and superstar Chris Farlowe?
Was her aim to be discovered by a RSG! talent scout (perhaps not knowing that these were the last weeks of the show)?

The Holy Church Of Iggy the Inuit will continue to investigate this.

Update April the 1st, 2010. 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 Russell & 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. 74-75.
McAleer, Dave, Beatboom!, Hamlyn, London, 1994, p. 93-94 & p. 126-127.
Platt, John: London’s Rock Routes, Fourth Estate, London, 1985, p.137-139.
Tobler, John (editor): NME Rock ‘N’ Roll Years, Hamlyn, London, 1992, p.163.

2009-08-25

The Style Council

Cromwellian Ad.
Cromwellian Ad.

Last summer the Church wrote about Iggy’s noticed visit at the Cromwellian club in November 1966, where the dance-crew of Ready Steady Go! were launching the latest dance-craze The Bend.

The club existed since 1964 or 1965 and in the autumn of that year jazz-singer, writer, critic and generally bad tempered journalist Georges Melly wrote a piece about the place, that was later re-printed in his excellent account of the pop art days in Britain Revolt Into Style. In contradiction with most flower power studies his book did not appear two decades or more after the facts happened. Melly wrote his essays when Swingin’ London was still swinging although it was slightly running out of breath. The Reverend finds it funny how many of the anecdotes that Melly has noted on the spot can now be found in other books.

The Church’s archive had a copy of this work for ages, but dark forces made it disappear into the same vortex that also swallows the Reverend’s second sock when he is in search for a clean nice pair. But this summer the book miraculously re-appeared from the vaults of Atagong mansion. As the book has been long out of print we hereby re-print Mr. George Melly’s reflections. The Church is confident he won’t mind…

The Cromwellian
I don't know the details of Roy Harrod's quarrel with the Cromwellian, but there is no doubt that it is ‘out'. I went there six months ago (early 1965, FA) and it was full of well-known faces. On my recent two visits I recognized nobody.
Bart Kimber, the general manager, says he is delighted. 'It's back to sanity and smartness' is the way he puts it. He hated the place full of paint-stained jeans and last century T-shirts. 'We get three distinct crowds,' he told me, 'downstairs the younger set. We offer them name-groups, and records introduced by disc jockeys from the pirate radio stations. In the ground floor bar, there's a higher age group, drinkers you see. While upstairs there's gambling. Would you care to look around?'
The club is in a large house in the Cromwell Road. It too is decorated in the baronial style except here there are suits of armour and old master reproductions in heavy gold frames. The basement has murals of nymphs seducing puritans, and is very noisy. The atmosphere of the whole complex is relaxed and pleasant. 'Nobody rushes' is how Mr Kimber puts it. The prices seem very reasonable. 'Here,' he says, ‘the artists are not being fleeced, but they're just too high for the kids.' Quite a lot of pop performers still come; Georgie Fame, the Zombies, the New Faces, Jonathan King were all there on one night he told me, and Dusty likes it. What about the top groups, I asked. 'We have them here occasionally,' he said, 'and we're pleased to see them, but were not desperate.' The club was full and spending so I am inclined to believe him. I asked him who his clientele was. 'A lot of continental people, film extras, hairdressers, P.R.OS, advertising people, no boxers. They cause bother, but quite a few wrestlers.' In fact the club is owned by five wrestlers so of course it's natural that they have never had any trouble.
'Look,' said Mr Kimber, 'of course we're successful. Parking's easy out here, and you can get stoned out of your eyeballs for 2£. We don't want to be in.'

Rod Harrod

George Melly’s description starts with the observation that a certain Roy Harrod has had some troubles with the Cromwellian. Rod (not Roy) Harrod had been attached to The Cromwellian but offered his services to The Scotch of St James club after a quarrel with the owners. Rod Harrod, who made some fame in the city as a music journalist, knew several bands personally and had enough influence to invite them to the club that he favoured. When he left The Crom that club was out and, in a matter of weeks, The Scotch of St. James was in. Harrod’s guests weren’t second grade. The Beatles, The Stones and The Animals eagerly accepted his invitations (consumptions were always on the house for these bands). Although the club obviously benefited from these famous visitors Roy Harrod tried to respect their privacy, George Melly tells the story how a visitor, who had the audacity to ask George Harrison for an autograph, was immediately removed from the club. His account ends with the fact that Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon would arrive in five minutes, reason enough for George Melly to go home.

Rod Harrod had a nose for bands and singers and on the 24th of September 1966 he invited a young American guitarist to have a blues jam on stage. The contract, hastily written on a napkin, was signed by an unknown artist called Jimi Hendrix. (back to George Melly's Cromwellian essay)

Update 2010: Rod Harrod has shared some of his memories with the Reverend: Rod Harrod remembers The Crom  Just another world exclusive of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.

Ready Steady Go!

Regular visitors of the Church will know that the Reverend strongly beliefs in a connection between Ig and Ready Steady Go! The evidence is rather flimsy to say the least, but George Melly’s account adds another piece of the puzzle that may prove this theory.

When George Melly interviewed Bart Kimber that last one claimed that Dusty (Springfield) liked the Cromwellian (autumn of 1965). The next year Ig was spotted by NME on a Cromwellian RSG!-party and the person who (probably) introduced Ig to Syd Barrett maintains that Ig invited her ‘once to a party with Dusty Springfield and crew’ (see When Syd met Iggy).

So far for this weeks sermon from the Reverend, go in peace, sistren and brethren, and don’t do anything that Iggy wouldn’t have done.


Sources (other than the above internet links):

Melly, George: Revolt Into Style – The Pop Arts In Britain, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1972, p. 98-101.

2009-09-04

From Dusty till Dawn

Douggie Reece and Dusty Springfield
Douggie Reece and Dusty Springfield.

When JenS, who may well have been the person who introduced Iggy to Syd Barrett, told the Church that they both went to a Dusty Springfield party the Reverend was absolutely certain that he had found a solid path to unravel more about Iggy’s past (see: When Syd met Iggy).

Iggy was a bit older than the Cantabrigian underground gang and had already been active in the London club scene for a couple of years.
Update: this is not true, as we would find out later.

DJ Jeff Dexter had already noticed Ig in 1963 in The Orchid at Purley, where she used to go clubbing until 1967. Kathy McGowan and her RSG!-team raided the place to ‘spot for dancers to appear in her show’ (see: Where did she go?).

In 1966 Iggy was spotted on a party at The Cromwellian that was (partly) organised by the main choreographer of the RSG!-show. We will not go further into that as this story has already been told on this blog before (see: Bend It!).

Dusty Springfield started her solo career in 1963 and was voted the Top British Female Artist in the New Musical Express reader's poll in 1964, 1965, and 1968. She appeared a couple of times at the RSG!-show as presenter and would, in total, appear 24 times on the show. In 1965 Springfield hosted a special Motown edition of the RSG!-show and some while later she had her own Dusty show at the BBC.

The Church found it relevant to investigate if there really had been an Iggy – Dusty – RSG! connection somewhere and if some witnesses still remembered her.

The first person to get in touch with the Church was Douggie Reece, bass player (and singer) of The Echoes, Dusty Springfield’s backing band (watch him singing Mockingbird with Dusty). It was Reece who contacted the Reverend after the Church had asked amongst fan-circles if anyone could remember Ig being in and around the Dusty Springfield scene.

I don't remember her at all.
Or the Dusty Springfield scene.
I spent most of the 60's with Dusty maybe I went out to get some cigarettes or something and missed the whole occasion!!!
LOL
Douggie xx

Although it was suggested that it would be a nice name for a tribute band there has apparently never been a Dusty Springfield scene to begin with as far as Douggie Reece remembers, if Ig did ever meet Dusty it may have been purely coincidental.

Another Dusty connoisseur advised the Church to contact Vicki Wickham. Vicki and Dusty had been friends since 1962 and even shared a flat at London's Westbourne Grove. After a brief stint on the radio (as a secretary) Vicki was hired by Ready Steady Go! as talent manager and producer. When Dusty told her friend she had heard a nice Italian song at the SanRemo festival Wickham (co-)translated the tune into English and named it You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me. It would become Dusty’s first number one hit (1966) and was covered quite a few times by other artists, including Elvis Presley (1970, #1 at Billboard Country & Western and #11 at Billboard Top 100) and Guys’n Dolls (#5, UK, 1976). In total more than 80 million copies of the song have been sold worldwide.

After her RSG!-days Wickham moved to America and although she didn’t have a clue how to do it she successfully managed Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendrix, Marc Almond, Morrissey, Holly Johnson and of course, her long-life-friend Dusty Springfield.

It took the Church quite a while to trace Vicki Wickham, and after a trail of bounced faxes and mails, the Reverend wrote a letter in the good old-fashioned way. It pleases the Church a great deal that Vicki Wickham cared to reply:

I am the last person to ask about anything from the 60s 'cos mostly I don't remember!
But definitely do not remember this girl.
Can't help.
Best.
Vicki Wickham

At least we can now say with a certain certitude that Iggy did not belong to the inner circle of Ready Steady Go! but this does not mean that she never has been at the show. The crew of RSG! visited dance halls to recruit good looking youngsters for the audience and organised dance and singing contests where the participants could win ‘passports’ to the show. In the few years that the show existed thousands of people passed through the temple of the mods and Ig may well have been one of them.


Authorised subsidiaries:

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Youtube channel
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Facebook Fanpage
The Holy Chuch of Iggy the Inuit on Twitter

2010-01-02

Back to the future...

Terrapin Cartoon
Terrapin Cartoon.

First of all, happy 2010 to all brethren and sistren of our Church!

It was in the Seventies that Bernard White’s Syd Barrett Appreciation Society and its fanzine Terrapin died a silent dead because of what was later described as ‘lack of Syd’.

There has been fear that The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit would also vaporize into a state of oblivion for ‘lack of Iggy’. The Reverend however assures this will not be the case. Although about all there is to find about Iggy has been published on this holy place there are still enough spin-off scenarios to make a Star Trek producer grow pointed ears. Of course the Church will still be looking for her but, and that is primordial, it may never slide down into a witch-hunt. Confucius once said that the quest for a goal is more important than to reach it. On second thought that could have been Obi-Wan Kenobi as well.

In 2010 the Church will further publish articles about The Cromwellian (the bar where Iggy was first spotted) and has (some very premature) plans to dedicate some of its space to the Ready Steady Go!-phenomenon.

And of course the Reverend will go on lobbying at Chimera Arts to finally release the Iggy, Eskimo Girl movie if the judges will be willing to ease his restraining order a bit.

So far for the New Year’s resolution list of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. Watch this space, my sistren and brethren, and don’t you do anything that Iggy wouldn’t have done.

2010-04-02

Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea

This is not Iggy.
This is not Iggy.

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.

Croydon Guardian

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 Whalley
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.

The story of how the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit convinced The Croydon Guardian to assign some place in its columns for the Iggy enigma can be found at Where did she go? and (I've got my) Mojo (working...).

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 Stern.

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.”

Jimi Hendrix gigged quite a few times at The Speakeasy and was spotted there on other occasions as well, for instance on the 22nd of February when he attended a press conference for The Soft Machine.

Jimi Hendrix

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 appearance, Robert 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.

Yes-fans 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'.

London Live

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 / Evelyn.

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’.”
NME, 25th of November 1966
NME, 25th of November 1966.

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 half-Eskimo': Bend It! 

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 not implausible.

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.

2010-05-29

Updates and stuff

The Magic Christian.
The Magic Christian.

The Holy Igquisition, that part of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit that nobody likes to talk about, firmly controls the state of Iggyness on the world wide web and on printed matter.

Thus, after their monthly congregation, held in a Trappist monastery, they issue a report that is handed over to the Reverend who will take note of its accounts.

Siren's of Sound and Image

So they had, for instance, noticed late in 2009 that the Siren's of Sound and Image blog had consecrated an entry to none other than our goddess. On Wednesday, April 29, 2009 that blog published a post aptly titled: Iggy and Syd: How I wish you were here. Its text sounded remarkable familiar but luckily at the end of the article due credit was given to the Church.

Vintage Groupies

More recently (2010-05-18), another blog, Vintage Groupies dedicated a page to Iggy the Eskimo, with its text largely based upon the articles that have appeared in the Croydon Guardian. Further investigations from the Holy Igquisition have found out that this blog has already consecrated 5 articles to Evelyn, the earliest dating from 2008.

Rod Harrod

Last year the Church contacted Rod Harrod, the person who organised Jimi Hendrix's first gig on British soil and made him sign a record contract on a napkin from The Scotch of St. James club. Before joining the Scotch Harrod had been the public relation manager (although that term probably didn't exist by then) of The Cromwellian. The Church was, of course, eager to know if he remembered Iggy who had been snapped, dancing The Bend, by a photographer of NME.

The Church is a little bit ashamed that the post, although largely written, has not been published yet but sees now the chance to pay back its debt. In his later career Rod Harrod started the South-African PROmpt music school and he has asked us now to vote for his candidate in the National Anthem contest for the FIFA World Cup.

Zami from Guguettu is representing Cape Town and currently FOURTH just go to: www.singitloudandproud.blogspot.com and vote for ZAMI now!

Gretta Speaks

Last but not least, a message from our own house. When JenS, who may well have been the person who introduced Iggy aka Evelyn to Syd Barrett, read our Margaretta 'Gretta' Barclay articles, she remembered that she had been involved as well with The Magic Christian movie (see top left picture).

Margaretta Barclay, from her side, found back a picture of Rusty Burnhill in her archives and gave us the kind permission to publish it at the Church. Gretta Speaks (Pt. 2) has been updated as from today.

So long my brethren and sistren, and don’t do anything that Iggy wouldn’t have done!

2010-07-24

Rod Harrod remembers The Crom

The Bend (The Potatoes)
The Bend by The Potatoes.

The Cromwellian

Years before she entered the Underground and met Syd Barrett, Ig’s first venture for glory and fame came when the cameras of NME magazine spotted her in November 1966. Issue 1037 had an article Come with NME for a Pic-Visit to the Cromwellian, written by Norrie Drummond (who passed away in April 2005) with photos by Napier Russell and Barry Peake.

Some relevant info can be found in two previous articles at the Church but it need to be stressed that, already then, Iggy claimed she was a model and used to throw around her alleged Eskimo roots. (The complete NME Cromwellian Pic-Visit article can be consulted on this blog. Just another world exclusive of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.)

Quorum

It is not unthinkable that Ig may have worked, at one time or another, for Quorum. Quorum was a boutique led by the eccentric fashion designer Ossie Clark, whose ‘stuff was fluid and drapey and revealing all at once, in key places it fit so exactly that you couldn’t wear a bra or panties’. To Marianne Faithfull he once told that the dress he presented to her was so designed she could have sex anywhere.

One of the people bragging he was a Quorum model was a lad called David Gilmour but in reality he just drove Quorum’s delivery truck around. "Dave Gilmour never really said very much. He just used to stand around. It was a bit unnerving.", recalls Celia Birtwell in Pigs Might Fly.

Syd Barrett used the Quorum boutique not only to pick some clothes. Quorum models Gilly Staples and Kari-Ann Moller (of Roxy Music album cover fame) have been ‘associated’ with Syd at one time or another.

JenS, one of Syd’s Cantabrigian girlfriends, who lived in Anthony Stern’s flat for a while and who suggested The Pink Floyd to Peter Whitehead when he was looking for a soundtrack of Tonight Let’s All Make Love In London, first met Ig in 1966. Iggy invited JenS to a Dusty Springfield and crew party and this may have taken place at The Cromwellian as well, one of the clubs Dusty liked to frequent if we may believe George Melly.

Revolt Into Style
Revolt Into Style, George Melly. Cover: Peter Blake.

Revolt Into Style

Musician, critic, journalist and raconteur George Melly reviewed the place in Revolt Into Style. That ‘brilliant guidebook’ about the pop arts in Britain is a collection of essays, written between 1965 and 1972 and it has the advantage that the situations and anecdotes described were noted down when they were actually happening and are not (blurry) memories from three decades later. The Church would not like to feed the authors who have taken bits and pieces from Melly's essays to add some extra candy to rock biographies or Swinging London books.

George Melly’s Cromwellian piece dates from 1965 and tells how the club was already old news by then. When Disc and Music Echo journalist Rod Harrod, who used to be the Crom’s PR-moonlighting-agent, offered his services to The Scotch of St. James, the Crom suddenly relegated from premier to second league. In only a couple of weeks time the, still rather exclusive and expensive, Crom club would only host and entertain some of the minor gods from the rock pantheon.

In the only interview we have got from Iggy she says:

I met so many people in the 60s – the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart.

She may have met them in one of the many artist clubs that were around: The Scotch of St. James, The Cromwellian, The Speakeasy (where she met Anthony Stern during a Jimi Hendrix gig). The London Live music club anthology has an intriguing picture, to say the least, depicting Speakeasy managers Roy Flynn and Mike Carey with two ladies. One of them could be Iggy, although not all Church members agree with that.
Update November 2010: it has now been confirmed - by a very reliable source - that the woman on that picture is not Iggy / Evelyn.

Rod Harrod
Rod Harrod.

Rod Harrod

In 2009 the Church contacted the man whom George Melly had interviewed 45 years ago but just when the Church wanted to publish the article Iggy, now known as Evelyn, was featured in a couple of articles in Mojo. Quite some buzz happened after that, but as the spring storms have settled down a bit, the Church finds it is about time to get on with its business.

Rod Harrod describes himself as a doyen of music business and is remembered by some as the person who offered Jimi Hendrix his first gig on British soil and made him sign a record contract on a napkin from the St. James club. Harrod more or less tones this down a bit:

I did not make Jimi Hendrix sign a record contract on a napkin. The Heads of Agreement were drafted on a napkin between Jimi's co-manager Chas Chandler and the owners of soon-to-form Track Records - Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp (brother of actor Terence Stamp).

I do not want people thinking I forced Jimi to sign anything... I didn't.

Kathy Etchingham, who lived in a flat in Zoot and Ronnie Money's house in Fulham, was DJ for me at the Scotch of Saint James at the time Jimi made his first appearance.
(Rod Harrod, 30 July 2010, e-mail)

The first night Hendrix arrived in London, he began a relationship with Kathy Etchingham that lasted until February 1969. (Taken from: Wikipedia.)

After a life in music business Rod went to South Africa where he was founder of PROmpt (Professional Music Performance and Technology) trying to bring music closer to the life of the disadvantaged youth in Cape Town.

Living in Great Britain, Harrod seriously thinks of moving back to South Africa to revitalise his music-training centre and to finally start writing his memoirs. Some facts that have appeared in rock biographies over the past decades didn’t really happen as such and Harrod would like to put the record straight once and for all…

Obviously the Church's first question was if Harrod remembered the girl called Iggy whose snapshot had been taken at The Cromwellian:

...sorry to disappoint but although I have vague recollections from the photo I can not add more...
Twinkle
Twinkle (Lynn Annette Ripley).

Twinkle

One of the people pictured on the NME article is Lynn Annette Ripley aka Twinkle who had several hits in the mid Sixties.

I immediately spoke to Twinkle (Ripley) who lives quite close to me. She used to go out with Simon (Hayes)... but she does not even remember him being the PR there...

She remembers him as working in a PR Agency in Berkley Square or somewhere - not owning it. Trouble is when you run down memory lane these days you sometimes hit cul de sacs and others take you in totally the wrong direction...

But Harrod’s trip down memory lane isn’t exactly a dead end street, quite the contrary… The Church is proud to publish some of his Cromwellian memories in avant-première…

The Cromwellian

So many things changed quickly in those days...

I was around at the Cromwellian as PR around 1964 – 1965 before I moved on to the Scotch of Saint James that became even more famous as THE Club... The late George Melly's account is reasonable except he got my name wrong (it is not Roy, but Rod).

George Melly's account of the Crom can be found at the Church article: The Style Council. Rod Harrod continues:

George Melly missed mentioning the very camp 'Harry the Heart' of Harry's International Bar on the ground floor of the Cromwellian (the 'Heart' bit came from his delightfully effeminate wave over the heads of a packed bar as you walked in: 'Hello (dear) Heart, how are we? Be with you now."

According to Melly, Harrod left the Crom club after a quarrel with its owner. Rod disagrees:

I do not remember having a row with the owner - wrestler and promoter Paul Lincoln - who wrestled incognito wearing a mask, just that the Crom decided they did not want to pay my bar bill anymore. I had a better offer anyway from Louis Brown who, with Lenny Bloom, owned the Scotch of Saint James.
Gaylord Perrys Carnival Band
Patrick Kerr and dancers.

Ready, Steady, Kerr!

Dusty (Springfield) was closely associated with Ready Steady Go! and the show's booker Vicki Wickham. It was her idea for a RSG Motown Special that broke Motown in the UK after a flop theatre tour.

The importance of Ready, Steady, Go! as an instant pop style catalyst can not be emphasized enough. The program literally uphove the island of Britain from a dark and gloomy past. George Melly in Revolt into Style:

In the McLuhanesque sense RSG was an important breakthrough. It plugged in direct to the centre of the scene and only a week later transmitted information as to clothes, dances, gestures, even slang to the whole British teenage Isles.
When I was touring in the 50s fashions took an almost incredible time to spread. Even the large provincial centres like Liverpool and Manchester were at least six months behind, while in small Yorkshire mining communities as late as 1960 it was still possible to find Teddy Boy suits, and not only that. They were tailored in ruby red or billiard-table green cloth. As for the borders of Scotland the girls' dresses had hardly altered since the middle 30s.
RSG changed all that. It made pop work on a truly national scale. (…)
The whole chemistry of RSG was right. So was its timing. Friday night just after work. ('Your weekend begins here' was its slogan.)

Already in 1964 George Melly had described the program as an example of telly-brutalism, never seen before on British television.

New trends in dancing, clothes, even erotic habits (a tendency to tug gently at the legs of the singers has recently become common) appear on this programme at the same time - or even in advance of - what's going on in the teenage clubs.
It all happens, and the rest of the pop shows - ABC's Thank You Lucky Stars and the BBC's Top of the Pops limp painfully after it.
Patrick Kerr
Patrick Kerr.

Patrick Kerr was a national celebrity thanks to his involvement in Ready Steady Go! Nearly every week the choreographer (and his go go girls) presented a brand new hot dance that would be copied and mimicked in dance halls all over the country.

In the early sixties Kerr turned to full-time dancing with his dance partner (and future wife) Theresa Confrey. After a contract on a cruise ship in the Americas he returned to Britain in 1963 where he was immediately spotted by RSG! to promote the most popular (American) dances. Later on he picked them up at the hip London clubs, often the Sabre where he would also recruit the weekly bunch of volunteers to appear at the show, but if no hip dance could be found he designed the new moves by himself. The RSG! dance of the week would be published in newspapers and youth magazines so that the kids were able to learn it for their week-end dance hall debauchery.

(In the mid-sixties Kathy McGowan used to present the show in Biba clothes and on Saturday morning Carnaby Street was invariably overrun by fans looking for gear they'd seen on Ready, Steady, Go! the night before. Patrick Kerr (and Theresa Confrey) cashed in on that trend as well by opening the Hem and Fringe boutique on Moreton street.)

In 1964 Patrick Kerr debuted as a pop singer. Although he was in the capable hands of Adam Faith and Sandie Shaw's manager, Eve Taylor, his career would be limited to one single only: Magic Potion / It’s no trouble to love you. After a UK package tour with Adam Faith, Sandie Shaw, The Barron Knights and the proto-Procol-Harum-gang The Paramounts he returned back to Ready, Steady, Go! as its main choreographer.

But perhaps Kerr's recording contract was not based upon his singing qualities alone. When Sandie Shaw was due on stage for Top Of the Pops the floor buzzed with the rumour that she and Kerr had been found inside a broom cupboard and that the thing they were looking for wasn't exactly a broom...

Sadly Patrick Kerr passed away on the 15th of August 2009 so the Church can’t ask for his comments anymore, regarding Iggy obviously…

The Bend by The Potatoes
The Bend by The Potatoes.

To bend or not to bend

To contradict the controversy of the Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich Bend It single its writers Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley attempted to start a Bend-craze all over Britain's dance halls.

Alan Blaikley:

When 'Bend It' came out, the programme controller of the pirate station Radio London, Alan Keane, was very reluctant to play it as he suspected it was obscene. So we came up with the ruse that 'The Bend' was intended as a new dance, hopefully dance craze. (Taken from davedeedozybeakymickandtich.nl)

Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley hastily wrote (and recorded) a few other Bend songs and approached Patrick Kerr from Ready, Steady, Go! fame to devise a brand new dance. Kerr accepted, the dance was promoted on RSG! as this week's brand new thing and its steps appeared in the press.
Update October 2012: The Bend-It Step by step link from Sixties City appears to be broken, here is an alternative: the Bend.

The Bend made it on the Pathé news with Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich miming the song, in front of Patrick Kerr and his dance group Tomorrow's People, at the London Playboy club near Hyde Park (Park Lane 45). More a casino than a club the Hutch On The Park, as the place was nicknamed, was an immediate success and the place where one could occasionally meet The Beatles, George Best, Warren Beatty, Michael Caine, Judy Garland, Sean Connery, Roman Polanski or Sharon Tate. (Taken from Wikipedia.)

Update January 2013: The Playboy promo-clip with DDDBMT & Patrick Kerr can be seen at Bend It (2013).

The Playboy Club had only recently opened, described by some as a 1.6 million pounds celebration of female pulchritude, it contained several restaurants, a nightclub, a casino and flats and suites that could be rented by the day, week or month. This was not the place the average Londoner would, nor could, enter. Woody Allen, who had done the opening night as a favour to Hugh Hefner, called it the London clubhouse for visiting Yanks and he was spotted joining Telly Savalas, John Casavetes, Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin during all-night poker games (this was in 1967 during the shooting of The Dirty Dozen). There was lots of money, lots of drugs and, not unsurprisingly for a Playboy subsidiary, one might add, lots of women.

Gaylord Parrys Carnival Band
Gaylord Parrys Carnival Band.

The Bend party at The Cromwellian may have been, according to this source, the finals of the British national 'Bend' competition, so actually Iggy may have been one of its contestants, if - of course - there has ever been a contest to begin with, because it had all been a publicity stunt just to sell the Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich single.

Alan Blaikley:

The ruse worked, and thankfully 'Bend It' got onto the Radio London playlist, vitally important in those days. I don't think the 'dance craze' ever quite happened!

As a follow up tune for Bend It Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley wrote a carbon copy, that even didn't pretend to have been ripped from Mikis Theodorakis' Zorbas anymore. Simply called The Bend it was recorded by a non-existent five-strong London group, The Potatoes, actually Steve Rowland, Alan Caddy and Alan Blaikley in disguise. Its flip-side was called Bend Ahead and that was about the end of this Bend dance craze that never was.

In Germany a third Bend single was released, apparently recorded by the Gaylord Parry's Carnival Band. Actually the A-side Let's Bend was sung by composer Ken Howard, with the help from the same studio musicians that had recorded the Potatoes single, while the B-side Bending Kremlin' Gremlin' was mainly instrumental, apart from some fake Russian grunting. Its sleeve shows Patrick Kerr and Tomorrow's People in full action, although the British public never was aware that it ever existed.

Thanks for reading (an updated, rewritten and enhanced) part three of our Bending at The Crom series. Part four, that will reveal everything about Doctor Death, will come out when you see it appearing on this website! In the meantime, brethren and sistren, don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't have done!


Many thanks go to: Rod Harrod, Lynn Annette Ripley, the Dutch Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich fan community.

Sources (other than internet links mentioned above):
Bacon, Tony: London Live, Balafon Books, London, 1999, p. 103.
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 72, p. 108.
Levy, Shawn: Ready Steady Go!, Broadway Books, New York, 2003, p. 191, p 207-211.
Melly, George: Revolt Into Style – The Pop Arts In Britain, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1972, p. 170-171.
Palacios, Julian: Lost In The Woods, Boxtree, London, 1998, p. 209.

PROfessional Music Performance and Technology

Rod Harrod let the Church know on July 30, 2010:

Things have progressed on the PROmpt training re-opening in Cape Town front. I got back from meetings with Government Ministers and others there last week. We have been offered by the Provincial Government a huge building on three floors that needs a massive amount of renovation but could work. But first I have to raise a lot of funds for that and to run the programme.

Please visit Rod Harrod's South-African PROmpt website that says most that anyone might need to know. Any contacts or potential donors or anyone interested can contact Rod Harrod through that site: PROfessional Music Performance and Technology.

2010-10-29

Dr Death and other assorted figures...

Paul Lincoln
Paul Lincoln.

When George Melly visited The Cromwellian club in 1965 he found quite a few wrestlers at the bar, what was no coincidence as the club was owned by four of them.

Paul Lincoln

Paul Lincoln, arrived in the mid-fifties from Sydney and single-handedly build a British wrestling emporium and that without the aid of television. As Dr Death he was the most famous masked heavyweight wrestler of the early sixties and numerous (masked but untalented) copycats wrestled under the same name trying to cash in on his success.

Here was a man who could use blindside skulduggery and torment his opponents with punishing nerve holds to bring the fans to a frenzy. (Source: Wrestling Heritage.)
Paul Lincoln Advert
Paul Lincoln Advert.

In 1962 Paul Lincoln, as wrestling promoter, arranged a legendary fight 'to the finish' between the villainous Dr Death (in other words: himself) and another masked 'identity unknown' wrestler nicknamed The White Angel. Three thousand fans witnessed how the Doctor beat the Angel and the losing party was obliged to shamefully reveal his identity.

At the end of the contest, a no rounds fight to the finish which had ended by a knock-out, the defeated wrestler shook hands with the victor and dramatically removed his mask. The White Angel was Judo Al Hayes, a successful heavyweight who had recently left the Joint Promotions camp to work for Paul Lincoln and other independent promoters. (Source: Wrestling Heritage, password protected members area.)

Update August 2011: Paul Lincoln, better known as Doctor Death, sadly passed away in January 2011 (RIP Paul Lincoln). In July 2011 he was awarded The Number One Masked Man of the Heritage Years by the Wrestling Heritage website.

Two eyes

But Paul Lincoln not only staged wrestling matches, his name is also linked to the British rock scene. In April of 1956 he and fellow-wrestler Ray Hunter (who apparently had a fling with Sophia Loren) took over premises at 59 Old Compton Street, London and baptised it the 2I's coffee bar.

The bar started the career of many young rockers. Skiffle band The Vipers more or less debuted at the club (on the 14th of July 1956) and would gradually grow into The Shadows (via The Drifters).

Wally Whyton
Wally Whyton.

Wally Whyton of The Vipers:

We went inside for a coffee and asked Paul Lincoln (…) if we could do a bit of busking. (…) We started playing, and suddenly the place had come to life. it seemed to work well and Paul asked us to make it a regular stopover. Within a short time the place was jumping; in a few months they were queuing around the block.

The club is known in rock history as the place where Tommy Steele, Marty Wilde, Cliff Richard and many others were discovered. Even Ritchie Blackmore's (from Deep Purple and Rainbow fame) musical training started at 2I's.

Paul Lincoln's entrepreneurial skills were not limited to the 2'I's coffee bar alone, he also opened an Italian restaurant in Soho and together with Ray Hunter, Bob Anthony (for his looks baptised the wrestling Beatle) and Al 'The White Angel' Hayes he purchased The Cromwellian. A fifth partner - who was sold out by the wrestlers a couple of years later - was Tony Mitchell, rumoured to have underworld connections, and the owner of The Blue Shark club at Bridgend.

Update Januari 2011: Paul Lincoln, the man who was the Doctor Death, passed away on Tuesday 11th January 2011: RIP Paul Lincoln.
Update April 2011: In an exclusive interview for the Church, Bob 'Anthony' Archer has told the Church that Paul Lincoln's Italian restaurant 'Trattoria del buon vivitore' was just a couple of blocks away from the 2I's coffee bar. It was located at 36 Old Compton Street, the first floor had the Paul Lincoln Management offices (see advertisement above): The Wrestling Beatle.

Burning tables

The Cromwellian was not only a bar and restaurant but also a casino. Initially the tables had been at ground-floor but in the autumn of 1965 the craps table was badly damaged by a Molotov cocktail thrown through the window, probably by racketeers or by slightly covetous competitors. The owners quickly decided to move the casino to a higher floor and to barricade the building with iron security grades.

Randy Steed, who was a croupier at The Crom, has written down some of his memories in The Private Gambling Clubs of 1960s London. It is an enjoyable piece to read, filled with funny anecdotes, but in this article we will off course only cite Crom related parts.

The Cromwellian had only five tables, but possessed a faded, hip elegance which attracted the show business and rock star elite of those times; on any given night you’d be dealing across the tables to the likes’ of Brian Epstein; the Beatles first manager, and numerous other luminaries of the exploding sixties, music scene.
Stars such as Tom Jones, Lulu, and Eric Burden of the Animals, and Jonathan King were regulars and could be found hanging out downstairs most nights, in the restaurant-disco where the Long John Baldry Band, featuring Reginald Dwight aka Elton John on keyboards held sway.

NME, in its Cromwellian pic-visit, wrote that 'there was a night that Omar Sharif lost £400 on the tables and the other occasion when Lee Marvin after being down £400 left the club by £2000'. Randy Steed, as a young croupier, also happened to be there:

One memorable night the American film actor, Lee Marvin wandered, more like staggered into the club (…) and started playing Pontoon. (…) Mr. Marvin kept writing checks on his Beverly Hills Bank till he finally wised-up and unsteadily navigated his way to the poker game. (…)
This particular game attracted many of London’s better behaved villains who were quite happy to have this inebriated American actor sit down at their table. As fate would have it Marvin nailed a full house on this first and only hand to out-draw the rest of the table. He gave it a brief moment’s thought and gathered his winning chips into his arms (yes his arms, these were French style 'jettons’ which were rather slippery and unwieldy) and calmly but wobbly made his way to the cashier’s cage. There was dead silence in the room as the faces’ at the poker table stared in amazed disbelief at their easy-money walking away…not a word was said, just stunned silence.
Carmen Jimenez and unknown priest
Carmen Jimenez and unknown priest.

Carmen from Fame

Another memorable night at The Crom was held on the 8th of January 1967 when Carmen Jimenez turned 21. Now who was Carmen Jimenez and why did most of The Beatles and Brian Epstein (dressed as a clown) turned up at her party?

Not a lot can be said about Carmen Jimenez. The only interview she gave (to James Dawn) appeared in NME 1054 of 8 April 1967. Titled: Glamour? I’m the Target for All the Lies and Digs, Carmen Jimenez disclosed (reluctantly) what it was like to be Georgie Fame’s fiancée, but unfortunately the interview can't be located on the web.

We do know for sure that Georgie Fame threw her a fancy dress birthday party in January 1967. Several pictures were taken on that night and these can be found dispersed all over the net, but a good place to start is the Georgie Fame (unofficial) website and Getty Images. These show Georgie Fame with a priest (John Lennon), a US soldier (Paul McCartney) and an Arab Sheik (Ringo Starr).

Iggy on Carmen Jimenez's birthday party.
Iggy on Carmen Jimenez's birthday party.

One photo however has taken the immediate interest of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. It depicts John Lennon, but standing behind him could be a vaguely familiar figure (see left side image). In the only interview she has ever given Ig (Evelyn) has told that she met The Beatles and the Fame-Jimenez party could have been an excellent opportunity.
Update 2011.02.19: Iggy has confirmed that it is indeed her on the picture: "Yes, this is a picture of me." The Church will look further into the matter.

Rod the Mod

Another famous person Ig has met was Rod Stewart. Interestingly it was at the same Cromwellian club in February 1967 that Jeff Beck, who had just been kicked out of The Yardbirds, recruited Rod Stewart for his new band the Jeff Beck Group (featuring Ron Wood). Douglas J. Noble asked Jeff Beck in 1993:

DJN: Is it true that you met Rod Stewart when he was watching Peter Green in a pub?
JB: Yeah - no, it was in the Cromwellian club which is now gone, I think, opposite the Exhibition Road. That was our hangout - our watering hole. And this particular day or evening, rather, he was somewhat worse for wear through drink and I just thought there's the guy - the one guy - I would like to play with. Have him sing in my band. And I was pretty down as well - totally out of the Yardbirds, nothing going, no money. I hadn't got anything to lose so I asked him if he would be interested and he said, 'Yup!' Amazing! Next day we met up and the rest is, uhh, on record [laughs].

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Bacon, Tony: London Live, Balafon Books, London, 1999, p. 8.
♥ Iggy ♥ (2011 02 19).
Platt, John: London’s Rock Routes, Fourth Estate, London, 1985, p.10-12.
Many thanks to the Wrestling Heritage website. Grazie mille Gianna!

2011-01-13

RIP Paul Lincoln

Paul Lincoln as Dr Death
Paul Lincoln as Dr Death.

Iggy's public life started 44 years ago when she was spotted by an NME photographer and was promptly and accurately described as half an Eskimo. This took place in The Cromwellian, a bar, restaurant and casino owned by wrestler Paul Lincoln. For a while The Cromwellian was the hot place to be and even when the place lost its crown to The Scotch Of St James there were still enough celebrities around to have a chat with.

The club was owned by wrestler Paul Lincoln who set his first steps in music business by opening the legendary 2I's coffee bar. In our four-part series Bending at The Crom the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit attempted to assemble several loose facts about the club that lay scattered all over the web, but unfortunately we were unable to contact Paul Lincoln himself.

Wrestling Heritage just published the following sad news.

The wrestling fraternity is mourning Paul Lincoln, the man who was the Doctor Death, passed away on Tuesday 11th January. (...)
In 1951 he left Australia for Britain, where he started wrestling the following year. He established himself as a popular and respected wrestler, particularly in the south of England. Paul met up with a school friend who was also a wrestler, Ray Hunter. In 1956 they pooled their savings to buy a coffee bar in Old Compton Street, London, the “The Two I’s.” The name was retained from the previous owners, the Irani brothers.
Under Paul Lincoln and Ray Hunter management the coffee bar established itself as a home for many young entertainers, giving them the chance to display their talent to fellow customers. Amongst the many who took this opportunity and went on to greater fame were Tommy Steele, Adam Faith, Marty Wilde and Cliff Richard. Lincoln also opened an Italian restaurant in Soho and together with Ray Hunter, Bob Anthony Al ' Hayes he purchased The Cromwellian bar, restaurant and casino.
In 1958 Paul and Ray turned to the promotional side of wrestling, setting up Paul Lincoln Managements. (...) Paul pulled on a mask and appeared on his own bills as the masked man Doctor Death. Even without television exposure Doctor Death became a household name. The masked man was imitated many times, but fans overwhelmingly believe Paul Lincoln was not only the original Doctor Death he was also the best. (...)
Paul Lincoln was to be remembered, and will continue to be so, as one of the most influential figures in British wrestling. Paul Lincoln passed away on Tuesday 11th January, 2011. (Taken from: Wrestling World Mourns Paul Lincoln.)

On behalf of The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit I would like to offer our sincere sympathies to the Lincoln family.

Update August 2011: In July 2011 Paul Lincoln was awarded The Number One Masked Man of the Heritage Years by the Wrestling Heritage website.

2011-01-21

EXCLUSIVE: The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo

Syd Barrett, The Madcap Laughs.
Syd Barrett, The Madcap Laughs.

Words: Mark Blake.
Pictures: Storm Thorgerson, Iggy Rose, Rank Organisation.
Date: 20 January 2011.
Previously published on mojo.com.

If there is one image of Syd Barrett that never ceases to fascinate it's the back cover of his debut album, The Madcap Laughs. The reason: the mysterious naked woman perched on a stool with her head thrown back and face obscured by swathes of long dark hair. Syd's companion was known only as "Iggy The Eskimo". But as Barrett fans have been wondering since 1970 - who was Iggy and where did she go?

Photographer Mick Rock believed that his cover girl had "married a rich guy and moved off the scene". Barrett's old flatmate, the artist Duggie Fields, heard that "Iggy had become involved with one of the voguish religious cults of the time", before adding to the mythology with a story of once seeing her disembarking from a Number 31 bus in Kensington, wearing a 1940s-era gold lamé dress, and very little else.

In 2002, Mick's coffee-table book Psychedelic Renegades featured more shots of Syd and Iggy posing outside the Earls Court mansion block, alongside Barrett's abandoned Pontiac. Rock's photos found their way onto most Pink Floyd fansites, where Iggy had acquired cult status. Before long, The Holy Church Of Iggy The Inuit, a fansite in her honour, had appeared, its webmaster, Felix Atagong, sifting through ever scrap of information gleaned from MOJO and elsewhere with a forensic scientist's attention to detail. Among Felix's discoveries was a November 1966 issue of NME which featured a photo of "Iggy who is half eskimo" dancing at South Kensington's Cromwellian club.

While researching my Pink Floyd biography (2007's Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story Of Pink Floyd) I quizzed everyone about Iggy's whereabouts. Anthony Stern, formerly a schoolmate of David Gilmour's, told me he had met her at a Hendrix gig and had just discovered photos he had taken of her on a houseboat in Chelsea; Anthony had also filmed Iggy dancing in Russell Square. Meanwhile, former Middle Earth club DJ Jeff Dexter recalled meeting "the mysterious-looking" Iggy in 1963, when she was a "part of a group of very wonderful looking South London girls" that danced at The Orchid Ballroom in Purley. Jeff even hatched a plan with his friend, the late DJ and Shadows songwriter Ian "Sammy" Samwell, to turn Iggy and two of her friends into "a British version of The Supremes. We booked a studio but unfortunately none of them could sing." Believing that Iggy may have gone to school in Thornton Heath, Jeff and Anthony contacted The Croydon Guardian, who ran an article - So Where Did She Go To, My Lovely - enquiring after the whereabouts of the girl "who entirely captured the spirit of the '60s".

Then, in March 2010, MOJO received a letter from ex-Cambridge mod Pete Brown, who had "shared some wild nights on the town with Iggy in the 1970s". Pete informed us that Iggy had been last heard of in the '80s "working at a racing stables... and has since been keeping her whereabouts quiet." Pete sent a copy of the letter to The Croydon Guardian, whose reporter traced Iggy through the stables and phoned her out of the blue. Their subsequent article included a handful of quotes from its reluctant subject, including the words: "I have now left that life behind me." Which is why it came as a surprise when my mobile rang late one Saturday night. "It's Iggy!" declared the voice at the other end, as if I would have known that already. "I've been reading what you wrote about me in MOJO... about the pictures of my bottom."

Iggy on Worthing Beach.
Relaxing on Worthing Beach, early '60s.

The local newspaper's call had prompted Iggy to borrow a neighbour's computer and go online for the first time. She was amazed to discover MOJO, the fansites, the photos, and the wild speculation and misinformation about her time with Syd Barrett. Which is why, in October 2010, I found myself stepping off a train at an otherwise deserted Sussex railway station to be met by the woman that had once graced the cover of The Madcap Laughs. Three hours in a local gastro-pub and countless phone calls later, Iggy pieced together her story. Some of it was printed in MOJO 207, the rest is here...

Firstly, why Iggy? "My real name is Evelyn," she explains. "But when I was a child, my neighbour's young daughter could never pronounce Evelyn, and always called me Iggy. Now everyone calls me as Iggy. But 'The Eskimo' nickname was a joke. That was something I told the photographer from the NME when he took my picture at The Cromwellian." Iggy's father was a British army officer, who served alongside Louis Mountbatten, and attended the official handover ceremony from Great Britain to India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharial Nehru in 1947. "My father also knew all about Mountbatten's wife's affair with Nehru," she adds mischievously. During a spell of leave, he had travelled to a remote village in the Himalayas "where he met the woman that would become my mother." Iggy was born in Pakistan, and attended army schools in India and Aden, before the family moved to England. But not, as believed, Thornton Heath. "I grew up by the seaside," she reveals. "I went to art school. I became a mod in Brighton, and saw the fights with the rockers, and I met The Who when they were on Ready Steady Go! I loved soul music, loved The Righteous Brothers, and I loved dancing, so I used to go to all the clubs - The Orchid Ballroom in Purley, where I met lovely Jeff Dexter, The Cromwellian, The Flamingo, The Roaring Twenties..."

It was at The Cromwellian that Iggy encountered Eric Clapton. "I didn't know who he was at first," she insists. "He took me to meet Lionel Bart and to a party at Brian Epstein's place..." By the mid-'60s Iggy had become a Zelig-like presence on the capital's music scene, sometimes in the company of Keith Moon, Brian Jones, Keith Richards.... She saw Hendrix make his UK debut at the Bag O' Nails in November '66, and in February '67, narrowly avoided the police raid at Richards' country pile, in West Wittering: "The night before, I decided not to go, thank God." A year later, still in the Stones' orbit, she found herself watching the recording sessions for what became Sympathy For The Devil.

Iggy at granny Takes A Trip,1967.
Iggy at Granny Takes A Trip, 1967.

By then, Iggy had made her film debut. In 1967, IN Gear was a short documentary screened as a supporting film in cinemas around the country. Its theme was Swinging London, including the chic Kings Road clothes shop Granny Takes A Trip, a place, according to the breathless narrator that "conforms to the non-conformist image of the !" A mini-skirted Iggy can be seen in one silent clip, sifting through a rack of clothes and chatting with Granny's co-owner Nigel Waymouth.

By 1967, pop music had changed. The summer before, Iggy had met Syd Barrett's girlfriend Jenny Spires, and drifted into the Floyd's social clique, showing up at the UFO club nights where Pink Floyd played regularly: "When I recently watched that Syd Barrett documentary [The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett & Story] and saw Syd in the kaftan, chanting [on Pow R Toc H], the memories came rushing back," she explains. "I'd been there. I'd seen that." In April '67, Iggy joined the counter-culture throng in Alexandra Palace for The 14-Hour Technicolor Dream - "all 14 hours of it!" - where Floyd played a hypnotic set at dawn.

By early 1968, though Barrett had been replaced by David Gilmour, and, according to many, was on a drug-fuelled downward spiral. Towards the end of the year, he moved into a new place with his level-headed friend, the would-be artist Duggie Fields. The pair took over a two-bedroom flat at 29 Wetherby Mansions in Earls Court. Around January '69, at Jenny Spires' suggestion, Iggy, needing a place to stay, moved in. She hooked up with Barrett, but shared a musical bond with Fields: "Duggie and I were into soul music, and Syd used to laugh at me dancing around to Motown."

As Iggy told MOJO 207: "I didn't know Syd had been a pop star." Elaborating further, "I didn't make the connection between him and the person I had seen at UFO. I knew he was beautiful looking and he had real presence, but that was all." Once, when she picked up his acoustic guitar, fooling around, he took it off her and started playing properly. "I was overwhelmed. The way he played the guitar, the way he moved. He said, 'Do you think I look good?'," she laughs. "I said, 'You look amazing. Wow!' He then said, 'Would you listen to this?' And he bought out this big, old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape recorder, and said, 'Tell me what you think'." Syd then played her the songs that would end up on The Madcap Laughs. One track, Terrapin, made an immediate impression. "I said, 'That's quite catchy', and, of course, I don't think Syd was really into catchy...It was a long tape, and he didn't demand any opinion, but just asked if I thought it was OK. At the end he said 'Someone at EMI - I cannot remember the name - wants me to make a record. How would you feel about having a rock star boyfriend?'"

Click here for Part 2


Previously published on mojo.com. Many thanks to Mark Blake for allowing us to host this article.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

2011-02-05

Reaction time

Iggy, Seventies
Iggy in the Seventies.

Prologue

Let's start with what you are all waiting for. At the left you find another unpublished picture, from the mid Seventies, Iggy was so friendly to mail us. The recent interviews at Mojo, probably the best music magazine in the world, by Mark Blake, probably the best music journalist in the world, has triggered a gentle snowfall of friendly reactions all over the web.

At night, before going to sleep, you notice but a few snowflakes falling down and you think: is this all? But the next morning the garden has been transformed in a peaceful white blanket only disturbed by the parallel stepping marks of a passing Lucifer Sam.

The Church has gathered some of these heartwarming reactions. Let's start with one from the city of light:

I’ve just read Mark Blake’s article and I am extremely moved to read Iggy’s words about those months with Syd in 1969 and extremely moved to see her on a brand new photo. She looks like an attractive lady.
Some elements are quite interesting : the fact that Syd wanted Iggy to be naked on the photos and the fact he decided not to smile on the photos are a great new perspective on that shooting.
Also the fact that she confirms she and him were together (which some people seemed to doubt about these latest years) is a lovely confirmation. And when she says he wasn't a dark-minded man and used to laugh a lot with her, this is so cute...
By the way, the article ends with Iggy saying she’s very flattered to discover she hasn’t been forgotten by everyone: what a pity we have no (mail) address to write a small message to her, to tell her that not only many of us hadn’t forgotten her at all but, on the contrary, her photos and especially the album sleeve have been part of our lives. (Taken from: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit @ Late Night.)

Questions for Iggy

The past year several questions have been submitted to be asked to Iggy, for the then unlikely event an interview would take place. Some of those have been asked by Mark Blake and were (partially) answered in the Mojo extended interviews:

I would just ask her what she remembers about Syd...
Dear Iggy, do you have anything of Syd's that I can have?
Did you think there was anything wrong with Syd mentally?
Do any particular discussions stand out for you... were they deep and philosophical, did you discuss current events or just what you needed at the market...
In his song "Dark Globe" Syd Barrett says: "I'm only a person with Eskimo chain". Do you think that is/could be a reference to you?
Maybe you have some personal photos/snapshots of Syd.
Was Syd violent towards you like he was with others girlfriends?
Were you at the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream at the Alexandra Palace? If yes could you tell us your impressions about that?
What do you think happened to Syd in 1967/1968?
What happened to you after you last saw Syd?
Would you prefer to be called Iggy or Evelyn?

Mark Blake added to this:

Off the top of my head, (…) Iggy doesn't have any snapshots of her and Syd, or any of his possessions (unfortunately, she no longer has the photo she had of the two of them, which he tore in half, mentioned in some of the books). She was at the Technicolour Dream '"all 14 hours of it!" - and tried but couldn't spot herself in the documentary DVD. She was also at the Isle Of Wight festival in 1970 (went with Twink of the Pink Fairies) and the first Glastonbury Fayre. (Taken from Questions for Iggy @ Late Night.)

People and places

The recent interviews show that Iggy met a lot of people and visited lots of places in Swingin' London. The Croydon Guardian and Mojo articles mention Brian Epstein, Brian Jones, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, Keith Richards, Rod Stewart & other assorted Beatles, Who and Rolling Stones. Oh yeah, and of course also a bloke named Syd Barrett.

The clubs she visited did not only include the Cromwellian, the Flamingo, the Orchid Ballroom, the Roaring Twenties and the Speakeasy, but in a mail to the Church Iggy also remembers other places like the Alexandra & Crystal Palace, Annabel's, Bag O'Nails, Embassy, Garrick & Hurlingham private clubs, Roundhouse (Chalk Farm), UFO, Marquee, Middle Earth, Tramps (Tramp Club?) and generally everything that was located in or around Carnaby Street. Needless to say that we try to look further into that for the next couple of months.

But after the many pages the Church and Mojo have dedicated to Evelyn, it is perhaps better to let Ig speak for herself. She send a long mail to the Church and we hope she doesn't mind that we will publish some of its heartwarming highlights here. Ig doesn't have an Internet account so the mail was written and send by a friend. The Church took the liberty of omitting some names and places.

Iggy wishes to express her thrill and excitement for putting this factual and honest portrayal of her and is enchanted by your unwavering interest. She is utterly flabbergasted of the magnitude of it all.
Many thanks to Mark Blake, for his perseverance and the genuine way he has cared for and protected Iggy.
Many thanks go to Ig's wonderful husband and to her most trusted and loyal friends [some deletions here by the Church] and Z., who was there for us right at the beginning by printing hundreds of pages on her computer.

But some old friends from the past haven't been forgotten either:

Iggy also feels the need to mention the charismatic Jeff Dexter, who has given so much of his precious time by always welcoming and receiving all her calls at all hours day and night.
Anthony Stern, Storm Thorgerson, Mick Rock, who created such amazingly beautiful images. To debonair Nigel Waymouth and the extraordinary couple Pete and Sue.
Many thanks and good love for the wonderfully exquisite description of Iggy. She is totally overwhelmed and humbled by the delightful memories of her.
Much love,
Iggy

Vintage groupies

Reading the pages that a good friend had printed for her, Iggy got hold of the Vintage Groupies website that also dedicated some space to her. She asked the Church:

Felix, would you do me a really big favour and contact vintage groupies (little queenies) to express my gratitude to all the lovely people who left all the nice comments about me.
Love from Iggy.

Immediately after it had been published several reactions arrived:

Wow, thanks so much Felix for the message, please tell to Iggy thanks so much from Little Queenies :)
This is so great, she is so kind to think about us :)
Warm regards to her and to you Felix
Elia & Violeta, Barcelona, Spain
Its wonderful, to hear from her.
Dancas
So amazing! Thank you so much for not only sharing the interviews but relaying the message to us here at Vintage groupies! So fantastic.
Lynxolita
Iggy now (photo: Chris Lanaway)
Iggy, 2011 (photo: Chris Lanaway).

Iggy the Eskimo 2011 photo shoot
by Chris Lanaway

The Mojo article had a recent Iggy picture, taken by Chris Lanaway. A second picture has recently turned up at his Tumblr account. Chris writes:

Here is a teaser from a recent series which will be viewable soon: Iggy the Eskimo.

A hi-res version of the picture in question can be found here.

This article has nearly ended, and we pass the word to Anne from Paris who passed us a letter for Evelyn:

Dear Iggy,
Because you told Mark (Blake) that you were surprised and flattered to discover that so many persons were interested in you (and I'd even say that they're your fans!), I want to tell you that many of us have got a great tenderness for you; you've been part of our lives during decades and were at the same time a magnificent mystery and a flesh and blood woman in Syd's life, two good reasons not to be able to forget you!
Of course, the fact that in these latest years, a great deal of beautiful photos of you appeared just increased the admiration and fascination about you.
I hope that the affection, admiration and fascination that many of us have been feeling towards you warm you up and that you'll stay in touch with us in any way you want ("us" means Felix, Mark, Syd's fans and even maybe, one day, the organization around Syd's memory in Cambridge).
Needless to say that not only was it a great relief and a great joy that you were found again last year, but it's also a great joy now to see new photos of you.
Friendly regards.
Anne (Paris, France)
(I've got the "Madcap laughs" since 1988, I was 17 then)

From an entirely different continent comes the following:

It was really nice to know that you are around and OK. My happiness is enormous! I’ve just loved your recent interviews and pictures. You are indeed a beautiful person! I hope you share with us some of your views and stories on those fabled years that influenced the cultural paradigms in so many ways and in so many countries. I wish you the best with all my heart.
Peace and Love,
Dan, Ottawa, Canada

And...

HI. My name is Griselda. I just wanted to say I am a big fan of Iggy. When I saw on your website that she was going to be on Mojo Magazine, I was so excited. I can't imagine how you felt!
You may find it strange that a 19 year old girl is so interested in Evelyn, but I really think she was a wonderful model. The pictures taken by Anthony Stern are really beautiful. She was such a free spirit, living in the moment. I think most models today are so polished up, their too skinny, or try to change their looks as much as possible to look like Barbies or something. That's why I love Iggy so much because she was a natural beauty, and she didn't have to try hard to look wonderful in pictures.
Take Care.
Griselda, USA

Space girl

The Mojo (extended) interview ends with an excited Iggy who phones Mark Blake out of the blue.

Last week, Iggy called to tell me she had found a poem online written about her by a professor at a university in Missouri. "And it's in French," she said, sounding astonished. "'Iggy l’Esquimo, Fille de l’espace.'...it goes. I never believed anyone would ever write a poem for me."

Although the professor actually lives in Manitoba, Canada, where the temperature descended to a blistering minus 41 degrees in January, the news arrived to him. Probably by sledge-dog express, driven by – who else? – an Eskimo.

In the summer of 2006 Denis Combet wrote a collection of poems as a tribute to the musician and painter Roger Keith Barrett who passed away in Cambridge on the 7th of July 2006. The poems highlight the life of the young artist as a nonconformist who preferred – or was forced – to withdraw from the music world for a more humble existence. They were published (in an English translation) in the online magazine Ecclectica of February 2007.

The Church got the permission to pick an Iggy dedicated poem out of the collection, not only in English, but also the original French version, that had never been published before: From Quetesh to Bastet / De Quétesh à Bastet .

Unfortunately these poems never went into print, because of the high cost involved for publishing poetry, that often sells no more than a few dozen of copies. But miracles sometimes do happen and hopefully we might read more from Denis Combet in the near future.

Epilogue

In the next post the Church will probably give a detailed analysis of the latest Iggy interviews, until then, sistren and brethren. We leave the last word to Anne from Paris:

I don’t think Iggy's mystery will be over from now on;
I do think the mystery that comes out of her photos in the 60’s just cannot die.

The Church wishes to thank: Anne, Dan, Dancas, Denis, Ela & Violetta (Little Queenies), Griselda, Jenny, Kieren, Lynxolita, Mark, Zoe, Late Night, Mojo magazine & Vintage Groupies and all others who commented and contributed.

Last but not least: ♥ Iggy ♥ and her loyal friends who pass her messages to and fro.


The Mark Blake Iggy tapes can be found at:
Iggy The Eskimo Phones Home (Mojo 207 article - hosted at the Church)
The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo - part 1 (hosted at the Mojo website Church, update August 2013)
The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo - part 2 (hosted at the Mojo website Church, update August 2013)

2011-03-27

The Wrestling Beatle

Brian Epstein at the roulette
Brian Epstein at the roulette.

Life, my dear sistren and brethren, is not like a box of chocolates, except perhaps those from the exclusive and exquisite Tartufo shop in Louvain. Life is like an Eskimo chain, tattooed all over our brains. When the Reverend started the Church he didn't realise what a strange caterpillar ride it would be, a beautiful quest into the unknown. The path we trod was narrow, the drop was sheer and very high and ravens were watching from a vantage point nearby, to paraphrase a great poet.

On the narrow paths, that Iggy had followed in the past, she had thrown breadcrumbs to find her way back home afterwards. Only Iggy never returned on her footsteps but went far ahead into the unknown. Most of these crumbs had long been eaten, by the ravens cited above, but some could be traced back by the Church. And one big trail lead to the Cromwellian club.

The Cromwellian wrestling club

Before it acquired its fame the house at 3 Cromwell Road was known as an illegal casino, run by the London underworld. When gambling became legal the three store building turned into Harry's International Bar (run by the legendary Harry Heart), an elegant casino (quickly moved to the first floor because some competitors wanted to heat the place with Molotov cocktails) and a cellar full of boys, much to the enjoyment of the bartender, but the management decided to repair the equilibrium by giving 'free entrance for girls'.

Before one could say 'faites vos jeux' the place was visited by Brian Epstein and his gang of four and that perhaps thanks to one of the owners who was nicknamed 'the wrestling Beatle'.

Bob Anthony
Bob Anthony.

Bob 'Anthony' Archer

Bob Anthony (Bob Archer), the wrestling Beatle, was a popular welterweight during the 1960s and may not be confounded with the slightly ridiculous George Ringo (Bob Sabre), a Chicago wrestler who had the same nickname. Bob turned professional in 1956 and around 1962 he moved to Paul Lincoln Management. He was one of a group of wrestlers chosen by Paul Lincoln to take part in a prestigious tour of the Far East in the early sixties.

But, like we have already revealed in our article Dr Death and other assorted figures..., he was also one of the owners of the Crom and, what the Reverend didn't know, responsible for booking the bands that would make the place a legend.

Recently the Church was contacted by Emily Archer and thanks to her we can bring you the following testimony from her father:

I was part owner and manager of the Crom up to 1967 when I gave up the management, but not my share, to create Pantiles Club and Restaurant in Bagshot.

The Pantiles Club was built in 1898 for the personal secretary of the Duke of Connaught who lived at the Royal Bagshot Park opposite. During the 1920s there was a Pantiles Athletic & Tennis Club, followed by a Pantiles Swimming Pool Club. In the early 1960s a Pantiles Tea Dancing Club was opened and in 1967 it would become the infamous Pantiles nightclub and restaurant owned by Bob Archer.

I was also a Pro Wrestler as Bob Anthony. There were 4 of us wrestlers involved - who were also 4 good friends, plus the originator of the Cromwellian Tony Mitchell. Ray Hunter, Judo Al Hayes, Paul Lincoln. Al died in the States where he wrestled as Lord Hayes, Ray died also in the U.K. My great friend Paul Lincoln died recently. Paul and Ray also owned The 2'Is in Old Compton Street, where the whole British Rock industry emerged from.
Judo Al Hayes
Judo Al Hayes.

Judo Al Hayes

Judo Al Hayes, alias the White Angel, alias Lord Hayes once was the the nation’s youngest ever judo black belt. He hooked up with Paul Lincoln and had a fun run as the White Angel, culminating in a famous 1962 fight were he was unmasked by Doctor Death (Paul Lincoln with a mask).

In the early seventies Hayes went to the United States. After a successful career as a wrestler he became a television commentator and manager for the American Wrestling Association.

After a car accident he suffered from several complications and died a very sad death in 2005, aged 77.

Rebel Ray Hunter
Rebel Ray Hunter.

Rebel Ray Hunter

Rebel Ray Hunter, Taswegian tag partner of Judo Al Hayes in their Lincoln days, and a globe-trotting Heavyweight Champion of the Commonwealth. When Hunter came to Britain in 1950 he had been the youngest Commonwealth wrestler to do so. Success came in German heavyweight tournaments but the sixties saw a hedonistic jet-set lifestyle in Soho where Hunter and Lincoln owned the famous 2'Is coffee bar.

Rumour goes Hunter had a fling with Sophia Loren once.

Around 1970 he disappeared mysteriously from the wrestling scene.

2I's

The bar 2Ii’s was located at 59, Old Compton Street. Underground legend Barry Miles remembers:

At the 2I’s we sat drinking coffee from glass cups, staring out at Old Compton Street, thinking this was the centre of the world as Dream Lover by Bobby Darin played on the jukebox and various sleazy Soho types drifted in and out. It had opened early in the summer of 1956.
 
Compared with the other coffee bars in Soho, the 2I’s looked pretty tame. Just round the corner on Meard Street was Le Macabre, which used coffins as tables, Bakelite skulls for ashtrays and the jukebox featured the Funeral March. The 2I’s had been open three weeks when Soho held its second annual Soho Fair, to coincide with the July 14, 1956, Bastille Day celebrations. The Vipers skiffle group were among the bands in the procession. When a downpour made them jump down from their flatbed truck and take refuge in the 2I’s, the nearest coffee bar, Paul Lincoln suggested they continue playing there. Immediately a large crowd came in from the street.
 
Paul Lincoln realised that live music was what was needed to pull in the customers and hired them to play a regular gig from 7 to 11pm, four nights a week. At first they were paid only in spaghetti, Coca-Cola and any tips they were able to collect, but their leader Wally Whyton soon decided that a proper fee was required as the place was crammed to its 80-person capacity every time they played. Paul Lincoln made a derisory offer and Wally, bravely, said he would wrestle him for double or nothing. Lincoln was impressed by his guts, strapped on his Doctor Death mask and lost the fight hands down, presumably intentionally. The Vipers got their wages. (Taken from: Going underground: the secret life of London.)

Food and drinks

Le Macabre coffee bar was not unknown to the wrestlers either and was owned by someone they knew. Bob Archer:

Le Macabre Coffee Bar was in fact owned by Tony Mitchell who was the original owner of the Crom until we bought in with him. He also had a restaurant called the New Yorker in Soho. Al Hayes, Ray Hunter and myself would meet for lunch at his restaurant before going on to wrestling engagements or sometimes before training at the YMCA.

Later Paul Lincoln and Ray Hunter also opened The "Trattoria del buon vivitore", an Italian restaurant in Old Compton Street with the Wrestling Promotion Office above.

In a previous article (Dr Death and other assorted figures...) we already mentioned that Paul Lincoln owned an Italian restaurant in Soho. What we didn't know was that the place was just a few blocks away from 2I's (56 Old Compton Street) and located underneath the Paul Lincoln Management offices (36 Old Compton Street). No wonder that Paul Lincoln often took his business associates to the place and even a top ranking Milanese police officer, who Lincoln had befriended during an Italian wrestling showtour, always visited the restaurant whenever he was in London for police business.

The Crom

Bob Archer continues:

Tony [Mitchell] is long gone so I am the only remaining ex owner. I ran Pantiles from 67 to 2007, 40 years, till we sold the land. I was the one who originally created the Swinging London status of the Crom and the 60's celebrity hangout of the stars.

I booked the right bands, and encouraged the sit in sessions, with The Animals, Clapton, Hendrix, and you name it. Elton's band Bluesology were probably my most regular booking, plus Brian Auger. The Drifters, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, Wilson Picket, Benny King.

They all worked in that small cellar. Harry Heart [the bartender] was a legend. I could go on all night. True fact is the first place Jimi [Hendrix] played in London was The Crom. He sat in with Brian Auger. Chas [Chandler] brought him in the first night he arrived. Kathy [Etchingham] worked a bit for me.

Jimi Hendrix

The Jimi Hendrix Record Guide has an interview with Brian Auger about Hendrix's first London gig on the fifth of October 1966:

JHRG: Are you sure the first jam was at The Cromwellian?
Brian Auger: It was The Cromwellian, yes.
JHRG: Some say it was Blaises, and I think Vic Briggs said he was convinced that it was The Scotch Of St. James!
Brian Auger: Yeah, but it wasn't. I'm afraid Vic kind of rewrites history a bit, (chuckles) but it wasn't The Scotch Of St. James, it was The Cromwellian. I have a mental picture of Jimi being introduced to me and looking out across the stage at the staircase that goes up from upstairs to the first level of The Cromwellian. We definitely played at Blaises but that was later.
Anyway, he came down to The Cromwellian and Chas [Chandler] introduced him to me in the break and he seemed like a very nice guy. He asked me if he could sit in and I said absolutely, yeah, what would you like to play? Jimi showed me a chord sequence and said, can you play this? And I said yeah, it's pretty straight forward, and it turned out to be the chord sequence for "Hey Joe"!

And all that thanks to a cellarful of wrestlers.

Harry the Heart

The bartender of the 'International Bar' was, to put it in Rod Harrod's words the “very camp 'Harry the Heart'”. Heart wasn't his real name but came 'from his delightfully effeminate wave over the heads of a packed bar as you walked in: 'Hello (dear) Heart, how are we? Be with you now.'"

Unfortunately, not a lot is known about him. Bob Archer:

The last time I heard, Harry was in North, but that was a long time ago, from Danny La Rue [the famous British drag impersonator]. I fear that he has passed away. He was amazing. His bar was always full with people like Tom Jones with his band, Brian Epstein, Lion Bart, Terry Downes, Lita Rosa, Robert Stigwood. I could go on and on...

A bartender can make or break a place but Harry is surely remembered as one of those extraordinary people who turned the place into a succes.

He knew what everyone drank, and asked "Your usual Heart?"
They would say: "Yes Harry and will you have one?"
Harry then replied: "Just one for the pot Heart."

This inevitably turned into Harry's own little ceremony, serving a glass of gin he would...

...throw another gin into the cut glass vase that he had on the bar, with bits of lemon and cucumber floating about in it.

Bob Archer has nothing but lovely memories about Harry:

He would introduce me to all his friends as "My lovely Boss". We would often go for a burger after closing, unless he said "I'm trolling tonight Heart" and would then walk up past Harrods.

Keith Goodwin

Rod Harrod, the club's PR man and interviewed by the Church as well, wasn't the first journalist who had been hired to promote the club.

I have been trying to remember who was Rod Harrod. The name rings a bell, but the guy who I used as PR was Keith Goodwin, who had his column in either the MM or the NME, where we were regularly mentioned. He was also PR to quite a few music stars.

Keith Goodwin was indeed an NME journalist in the early sixties and one of the first professional music publicists in the UK with a diverse, even oddball, taste in music.

He started his agency with folk band The Springfields (it is eerie how Dusty materialises every time we investigate Church matters) and Tom Springfield was best man on his wedding.

But it was when psychedelia fully hit the scene that Goodwin acquired the most success for his publicity work. Amongst his clients were – initially obscure bands like - Argent, Black Sabbath, Camel, Magma and Yes. One day in 1966 a young singer songwriter, Cat Stevens, was in his office, looking for an appropriate title for a tune he had just written. Keith Goodwin looked out of the window and suggested the name of the shop at the other side of the road: Matthew And Son.

His love for symphonic rock wouldn't falter although the genre was declared dead in the late seventies, early eighties. He continued promoting bands like Pallas, Twelfth Night and Pendragon but it was with Marillion that he could finally prove that the progrock genre still attracted massive popularity. In 1988 Keith Goodwin retired and settled in Malta. He died on the 25th of January 2004, only 69 years old. (Taken from: Keith Goodwin: early professional music publicist.)

Many thanks to Emily and Bob Archer for sharing these memories with the Church. Wrestling information and pictures have been taken from Wrestling Heritage. Grazie mille Gianna!

Update August 2011: Paul Lincoln, better known as Doctor Death, sadly passed away in January 2011 (RIP Paul Lincoln). In July 2011 he was awarded The Number One Masked Man of the Heritage Years by the Wrestling Heritage website.

More to read and watch:
A 1962 movie The Wrestling Game (Part 1 & Part 2) has Rebel Ray Hunter and Judo Al Hayes.
Wrestling Furnace has articles and pictures of Dr. Death, pictures from Rebel Ray Hunter and a 1971 Judo Al Hayes article.

2011-05-03

Cromwellian blog launched!

The Cromwellian
The Cromwellian.

Cromwellian Chronicles

Emily Archer informed us that she started a brand new blog dedicated to The Cromwellian Club.

So far one entry has been posted and it already learned the Church a thing or two. Probably Emily will be able to add some sensational stories and anecdotes as well, because she has access to a wealth of inside information coming from a man who could write a few books on British wrestling and clubbing alone, her father, Bob Archer. Known as Bob Anthony in wrestling circles, he was a co-owner of the Crom and responsible for its 'entertainment' division as he hired the bands that turned the place into a huge success.

The Reverend had the pleasure to ask Bob a few questions a while ago (see: The Wrestling Beatle) and this may have made his appetite grow for more. People often tell Bob he should start writing his memoirs and we certainly hope that Emily will squeeze him hard enough to get those juicy stories out of him.

We wish Emily all the best with her Cromwellian blog and all we can add so far is: it's about time!

The White Angel

Recently the Wrestling Heritage website has started with a 'members only' Top Twenty Masked Men feature and The White Angel has made it on the 8th position. Hiding behind that mask was Judo Al Hayes, another Crom owner.

The White Angel with Paul Lincoln
The White Angel with Paul Lincoln.

In one of our previous topics (Dr Death and other assorted figures) it was revealed how The White Angel had to fight another masked wrestler, Doctor Death, in April 1962. At stake was not only a 500 £ price but also the loser's secret identity. Doctor Death won the match and in a great ceremonial ending The White Angel was unmasked before the cheering crowd, much to the enjoyment of Doctor Death whose reputation sky-rocketed.

What most wrestling fans didn't know at that time was that Al Hayes had just signed a contract with Paul Lincoln Management and that the outcome probably had been staged. Paul Lincoln was not only a wrestling manager, but also Doctor Death, a personal friend of Al Hayes and another co-owner of the Cromwellian. For the next months to come Doctor Death and The White Angel repeated the match at other places and always with the same result.

At the moment we write this (May 3, 2011) the Top 3 of the Masked Men remains to be published at Wrestling Heritage and still there is no sign of Doctor Death.

Update August 2011: In July 2011 Doctor Death was awarded The Number One Masked Man of the Heritage Years by the Wrestling Heritage website.

Paul Lincoln Tribute

Paul Lincoln passed away in January 2011 and the British Wrestling Reunion website has published a tribute, written by Wayne Bridges. It gives a detailed career overview of Paul Lincoln and we hereafter present some highlights of this eulogy.

Simultaneously alongside wrestling, Paul had always enjoyed a love of music and would often frequent a bar in Goodge Street run by Greek grappler: Milo Popocopolous, where he soon learned of a derelict condiment shop for sale in Old Compton Street, owned and run by the Irani brothers. Paul and Ray bought the premises to open as one of the first ‘coffee bars’ in London, complete with new fangled ‘expresso frothy coffee’ from Italy. Not knowing what to name this venture, they saw that the previous owners had left a tatty old sign with just the letter 'I' displayed in two places , being all that was left of their name, and the 2i’s legend was born.
A small stage was set up in the corner, a jukebox and Gaggia coffee machine added, and it soon became a mecca for budding musicians who were eager to copy their idols such as Elvis Presley. With the skiffle era in full swing it also attracted many wannabe stars from this field of music.
Never one to miss a chance, Paul invited these kids to rehearse on the stage in return for help with erecting the rings at his many wrestling shows. In the beginning Lonnie Donegan, Nancy Whiskey and Chas McDevitt were the rage, but these youngsters were hot on their heels, just waiting the chance to make it !
Paul together with impresario: Larry Parnes, soon to be known as Mr Parnes, shillings and pence, saw the opportunity for these musicians and names such as Colin Hicks were changed to Tommy Steele, Ron Wycherly to Billy Fury, Reg Smith to Marty Wilde, and of course Harry Webb became Sir Cliff Richard. The fabulous Shadows: Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch, Jet Harris, Tony Meehan all worked for Paul prior to becoming the legends that they did. The names created reads like a who’s who and includes Joe Brown, Mickey Most, Vince Eager, Terry Dene, Wee Willie Harris, Screaming Lord Sutch, Georgie Fame, just to mention a few.
With so many halls booked nationwide for wrestling on a monthly basis, it was a simple step to add rock shows in between at these venues and wrestlers such as myself were used as bouncers to control the screaming girls, eager to get at their new heroes.
The 2i’s has been credited as the birthplace of British rock’n’roll assuring Paul Lincoln a place in the annals of music history. In 2007 a plaque was placed on the wall of the building commemorating this achievement for generations to follow. Sir Cliff Richard, Bruce Welch and Wee Willie Harris all attended to pay tribute.
Now recognised as a real mogul in the entertainment business, Paul & Ray together with Tony Matchelli and Bob Anthony, then moved into nightclubs by taking over ‘The Cromwellian’, which was struggling but by booking Tom Jones and P.J. Proby to appear by calling in favours, soon had queues of patrons circling two roads.
Taken from: British Wrestling Reunion, scroll to 26th January 2011 to read the full text.

Update 2014.12.13: unfortunately the Cromwellian blog has stayed unchanged since 2011 and it is still stuck at its first post (that borrowed a lot from the Church). We doubt if it will ever be updated.

2012-10-26

Iggy & the Stones

Iggy (fantasy)
Iggy, mid Seventies.

The Holy Church's secret service, also know as the Igquisition, has sent over its latest trimester report about all things Iggy. Underneath the smooth surface of our blog and Facebook page a maelstrom of facts and rumours are reinforcing and contradicting each other, making the Church's hidden agenda to inundate the Barrett world with false and gratuitous information so much harder to achieve. So let us immediately open this can of worms and have a meditative look at what the (2013) future may bring (or not).

1. Photo shoot

Recently Iggy was the subject of a photo shoot by a Canadian journalist / photographer and we are pretty sure these pictures will eventually find their way into a magazine or to the different Iggy Rose pages on the web.

Update December 2016: nothing has ever been heard of this photo project.

2. Rolling Stones

Iggy was also contacted by a renowned journalist and biographer who wanted to know if she would be willing to share some memories about her days with the Rolling Stones, to appear in a new biographical article or even a book about the band. Iggy Rose has told the Church and Mojo a few anecdotes about her different encounters with the Stones before, but it would be nice to see these all bundled into one publication.

Iggy met Syd Barrett in the spring of 1969 but before she had been spotted in Rolling Stones circles, as has already been revealed in the Mark Blake's Mojo article from 2011.

In February '67, [Iggy] narrowly avoided the police raid at Richards' country pile, in West Wittering: "The night before, I decided not to go, thank God." A year later, still in the Stones' orbit, she found herself watching the recording sessions for what became Sympathy For The Devil. where she was present at several studio sessions.
Carmen Jimenez, a Beatle and Iggy
Carmen Jimenez, a Beatle and Iggy (picture: Bruce Fleming).

Iggy 'rolled' into the Stones through Stash (Prince Klossowski de Rola) who presented her to Brian Jones. There is a picture of Iggy, taken by Bruce Fleming, standing close to John Lennon, at the party of Georgie Fame's girlfriend Carmen Jimenez at the Crom (January 1967) and Iggy still remembers eating Carmen's delicious paella at Brian's apartment just around the corner.

After some time she befriended Keith Richards although one thing she says she will ever regret is turning down 'Hot Rod' Stewart in favour of Keith. Photos of her with the Stones should exist, but those in her property have all been stolen, lost or destroyed (see also: Iggy - a new look in festivals).

Having met Keith Richards she also befriended Anita Pallenberg and went with her to the set of Performance where most of the action did not take place in front of the camera. Iggy told the Church:

They used real magic mushrooms... I was at the house [Powis Square, Notting Hill, FA] when they where getting ready to shoot the bedroom scene, the lady in charge was getting shrooms for the cast and offered me some as well.
Pallenberg & Cammell
Anita Pallenberg & Donald Cammell.

At the set she met Donald Cammell, the co-director of the movie and his 'beautiful dusky' girlfriend (probably Myriam Gibril). Unfortunately this is not the time nor place to start writing about Iggy's adventures in movie land but we certainly hope someone will some day.

Donald Cammell would only make half a dozen of movies in 30 years, being burned after the Performance débâcle (the movie only gained notoriety decades later), and one of these, White Of The Eye (1987), is known by Pink Floyd fans for its soundtrack by Nick Mason & Rick Fenn.

More about the movie at the excellent Another Nickle In the Machine blog: Donald Cammell’s Performance at Powis Square.

Syd's Bench, Cambridge.
Syd's Bench, Cambridge.

3. Cambridge Summer Meeting 2013

On the 15th of June 2013 the first annual Birdie Hop meeting will take place in Cambridge. It will be a small, exclusive and informal encounter between about 20 fans from all over the world and those that still carry Syd Barrett deep in their heart. Although an agenda has not been set yet there will probably be a guided Cambridge Pink Floyd Walking Tour and some drinks in The Anchor (or another relevant pub) afterwards. The only official demand to make this fan meeting possible was that the Church would not be present and in his infinite goodness the Reverend has agreed.

4. The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit next Big Thing

The weirdest rumour, with echoes arriving only this week, is that the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is preparing a Big Thing for 2013. Unfortunately nobody seems to know what this big thing is going to be and when asked, the Reverend didn't have a clue what it was all about, so you might as well just forget about that. On the other hand, this blog publishes nothing but big things, so keep on checking once in a while.


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

2013-01-01

Bend It (2013)

Patrick Kerr & dancers.
Patrick Kerr & dancers.

Happy New Year to all visitors, sistren and brethren, of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.

When this blog was created on the eighth day of the eight month of the eight year, more or less as a harmless prank, we didn't know yet it would grow into a little monster when, in a weird apotropaic collision, synchronicity and serendipity morphed into Iggymania.

The Holy Igquisition interrupts this post for the following message:
Dear Reverend, please be more careful with the eggnog.
Dear Reverend, please be more careful with the eggnog.

We had our good and lesser days in 2012 and a quick glance at the articles we published learn us that this blog would not have existed without our friends, colleagues and (sometimes reluctant) informants from Argentina, England, Germany, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, Russia, Spain and Sweden... we may not always have the same opinion but the common thing that binds us all is our love for Syd & Iggy...

2008 - 2013: 5 years in the name of the Rose

This year we will celebrate the Church's first lustrum and how can we honour this better than with a little dance that brought a certain Iggy the Eskimo into the spotlights.

Dave Dee
Dave Dee.

The Band

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich formed a band in 1961 but it would take until 1964 before they got a recording contract (together with their impossible name) with Fontana. After a few false starts DDDBMT finally hit the British charts late 1965 and the next year they were ready to conquer America. September saw the release of 'Bend It', a catchy tune with some saucy vocals. However, the suggestive lyrics put their managers (and authors of the song) Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley (nicknamed Spike & Owly) before a dilemma:

The song stormed the charts in no time. It teased the audience with its sped-up tempo and an offbeat guitar break midway but mostly with its salacious lyrics! The heavy tongue-in-cheek suggestiveness arose some moral outcries - but exactly that was probably the extra boost to shoot the single to #2 in UK in September and even #1 in Germany! (Taken from: www.dddbmt.com)

Conquering decadent Europe was one thing, but to win puritanical America over some drastic measurements had to be taken. NME reported:

Dozens of US radio stations have banned Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich's 'Bend It' because the lyrics are considered too suggestive, and the group have responded by recording a new version in London with a different set of words.

According to the official DDDBMT website the band recorded two new versions of the single, a clean one for the American market and an even smuttier one, that is - as far as we know - still unreleased 47 years later. The band apologised in an open letter:

As a pop group we have no right or wish to set ourselves up as arbiters of public taste or morals. But neither would we want to be viewed in any way as corrupters of these standards. Our two countries are so close in most things that it is always surprising to find the exceptional cases where meaning and innuendo differ between us. (Taken from: www.davedeedozybeakymickandtich.nl)

The replacement of the dirty single for a clean one was done with almost KGB secret service efficiency as the catalog numbers of both versions are identical. Collectors, however, can recognise the different versions by comparing the master number and the duration of the single printed on the label. On Youtube a 'clean' version can be heard in the cover version by Barbara Eden: 'Bend It!'.

Patrick Kerr
Patrick Kerr.

Bandits

By re-recording the single an American boycott had been avoided but at least one British radio station had threatened to put the single on the blacklist as well (see also: To bend or not to bend). A somewhat cheaper trick was used to divert the attention from the English censors. It was explained that The Bend was really a brand new dance craze sweeping the country, like The Watusi or the Twist.

The only problem, there wasn't a dance to start with, so one had to be invented, and really fast.

In came Patrick Kerr, choreographer of Ready Steady Go!, who didn't mind creating a few steps that, if we may be so bold, look a bit like Zorba the Greek staggering home after his eleventh ouzo. On the 23rd of September 1966 Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich played their single on RSG! and the dance was promoted in the teenage pop music papers. (See also: Ready, Steady, Kerr!)

Bend It, step by step
Bend It, step by step.
BEND IT! STEP-BY-STEP
It had to happen! That smash hit for Dave, Dee, Beaky, Mick and Tich - “Bend it” - has just been crying out for some bright person to devise a '66 dance for it. And who better than Patrick Kerr who introduced countless dances to “Ready Steady Go” viewers? Above is his step-by-step idea of how it should be done. Read it, put on the record and get bending!
1. Step forward on to left foot, at the same time bending at the knees and lowering the left shoulder.
2. Step forward on to right foot, still with knees bent, but on this beat lower right shoulder.
3. Take a step back with left foot at the same time beginning to straighten.
4. Take a step back with the right foot, now straightening to upright position. Repeat this three more times.
5. Step to side with left foot. Close right foot to left. Bend knees and then straighten again. Step to side with right foot. Close left foot to right. Once again bend knees and then straighten them. Repeat this three more times. Now repeat first step four times. Now repeat pattern once more but this time make a quarter of a turn each time on the first variation and a half turn on each of the second variations. With feet slightly apart, bend at the knees and sway from left to right. Repeat this three times more.
6. Take a step forward with the left foot at the same time bending at the knees and lowering left shoulder. Without moving feet sway back so that weight is on the right foot. Repeat three more times. Now go back to the first variation for four more times. Then, starting from first variation, do each of the other variations doing only one of each. Kepp going until fade of the record.
© 1966 by Lynn Music Ltd., 142 Charing Cross Road, London W.C.2.
Kerr-girl posing as a Playboy visitor.
Kerr-girl posing as a Playboy visitor.

Inside Playboy

The above instructions, we are afraid, read a bit like a Korean micro-wave manual and therefore a Bend It video was shot by Pathé News who showed it in the ABPC movie theatres all over the country as part of their Inside The Playboy Paradise documentary. Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich mime their greatest hit (so far, there would be others) in the London Playboy club and Patrick Kerr, in a Bend shirt, demonstrates the dance with his group Tomorrow's People, a few Playboy Bunnies and some random guests who miraculously know the dance moves as well. One of them, the girl in the plastic triangle dress, will even show up in The Cromwellian, a few weeks later. The full documentary is on British Pathé (with an annoying watermark) but the song (and dance) that make up the biggest chunk of it anyway can be found on YouTube:

To give The Bend a status of authority there was even a national competition although it can be discussed if regional contests were ever organised. A so-called final took place in November at The Cromwellian with as one of the contestants an unknown model named Iggy the Eskimo. The report about this event in NME started this blog, almost five years ago: Bend It! 

Happy New Year!

(This text is a partial rehash / redux / upgrade / update from a 2010 article that has even more detailed information about Patrick Kerr, DDDBMT & the different Bend singles: Rod Harrod remembers The Crom.)

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Tobler, John (editor): NME Rock ‘N’ Roll Years, Hamlyn, London, 1992, p.163.

Many thanks to: Ron Cooper, Herman van Gaal.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

2013-02-15

When Hendrix met Iggy

Jimpress 100
Jimpress 100.

Somewhere mid December we were informed by Iggy that she had been asked some questions by the British Jimi Hendrix magazine: Jimpress.

Jimpress started in July 1991 and is currently at its 100th issue and obviously no other issue than this centenary one was suited to welcome Iggy Rose. Pages 9 to 17 have the article Mr Love, where author Tim Greenhall examines several events from Brook Street 23 in London.

Mr Love, The Jimi Hendrix London Experience, Tim Greenhall examines events in Brook Street

The article starts with the memories of Doug Kaye, who used to work in his brother's restaurant in Brook Street. Above the Mr Love restaurant was a flat where a certain Jimi Hendrix and Kathy Etchingham set up residence. Doug first met Jimi at the cigarettes machine and they started talking about blues music. Doug lend Jimi two blues albums that he never saw back but that are now part of the Jimi Hendrix exposition at the EMP museum in Seattle.

Doug Kaye started the secret Mr Love Facebook group (later renamed to Echoes) that unfortunately has been declared terra incognita for the Reverend but that accommodates quite a few Sixties celebrities among its members (and many of those are friends of Iggy Rose as well).

Jimi's cavalry jacket
Jimi's cavalry jacket.

One of them, mentioned in the article, is Robert Orbach who owned I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet and who sold Jimi Hendrix his trademark cavalry jacket. The Hussars tunic dated from 1850 and was the personal property of Robert who wore it in his shop. Jimi Hendrix first proposed to buy it for 20£ but Orbach told the item was not for sale. Over the next few days Hendrix and his manager would drop by with higher bids and at the end the uniform changed owner for the tenfold of the originally proposed price. To modern 2013 standards Hendrix must have paid the equivalent of about 2000£ (or 2320€ or 3100$), but as it became one of the most renown jackets in the world of rock that price was probably a fair one.

Jeff Dexter probably doesn't need to be introduced to Iggy Rose fans, he tried to make a record with her but this miserably failed when he found out at the studio that non of the girls he had chosen for his Motown-like act actually could sing. Dexter met Hendrix on different occasions.

Introducing John Altman would take us at least three Church blog posts, so we will just say he is a (film & ad) composer, music arranger, orchestrator, conductor, an occasional contributor to Monty Python and that he has more anecdotes up his sleeve than the Reverend has ever got hangovers in his entire life. John Altham talked most about jazz with Jimi and Hendrix confided him he wanted to take some guitar lessons from John McLaughlin.

Iggy Rose @ Jimpress

And then it is finally time to attribute some lines to our goddess:

One of the group's most colourful ladies is the lovely “Iggy Rose”. Iggy was Syd Barrett's girlfriend and met Jimi on a few occasions. She is probably best known for being the model on the cover of Barrett's album The Madcap Laughs, however she has been seen in many a sixties nostalgia film, most notably Granny Takes A Trip which you can find on YouTube no doubt. Iggy also worked in the store of the same name.

Note: as far as we know Iggy did not work at Granny's. The article from Tim Greenhall continues:

I asked Iggy what she remembered about Jimi in that time ?
I never really spent much time chatting but was in his presence. I met Kathy Etchingham on a couple of occasions. I knew Noel Redding quite well. I remember seeing him at The Bag o'Nails where he blew everyone away. I just feel very fortunate to have met him and will always be grateful for that.

...the article ends with a thank you note to Iggy:

I would particularly like to thank Iggy for putting me in contact with Jeff Dexter, Robert Orbach and John Altman.
Mr Love in Jimpress 100
Iggy Rose in Jimpress 100.

Hendrix at the Church

The Church has destined a few articles to the Iggy Rose - Jimi Hendrix connection before.

Anthony Stern, who immortalised her in his movies and pictures, first met Iggy at a Hendrix concert at the Speakeasy, this was told in the different press articles Kirsty Whalley wrote about Iggy Rose: Where did she go? and Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea.

In 2010 the Church interviewed Rod Harris, who has been described as the man who launched Jimi Hendrix in the UK: Rod Harrod remembers The Crom. Co-owner from The Cromwellian club Bob Archer told the Church he was the first to book Jimi Hendrix:

True fact is the first place Jimi [Hendrix] played in London was The Crom. He sat in with Brian Auger. Chas [Chandler] brought him in the first night he arrived. Kathy [Etchingham] worked a bit for me. Taken from: The Wrestling Beatle.

And in his 2011 Mojo article Pink Floyd biographer Mark Blake revealed that Iggy saw Hendrix make his UK debut at the Bag O' Nails in November '66: The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo.

Mr. Love
Mr. Love.

A few years ago the Church asked Iggy what she did remember of that Hendrix gig and here is what she confided to the Church (unpublished before):

I think the first mind-blowing experience I had of watching Jimi Hendrix's explosive performance was at the Bag 'O Nails on November the 25th, 1966.
I actually sat on the edge of its tiny stage waiting for the gig to start.
The so-called super cool blasé London in-crowd didn't realise what hit them. From the very first stupendous chord this felt like a typhoon blasting away all sense and reason, reducing everyone in the public into a quivering state of amazement. This phenomenally unique sound provoked a spontaneous eruption in the crowd. Suddenly everyone leapt to their feet with a roar, clamouring to get near the stage to absorb the extraordinary.
And as if that wasn't enough, as soon as Jimi dropped to his knees and started to play the electric guitar with his tongue the roomful of trendy clubbers went ballistic and then he hadn't set his guitar on fire yet. For me it looked like he continued through the night producing spectacular feats of unparalleled works of genius.
Then of course his electrifying voice that touched and melted the most vital. This was oozing raw scalding sex, a river of molten lava erupting from a volcano. Hendrix created an uncontrollable sensation of having multiple orgasms.

Unfortunately the pictures that were in her possession from Jimi Hendrix (with her?) have been lost through the years, as well as those with Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, George Harrison, Brian Jones, Anita Pallenberg, 'Keef' Richards and 'lovely' Keith Moon... (and then there is still a hidden, but rather naughty, but rather arty, Syd & Iggy Madcap Laughs photo session that is in ultra safe hands somewhere).

But not all is lost, the Church also heard that some people want to contact Iggy for a new Rolling Stones related project. The Reverend is pretty sure that somewhere there must be pictures, probably in private hands: Iggy & the Stones.


Many thanks to Tim Greenhall from Jimpress and to all contributors from previous articles mentioned here: Bob Archer, Mark Blake, Rod Harris, Kirsty Whalley...
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Jimpress can be contacted (and bought) at http://www.jimpress.co.uk/
Jimpress is on Facebook as well.

Sources:
Rose, Iggy: Jimi Hendrix at Bag 'O Nails, chat / phone conversation(s) with Felix Atagong somewhere in 2011.

2015-01-04

Bend It (2015): New Iggy Picture Found

Iggy, November 1966 (photoshopped)
Iggy the Eskimo, The Cromwellian, November 1966 (photoshopped).

Could 2015 start any better, we ask you?

Friday evening, the second of January, the Reverend was happily chatting with Iggy Rose when John Cavanagh (musician and author of the 33 1/3 book The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, see also Antonio Jesús’ interview at: John Cavanagh, so much to do, so little time) send the following post to Facebook:

Dear Iggy, with happy new year wishes for 2015 comes a question. I've had this album since the early 2000s and I wonder, is you I see on the cover?

The picture in question was from a CD-compilation called Ripples Volume 4 - Uptown Girls And Big City Boys, issued by Sequel Records in 1999 (NEMCD 455) and since long out of print. The eight Ripples compilations on the Castle / Sequel label were all issued between 1999 and 2000 and contain mostly rare items of British ‘sunshine’ pop and mod. In 2007 the label dissolved when Sanctuary, who had bought them in 2000, became part of Universal Music Group.

While the Reverend was hesitant at first it was Iggy who confirmed it was indeed her.

Iggy Rose: Felix, I was always at that club... look at my dress... same as the black and white picture of me dancing.
The Reverend: I didn't recognise you.
Iggy Rose: It does look odd, LOL... but it’s my button nose, my eyes and baby face...
Iggy at the Crom
Iggy the Eskimo. NME 1064, November 1966.

Iggy was of course referring at the black & white picture that we published on the very first day of the Church (see: Bend It!). There was no mistake possible, this was Iggy in the same silver dress.

The conversation at Facebook then turned to the time and place where this picture was taken. Not Tiles, like someone suggested, but The Cromwellian. The diagonal wooden ornaments on the wall, behind the crowd, are the same as on the pictures that can be found in NME 1037 (see triangle.jpg at our NME Cromwellian gallery). It also seems this picture was taken at the same November 1966 night of the postiche British Bend dance-craze competition. Iggy is posing next to Patrick Kerr, choreographer of the Ready Steady Go! show, who had been hired by the managers of Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich to devise a Bend It novelty dance to avoid an obscenity ban (see Bend It (2013)).

In the background, behind Iggy, is standing another celebrity, as was pointed out by Astro Mocker. It is none other than Chris Farlowe, whose Stones’ cover Out Of Time hit number one in July of that year. The single had been produced by Mick Jagger, who also can be heard on backing vocals (and on acoustic guitar was Jimmy Page, by the way). From the eleven singles Farlowe recorded as a solo artist for the Immediate label five contained Stones covers. Paint It Black and Out Of Time would also surface, next to a shortened version of Pink Floyd's Interstellar Overdrive, on the 1968 soundtrack of Tonight Let’s All Make Love In London.

Iggy the Eskimo on the 'Uptown Girls And Big City Boys' CD cover.

The NME pic-visit to The Cromwellian has a picture that was taken just before or after the one with Iggy. It shows Farlowe looking at the photographer (either Napier Russell or Barry Peake) with Patrick Kerr at the right side: Farlowe.jpg.

Farlowe & Kerr
Chris Farlowe & Patrick Kerr, The Cromwellian, November 1966.

John Cavanagh found out that the copyrights of the picture belong to Pictorial Press Ltd (yeah, this one: Pictorial Press selling fake Pink Floyd pictures!) and a search on their public database finds some other pictures of the same night, all without Iggy though. The nice thing is that they are in colour, so we will contact them to ask what pictures they still have hidden in their closet as they logically must have all shots of that night. Fingers crossed.

But, do you know what this actually wants to say?
That Iggy can now be found on two record covers.
Or to quote her once again:

It is meeeeeeeee.
WHOOOOOOHOOOOOO.
WOWEEEEE.

We just couldn't say it better.


Many thanks to: John Cavanagh, Sean Cowell, Joe Foster, Lori Haines, Antonio Jesús, Astro Mocker, Iggy Rose.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥