The Orchid

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2008-08-30

Shaken not stirred

Iggy by Anthony Stern
Iggy by Anthony Stern

Moviemaker Anthony Stern, who knew Iggy before she met Syd, has confirmed that the person at the Granny Takes A Trip boutique on the IN Gear movie is indeed her. On his turn he will present a home movie called Iggy, Eskimo Girl at The City Wakes festival in Cambridge. A short teaser can could be found on YouTube.

Update 2016 11 15: meanwhile the video has been deleted by the super-vigilant Pink Floyd copyright gestapo.

According to Mick Rock Syd was touched when she left him:

Once I’d developed the film (from The Madcap Laughs photo session, note by FA), I went round to show Syd the pictures. He took this one opposite (page 21 in the PR-book, note by FA) and scratched some lines and his name onto it. I think there was a bit of negativity directed at Iggy. He just started scratching the print, with a big grin on his face. (Taken from Psychedelic Renegades.)

It could be that the scratches on the picture were destined at Iggy, but why did Syd Barrett scratch (more or less) around her figure? Not (and I hope my shrink will never read this) her face or body, in my garbled opinion the logical thing to do if one would try to express negative or revengeful feelings on a photograph. Syd’s body and face is far more scratched than Iggy’s and Barrett also cut the letters SYD on the picture... Perhaps he was just trying to make clear to Mick Rock that he wanted to get rid of his pop-life alter ego.

Mick Rock writes further that he heard from Duggie Fields, the painter who was Syd Barrett’s roommate and who still lives in the same apartment today, that ‘she later went off with some rich guy in Chelsea and lived a very straight life’.

On my main old and abandoned blog (and also on the Late Night forum) I wrote that none of the Pink Floyd biographers have been really looking for Iggy. Mark Blake, author of Pigs Might Fly, responded: “I can't speak for all the PF or SB biographers, but I certainly tried.”

The only bit of new info I found was that there was a chance 'Iggy' may have gone to school in the South London area, as she was known as one of the regular teenage girls at the dancehalls around Purley and Caterham. This would have been around 1965. Duggie Fields recalls seeing her some time after the Madcap Laughs photo session and she was looking a lot more "sloaney". Most of the people I spoke to who knew her believe Iggy married a rich businessman and doesn't now want to be 'found'. (Taken from The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit on Late Night.)

Although scarce the above information is about the most relevant we have had from a biographer in about 30 years.

The most famous dancehall in Purley was the Orchid Ballroom where The Who, The Troggs and The Hollies gigged a couple of times. It started as a regular dance hall (and concert and sporting events hall) in the Fifties and had a local house band The Jackpots in 1963 and 64.

In the mid Sixties (1964 – 1966) the Orchid Ballroom was the meeting place for the Croydon mods who would assemble every Monday night. Witnesses remember Mike (?) Morton, Tony Crane, Jeff Dexter and Sammy Samwell spinning the records. Pete Sanders and Mickey Finn used to be part of the crowd.

Not all these names ring a bell. I could not trace back Mike Morton, but Lionel Morton was the singer and lead guitarist from the Four Pennies who had a hit in 1963 – 1964 with Juliet. Tony Crane was a member of The Mavericks, a band that became famous when they changed the name to The Merseybeats, later The Merseys (David Bowie would cover their Sorrow on his Pin-Ups album, a tune they had borrowed from The McCoys). Mickey Finn could be the man who was the drummer of T. Rex and who also played on the record made by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, the people who were behind the Granny Takes A Trip boutique.

Elizabeth Colclough used to work at the bar in 1968: "It was the place to go to meet friends old and new, weekday evenings and also at the weekend. We saw some great bands, some who are still going strong today.”

Another witness recalls how Cathy (Mc Gowan), the queen of the mods and presenter of the ever popular Ready Steady Go! Show, came to the Orchid Ballroom to spot for dancers to appear in her show. Seen the fact that Iggy was present at an RSG!-party, organised by the show's main choreographer, it is not improbable that she may have been present at some RSG! television-shows as well, as a dancer or as a pretty face in the public.

A book about the history of the Orchid Ballroom has been made and the Church will try to contact its author, there is the (very small) chance that Iggy is mentioned in it.

Update August 2009: Brian Roote, who studied the history of The Orchid confirmed later to the Church: 'I have no knowledge of this girl whatsoever'.

An image gallery with stills of the Iggy, Eskimo Girl movie.


Sources (other than the above internet links):
McAleer, Dave: Beatboom!, Hamlyn, London, 1994, p. 57-59.
Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 20.


2008-09-23

Where did she go?

Iggy by Anthony Stern
Iggy by Anthony Stern.

On September the 17th the Croydon Guardian, a weekly free local newspaper covering South London, devoted an article to Iggy after the Church had revealed that Iggy had probably been a regular visitor at the Purley dancehall The Orchid. The article was brought to my attention by Matthew Taylor from Escape Artists who was so kind to point me to a scan of the article, neatly hidden in a dark corner from the (long deleted) City Wakes website.

It all started with a remark on the Late Night forum why no one had ever tried to locate Iggy. Pink Floyd biographer Mark Blake promptly denied this and added some extra titbits to the Iggy enigma. He had found out that she was probably a South Londoner who used to go dancing in dancehalls in or around Purley. More about the Church’s quest to locate Iggy’s dancing habits can be found on a previous entry on this blog: Shaken not stirred.

This ended with the promise that the Church would try to find some more information about the place and the people who visited it. A mail was send to a historian of the Bourne Society but without success. The same message however to a journalist of the Croydon Guardian was immediately replied. Some initial information was exchanged and journalist Kirsty Walley did an excellent job by getting testimonies, not only from Anthony Stern, but also from a DJ who used to spin records at the Orchid, Jeff Dexter, and who still remembers Iggy.

So, where did she go to, our lovely?
By Kirsty Whalley
In the Swinging 60s she was an iconic model who broke the heart of Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett. Known only as Iggy she is thought to have lived in Thornton Heath and was a regular at the Orchid Ballroom in Purley between 1963 and 1967. Then she vanished and for the past three decades the former 60's in-crowd has wondered where she went?
Former friends, director and artist Anthony Stern and DJ Jeff Dexter, are both searching for the enigmatic model, who featured naked on the cover of Barrett's solo album Madcap Laughs. She was nicknamed "the Eskimo" because it was thought that she was part Inuit. DJ Jeff Dexter, who regularly played at the Orchid, vividly remembers the beautiful girl who used to talk to him while he played his set. He first noticed her in 1963. He said: “Iggy was part of a group of very wonderful looking south London girls. She was unusual because she did not look like anyone else at the time. Since she disappeared, she has become a bit of an enigma.”
Dexter says that he met the director and artist Anthony Stern in 1967 and that Iggy became involved with him at about the same time. Anthony took many pictures of the model and also made a film of her, which will be shown for the first time at the City Wakes festival this October in Cambridge. Stern said: “Iggy was my muse. I met her at a Hendrix gig at the Speakeasy. She was a lovely inspiration and free spirit. I never knew her real name.” “We used to hang out together, occasionally dropping acid, staying up all night, going for walks at dawn in Battersea Park.” The artist said he recently discovered photographs that he took of Iggy on a houseboat near Lots Road in Chelsea. “She entirely captures the spirit of the Sixties, living for the moment, completely carefree.”
Photographer Mick Rock remembers turning up at Barrett’s to take photographs for his solo album cover. At an interview in 199 he said: “Syd was still in his underpants when he opened the door. He’d totally forgotten about the session and fell about laughing. Iggy the Eskimo was naked in the kitchen making coffee. She didn’t mind either. They both laughed a lot and it was a magical session.” The most iconic images of her appear on the album, where she poses naked in the background.
After she broke up with Barrett she disappeared. Felix Atagong, who has set up a website in her honour, said: “According to the painter Duggie Fields, she got married to a rich guy from Chelsea and led a ‘decent’ life after that.”
Anthony and Jeff both admit they have spent time looking for her. “the truth is, if she has not come forward by now, she probably doesn’t want to be found,” said Anthony.
(picture insert: It-crowd icon: Iggy the Eskimo). An online version of the article can be found here.

An entirely new and previously unreleased picture of Iggy accompanies the newspaper article. This comes out of the personal collection of Anthony Stern. It is believed that more pictures from his collection may be unearthed on a later date.


2008-09-28

Jeff Dexter Light & Sound Show

Pink Floyd & Jeff Dexter @ Tiles
Pink Floyd & Jeff Dexter @ Tiles.

Sammy Samwell

Delving deeper into the history of the The Orchid Ballroom (Purley) one cannot go around two musical partners in crime: Jeff Dexter and Sammy Samwell.

Ian ‘Sammy’ Samwell had been a member of The Drifters, the backup band for Harry Webb. They would become a wee bit more successful when Harry changed his name to Cliff Richard (it was Samwell’s idea to cut the final S from Richards to give the pseudonym extra spice). At the same time the backup band was renamed to The Shadows (as there was already an American band call The Drifters). When Hank Marvin joined the band Ian Samwell stepped aside and concentrated on composing hits, producing and disk jockeying.

Samwell was probably the first to acquire a star status as a DJ, before that the DJ had always been the invisible nobody who turned a few singles when the bands on stage were switching places. For the first time in history people came to The Lyceum to see the DJ at work instead of the house band.

As a producer Ian worked with Aynsley Dunbar, Georgie Fame, John Mayall, The Small Faces and he would also be known as the man 'who discovered America'. Ian 'Sammy' Samwell passed away March 13, 2003.

Jeff Dexter

As a youngster Jeff Dexter wasn’t into pop music at all, but dancing with girls was, so he simply gave in. At The Lyceum (1961-ish) he met DJ Sammy Samwell and they soon became friends. Not long after that Jeff made quite a name because he was barred from the dance floor for making an attempt at The Twist, originally a Hank Ballard B-side. When a few weeks later The Twist became a Chubby Checker superhit The Lyceum hired the mod they had banned before. He became a professional dancer and had to instruct the dance crazy public the moves of the week.

Around 1962 – 1963 Jeff moved to The Orchid Ballroom, the biggest ballroom in Europe with four different bars.

Chicken & Chicks, as they called it. Fish bar. Chicken bar. They had this big ice igloo where they sold ice cream sodas. They had an upstairs bar. And they had a roundabout which was another bar, a revolving bar, all in this wonderful huge building. (Taken from DJHistory.)

Jeff Dexter noticed Iggy in 1963.

Iggy was part of a group of very wonderful looking south London girls. She was unusual because she did not look like anyone else at the time. Since she disappeared, she has become a bit of an enigma. (taken from the Croydon Guardian.)

While Ian Samwell was the main DJ at The Orchid Jeff worked as a dancer and singer of the house band and as an occasional DJ. This would become his prime profession and later on he would also spin records at Tiles, UFO and Middle Earth (where John Peel was another DJ).

As a member of the Underground in-crowd, (the index of Days In The Life gives him 20 entries), he would witness the raise and fall of the movement that wasn’t a movement to begin with and the hostile reaction of the powers that be.

Middle Earth closed after the horrible scenes of the police raid. We had had a private party that night and somebody had brought along their children. The police raided, found the children and told the Covent Garden porters we were crucifying children in there. So they smashed the place to pieces. (…) Jenny Fabian and I were locked in the box office while they wrecked the place.

In Jenny Fabian’s semi-auto-biographical account of her Groupie days Jeff Dexter appears as Len although Dexter maintains: “I was the only one she didn’t fuck”.


Sources (other than the above internet links):
Bacon, Tony: London Live, Balafon Books, London, 1999, p. 101.
Green, Jonathon: Days In The Life, Pimlico, London, 1998, p.222, p. 283.


2008-11-16

Si les cochons pourraient voler...

Flamant Rose by Felix Atagong
Flamant Rose, by Felix Atagong

Have you ever seen President Sarkozy on the telly giving a speech? He always thinks he is doing a bloody Hamlet. His performances, because that is what he thinks they are, remind me more of Louis de Funès (or for the non-Francophiles among us: Benny Hill) than Napoleon Bonaparte, another one of those short short-tempered little men with a short fuse who think they can rule the world.

This post contains a fairly well hidden review of the Pink Floyd biography Pigs Might Fly by Mark Blake.

Contents:
1. Flamingoes might fly, about the very first Pink Floyd biography, written in French, by Jean-Marie Leduc.
2. Floydstuff, a rant about merchandising and tribute albums.
3. Pigs Might Fly, review of the Mark Blake biography.
4. A final word about Jean-Marie Leduc.

Flamingoes might fly

Eloquence is a French way of speech but that was not what I was thinking of when I read the following, decades ago:

Je ne sais qui doit le plus à l’autre! La France ou le Pink Floyd? Le Pink Floyd peut-être.
(translation) I don’t know who owes the other more! France or Pink Floyd? Pink Floyd perhaps.

The above is the start of a French rock biography (1977 edition), called Pink Floyd, written by Rock & Folk journalist Jean-Marie Leduc and issued by Albin Michel. Rock & Folk was an excellent French music magazine, that started in 1966, hence its name, and that wanted to inform the French public from the new trends in modern pop music. Jean-Marie Leduc hopped to London and wrote several articles about the London Underground music scene and le pouvoir des fleurs. He discovered this incredible band that would soon be the French progressive student movement’s darling, le Pink Floyd.

Although the most common language at London at that time was the language of love it would’ve helped Jean-Marie Leduc a little bit if he had actually understood some English. Which he didn’t. Probably the acid didn’t help either. That didn’t stop him to write a Pink Floyd biography that was published in October 1973, and that could still be found, a decade later, in every bookstore and self-respecting newspaper and magazine shop in France. Selling figures nearly must have achieved the same height as a regular Pink Floyd album; Leduc’s Pink Floyd was an instant classic and a steady seller.

It was also full of blunders. At page 19 Leduc wrongly mistakes the Pink Flamingo club for the band and throughout the book he will name the lads le Flamant Rose. This (wrong) translation was taken over by all French rock magazines and it would take Rock & Folk until July 1994 to officially denounce the rumour that a Pink Floyd is a Phoenicopterus Roseus. Another botch is on page 49 where Leduc claims that...

...le 2 novembre (1967) (…) un nouveau simple du groupe “Apologises / Jugband blues” est commercialisé en Angleterre’.
(translation) on the 2nd of November (1967) (...) a new single of the band is released in England: “Apologises / Jugband blues” .

This one simple sentence has made French speaking Pink Floyd fans look for this non-existent track of the band for over a decade. At the end of the book the mistake is repeated at the discography, Jean-Marie Leduc keeps on maintaining that the Floyd’s third single was Jugband blues / Apologies (please note the different orthography and running order).

Update November 2011: it was later cleared out that once again it had been Leduc's extended knowledge of the English language that made him misunderstand 'Apples and Oranges' for 'Apologies' or 'Apologises'.

Jean-Marie Leduc’s biography was probably the very first biography on the band, as Charles Beterams wrote in the Echoes, a Dutch fan club magazine, and despite the mistakes it also contains a stunning revelation about the bands first recording, forgotten by most of the biographies that would come next. Leduc interviewed Nick Mason in 1973 and asked if Astronomy Domine was the Floyd’s first composition. Mason answered (translated from French back into English):

Not true. Our first composition was titled Lucy Lee in blue tight or something similar. We recorded it on acetate but it was never commercialised.

Once again Jean-Marie Leduc’s average knowledge of the English language made him note the song as Lucy Lee, and not as Lucy Leave, although Nick Mason’s pronunciation of the song title may not have been too comprehensible as well. It would take ages for another journalist to re-discover the truth about the band’s first recording.

Floydstuff

One bloke who does remember Lucy Leave is Mark Blake. In 2007 he wrote a Pink Floyd biography entitled Pigs Might Fly but because I am such a stingy money spender I wanted to wait until the paperback came sailplaning to me. The last couple of years it is raining Pink Floyd related books and accessories as if all kind of shady people want to have their free ride on the gravy train. It is of course a double feeling, here we are Pink Floyd fans wanting to know everything (and we mean everything) on the band but on the other hand we feel as if we are inside an orange squeezer (or to use Gerald Scarfe’s weird world of Floydian symbolism: a meat grinder). The last thing I’ve read on Pink Floyd merchandising is that Converse will bring out a range of shoes based on the cover art of three of their albums. Part of me is yelling yuck!, but another part is jumping up and down, not a pretty sight if you would catch me on my webcam.

About a decade ago, perhaps a bit longer, small record companies suddenly discovered the tribute album. I jumped on it as a hungry louce on a passing German shepherd dog. But when my heap of tribute records, all made to honestly commemorate the band and not to make a quick buck, started to become bigger than my genuine Pink Floyd collection I simply gave up. I think that Babies Go Pink Floyd was the last tribute album I bought, partially because the concept attracted me. If you also feel tempted to listen to it.
Don’t.
Not only the record is tripe and you wouldn’t want to confront any baby with it without giving him or her a lifelong phobia for Pink Floyd music but also it doesn’t actually motivates grown-ups either to start procreating, normally a quite amusing and satisfactory pastime.

Recently I found this add from Dwell records that goes something like this:

The biggest names in hard rock and avant-garde metal have come together to pay tribute to the madcap genius of Syd Barrett. Featuring some of heavy-metals most influential players, this is a hard-rocking trip through the music world’s most idiosyncratic minds.

Some of the bands present on the record are the following: Dreg, Giant Squid, Jarboe, Kylesa and my favourite Stinking Lizaveta. Except in some distant Norwegian fjordic regions where these bands are probably world famous amongst the local satanic black metal scene these bands don’t really merit the eptitheton ‘biggest name in hard rock’ to begin with. I would have written the add for this album a little bit less triumphant:

Several virtually unknown hard rock and avant-garde metal bands that are constantly struggling to have a record contract have come together to rip off the musical heritage of Syd Barrett. Featuring some of heavy-metals obscurest players, this is a fruitless hard-rocking trip trying to get a fan-base that exceeds the dozen.

Now that is what I call a more realistic description of the project. You can listen to the songs at MySpace and I have to confess they don’t all sound like rubbish to me.

But all the above was merely a long, way too long, way to say that I quit buying Pink Floyd tribute records a while ago as most were, are and will be… full of crap. I had the same compulsive buying disorder when it came to Pink Floyd related music magazines and books. Despite the fact that I can’t play guitar I have dozens of guitar magazines that promise you the tablature of the third guitar solo in Comfortably Numb and a brand new exclusive Pink Floyd interview that was in fact already published in another guitar magazine from three years before that I already had in my scrapbook.

I define myself more than the average Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett fan, but less than an anorak, fanorak suits me fine.. Anoraks have the tendency to start flame wars because someone has told that Syd Barrett was wearing green socks on the 7th of August 1967 while every aficionado knows he was wearing brown socks that day. (To avoid death threats: I’ve just made this whole sock-thing up, but the 7th of August 1967 was of course an important day in Floydian history, about the importance of green socks, just check David Gilmour’s inside sleeve of his About Face album and shiver.)

So I quit buying Pink Floyd books as well, more or less… the last I bought was The Rough Guide To Pink Floyd that can now be found at local lo-price bookshops for the third of the price I bought it for. That is a very nice Pink Floyd biography by the way, and if you are in search for one, well don’t hesitate and get it. It’s cheap and cheerful.

Pigs Might Fly  

But this post was originally intended as a review of Pigs Might Fly, a Pink Floyd biography by Mark Blake and all I did until now is take the piss out of:

a) the very first Pink Floyd biography by Jean-Marie Leduc;
b) the various tribute cds that do exist;
c) the growing pile of Pink Floyd biographies…

So I had given up buying Pink Floyd biographies but when I wrote on the Late Night forum that nobody had ever tried to locate Syd’s girlfriend we know as Iggy Mark Blake promptly replied that he certainly had. I more or less apologised and answered that I would read his biography.

So I did.

Who am I to post a review about a book that Record Collector choose as book of the year, that Q magazine described as a ‘detailed, orderly, first-rate read’, while Mojo praised its ‘heroic research’. It’s excellent, well written, full of anecdotes and it seems to please the casual and the more ardent fan of the band, although it still forgets to mention the colour of socks Syd Barrett was wearing on the 7th of August 1967. Anoraks will always find something to grumble about. I did. I found a mistake from microscopical importance about the Publius affair but only people daft enough to look for the Enigma mystery will probably realise that.

A while ago I started a side-project called the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. In it I am looking for the whereabouts of the girl who appeared on the cover of the Syd Barrett album The Madcap Laughs. It is rather amazing how many bits and pieces can be found after all these years, but apparently Iggy was quite a character in those flowery powery days. The time was ripe as other people suddenly started to reveal their Iggy memories, amongst them Anthony Stern who made a four-minute movie about her in the Sixties that was premiered this year.

I wrote some things about Iggy that I thought were revolutionary but apparently Mark Blake had unravelled these before in his biography, only he didn’t need as many space to write these things down than I did and if this review goes on like this it might be longer than the book itself.

On page 140 Mark Blake writes about how Iggy performed The Bend (Church article: Bend It!), on the next page he reveals the existence of the Anthony Stern movie (before it became an item on YouTube) and how she used to go dancing at The Orchid in Purley (Church article: Shaken not stirred). And all this a year before the Church was started and something of an Iggy hype was created. Hats off to Mark Blake.

Mark Blake is not only an accurate but also a beautiful writer (I’m not speaking about his physical appearance here), reading the bit about the Live 8 reunion gave me tears in my eyes although I normally only weep when I read sweet little things about dying puppies. That more or less sums it up really; Pigs Might Fly moved me and I thank Mark Blake a lot for that.

(In America the book has been published under the alternative title Comfortably Numb, this was the working title of the book but as the cover has a snapshot from Battersea Power Station, including flying pig balloon, this was changed for the European market.)

A final word about Jean-Marie Leduc

One of the funnier parts of the very first Pink Floyd biography are the translated song texts. The Floyd’s first album is called Le joueur de flûte aux grilles de l’aube, but my favourite still is a song that is called Bonbons et pain aux raisins. And what to think about the following, I let you guess what song this has been taken from:

De tortueux signes voltigent.
Lueur. Lueur. Lueur.
Fla. Pom. Pom.
Escaliers d’épouvante et lois de mort…

And a final word for collectors

If you are looking for a copy of the Pink Floyd book by Jean-Marie Leduc be sure to buy the Albin Michel / Rock & Folk versions (several editions from 1973 till 1983). In 1987 another book by Jean-Marie Leduc, also called Pink Floyd, and in the same mini format, was presented to the public by Le Club Des Stars / Seghers. Although based upon the previous versions this book has been completely rewritten and most of the errors have been edited out.


If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Fasten Your Anoraks 
This post has been previously published at Felix Atagong's Unfinished Projects.
(The lyrics above are Leduc's French translation of Astronomy Domine.)


2009-05-07

Iggy at the Gates of Dawn

Syds Dark Lady
Syd's Dark Lady.

It has been awfully quiet at the Iggy front. Call it spring fatigue, problems of the heart or plain laziness but the Reverend was a bit depressed. When The Holy Church started on eight eight eight  (the number of the beauty) this little blog shook and stirred like a dry martini ogling in front of Mr. James Bond.

While the quest was new and aloof and thrilling enthusiasm was flowing through the Reverend’s loins it actually felt that the mission was leading somewhere, and the Head of the Church felt like Robert Langdon manoeuvring towards that mythical pyramid in front of the Louvre, safe-keeper of the holy grail.

The Church did dig something out however, one post evoked an article at the Croydon Guardian and the Reverend managed to have chats with entre-autres Anthony Stern, Barrett-biographers Julian Palacios and Mark Blake, culminating in the publication of the memoirs of a first-hand witness who happened to know both Syd and Iggy and who may well have introduced the one to the other, although she refuses to take credit for that.

There are a lot of unverified rumours around Syd Barrett, the one more ludicrous than the other; a recent (French) biography even managed to produce some the Reverend was not aware of, like the fact that Roger Keith, at one point in his eccentric career, tried to be an airline pilot. Probably the biographer mixed him up with Bruce Dickinson or Nick Mason, who used to fly the Maiden’s and Floyd’s tour planes. Anybody who saw Syd Barrett on a bicycle in and around Cambridge will testify that a plane was not going to be his most favourite transportation vehicle.

There are several unverified facts about Iggy as well, some of which have never been published before and will not be published here until witnesses willing to approve (or disapprove) are found.

Over the past months the Church contacted (this is just a sample out of a long list):
a British amateur historian, who was going to publish the definitive history of The Orchid Ballroom at Purley and who told the Church: 'I have no knowledge of this girl whatsoever.';
a member of Dusty Springfield’s backup band (after it had been testified that Ig once went to an après-gig Dusty party);
a surviving organiser of the decadent party where Syd’s When Syd met Iggy... (Pt. 2) was raffled off;
a few photographers; and even…
a 1966 flatmate of someone who may (not) have been in contact with Iggy at all…

Most of the time no reply was received at all and if a reply did come it was a polite thank-you-but...-note, a bit like the hasty apologies one makes when interrupted on the street by a madman who asks if you can’t lend him a 7 inch knife for a minute or so.

The Reverend felt like Moses, who guided his people for 40 years in a desert any sane person on a camel can cross in two weeks time, hence the reason why Moses is probably the patron saint of all taxi drivers in the world, but suddenly he, the Reverend - not Moses, found salvation on Walpurgisnacht by a flickering flame.

What better way to celebrate the coming of the new dawn than to introduce two new Iggy stills by Anthony Stern, presented to us by Chimera Arts on a renewed Iggy Eskimo Girl webpage?

http://www.chimera-arts.com/Film Page Images/Iggy1.jpg
http://www.chimera-arts.com/Film Page Images/Iggy3.jpg
 

The future smiles upon us, dear brethren and sistren, and will be coloured Iggy…
Go in peace, my flock, and don’t do anything that Iggy wouldn’t have done...

An (updated) image gallery with stills of the movie Iggy, Eskimo Girl can be found... at the gallery.


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


2010-01-30

(I've got my) Mojo (working...)

Mojo March 2010 Cover
Mojo March 2010 Cover.

As if the world has suddenly been hit by a temporal rift in spacetime the March 2010 issue of Mojo music magazine has inundated the stores bearing a big (slightly photoshopped) portrait of a mister Syd Barrett. The well-written and rather accurate cover article, by Pat Gilbert, ranges from page 70 to 81 and tells the story of The Madcap Laughs, Syd Barrett’s first solo album.

Two other articles are of particular interest to the Church as they describe the mythical presence of a ‘girl whose naked body graced the back cover of The Madcap Laughs’.

Who’s That Girl (page 76 insert) is written by Mark Blake, author of the Pink Floyd biography Pigs Might Fly, and an occasional visitor (and contributor) of the Church. Out of courtesy (and for copyright reasons) the Church will not publish the article as long as the magazine is for sale in the shops.
Update: Direct link to the article: Mojo March 2010 (hosted at the Church as the article was removed from the official Barrett website in 2016).

People reading magazines with binoculars will find an odd reference to the Church as the Croydon Guardian article from the 17th September 2008 has been reproduced as well, however in such small print that one needs to xerox it in blow-up mode to distinguish individual letters. The article in full can be consulted at the Church (Where did she go?) but is also still present on the archives of the Croydon Guardian (Where did she go to our lovely?).

Mark Blake writes in Mojo:

In 2008, (Jeff) Dexter and (Anthony) Stern tried to trace the elusive Iggy, and were interviewed in the Croydon Guardian for leads to the whereabouts of the “carefree girl who captured the spirit of the ‘60s”.

Actually the motor behind this article were not Dexter and Stern but the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, after - truth has to be acknowledged – Mark Blake had revealed earlier that Iggy ‘was known as one of the regular teenage girls at the dancehalls around Purley and Caterham’ (see also: Shaken not stirred ).

Researching The Orchid dancehall in Purley, the Reverend found two articles that had appeared in the Croydon Guardian: In dance hall days (9th August 2006) and We remember the Orchid (29th August 2006).

The Church tried to contact Brian Roote in September 2008, an amateur historian writing a book about the Purley dancehall, but this resulted more than a year later in the simple comment: ‘I have no knowledge of this girl whatsoever'.

The Reverend had more chance with journalist Kerry McQueeney author of the two Orchid articles, but no longer working for the Croydon Guardian. He passed the story to Kirsty Whalley who was now editor of the Heritage pages of the newspaper. On the 3rd September of 2008 she replied:

We would like to feature this story in the newspaper next week and hopefully it will prompt a few people to call in.

In the same mail she also asked if the Church could give some leads and amongst the people to contact the Reverend mentioned the names of Mick Rock and Anthony Stern. Kirsty Whalley did an excellent job and did not only interview both men, but also Jeff Dexter who had been a DJ at The Orchid.

The next sermon at the Church will cover the second Iggy-related article from Mojo 196. In My Room, written by Paul Drummond, contains interviews with Duggie Fields, Mick Rock, Storm Thorgerson and Jenny Spires.

The Madcap Laughs Again (Mojo Tribute CD)

Mojo 196 comes with a Madcap Laughs cover CD as interpreted by (amongst others): R.E.M., Captain Sensible, Hawkwind, Jennifer Gentle, Marc Almond and Robyn Hitchcock. Reviews of this CD can be found at Late Night: The Madcap Laughs Again, including the one written by the Reverend.

The Mojo website contains a Syd Barrett top 20 jukebox and three YouTube links to Syd's legendary unreleased material. One of those fan-made videos (Lucy Leave) has been created by limpidgreen aka dollyrocker, a much appreciated Late Night forum member. Way to go, dollyrocker! (All links dead, we're afraid.)


2010-02-13

Iggy’s first interview in 40 years

Iggy by Anthone Stern
Iggy by Anthony Stern.

Last week The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit published the incredible news that Iggy had been traced back. This was a world exclusive as no other news medium had reported this before.

The news that Iggy had been found was, unfortunately, also all there was to say. Although discreet investigations were done it was soon made clear that she wanted to stay anonymous and that she didn’t want to blow her cover. A short interview was out of the question, even for Mojo magazine and Mark Blake who triggered these latest events.

The Reverend is by all means not a souvenir collector who wanted to ring at her bell like all those true fans used to do at Syd Barrett’s door and her wish to be left in peace was immediately and unconditionally granted.

In September 2008 The Croydon Guardian published an article about Iggy after the Church had contacted the newspaper to get more information about The Orchid dancehall in Purley: Where did she go?  This article unearthed some unpublished pictures by Anthony Stern that were later shown at The City Wakes festival in Cambridge and was also mentioned in the March issue of Mojo.

Kirsty Whalley, the journalist who brought us the first Iggy article in The Croydon Guardian, has now managed to interview Iggy, an interview that can be found in today’s issue of this newspaper.

When Mick turned up to take the photos I helped paint the floor boards for the shoot, I was covered in paint, I still remember the smell of it.

The Church will not publish the entire interview in its columns - for at least a week - as it can be consulted at the following websites:
Croydon Guardian Tracks Down Elusive Rock Star Muse (The Croydon Guardian)
Croydon Guardian Tracks Down Elusive Rock Star Muse (This Local London)

In the next weeks however the Church will scrutinize the interview, and comments will be added where appropriate. For the moment all we wish to say is hip hip hurray to Kirsty Whalley!


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.


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)


2011-03-13

The Mighty Queen

Eskimo Rose.
Eskimo Rose.

In January of this year Mojo published a (way too short) Mark Blake article about Iggy, who – in the Sixties - was metonymically but erroneously described as an Eskimo. There is a realistic chance that this blog, politically correct named the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, would never have seen the light of day if Iggy had been nicknamed something else.

Titled SYD BARRETT'S ENIGMATIC COVER COMPANION CLEARS UP SOME QUERIES the article actually added to the mystery, although Mark Blake is, of course, not to blame: Iggy is just mysterious by nature. And the more we find out, the more mysterious it gets.

The Church was erected for just that, to reveal the enigma behind an enigmatic woman but now that Evelyn has stepped into Mark Zuckerberg's limelight the Church has made a deliberate step backwards. Let it be known that the Church will be discreet about present Evelyn. She is not Truman Burbank and it is none of our business what she had for breakfast this morning anyway (bacon butties and a steaming hot cup of tea, if you wanna know, and the Reverend had some croissants and a cup of coffee).

Mark Blake also published an extended 'director's cut' of his interview and now the time for the Church has come to comment, amend or append on some of his poignant paragraphs. We will be cruel and ruthless although the reader should realise that above every line a virtual 'Well done, Mark Blake!' Church sign is blinking. A bit like this:

Well done, Mark Blake!

NME 1037

Before long, The Holy Church Of Iggy The Inuit, a fansite in her honour, had appeared, its webmaster, Felix Atagong, sifting through ever scrap of information gleaned from MOJO and elsewhere with a forensic scientist's attention to detail. Among Felix's discoveries was a November 1966 issue of NME which featured a photo of "Iggy who is half eskimo" dancing at South Kensington's Cromwellian club. (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 3)
Mark Blake
Mark Blake.

Mark gives the Reverend too many credits here. The Church mainly rips other people's ideas (not an uncommon practice with Churches, although they mostly prefer to rip other people's wallets) and the November 26, 1966 New Musical Express Iggy picture was not discovered by the Church. The scan was already floating around on the web. Neptune Pink Floyd, for instance, published it in November 2006, two years before the Church started.

However the Church did trace a copy of that particular NME, hoping there would be some extra news about Evelyn, but to our regret Iggy is not mentioned at all in the accompanying text (several scans of NME 1037 can be found in our gallery).

The Croydon Guardian

Believing that Iggy may have gone to school in Thornton Heath, Jeff and Anthony contacted The Croydon Guardian, who ran an article - So Where Did She Go To, My Lovely - enquiring after the whereabouts of the girl "who entirely captured the spirit of the '60s". (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 4)

Time to pull the plug of that 'Well done, Mark Blake!' sign above we're afraid, as The Croydon Guardian was informed by none other than the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.

After the Church was informed that Iggy had been a regular visitor of The Orchid in Purley the Reverend googled and found two Croydon Guardian articles about the dance hall: In dance hall days (9th August 2006) and We remember the Orchid (29th August 2006).

The Church contacted Brian Roote, a historian from the Bourne Society who had been researching the history of the Orchid, but without success. Journalist Kerry McQueeney, author of the Orchid articles, passed the Church mail to Kirsty Whalley, editor of the Croydon Guardian Heritage pages. She replied the Church on the third September of 2008:

We would like to feature this story in the newspaper next week and hopefully it will prompt a few people to call in.
Kirsty Whalley
Kirsty Whalley.

Kirsty Whalley also asked the Church for a decent Iggy picture and here is what the Reverend answered:

Probably the best way to get an (unpublished) picture of Iggy is to contact Anthony Stern (former boyfriend of Iggy in 1966) who made a movie with her that will be shown on The City Wakes festival in Cambridge, so more than 40 years after it was filmed. (Taken from: Visitor at Orchid Ballroom - 1965 – 1967, mail to Kirsty Whalley, 3 September 2008 22:04.)

Kirsty Whalley took the information, given by the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, to heart (probably the first time in the Reverend’s entire career that a woman actually listened to his advice) and interviewed Anthony Stern who also donated a previous unpublished picture of Evelyn, just like the Church had predicted. She then did an excellent job by contacting Jeff Dexter (or perhaps Jeff Dexter contacted her after having spoken to Anthony Stern) and wrote a damn fine article: Where did she go? 

It took over a year for someone to 'call in', because in February 2010 Kirsty Whalley published the very first Iggy interview in 40 years that even took the Church by surprise (see: Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea). What the Reverend doesn't understand though is why the Croydon Guardian journalist doesn't like to be reminded that it was the Church who gave her the scoop. So no pretty blinking Church sign for you, Kirsty!

From Dieppe to Delhi

Iggy's father was a British army officer, who served alongside Louis Mountbatten, and attended the official handover ceremony from Great Britain to India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharial Nehru in 1947. (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 7)
Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten.
Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten.

Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, born in 1900 and killed by an IRA bomb in 1979, was destined to pursue a glorious military career. Like so many of his aristocratic peers this career was not per se based on actual military performances but on the amount of names he had been given at birth. After a military débâcle at Dieppe in 1942, where 3,623 out of 6,086 soldiers, mostly Canadians, were either killed, wounded, or captured by the Germans, Mountbatten was given a new military playground as Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Command. The Dieppe raid (unauthorised by the general staff) provoked a schism between the Canadian and British army leaders during the second world war and the mistrust would linger on for decades to come.

In 1947 Mountbatten was nominated Viceroy and Governor-General of India and his principal task was to lead India (separated from Pakistan) in a peaceful way towards independence. This lead to one of the bloodiest massacres the subcontinent has ever seen. Muslims fled from India to Pakistan, Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan to India and about 500,000 people lost their lives in the process (death toll numbers vary from 200,000 to a million).

Up the Khyber

"My father also knew all about Mountbatten's wife's affair with Nehru," she adds mischievously. During a spell of leave, he had travelled to a remote village in the Himalayas "where he met the woman that would become my mother." Iggy was born in Pakistan, and attended army schools in India and Aden, before the family moved to England. (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 7)

In the night of 14 to 15 August 1947 India and Pakistan officially separated from London and because this had been supervised so well by Mountbatten, he was entitled to another promotion. From now on he could add the title of Governor-General of India on his business card. In other words: Mountbatten was now the de facto monarch of the new state.

Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten
Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten.

Lucky there was still his wife, Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten. Her part-time job was to visit the refugee camps her husband was so kind to fill up and to hump India's prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, although there are some biographers who maintain that their relationship was purely platonic.

But enough politics. Around that time Iggy's father, posted in Pakistan, went for an evening stroll in the Himalaya's where his spell of leave soon developed in a spell of love. It is believed that in March 1947 the couple did exchange something more than friendly kisses. The Church always believed that Iggy was somewhat older than Syd Barrett (see: When Syd met Iggy), but this new evidence shows she is nearly two years younger than him (and, should this be of any interest to anyone, both Syd and Ig were born on a Sunday).

If Ig attended school in Pakistan, the family must have been there until early 1950. Although the country was independent several hundred of British officers stayed in Pakistan until the Pakistan army had enough officers to take care of its own. There was a 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment at Rawalpindi (Pakistan), with Indian bases at Amritsar, Calcutta, Jhansi, Jullunder (Jalandhar) and Lahore (Pakistan) but the Church's research couldn't link Ig's father to this battalion. The Wiltshire Regiment left the Indias in October 1947, but her father stayed in Pakistan for a couple of years longer.

Map of Aden
Map of Aden.

The garden of Aden

It is not that weird either that the family was dispatched to Aden. Before 1937 Aden was an (overseas) part of British India and after that it became a separate British Crown colony, much to the enjoyment of philatelists from all over the world. It would stay under British reign until 1963 and in 1967 it was absorbed by the People's Republic of South Yemen.

Kids could go to the Khormaksar primary and secondary school (close to the RAF airport base), but there was the (Roman-Catholic) Good Shepherd Convent School for girls as well, the Isthmus School and the Selim Girl's School that was badly damaged in the anti-Semitic pogroms from 1947.

There are quite a few blogs and forums about Aden with hundreds of pictures of the fifties and sixties, but the Reverend couldn't find Iggy back, yet. The Mojo article has a picture from Ig at Worthing Beach, in the early Sixties, so around 1963 they may have returned to England.

London Underground

In January 1969 Iggy met Syd, thanks to their common friend Jenny Spires. The outside world didn't always realise that Ig and Syd became an item. Ig was unaware that Syd had been a pop star, but then one day:

He [Syd] then said, 'Would you listen to this?' And he bought out this big, old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape recorder, and said, 'Tell me what you think'." Syd then played her the songs that would end up on The Madcap Laughs. One track, Terrapin, made an immediate impression. "I said, 'That's quite catchy', and, of course, I don't think Syd was really into catchy...It was a long tape, and he didn't demand any opinion, but just asked if I thought it was OK. At the end he said 'Someone at EMI - I cannot remember the name - wants me to make a record. How would you feel about having a rock star boyfriend?'" (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 1, paragraph 12)

This may have happened in the weekend of 12 and 13 April 1969 after Malcolm Jones and Syd had started working on the new album:

During the tea break we discussed going back to some of the songs started the previous year, in particular 'Golden Hair', and perhaps 'Late Night' although the original version of that had been destroyed, it seemed. We returned to the studio and started work on another new song, 'Terrapin'. In one take Syd laid down a guitar and vocal track that was to be the master! At my suggestion Syd double tracked his vocal part, and that was it!

One day Syd Barrett disappeared from the flat and Iggy, in a jealous mood, fearing he was seeing another woman, tracked down her friend in David Gilmour's appartment, just a few blocks away.

"I went in, shouting, 'OK, where is she?' thinking there was a woman hiding in one of the rooms. But, of course, the meeting had been with Dave about the record they were making together." Barrett left Iggy with Gilmour, but rather the worse for wear, she knocked the stylus on his record player accidentally scratching his copy of Pink Floyd's brand new album. "I have no idea what album it was, only that it was their new album," Iggy sighs. (The likely candidate seems to be Soundtrack From The Film More) "So Dave threw me out..." (The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 2, paragraph 3)

Here is again an excellent opportunity to grab the Church's copies of Glenn Povey's 'Echoes' and David Parker's 'Random Precision'. According to David Parker Barrett had his last recording session with Malcolm Jones on the 3rd and 4th of May, while the David Gilmour sessions started a month later (see our 1969 calendar). On the 6th of May however 'a set of rough mixes' of the album was made, presumably to be handed over to Gilmour (and Waters), who had promised to finalise the album (it is significant that on that tape Opel, Swan Lee and Rhamadan are still present).

But probably Barrett, Jones, Gilmour and Waters had been discussing about all this before. The Church has always believed that Iggy left Syd somewhere in April and up till now Ig's visit to Gilmour's apartment fits nicely into that scheme.

Mark Blake wisely deducts the scratched record has to be 'More'. More was released on Friday, the 13th of June 1969, but of course Gilmour may have had a copy some weeks before. Another, but more unlikely, candidate is 'Ummagumma'. Although only released in November the Floyd had already been recording some pieces for this album in January and February, together with the 'More' sessions, so perhaps Gilmour and Barrett could've listened to an acetate instead. And of course the live tracks of that album must have been circulating amongst the band members as well.

But there is still another possibility. Margaretta Barclay told the Church she has a postcard sent to her and Ig at Wetherby Mansions in June 1969 so perhaps Ig's departure took place after More had been officially released (see: Gretta Speaks 2).


Notes (other than internet links mentioned above):
Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p. 139-158.
Jones, Malcolm: The Making Of The Madcap Laughs, Brain Damage, 2003, p. 7.
Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 104-112.

The Church wishes to thank: Adenairways.com, Mark Blake, Jenny Spires, Natashaa' and the beautiful people at Late Night.
♥ Iggy ♥