Rock - Paper - Scissors
Ig's close encounters of the photographical kind were not limited to the Anthony Stern triptych series alone. She can be found as well on the cover of the Syd Barrett album The Madcap Laughs, still available in any qualitative cd-shop what means that it is a hell of a job to actually find it. But on top of her picture you get some decent music as well what is a rather nice bargain.
Storm Thorgerson from the arty farty collective Hipgnosis claims he shot the cover, although Mick Rock more or less hinted the same. Both photographers were present at the same place on the same day for the same purpose. Rock writes that he was asked by Syd Barrett to do the shoot and that Storm agreed to take him on in the team.
Syd asked me to take the pictures. We had talked about the shoot for a while, and the day before it happened I told Storm from Hipgnosis, so he came along because they were putting the package together.
Thorgerson probably was despatched by Harvest director and Barrett producer ad interim Malcolm Jones and has stated that another photographer was present as well but that he didn't know what the fuck he was doing there, although in a slightly more diplomatic way:
Friend and photographer Mick Rock, later famous for his Bowie photos amongst many others, also came on this photo session, but I can’t remember why. I think it was to help me, which seems ironic given his subsequent lensmanship and success in the rock business.
It surely was one of Rock’s pics that was put - uncredited - on the back sleeve of the Barrett (his second solo) album. For the third release, a repackaging of the two previous ones, aptly called Syd Barrett, some other shots from that day in April 1969 were used, but it is not certain if these came from Rock's second-hand Pentax 35mm camera, bought from that other Hipgnosis team member Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell, or from Storm Thorgerson who also claims he used a 35mm for the job. (Although his favourite camera at that time was a Hasselblad 500 c, as used for the Floyd’s Ummagumma cover a couple of months later).
There will always be an enigma surrounding the cover shoot of The Madcap Laughs. The 1978 book Walk Away René (The Work of Hipgnosis) contains a detailed description of every picture in the book, except for… The Madcap Laughs. Unfortunately Storm’s negatives have been lost, so there will never be a Psychedelic Renegades from his hand.
Psychedelic Renegades, and then we finally get to the subject of this blog entry, is the photo book Mick Rock made in 2002. The first edition, by Genesis, had 320 copies autographed by R.K. Barrett that are worth a small fortune nowadays. In 2007 a regular edition was published by Plexus Books (European edition) and Gingko (for the USA).
There is a possibility that the Mick Rock photo shoot took more than one day. The pictures in his apartment were taken, together with Storm Thorgerson. The outside pictures date (perhaps) from the next day. Nobody can be really sure and Rock isn’t the most reliable witness to say the least. On page 18 he writes:
We shot The Madcap Laughs in the autumn of 1969 and I don’t think that Syd and Duggie Fields had been living in the flat that long.
The above is a contradiction as Syd moved in the apartment end 1968, furthermore the research of JenS, who was a friend of Syd and Ig, shows that the pictures were probably taken in April of 1969. Rock also states that:
Syd’s car was a conspicuously bright pink Pontiac Parisienne convertible.
However the few colour pictures of the car show it was (midnight) blue. But the Church will no longer go further in this matter, if you want you can read all about in some previous posts, for instance When Syd met Iggy... (Pt. 2).
About 20 pictures of the book show us a glimpse of Ig, who is described by Rock as follows…
Known only as Iggy, the half-Eskimo girl had momentarily made her way into Syd’s life, and flat, at the time when these photos were taken. Though not part of the original shoot plan, Iggy was an intriguing accomplice. With no job and little to call her own, Iggy epitomised the free natured spirit of the psychedelic underground.
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is very proud to announce you 3 new
Street Life, black & white pictures of Iggy in front of the house and car.
Bare Flat, colour pictures of Iggy, walking around in the nude and posing on the background in Syd's apartment.
Rock Bottom, black & white nude study of Ig.
Most pictures have been cropped to emphasize the Eskimo girl, in reality this means that Syd Barrett has been cut out a lot. Those interested in the non-cropped versions can try their luck at Neptune Pink Floyd, other Pink Floyd related sites or - even better - purchase Mick Rock's excellent Psychedelic Renegades book. All pictures © Mick Rock.
Sources (other than internet links mentioned above):
Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 18,
p. 20, p. 23, p. 46.
Thorgerson, Storm: Mind Over Matter, Sanctuary Publishing, London, 2003, p. 204.