Iggy The Eskimo Phones Home
The Reverend was silently contemplating the long cold winter, sitting in his rocking chair, reading in Glenn Povey's Pink Floyd bible Echoes, woollen socks tightly stuck to the wood stove, a pipe in the mouth and a glass of flaming Italian Sambuca with 3 coffee beans in his immediate reach when his laptop went ping. A minute or so later his HTC smart-phone went ping as well. Thirty seconds later his iTouch went ping. This meant serious business, probably instigated by the Holy Igquisition.
At the forum of a well-known Pink Floyd website somebody had posted a scan of the latest Iggy interview, done by Mark Blake, and published in Mojo 207 (February 2011 issue). Last week, the Church had promised that the interview would not be published here as long as the issue is for sale in the shops but extraordinary occurrences demand for extraordinary measures. So here it is. Enjoy!
IGGY THE ESKIMO PHONES HOME
SYD BARRETT'S ENIGMATIC COVER COMPANION CLEARS UP SOME QUERIES
BY MARK BLAKE
In March 2010, MOJO 196's cover story on Syd Barrett's The Madcap Laughs pondered the whereabouts of 'Iggy The Eskimo', the naked girl on the LP sleeve. It came as a shock to the object of Syd obsessives' fascination; who contacted MOJO after reading the magazine for the first time last summer. “I knew nothing about any of this,” says Iggy (real name: Evelyn) who married in 1978 and lives near the English South Coast. “I went to a boot sale with my husband to find The Madcap Laughs. When I saw the cover I thought, Oh, yes, that is my bottom.”
Iggy (she gave 'the Eskimo' name to an NME photographer as a joke) grew up in the Far East. Her father was an English army officer, while her mother came from “a remote village in the Himalayas”. After moving to England Iggy was briefly an art student, a Brighton mod and London scenester, dancing on Ready Steady Go! and hanging out with Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and the Stones.
Update March 2017: Iggy's mother, so was confirmed to us, wasn't from the Himalayas. She probably lived near the The Lushai Hills (or Mizo Hills), a mountain range in Mizoram, situated at the North-East of India, sharing borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
But in 1969, she ended up at the Earls Court flat Barrett shared with the painter Duggie Fields. She and Syd became an item.
“I didn't know Syd had been a pop star,” she insists, though she'd seen Pink Floyd at the UFO club and Alexandra Palace. “Duggie and I were into soul music, and Syd used to laugh at me dancing to Motown.”
One day after Iggy had been messing around on Syd's guitar he took the instrument from her and began playing.
“It was the first time I'd heard or seen him to do this, and my mouth just dropped. He had this reel-to-reel tape recorder and he played me these songs he'd written. The one that stood out went, “I really love you and I mean you' [Terrapin] and I remember telling him, That's very catchy,” she laughs.
Barrett then told Iggy someone at EMI wants me to make a record, how would you feel about having a rock star boyfriend?”
Later photographer Mick Rock and designer Storm Thorgerson would call to take the album sleeve image. At Syd's suggestion Iggy was naked: “It was his wicked sense of humour,” she says. “People talk about Syd's madness and his dark side but I never saw it. We had a wonderful giggly time.”
“I put the Kohl around his eyes that day and tousled his hair: Come on Syd, give us a smile, moody, moody, moody! But he knew exactly what he was doing.”
After a few months Iggy moved on. Returning to the flat later she was told by Duggie Fields, “Syd's gone back to Cambridge, don't bother trying to find him.”
Contrary to mythology, she never joined a religious cult or married a banker. “I heard on the radio that Syd died, and I felt sad but it was so long ago,” she reflects. It wasn't until I went online for the first time and read these things that I realised anyone remembered me. I'm incredibly flattered.”
A while ago Mark Blake also had the following to say to the Church:
I have a wealth of other interview material with Iggy. Mojo are interested in running this additional stuff on their website: there are also pics of her from early 60s and late 70s. The extra interview material contains some good stuff for the Syd obsessives, including stuff about the Madcap photo shoot.
And today he added at the Fleeting Glimpse forum:
Just a little more Iggy info for anyone interested: there's a chance that MOJO will run some additional interview material on their website www.mojo4music.com. Iggy also talked about a trip to the Speakeasy with Syd Barrett and had plenty more to say about the photo-shoot for the album cover. There are also some more photos of Iggy from back in the day.
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit wishes to thank Mark Blake and Mojo for their authorisation to publish this interview. In the next couple of weeks the Church will probably add some comments, reflections and musings.
And for those new believers, here is a quick overview of the Iggy events of past year:
The Mojo articles that started it all
(I've got my) Mojo (working...) and
Goofer Dust [(I've got my) Mojo (working)... Part 2]
The Church reveals that Iggy has been found (by a Mojo reader):
World Exclusive: Ig has been found! and
All about Evelyn
The Croydon Guardian tracks down and interviews Iggy:
Iggy’s first interview in 40 years and
Little old lady from London-by-the-Sea
The Church finds out that attemps have been made to interview Evelyn: 2011
Mojo publishes Iggy's second interview: Iggy’s second interview in 40 years
This is it for this week, and my dear sistren and brethren, don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't have done!
Still looking for a Xmas present: Mark Blake has just written a pretty decent Queen biography: Is This The Real Life? The Untold Story Of Queen, Aurum Press Ltd. ISBN: 9781845135973 (The Church is not affiliated with or endorsed by this company.)