King's Road Chic(k)

A familiar face?
A familiar face?

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit lives by the grace of its visitors. Some of them have become friends for life, others see in the Church the coming of the anti-Syd and would like to see it and its Reverend destroyed. Such is life.

But it's always a joy when sudden, out of the blue, a message arrives from someone unknown, that contains a ray of hope, a glimpse of things to come...

From Kathmandu to London

So when the Church's Facebook page received a message from Christopher Farmer, near Kathmandu, Nepal, that there was a possibility that Iggy Rose could be seen on a picture taken in London in 1970 the Reverend's heart skipped a beat or two.

Iggy Pocahontas Rose
Iggy 'Pocahontas' Rose.

We immediately thought of a repetition of the 'Pocahontas' photo at the National Jazz, Pop, Ballads and Blues Festival in 1967 (see: Iggy - a new look in festivals). Iggy had asked us before if we had seen this picture but as long as nobody could tell us the issue, year or even name of the magazine it had been published in this was like looking for a needle in a large field of haystacks. But it was miraculously found by PhiPhi Chavana (aka Chang Yat Fei) in Hong Kong and that made the Church and Iggy Rose, who hadn't seen this picture in over 45 years, tremendously happy. We are pretty sure that there is a realistic chance to find at least one other Iggy picture if someone would have the courage to browse through all issues of Disc and Music Echo, Melody Maker, Music Maker and NME from the years 1965 to 1968. Still a couple of haystacks, but slightly smaller ones.

This new picture, so told us Christopher Farmer, was taken on King's Road in 1970 by John Hendy and depicts a barefoot Asian flower girl with an uncanny resemblance to the person we all know. Immediately the Reverend's mind went on overdrive as all the parts of the puzzle seemed to match.

Although several people claim that Iggy Rose had vanished in the middle of 1969, even going so far as saying she had returned to Asia or had married a rich banker, she was careening through life (to use a Barrett related idiom) less than 2 miles away. The rumour about the banker wasn't that far-fetched as a matter of fact, but due to the Reverend's seal of confession we have to keep this mystery intact.

In our article Syd meets... a lot of people we have compared the underground with the London rapid transit system that listens to the same name:

The counter culture wasn't really an organised movement, but constituted of many, independent stations with tubes going from one station to the other.
The Myers twins by Cecil Beaton, c.1968.
The Myers twins by Cecil Beaton, c.1968.

From London to Cadaqués

And like the commuter who takes the same station day after day and year after year, without realising that there could be something interesting going on in a station nearby Iggy disappeared from the Floydian underground ghetto and was not traced back for nearly 40 years. She was, however, spotted (or better said: not spotted until the Church poked with a few sticks) a bit later in the bohemian avant-garde art-house movie world, hanging out with people like John Myers who played one of the Von Meck twins in Ken Russell's controversial biopic The Music Lovers.

Some years later, John Myers, and his brother Dennis, were among the artists and the eccentrics who used to visit Salvador Dalí's villa in Cadaqués, Spain. When the twins arrived at Cadaqués, Dalí immediately adopted them and gave them a distinguished place in his group, baptising them as 'Castor and Pollux'. Since then, for over 35 years, they live in the same village in Spain where they have an olive tree farm.

Iggy lookalike by John Hendy
Iggy lookalike by John Hendy.

From King's Road to Earl's Court Square and back

Iggy did attempt to visit Wetherby Mansions some months later. The door was opened by Duggie Fields who said that Syd had returned to Cambridge. In a few months time the Floydian free-for-all oasis had vaporised. Those who had their things together programmed their future by marrying, raising kids, finding regular jobs and living the once despised bourgeois square life. Those who didn't have their things together and were still squatting in Syd's room were ordered by Barrett, by phone from his Cambridge parental house, through Duggie Fields, to pack their bags and leave...

But, to finally get back to topic, it was clear that a picture of Iggy Rose walking on King's Road in the early Seventies was not something that would particularly shock the Reverend. When questioned about his father's photography Simon Hendy told the Church the following:

My dad (John Hendy) was just an amateur photographer. He lived in Northampton and simply visited Kings Road once or twice a year from 1967 to 1975 to take photos. Strangely, it's pretty much the only street photography he did. You may notice a certain emphasis on photos of young ladies, and I think this was the primary reason for the photos! (Mail from Simon Handy to the Reverend, 9 February 2013.)

The pictures of John Hendy can be found on several places, but they were originally published on a blog called My Dad's Photos – John Hendy photography. On the top bar there is a King's Road menu and the third picture of the 1970 's album is the one we are looking for.

At first sight we understood why several people think this is Iggy and for the very first moments we were fooled as well, but at second glance there was something that made us doubt. Obviously the best person to judge was Iggy Rose herself and she immediately denied that it was her. So the case is closed: this is NOT Iggy.

But this doesn't take away that the series of King's Road pictures, taken between 1967 to 1975, is a superb collection and that it shows us a pattern-card of the hip birds that roamed London in the Sixties, it is pretty fun to watch the distinct change in clothes and styles over this period.

Amanda Lear in Ossie gear
Amanda Lear in Ossie gear.

Bentleys & Pontiacs

We know this sounds contradictory, but several (black & white) pictures of the 1968 series show a multicoloured 1958 Bentley S1 that belonged to Apple, the Beatles' company. There is an excellent website, dedicated to this car alone, and John Hendy's pictures are also featured there.

Speaking about cars, the John Hendy collection has also been spotted by the Proud Gallery in Chelsea who used some of the pictures in their March 2013 exhibition “Ossie Clark: The King of the King’s Road Reigns Again”.

Visitors of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit may know Ossie Clark from the Pontiac Parisienne that can be seen on the famous Madcap pictures that were taken in April 1969 by Mick Rock (for the purists among us we repeat once again that the pictures on the actual The Madcap Laughs album have been taken or are at least licensed to Storm Thorgerson). The darkblue car that was parked in front of Syd's apartment was given away in a raffle on the 19th of December 1968 in the Royal Albert Hall, one day after the famous Alchemical Wedding from John & Yoko in the same venue.

Duggie Fields has named it the Ossie Clark's New Year's Eve party on his website but the actual show could have been announced with a different title. There is hardly any information about this event, apart from the fact that Yes played a gig and that Amanda Lear was present as well, but she was probably there as a fashion model and not as a singer / performer.

Breaking free of traditional fashion shows, with their calm, measured presentation, Ossie Clark turned his shows into theatrical events. They were held at venues like the Albert Hall and Dingwalls dance hall in Camden. In attendance were rock stars and artists, the rich and the fashionable. (Taken from: V&A.)

And of course everybody knows that Amanda Lear was a muse and protégé of Salvador Dali as well, that she knew the Myers twins in London and Spain and that, perhaps, she has met Iggy Rose as well.

But that is another story we need to be discrete about...

Many thanks to Euryale, Christopher Farmer, Simon Hendy.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Links & Things
Christopher Farmer, who lead us to the Iggy lookalike picture, has a website with photos, taken by his father in 1947 in Palestina: Palestine 1947
Simon Hendy, has different websites with his dad's pictures:
My Dad's Photos – John Hendy photography
John Hendy Photography
My Dad's Photos on Facebook

Further Reading
Pontiac Parisienne: When Syd met Iggy... (Pt. 2) 
Myers Twin Interview: Dalí sigue vivo en la memoria (thanks to Euryale for pointing this article out to the Church and translating it to English!)
Ossie Clark, the King Of The Kings Road in Holland Park