Picture: © Chris Lanaway, 2010.
In 2023 the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit celebrates its 15th anniversary.
Picture: © Chris Lanaway, 2010.

David Gilmour

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When the right one walks out of the door...

Rick Wright by Huug Schippers, 1974.
Rick Wright by Huug Schipper, 1974.

It has been a sad week for us, music lovers. Rick Wright, one of the founding fathers of the band Pink Floyd, died of cancer. Wright was a member of the 1963 R&B cover band Sigma 6 that would grow, a couple of years later, into the next hip thing when Syd Barrett joined the gang. The hip thing would soon become a monster, a gravy train, a dinosaur, it had its up and downs, it was praised and loathed by the so-called serious music press.

I am not good at obituaries, and who am I to write one anyway, so I’ll pass the word to David Gilmour, not only a colleague but also close friend of him.

In the welter of arguments about who or what was Pink Floyd, Rick's enormous input was frequently forgotten.
He was gentle, unassuming and private but his soulful voice and playing were vital, magical components of our most recognised Pink Floyd sound.
I have never played with anyone quite like him. The blend of his and my voices and our musical telepathy reached their first major flowering in 1971 on 'Echoes'. In my view all the greatest PF moments are the ones where he is in full flow. After all, without 'Us and Them' and 'The Great Gig In The Sky', both of which he wrote, what would 'The Dark Side Of The Moon' have been? Without his quiet touch the Album 'Wish You Were Here' would not quite have worked.
In our middle years, for many reasons he lost his way for a while, but in the early Nineties, with 'The Division Bell', his vitality, spark and humour returned to him and then the audience reaction to his appearances on my tour in 2006 was hugely uplifting and it's a mark of his modesty that those standing ovations came as a huge surprise to him, (though not to the rest of us).
Taken from: http://www.davidgilmour.com/

I admit I was one of those many fans who sheered louder for Rick than for the others on David’s last tour. Hearing him sing Echoes with David was probably my best Floydian encounter ever, topping Dogs that Roger Waters used (and still uses) to sing on his solo tours.

Roger Waters, normally a man of many words, has put the following appropriate statement on his website:

Candles, Roger Waters
Taken from: http://www.roger-waters.com/

Julianindica (aka Julian Palacios) wrote some great stuff about Wright at Late Night:

Wright’s keyboard style had a unique melancholic grandeur. He had an ear for exotic sounds, bringing in Middle Eastern Phrygian scales into his mix. Never one to play lightning fast or pound the notes out, Wright conjured up his unique style with patience. What was left out was as important as what stayed in, and Wright took a calm and methodical approach. The influence of Davis sideman Bill Evans introspective, melancholic piano was strong. Modal jazz had minimal chords and relied on melody and intervals of different modes. A slow harmonic rhythm opened space in the music, in contrast to bebop’s frenzy.
The full text can be found at Late Night.

The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say...

Rick Wright portrait by Huug Schipper (1974) from the (unauthorisedl) The Pink Floyd Songbook, ca. 1978.


Love in the Woods (Pt. 1)

Langley Iddens
Langley Iddens.

On 30 June 1990 Pink Floyd played a short – albeit not very sharp - set at the Knebworth Festival. It has to be said that it was not the band’s sole responsibility that the gig was, how shall we call it, mediocre by Floydian standards. On this disastrous occasion, and this occasion alone, a 20 minutes promo film was shown at the beginning of the show, with a short appearance of none other than Iggy the Eskimo, somewhere between the 4 and 5 minutes mark.

The movie consisted of a retrospective of the Floyd’s history and included (parts of) several early songs (together with the predecessor of the promo clip): Arnold Layne, See Emily Play, Point Me At The Sky, It Would Be So Nice and others… Since it started with the first single, the movie had to end with the last one as well. Storm Thorgerson's visual rendition of the coke-euphoric-bring-on-the-digital-sound-effects Learning to Fly from the welcome to the drum machine album A Momentary Lapse of Reason ended the documentary.

In between the vintage scenes, Langley Iddens, who was then caretaker of the Astoria, David Gilmour’s houseboat studio, sits at a table contemplating the band’s past.

Langley Iddens (see top-left picture of this post) was a prominent face on the Momentary Lapse of Reason campaign. He is the man on the cover of the album but also acted in several promo and concert videos. He can be seen as a boat rower (Signs of Life), in flight gear (Learning To Fly) and in a hospital bed (On The Run). As Storm Thorgerson directed these backdrop movies it is logical to assume that also the Knebworth pre-show documentary was made by him.

There are however rumours that Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason was involved in the movie as well. Besides several promo clips of the Sixties the movie also shows pictures, newspaper articles, posters and flyers from the Floyd’s psychedelic past. It is a well-known fact that Mason has always been the archivist of the band, culminating in his personal account of the history of the band, Inside Out. That book, however, doesn’t reveal anything about Mason’s involvement on the Knebworth movie.

A short snippet of the Knebworth teaser, showing a happy Syd Barrett frolicking in a park with Iggy, made a collector’s career under the name Lost In The Woods or Syd Barrett Home Movie. This excerpt can be found several times on YouTube. Those cuts, however, are in a different order than on the original Knebworth feature. The Church has restored the initial flow and presents you hereafter two different versions of the so-called Lost In The Woods video.

Knebworth '90 Special Edition (DVD]

The first is taken from the DVD bootleg Knebworth '90 Special Edition on Psychedelic Closet Records. It is shared around the world amongst fans and it contains the complete concert plus some additional material, like MTV documentaries and interviews with the band.

It's a complete, stereo, recording from the original pay-per-view broadcast of Pink Floyd's appearance at the Knebworth '90 festival. The concert featured seven songs. Only five of these were broadcast. Two of the five were included on the official LD, VHS, and DVD releases. The other three songs haven't been seen since the original broadcast.

According to its maker, the pre-concert-documentary comes from a collector in England who had a first of second gen copy of the tape.

White Label [VHS]

Because the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit firmly believes in abundance, we have added a second version of the same movie, coming from a different source. The uploaded copy has been taken from a coverless VHS tape labelled Pink Floyd film, found at an open air market stall in London, and donated to the Church, in order to repent for his many sins, by Dark Globe.

Dark Globe took it upon him to further analyse the clip, it is obvious that it consists of different movies from different people at different places, and he even went so far as harassing, although the Church prefers the word investigating, some of the people who act in it. But the results of that enquiry will be highlighted in the next post in a couple of weeks.

Enjoy and don’t do anything that Iggy wouldn’t have done.

An image gallery with stills of the Lost In The Woods home movies can be found at the gallery.

Update April 2017: 2008 YouTube links have been replaced with their 2017 counterparts.

(This is the first part of the Love In The Woods topic. The second part can be found here: Love In The Woods (Pt. 2))


Pink Dreams

Metallic Spheres featuring David Gilmour
Metallic Spheres featuring David Gilmour.

Some exciting news arrived last weekend through a Pink Floyd portal. Alex Paterson, head spinner of the band The Orb, said in an interview that he and David Gilmour had entered a studio ‘to work on an album’.

The news was vague and titillating enough to make all kind of assumptions. Did this mean that LX & DG were attempting a Fireman trick à la Youth and Paul McCartney? Perhaps Alex had finally lured Dave in his spider web with a little help from Guy Pratt who can be found as bass player and co-composer on several Orb, Pink Floyd and David Gilmour records from the past? (Pratt and Paterson also teamed up in a band called the Transit Kings.)

The Orb's record output is prolific and even then a lot of tunes and mixes stay hidden in the closet until LX decides to put them on a compilation album somewhere. They just celebrated a third release in the Orbsessions series from record company Malicious Damage and according to some online reviews I read it is either brilliant or utterly irritating, which makes it typically Orb, I guess. I haven't bought Baghdad Batteries yet, my days that I ran to the shop to get me their latest release are over as The Orb has left my attention span somewhat thanks to the record Okie Dokie that wasn't okie dokie at all but a mediocre Thomas Fehlmann album with the brand name glued over it to sell a few extra copies more.

The Orb The Dream.
The Orb The Dream.

It took me over a year to listen to The Dream that followed Okie Dokie and although it has Youth (Martin Glover) written all over it the result is pretty average. Not pretty average as in pretty average but pretty average as in pretty but nevertheless a bit average. Probably I’ll get to Baghdad Batteries one of these days but I wouldn’t hold my breath, if I were you…

Although one fan found that the announcement came about two decades and a half too late the GilmOrb collaboration is making both Floyd and Orb communities very excited but excitement is something David Gilmour does not favour anymore in his line of work. This week the following comment could be found on his official website

David & Orb Rumours True – Up To A Point
Recent comments by ambient exponents The Orb's Alex Paterson that they have been collaborating with David Gilmour are true – up to a point. David has done some recording with The Orb and producer Youth, inspired initially by the plight of Gary McKinnon. However, nothing is finalised, and nothing has been confirmed with regards to any structure for the recordings or firm details re: any release plans.

In other words: forget it…

Update 2010: as the Metallic Spheres collaboration album came out in 2010, the above article was a tad too pessimistic. For a (partial) review, check here: The Relic Samples 

The Orbian 'Metallic Spheres' posts:
Pink Dreams 
Metallic Spheres 
The Relic Samples 


We are all made of stars

Cambridge Mafia

History, as we know it, is the story of royalty and generals and does not contain the memory of the millions who succumbed or who tried to build a normal life.

This also applies to modern popular history. Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett biographies and the so-called Sixties counter-culture studies that have appeared all repeat the memories of a small, nearly incestuous, circle of people who made it, one way or another. You always stumble upon those who have become the royalty and generals of the Underground. Others are less known, the lower rank officers, but still officers.

Other people had less luck, but at least we know some of their stories. Syd Barrett, although a millionaire in pounds, still is the prototype of the drug-burned psychedelic rock star. But there are other members of the Sixties Cambridge mafia, a term coined by David Gilmour, who didn’t make it and whose stories are less known.

Pip (picture: Iain Moore).


Ian Pip Carter, whose career started in Cambridge in the early Sixties as pill pusher, had to fight a heroine addiction for most of his life. After a visit to his friend (and employer) David Gilmour in Greece Pip was imprisoned for drug possession where he was forced to go cold turkey but he fell again for the drug once released, despite the fact that the Pink Floyd guitarist send him to (and paid for) several rehab sessions. “The needle had dug so far; searching relentlessly for a vein, (that it) had decimated the nervous system in his left arm”, writes Matthew Scurfield in his account of the Cantabrigian London mob.

Described by Nick Mason as 'one of the world's most spectacularly inept roadies' the Floyd eventually had to let Pip go. He was the one who accidentally destroyed a giant jelly installation at the Roundhouse on the 15th October 1966 by parking the Pink Floyd van in the middle of it or, different witnesses tell different stories, by removing the wooden boards that supported the bath that kept the jelly. (You can read the story, taken from Julian Palacios 1988 Lost In The Woods biography here.)

In 1988 Carter was killed during a pub brawl in Cambridge. Mark Blake writes how David Gilmour used to help his old Cambridge friends whenever they were in financial trouble and Pip had been no exception.

People familiar with the finer layers of the Syd Barrett history know how Maharaj Charan Singh, the Master of the Sant Mat sect, rejected the rock star for obvious reasons. The religion was strictly vegetarian, absolutely forbid the use of alcohol and drugs and didn’t allow sex outside marriage. Syd 'I've got some pork chops in the fridge' Barrett hopelessly failed on all those points.

Ponji (image by Emo)
Ponji (picture: Iain Moore).


It is believed that John Paul Robinson, nicknamed Ponji, a very ardent follower of the Path, tried to lure Syd into the sect after he had visited India in 1967. And probably it had been another Cantabrigian, Paul Charrier who converted Ponji first. (Paul Charrier was one of the people present at Syd's trip in 1965 where he was intrigued for hours by a matchbox, a plum and an orange. This event later inspired Storm Thorgerson for the Syd Barrett (compilation album) record cover and an impressive and moving Pink Floyd backdrop movie.)

John Paul Robinson had his own demons to deal with and in the Sixties he visited a progressive therapist who administered him LSD to open his doors of perception. Only after he had returned from India he ‘literally seemed to be shining with abundance’, passing the message to all his friends that he had been reborn. Ponji gave up his job, wanted to lead the life of a beggar monk, but his internal demons would take over once in every while.

He'd sit on the stairs with his elbows on his knees and forehead placed carefully at the tips of his fingers, reeling out the same old mantra proclaiming how he was just a tramp, that his body was an illusion, a mere prison, a temporary holding place for his soul.

The story goes that he shouted ‘I refuse to be a coward for the rest of my life’ just before he jumped in front of an oncoming train (1979?).


We only happen to know these people in function of their relationship with Syd Barrett. Their paths crossed for a couple of months and we, the anoraks, are only interested in that one small event as if for the rest of these peoples lives nothing further of interest has really happened.

But the truth is that their encounter with Barrett is just one small glittering diamond out of a kaleidoscope of encounters, adventures, joys, grieves, moments of happiness and sadness. It is the kaleidoscope of life: falling in love and making babies that eventually will make babies on their own. A granddaughter's smile today is of much more importance than the faint remembrance of a dead rock star's smile from over 40 years ago.

The Church should be probing for the kaleidoscope world and not for that one single shiny stone. Syd may have been a star, but our daily universe carries millions of those.

Dedicated to those special ones whose story we will never know.

Thanks to: Iain Moore, Paro नियत (where are you now?)

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press, London, 2007, p. 47, p. 337.
Palacios, Julian: Lost In The Woods, Boxtree, London, 1998, p. 85.
Scurfield, Matthew: I Could Be Anyone, Monticello Malta 2009, p. 151, p. 208, p. 265-266. Photo courtesy of William Pryor, p. 192.

Update 2016: In the 2015 coming of age novel Life Is Just..., Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon describes early sixties Cambridge and the submersion into eastern religions.
Update 2019 08 02: Pip picture added.



Metallic Spheres

Marija Oršić
Marija Oršić, extraterrestrial.

In for some space

About - let me count - thirty-four to thirty-five years ago I was seriously investigating the so-called UFO phenomenon. Or whatever serious means for a sixteen years old adolescent who urgently wants to get laid but has found out that the chance to witness an encounter of the third kind is statistically more probable than to have an close encounter with the opposite sex.

I was a member of the Belgian Sobeps association, long before the Belgian UFO wave hit the skies, and as the Internet was still a science-fiction thing we had to rely on their magazine Inforespace and the books, case files and real UFO pictures they sold by mail-order to their members. They also had an electronic UFO detector in their catalogue what made me wonder, already then, if they just weren't a bunch of petty crooks. I must still have a Betty and Barney Hill picture somewhere that I bought through their shop and who were then (and maybe still now) regarded as the proverbial Saul-stroke-Paul of the Holy Church of Ufology.

The nazi dark side of the moon conspiration

After a while opportunity knocked, even for me, and I didn't see the purpose anymore to devote my life to the flying saucer - abducting people for out-of-orbit enemas - enigma. But I am still mildly amused by the phenomenon, especially from a historical perspective. Not that long ago (at least not on the cosmic timescale) I partially read The Coming Race (1871) from Edward Bulwer-Lytton, a (rather tedious) adventure book that apparently inspired Nazi-Germany to start building flying saucers. An internet search lead me to through several dubious websites, some that might even be legally forbidden to consult in my country as they vehemently propagate what I will mildly describe as Aryan beliefs, and only strengthening me in my opinion that for crackpots from all over the world the internet is Ultima Thule indeed.

If I have understood it well American secret services grabbed nazi occult mysteries by the truckload although it is not clear if they could ever restore the phone lines to the Aldebaran star system that became an après-guerre nudist resort for the mystical and mythical Vril Society pin-up girls (see image above and try not to drool). Thanks to these secret nazi inventions the Americans not only landed on the moon (although paradoxically enough conspiracy theory buffs deny this ever happened) but they also tested anti-gravity engines in earth-designed flying saucers and solved the so-called zero-point energy problem.

How do I know all this? Because Gary McKinnon told us so.

U.F.Off, The Orb (compilation).

Beam me up Scotty

Gary McKinnon is a Glasgow hacker who thought for a while he was a Lone Gunman on a mission against the American government. Wanting to prove the things mentioned above he hacked into 97 United States military and NASA computers over a 13-month period between February 2001 and March 2002, using the name 'Solo'.

Hacking is not really the term one should use here, more trial and error. Consulting a 1985 copy of Hugo Cornwall's The Hacker's Handbook McKinnon copied a Perl script that looked for Windows computers without a password and to his amazement there were still lots of unprotected computers residing in the NASA and military networks 15 years after the book appeared. One can duly wonder what these CIA, FBI and military secret service IT security guys had been doing in the meantime. Playing Pong, probably.

Mostly Harmless

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.", wrote Douglas Adams in the twelfth chapter of Mostly Harmless (1992). That quote may not be entirely his. Nobel price winner and inventor of the H-bomb Edward Teller noted down a couple of years before: "There's no system foolproof enough to defeat a sufficiently great fool." Anyway, in 2002 Gary McKinnon was the fool who undermined the American's pigheaded assumption of safety. Military security thought they had devised this big unsinkable Titanic and all it took was a entrepreneurial nerd with a screwdriver and a sack of sugar to pour inside the gas tank.

Rather than admitting they had done an enormous security cock-up the American powers-that-be turned Gary McKinnon into a terrorist super-hacker whose sole intention it was to metamorphose American secrets to putty and hand them over to Al-Queda, who - as we all know - have been praying a long time for this UFO technology. In consequence Gary could face a 60-years prison sentence if condemned before an American judge. Unfortunately the UK voted the 2003 extradition act making it possible to extradite UK citizens for offences committed against US law, even though the alleged offence may have been committed in the UK by a person living and working in the UK. A review of the extradition act was voted down by British parliament although there is a growing consensus amongst British members of parliament that Gary McKinnon will not stand a fair trial in the US.

Saint Gilmour

Several charities have been raised to help Gary McKinnon in his struggle against the extradition and in August 2009 David Gilmour, Chrissie Hynde, Bob Geldof and Gary McKinnon recorded the Chicago (Change The World) single. The only awareness it ever raised was that extraditing Bob Geldof to Guantanamo Bay would be a benefit for mankind to say the least. Perhaps the US authorities could consider that for a while.

As a Pink Floyd collector for over thirty years now, with over a dozen legit versions of Dark Side Of The Moon, I was obviously offended. Probably I am just being jealous here but I still can't grasp the concept that a lawbreaking idiot with a UFO fixation got a chance to make a record with one of the ten best guitarists of this world while moi who has in his possession the ridiculously shaped Love On The Air (1984) picture disk and Gilmour's lamentable Smile (2006) single will never get the change to meet his idol from less than a 100 meters distance. Phew, nice I have finally got that off my chest.

Metallic Spheres (cover: Simon Ghahary)
Metallic Spheres (cover: Simon Ghahary).

Pink Florb

Last year, in the aftermath of the Chicago single, Alex Paterson of the ambient house band The Orb made a strange announcement:

I’ve just started work on an album with David Gilmour from Pink Floyd which I think every Orb and Pink Floyd fan will want to hear.

The news was almost immediately downsized by David Gilmour who acknowledged he had jammed a bit in a studio with Martin 'Youth' Glover but that nothing had been confirmed 'with regards to any structure for the recordings or firm details re: any release plans'.

But this week David Gilmour's blog had the following news:

David's 2009 jam session with ambient collective The Orb has grown into an album, Metallic Spheres, to be released via Columbia/Sony Records in October. David's contribution to the charity song Chicago, in aid of Gary McKinnon, sparked the interest of producer Youth (Martin Glover), who remixed the track and invited David to his studio for a recording session. With additional contributions from Orb co-founder Alex Paterson, the album took shape from 2009 into 2010, eventually becoming Metallic Spheres, to be released by The Orb featuring David Gilmour.


The album will be divided into two 25 minutes parts with five movements each, a 'Metallic Side' and a 'Spheres Side'. The Orb will consist of founder Alex Paterson (sound manipulation, keyboards and turntables) and part-time member Youth adding bass, keyboards and handling the production. It is not certain if Thomas Fehlmann (full member of The Orb since 1995, absent on The Dream (2007), but back on Bagdhad Batteries (2009)) and long time Orb and/or Pink Floyd collaborator Guy Pratt will be present or not. For the moment it looks like a three men line-up with David Gilmour contributing guitar, lap steel guitar and some of his Chicago vocals.

Simon Ghahary created the artwork (see image above) and all artist royalties will go to helping Gary McKinnon fight his extradition.


When Gary McKinnon logged in on the military computers he allegedly found proof of extra-terrestrial involvement in the NASA space program, but unfortunately his telephone line did not allow him to download the pictures and documents. The only tangible result of his actions will be a Floydian cooperation that Orb (and some Pink Floyd) fans have been dreaming about for the last two decades.

Long live Gary McKinnon, long live the greys! U.F.FlOrb is finally on its way! And don't worry, I'm sure those pretty Aldebarans will rescue Gary if he ever gets imprisoned in the land of the free.

The Orbian 'Metallic Spheres' posts:
Pink Dreams 
Metallic Spheres 
The Relic Samples 


The Relic Samples

Metallic Spheres, The Orb
Metallic Spheres, The Orb.

There was a time when I would put in the latest Orb CD and murmur blimey! Blimey because The Orb pleasantly surprised me or blimey because Alex 'LX' Paterson and band utterly frustrated me. They had that effect on me for years from their very first album Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld (1991) until the quite underrated Cydonia (2001). Often the wow! and meh! impression could be witnessed on the same disk, most notably on Orbus Terrarum that probably contains the freakiest ambient track ever (the heavenly Oxbow Lakes) but also some of the worst.

The Millennium Orb

After 2001 Paterson continued to make albums under the Orb banner but the wow! effect has largely disappeared. His most prolific output lays on quite a few (from good to excellent) compilation and/or remix albums: Dr. Alex Paterson's Voyage Into Paradise, Auntie Aubrey's Excursions Beyond The Call Of Duty (containing an Orb remix of Rick Wright's Runaway), Bless You (the best of the Badorb label), Orbsessions I and II (outtakes), Back To Mine, The Art Of Chill and last but not least The BBC Sessions.

For ages The Orb has been called the Pink Floyd of ambient dance but the only fusion between both bands is the use of some Pink Floyd samples on early Orb anthems (the four note Shine On You Crazy Diamond signature tune on A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld) and the presence of Pink Floyd bass player ad interim Guy Pratt on a couple of Orb albums.

Contrary to a stubborn belief the so-called ambient (and illegal) Pink Floyd remix albums from the Nineties are not the work from The Orb, nor from Alex Paterson. Neither will we ever know Pink Floyd's retaliation: when the band worked on their 1994 The Divison Bell album they ended up with so many left-over material that - in the words of Nick Mason - "we considered releasing it as a second album, including a set we dubbed The Big Spliff, the kind of ambient mood music that we were bemused to find being adopted by bands like The Orb".

Update 2015 01 15: Parts of The Big Spliff may have appeared on the latest Pink Floyd album: The Endless River. See our review: While my guitar gently weeps... 

Metallic Spheres
Metallic Spheres, The Orb ('deluxe' cover).


Exactly one year ago Alex Paterson, who has always been a bit of a bigmouth, revealed:

I’ve just started work on an album with David Gilmore (sic) from Pink Floyd which I think every Orb and Pink Floyd fan will want to hear.

But that news was hurriedly demoted by David Gilmour.

Recent comments by ambient exponents The Orb's Alex Paterson that they have been collaborating with David Gilmour are true – up to a point. David has done some recording with The Orb and producer Youth, inspired initially by the plight of Gary McKinnon. However, nothing is finalised, and nothing has been confirmed with regards to any structure for the recordings or firm details re: any release plans.

On the 17th of August of this year, however, the David Gilmour blog had the following to reveal:

David is not working with The Orb on a new album, contrary to some reports, but you may remember that he had been in the studio jamming with Martin “Youth” Glover in recent months. (…) Alex Paterson was not involved in the sole jamming session and the only plan initially was for David to play guitar on that one track.
However, as it turns out and as you can see, the result of that jam session has now been spread across the next Orb album, Metallic Spheres, which will be released as ‘The Orb featuring David Gilmour’. So there you have it. He was working on an album with The Orb. Sort of.

Floydian friction

If I may read a bit between the lines I feel some friction here between Sir David and this Orb thingy. But the next day, David Gilmour's official website had the next comment:

David's 2009 jam session with ambient collective The Orb has grown into an album, Metallic Spheres, to be released via Columbia/Sony Records in October. David's contribution to the charity song Chicago, in aid of Gary McKinnon, sparked the interest of producer Youth (Martin Glover), who remixed the track and invited David to his studio for a recording session.
With additional contributions from Orb co-founder Alex Paterson, the album took shape from 2009 into 2010, eventually becoming Metallic Spheres, to be released by The Orb featuring David Gilmour. (underlined by FA.)


Calling LX Paterson an Orb co-founder is technically not untrue, but it feels a little weird when you have just been presenting Martin 'Youth' Glover. It is comparable to describing Syd Barrett as a Pink Floyd co-founder while discussing Bob Klose. Agreed, Youth (from Killing Joke fame) was probably around when The Orb saw the light of day but it is generally acknowledged that the band was formed in 1988 by Alex Paterson and Jimmy Cauty but not by Youth who only occasionally teamed up with Alex Paterson as a temporary aid. Cauty's primary project however, the Kopyright Liberation Front (with Bill Drummond), pretty soon outgrew The Orb and when - at a certain point in time - some Orb remixes were released in Germany as KLF remixes this provoked a rupture in the co-operation between the duo as Alex and Jimmy started fighting over… copyrights.

After the split between KLF and The Orb Martin 'Youth' Glover helped LX out with two tracks (on two separate albums): Little Fluffy Clouds (on 'Adventures', 1991) and Majestic (on U.F.Orb, 1992), but he never was a member of the band and certainly not a founding member. In 2007 however, Youth replaced Thomas Fehlmann and joined The Orb for a one album project: The Dream.

Update 2018: Youth can also be found on the 2018 'No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds' and on a 2016 live CD and DVD release of the band.

Orb remix from Rick Wrights Runaway
Orb remix from Rick Wright's Runaway.

...and gossip

Together with the announcement on David Gilmour's website, and then we're back on the 18th of August of this year, a promotional video for the Metallic Spheres album is uploaded to YouTube. Depicting only Youth and David Gilmour several Orb fans wonder where LX Paterson, and thus The Orb, fits in.

The first, original movie disappears after a couple of days for so-called 'copyright' reasons and is rapidly replaced with a second version (unfortunately taken down as well, now), containing some hastily inserted images of LX Paterson strolling through the grasslands and recording some outdoor musique concrète.

It feels, once again, as if the Floyd-Orb connection doesn't go down well at the Gilmour camp. Alex Paterson's image, so it seems, has only been included on the promo video after some pressure (from LX himself) took place. But the above is of course all pure speculation and not based upon any fact, so tells you Felix Atagong, who has been closely following The Orb for over two decades.

Gary McKinnon

Bit by bit we learn how the album came into place. It all started with David Gilmour's charity project for Gary McKinnon, an X-Files adhering half-wit who hacked into American military and NASA computers in order to find out about extra-terrestrial conspiracy theories (read some more about that on: Metallic Spheres). Because of this he faces extradition from England to the USA where apparently they take these kind of idiots very seriously, see also the 43rd president who governed the country from 2001 to 2009.

It is not quite clear if Gilmour asked Youth (David Glover) to make a remix of the Chicago charity tune or if Youth got hold of the project and proposed to help (I've come across both explanations). The two may know each other through Guy Pratt who played in Glover's band Brilliant in 1986 (LX Paterson was their roadie for a while). In 1990 Youth founded Blue Pearl with Durga McBroom who had toured with Pink Floyd for the previous three years. Amongst the session musicians on their Naked album are Guy Pratt, David Gilmour and Rick Wright.

This isn't Glover's only connection with the Floyd however. In 1995 he teamed up with Killing Joke colleague Jaz Coleman to arrange and produce a symphonic tribute album: Us and Them: Symphonic Pink Floyd, but only The Old Tree With Winding Roots Behind The Lake Of Dreams remix from Time combines a modern beat with romantic classical music.

Island Jam

To spice up the Chicago remix Youth invited David Gilmour in his home studio and out of it came a twenty minutes guitar jam. Glover soon found out that he could expand the session into an ambient suite and asked old chum LX Paterson for some help. LX flavoured the pieces with typical Orbian drones and samples, rather than turning this into a sheepish Fireman-clone.

The Orb featuring David Gilmour can only be a win/win situation. Orb fans have dreamed about this collaboration for the past two decades and that will add to the sales figures for sure. And although artist royalties go to the support of Gary McKinnon there will always be a spillover effect for the artists involved. That can only be good news for The Orb whose last album Baghdad Batteries sunk faster than the Kursk in the Barents Sea.

Rest us to say that an Orb album is an Orb album when it has got the name Orb on it, whether you like it or not. (In the case of their Okie Dokie album, not a bit).

Promotional copy of Metallic Spheres
Promotional copy of Metallic Spheres, The Orb vs. Dave Gilmour.

Metallic Spheres

Metallic Spheres starts with Gilmour's pedal steel guitar over some keyboard drones that makes me think of those good old days when the KLF shattered the world with their ambient masterpiece Chill Out (LX Paterson - as a matter of fact - contributed to that album, although uncredited). But soon after that Gilmour's guitar wanders off in his familiar guitar style with axiomatic nods to The Wall and The Division Bell albums. A welcome intermezzo is Black Graham with acoustic guitar, not from Gilmour but by ragtime busker Marcia Mello. The 'metallic side' flows nicely throughout its 29 minutes and has fulfilled its promise of being 'the ambient event of the year' quite accurately.

The CD is divided into two suites: a 'metallic side' and a 'spheres side' (and each 'side' is subdivided in five - not always discernable - parts). The second suite however, is more of the same, clearly lacks inspiration and ends out of breath at the 20 minutes mark.

So no wow! effect here (but no meh! either)... Youth has done what was expected from him and produced an all-in-all agreeable but quite mainstream product leaving ardent anoraky Orb fans with their hunger, but perhaps winning a few uninitiated souls.

As far as I am concerned this is about the best Orb CD I have heard for the past couple of years, but it is still far from Orblivion, U.F.Orb or Ultraworld. But as this is 2010 already you won't hear me complaining.


In true Orbian tradition this album exists in different versions. There is the regular UK version (with a 'black' cover) and the deluxe version (with a 'white' cover). That last one has a bonus CD in a 3D60 headphone remix, comparable to the holophonics system on Pink Floyd's 'The Final Cut' album from 1983.

Update 2018: Just like 'holophonics' in the eighties, 3D60 no longer exists. The 'special' effects can only be heard through a headphone, but don't expect anything spectacular.

A Japanese enhanced Blu-spec release has two additional bonus tracks and two videos. One of these extra tracks (remixes, actually) could also be downloaded from The Orb website and from iTunes. One of the videos has been made by Stylorouge, who worked with Storm Thorgerson on several Floydian projects.

Last but not least there is a Columbia promo version, containing a unique identification number to trace unauthorised redistribution (see above picture). To our, but probably not to Gilmour's, amusement this promo-CD is titled The Orb Vs Dave Gilmour (instead of David). According to at least one Orb fan this version has a different mix than the official release.

The Orbian 'Metallic Spheres' posts:
Pink Dreams 
Metallic Spheres 
The Relic Samples 


Gravy Train To Cambridge

Storm Thorgerson cover.
Cover: Storm Thorgerson.

A couple of months ago a new Syd Barrett compilation was announced and EMI (Harvest) was proud to proclaim that Syd Barrett had joined the league of Jimi Hendrix or Marc Bolan, meaning that the man has got more compilation albums written on his name than genuine albums.

Let's make a quick sum, shall we? Barrett, who was the founder of the mythical band Pink Floyd, was overtly present on their first album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. On the second album A Saucerful Of Secrets he had already taken a sabbatical, and although present on 3 tracks (out of 7) he only takes the vocal lead (and writing credits) on the testamentary coda Jugband Blues.

There are at least 7 Pink Floyd compilations that have Barrett's (sometimes unreleased) work on it and the last one Echoes (2001) turned Syd Barrett into an overnight millionaire. The fortieth anniversary edition of Piper (2007) has (in the deluxe edition) an extra CD containing some alternative versions and the Pink Floyd's early singles as well.

Barrett's solo output in the early seventies is limited to two albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett, and that is all there is, give or take 5 or 6 compilations. The count depends whether one catalogues the Opel (1988) record as a compilation of alternative takes and unreleased material or as a real 'third' solo album.

The most recent compilation 'An Introduction To Syd Barrett' boasts that this is the first time in history that Barrett's Pink Floyd and solo tracks have been compiled on one disk. This is true, but… so what?

On the other hand a quick glance at the list of unreleased material shows that there are about a dozen Pink Floyd studio tracks from their Syd Barrett era, but alas this compilation still doesn't contain any of them.

So what could possibly be the added value of this album, one might ask?

Storm Damage

Not its cover, that doesn't show Syd Barrett at all but that has been created, as usual, by Storm Thorgerson. Thorgerson, and more particularly his Hipgnosis studio, made some landmark record sleeves in the Seventies and Eighties, but he seems not able nowadays to sell his creations to influential bands, unless you call the freaky weirdoes of The Mars Volta influential of course. Thorgerson's contemporaneous work flirts a bit too much with cheap kitsch and luckily there is still Pink Floyd Ltd that keeps him away from the unemployment office. I'm quite fond of Thorgerson's work and I do like the cover although most Syd Barrett fans I frequent compare it with visual diarrhoea so I leave it to you to make up your own mind.

Tracks Revisited

As a Barrett anorak I am not interested in the regular songs on this compilation - as a matter of fact I didn't even listen to those - but I jumped immediately on top of the so-called enhanced tunes. The compilation boasts that 4 tracks have been remixed and one track has been 'upgraded' with additional bass from David Gilmour who also supervised the mixes. (The following review has been largely influenced by Blade's comments on the NPF forum and MOB's comments on the A Fleeting Glimpse forum.)

Dominoes: the new mix has been so subtly done that there is hardly any difference. The vocals are more emphasized and the backwards guitar sounds a trifle clearer. Some corrections may have been done, because on the original versions several (drum) parts were out of 'synch'. These errors have miraculously disappeared on the 2010 mix.

Octopus: this track is 7 seconds longer, due to the fact that a 'false' start has been added at the beginning. The "isn't it good to be lost in the woods" vocals have been clarified and brought to the fore and it could even be that its first part has been taken from an alternative take (also a few drumbeats have been added that weren't there on the 1970 version). Overall the muddled sound of vocals and guitars have been cleaned.

She Took a Long Cool Look: this track has always been called She Took A Long Cold Look in the past, but the title has now been changed. This is one of so called 'live' bits from Barrett's first album. These included false starts, bad guitar playing, unstable singing and Barrett generally loosing it… David Gilmour said he included these demos in 1970 to reveal Barrett in all his fragility, but later regretted his choice…

The 2010 version snips some of the unnecessary background sounds (Barrett turning some papers) and the guitar breakdown in the middle of the song is replaced by some strumming from another take. And - as with all of these remixes - Barrett's voice sounds more crisp than before and with less disturbing echo.

Matilda Mother (Pink Floyd): the 40 years anniversary edition of Piper already had this alternative take but in a much shorter version. This one takes 50 seconds longer and has benefited from a real mix. Probably the 2010 version is a sound-collage of several outtakes.

Here I Go: this little dance hall tune has always been my favourite Barrett track. For over 40 years I have wondered how this song really ended and now the ditty lasts 5 seconds longer. Gilmour has done a fine job by adding extra bass and after my second listen I already felt that this was the way it should always have been. (There is also a tiny rhythm correction - compared with the original version - at 01:46.)

Personally I find it a bad judgment from Gilmour & Co to keep the fade out but the closing chord I had been waiting for can still be heard. And I know it's starting to sound repetitive, but Barrett's vocals have been upgraded as well and sound crispier than ever. You don't need to buy the album to listen to this track as a promo video has been put on the web as well: Here I Go (official video).

Update December 2019: Peudent, over at Late Night, had some fun remastering the 2010 version of Syd Barrett’s Here I Go. This version has got no fadeout and the ending can now be heard at full volume. URL: https://voca.ro/3O3YGCsdWT7

The few remixes on this compilation are subtle, have been done with great care and love for the original material so that my initial anoraky opinion of 'don't touch the originals' has now been switched over to 'why didn't they simply enhance all tracks'?

But the real revelation of the album can't be found on plastic. The CD contains a key to download the mythical Rhamadan track from the official Syd Barrett website and this is what the next chapter is all about.


I won't get into the old story, legend or myth, of Rhamadan as it is all old news by now. The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit wrote a bit about it in Anoraks and Pontiacs and Rob Chapman in A Very Irregular Head describes it as a 'conga-heavy jam session lasting eighteen minutes and of little merit', although it is highly doubtful that the biographer could get hold of the piece.

The only person, apart from some EMI alumni, who could listen to the track in its full glory was David Parker, author of Random Precision. In order to get EMI's permission he had to sign a 'scarily draconian declaration', so scarily draconian that he even had to delete a forum post wherein he had simply admitted it had been 'scarily draconian'. The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit sometimes threatens with the Holy Igquisition but apparently that secret service is peanuts compared to the EMI 'unlimited supply, there is no reason why' storm troops.

David was the only author who could write, in detail, how the piece sounded and as it is so damn accurate I see no point of trying to give my own description.

Peter Bown announces Rhamadan take 1 over some bass and organ noises. He pronounces the title Rarmardarn like a 1950's BBC newsreader. The piece itself begins with the conga drums (probably Steve Took from Tyrannosaurus Rex).
The bass comes in and immediately takes the lead role (whoever the bass player is they are extremely proficient) with some very fast Stanley Clarke style runs and slides in places. The vibes then begin to come in, along with some disjointed organ chording (mostly on one chord). This then continues for a couple of minutes with the bass leading over the conga beat, vibes and organ chords. A piano then enters playing a loose boogie rhythm, and someone starts playing some very staccato mellotron notes as well. Things settle into a groove, and a second drummer joins in, mainly on cymbals. After about 5 minutes Syd's guitar starts to appear, playing muted chords to fill out the sound. The bass falls back slightly, and the piano takes the lead, Syd's guitar feeding back momentarily as he begins to play solo notes. (…)
The piece eventually starts to fizzle out with some mad staccato mellotron, the ever present organ chord and a lot of bass improvisation with a sprinkling of piano notes. Syd plays some open chord plucking and everything gets rather free form with Syd letting his guitar build-up feedback and then fades it out. (…)
Syd starts another riff but it begins to fade until the bass player picks up on it, and everyone begins following along. Another crescendo of feedback builds up as Syd picks out what sounds like the Close Encounters three note theme (!). (…)
Things build up yet again, with everyone in random improvisation, then everyone stops except the organ chord. The bassist begins a strident riff, giving the vibes a chance to solo (with staccato mellotron accompaniment). The bass rockets off into a hyper-drive riff, then everything finally falls to bits, ending with our old friend the organ chord drone, the mad mellotronist and a few bass notes.

We don't really know who are the players on Rhamadan, but Steve Peregrin Took is a name that appears in almost all biographies. Biographer Julian Palacios, however, seems to disagree now:

Talking to my friend GH today, he wrote: 'I don't think that Steve Took is the conga player on these sessions. I knew Steve and discussed Syd with him on a few occasions, he said that Syd had jammed with him round at his flat and that he had recorded it, but there was never any mention of going into a recording studio with Syd. My understanding was that Steve didn't get pally with Syd until after his split from Marc (Bolan). Back in 68 Tyrannosaurus Rex where gigging like crazy and still very much a going concern.' (Taken from Late Night Discussion Forum.)

Rhamadan isn't half as bad as everyone, who had never heard it, claimed it to be. Especially when one remembers that the same biographers and journalists tend to praise AMM, The Soft Machine or The Third Ear band for their revolutionary musical approach. Rhamadan is of course a highly freakadelic experiment, almost free-jazz in its approach, a genre Syd Barrett was not unfamiliar with.

Rhamadan MP3 properties.
Rhamadan MP3 properties.

If you have bought the CD, Rhamadan can be downloaded (legally) from the official Syd Barrett website, but unfortunately only in the MP3 format with a rather cheapish 152kbs bitrate. But its bitrate is not the only amateurish characteristic. While millions of people all over the world have discovered MP3 tags, EMI is of the opinion that this invention is way over their heads. The tags are all empty and reveal that the track is untitled (Track 1), comes from an unknown album, is from an unknown artist and from an unknown year. Not even the Publisher and Copyright data are filled in. My 8-years old godchild can rip MP3 tunes better than EMI does, she at least knows how to attach a (sleeve) picture to the file. (Although I worked this out by myself, Jen D at madcapslaughing beat me by a day by publishing the same findings before me. As I haven't got an irregular head I'll give this bloke the credits.)

While EMI has been nagging us for years that copying is killing music a closer look on the MP3 tags reveals us that the file has been converted with FreeRIP. Here is the biggest music company in the world and it uses a freeware version of a (quite good, I agree) MP3 converter to spread around a track belonging to the founder of their second most commercially successful band, next to The Beatles.

I know of the bad financial situation of the music company but I wasn't aware that EMI was that close to bankrupt that they can't even afford a 29,75 dollar software program anymore.


None really. The best thing is to decide for yourself if the 5 remixes and the 1 download are sufficient to buy the album. As a Barrett anorak myself, I simply had no choice.

Sources: (other than internet links mentioned above)
Chapman, Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 215.
Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p. 132-133.

The Introduction album and Rhamadan track are further discussed here:
Introduction at Late Night
Introduction at NPF
Rhamadan at Late Night
Rhamadan at NPF
A review of the 40 years anniversary edition of the Piper at the Gates of Dawn can be found at Fasten Your Anoraks


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 ♥

The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 2

(This is Part 2 of Mark Blake's Iggy the Eskimo article, for part one click: EXCLUSIVE: The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo.)

Words: Mark Blake.
Pictures: Iggy Rose, Chris Lanaway.
Date: 20 January 2011.
Previously published on mojo.com.

While there are many reports of Barrett being withdrawn and even aggressive at this time, Iggy remembers it differently. "People talk about Syd's madness and his dark side, but I never saw it," she states. "We had a wonderful giggly time. There were no sinister moments." Only briefly did she glimpse a more troubled side to his personality. "One day, he said to me, 'How do you feel? Are you sad?' I was naked, and he went and got some paint and painted two great big eyes on my breasts with two tears coming down, and on my belly button he painted an arrow and underneath that a picture of me with a big belly, and said, 'There could be life in there. I could give you life.' But I didn't want that at all. So I panicked, and scrubbed it off." He was also uncomfortable with some aspects of fame, as Iggy discovered on a night out with Syd to The Speakeasy, a music-biz haunt in Margaret Street. "We'd persuaded Syd to go, but it was full of posers," she admits. "There were a few of us there. Someone asked the DJ to put on See Emily Play, which was a stupid thing to do." A hit for Pink Floyd more than two years before, the dance-floor cleared. "So I went on and started dancing, but Syd ran off. He was obviously very sensitive about it all."

"We had a wonderful giggly time. There were no sinister moments."

In March '69, Barrett began recording The Madcap Laughs at Abbey Road, but his erratic behaviour in the studio resulted in Roger Waters and David Gilmour helping to oversee the sessions. Gilmour was now living in Richmond Mansions, a block so close to Wetherby Mansions that he could almost see into Syd and Duggie's kitchen window. One evening, Syd announced that he had to go out. Iggy wanted to go with him, but Barrett insisted she remain at the flat. "I think I thought he was seeing another woman," she says. "I got a bit jealous, a bit pouty - very silly. Duggie knew where Syd had gone but wouldn't tell me." With Syd gone, Iggy decided to pay a visit to David Gilmour instead. Fields helped Iggy back-comb her hair, plaster her face with make-up and paint her lips black. "I looked like Medusa. Like a banshee. Duggie then took me round to Dave's place. Dave was very beautiful and very cool, and his flat was nicer than Syd and Duggie's - it was warmer for a start. Dave opened the door, took one look at me, but didn't bat an eyelid."

Iggy by Chris Lanaway.
Iggy in 1978.

When Iggy walked in, she saw Syd sat in Gilmour's living room. "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... If he ever reads this I would like to say sorry for scratching his record." Back at Wetherby Mansions, Barrett was unfazed by her planned defection: "Syd just said, 'Come in love, and I'll make you a cup of tea'. How sweet."

By now, Barrett had prepared his bedroom for The Madcap... cover shoot, painting most of the floorboards orange and mauve. On the morning of the shoot, Syd asked Iggy to help finish the job. "He jumped off the mattress and said, 'Quick, grab a paint brush.' He did one stripe and I did another. If you look at Mick Rock's pictures, I have paint on the soles of my feet." When Rock arrived with the Floyd's sleeve designer Storm Thorgerson to take the photos, a naked Iggy went to put some clothes on. "But Syd said, 'No, don't'. That was his wicked sense of humour. I put the kohl around his eyes that day and tousled up his hair: come on Syd, give us a smile, moody, moody, moody! But he knew exactly what he was doing. He was as sharp as anything. He set the tone. He was the manipulator."

"Syd just said, 'Come in love, and I'll make you a cup of tea'. How sweet."

Iggy joined Syd for further photos outside the flat. Later, Rock recalled showing Barrett one of the pictures and Syd mysteriously scratching around Iggy's image; an act that has acquired some significance among Barrett's more earnest devotees. "They're making something out of nothing," she insists. "Later on, Syd showed me one of the pictures and said, 'You like that one, don't you? I know why, because of your cheekbones'. I think I was sucking on a cigarette, and, yes, I was being vain, I liked the way my cheekbones looked. So he tore the pic in half and gave it to me. There was nothing more to it than that." Strangely, Iggy also recalls other photographs being taken that day, which have never appeared since. "I don't think Storm and Mick were very impressed by them. If you've ever seen the cover of the Rod Stewart album, Blondes Have More Fun, they were a bit like that... Of me and Syd. There were others of me and Syd, as well, which remind me of the picture of John and Yoko [on Two Virgins] which came out later. I'd love to see those pictures now."

Iggy today.
Iggy in 2011.
(Photo © Chris Lanaway).

Before long, Iggy had drifted out of Wetherby Mansions and out of Syd's life as quickly as she had drifted in. When she returned later, Duggie told her: "Syd's not here. He's gone back to Cambridge. Don't bother trying to find him." She never saw him again, and is adamant she only became aware of her presence on the cover of The Madcap Laughs after being phoned by the Croydon Guardian: "I went to a boot sale with my husband... When I saw the cover, I thought, Oh yes, that is my bottom."

Although the stories of her marrying a rich banker and joining a religious cult are untrue, there is a kernel of truth: after Syd, Iggy began seeing a wealthy businessman who was also a scientologist. However Duggie Fields' recollection of spotting Iggy climbing off a bus in a gold lamé dress is not in dispute: "It was a beautiful dress that cost £50." Still a fixture on the music scene, Iggy recalls accompanying Pink Fairies' drummer Twink to the Isle Of Wight Festival and turning up "for the very first Glastonbury... ". But in 1978 Iggy married her husband, Andrew, and "left that life behind me".

"I heard on the radio that Syd died, and I felt sad, but it was so long ago," she says. Since reading about those times in MOJO, the memories of the people and the places have slowly come back to her. "Mick Rock took some beautiful picture of me," she smiles. "But, of course, I wish I'd been paid some money for them. Still, it is amazing that people have been looking for me... and that someone has even set up a website. I still don't know what to make of all this." The fascination continues. 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 Le Space'...it goes. I never believed anyone would ever write a poem for me."

by Mark Blake (www.markrblake.com)

Thanks to: Felix Atagong, Jeff Dexter and Anthony Stern

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



Light Blue with Bulges
Light Blue with Bulges, Nick Sedgwick.

The next months will be musically dedicated to Pink Floyd and several, if not all, of the serious music magazines are hanging a separate wagon at EMI's gravy train.

Classic Rock 162 (with AC/DC on the cover) comes with a separate Pink Floyd 24 pages booklet, titled at one side: The making of the Dark Side Of The Moon, and at the other side (when you turn the booklet around) The making of Wish You Were Here, written by Pink Floyd biographer Glenn Povey, with pictures of Jill Furmanovsky.

Mojo 215, ridiculously called the October 2011 edition while we purchased it now in August (somebody ought to tell those Mojo editors what a calendar is), has a 12 pages Pink Floyd cover story from Pigs Might Fly author Mark Blake and with pictures from... Jill Furmanovsky, but more about that later.

Rock Prog (out on August 31) will be celebrating the 40-th birthday of Meddle, an album that – according to their blurb – changed the sound of Pink Floyd and prog rock forever.

But we start with the most recent Uncut (that has a Marc Bolan / T-Rex cover, but it didn't cross the Channel yet) where Nick Mason expresses his belief that there still is room for a combined Piper/Saucerful Immersion set. That extended CD-box-set would have early Pink Floyd rarities as Vegetable Man and Scream Thy last Scream but also...

...we've got some demos that were made really early on, which I think are just charming. these come from 1965 and include 'Lucy Leave', "I'm A King Bee", "Walk With Me Sydney", and "Double O-Bo". They're very R'n'B. Of course we were yet another English band who wanted to be an American style R'n'B band. We recorded the demo at Decca. I think it must have been, in Broadhurst Gardens. A friend of Rick's was working there as an engineer, and managed to sneak us in on a Saturday night when the studio wasn't operating.

As all Immersion sets come with some live recordings as well all eyes (or ears) are pointing into the direction of the Gyllene Cirkeln gig that was recently sold by its taper to the Floyd. But Mark Jones, known for his extensive collection of early Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett pictures, heard something else from his contacts at Pink Floyd Ltd. He fears that this gig will not be put on an early Floyd immersion set:

I doubt it, my answer from someone 'high up' was 'the Stockholm recording does not feature Syd's vocals'. I take that means either his mic was not functioning properly or he was singing off mic. (…) My answer was from 'high up' and from what I gathered it meant they weren't releasing it!

Like we have pointed out in a previous article (see: EMI blackmails Pink Floyd fans!) the September 1967 live set does not have audible lyrics, due to the primitive circumstances the gig has been recorded with (or simply because Syd didn't sing into the microphone). But that set also has some instrumentals that could be put on a rarities disk: a 7 minutes 20 seconds unpublished jam nicknamed 'Before or Since' (title given by the taper), Pow R Toc H (without the jungle sounds?) and Interstellar Overdrive.

It will be a long wait as an early Immersion set can only see the light of day in late 2012 and only after the other sets have proven to be successful.

Update 2016 11 11: that Piper 'Immersion' set, with the Gyllene Cirkeln gig, has been officially issued in the Early Years box set: Supererog/Ation: skimming The Early Years.

Nick Sedgwick
Nick Sedgwick (front) with Syd Barrett (back). Picture taken from Mick Rock's Shot! documentary (2017).

Nick Sedgwick's manuscript

Back to Mojo with its Dark Side Of The Moon / Wish You Were Here cover article. Obviously the 'Syd visits Pink Floyd' anecdote had to be added in as well and at page 88 Mark Blake tells the different versions of this story once again (some of them can also be found in here: The Big Barrett Conspiracy Theory).

In his Lost In Space article Mark Blake also retells the almost unknown story about an unpublished Pink Floyd book that has been lying on Roger Waters' shelves for about 35 years. After the gigantic success of Dark Side Of The Moon the band, or at least Roger Waters, found it a good idea to have a documentary of their life as successful rock-stars. Waters asked his old Cambridge friend and golf buddy Nick Sedgwick to infiltrate the band and to note down his impressions. Another sixties Cambridge friend was called in as well: Storm Thorgerson, who hired Jill Furmanovsky to take (some of) the pictures of the 1974 American tour. Nick and Storm could follow the band far more intimately than any other journalist or writer as they had been beatnik buddies (with Syd, David and Roger) meeting in the Cambridge coffee houses in the Sixties. In his 1989 novel Light Blue With Bulges Nick Sedgwick clearly describes how a loud-mouthed bass player and the novel's hero share some joints and drive around on their Vespa motorcycles.

Life on the rock road in 1974 was perhaps too much of a Kerouac-like adventure. The band had its internal problems, with Roger Waters acting as the alpha-male (according to David Gilmour in the latest Mojo article). But there weren't only musical differences, Pink Floyd had wives and families but they also had some difficulties to keep up the monogamist life on the road. Then there was the incident with Roger Waters who heard a man's voice at the other side when he called his wife at home.

When David Gilmour read the first chapters of the book he felt aggrieved by it and managed to get it canned, a trick he would later repeat with Nick Mason's first (and unpublished) version of Inside Out. But also Nick Mason agrees that the book by Nick Sedgwick was perceived, by the three others, as being to openly friendly towards Roger Waters and too negative towards the others. Mark Blake, in a Facebook reaction to the Church, describes the manuscript as 'dynamite'.

Unfortunately Nick Sedgwick died a couple of days ago and Roger Waters issued the following statement:

One of my oldest friends, Nick Sedgwick, died this week of brain cancer. I shall miss him a lot. I share this sad news with you all for a good reason.
He leaves behind a manuscript, "IN THE PINK" (not a hunting memoir).
His memoir traces the unfolding of events in 1974 and 1975 concerning both me and Pink Floyd. In the summer of 1974 Nick accompanied me, and my then wife Judy, to Greece. We spent the whole summer there and Nick witnessed the beginnings of the end of that marriage.
That autumn he travelled with Pink Floyd all round England on The Dark Side Of The Moon Tour. He carried a cassette recorder on which he recorded many conversations and documented the progress of the tour. In the spring of 1975 he came to America with the band and includes his recollections of that time also.
When Nick finished the work in 1975 there was some resistance in the band to its publication, not surprising really as none of us comes out of it very well, it's a bit warts and all, so it never saw the light of day.
It is Nick's wish that it be made available now to all those interested in that bit of Pink Floyd history and that all proceeds go to his wife and son.
To that end I am preparing three versions, a simple PDF, a hardback version, and a super de-luxe illustrated limited edition signed and annotated by me and hopefully including excerpts from the cassettes.

For those interested in the more turbulent episodes of the band Pink Floyd this will be a very interesting read indeed.

Update 2016 12 04: the Sedgwick Floyd biography 'In The Pink' has not been published yet. In a 2015 interview for Prog magazine Roger Waters, however, said that the project was still on.
Update 2017 07 30: The 'In The Pink' journal can now be bought at the Pink Floyd Their Mortal Remains exhibition in London or at a Roger Waters gig: see In The Pink hunt is open! 

The Church wishes to thank: Mark Blake, Mark Jones & although he will probably never read this, Roger Waters.


Careful with that stash, Gini

Careful with that stash, Gini
David Gilmour
David 'a Guinness is good for you' Gilmour.

Business as usual at The Anchor. Felix Atagong, that old drunk hippie, was sitting at the bar, ogling some of the mojito girls eagerly discussing Justin Bieber's posterior. At his fifth Guinness Felix usually starts to get all glazzy eyed and wants to start a Pink Floyd fight. Most of the time it suffices to name-drop Rob Chapman to make Atagong throw a tantrum, but there weren't enough spectators today to make this trick worthwhile.

"Alex", he said, "Did I already tell you that David Gilmour wore a Guinness t-shirt during the 1974 French tour, just to piss off their sponsor Gini?" I pretended not having heard this story a dozen times before.

"In 1972", he orated, "Pink Floyd signed a lucrative publicity contract with Gini, a French übersweet soft drink. The band went to the Moroccan desert where they had some shots taken by photographer William Sorano, a fact not a lot of people know of." Felix likes to brag a lot, especially when he gets a bit light in the head.

"Of course Pink Floyd wasn't a millionaire's super group yet when they agreed with the deal. They liked to describe themselves as an underground art band and only the French were daft enough to believe that. British have this national sport to fool the French and for three full decades those have thought that 'pink floyd' was English for 'flamant rose' or 'pink flamingo'. That rumour was started on the mainland by journalist Jean Marie Leduc after he returned from a trip to London in sixty-seven. Asking a freaked-out acid head what a pink floyd really meant he turned into the proverbial sitting duck and eagerly swallowed the bait."

Pink Floyd Ballet
The Pink Floyd ballet (Roland Petit).

"So whenever Pink Floyd wanted to get arty-farty they only had to hop into the nearest ferry to Calais where they were hauled in as national heroes. One of their sillier projects was to play behind a bunch of men in tights, jumping up and down in an uncoördinated way, and calling that a ballet. Of course there was a kind of 'intellectual snobbery' involved in this all, but even more the Pink Floyd's fine taste for champagne and oysters that was invariably hauled in by the bucket." Felix had certainly reached lift-off and would be raving and drooling now for at least the next half hour to come."

"Another project was the soundtrack for the art movie La Vallée, a typical French vehicle for long pseudo philosophical musings about the richness of primitive culture and the sudden urge of a French bourgeois woman to hug some trees and to hump the local Crocodile Dundee. Part of the movie is in the kind of English that would turn Inspector Clouseau green with envy. What does one expects from a bunch of hippies, making a tedious long journey to a mythical valley they call 'obscured by cloud' (not 'clouds')?"

La Vallée, end scene.
La Vallée, end scene.

"The hidden valley is supposed to be a paradise and the story sounds like a cheap rehash of the ridiculous Star Trek episode, The Way To Eden. Over the years journalists and biographers have rumoured that the movie is saved by showing a fair amount of frolicking in the nude, but it miserably fails in that department as well. Quite unusual for a French movie of the early seventies, I might add, as the cinematographic intellectual trend was to show the female form in all its variety. The only bush that can be seen is the New Guinean forest unfortunately."

"Obviously the Floyd couldn't resist this challenge and helped by the easy money soundtracks brought in they were wheeled into a château with a stock of red wine and boeuf bourguignon. Two weeks later they emerged with one of their finest albums ever." Atagong took another drink and belched loudly. This had only been the introduction, I feared, I was right.

Gini 1974
Pink Floyd 'Gini' Tour.

"Rick Wright recalls in a 1974 Rock & Folk interview how their manager Steve O'Rourke met a bloke on a French beach, waving a fifty thousand British pounds check in front of him. O'Rourke frantically jumped up and down, like a dancer from a French avant-garde ballet dancing troupe, making hysterically pink flamingo quacking sounds. Little did he know this was going to be first time in Floydian history that the band didn't manage to trick the French, a tradition that started in 1965 when Syd Barrett and David Gilmour busked the French Riviera. Of course it is easy to say in retrospect O'Rourke was duly screwed 'up the khyber' by the Gini coöperation, but in 1972 it appeared not to be such a bad deal after all. Part of the deal was that Gini promised to sponsor a French tour, including radio and television promo spots that unfortunately have not survived into the 21st century."

"The main problem was that in 1973 Pink Floyd suddenly turned into millionaire superstars thanks to Dark Side Of The Moon and that 50,000 pounds was now something they spent on breakfast orange juice. But Gini, waving with the two years old contract, threatened with legal action and the Floyd reluctantly agreed to meet the conditions."

Gini promo girl
Gini promo girl.

"In the summer of 1974 Floyd hit France and wherever they appeared a publicity caravan of 15 people would follow them. It had cute girls who gave Gini drinks, stickers and fluorescent t-shirts away, 4 'easy riders' on 750 cc super-choppers (painted by Jean-Paul Montagne) and a green 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith (numberplate: 567 AAF 75) with a loud stereo installation. Rumours go that at a certain point the atmosphere was so heated between the Pink Floyd management and Gini that a minimum distance between band and publicity people had to be agreed on. But according to Nick Mason, in his auto-biography Inside Out, it was only the band that got infuriated, the technical crew quite enjoyed the promo girls and they exchanged more than soft drinks alone."

"French journalists immediately accused Pink Floyd of a sell-out and the band rapidly declared that the money was going to charity, something in the line of a school for handicapped children. Rock & Folk squeezed out the names of the Ronald Laing Association and the French hôpital de Salpêtrière, but reality may have been a bit different. Nick Mason told Mojo's Mark Blake this summer that they probably just shelved the money, although David Gilmour and Roger Waters still keep up it was donated. Rest me to say that Waters was so angry at the situation that he wrote an unpublished song about the Gini incident, titled Bitter Love (aka 'How Do You Feel')." Felix Atagong paused a bit, to have a drink, so this was a moment for immediate action.

"Out!", I said, "The Anchor is closed."

"But", retaliated the Reverend, "this was just a mere introduction to start talking about the Wish You Were Here Immersion set that has just been issued and I would like to say something more about the 1967 Stockholm Gyllene Cirkeln show that has finally been weeded out to the public..."

"Out!", I said again, "There is no time for your drunken ramblings any more."

I pushed Felix Atagong out of the door and I heard him staggering back home, murmuring incomprehensible things. He'll be back tomorrow anyway.

Press article about the Gini tour.

(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations have been enlarged for satirical purposes.)
The Anchor wishes to thank: Nipote and PF Chopper at Y.

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 179-183, 214.
Blake, Mark: Lost In Space, Mojo 215, October 2011, p. 85.
Feller, Benoît: Complet, Rock & Folk, Paris, July 1974, p. 44.
Leduc, Jean-Marie: Pink Floyd, Editions Albin Michel, Paris, 1982, p. 125.
Mason, Nick: Inside Out, Orion Books, London, 2011 reissue, p. 197-198.
(unknown): La "caravane" Pink Floyd-Gini, Hit Magazine, Paris, July 1974.

One of the promo Pink Floyd Gini choppers is still around today and has its own Facebook page: The Pink Floyd Chopper.

The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad character.
More info: The Anchor.
Read our legal stuff: Legal Stuff.


RIP Clive Welham: a biscuit tin with knives

Clive Welham
Clive Welham.

On Wednesday, 9 May 2012, it was reported that Clive Welham passed away, after having been ill for a long time.

50 years earlier, he was the one who introduced a quiet, shy boy to Roger 'Syd' Barrett at the Cambridge College of Art and Technology. The boys had in common that they both liked to play the guitar and immediately became friends, that is how Syd Barrett and David Gilmour met and how the Pink Floyd saga started.

Perse pigs and County cunts (note)

Just like in the rest of England, Cambridge was a musical melting pot in the early sixties with bands forming, merging, splitting and dissolving like bubbles in a lava lamp.

Clive 'Chas' Welham attended the Perse Preparatory School for Boys, a private school where he met fellow student David Gilmour. As would-be musicians they crossed the social barriers and befriended pupils from the Cambridge and County School for Boys, meeting at street corners, the coffee bars or at home were they would trade guitar licks. Despite their two years age difference Clive was invited to the Sunday afternoon blues jam sessions at Roger Barrett's home and in spring 1962 this culminated in a 'rehearsal' band called Geoff Mott & The Mottoes. Clive Welham (to Julian Palacios):

There was Geoff Mott [vocals], Roger Barrett [rhythm guitar], and “Nobby” Clarke [lead guitar], another Perse boy. I met them at a party near the river. They’d got acoustic guitars and were strumming. I started picking up sticks and making noise. We were in the kitchen, away from the main party. They asked me if I played drums and I said, “Not really, but I’d love to.” They said, “Pop round because we’re getting a band together.”

Clive Welham (to Mark Blake):

It was quite possible that when me and Syd first started I didn't even have any proper drums and was playing on a biscuit tin with knives. But I bought a kit, started taking lessons and actually got quite good. I can't even remember who our bass player was...

Although several Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett biographies put Tony Sainty as the Mottoes' bass player Clive Welham has always denied this: “I played in bands with Tony later, but not with Syd.”

Another hang-around was a dangerous looking bloke who was more interested in his motorbike than in playing music: Roger Waters. He was the one who designed the poster for what is believed to be The Mottoes' only public gig.

After Clive Welham had introduced David Gilmour to Syd Barrett, David became a regular visitor as well. Surprisingly enough Syd and David never joined a band together, starting their careers in separate bands. Although they were close friends it has been rumoured there was some pubertal guitar playing rivalry between them.

The Ramblers
The Ramblers.

1962: The Ramblers

The Mottoes never grew into a gigging band and in March 1962 Clive Welham, playing a Trixon drum kit, stepped into The Ramblers with Albert 'Albie' Prior (lead guitar), Johnny Gordon (rhythm guitar), Richard Baker (bass) and Chris ‘Jim’ Marriott (vocals).

The Ramblers’ first gig was at the United Reformed Church Hall on Cherry Hinton Road. They used their new Watkins Copycat Echo Chamber giving them great sound on The Shadows’ Wonderful Land and Move It.

The Ramblers soon acquired a certain reputation and gigged quite a lot in the Cambridge area. One day Syd Barrett asked 'Albie' Prior for some rock'n roll advice in the Cambridge High School toilets: “...saying that he wanted to get into a group and asking what it involved and in particular what sort of haircut was best.”

Unfortunately the responsibilities of adulthood crept up on him and lead guitarist 'Albie' had to leave the band to take a job in a London bank. On Tuesday, the 13th of November 1962, David Gilmour premiered at a gig at the King's Head public house at Fen Ditton, a venue were they would return every week as the house band. Gilmour had joined two bands at the same time and could also be seen with Chris Ian & The Newcomers, later just The Newcomers. Notorious members were sax-player Dick Parry, not unknown to Pink Floyd anoraks and Rick Wills (Peter Frampton's Camel, Foreigner and Bad Company).

Memories have blurred a bit but according to Glenn Povey's Echoes Gilmour's final gig with The Ramblers was on Sunday, 13 October 1963. Beginning of 1964 The Ramblers disbanded but three of its 5 members would later resurface as Jokers Wild.

1963: The Four Posters

But first, in autumn 1963, a band known as The Four Posters was formed, although it may have been just a temporarily solution to keep on playing. David Altham (piano, sax & vocals) and Tony Sainty (bass & vocals) were in it and perhaps Clive Welham (drums). Unfortunately their history has not been documented although according to Will Garfitt, who left the band to pursue a painting career, they played some gigs at the Cambridge Tech, the Gas Works, the Pit Club and the university. Contrary to what has been written in some Pink Floyd biographies John Gordon was never involved:

I was never in The Four Posters. Clive and I were together in The Ramblers, and we left together to join Dave, David and Tony to create Jokers Wild. I don't know whether Dave and Tony came from The Newcomers or The Four Posters...
The Newcomers
The Newcomers.

1964: Jokers Wild

The Ramblers, The Four Posters and The Newcomers ended at about the same time and the bands more or less joined ranks. Renamed Jokers Wild in September 1964 it was at first conceived as an all-singing band. “We were brave enough to do harmony singing that other groups wouldn’t attempt, including Beach Boys and Four Seasons numbers”, confirmed Tony Sainty. The band had good musicians, all of them could hold a tune, and they soon had a loyal fanbase. They became the house-band at Les Jeux Interdits, a midweek dance at Victoria Ballroom. Clive Welham: “We came together in the first place because we all could sing.”

Some highlights of their career include a gig with Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, The Paramounts (an early incarnation of Procol Harum) and a London gig as support act for The Animals. This last gig was so hyped that a bus-load of fans followed them from Cambridge to the big city of London.

1965: Walk Like A Man

Mid 1965 the band entered the Regent Sound Studios in Denmark Street, London. They recorded a single that was sold (or given) to the fans containing Don’t Ask Me What I Say (Manfred Mann) and Big Girls Don’t Cry (The Four Seasons). Out of the same session came a rather limited one-sided LP with three more numbers: Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Walk Like a Man and Beautiful Delilah. This is the only 'released' recording of Jokers Wild although there might be others we are not aware of. Peter Gilmour (David's brother) who replaced Tony Sainty on bass and vocals in autumn 1965 commented this week:

Sad news. A great bloke. I'll replay some of those old recordings doing Four Seasons and Beach Boys numbers with his lovely clear falsetto voice.

Somewhere in October 1965 they played a private party in Great Shelford together with an unknown singer-songwriter Paul Simon and a band that was billed as The Tea Set because Pink Floyd sounded too weird for the highbrow crowd. Clive Welham:

It was in a marquee at the back of this large country house [that can, by the way, be seen on the cover of the Pink Floyd album Ummagumma, FA]. I sat on and off the drum kit because of my wrist problems. Willie Wilson sat in on drums and I came to the front on tambourine.

The musicians enjoyed themselves, jamming with the others and Paul Simon - 'a pain in the arse', according to drummer Willie Wilson - joined in on Johnny B. Good. A couple of days later Jokers Wild supported Pink Floyd again, this time at the Byam Shaw School, Kensington, London. Each band was paid £10 for that gig.

Jokers Wild
Jokers Wild.

1965: the Decca tapes

By then Jokers Wild were seriously thinking of getting professional. They were not only known by the locals in Cambridgeshire, but did several society parties in London as well. Also the military forces had discovered them: Jokers Wild was invited for the Admiral League dance at the Dorchester Hotel in London and played several dances at the RAF and USAF bases of Mildenhall, Lakenheath, Alconbury and Chicksands. Their repertoire changed as well, shifting more towards soul, R&B and Tamla Motown. Libby Gausden: “How we danced to David Gilmour, Peter Gilmour, David Altham, John Gordon, Tony Sainty and dear Clive xxx.”

Some promoters were sought for and the band recorded a single for Decca: You Don’t Know Like I Know (Sam and Dave) / That’s How Strong My Love Is (Otis Redding), but unfortunately it was never released because the original version by Sam and Dave had already hit the UK market.

After the Decca adventure the original band slowly evaporated over the next few months. Peter Gilmour left (probably after the summer of 1966) to concentrate on his studies. Clive Welham had difficulties combining his full time job with a semi-professional rock band and had some medical problems as well. John Gordon further explains:

Clive [Welham] became unable to play any more (with a wrist complaint) and was replaced by Willie Wilson... and that line-up continued for some time. It was later still that Tony Sainty was replaced by Rick [Wills]... and then, when the band was planning trips to France, I had to 'pass' to finish my degree at college.

1966: Bullit & The Flowers

Now a quartet with David Altham, David Gilmour, John 'Willie' Wilson and newcomer Rick Wills on bass, they continued using the known brand name, a trick Gilmour would later repeat (but slightly more successful) with Pink Floyd, touring around Spain, France and The Netherlands. Another failed attempt to turn professional made them temporarily change their name to Bullit and when David Altham also left the remaining trio continued as The Flowers, mainly playing in France. Around camp-fires on this planet it is told how a sick (and broke) David Gilmour returned to London, just in time to get a telephone call from Nick Mason, asking if he had a few minutes to spare.

2012: Nobody Knows Where You Are

Clive worked at the Cambridge University Press but always continued with his music. According to Vernon Fitch he played in a band called Jacob's Ladder in the Seventies and was a successful singer with local Cambridge band Executive Suite in the Nineties. Helen Smith remembers him as the leader of Solitaire, what must have been (according to Colleen Hart) in the mid-Seventies:

A brilliant front man in his band 'Solitaire' - he had a wonderfully sweet singing voice and could easily hit the high notes!

Update 2012 08 12: In 1978 Clive made a private, non commercial recording of Peanuts, originally a 1957 hit from Little Joe & The Thrillers:

Update 2012 08 13: In 2001 Clive Welham sang Barry Manilow's I Made It Through The Rain at The Maltings, Ely. The clip is courtesy Chris Jones (formerly of the Hi-Fi's) from www.world-video.co.uk and can be watched on YouTube: I Made It Through The Rain.

His last outing was on the Cambridge Roots of Rock of 2008.

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

Jokers Wild #1 (October 1964 - May 1966 / Source: Glenn Povey)

David Altham: guitar, saxophone, keyboards, vocals
David Gilmour: guitar, vocals, harmonica
John Gordon: rhythm guitar, vocals (1964 to late 1965)
Tony Sainty: bass, vocals (1964 to early 1966)
Peter Gilmour: bass, vocals (early 1966)
Clive Welham: drums, vocals (1964 to late 1965)
John 'Willie' Wilson: drums (from late 1965)

Jokers Wild #2 (Summer 1966 - Summer 1967 / Source: Glenn Povey)
AKA Bullit (3 summer months in 1966 at the Los Monteros hotel in Marbella?)
AKA The Flowers (end 1966)

David Altham: rhythm guitar (to December 1966)
David Gilmour: guitar, vocals
Rick Wills: bass (from January 1967)
John 'Willie' Wilson: drums

Listen to Jokers Wild on YouTube:
First three tracks ("Why Do Fools Fall in Love", "Walk Like a Man", "Don't Ask Me (What I Say)")
Last two tracks ( "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Beautiful Delilah")
Jokers Wild EP (5 tracks)

Afterword (Updated: 2012 07 01)

Perse pigs etc...

According to Julian Palacios in Dark Globe, quoting David Gale, 'perse pigs and county cunts' were friendly nicknames the pupils of these rivaling schools gave to each other. David Gale's assumption can be found on YouTube although it may have been a raunchy joke towards his audience and part of his 'performance'. (Back to text above.)

Syd Barrett in Jokers Wild?

In an interview for the Daily Mirror in August 2008 Rosemary Breen (Syd's sister) told:

He [Syd] started his first band, Jokers Wild, at 16. Sunday afternoons would see Cambridge chaps and girls coming over for a jamming session. The members of Pink Floyd were just people I knew. Roger Waters was a boy who lived around the corner and Dave Gilmour went to school over the road.

This seems to be a slip of the tongue as Syd Barrett never joined the band. In a message on Facebook, Jenny Spires adds:

Syd was not in Jokers Wild... He jammed with all the various members at different times, but he wasn't in it. When I met him in 64, he was playing with his old Art School band Those Without. He was also in The Tea Set at the same time. He played with several bands at the same time, for example if someone needed a bass player for a couple of gigs they may have asked him to stand in. Earlier, he played with Geoff Mott and also with Blues Anonymous. There were lots of musician friends in Cambridge that Syd played and jammed with. (Jenny Spires, 2012 06 30)

Many thanks to: Viv Brans, Michael Brown, Lord Drainlid, Libby Gausden, John Gordon, Peter Gilmour, Colleen Hart, Chris Jones, Joe Perry, Antonio Jesús Reyes, Helen Smith, Jenny Spires & I Spy In Cambridge. All pictures courtesy of I Spy In Cambridge.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 22-23, 34.
Clive Welham at Cambridge News Death Notices, May 2012.
Dosanjh, Warren: The music scene of 1960s Cambridge, Cambridge, 2012, p. 42, 46-47. Free download at: I Spy In Cambridge.
Fitch, Vernon: The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia, Collector's Guide Publishing, Ontario, 2005, p. 342.
Gordon, John: Corrections re Jokers Wild, email, 2012-05-12.
Palacios, Julian: Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London, 2010, p. 27-28, 31.
Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 13, 20-24, 29.


RIP Storm Thorgerson: caught in a triangle...

Storm Thorgerson
Storm Thorgerson at the TML photo shoot. Picture: Mick Rock.

What is there to say about Storm, except perhaps, like someone put in Birdie Hop, that he had a great name and a great life?

Storm Thorgerson was a member of the so-called Cambridge mafia, who in the early Sixties fled their home-town en masse to seek fame and fortune in the great city. They wanted to study in London, at least that is what they told their parents, but frankly these youngsters just wanted to get away from parental guidance and have an uncensored bite of adult life: sex, drugs and rock'n roll. Paradoxically, or maybe not, once they arrived in London they immediately flocked together, sharing apartments and houses and meeting in the same clubs and coffee houses.

The term Cambridge mafia was coined by David Gilmour to denominate that bunch of relatives, friends and acquaintances who stuck together, not only in the sixties, but are still doing today. As a relative young and unknown band Pink Floyd looked for associates, sound- and light technicians, roadies and lorry drivers in their immediate neighbourhood, often not further away than the next room in the same house.

Thorgerson was no exception, he had played cricket in the same team as Bob Klose and Roger Waters, and when the Floyd needed a record cover for A Saucerful Of Secrets, Storm managed to squeeze himself in, staying there till the end of his life, as the recent variations of the Dark Side of the Moon cover show us.

But even before Saucerful Storm had been involved with the band, it was at his kitchen table at Egerton Court that the members, minus Syd Barrett, discussed the future of Pink Floyd and decided to ask for a little help from yet another Cantabrigian friend: David Gilmour.

Obviously, this blog would not exist if, in the week from the 14th to 21st April 1969, Storm hadn't made an appointment with history to start a magical photo shoot.

Julian Palacios in Dark Globe:

Storm Thorgerson supervised the photo session for the cover of The Madcap Laughs, bringing in Mick Rock to photograph at Syd’s flat. ‘Syd just called out of the blue and said he needed an album cover,’ confirmed Rock. When Thorgerson and Rock arrived for the shoot, ‘Syd was still in his Y-fronts when he opened the door,’ Mick explained. ‘He had totally forgotten about the session and fell about laughing. His lady friend of two weeks, “Iggy the Eskimo”, was naked in the kitchen preparing coffee. She didn’t mind either. They laughed a lot, a magical session.’

There has been some muffled controversy who was the brain behind the pictures of The Madcap Laughs, not really helped by some contradicting explanations from Storm Thorgerson and Mick Rock. They both arrived the same day, both with a camera, and probably Rock handed over (some of) his film rolls to Storm as this was initially a Hipgnosis project.

Unfortunately we will never be able to ask Storm whether there was a third photographer present or not, but the chance is he wouldn't have remembered anyway. The rumour goes Storm was a rather chaotic person and that most Barrett negatives disappeared or were misplaced through the ages.

Perhaps the best, or at least the most personal, the most touching, the most emotional album art by Storm is the cover of the 1974 Syd Barrett vinyl compilation. It is a simple brown cover with Syd's name in handwriting and a small picture, taken from what probably was an autumn or late summer photo session also destined for the cover of The Madcap Laughs. The pictures of the so-called yoga photo-shoot however where not used, as we all know, for Syd's first album as Storm decided to use the daffodil and Iggy session from April instead. Hence the misdating in nearly all biographies.

Syd Barrett (vinyl compilation)
Syd Barrett (vinyl compilation).

In 1974 Harvest decided to package Barrett's two solo albums as a budget release. Storm, by then de de facto house photographer of Pink Floyd, was asked to design a new cover. Storm rang at Syd's apartment but the recalcitrant artist smashed the door when he heard about the reason for the visit.

Thorgerson went back to the office and decided to make a cover out of leftover pictures. On top of the brown background he put a plum, an orange and a matchbox. This was probably the first time that Storm played a game that he would later repeat with other Floydian artwork, leaving enigmatic hints that were initially only understood by that select group of Cantabrigian insiders who had known Syd personally.

Thorgerson's riddles culminated in the art for The Division Bell (and its many spin-offs) that had a visual companion for every song of the album, and rather than clarifying or portraying the lyrics they added to the mystery. It still is his opus magnum and unfortunately he will not be able any more to top it. We will never know if he was in with the Publius Enigma hoax although there have been a few leads pointing that way.

At a later stage Storm lost me somewhat. His mix of photographic surrealism and mockery became too much a gimmick and the freshness and inventiveness were gone. The covers of the latest Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd compilations were not always appreciated by the fans. Perhaps he was already sick by then.

But these few failings disappear at the magical visual oeuvre Storm Thorgerson has left us (and not only for Pink Floyd): A Nice Pair, Argus, Cochise, Dirty Things Done Dirt Cheap, Flash, Houses of the Holy, Lullubelle III, Picnic, Savage Eye, Sheet Music, The Lamb Lays Down On Broadway, Tightly Knit, Venus and Mars and many many more...

Thorgerson was a rock artist without having recorded a single note of music, he will be missed on Earth, but if there is that nirvana he will surely be welcomed by Clive, Nick, Pip, Ponji, Rick, Steve, Syd and the others...

Many thanks to: Lori Haines.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Palacios, Julian: Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London, 2010, p. 340.


Pink Floyd. Still First in Space. NOT!

Pink Floyd. Still First in Space. NOT!
Shindig Interstellar Overdrive
Shindig Interstellar Overdrive.

Interstellar Overdrive is the name of a January 2014 Shindig guide and it's worth every penny you spend on it. In 35 articles on 170 pages, it tries to define and explore the space rock phenomenon. It has in-dept articles on Amon Düül II, Gong, Hawkwind, Pink Fairies, Spacemen 3, Sun Ra and many others without forgetting the sci-fi movie soundtracks of the fifties (Forbidden Planet!) and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (Doctor Who!).

In a six pages article 'The Reluctant Spacerockers' the on-off relationship between Pink Floyd and space rock is examined and what an enjoyable essay that is.

While journalists, who are nothing but a bunch of lazy buggers anyway, have labelled the band as space rockers, its members denied this, in particular Roger Waters who reacted in his usual diplomatic style: “Space – what the fuck are they talking about?” Probably the bass player is so demented nowadays that he has forgotten that his lame Amused to Death album features some alien anthropologists trying to find out why all these skeletons are sitting before their TV sets.

Then Austin Matthews chimes in and quite intelligible shows where and how the Pink Floyd used space rock tricks to appease the masses.

TM-7 mission patch
TM-7 mission patch.

Space 1988

There is an error in the article although the author is only partially to blame. (We are just being gentle here, that spaced out sod could of course have done a search on the Internet first.) On page 29 David Gilmour is cited:”To say that we are thrilled at the thought of being the first rock band to be played in space is something of an understatement.”

This refers to the Soyuz TM-7 rocket launch from the 26th of November 1988 five days after Pink Floyd had released their Delicate Sound Of Thunder (live) album. The French president François Mitterrand attended the launch because of cosmonaut Jean-Loup Chrétien, who was the first western European man in space (this was his second flight, by the way, his first was in 1982). David Gilmour and Nick Mason attended because a cassette of their latest album was sent to the MIR space station, apparently on demand by one of the cosmonauts. We'll never know if this is true or just a staged lie but surely there was a mighty PR machine behind the band who made it clear to the world that this was the first rock music recording played in outer space.

Which was not true. Simple as that.

Soyuz TM-3 mission patch
Soyuz TM-3 mission patch.

spAce 1987

In 2003, while researching for an Orb biography that would never see the light of day, the Reverend stumbled upon the electronic band spAce who had a million-selling disco hit in 1977 with Magic Fly. The band split in the early eighties but electronic composer Didier Marouani had a particular successful solo career in Russia (and the East-European communist countries), often using the spAce name and logo, depending on the lawsuit of the month that ex-members were bringing on each other.

Marouani's solo work is slightly reminiscent of Jean-Michel Jarre, Mike Oldfield or Tangerine Dream and was (still is) inspired by Russian and American space programs and sci-fi themes. In 1987 he released a CD called Space Opera (got the slight promotional nudge towards his old band?) and that CD was taken by cosmonauts Alexander Viktorenko, Syrian Muhammed Faris and Aleksandr Aleksandrov to the MIR orbital station in July 1987, more than a year before Pink Floyd made all that brouhaha.

In 2003, long before the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit was founded, the Reverend interviewed Didier Marouani who had the following to say:

I was composing my album Space Opera and I had the idea to bring Americans and Russians together on my album which at that time was very difficult (especially from the USSR). After negotiating with the Soviet ministry of Culture for 6 months I got the authorization to have the Red Army Choir together with the Harvard University Glee Club choir, who were recorded separately.
Following my concept I thought it would be very nice to have this first Space Opera shipped to MIR and then launched into outer space. They asked me to wait while they would study my request and in the meantime I wrote a letter to Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev who answered very positive.
Two months later the Ministry of Space confirmed an appointment. On July, the 2nd, 1987 I was received by the Russian cosmonauts and I gave them a CD, together with a CD-player and 2 small speakers. This was extensively reported in the Russian press.
The cosmonauts left Baikonur on the 22nd of July 1987 and in October 1987 the CD, the player and the 2 speakers were launched into outer space. So my music really floats into space which is for me a very big and happy achievement.
So for sure Pink Floyd did not have the first music in space. During a concert tour in the USSR, I met cosmonaut Aleksandr Pavlovich Aleksandrov, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, again who told me that he worked in space for 7 months, listening to my music. [Note: actually Aleksandrov stayed 160 days in Space in 1987.]
Pink Floyd patch
Pink Floyd patch.

Lie for a Lie

But of course Mr. Gilmour may not entirely have been lying when he said Pink Floyd was the first rock band to be played in space. Didier Marouani's oeuvre is more electronic, new age (and recently: dance) oriented and the Floyd, as we all know, have never flirted with these musical styles before. (Yes, this is called irony.)

The last laugh may be for Didier Marouani though. In 2011 he released an album called From Earth to Mars and it was officially appointed by Roskosmos as the album that will go with the first manned Russian flight to that planet. But we earnestly doubt that listening to it for 6 months in a row will have a positive effect on its crew.

This is part one of the Shindig Interstellar Overdrive review. Part two covers an entirely different subject: Pictorial Press selling fake Pink Floyd pictures!

(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations may have been enlarged for satirical purposes.)

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Marouani, Didier: First In Space, mail to Felix Atagong, 01 June 2003.

The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad character.
More info: The Anchor.
Read our legal stuff: Legal Stuff.


Grab that cash

The Floyds rockn roll swindle
Roger Waters, holding his favourite album
Roger Waters, holding his favourite Pink Floyd album.

It was probably Monday the 28th of March 1994 when the Reverend came home from work and had a burning hot CD in his pocket. On the train from work to Atagong mansion he had already opened the booklet, had thoroughly scrutinised the artwork by Storm Thorgerson, trying to read the music in the intriguing images. Cerro Tololo, the boxing gloves, the paper heads (and headlines)... The Reverend's heart literally skipped a beat when he found out that Rick Wright had been given a song he could call his own. Rick's first Pink Floyd song for nearly two decades (and literally the centrepiece of the album).

Probably the Atagong family had supper first, then LA-girl sat in the couch, and after the Reverend had put the CD in the player he sat next to her. It must have been a rather chilly day because there was some wood burning in the stove and Mimi, the fat and pregnant cat, was enjoying the heat in her basket.

The earth noises came in... and a new legend was born...

All this came back to the Reverend when, on the 19th of May 2014 a new Pink Floyd website appeared, called Division Bell 20.

Chernobyl Blues

There was a countdown clock and a new - Storm Thorgerson inspired - video for the excellent Marooned instrumental, that grew out of a jam at the Astoria recording studio between David Gilmour & Rick Wright. There were immediately some rumours in Pink Floyd internet land, some clearly more inspired than others, but the general consensus was that the album would be re-released in an anniversary or even an Immersion edition.

The obvious nod towards Thorgerson and Wright made the fans hope for the release of The Big Spliff, a Division Bell satellite album whose demos had been lying in the vaults since 1994. Nick Mason in Inside Out:

After two weeks we had taped an extraordinary collection of riffs, patterns and musical doodles, some rather similar, some nearly identifiable as old songs of ours, some clearly subliminal reinventions of well known songs. (…) But even having discarded these, forty ideas were available. (…) We eventually ended up with enough left-over material that we considered releasing it as a second album, including a set we dubbed ‘The Big Spliff’, the kind of ambient mood music that we were bemused to find being adopted by bands like the Orb, although – unlike Gong’s Steve Hillage – we never received any invitations to join this next generation on stage.

It needs to be said that the Reverend's expectations were running in overdrive as well, he was hoping for a new Publius Enigma clue (or perhaps a modest explanation of the riddle - stroke - hoax), hidden in the artwork somewhere, and of course the anticipation of some unreleased tracks, as on the other Immersion and Discovery sets (see also: Fuck all that, Pink Floyd Ltd).

Four Star Daydream

When the clock reached zero the website indeed revealed a pricey Division Bell box-set (actually it crashed at first, as it was hit by thousands of fans at the same time). Limited at 500 copies worldwide it contained an exclusive Limited Edition Division Bell 20th Anniversary T-shirt, a remastered double vinyl in gatefold sleeve, a Division Bell CD and a Bluray with 3 alternative mixes and the new Marooned music video. Some 7 and 12 inch coloured vinyl singles were thrown in as well, together with a 24 Page 12" (30 cm) booklet, 4 art prints and... some toasters.

Division Bell - limited 20 anniversay set
The Division Bell - limited 20 years anniversay set.

So basically Pink Floyd decided to ride the gravy train (again) by repackaging the same product five times in the same box and throwing it at the fans for the giveaway price of £157.50 (about 263 $ or 193 Euro, the unlimited box [without t-shirt and coasters] comes somewhat cheaper and is still available).

Each man has his price, Fred

The fact that it is Gilmour now who spits the fans in the face even made it into the papers and generally there is much disdain from the fanbase. What seemed to be the hype of the year was nothing but a cheap stunt to sell some recycled material at exorbitant prices. That the memory of Rick Wright and the legacy of Storm Thorgerson were thrown in to make a cynical million bucks more makes this release even more nauseating. Polly Samson once wrote: “David Gilmour should be cloned so that every crowded house might have one”, but at this rate she can keep him inside, lock the door and throw away the key.

Did you understand the music, Dave, or was it all in vain?

And when you feel you're near the end
And what once burned so bright is growing dim?
And when you see what's been achieved
Is there a feeling that you've been deceived?
Near The End - David Gilmour, 1984.

Upgrade 2014: a month after the publication of this article it was found out that a brand new 'recycled' Pink Floyd album was in the make, loosely based upon the Big Spliff sessions. However, this resulted in an unprecedented attack of the Floyd management towards its fans. Read: The loathful Mr. Loasby and other stories...  

(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations may have been enlarged for satirical purposes.)

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Mason, Nick: Inside Out: A personal history of Pink Floyd, Orion Books, London, 2011 reissue, p. 315-316.
Samson, Polly: Perfect Lives, Virago Press, London, 2010, p. 225.

The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad character.
More info: The Anchor.
Read our legal stuff: Legal Stuff.


The loathful Mr. Loasby and other stories...

Pink Floyd manager threatens A Fleeting Glimpse webmaster.
The Endless River: fan-made impression
The Endless River: fan-made impression

Last weekend, we, The Anchor, the satirical division of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, felt the peculiar need for an apology. It is a feeling we seldom have, being a general pain in the arse and having carefully cultivated the pompous pernickety air our spiritual job has brought upon us. You may remember that we were not entirely favourable of the anniversary release of the Division Bell album. In the article Grab that cash we described it, and we quote:

What seemed to be the hype of the year was nothing but a cheap stunt to sell some recycled material at exorbitant prices. That the memory of Rick Wright and the legacy of Storm Thorgerson were thrown in to make a cynical million bucks more makes this release even more nauseating.

We duly admit this was not nice at all and due to the recent developments in the Pink Floyd camp, more about that to follow later, we profoundly apologise. This doesn't mean that we are suddenly of the opinion that the Division Bell Anniversary Edition is worth the bulldog's bollocks, even if it may contain a hidden Publius Enigma hint. It still is utterly overpriced and utterly redundant, but of course what the honourable reader does with his money is his own business and not ours.

Europe Endless

On Saturday, the 5th of July 2014 at 3:13 PM (UTC), a mysterious tweet was send into the multiverse by Polly Samson, a tweet that created a heavy storm in the mostly silent waters of modern Floydiana:

Btw Pink Floyd album out in October is called The Endless River. Based on 1994 sessions is Rick Wright’s swansong and very beautiful.
Btw Pink Floyd album out in October is called “The Endless River”. Based on 1994 sessions is Rick Wright’s swansong and very beautiful.

The world first took its time to digests its scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, tomatoes, toast, coffee and marmalade (at least in the proper time-zone) but about 45 minutes later the news had been retweeted a few thousand times and had been copied on Facebook walls, forums and blogs all over the planet.

Durga McBroom and David Gilmour
Durga McBroom and David Gilmour.

Singer Durga McBroom, confirmed the news less than an hour later and added that a recent picture of her with David Gilmour hadn't been taken during a solo album session, as she had stated before, but that she had been asked to do vocals on a new Pink Floyd album.

Remember this photo? It wasn't what you THOUGHT it was.

A third confirmation came from Pink Floyd engineer Andrew Jackson, so the rumour that Polly Samson's Twitter account had been hacked and that this was nothing but a hoax was becoming less and less believable. There was going to be a new Pink Floyd album, after twenty years of silence.

This was not going to be just another Pink Floyd album. The starting point were the Division Bell ambient demos that had been nick-named The Big Spliff in the good old Floydian tradition to give recording sessions silly names. Work on the mixes started over a year ago and probably, although this is nothing but an assumption, it was foreseen as a short and sweet bonus disk for a Division Bell Immersion set. While working on the music however, David Gilmour and Nick Mason must have felt something of the excitement from two decades before, they must have felt the muse, the inspiration and the spirit of their friend and colleague (and in the case of bass player ad interim Guy Pratt, father in law) Rick Wright and decided to enhance the jams into a proper record, asking Phil Manzanera and Martin ‘Youth’ Glover to sit behind the mixing console.

Called The Endless River, after a line from the Division Bell’s magnum opus High Hopes (in itself cryptically referring to See Emily Play), the album will be mainly ambient and instrumental, although at least one track will be sung by David Gilmour with lyrics by Polly Samson.

Schoolmaster Mode (The Wall)
Schoolmaster Mode (The Wall).

Recycling Facts

Reactions from that strange horde, also known as the Pink Floyd fandom, ranged from scepticism to enthusiasm. Some critics found it strange that Pink Floyd would be recycling old material, perhaps unaware of the fact that this is something the band has been doing for ages. The whale song section from Echoes was borrowed from their concert staple Embryo, Us and Them was originally called The Violent Sequence and a Zabriskie Point soundtrack leftover, and the magnificent Comfortably Numb was something David Gilmour had been messing with for his eponymous solo album.

Half of the Animals (1977) album consists of songs the Floyd played live in 1974 but none of those fitted the Wish You Were Here (1975) concept. Animals was and still is a landmark album, something that can’t be said of The Final Cut (1983), practically a Roger Waters solo album, featuring some The Wall (1979) rejects (and unfortunately it shows).

Let’s not be cynical for once and forget that a separate release of The Endless River will shelve a few million copies more than a Division Bell bonus disc. Even if the record will mostly have ambient atmospheric pieces and may fail the default description of a typical Pink Floyd album we will consider it as Richard Wright’s musical testament and an honest tribute from the rest of the band.

Now, and here is a confession this old bartender has to make, when we read Polly Samson's tweet, we were literally shaking all over our body as excited as a puppy who has just been thrown a bone. We started browsing the well-known Floydian fan-sites for more and the first website who added the news to its page was Col Turner's A Fleeting Glimpse.

Don't take a slice...
Don't take a slice... (Money).

Segmental Pig File

Col Turner is not your average Pink Floyd fan-site webmaster, he has dedicated his life to the Floyd and if you ask us, we think he is pretty daft for doing so. Nevertheless, we appreciate his masochist streak and if we want to know the latest news of the Dark Side universe Fleeting Glimpse (and Brain Damage) are the first ones we open.

When we say that Colin Turner is not an average fan, we mean he is not an average fan. Turner eats, feels, dreams and breaths Pink Floyd (frankly we are a bit curious what he does in the bedroom) and as such he already knew for a while that a new album was in the make. However, instead of putting that news on his wall, like we would have done in a nanosecond, he promised the Pink Floyd management to shut his mouth and wait until an official announcement of the band was made.

Now, we ask you, dear reader, can you get any closer to an official band announcement than the wife of the band leader, who happens to be the main lyricist as well, tweeting the news into the world?

Well, opinions seems to differ apparently.

Breast Milky
Dutch Penthouse 4, 1995 (Alan Parsons Interview).

The Bleeding Hearts and the Artists

An artist is, by definition, a creative person, a sensitive person, someone with a frail mind. He writes these songs that appeal to people all over the world, people who recognise themselves in these songs, who recognise the feelings, the emotions, the love, the sadness, the anger, the Angst.

We, the fans, may think these songs have been written for us and sometimes we are so touched by the beauty and sincerity of it all that we will ask the artist to play the latest album in our backyard, for a beer and a whopper on the grill. That is why an agent, or some management, comes in... While the artist may not have the guts to disappoint the fan, his agent's preferable syllables are invariably 'no', 'fuck off' and, if this is your lucky day, 'how much'.

There has always been a huge gap between Pink Floyd, the band, and Pink Floyd, the company, and it is pretty impossible to determine how the one has influenced the other. Although some of its members openly preached a socialist philosophy their business manners have always been exactly the opposite, at least after the Peter Jenner days. Steve O'Rourke was not only a quasi-mythical agent who uplifted the band from the gutter towards the moon, but he was a bully as well, bombastic in his manners, a Floydian pit-bull and above all... über-greedy. Rumour goes O'Rourke started his career as a dog food sales rep, so determined to succeed that he ate the stuff in front of his prospects to prove it was quality meat.

Giving none away

The band who criticised capitalism on Money, paid Clare Torry £30 for her input on The Great Gig In The Sky, less than a third of what a Dark Side of the Moon Immersion set costs. In a nineties interview for the Dutch Penthouse a bitter Alan Parsons recalled how the four gentlemen in the band never told him that he had the right to earn some ‘points’ on his engineering / producing work for Dark Side of the Moon. That situation was settled later when Parsons was asked to remaster the album for an anniversary release. Clare Torry had to seriously threaten with legal action before the band agreed to share a small slice of the pie.

Roy Harper sung the lyrics on Have A Cigar, another one of these sarcastic songs describing the shady corners of music business. It was made clear to him that he wouldn't receive any copyright so Roy asked for some football tickets instead. Although the band were multi-millionaires by now a season's ticket was too much to ask and he never received it. The kids, singing ‘we don’t get no education’, were only given a copy of The Wall album after a newspaper turned it into a scandal.

Where Kafka Rules (Te Wall).
Where Kafka rules (The Wall).

Turn, Turn, Turn

Colin Turner published the news about the new Pink Floyd album on A Fleeting Glimpse, after it had been tweeted by Polly Samson. Then he messaged the Pink Floyd management that the floodgates had been opened. While hundreds of others were already retweeting and commenting on social media a Pink Floyd goblin found it necessary to threaten Colin with legal action and made him remove the post.

This made Colin so bitter that he deleted the entire news page, and at a certain point he was so disillusioned he wanted to close down AFG completely.

I was (...) asked to remove the story as it had not been cleared by official channels. This I did and I am now awaiting approval to publish full details about the album, despite it now being widely spread across the Internet. I intend to honour the commitment I made and the site will remain down until such a time as I receive official approval to publish.

Louis Matos (and with him many other AFG readers) reacted in shock:

That high service to the fans and to the Pink Floyd brand (...) was respected by Steve (O'Rourke), is respected by Mark (Fenwick) and should be respected by whomever now attends to David's business. I find it insulting - as a professional of the music business - that a loyal dedicated fan had to be "disciplined" for reproducing a Tweet by Polly by anyone other than Polly or David (and they could have done it, mind you). Even - and especially - anyone on the business side of it. Remember "Welcome to the Machine"? Well, it was about that kind of abuse. (Taken from: The Endless River)

To add insult to injury, at the moment when one of Pink Floyd's little hitlers found it necessary to threaten to close down A Fleeting Glimpse, the official Warner Music Why Pink Floyd website had already inserted the announcement on its news stream. Double standards, anyone?

The Endless River announcement on Why Pink Floyd?
The Endless River announcement on Why Pink Floyd?

Now here is where this article is going to get nasty, so if you are easily offended, please go and visit the Boohbah page instead.

David Gilmour and Paul Loasby
David Gilmour and Paul Loasby.

Slithered Nerves

David Gilmour's (and also Syd Barrett's) management happens to be in the hands of One Fifteen who have the following Hunter S. Thompson quote on their site:

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

If our information is correct Paul Loasby probably was the toerag (note) who intimidated the Fleeting Glimpse webmaster. According to a Cambridge mafia insider, who we will not name, Paul Loasby is the opposite of a villain and an amicable man:

I have met him and spoken to him many times. He seems very pleasant and was always totally respectful of Syd... and others...

But apparently that is only when he doesn't see a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, which he will receive anyway, regardless of him throwing a tantrum about a leaked tweet or not.

What had to be, for the fans, one of the most joyous days in Pink Floyd history, a new album, a much awaited tribute to Richard Wright, an indirect nod to Syd Barrett (mind you, not that we think One Fifteen knows anything about Syd Barrett), the Pink Floyd agent managed to turn it into something of a misplaced nightmare.

Mister Loasby, you are a party pooper and you should be ashamed of yourself.

David Gilmour and his dog
David Gilmour and his dog.

Game of Thrones

But in a way: hats off to Paul Loasby. In four minutes he managed to kick Steve O'Rourke from his throne as the eternal Pink Floyd baddy, simply by putting the knife in the back of someone who does a lot of Pink Floyd promotion, for free. If you are somewhat familiar with the Floydian canon – this is something dogs do for a living. Welcome to the machine, indeed.

We want to end this article with a friendly suggestion for Col Turner, who was at the centre of this crisette. There is a Dutch saying, dating from the Middle Ages: "Tis quaet met heeren criecken eten'." "It's difficult to eat cherries with noblemen", meaning that if you want to schmooze with the higher crowd you will be treated as their servant whether you like it or not.

Better be independent, better be vigilant, better be critical than to bark only when the puppet master allows it, this is The Anchor's motto and it will always be. While A Fleeting Glimpse may generally be the first and the best in giving Pink Floyd news, it slightly troubles us that they have completely forgotten to mention the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band release, with Syd Barrett's last performance.

Sitting to close to the throne, too busy eating cherries over a lavish Division Bell box set, no doubt.

Epilogue / Update

On the quadrophonicquad forum Pink Floyd engineer Andy Jackson wrote on the 14th of July (2014):

No, still can't talk about Endless River, the 'leak' was damage limitation as a UK newspaper had got hold of the story.

So if we read this well, a newspaper - rumoured to be The Sun - heard about the new Pink Floyd album on the fifth of July and was going to publish the news, perhaps even in next day's Sunday paper. Polly Samson was then asked to tweet the news to the world before the newspaper would publish it. It all makes perfect sense.

But what we still don't understand is why Paul Loasby had to threaten A Fleeting Glimpse then. Why Pink Floyd? Why?

Can't you see
It all makes perfect sense
Expressed in dollars and cents,
Pounds, shillings and pence
Can't you see
It all makes perfect sense
(Roger Waters, Perfect Sense, Amused to Death, 1992)
Harvested logo
Harvested logo.

The Floydian empire strikes back
(Update: 2014 09 14.)

For the past few months early Pink Floyd songs have been disappearing from YouTube: Scream Thy Last Scream, Vegetable Man, Astronomy Domine, Lucy Leave, King Bee. Even the Men On The Border live cover of Scream Thy Last Scream has been silenced and has now got the text:

This video previously contained a copyrighted audio track. Due to a claim by a copyright holder, the audio track has been muted.

Obviously this is a blatant lie and could be considered illegal, as the copyright holder of the audio track is Men On The Border itself and not Pink Floyd, nor EMI, Warner Music Group or one of its little helpers.

Harvested, a volunteer-driven organisation that archived, restored and weeded (for free) Pink Floyd live audio and video recordings has been taken down after a friendly reminder from Mr. Loasby. All its torrents have been deleted from Yeeshkul who suddenly went chicken shit and have forbidden the further use of the 'Harvested' word to all its members. Also the Pink Floyd Multicam website has been closed down.

The argument (from Pink Floyd) that ruthless entrepreneurs take the freely distributed material from Harvested (like The Man and The Journey), press it on a CD or DVD and sell it to the public doesn't make sense. Warner should go after the companies who sell these bootlegs and not after the people who give it away for free and thus spoil the 'market' for the bootleggers (although we do understand this is something of an illegal situation). By closing down Harvested (and in a near future, perhaps Yeeshkul?) fans will again be obliged to buy these recordings from shady companies if they want them, instead of downloading them for free.

As usual the big three fansites (A Fleeting Glimpse, Brain Damage, NPF) haven't mentioned this news at all, afraid to no longer receive the crumbles falling off the Pink Floyd table and to be left in the cold when 'The Endless River' will come out. Col Turner, who went apeshit over Paul Loasby threatening him (read the article above) has removed all trace of the incident and, as such, it never happened. (It is still in the forum, but you have to dig deep to find it.)

Acoustic Sounds, who will press the vinyl version of 'The Endless River' (they also did the recent 'Division Bell' release), received the lacquers cut straight from Doug Sax and crew at The Mastering Lab (Los Angeles) and posted some pictures on their Facebook page this week. Guess what, these (innocent) pictures have now been deleted and we can only guess who is behind that.

Who would have thought that ultimately Pink Floyd would turn into the neo-fascist impersonation of their Wall album?

(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations may have been enlarged for satirical purposes.)

Note: Toe Rag is also character in Douglas Adams' novel The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. He is an untrustworthy goblin, secretary of the mighty god Thor, abusing the trust and power the Nordic god gave him. Back to article.

The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad character.
More info: The Anchor.
Read our legal stuff: Legal Stuff.


While my guitar gently weeps...

The Endless River
The Endless River. Image: Ahmed Emad Eldin. Concept: Hipgnosis (2014).

(This is part two of our The Endless River series, for the bawdy introduction, go here: What the fuck is your problem, Pink Floyd?)

So here it is. The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's The Endless River review of what undoubtedly is the most anticipated record of the year.


The album has four, mostly instrumental, suites, that Pink Floyd prefers to call sides. Each suite has several tracks, but these are best listened to in one piece as they form one ensemble. The 'luxe' edition has a 39 minutes extra DVD or Blu-ray with 6 videos of 1993 studio rehearsals and 3 audio tracks. The Blu-ray version is the most complete (and expensive) as it also has a stereo PCM, a 5.1 DTS and a 5.1 PCM version of the album, whatever these acronyms mean.

The front cover concept was designed by Ahmed Emad Eldin, in what could be called ersatz Hipgnosis style, probably chosen because it evokes the boatman who was present in The Division Bell artwork (and, in lesser extent, on A Momentary Lapse Of Reason). The other artwork is credited to the usual gang of graphic designers: Aubrey Powell, Stylorouge, StormStudios and, weirdly, Hipgnosis, although that company stopped in 1983. The 24-pages booklet has a maritime feel: compasses, maps, logbooks... The lettering misses a piece in most letters, to accentuate the missing keyboard player, who has been credited on 11 of the 18 tracks. Storm Thorgerson is remembered as well in the credits.

Pink Floyd 'Boatman' logo.


The album was created out of rejected 1993 jams and demos, with Richard Wright, Nick Mason and David Gilmour, that were probably revisited to be added to a Division Bell anniversary set of one kind or another. Rejected is too strong a word because way back, twenty years ago, it had been the idea to turn the The Division Bell into a double CD-set, what was abandoned for lack of time. That second album turned into the apocryphal The Big Spliff that still sits in Gilmour's studio in an unfinished form and that was assembled by Andy Jackson. Phil Manzanera was asked, in 2012, to work on it, but refused.

I don't wanna hear. I wanna hear every single piece or scrap that was recorded, everything. Outtakes from Division Bell. Everything.

In December 2012 Manzanera puzzled dozens of unfinished pieces into a skeleton, divided into four 12 minute suites, out of 20 hours of material. According to Manzanera, Pink Floyd thanked him and immediately put the work in a box where they forgot it. Martin 'Youth' Glover however says that he was invited in June 2013 and that David Gilmour had already worked on the two different versions of the project.

Within about 40 seconds, it sounded like Floyd. It was absolutely magical. (…) Listening to unreleased Pink Floyd recordings with David, the hair was going up on the back of my arms.

Youth then created a third version and in November 2013 a meeting was held between the two remaining Pink Floyd members and the three producers: Andy Jackson, Phil Manzanera and Youth. Gilmour and Mason picked the best ideas from each version and started working on something that could have been an atrocious Frankenmix but that turned out quite coherent in the end.


Tree / Roots illustration. Image: StormStudios.

Side One: ambient spaces

"Things Left Unsaid...", Gilmour, Wright
"It's What We Do", Gilmour, Wright
"Ebb and Flow", Gilmour, Wright

Things Left Unsaid (4:27): a very ambient, Cluster One atmospheric, introduction, with some voice samples of the Floyd members. Tradition wants that it only starts morphing into something of a melody after the two minutes mark. It gradually slides into It's What We Do (6:17) that thrives on a Shine On You Crazy Diamond moog synth and traces of Marooned later on. This is a typical Floydian spacey slow blues, ideal for those fans who want to chill out with a big spliff. It's lazy and slow and probably a bit boring for some, a typical trademark of the Floyd sound, and just because it is so intriguingly and deliberately slow, the first thrill of the album. It continues into Ebb and Flow (1:55), mainly an epilogue to the previous track.

Actually the first suite is pretty daring to start with in the hectic days we are living in today, this is so contradictory with contemporary music it nearly feels alienated. It's the kind of suite that will be used in nuru massage parlours around the world.

Radar Fantasy
Radar fantasy. Image: Stylorouge (?).

Side Two: early days tripper

"Sum", Gilmour, Mason, Wright
"Skins", Gilmour, Mason, Wright
"Unsung", Wright
"Anisina", Gilmour

Sum (4:48), there's that Cluster One intro again with ambient effects switching towards an Astronomy Domine space trip. Then it nods to an early seventies style Floydian jam, One Of These Days, although bigger and louder, including that good old perverted VCS3 machine.

Skins (2:37) further elaborates on the A Saucerful Of Secrets tribal rhythms and this is the first time in years we hear grand vizier Nick Mason take the lead on a track, finally! We could never think we would be so happy with a fucking drum solo. Gilmour makes his guitar scream à la Barrett in Interstellar Overdrive in something that can be described as a beat bolero. The track ends with some minor guitar effects, just for the sake of the effect and glides over to Unsung (1:07), an intermezzo that is a bridge to the ending of this suite, the magical Anisina (3:17). Those who think this is Wright in a jazz lounge must be contradicted. This is 100% Gilmour and it brings shivers down the spine, even if this a known track that has been bootlegged before as a Division Bell outtake.

The second suite is the experimental one, although the experiment is limited not to scare the casual listener away. We've heard people say that this Pink Floyd record is more of the same. And it's true. But who complains when The Rolling Stones or U2 bring out their umpteenth album sounding exactly like the previous one?

Talking Heads
Talking Heads sculpture. Design: StormStudios. Picture: Rupert Truman.

Side Three: all that jazz

"The Lost Art of Conversation", Wright
"On Noodle Street", Gilmour, Wright
"Night Light", Gilmour, Wright
"Allons-Y (1)", Gilmour
"Autumn '68", Wright
"Allons-Y (2)", Gilmour
"Talkin' Hawkin'", Gilmour, Wright

The lost art of conversation (1:43) is an introductory piano piece by Wright, obviously with some guitar effects from Gilmour. It segues into On Noodle Street (1:42), that is, as the title gives away, nothing but a light jazzy noodling, featuring Guy Pratt, Wright's son-in-law. It is easy listening for Floydheads, just like the next track Night Light (1:42). The first three tracks are merely the introduction for the highlight of this side, and perhaps the album.

Allons-Y (1) (1:57), is a two-piecer and a Run Like Hell copycat, only much better (actually, we find Run Like Hell one of the worst tracks by the Floyd). It is irresistible and the moment we really started tapping our feet. The mid-piece of Allons-Y is Autumn '68 (1:35), the much discussed archival bit taken from a Wright improvisation from the Royal Albert Hall in 1968, reminding us vaguely of a movement of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, only this dates from about five years before. Allons-Y (2) (1:32) is a reprise of the first part to close the circle.

Talkin Hawkin' (3:29) starts rather like one of those slow evolving (and a bit tedious) pieces from On An Island, but is – yet again – irresistible in its meandering movements. Nobody is so immaculate in creating these lazy and slightly boring moods than Pink Floyd. With its Stephen Hawking samples this track is the obvious link to The Division Bell, but the track itself is the counterpart of Keep Talking.

The third suite is the most light-hearted one, perhaps the most commercial and catchy, and it surely is saved by, here we go, Allons-Y.

Happy Rick
Happy Rick Wright.

Side Four: turn off the lights

"Calling", Gilmour, Moore
"Eyes to Pearls", Gilmour
"Surfacing", Gilmour
"Louder than Words", Gilmour, Samson

Anthony Moore, who made the Broken China album with Richard Wright is responsible for Calling (3:38) and it certainly has the mood of that pretty depressed, and unfortunately underestimated, album. The atmosphere is somewhat reminiscent of David Bowie's Warszawa, it is an ambient and dark and haunting piece. It is a nice thing from Gilmour to have added this obvious nod to Rick's solo album and one of the more interesting pieces of the album.

Eyes To Pearls (1:51) breathes the air of Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks and has hidden hints of Money and One Of These Days, but one can find traces of earlier work in about all tracks on this album. Didn't Nick Mason quip once he was in the recycling business? Surfacing (2:46) acts as the intro to the final song, it seems a lesser track at first, but it has a weeping guitar that hit us right in the heart / stomach / balls. Actually most of the numbers may not be seen as individual pieces but as movements of each suite and as such they perfectly serve their roles.

Louder Than Words (6:37) was gravely discussed when it came out, it has been called Floyd by numbers and Polly Samson's lyrics are of syrupy soap series quality but in this context and as the coda of the album it just works great. Just listen to that piano intro by Wright, the last we'll probably hear, that irresistible refrain, the perfect ending solo, also the last we'll probably hear... This is Gilmour at his best and for once he doesn't stretches it too long, what was his problem on the previous Diet Floyd records where he had the habit of putting six minute guitar solos in three minute songs. Gilmour's playing on this album is to the point and you never get the feeling he is showing off like on, for instance, On An Island, although it is clear he bought a new set of pedals.


This is a great album, a classic in the making, although perhaps only for the die-hard fans, and is far much better than we had ever hoped for.

(A third article, with a more critical approach to the album can be found at: Chin Chin.)

More reviews at A Fleeting Glimpse and Brain Damage. Illustrations (except the Rick Wright picture) taken from The Endless River and The Division Bell..
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Sources (other than the above internet links):
Bonner, Michael: Coming back to life, Uncut, November 2014, p. 35 – 41.


Chin Chin

Diet Floyd officially fat-free.
Gilmour, Astoria studio, 1993.
David Gilmour, Astoria studio, 1993.

The new Diet Pink Floyd album The Endless River is conquering the world, perhaps to the absence of any real competition. We don't think Susan Boyle's cover version of Wish You Were Here will pose a real threat, does it? In Holland the album, currently at number one, sells five times as much as the number two.

The Endless River is a slow evolving, ambient piece of work with obvious nods to the Floyd's glorious past... one hears traces of A Saucerful Of Secrets (Syncopated Pandemonium), Astronomy Domine, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Cluster One, Interstellar Overdrive, Keep Talking, Marooned, Money, One Of These Days (I'm Going To Cut You Into Little Pieces), Run Like Hell, Shine On You Crazy Diamond and probably half a dozen more we've already forgotten.

The familiarity of it all has created raving enthusiasm for some and 'mainly yesterday's reheated lunch' for others and this also seems to be the opinion of the press. Mark Blake (in Mojo) politely describes the album as 'big on atmosphere, light on songs', Mikael Wood (in the Los Angeles Times) states that Pink Floyd drifts towards nothingness with aimless and excruciatingly dull fragments.

While the 1987 A Momentary Lapse Of Reason album was a David Gilmour solo effort, recorded with 18 session musicians and with the Pink Floyd name on the cover to sell a few million copies more, The Endless River originally grew out of jams between Gilmour, Mason & Wright.

Actually these were rejected jams, not good enough to include on The Division Bell, but over the years they seem to have ripened like good old wine. Well that's the PR story but in reality Andy Jackson, Phil Manzanera and Martin 'Youth' Glover had to copy bits and pieces from twenty hours of tape and toy around with every single good sounding second in Pro Tools to obtain something relatively close to Floydian eargasm. Phil Manzanera in Uncut:

I would take a guitar solo from another track, change the key of it, stick it on an outtake from another track. 'Oh that bit there, it reminds me of Live At Pompeii, but let's put a beat underneath it.' So then I take a bit of Nick warming up in the studio at Olympia, say, take a bit of a fill here and a bit of fill there. Join it together, make a loop out of it.

This doesn't really sound like an organic created piece of music, does it? The result is a genetically modified fat-free sounding record and while this is the most ambient experiment of Pink Floyd it will never get extreme, despite Martin Glover's presence whose only ambient house additions seem to be the On The Run VCS3 effect that comes whooshing in several times. Youth isn't that young and reckless any more so don't expect anything close to the KLF's Madrugada Eterna, Jimmy 'Space' Cauty's Mars or the Orb's A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules from the Centre of the Ultraworld, unfortunately.

Update April 2017: One and a half year after the record has been released the involvement of Nick Mason can be finally discussed as well. Pink Floyd know-all Ron Toon at Steve Hoffmann:

Nick had nothing to do with this project except to play a few new drum tracks basically being brought in as a session drummer. Of course he was / is a member of Pink Floyd but his involvement in this project was minimal at best. The vision was David's and the other producers and Andy [Jackson] did most of the work. Source: Pink Floyd - The Early Years 1965-1972 Box Set.

But the music isn't the only thing that seems to be embellished. Last week long-time Echoes mailing list member Christopher, also known as 10past10, went on holidays, taking with him the new Pink Floyd CD and, as reading material, Nick Mason's Inside Out book. Then something happened which unleashed the power of his imagination (read Christopher's original mail).

The mid-book picture of The Endless River shows the Astoria studio with Rick Wright, David Gilmour and Nick Mason jamming in 1993, taken by Jill Furmanovsky. This picture has been stitched out of several shots, the borders don't match (deliberately) and Nick Mason (or at least his arms) can be seen twice.

Astoria session, 1993, courtesy of Jill Furmanovsky
Astoria session, 1993. Picture: Jill Furmanovsky.

But Christopher was in for another surprise when he looked at the fourth picture gallery in Nick Mason's Inside Out soft-cover (or on page 313 if you have the coffee-table edition). It shows another picture of the same session, with Rick Wright, David Gilmour and Bob Ezrin.

Astoria session, 1993, courtesy of Jill Furmanovsky
Astoria session, 1993. Picture: Jill Furmanovsky.

Now look at the man in the middle, the one who doesn't like to be called Dave. Christopher:

If you look closely at every piece of David's clothing, his hair, the way he is holding his guitar, the chords, the lot. It all matches exactly ... too much not be a match.
David Gilmour with double chin.
David Gilmour with double chin.
David Gilmour with single chin.
David Gilmour with single chin.

Not only does The Endless River centrefold superimposes Nick Mason twice, but they have glued in David Gilmour from another shot (and removed Bob Ezrin).

And still, that is not all.

Look very closely to Gilmour's face in the 1993 picture (left) and to his face on the 2014 release (right). Christopher explains:

The difference is in the original shot.
David has a double chin.
In The Endless River shot it has been dealt with.

There will be no fat on The Endless River, not on the music and certainly not on Air-Brush Dave.

(This is The Anchor's satirical review of The Endless River, or part three if you like. For the Reverend's opinion, check: While my guitar gently weeps...)

(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations may have been enlarged for satirical purposes.)

Many thanks to Christopher (10past10), Ron Toon. Pictures courtesy of Jill Furmanovsky.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Sources (other than the above internet links):
10past10 (Christopher), Alcog Dave no more, mail, 2014 11 14.
Bonner, Michael: Coming back to life, Uncut, November 2014, p. 39.
Echoes mailing list: to join just click on the appropriate link on their sexy echoes subscription and format information webpage.

The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad character.
More info: The Anchor.
Read our legal stuff: Legal Stuff.

Christopher's original posting to Echoes: (Back to article)

Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2014 18:00:32 +1000
From: 10past10
Subject: Alcog Dave no more ...
To: echoes@meddle.org

Hi Ho All,

I do believe there is photographic trickery afoot!

Exhibit A: The centrefold picture in The Endless River depicting Richard, David and Nick in the studio.

Exhibit B: Inside Out; the fourth lot of pics in the paperback or p313 in hardback (1st ed), depicting Richard, David and Bob Ezrin.

Obviously it is a different pic of Richard and Bob/Nick. But I reckon the picture of David is the same one; except for one difference.

So, I reckon, to get the wider shot for the TER CD centrefold (I don't know how it may or may not appear in the other versions as I haven't seen them yet), they have made a composite photo using the shot of David rom the one Nick originally published and shots of Richard and Nick from one or two different pictures.

If you look closely at every piece of David's clothing, his hair, the way he is holding his guitar, the chords, the lot. It all matches exactly ... too much not be a match.

Does this matter? Of course not. Why not do that to get what you need. Obviously Nick himself is double exposed when you look at his arms.

Is it worth pointing out? Yes (but just because you can, not because it will change the world). Why? Because of the one difference.

The difference is in the original shot David has a double chin. In The Endless River shot it has been dealt with.

Some time ago I was castigated for calling David, Fat Dave. So I changed that to Alcog Dave. He is that no more. In my more whimsical moods I shall hence forth refer to him as "Air-Brush Dave".

I like Pink Floyd.

Rock On

i am remotely morty

(Back to article)


Attack the troll!

Rattle That Lock
Rattle That Lock, David Gilmour.

"Bored socialist millionaires making solo records."

This header from a review of the About Face album duly infuriated me, about three decades ago. In this review the critic satirised the fact that David Gilmour had asked colleague Pete Townshend, from an equally legendary band, to help him out on a couple of tracks.

In retrospect the About Face album tried a bit too hard to launch Gilmour on a successful solo career, it was a bit too AOR, too Foreigner-ish to be good. The general audience wasn't interested in Pink Floyd members going solo anyway and - in Belgium - Gilmour only played a small university hall in Brussels, that was only partially filled, if my memory is correct. Not that I was there, I didn’t go as well, but that was thanks to my legendary social anxiety disorder.

Things are different now, the music industry may be complaining music isn’t selling, but at least there is an appetite for the musicians formerly known as Pink Floyd.

The buzz has been going on for quite a while now and you might except that a new David Gilmour album is something like the second coming of Christ. I’m a bit sceptic when things are getting overhyped, since Star Trek V was promoted with the slogan ‘why are they putting seatbelts in theatres this summer’? As the movie-goers found out, it was to prevent them from leaving after fifteen minutes.

Although the preliminary signs weren't all too positive, who composes a (rather mediocre) song around an annoying French railway jingle anyway and links it to a text from John Milton?, I tried to remain neutral when the CD appeared in the stores.

TL;DR: It didn't help.

Rattle That Lock

5 AM starts a bit like the absolutely beautiful Let’s Get Metaphysical (About Face) and makes me think remotely of At The End Of The Day from Mason + Fenn's Profiles album. It’s a nice introduction, but just when it could go somewhere it simply fades out, what happens with several tracks on this album unfortunately. It’s a nice, somewhat colourless intro, but that is default Pink Floyd territory, so to speak.

Rattle That Lock sits in your brain like a cockroach and jumps up when you least expect it. It’s Gilmour’s most catchy number in years, sounding a bit like one of these irresistible Chris Rea tunes: I can hear your heart beat / Rattle that lock. The problem is, who has heard of Chris Rea for the last 3 decades? The song has a standard eighties feel with irritant percussion, irritant singing and irritant lyrics and is a serious contestant to replace The Dogs Of War as Gilmour’s worst song ever. On top of that the track uses a sample from the Momentary Lapse Of Reason days (Learning To Fly) and that is how it sounds actually, fucking dated. While David Gilmour gladly acknowledges that About Face suffers from the eighties (over-)production, he does it all over again on this track. Actually I am glad I don’t live in France so I don’t have to hear the SNCF jingle on a daily basis and be reminded every time of this turd.

Rattle That Lock (back cover).
Rattle That Lock (back cover).

Faces of Stone. For a moment I feared Gilmour was going klezmer but this is a little waltz that regularly puts you on the wrong foot. Perhaps the best track on the album, although not among Gilmour’s bests, if you know what I mean. It says something of the quality of the other tracks, I fear. I guess I’m just happy there is a cool solo at the end.

Gilmour’s eulogy to Rick Wright A Boat Lies Waiting starts with a long and slow intro that could have been on The Endless River. Although there is the tendency from fans to find it a fitting remembrance it is a bit monotonous, despite some nice singing from Crosby and Nash. The song ends rather abrupt as if these old tossers were suddenly out of breath, but others think that it is a symbolical way to visualise how Rick was taken out of this world. Beautiful, but not really earth-shattering and the fact that it is about Wright probably makes me judge it milder than the others.

I don’t honestly know what to think of Dancing In Front Of Me, I would like to like it, but then there is that feeling that it could’ve been much better and that it is just a filler. Gilmour obviously is a happy man and happy men, so goes the first rule of rock'n'roll, don’t make great records. What if The Wall had tracks like ‘My father and me went fishing’, ‘My mother was always positive towards me’ and ‘Pink has a successful garden shop in Cambridge’? Nobody would’ve bought it.

In Any Tongue first has some whistling for god’s sake, but then it takes off like all the others in that lazy tone that specifies this record. For a moment the refrain brings a solace, a glimpse of Floydian grandeur, but – fearing I’m getting repetitive – the song never seems to blossom, except perhaps for that ending 'Comfortably Numb'-ish solo. With some help from Roger Waters and Rick Wright this could’ve been an epic track. Wait a minute. Did I just ask for Roger Waters? Something must be really wrong with this record.

Beauty starts like it could’ve been a part of the last Floyd and perhaps it was. Still sounds like a bit of filler, with a slight touch of One of These Days. Too many bread and not enough cheese on this album though.

The Girl In The Yellow Dress or Gilmour and Samson go jazz. Unfortunately it is the kind of jazz you hear as a soundtrack on French romantic movies. This would be a cute track on a Jools Holland album and actually that guy manipulates the piano here, as are Robert Wyatt and Bob (Rado) Klose. But as it is definitely something else it kind of stands out against the rest. Different, not better.

Today starts like a church hymn, never a good sign, but then a funky guitar takes over with a Fame signature, unfortunately one of the David Bowie tracks I loathe the most. Today is a mixed bag, has some awful singing, and seems to be getting nowhere, like most of the disco dance floor fillers. Chris Rea once sang 'I'm in a European disco', but this is no Saturday Night Fever, I'm afraid.

And then… there is a relieved sigh that this record is finally over. The last instrumental will be used by radio makers all over the world to end their show with and thank the audience for their kind attention. If it had a sax solo it could also have been used to musically accompany an episode of Red Shoe Diaries, but just like that soft erotic drama series it never really gets off the ground.

Le Chat Noir.
Le Chat Noir (postcard).

No sex please, we're British

As a matter of fact that is not such a bad comparison. David Gilmour has given us a soft-core record, that will obviously be loved by millions, but personally I was expecting something more 'in the flesh'. Of course this isn't a bad record, David Gilmour is smart enough not to make 'bad' records, but it is just so... dull, flat, uninspired. Like that American cheese with no holes, no smell and also no taste.

As a final note I would like to add that the album comes in a regular and a deluxe version. At almost the triple in price you get an incredible amount of, what the Dutch describe so beautiful as, 'prullaria' (kitsch, rubbish). One of those is a piece of plastic that is called a plectrum, although 'plectrum-ish' would be far more closer to the truth. It could be a plectrum for an ukulele, but apparently that is an instrument you can't use a plectrum on, so tells me a musician who is the master of all things strings. Whatever. (At the Holy Church Tumblr page there is a gallery with the contents of the deluxe box: Unpacking Rattle That Lock #1 and Unpacking Rattle That Lock #2.)

The deluxe edition also contains a Blu-ray (or DVD) with a few meticulous surround mixes, a couple of barn jams between Gilmour and Wright and some horrifically bad remixes of Rattle That Lock. The barn jams used to be online but they have already been deleted by the Pink Floyd gestapo.


This is a fucking disappointing record and one that certainly won't help me through my midlife crisis. On the other hand, Jason Lytle has just announced a new Grandaddy album. So there is still a reason to keep on going on with this miserable life. But first, I think I'm going to have a listen to About Face, compared to Rattle That Lock, it is a masterpiece.

Keep smiling people!

Many thanks: Rich Hall. Rattle That Lock on the Holy Church Tumblr page.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
'Attack the Troll' is an anagram of 'Rattle that Lock'.


Coming Back To Life (David Gilmour, Tienen)

Yesterday I had the privilege of watching David Gilmour perform at the historical marketplace of the small city of Tienen. I'm very glad my LA-girl pushed me to get tickets as I was so disappointed in his solo album I didn't even wanted to go. You can read my review of the Rattle That Lock (RTL) album at: Attack the troll!

David Gilmour, Tienen
David Gilmour, Tienen.

First Set

The concert started with three RTL-tunes and although they certainly have more balls in a live rendition, it didn't really help me to get in the mood. Actually I found the ambient-soundscape before the concert way better. Rattle That Lock had lost the annoying sample it was build around but that still doesn't make it a good song. What Do You Want From Me gave the concert a necessary kick-start, but as it was followed by The Blue the flow sank down like a soufflé that has just been taken out of the oven. So far the concert had just been hot air.

There was a second highlight with The Great Gig In The Sky with excellent vocal work by the backing singers, two ladies and a man. David Gilmour used the opportunity to say that the song had been written by Rick Wright, forgetting the little fact this the concert was actually taking place on Rick's birthday, but perhaps he had a valid reason as he also had his wedding anniversary to remember the next day. Understandably Great Gig was followed by A Boat Lies Waiting, Gilmour's musical eulogy to his old friend, but although I appreciate his honest effort to commemorate his friend it still is pretty average.

The set kept yoyoing between classics and RTL. Wish You Were Here, followed by Money, then In Any Tongue, the only song on his latest album that shows a momentarily glimpse of Floydian grandeur. High Hopes finished the first set.

As far as I was concerned, I couldn't call this a good concert by now. The general flow of the music was spoiled by the lesser RTL tracks, dragging the Floydian classics down. I gave it a 65% rating and was getting a bit depressed.

David Gilmour, Tienen
David Gilmour, Tienen.

Second Set

But I also remembered my previous David Gilmour concert, in Amsterdam, in 2006, where the public politely applauded after the obligatory bunch of On An Island, but not with much gusto. The second set, however was an eargastic spectacle with Echoes. Of course, in those days, Rick was still moving the Moog, getting a standing ovation from the crowd.

The second set could only be better, I braindamaged myself. Luckily, it was.

Astronomy Domine hit my body like a cocaine snort. Fuck, fuck and triple fuck. This was an entry with a big E. Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Fat Old Sun. Then a drop down with Dancing Right In Front Of Me, one of the unnecessary fillers on RTL. But the upward momentum couldn't be stopped. Coming Back To Life was a treat and On An Island couldn't spoil the good mood I was in (that album is quite an intimate and exquisite jewel compared to Rattle, if you ask me).

The Girl In The Yellow Dress is just a San Tropez throw-it-away kind of song, so I just put my attention on things I could pick in my nose.

It was finally time to work towards an apotheosis. First with the obnoxious floor-filling disco of Today, that I loathed on the record, but that seemed more or less to do its work here. If you have to pick one memorable tune from A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, it is without a doubt Sorrow. Feeling the bass tones tremble in your stomach is a goosebumps experience. Run Like Hell is one of the worst Pink Floyd tracks if you ask me, but as a concert highlight it is.. well, a highlight. This was not a Pink Floyd tribute band, this was the real deal, helped by Mr. Brickman's fabulous light and laser show and an ear-splitting volume that you normally only have at Iron Maiden shows.

The second set also had its deal of yoyoing, but the last quarter made my rating rise to 80%

David Gilmour, Tienen
David Gilmour, Tienen.


The encores started with some ticking clocks, enough for the public to go berserk. A drizzle had started at exactly the moment when Gilmour sang 'outside the rain, fell dark and slow', but now it was pouring. (A proof that this man has some connections at Valhalla.)

Lucky for me because so nobody could see the tears running from my face. Time was given the full treatment with Breathe (Reprise) and that seeded without a break into the song everyone was waiting for: Comfortably Numb.

What can one say about Comfy? Let's say nothing about it as mortal beings have not the words for it. Tongue-tied and twisted this earth-bound misfit rated the encores at a whopping 110%.

Oops, you did it again, Gilmour. See you again in a decade.

David Gilmour, Tienen
David Gilmour, Tienen.


First set: 5am, Rattle That Lock, Faces Of Stone, What Do You Want From Me, The Blue, The Great Gig In The Sky, A Boat Lies Waiting, Wish You Were Here, Money, In Any Tongue, High Hopes.

Second set: Astronomy Domine, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Fat Old Sun, Dancing Right In Front Of Me, Coming Back To Life, On An Island, The Girl In The Yellow Dress, Today, Sorrow, Run Like Hell.

Encores: Time/Breathe (Reprise), Comfortably Numb.


A photo-impression of the show can be found at the Church's Tumblr, this page will be daily updated for about a week, so keep on visiting: David Gilmour, Tienen.

♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


Supererog/Ation: skimming The Early Years

Pink Floyd Recycling
Pink Floyd Recycling. Artwork: Felix Atagong.


Nine years ago the Reverend made the remark that any new Pink Floyd release will create some 'controversy between the fans, the (ex-)band members and/or record company' (Fasten Your Anoraks).

Almost a decade later, with the release of Pink Floyd The Early Years 1965-1972, nothing has changed. Actually it only got worse.

Pink Floyd have always been a pretty hypocritical band when it comes to making money. There is nothing bad about trying to make a good living, obviously, but when you start selling inferior material for overabundant prices it's like spitting the fans in their face. Not that anyone of them would do that.

Of course nobody is obliged to buy The Early Years box (approx. 500 Euro and limited to 28000 copies) but I duly admit: I am an absolute sucker for anything with the Floyd name on it. And perhaps it's a nice pick-up line: “Wanna see my Early Years box?”


The Early Years is a somewhat directionless, but nevertheless interesting, 28 CD, DVD and Blu-ray box containing demos, live tapes (some of bootleg quality), unreleased tracks, rarities, vinyl singles, movies and a 2016 remix of Obscured By Clouds. Someone must have said at a direction committee: 'you know what, we haven't got enough material on our Obfusc/Ation disk, let's throw in an Obscured By Clouds-remix'. Not that you hear me complain, Obscured By Clouds is in my personal top three, before Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall, but it does feel a bit awkward.



For this box, Pink Floyd didn't make the silly mistake of adding marbles, scarves or toasters, like in the Immersion sets. There are plenty of mini-posters, postcards, ticket replicas and other printed items though, for those who like that. (Personally, I tend to ignore that rubble.) An image of some of those, thanks to RobNl, can be found on Imgur. Another shot can be found at the Church's Tumblr: (Un)Packing The Early Years #12.

The box has a simplistic, black and white theme, but is... too big. The outside box is about 41 x 22 x 31 cm, but the actual set tucked inside only takes 19 x 20 x 14.5 cm. It doesn't take an Einstein to calculate that 80% of the box is made of... empty spaces. (Sorry, I really couldn't resist that pun.) I have put the outside box on top of a wardrobe, where it will probably stay for the rest of my miserable life. Picture: (Un)Packing The Early Years #6.

The 'inner box' contains 7 book-boxes, with ridiculously bombastic cut/up names. 6 of those will be sold separately over the next few months, the seventh is a bonus set, exclusive to this release alone. That's why I was waving so enthusiastically with my wallet. Picture: (Un)Packing The Early Years #14.

The one gadget everyone I have spoken to really wants, me included, is the Pink Floyd 'matchbox' miniature van. Alas, these have been made for promotional use only and will probably fetch high prices on eBay.

Update November 2016: meanwhile a Pink Floyd miniature van has been sold on eBay for the whopping price of 310£ (385$, 364 €), Tumblr link.

Pink Floyd Van
Pink Floyd Miniature Van.


The quality of the book-boxes is not optimal. On the web are already circulating pictures of pages that are falling out of the sets. Apparently they have been glued rather flimsily to the spine. Taking out a disk is always a matter of trial and error, and the first CD I picked broke one of the plastic 'teeth' holding it.

The inside pages contain pictures of the band, unfortunately the printing is rather average, although the 'later' sets in my box seem to be slightly better. Each set also contains a booklet with 'copyrights', thank you notes, a brief introduction by Mark Blake and seven times the same text by film archivist Lana Topham, for whatever reason, although I suppose sloppiness from the editor. These texts are printed in grey on brownish paper, making it nearly impossible to read them anyway.

If it breathes something, it breathes cheap instead of zen.


When the box was announced, a couple of months ago, in the same amateurish way The Endless River was made public, the track-listing had some important differences, as it listed 5.1 mixes for Meddle and Obscured By Clouds. These can't be found on the released set (well, kind of) for reasons that seem to be taken out of a Neighbours episode.

It all starts with the fact that Pink Floyd has had several re-mixing specialists over the years, notably James Guthrie and Andy Jackson, who, in true soap-series tradition, hate each-other's guts as they belong to rivalling factions.

Andy Jackson, from the David Gilmour camp, was asked to create the 5.1 mixes for Meddle and Obscured By Clouds and handed these over to Mark Fenwick, who is Roger Waters' manager. Mark was a good dog and passed these to Roger, for approval.

Roger Waters remembered that these remixes had originally been promised to his protégé James Guthrie and when he found out that the 'other side' had done these, without consulting him, he threw a tantrum like a kicked poodle.

So this is, in a nutshell, why the genius of Pink Floyd vetoed against the inclusion of the Andy Jackson 5.1 mixes, although liner notes and promotion material had already been printed. All that had to be redone and the 5.1 disks that had already been pressed were for the dustbin.

Before somebody could say 'several species of small furry animals' the rift between the David Gilmour and Roger Waters camp was back in place and it seems that it won't be solved in the near future.



So the Obscured By Clouds and Meddle 5.1 mixes are not in the box, right? Wrong. Well, partially wrong.

It was found out that the 1971 Blu-ray contains a hidden segment with the complete Meddle 5.1 mix. However, you can't play it on a regular Blu-ray player as one needs to extract the files to a computer first (or burn them on another Blu-ray with the hidden files set to visible).

Apparently this is not an Easter egg but a simple mistake. Or an act of Insubordin/Ation. Take your pick. Instead of deleting the Meddle 5.1 mix from the disk the Floyd's technical leprechaun only deleted the shortcut from the menu.

Keep on smiling, people.


The week before the box got released there was an impromptu announcement of the record company.

Pink Floyd fans ordering 'The Early Years 1965-1972’ will get an extra piece of the band’s history.
The box-set will now also include a supplementary disc featuring the band’s seminal Live At Pompeii concert as a 2016 audio mix.
The 6 tracks totalling over 67 minutes include live versions of 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene', 'Set the Controls For The Heart Of The Sun', 'One of These Days', 'A Saucerful Of Secrets', ‘Echoes' and an alternative take of 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene’.

The truth is slightly different. When the sets were already made and put in the boxes for shipping a bright brain decided it was about time to check if the disks really contained what was printed on the booklets. Only then it was found out that the Obfusc/Ation set did not have Obscured By Clouds, but the Pompeii soundtrack. By then it was too late to open 28000 shrink wrapped boxes and replace the disks, so the Obscured remix was put in a carton sleeve and thrown on top of The Early Years box set, before closing the brown shipping parcel. Picture: (Un)Packing The Early Years #2.

At least the carton sleeve has the guts to say the truth:


Some quality control, huh? By the way, the 5.1 Obscured By Clouds mix is not in the box, but you probably already figured that out.

Update: some boxes seem to come without the Obscured replacement disk, as was expected...

(For those interested, the Pompeii CD contains an extra take of Careful With That Axe, Eugene, but no Mademoiselle Nobs. The box also has the Pompeii movie, without the interviews, without the singing dog, but in the director's cut version, so I have read. Another Indic/Ation that the Floyd team doesn't seem to know what lives in the fan community as that version of the movie is mostly regarded as inferior to the original.)

Update: the new 'mix' of Obscured By Clouds is (to quote Cenobyte) 'too top endy'. The mix generally repairs the muddiness of the original mix and brings everything out in a brilliant way, but adds this layer on top and that kind of ruins it. Some posters even think that something went wrong during the mastering process. (The same applies to the new Pompeii mix as well.)



Several Floydian movies can be found in the box, but some come without English subtitles. This may not be a very big problem for More but La Vallée is basically spoken in Frenglish. And of course these boxes are shipped all over the world, to places were people are not familiar with the English language and could use subtitles.

It only feeds the rumour that the Floyd randomly added things onto the disks, just to fill them up, regardless of quality.

(Note: in my box, The Committee, that is on another Blu-ray than More and La Vallée, does have subtitles, even in Dutch.)


The Committee's soundtrack does not contain music from Pink Floyd alone. One, pretty famous scene has underground colleague Arthur Brown singing Nightmare, but his name is not mentioned at all in the booklet. It is weird that a band that scrutinises YouTube looking for copyright infringements neglects Mr. Brown's rights.

As a matter of fact Pink Floyd even censored Nightmare from Arthur Brown's personal YouTube place, a few months ago, because they claimed his song hurt their copyrights. Unfortunately Arthur Brown doesn't have a legion of lawyers to fight this.

Don't ask a slice of my pie, how utterly convenient.


Some of the tracks on this Compil/Ation are from inferior or bootleg quality. We know that and can live with that.

But what if we say that the Pink Floyd mastering team deliberately ignored some good takes and put inferior ones in the box?

Seems unthinkable for a band that used to flirt with high-end quadrophonic effects.

The 1967 BBC radio sessions, for instance, are in a bad quality, examples are 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun', 'Reaction in G' and 'Pow R Toc H' that is even incomplete.

It needs to be said that Pink Floyd consulted the official BBC archives but these are in a bad state. The BBC had a habit of erasing their own masters and only has copies of the Pink Floyd 1967 gig 'taken' from the air.

Top collectors, those that have the 'holy grails', informed the Floyd that (a copy of?) the masters of the 1967 recording are in a private collection but the Floyd didn't find it necessary to check this out. Andy Jackson received high quality stereo copies of the BBC recordings from at least two sources but the powers that be decided to use the inferior mono tapes instead.

Isn't is ironic that the 'bootleg' community has better versions of these Pink Floyd live tapes and early acetates than the band itself and that they are giving them away for free? The Floyd has thanked them by shutting down Harvested and threatening to shutdown Yeeshkul in the past. (More of these vicious rumours at: The loathful Mr. Loasby and other stories... )



Just as with the Immersion sets some Blu-rays come with errors, in this case (as far as we know): the 1972 'Obfusc/ation' Blu-ray and bonus package 'Continu/ation' Blu-ray 1. According to several testimonies the menu screen loads, but halts there. You better check out your version before it is too late.


Fans were happy to find out that Seabirds was finally going to find a place on this collection. Seabirds is a song written by Roger Waters for the More movie, where it can be heard during a party scene, but it does not appear on the soundtrack album.

The song in the box though with the same title is not the one fans were looking for but an alternate take of the instrumental Quicksilver. God knows why this was erroneously labelled, but once again it seems that the Floyd historians didn't do their homework right and just threw songs on a CD without checking them out first.

Pink Floyd itself issued a statement, trying not to make it sound as an apology. It appears that the master tape of the 'real' Seabirds was given to the movie producers who used it for their final cut and who destroyed the only copy afterwards.

While Pink Floyd is not to blame for that mishap we can at least say they have been badly communicating to their fans about this track, but Communic/Ation has never been the Floyd's strongest point.

(Another possible mistake can be found on the Stockholm disk where the first instrumental number is titled Reaction In G while most scholars think it is another 'untitled' instrumental, loosely based upon Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk. This was already published by the Church in 2011 so the Floyd had plenty of time to correct this. See also: EMI blackmails Pink Floyd fans!)



At 500 Euro a box this is a pretty hefty Christmas present, especially when you realise that at least 85% of the box has been circulating before, on bootlegs. Of course it is true that some visual material has been beautifully restored and some audio tracks sound crispier than ever. Other tracks have just been added for the sake of adding them, so it seems. Anything in the bin we can still use?

There are still plenty of tracks not in the box that the fans were hoping for. It has already been confirmed that one of these will be issued as a Vinyl Record Store Day exclusive.

Somehow I have the feeling that during the Cre/Ation of this set, that took twenty years, the energy went lost, or the interest. Perhaps there was a lack of time when the deadline came closer. Perhaps a greedy manager decided that they had already spend too much money on it. Perhaps Waters and Gilmour, and their servants Guthrie and Jackson, have been busy rolling over the floor fighting, rather than working together, in a cooperative way.

This could have been such an exquisite rarities box, an example for other bands to follow, if only the Floyd had put some extra effort in it, if only the Floyd had consulted their fanbase that gathers at specialised music forums.

Nick Mason, the gentleman drummer, probably takes better care of his cars than he takes care of his musical legacy.

"Those ungrateful fans, it took us 20 years to make this box and Felix Atagong, the Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, just needed 20 minutes to trash it."

Update: this post was only published for about an hour when a new 'error' was published on one of the forums.

Belgian TV footage (1968): while the image transfer is great, Pink Floyd made a stupid mistake by overdubbing the video with the regular stereo versions instead of the original 'mono' sound. This leads to the following errors:
1. The stereo Paintbox is about 15 seconds shorter than the mono version, the last seconds of the clip are almost silent while there was still music during the original TV broadcast.
2. An unique early version of Corporal Clegg with an alternate ending has been replaced with the common stereo version.
3. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun has lost the early mono mix that was used instead of the album version.

Video transfers. Frame rates differ between 'vintage' movies and digital technologies like DVD and Blu-ray. When old movies are transferred to digital they have to be 'stretched' which is a pretty straightforward process. However, one may not stretch the soundtrack the same way because it will result in a sound distortion. Guess what, at least one movie in the box runs with half a tone difference than originally recorded.

So here is another case where bootlegs have it right and the official version has it wrong. Bunch of amateurs!

There are really too many people to thank for this article, but much kudos go to Ron Toon and the dozens of others who gave valuable information on the Steve Hoffman Music Forum (304 pages!), another thread on the Steve Hoffman Forum (72 pages!), Yeeshkul (161 pages!) and A Fleeting Glimpse (106 pages!). Sleeve illustrations by a forum member whose post I can't find back any more, anyway thanks!

20 pictures of the (un)packing of the box can be found at the Church's Tumblr: The Early Years.

♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


Happy New Year 2017 (and Happy Birthday Syd)

We wish you a very happy 2017, sistren and brethren of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. Last year was a pretty active one, on the Iggy, Syd and Pink Floyd front, although that didn't always show on the site you are currently reading.

Luckily there is a Tumblr micro-blog that we daily update, with coloured photographs!, a Facebook timeline and a Twitter account.

A short and sweet 2016 Tumblr overview

Barrett Celebration at The Geldart, Cambridge.
January 2016: (Private) Barrett Tribute and sing-along at The Geldart, Cambridge.
Barrett Celebration announced at Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
February 2016: Barrett Celebration announced at Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
Barrett bike wheel tribute artwork announced at Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
March 2016: Barrett 'bike wheel' tribute artwork announced at Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
Mojo Syd Barrett special
April 2016: Mojo Syd Barrett special.
French Octopus single sells for 10,500 Euro.
May 2016: French Octopus single sells for 10,500 Euro.
La gazza ladra. Picture by Charlie Gilmour.
June 2016: La gazza ladra. Picture by Charlie Gilmour.
David Gilmour, Tienen, 28.07.2016.
July 2016: David Gilmour, Tienen, 28.07.2016. Picture: Felix Atagong.
Anthony Stern Iggy Rose 'Iggnet' magnet.
August 2016: Anthony Stern's Iggy Rose 'Iggnet' magnet.
The Cracked Ballad of Syd Barrett, NME 1974.
September 2016: The Cracked Ballad of Syd Barrett, NME 1974.
Graham Coxon and Rosemary Breen, Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
October 2016: Graham Coxon and Rosemary Breen, Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
Programme of Syd Barrett: A Celebration.
November 2016: Programme of Syd Barrett: A Celebration (8 pages).
Merry Christmas from Terrapin.
December 2016: Merry Christmas from Terrapin.

The Church wishes to thank: Mick Brown, Mary Cosco, Rich Hall, Lisa Newman, Göran Nyström, Anthony Stern, Perse pigs, County cunts and Cambridge spies.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥


Shady Diamond

Syd Barrett by Duggie Fields
Syd Barrett, by Duggie Fields.

Brain Damage

At the 'Mortal Remains' Pink Floyd exhibition that is currently running in London a Polaroid can be found showing Syd Barrett at the Abbey Road studio in July 1975. This is not the picture that was magically found back when Nick Mason needed to promote his biography in 2004 and that dates from June 1975.

Here is what Nick writes about that:

It was during these sessions at Abbey Road, on 5th June, that we had one totally unexpected visitor. I strolled into the control room from the studio, and noticed a large fat bloke with a shaven head, wearing a decrepit old tan mac. He was carrying a plastic shopping bag and had a fairly benign, but vacant, expression on his face. His appearance would not have generally gained him admittance beyond studio reception, so I assumed that he must have been a friend of one of the engineers. Eventually David asked me if I knew who he was. Even then I couldn’t place him, and had to be told. It was Syd. More than twenty years later I can still remember that rush of confusion.
Syd Barrett, 5 June 1975. Picture: Nick Mason.
Syd Barrett, 5 June 1975. Picture: Nick Mason.

Remember a Day

Confused is what Mason is indeed, as he doesn't mention Syd's second visit to the studio, a month later, accidentally - or not? - on David Gilmour's wedding day. In a Mojo interview from 2006 David Gilmour denied that Syd was at his wedding, although he seems to recall that Barrett visited the band more than once.

From a 1982 Musician Magazine interview:

He showed up at the studio. He was very fat and he had a shaved head and shaved eyebrows and no one recognized him at all first off. There was just this strange person walking around the studio, sitting in the control room with us for hours. If anyone else told me this story, I'd find it hard to believe, that you could sit there with someone in a small room for hours, with a close friend of yours for years and years, and not recognize him. And I guarantee, no one in the band recognized him. Eventually, I had guessed it. And even knowing, you couldn't recognize him. He came two or three days and then he didn't come anymore. (Taken from: December 1982 - Musician Magazine at Brain Damage)

So, Gilmour does seem to acknowledge that Syd Barrett visited the studio more than once, only not on his wedding day.

Mark Blake in Pigs Might Fly:

On 7 July, during a break in the Wish You Were Here sessions, Gilmour married girlfriend Ginger at Epping Forest Register Office, and the Syd tale takes on another curious twist. In conversation with Mojo magazine in 2006, Gilmour disputed any stories that Syd had attended his wedding. Yet at least three of the guests claim they saw Syd at a post-wedding meal at Abbey Road. Ex-manager Andrew King recalled Barrett looking ‘like the type of bloke who serves you in a hamburger bar in Kansas City’. Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley referred to him as ‘an overweight Hare Krishna-type chap’.

Young Lust

One who does remember - obviously, as it was her wedding day - is Ginger Gilmour in her autobiography Bright Side Of The Moon:

While clearing his throat, the registrar leaned over towards David and said, "Excuse me, Sir, the ring?" We both looked at each other with a look of...OH NO. I had waited all my life for this moment and we had forgotten to get a ring! Linnie came up to us from behind and offered for us to use a ring she had gotten from a box of Crackerjacks. An American sweet popcorn, which always had a surprise gift inside and she had just happened to eat on the way. God was on our side, even if we didn't realize it. David eventually had a ring designed in white gold with two interlocking hearts by a friend who was a designer of jewelry.
The registrar did turn a few shades of red at the thought but proceeded. When the words, "You may put the ring on her finger" was said, neither of us knew which finger or which hand David should put it on. Once my embarrassment settled, I remembered that it was the fourth finger but not which hand. Boy, were we well rehearsed. I had both fourth fingers up. We both teetered between them as we tried to get it right and hold our pride intack. Linnie said in a low whisper trying to say it just low enough for us to hear, "The right one, the right one." David looked relieved and chose the right. Phew, at last we heard the words, "You may kiss the bride." We all went on to celebrate at our local pub with a giggle and good cheer. What a tale, it has made a sweet story ever since and brought smiles to my kids' faces many years later.
David had to go to Abbey Road to continue recording Wish You Were Here. I went with him so that we could share the day together. The band had no idea until we walked in. There always seem to be stories within stories in our life. You will see why as you read further. Just to add to the day's event, when we arrived, Roger walked up to David pulling him aside and whispered to him, "Look who is sitting on the sofa." They both went slowly over to the place Roger was referring, Nick and Rick following discreetly.
There is a huge sofa in front of the mixing desk in that EMI recording room. I don't think any of them were completely certain who was sitting there until David confirmed it. David looked and his face clouded over with the reality of what he saw. Under his breath, he said, "It's Sid." The atmosphere in the room went silent as they digested the moment. Roger, especially, who is quoted to have had many mixed emotions for the past came flooding back.
There was Sid pear shape, hairless and overweight. They stood silently in disbelief. Old memories rushed into their hearts. What happened? His timing was uncanny! Their lost love and the tragedy of Sid inspired the creation of "Shine On". And there they were in the middle of recording it when Sid appeared weather worn and without hair. They stumbled to have a conversation, inviting him to listen to a track. Sid just sat there lost, on the sofa, wondering why? What a day to ponder. What a day to Remember.
(Taken from: Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon, p. 103-104.)
Syd Barrett, 7 July 1975. Picture: Nick Mason.
Syd Barrett, 7 July 1975. Picture: Nick Mason.

Remember Me

For one reason or another, Pink Floyd members (and other witnesses) amalgamated the different Barrett appearances into one, quasi mythical, event. Venetta Fields hinted already in March 2004 that there were pictures of the event:

I think there were photos taken at that time... I remember telling someone that was showing me a photo. I can’t remember who? I may even have a picture. We took a lot of pictures that day. They had been at the studio for hours before we got there. I think that while we were there, Syd came into the studio. Everything stopped. We were all shocked to see him and the way he looked. (Taken from: An Interview With Venetta Fields at A Fleeting Glimpse.)

The Gold It's in the...

Another mystery is why Nick Mason, who has meticulously classified the Pink Floyd archive, only came up with this second picture now – almost by chance - when he needed to promote yet another Pink Floyd pension fund.

Previously we have written some bits and pieces about the Wish You Were Here Syd Barrett appearances. Rather than let you search for these we'll just copy and paste them here:

Amplex ad, ca. 1958.
Amplex ad, ca. 1958.

Wish You Were... but where exactly?

One of the greatest legends about Syd Barrett is how he showed up at the Wish You Were Here recording settings on the fifth of June 1975. A Very Irregular Head merely repeats the story as it has been told in other biographies, articles and documentaries, including Rick Wright's testimony that Barrett kept brushing his teeth with a brush that was hidden in a plastic bag. Roger Waters however claims that Barrett only took sweets out of the bag. As usual different witnesses tell different stories.

The toothbrush myth is one Chapman doesn't know how to demystify but recently Mark Blake may have found a plausible explanation.

The 'toothbrush' and 'bag of candies' may have come out of the story I heard from somebody else [Nick Sedgwick, see underneath] that was at Abbey Road that day. They claimed Syd Barrett had a bag filled with packets of Amplex. For those that don't know or remember, Amplex was a breath-freshener sweet that was popular in the 70s. This eyewitness claims that Syd Barrett was nervously stuffing Amplex sweets into his mouth... another story to add to the pile... but you can see how the story of 'breath-freshener sweets' could turn into a 'toothbrush' and/or 'a bag of candies'. (Taken from May 5, 2010 Roger Waters TV interview at Late Night.)

(Taken from The Big Barrett Conspiracy Theory, 2010)

Venetta Fields, Carlena Williams, 1975 (courtesy of A Fleeting Glimpse).
Venetta Fields & Carlena Williams, 1975 (courtesy of A Fleeting Glimpse).

Remembering Games

A typical Floydian example of false memory syndrome is the visit of Syd Barrett in the Abbey Road studios on the 5th of June 1975. It is a mystery to us why EMI didn't ask for entrance money that day as a complete soccer team, including the four Pink Floyd members David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Rick Wright, claim they have seen, met and spoken to Syd Barrett.

Roadie (and guitar technician) Phil Taylor remembers he had a drink in the mess with Syd and David. Storm Thorgerson has had his say about it as well. Other 'reliable' witnesses that day include (alphabetically sorted):
Venetta Fields, backing singer and member of The Blackberries
John Leckie, EMI engineer and producer (but not on Wish You Were Here)
Nick Sedgwick, friend of Roger Waters and 'official' biographer of Pink Floyd
Jerry Shirley, Humble Pie drummer and friend of David Gilmour
Carlena Williams, backing singer and member of The Blackberries

Some say that Barrett visited the studio for two or three days in a row and three people, including his former managers Peter Jenner and Andrew King, claim they spoke to Syd Barrett about a month later on David Gilmour's wedding while the bridegroom himself claims that Syd Barrett never showed up. To quote Pink Floyd biographer Mark Blake: “...not two people in Pink Floyd's world have matching stories...”, and neither do two biographies...

(Taken from The Case of the Painted Floorboards (v 2.012), 2011)

Nick Sedgwick (front) with Syd Barrett (back).
Nick Sedgwick (front) with Syd Barrett (back). Picture taken from Mick Rock's Shot! documentary (2017).

Nick Sedgwick

Nick Sedgwick agrees he never felt comfortable in the presence of Syd, who was popular, eagerly sought after and always welcome. Syd Barrett may have been cooler than cool, but at what price? The shock for the band came years later when they recorded Wish You Were Here. Nick Sedgwick was around as well:

When I joined the band for lunch one day (there) was a bald fat person dressed in loose and lace-less hushpuppies, and a pair of outsize trousers held up by a length of string. (…)
I sat for twenty minutes or so, eating lunch, exchanging random news, acutely aware of the alarming presence at the head of the table that somehow seemed to dominate the proceedings. Despite the large number of people – the Floyd, engineers, EMI employees, personal assistants – these were noticeably stilted. I avoided eye contact, examined food and ashtrays during lulls in conversation. Next to me, Roger, no doubt wondering how long it would take me 'to get it', seemed increasingly amused by my discomposure. A few more minutes of strained joviality passed, then Roger nudged me gently. “Have you copped Syd yet?” he said. My head snapped up, and I swivelled open-mouthed in Syd's direction, instantly processing the message in a visceral shock of recognition. (…)
The hair was gone – from his head, from his arms, and even from his eyebrows – and, if he stood erect he would not have been able to view his feet without tilting his head forward over his belly. Only his eyes were familiar. (…)
Syd drank orange juice almost by the bucket, chewed Amplex tablets, and observed the action. I asked him what he thought of the music. There was a prolonged pause, then he answered. “It's all… all a bit Mary Poppins.” P24-26.

Nick Sedgwick does not agree with the blind adoration some fans have for Syd Barrett and calls it absurd and morbid. Syd disappeared too soon and his work, even the one with Pink Floyd, is too fragmented to speak about an oeuvre. The legend of Syd is not about him being a genius, the legend is about Barrett disappearing from the spotlights before he could become a genius. It's the James Dean syndrome and the fact that Syd Barrett didn't die but just went crazy only adds up to the legend. You can't deny Sedgwick feels somebody should have tried helping Syd (and all those others) before it was too late.

(Taken from: Roger is always right, 2018)

Aubrey 'Po' Powell

In a 2015 interview - for Floydian Slip - Aubrey Powell tells the story how Syd Barrett entered the Hipgnosis studio, asking what the others were up to. Po answered that the band were at Abbey Road, recording a new album. And that is how Syd knew where to go to to pay them a visit.

Update June 2022: This anecdote is also told in Aubrey Powell's autobiographical Hipgnosis book Through The Prism.

Taken from our review at: Cows, Pigs, Sheep... 

One day, it must have been the 5th of June 1975, an almost unrecognisable Syd Barrett enters the office, asking where the band is. Richard Evans, of the Hipgnosis crew, replies that they are probably at Abbey Road. Po accompanies Syd to the street where he walks to Soho, ‘a confused and forlorn figure’.


Check extra big pictures and other assorted trivia at our 'IggyInuit' Tumblr page: 1975.

Many thanks to: Marc-Olivier Becks, Johan Frankelius, Antonio Jesús, Göran Nystrom.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

Sources (other than the above mentioned links):
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 231-232.
Gilmour, Ginger: Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon, Angelscript International, 2015, p. 103-104.
Mason, Nick: Inside Out: A personal history of Pink Floyd, Orion Books, London, 2011 reissue, p. 207.


In The Pink hunt is open!

In The Pink - back cover
In The Pink - back cover

If the rumours arriving at Atagong Mansion are true - and why shouldn't they? - the relationship between Mr. Gilmour and Mr. Waters is again at a very low level, so low that they can't be bothered visiting the Their Mortal Remains exhibition together, or just making a mutual statement about it.

The Early Years

The last time they really had to cooperate, or that their lawyers and agents had to work together, was with the making of The Early Years box-set (and its satellite releases). For the average fan this seems a nice compilation, with many previously unreleased gems, although the average fan will not be immediately tempted, just try to listen to John Latham (parts 1 to 9) in its entirety or get through ten (10!) different versions of Atom Heart Mother. Unfortunately the editors lost interest in the project and the closer you get to the final tome, the less rare material there is to find. In the end they had to throw in a few movies that every collector already has and yet another remaster of Obscured By Clouds to get something, uh..., mildly significant.

The Early Years compilation is meant for those über-fans, those completists, who eat, breathe and defecate Pink Floyd on a daily basis. And these hard-to-please crusty old dinosaurs were hugely disappointed with the amateurish treatment. An unique mono soundtrack – never (officially) released - was replaced with the common stereo one, by a project manager who was on the job for two decades but who didn't give a fuck to glue the right sound to the right video. Things went wrong with the analogue to digital conversion and video soundtracks play at the wrong speed. The 'exclusive' (remixed and remastered) BBC live recordings are in a worse condition than the free footwear you can find on Yeeshkul... Basically, for Floydian super-geeks, it is a mess. (Read our review at: Supererog/Ation: skimming The Early Years).

Their Mortal Remains

About the same can be said about the London-based Their Mortal Remains exhibition. Now this is clearly a mass-event made to please the big public. Visiting a rock-band exhibition is a bit like fucking for peace, it's pleasant, no doubt about that, but in the end: what's the point, other than saying: 'look at all these guitars'.

Critical fans describe the exhibition as 'lots of show, with little substance' with posters and video clips and accessories that everyone has seen before. One room has been created especially for Sennheiser so they can promote their 379£ - 500$ - 425€ Pink Floyd headset. The main goal of the exhibition is to get as many people as possible into the shop that sells a lot of expensive goodies. Let's go to (a vitriolic) Peter At The Gates Of Dawn (A Fleeting Glimpse forum) for a precise description:

It gets worse and worse. What's wrong with the old gits? This V&A thing has been appallingly organised with dodgy overpriced die cast vans you can't buy, plush pigs with 'Pink Floyd Animals' printed on their arse in case you're not a Floyd fan and thought it might be just a plush pig and the Atom Heart Mother fridge magnet with Atom Heart Mother written on it so the current 'management' knows where it belongs and don't accidentally includes it as a Kate Bush item. (…)
Now a book die hards have been waiting 40+ years for, released in a manner which can only be an insult to its author. Definitely an insult to the fans but hopefully to Dave Gilmour too. Sneaked out exclusively so none of us can read it.
In The Pink - front cover
In The Pink - front cover

In The Pink

That last paragraph is about a curiosity that suddenly showed up in the V&A shop: Nick Sedgwick's long-promised 'In The Pink (Not A Hunting Memoir)'. It was already rumoured in April 2016 that the exhibition would eventually sell copies of that book, but it only showed up there (and at the webshop) on the 20th of July 2017, some say in a very limited quantity of 20 copies.

The story of that book is a pretty odd one, not an exception if you realise we are currently roaming in Floyd-land.

Nick Sedgwick was a close friend of Roger Waters in their Cambridge days and as such it was no surprise that he became part of the Cambridge mafia, circling in and around the band. In 1974 Waters ask his golf buddy to follow the band on tour and write a journal about it. That diary turned into a personal testimony of life on the road and its intrinsic problems. It (apparently) shows Roger Waters playing the alpha male of the band, bossing the others around and trying to cope with a failing marriage.

When the book was finished none of the other members were keen on it and it was shelved. Nick Sedgwick died in 2011 and Waters promised to finally release it, but for the next 6 years nothing happened with the manuscript (see: Immersion). It was believed that David Gilmour was behind the boycott because Nick Mason, after all these decades, couldn't be bothered any more. Eventually Roger Waters promised in 2016 and once again this year that the project was still on, but we all know how long it can take before he fulfils his promises.

But this week it was confirmed by fans that they had purchased the book at Their Mortal Remains. What is weird is that the book doesn't have an ISBN number, which is needed to sell it on webshops like Amazon and in regular bookshops. It does have the following mention though:

Design and layout copyright (c) Roger Waters Music Overseas Ltd 2017
Published by Roger Waters Music Overseas Ltd 2017

Meanwhile it seems that the book can also be bought at Roger Waters' concerts in the USA and V&A has allegedly received a new batch as well.

Page 14-15.
Page 14-15, with some handwritten lyrics by Roger Waters.

Many things can still be said about this important work, that was once described by Pink Floyd biographer Mark Blake as 'dynamite', but as long as the Church doesn't have a copy we'll leave it like that. The problem is that it appears to be pretty limited and that the only place to get it is at a Waters gig or at the London exhibition (hint!).

Give us a sign if you have one too many! (another hint!)

Update: a copy of this book landed on our desk in 2018, our review can be found here: Roger is always right.)

Many thanks to: An@log, Azerty, Chris from Paris, Mob, Peter at the Gates of Dawn, Pink Floyd 1977, TW113079. Pictures: Peter at the Gates of Dawn.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

A Fleeting Glimpse forum: In The Pink (Not A Hunting Memoir) - Nick Sedgwick RIP; In The Pink (Not A Hunting Memoir) Released
Yeeshkul forum: Nick Sedgwick "in the Pink"


Happy New Year 2018

Painting: Frank Cookson. Picture: Carmen Castro.
Painting: Frank Cookson. Picture: Carmen Castro.

Never has a Kurt Vonnegut quote been more appropriate than here, we think. Iggy Rose is no longer on this world, but the third rock didn't stop turning around the sun. There were no lunar eclipses, although people from the Hastings and Rother community have been calling the police out of fear of an alien invasion. If there was some magical interference, it may have been that a soft blanket of snow had fallen the night before Iggy's funeral.

So it goes.

Happy New Year, sistren and brethren of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, followers of Saint Syd and Laldawngliani, gift of the gods. In 2018 we will continue to be the thorn in the side of all that is Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett related, because although they have made some of the best rock music of the latter half of the twentieth century, their business counterparts are worse than crooked second hand car dealers when it comes to selling their 'product' and screwing the customer. (The latest Floydian fuck-all-that consists of Dark Side Of The Moon Immersion set Blu-rays, suffering from bit rot, and suddenly refusing to play, about five years after their release.)

Next to the excellent blog you are currently reading we also have a Tumblr micro-blog that we daily update, with coloured photographs!, a Facebook timeline and a Twitter account. Here is what made our Sydiot heart tremble past year, seen through the pink glasses of the Holy Igquisition.

Syd Barrett on a Pontiac Parisienne, 1969.
January 2017: what's better to start the year than Syd Barrett sitting on a midnight blue Pontiac Parisienne? Just because we can.
Men On The Border & Rachel Barrett: Long Gone
February 2017: Men On The Border & Rachel Barrett - Long Gone. Recorded at Corn Exchange in November 2016. The sleeve looks somewhat familiar, innit?
Mick Rock, still from from SHOT - The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra Of Rock
March 2017: Mick Rock, stills from SHOT - The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra Of Rock. Nobody seems to have grasped that the emperor of rock photography manoeuvred history his way.
RSD: Interstellar Overdrive
April 2017: RSD: Interstellar Overdrive. One sided vinyl only release with an alternative take on the Floyd's space-adelic masterpiece.
Syd Barrett, at the Wish You Were Here sessions, 1975.
May 2017: Their Mortal Remains: Syd Barrett, at the Wish You Were Here sessions, 1975.
Roger Waters - Is this the life we really want?
June 2017: Roger Waters - Is this the life we really want? Record of the year and undoubtedly his best since Animals.
Anglia Ruskin University: Syd Barrett Blue Plaque unveiled.
June 2017: Anglia Ruskin University: Syd Barrett Blue Plaque unveiled, for reasons we still don't understand.
July 2017: in the continuing rat race to have as many Syd Barrett monuments as possible in Cambridge, see here the latest contestant: Syd Barrett cycling through Cambridge with a dildo in his hand. Draft for a Barrett memorial at Aldenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. Concept & Artwork: Stephen Pyle & Paul Herringtom.
Gilmours son is nude fetish model.
August 2017: Quality newspaper The Sun: ROCK LEGEND GILMOUR'S SON IS NUDE FETISH MODEL. And we thought David Gilmour in Pompeii was a disaster.
David Gilmour - Live At Pompeii.
September 2017: David Gilmour - (almost) Live At Pompeii. The fireworks are spectacular. Don't look for a review at the Holy Church, you won't find any.
New Iggy the Eskimo pictures found!
October 2017: New Iggy the Eskimo pictures found! Many thanks to Iain Owen Moore.
Syd Barrett, by Rock Iconz.
November 2017: Syd Barrett statue, by Rock Iconz. Guaranteed to be limited and overpriced, so we obviously bought one.
Snow on Iggy's funeral. Picture: Libby Gausden.
December 2017: Snow on Iggy's funeral. Picture: Libby Gausden.

The Church wishes to thank: An@log, Azerty, Gretta Barclay, Marc-Olivier Becks, Roddy Bogawa, Carmen Castro, Chris from Paris, Frank Cookson, Petra Eder, Vanessa Flores, Johan Frankelius, 'Gabi', Libby Gausden, Stanislav Grigorev, Rich Hall, Paula Hilton, Peter Alexander Hoffman, The Iggy Bank, Peter Jenner, JenS, Antonio Jesús, Men On The Border, Mob, Iain Owen Moore, Anna Musial, Lisa Newman, Göran Nyström, OldPangYau, Peter at the Gates of Dawn, Pink Floyd 1977, Dylan Roberts, Jenny Spires, TW113079, Venomous Centipede... and all the others...
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥ Paula ♥


The Ballad of Fred & Ginger

Bright Side of the Moon
Bright Side of the Moon.

I'm a bit late with my review of Ginger Gilmour's Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon (2015), but I do have my reasons, or – at least - so I think. The big Pink Floyd websites ignored the book as they are only allowed to bark when Paul Loasby, who is David Gilmour's leprechaun, allows them to and on top of that The Holy Church does need to maintain its contrarious reputation.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and do not necessarily reflect the policy of Pink Floyd, nor its members, nor any of their (ex-)wives.


The luxurious hardcover book is thick and heavy, printed on glossy paper, with over a hundred pictures and taking it with me on my daily commute would only gradually destroy it as it would mingle with my Nutella sandwiches and my weird obsession for Belgian pickles.


So I placed it in my special books section at home and promptly forgot about it for a couple of years. I am more or less a dozen of Pink Floyd related books behind and that list only gets bigger and bigger. One of the oldest books I have never read is Barry Miles' Pink Floyd: The Early Years (2006 already!) and I am still collecting courage to dig into the 2017 deluxe version of his In The Sixties autobiography that I received last year. I never made it past 1970 in Glenn Povey's Echoes (2007), that I mainly use as a reference work (and I never bought its 2015 enhanced and updated successor The Complete Pink Floyd: The Ultimate Reference). I have purchased Charles Beterams' Pink Floyd in Nederland (2017), but I hardly opened its predecessor Pink Floyd in de Polder (2007). Same thing for the Their Mortal Remains (2017) catalogue, although from the few pages I did read it appears to be a semi-pretentious bag of dubious quality and quite error prone. Nick Sedgwick's In The Pink (2017), scrupulously sought for but never consulted, and don’t get me started on my Hipgnosis / Storm Thorgerson coffee table books collection, but these all seem to overlap anyway.


But back to Ginger Gilmour's memoirs. Besides the fact that it is thick and heavy, its cover is in bright pink and I didn’t want people to think I was reading a Barbie Dream Castle novel on the train. A pink cover and a pretty positive title, surely this must be a book with a message.

First of all, these are Ginger's memoirs and although there is a lot of David Gilmour inside, especially around the tumultuous The Wall / A Momentary Lapse Of Reason years, Pink Floyd isn't its primordial subject, certainly not in the later chapters when – SPOILER ALERT – their marriage has failed. Over the years Ginger has grown spiritually and artistically and this book minutiously reveals the path she walked / crawled / stumbled to get over there.

The main trouble is, for grumpy diabetics in a mid-life crisis such as me, that sucrose is dripping from nearly every page and that Ginger uses the word Beauty (with capital B) in about every other paragraph. Angels magically appear in Space Invaders droves. There is a lot of talk about Inspiration. And Meditation. Wonder. Goodness. Hope. Peace. LOVE. It's almost cuteness overload.

Fred & Ginger
Fred & Ginger.


Ginger has found inner peace by soaking in a bath of alternative, new-age, eastern-style religious and philosophical mindsets and isn't afraid of saying so. It's just not my cup of tea and it must have been hard on the frail internal Floydian communication lines as well, as has been hinted by Mark Blake. When Animals appeared there wasn't only a cold war between the Pink Floyd members going on, but also between their wives...

Ginger also found herself clashing with Waters’ new girlfriend, Carolyne Christie. Both came from wildly different backgrounds and, as one associate from the time recalls, ‘they did not see eye to eye'.

Ginger would throw a tantrum, rightly so if you ask me, over promoters who found it funny to add pigpens – with real pigs - at Pink Floyd backstage parties. She wouldn't rest until the animals had been set free. In one hilarious case the freed pig destroyed a hotel room by shitting all over the place.

I can imagine the sneers from vitriolic Roger Waters towards David Gilmour, on tour and in the studio, about 'hippie chick' Ginger. The fact that David used to sneak out of the studio for steak sandwiches and hamburgers, something his vegan wife didn't really appreciate, must have made Gilmour an easy target for Roger Waters.

The book has 90 chapters, counts over 630 pages and Floydian content can be found in about the first two thirds. These titbits relish a Floydian anorak as they give an inside look on life on the road and in the studio. Like silly crew contests, for instance:

Chris Adamson won because he ate the most amount of raw potatoes and Little Mick won for eating the most amount of fried eggs. P43
Friends of the family.
Friends of the family.

Pork Chops

Most of the time Ginger recounts about her own life, with its big and little adventures and anecdotes, like getting married without the rest of the band knowing it and meeting a memory from the past in the studio later that day (something David Gilmour always denied it happened). But that story of what happened on the 7th of July 1975 has already been told here before: Shady Diamond.

Sound of Silence

David Gilmour never was an extrovert person and if there were problems in the band, he tried to hide those for his wife.

I was not always aware of the tensions growing in the band. Moreover, just how much of that tension subtly influenced our relationship. David held most of these matters to himself. P99

But of course not everything could be kept a secret. Ginger did see the signs that something was wrong when Roger Waters isolated himself from the rest of the band during the shoddy Animals tour, where at one point Rick Wright flew back home because he couldn't stand the bass player any more.

This could have been the end of Pink Floyd but unfortunately the Norton Warburg financial debacle meant that they had to produce a smash album to recoup their financial losses. Despite the animosity in the band the three others agreed to give Waters free reign. On holiday in Lindos, Gilmour listened for days to The Wall tapes. His reaction was not immediately positive:

I don't think I can really work with this. I have no idea how this could become something people would enjoy listening to. It is just Angst! P200
Ginger & Alice.
Ginger & Alice. Picture by Storm Thorgerson.

One of my Turns

As we all know The Wall did turn into a massive success, but creating it was a burden for all those involved. Roger turned into something of a dictator and started to harass the others. Ginger Gilmour witnessed a few of these exchanges.

What also made it difficult was the fact that he [Rick Wright, FA] was often the punching bag. The camaraderie of the band's relationship was always boy tease boy, but for me this was getting to be too cruel. Rick buckled. It was heartbreaking to watch. P217

Ginger stays vague about David Gilmour's apparent compliance with Roger Waters. The guitarist might even have suggested to Roger to throw Nick Mason out of the band and to continue as a duo. This was told by Roger Waters in one of his angry post-Pink-Floyd interviews and denied by Gilmour.

Anyway, creating The Wall was a continuous fight between the two main protagonists, with Mason diplomatically acting as the 'ship's cook':

I see various commanders come and go, and, when things get really bad, I just go back down to the galley.

Comfortably Numb

Ginger Gilmour describes the atmosphere during the sessions as follows:

I watched David's quiet and sometimes not so quit influences bringing music to us that spoke of hope, outside the lyrics. I saw his struggle. He tried so hard. I watched Rick's withdrawal give a podium for a victim within the subconscious aspects of the story. I watched Nick's struggle between friendship and finding his voice. P222

It can't be denied though that Nick and David pretty much agreed with Roger, until Waters sneered once too much...

David was in a mood when I arrived [at a Japanese restaurant, FA]. I will never forget the look of shock on everyone's face especially Roger's, with everyone's tensions riding high. Roger wanted to remove 'Comfortably Numb' from the album. It was one of the only songs, which David had a major credit for and he exploded. I think if he had known karate the table would have split in two! I will never forget the look of shock on everyone's face, especially Roger's. P232

The Wall, with Comfortably Numb included, was successful, but the problems were far from over. In 1981 a barn filled with Floyd fireworks went up in a fire, killing the farmer and several firemen in the explosion. Pink Floyd's army of lawyers reacted that it wasn't their problem and the band was later acquitted from all (financial) responsibility.

The Thin Ice

The tension in the band had its negative influence on Gilmour's marriage as well . The first cracks in the 'thin ice' started to show. David confided to Emo that he feared that the Sant Mat movement had too much influence on his wife, what Emo – himself a Charan Singh follower - duly contradicted.

A great deal of the book is about the many fantastic people Ginger has met over the years, ranging from the cook at a Greek restaurant to the great spiritual leaders of this world (all the people she mentions must run in the hundreds). David always liked to have his old Cambridge friends around, Emo and Pip and the people he played with in his pre-Floyd bands. When he hears the terrible news about Ponji he is genuinely shocked and saddened. (Read about Pip and Ponji here: We are all made of stars.)

Gilmour's behaviour changed radically when he became the new great leader of Pink Floyd, some of his old friends (and family members) claim. Polly Samson may have had a certain influence in this as well. Nowadays David hardly has contact with the old mob and it is believed the Roger-David feud is again as big as it was three decades ago. However, the Pink Floyd wars are now fought in private, between lawyers and managers, and only surface when new product sees the light of day. (See also: Supererog/Ation: skimming The Early Years.)

Fred & Ginger
Fred & Ginger.

Run Like Hell

After The Final Cut there was the battle for the band, a conflict that was more of importance for David than saving his own marriage.

I remember the moment David further closed his heart, and rage took its place. P381

To finance the new project Nick Mason mortgaged his 1962 GTO Ferrari. David Gilmour put his houses at stake, without consulting his wife first.

We, our family security, were on the tightrope as well. (…) No wonder David grew more withdrawn from me. Our eyes stopped meeting. I kept looking. He was holding more than tension. He was holding a secret. P382

In order to make the new Floyd viable the family had to go on tax exile again. David didn't have the guts to tell his wife, so he ordered Steve O'Rourke to pass the message during an informal dinner. It made Ginger wonder if her husband would also instruct his manager to tell her if he wanted a divorce.

Visions of an Empty Bed

David Gilmour, who was already afraid that new age and eastern philosophies had too much influence on his wife, unwillingly pushed her further away as she sought guidance in the mental colour therapy of The Maitreya School of Healing and in the teachings of the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiya order. Ginger Gilmour (in Mark Blake's biography):

I was getting more alternative - starting to meditate - and he was doing more cocaine and hanging out with all kinds of people.

Diet Floyd minus Waters was on a two years world tour, but dieting is not what happened backstage. Every night an alcohol and dope infested inferno was launched with emperor David Gilmour approvingly joining in the caligulesque festivities. On the few free days he was back in Britain, he didn't bother to show up at home, not even to greet the children.

Young Lust

Ginger Gilmour is very discrete about David's party life, but she doesn't withhold the one conversation she overheard backstage at a London show:

“Wow, I wouldn't mind getting into Gilmour's pants!”
The other woman, whose voice I recognised, said,
“No problem. I will introduce you. Get it on!” P503

This was the story of The Wall all over again, now with David 'Fred' Gilmour and Ginger as the couple in trouble.

We, David and I, were living in separate houses, separate lives joined only by our children and a piece of paper affirming, “until death do us part'. P481-482
Pink Floyd Compilation
Pink Floyd Compilation.

House of Broken Dreams

In summer 1998 they went to Hawaii for a last time together, trying to act like a family but sleeping in different beds. A bitter Gilmour had the habit of answering the phone with the sentence 'House Of Broken Dreams'. This line was picked up by Graham Nash who wrote a song about Ginger and David's family situation. House Of Broken Dreams would appear on the Crosby, Stills & Nash album Live It Up (1990):

Separate houses separate hearts
It's hard to face the feelings tearing us apart
And in this house of broken dreams love lies
(Listen to it on YouTube: House Of Broken Dreams.)

By then Ginger Gilmour sought and found her own way of survival by painting and sculpting. In December 1989 she co-organised a charity Christmas Carol Fantasy. She notes, in her typical spiritual mood that seeps through the text and that gets more frequent near the end:

I felt I was being guided by something greater than me, the Divine power of our Creator and his team of Angels. Miracles happened each day.

I'm not sure if angels were involved or not, but David Gilmour, who was by then living on his own on Malda Avenue, agreed to help her out for the rock'n roll section of the show. He assembled the Christmas Carol Fantasy Band that comprised of Paul Young, Vicki Brown, Jon Lord, Mick Ralphs, Rick Wills, Nick Laird-Clowes, performing Imagine and Happy Christmas (War Is Over).

Outside the Wall

The divorce did not embitter Ginger and she writes with much love about David Gilmour and Pink Floyd. She seems to be such a nice lady and her book is so filled with uplifting optimism that it almost is a sin to criticise her, but it is not without flaws.

Ginger Gilmour sees divine intervention about everywhere so that I can only deduct that over the years she created her own personal cuckoo land. This is mostly harmless, but after a time it gets slightly irritating. An example. Ginger invites Buddhist Lama Kalu Rinpoche to one of The Wall shows in Los Angeles. When he leaves the concert, just before the final, something apparently magical happens when he walks through the crowd.

I will never forget the expressions that lit up their faces in contrast to what they were witnessing. It was as though they saw Christ. Their hearts opened with the thought that he had graced them by being there. P244

Not only did the concertgoers have the show of their life, they were also blessed by the apparition of a godlike creature, according to Ginger. Harmless as this may be, it may not always be the case. Suggesting that mental colour therapy could help with diseases such as AIDS sounds pretty much like potentially dangerous quackery to me.

But for the look behind the curtains of this band, during one of its darkest seasons, this bleeding anorak is thankful.

All pictures previously published by Iain 'Emo' Moore (and grabbed from his Facebook timeline). Fred was David Gilmour's nickname in Cambridge.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

Sources (other than the above mentioned links):
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 252, 268, 336.


The Later Years: Hot Air & Co

Pink Floyd Recycling
Pink Floyd Recycling. Artwork: Felix Atagong.

21st Century Schizoid Man

Musicians, rockers, pop artists,... - name them like you want – live in a bi-focused, nearly schizophrenic world and need to cultivate dissociative identities if they want to survive and stay successful. Just like there are two distinct forms of copyright there are two quasi contradictory sides representing the same artist. Alfa and omega, yin and yang, art and product, band and brand.

Let's get to the point because the above intro sounds like one of those oriental religions that were so popular in the psychedelic sixties.

What I am writing about is the difference between rock music as 'art' and rock music as 'product'. While an artist regards his latest release as 'art', his or her record company invariably defines it as 'product'. For record company executives it makes no difference if they are selling The Dark Side Of The Moon or a singing trout, as long as it keeps on paying for their daily dose of chemical stimulants.

Pink Floyd is so big nowadays, despite being mainly in the recycling business since the end of the last century, that it has evolved from a band into a brand. They are now their own record label, reducing the EMI's and CBS's of this world to mere distributors of their product. When David Gilmour was asked by MTV (in 1987) why the Roger Waters album and tour (Radio KAOS) was not as successful as the Pink Floyd one (A Momentary Lapse of Reason) he came up with the following business-mogul explanation...

The reason is that we’ve all spent... well he [Nick Mason] spent over 20 years. I spent nearly 20 years working on, building up, the Pink Floyd name. I mean, if you liken it to basic crass of advertising… You know if someone left Coca Cola and started up his own soft-drink company with the same recipe it wouldn’t sell as many. It’s very simple.

Direct link for recalcitrant browsers: Pink Floyd & Coca Cola. Full interview (30 minutes) hosted at the Pink Floyd HD channel: A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour [MTV Interview].

Money, it's a gas!
Money, it's a gas!

Spontaneous Apple Creation

Unfortunately, protecting the brand can have a few disadvantages. Sometimes these are unintentionally funny, like that one time the Pink Floyd company deleted a video from the official David Gilmour website for 'copyright' infringements. There is a less savoury side as well. To fully monetise on the release of 'The Early Years' box the Pink Floyd copyright police deleted dozens of YouTube movies, including 'Nightmare' of psychedelic curiosity Arthur Brown – on his own YouTube channel – just because they legally could. Can Mr. Gilmour and his leprechaun Paul Loasby please explain us how this marginally known performer was a financial threat to the multi-million dollar machine that is Pink Floyd?

For the last couple of decades Pink Floyd has been recycling old stuff, sometimes adding unreleased material to the default product. Just a quick list of compilations and live albums since the late eighties: Delicate Sound of Thunder (1988), Shine On (1992), Pulse (1995), The First Three Singles (1997), Is There Anybody Out There (2000), Echoes (2001), Oh, By The Way (2007), Discovery (2011), Dark Side Of The Moon Immersion & Experience (2011), Wish You Were Here Immersion & Experience (2011), A Foot in the Door (2011), The Wall Immersion & Experience (2012), Their First Recordings (2015),…

There were also 30 and 40 years anniversary editions of The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and The Early Years box-set with its 33 discs, although I have never counted them.

These editions are all of the original or classic line-up and it may have itched a bit at the Gilmour camp that the third and final incarnation of the band, the one without Roger Waters, has never had a separate compilation. Well, that is soon going to change.

A Momentary Lapse on the road
A Momentary Lapse on the road.

Coming Back To Life

Diet Floyd has existed from 1987 with the release of A Momentary Lapse of Reason, until 2014 with the release of The Endless River. That is a total of 27 years or nearly the double in time than the classic line-up that existed from 1968 with the release of the second album A Saucerful of Secrets until 1983 with Waters’ swansong The Final Cut.

Alright, alright, I hear you coming. It is not that the band was very productive in their third incarnation. The classic line-up of Floyd made eleven albums in fifteen years, Diet Floyd just three in 27, not counting the two live ones. On top of that The Endless River could be considered as just another compilation or out-takes album. Basically, Diet Pink Floyd has been in a state of hibernation after 1995 and for nearly two decades only recycled material from the classic heydays has been re-released. The box-sets Oh, By The Way (2007) and Discovery (2011) for instance contain the same 14 albums, and only people with a high-end stereo installation will pretend to hear the difference. How many times can you remaster an album, anyway? It’s not bloody washing powder.

Back to basics. It doesn’t matter if Diet Floyd existed for 8 (1995, Pulse), 19 (2006, On An Island) or 27 years. What does matter is that David Gilmour wants to replenish his pension fund now that he has given a small fortune away by selling his guitars for charity.

What is more of importance, what is still lying in the vaults that hasn’t already been (officially) leaked, one way or another.

Let’s have a small history lesson, shall we?

Pink Floyd duo, later trio
Pink Floyd duo, later trio. (Later editions of 'Lapse' have Wright photoshopped next to the two others.) Tinkering: Felix Atagong.

A New Machine

Around 1985 David Gilmour was thinking of resuscitating Pink Floyd with Nick Mason. There are two main reasons for this, one was the public’s disinterest in Gilmour’s solo-career, a second reason was that contractually Pink Floyd still had to make an album with important financial consequences if they didn’t.

As Waters refused to work any longer with the two others he was – legally and financially – obliged to hand over the Pink Floyd brand to the drummer and the new boy, although it took a while for this bad news to sip in.

Previously Gilmour had been jamming with Jon Carin for a third solo album but when the call for Floyd product became louder, he contacted Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music) and super-producer Bob Ezrin. Not all collaborators brought in suitable material, Eric Stewart (10CC) and writer and poet Roger McGough, who had worked on the Yellow Submarine movie with The Beatles, were invited, but their input didn’t lead to a valid concept (although some demos do exist).

Record executives weren’t that happy either and when David Gilmour sent four tracks over to CBS he was informed that ‘this music doesn’t sound a fucking thing like Pink Floyd’, something that made Roger Waters chuckle. Apparently, Gilmour’s New Coke didn’t taste at all like Waters’ Classic Coca Cola.

Carole Pope, Rough Trade
Carole Pope, Rough Trade.

Avoid Freud

David Gilmour understood the message and he and his collaborators had the difficult task to give the existent material a much needed Floydian treatment. One possibility was to forcibly turn these tracks into a concept. Carole Pope (from the somewhat underrated band Rough Trade) was flown over from Canada and at least one song was tried out, Peace Be With You, ‘a nice, mid-tempo thing about Roger Waters’. When this experiment failed (again) David Gilmour gave up looking for a portmanteau. It would be a regular album without a storyline, like in the pre-Dark Side Of The Moon days. Anthony Moore (Slapp Happy, Henry Cow) was called in, co-writing the lyrics on three songs. One of those, Learning To Fly, was the much needed turning point. The sound effects, provided by Nick Mason, the guitar, keyboards and vocals felt like a real Pink Floyd song (although one set in the eighties and still without Rick Wright).

A Momentary Lapse of Reason was the Diet Floyd’s showcase that they could exist without Roger Waters, although – in retrospect – it wasn’t a band’s album at all. Co-director Nick Mason had given the drum parts to Carmine Appice and Jim Keltner and the list of keyboard players shows that Rick Wright’s name had been added for legal and public relations reasons, not for his musical input. David Gilmour, talking about Lapse in a 1994 Mojo:

We went out last time with the intention of showing the world. ‘Look we’re still here’, which is why we were so loud and crash-bangy. Echoes, p. 260

Crash-bangy indeed. The Lapse-album suffered from a digital eighties production, David Gilmour admitted. Nick Mason was unhappy that he had been made redundant by a drum computer and a couple of session players and planned to re-record the drum parts. The same can be said about Rick Wright’s input, who only entered the studio when the album was nearly finished and after his wife's plea to take him back aboard. Keyboard parts from live shows were inserted to replace the 80’s synths.

Although the above rumours started in 2011 the revised album was never released, but this will change in November 2019 when it will be an exclusive part of The Later Years boxset.

La Carrera Panamericana
La Carrera Panamericana.

A Day At The Races

David Gilmour was a busy bee in the early nineties, he made four (unreleased) soundtracks, with or without the help of Rick and Nick: Ruby Takes A Trip (1991), The Art Of Tripping (1993), Colours of Infinity (1995) and La Carrera Panamericana (1992). That last one contained the first Rick Wright and Nick Mason co-compositions since Dark Side Of The Moon / Wish You Were Here. The Colours of Infinity soundtrack has the complete band jamming, lends several themes from Ruby and Art of Tripping and has been partially recycled for The Endless River.

La Carrera Panamericana is an oddball in the Pink Floyd canon. It has been well documented that Nick Mason and the Pink Floyd manager Steve O’Rourke were (are) historic car racing enthusiasts, a hobby for multimillionaires with too much time and money on their hands. In 1991 they could cajole David Gilmour into entering the 7-day Carrera Panamericana race that ran over 2800 km in Mexico. (Rick Wright, according to Nick, was asked as well but preferred sailing the seven seas.)

Not only did they plan to have some fun racing cars, but an inventive Steve O’Rourke, always the hustler, managed to pre-sell the rights for a documentary about the race, with Pink Floyd music, recouping the costs of the expedition. (A side effect is that Gilmour, Mason and O'Rourke look like walking billboards, pretending to be cool.)

Disaster struck on the third day when the C-type Jaguar of the Gilmour / O’Rourke team missed a bend near the city of San Luis Potisi. Gilmour was relatively unharmed but O’Rourke had broken his legs and their race was over. Both were extremely lucky, the band could have literally died that day. But, business is business and the promised movie had to be made with two protagonists out of the race and only the least flamboyant member left to save the furniture.

Steve O'Rourke completely confident in David Gilmour's driving skills
Steve O'Rourke completely confident in David Gilmour's driving skills.

The movie is not one that will be remembered for its ingenuity, but if you like vintage cars and flimsy interviews it might be worth checking it out, once. The (new) music isn’t that spectacular either, but as one of only four original products Pink Floyd produced in their later career many fans feel this should be a required item in the box set. Yet it will not be included, not as a DVD / Blu-ray, nor as audio.

Keleven at Yeeshkul put it this way:

Omitting La Carrera Panamericana is really disappointing because this seemed like the absolute last opportunity ever to get that music out, and there are some really nice tunes on it unavailable in any format that doesn't have people talking over it from the movie. And this is a set covering a 30-year period that had a total of four releases of new material, yet they decided to skip one of them.

Probably Gilmour is afraid that we will all laugh with his driving skills, nearly killing his manager in the process. A scenario even Roger Waters didn't dare to dream of.

Later Years artwork
Later Years artwork.

Video killed the radio stars

But what is in this ruddy box then? It will be mainly focused on video material and live concerts, claiming to have six hours of unreleased audio and seven hours of unreleased video, including the mythical Venice 1990 concert. Also included is the Knebworth Silver Clef show with guest star Candy Dulfer. Those two shows are nice to have obviously, but they are not particularly rare amongst collectors. I have them both in legal and less legal releases.

It’s all a bit random actually. There will be a revised Pulse movie, with added and re-edited content, but not the Pulse CD. For that other live album Delicate Sound Of Thunder, both movie and audio versions will be present, remixed and with added material. But, and I will try not to be too overtly cynical, it will not have Welcome To The Machine (on video) for the only reason that this would give more copyrights to… Roger Waters. I kid you not, the Gilmour Waters feud is still alive and kicking. Just imagine these two slightly demented rock stars mud wrestling about a song about being nobody’s fool.

Calling it an 18-disc set is of course not wrong, but it needs to be said that the 5 DVDs in the set duplicate the videos on the Blu-rays, and those Blu-rays more or less duplicate the audio that are on the CDs. Weird as well is that there is no regular Division Bell CD, but the 2014 5.1 mix will be included on Blu-ray. The same goes for The Endless River that has been turned into a movie experience, like The Wall or The Final Cut video EP. I seriously wonder what will be the added value of that.

The Endless River, Ian Emes.
Shot from The Endless River, Ian Emes.

Love In The Woods

There is also a bunch of music and ‘mister screen’ movies included, but as far as I can remember the Pink Floyd phenomenon mainly turned around music, not around video clips. One thing I would like to see is the Pink Floyd documentary that was shown before the Knebworth concert, containing the Syd Barrett and Iggy the Eskimo home movies that have been reviewed here over a decade ago. I can only hope these will turn up, in one form or another. (See: Love in the Woods (Pt. 1) & Love In The Woods (Pt. 2))

The Endle$$ River, fanart by Rocco Moliterno.
The Endle$$ River, fanart by Rocco Moliterno.

Outtakes, demos and alternative versions

Probably there was a plan to include a CD with ‘later years’ outtakes, demos and alternative versions, but this has been reduced to 6 tracks (4 ‘new’ ones and early versions of Marooned and Nervana). Several tracks that were originally intended to be in the box have been removed at a later stage, presumably by Mr. Gilmour himself, including the already mentioned Peace Be With You and early versions of One Slip and Signs Of Life. And unless something drastically changes the ambient suite The Big Spliff will forever reside in one of the Pink Floyd dungeons.

Giving none away

That some product is missing in this box is one thing. That the initial selling price is well over 500 dollar another. This means that each disc in the set, not counting the doubles, costs over 40 dollar. I wouldn’t mind paying 40 dollar for the revised Momentary Lapse Of Reason record, but in this case you have to come up with 500 dollars for the one record you really want and some extra discs that each contain 80% of easy obtainable material. It is like selling yesterday’s lunch at a higher price than the day before. Or if we may use David Gilmour's comparison: it is like selling New Coke at double the price than the classic one.

Of course Pink Floyd may ask whatever it wants for its music. At least they have always released product of the highest quality, right?


Pink Floyd 'Early Years' Blu-ray with bit rot.
Pink Floyd 'Early Years' Blu-ray with bit rot.

Bit Rot

Recently it has been found out that Blu-rays from The Early Years suffer from bit rot. Bubbles appear on its surface making them unplayable. People who were trying to have them replaced, as a matter of fact this box set only dates from 2016, have been politely advised by the record company to go fuck themselves. I'm lost for words.

This is not the first time that Pink Floyd doesn’t deliver. Many Immersion sets had quality problems, the Shine On box had a book that ended its last page in mid-sentence and a few decades ago Pink Floyd even issued 'remastered' CDs that weren't remastered at all. That was – to use another Floydian term – a pretty fair forgery.

As a Floyd fan since the mid seventies a part of me screams, take my money and give me the box, but – and that is a first for me - another part is sincerely doubting if it is really worth it. Perhaps this is the time to seriously reconsider my lifelong relationship with the Floyd.

To quote RonToon, that Jedi master of all things pink:

Gilmour is very generous when it comes to charities but there is no charity for his fans.

Pink Floyd may be a great band, but has turned into an unreliable brand.

Some pros and cons of The Later Years:

PROS: A Momentary Lapse of Reason remix (stereo and 5.1) - Delicate Sound of Thunder concert on audio and video, remixed and complete - A few Division Bell demos and outtakes - Knebworth 1990, full concert, on audio and video - Previously unreleased documentaries and other material - Previously unreleased Venice 1989 on video - Restored Pulse on video - Screen films, music videos. Arnold Layne, live at The Barbican on 10 May 2007, the Floyd's last performance ever (not on CD unfortunately).

CONS: The price per disc is outrageous, plus there are a lot of doubles. Missing: Live 8, remember Live8? - The Knebworth pre-show documentary, starring Langley Iddens and Iggy the Eskimo - A Momentary Lapse of Reason demos (present on ‘early’ track listings, but removed afterwards) - Alternate single and promo mixes, from A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell (enough to fill a CD on its own) - Echoes (and a few other songs performed live) - La Carrera Panamericana - Peace Be With You - Pre-show Soundscape track (issued as a 22 minutes extra track on the Pulse audio cassette) - Professionally filmed Omni shows in Atlanta, 3-5 November 1987 (although, who needs another live performance by the Floyd?) - The Big Spliff - The Division Bell stereo remix or remaster - Venice 1989 on CD - Welcome To The Machine on Delicate Sound of Thunder video.

The Church wishes to thank: Keleven, Rocco Moliterno, RonToon, the many collaborators on Steve Hoffman Music Forums and Yeeshkul.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

Sources (other than the above mentioned links):
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 311-321.
Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 260.
Steve Hoffman Forum Thread: Pink Floyd The Later Years Box Set
Yeeshkul Forum Thread: Pink Floyd - The Later Years


Happy New Year 2020

I visited the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and all I got was this lousy t-shirt
I visited the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

The sweet smell of a great sorrow lies over the land, dear sistren and brethren, followers of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. But before we shall dwell on that we want to wish you a Happy New Year. So here it is. Happy New Year!

The Later Year$

The ending of past year saw the release of The Later Years, a pretty expensive luxury set of the Diet Floyd. Basically it is David Gilmour’s scientific method to find out where you fans really stand.

The set contains about three times the same product, in different formats, and – although its selling price has descended with about 40% to 50% - it is still fucking expensive for what it’s really worth. If you want you can read our article about it here: The Later Years: Hot Air & Co.

Just a normal day in the studio. Art: Monkiponken.
Just a normal day in the studio. Art: Monkiponken.

Caught in a cauldron of hate

But that is just economics. What preoccupies us more is that in 2020 the Waters – Gilmour feud has still not been settled. While in the past it was Roger Waters who has been designated as the baddy, it is apparently now David Gilmour’s turn to be the cantankerous one.

In a recent interview, Waters claims that he offered a peace plan to Gilmour, that was promptly rejected. Polly Samson, from her side, twittered that it was not her hubby who rejected the peace plan, but the other guy.


Two bald men fighting over a comb. A golden comb, embellished with crazy diamonds, obviously. Decades ago Nick Mason had the following to say about the ongoing Floyd-war: ”If our children behaved this way, we would have been very cross.” Seems that the 'children' still haven't learned anything.

Jon Carin
Jon Carin.

Caring about Carin

The Later Years box-set has not only divided fans. There has also been some grumbling from Jon Carin, one of the Floyd’s session musicians, who co-wrote Learning To Fly. It first started with Carin complaining on Facebook that the Floyd didn’t wish him a happy birthday. We know the Church has been accused before from inventing stories, but this stuff is so unbelievable you really can’t make it up.

According to Jon Carin he played the bulk of the piano and keyboards on The Division Bell (and quite a few on The Endless River) and not Rick Wright as is generally believed. Why he has waited a quarter of a century to complain about this is something of a mystery, unless you mention that magical word that will turn the meekest lamb into a dog of war: copyrights.

The lost art of conversation

To promote The Later Years David Gilmour has published a 4-part podcast where he carefully reinterprets the past. Unfortunately what has been written about Pink Floyd before - by journalists and biographers - can still be read today, so almost nobody takes the propaganda from Gilmour seriously, unless you weren’t born yet when he turned a solo album into a Floyd one.

And where is Nick Mason, I hear you say? While he used to be the thriving force behind Floydian publicity in the past he is now totally absent.


It’s almost as if there is a saucerful of secrets. Or a true enigma, this time.

The best of Tumblr 2019

But let’s finally start with our traditional annual overview of our sister blog on Tumblr that is daily updated with pictures you all have seen before. Have fun!

Relics ad
Januari 2019: Flashback to the days that politically correctness was still a science-fiction thing.
Syd Barrett
February 2019: Syd Barrett taking the naughty Clockwork Orange pose. Got any vellocet left?
Freak Out Floyd
March 2019: Freak Out, le freak c'est chic. Picture: Irene Winsby.
April 2019: Flowery fanart by 74retromantra74, based upon an Anthony Stern picture.
That's Entertainment.
May 2019: 250£ for a Pink Floyd gig. Not the price for a ticket, but to hire the band. That's Entertainment.
Zee - Identity - 2019 edition.
June 2019: Another controversial Holy Church review, another shit show. The Reverend will never learn. Read that review at: Are friends Zeelectric?
Picture & Art: Duggie Fields.
July 2019: Packaging the madcap, wrapped in bubbles. Art & Picture: Duggie Fields.
Magical Iggy
August 2019: In August we started to publish a daily Iggy picture on Tumblr. It will end when we are out of photos, probably somewhere in 2020.
Colourisation by Brett Wilson
September 2019: This photograph can be found all over the web, but nobody seems to remember it was Brett Wilson who did the colouring. Luckily the Holy Church has some memory left.
John Hoppy Hopkins and Iggy
October 2019: John 'Hoppy' Hopkins and Iggy. Picture: Jimmie James. Barrett book exhibition, 17 March 2011. Read more at: Iggy at the Exhibition.
Mick Rock signature.
November 2019: Mick Rock signature besides a Storm Thorgerson picture, or isn’t it? Read (a bit) more at A Bay of Hope.
Syd & Iggy
December 2019: Iggy the Eskimo: 'I don’t care if you want to take your pictures or not. I need my cigs!' Picture: Mick Rock.

The Church wishes to thank: Steve Bassett (Madcapsyd), Steve Bennett, Jumaris CS, Joanna Curwood, Maya Deren, Esfera04, Jenni Fiire, Freqazoidiac, Rafael Gasent, Nino Gatti, Rich Hall, Harlequin, Dave Harris, Jabanette, Dion Johnson, Keleven, Simon Matthews, Joanne Milne (Charley), Rocco Moliterno, Peudent, Poliphemo, RonToon, TopPopper, Waelz, Wolfpack, Franka Wright and the many collaborators on Steve Hoffman Music Forums, Yeeshkul and Birdie Hop.

♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥


A Momentary Relapse

Pink Floyd Recycling
Pink Floyd Recycling. Artwork: Felix Atagong.

On the birthday of the demi-god that is Syd Barrett for some a hefty package arrived at Atagong mansion. So heavy that we thought at first it was a tax file from one of the six Belgian governments.

As you might have guessed it was our copy of The Later Years that, thanks to an observant member of the Steve Hoffman Music Forum, we could buy at half the price.

Despite our many criticisms about this box, see The Later Years: Hot Air & Co, we have to confess it simply oozes a scent of 'extensive luxury' and our first thought was (and still is) that it is worth every penny we spent on it. A quick remark about the cover and inside art that is exquisite Hipgnosian as well and not the ersatz from The Endless River.

Floydian Slips

Opening the box, like one of these medieval manuscripts, immediately confronts you with four booklets. Three are Pink Floyd tour books, because this is mainly a live set. The fourth contains the lyrics of AMLOR, TDB and TER, if these abbreviations mean something to you. All glossy and not on the grey recycled toilet paper that made the Early Years booklets so unreadable.

Arnold Layne B-side.
The Arnold Layne B-side sounds like something from Einstürzende Neubauten.

When you remove the booklets, there is another thick photo book you can kill a kitten with. Unfortunately its pages are also made of carton; using normal paper would’ve certainly doubled its content. But perhaps that would’ve been overkill as we have already been confronted with about three hundred pictures of Gilmour and Co.

Don’t think you can get to the music now. Hidden under the book is an envelope that contains tour artefacts, posters, stickers and other memorabilia and… two one sided 45RPM singles with etched B-sides.

One contains a rehearsal tape of Lost For Words, the other Arnold Layne as performed by the band at the Barbican on the Syd Barrett tribute concert in 2007, although they were not billed as Pink Floyd if our memory is correct. (For the completists: it appears that both singles exist in two versions, with different artwork on its B-side.)

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

The surprise the ardent fan, your Reverend included, was hoping for is the updated and remixed version of the Floyd’s comeback album A Momentary Lapse of Reason. We have compared both versions and what we think of it will be put hereafter in one of our fantastic Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit reviews.

Warning: Syd Barrett content – none.

Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd, finally putting their noses in the same direction.

Signs Of Life

This very ambient and very dreamy piece is enhanced with an almost Keith-Emersonian keyboard piece of Rick Wright. Magical stuff for those who believe that Rick was the hidden musical force in the band.

Learning To Fly

For me there is almost no difference, perhaps a little guitar lick at 25 seconds that I don’t remember hearing before. The keyboards are a bit more to the front during the middle ‘flight’ section, as well as the musique concrète bits .

Dogs Of War

The Pink Floyd song everybody loves to hate. Basically a simple blues stomper that has been enhanced with Floydian sound effects. Although loathed by a majority of fans this song is much closer to the Floyd’s default (or vintage) sound than – for instance – One Slip or Learning To Fly.

Some of the Later Years disks
Some of the Later Years disks.

Overall I can’t hear a big difference between both versions, except that the vocals, basses and the rolling keyboard have been given extra emphasis. So one could say it sounds much fatter now than it did before. A few of the saxophone’s weirder noises have been removed as well. So is this one better? Absolutely. Even better.

One Slip

The one with the Kraftwerkian intro. Classic Wright keyboards added throughout and new drums by Nick 'here I am' Mason. As someone remarked on a music forum, this one gives you ‘goosebumps and shivers down the spine‘ throughout the track. The drums are much softer now and also some guitar bits seem to have been added (or mixed from oblivion into the foreground).

I almost consider it a Floydian classic now.

Some of the Later Years disks
Some of the Later Years disks.

On The Turning Away

This song brings back some memories for me, frightening me a bit how it would sound now. A keyboard drone has been added in the beginning and some scarce keyboard parts throughout the song. As some alumni have pointed out there are new vocals that may or may not have been taken from a live performance. At least David Gilmour doesn’t strain his voice like on the original or at least so it seems.

Many hate this new version, calling it a Frankensteined mess, but I simply can't. For me this has suddenly turned into a Comfortably Numb #2, although the neutral observer will call that a very hyperbolic statement.

Yet Another Movie / Round And Around

The song I prefer the least on Momentary Lapse. It’s a bit boring and one dimensional, if you ask me.

The 2019 version opens with boing boings that threaten to euthanise your loudspeakers. This version has more echo than the original one – listen to Tony Levin’s bass for example that has got a much deserved upgrade. I have also the impression that little pieces of additional music have been added here and there and that the guitar is a bit less in your face. It also seems that Nick Mason has had more than a helping hand in this new version.

Still not the greatest Pink Floyd song, but what a remarkable improvement indeed.

One of the many incarnations of Momentary Lapse in The Later Years Box.

A New Machine / Terminal Frost / A New Machine 2

I’m putting this song cycle together as I have always seen this as one Floydian suite. When it comes to review Pink Floyd I always seem to belong to another planet than the rest of the world anyway. I like A New Machine, evidently not as a song on its own, but as an introduction and coda to Terminal Frost.

And I have always loved Terminal Frost as well. But this re-adapted version seems a bit weird to me, there is something wrong with the piano and overall it sounds a bit bland, with far inferior drums than on the original. Suddenly this has turned into the worst song of the album for me with a mix that was much better in its original version.

A missed chance.


If one Lapse song merits to be described as a Floydian classic it is this one. When David Gilmour started to play Sorrow, on the 28th of July 2016 in Tienen (Belgium), his guitar grumbled so deeply it promptly removed my kidney stones. (See: Coming Back To Life (David Gilmour, Tienen))

The 2019 version of Sorrow tries to imitate that haunting intro, without a doubt. But perhaps I’m still in a lousy mood from the subpar Terminal Frost treatment because it appears to me that also this remix is muddier than the original (and I seem to be the only person on this globe to find that). A plus however is the addition of Rick’s keyboard, especially at the end solo.

The Later Years
Pink Floyd on a road to nowhere.

I deliberately played Lapse 1987 and Lapse 2019 side-to-side without tinkering, but here is a song I feel the urge for to play with the sliders. Perhaps it will sound better with some of the basses toned down a bit.

Second opinion (after having tinkered with my equaliser settings): it does indeed sound better now, but I can't really vow with my hand on my heart that this version is much better than the original.


So what is the end result? I’m not really sure. A Momentary Lapse of Reason has never been into my favourite top 10 and this remix will probably not change that. For the moment I do seem to prefer this version to the original and I can only hope it will get a separate release one day. For those that rely on streaming or download services I think this is already the case. Those who still believe in CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays will have to buy the entire box, I'm afraid.

Now let’s hope Pink Floyd will finally find the time to re-record Atom Heart Mother one day. However, this seems highly improbable.

Other reviews from what is in this box, may or may not appear in the future. The Church wishes to thank the many collaborators on Steve Hoffman Music Forums and Yeeshkul.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

Sources (other than the above mentioned links):
Steve Hoffman Forum Thread: Pink Floyd The Later Years Box Set
Yeeshkul Forum Thread: Pink Floyd - The Later Years


The Endless Enigma

The Endless River, a film by Ian Emes
The Endless River, a film by Ian Emes.

You almost need a degree in Meccano to open the Pink Floyd Later Years box. There are many goodies packed inside, although you have to sell one of your kidneys to be able to buy one. The three post-Waters studio albums, for example, can be found in 5.1 surround and/or high resolution stereo mixes. That is what these double DVDs and Blu-Rays are for. (Logically, the Momentary Lapse surround mixes have only been made for the remixed and updated 2019 version, not the original 1987 one. You can read our review of that album at: A Momentary Relapse.)

The Endless River Film

The Endless River has been turned into a movie experience by long-time Floyd collaborator Ian Emes. Opinions differ about this one, ranging from ‘I just watched it once out of curiosity’ till ‘The film is really nicely done. You’ll enjoy it!’.

At first the Holy Church was not that interested in this. The Reverend orated in a previous article: “I seriously wonder what will be the added value of that.” (See: The Later Years: Hot Air & Co.)

Is it merely ‘just a compilation of ethereal drone footage’ filmed in slow motion or is there more at hand? Because most reviews of The Later Years seem to forget about this feature, with the exception of Bob Eichler in his article: Pink Floyd - The Later Years (1987-2019).

...imagine that Stanley Kubrick was annoyed that too many people had figured out what 2001 was about, so he set out to make an even more abstract sequel, inspired by Pink Floyd videos. Outer space images, CGI, lush landscapes, complex machinery, people moving in slow motion, interesting architecture shot from weird angles, and a cast of characters who appear throughout the whole thing. Inspired no doubt by the album's title, water is a major theme of the video – oceans, rivers, streams, waterfalls, rapids, fountains, etc... My brain kept trying to make some sense out of the random-seeming images, but it's probably better to just let it wash over you.

This exactly describes our feelings after watching the movie, but the Church wouldn’t be the Church without adding its own comments here and there. While watching the movie we found – often subliminal – links to Floydian artwork from the past decades or to other material from the Hipgnosis art factory.

Rick Wright at The Barbican
Rick Wright at the Barbican.

Walk the Layne

But before we get to the feature film of our cinematic evening, let’s have a look at some of the shorts that can be found on the same disc. We are talking about the last Pink Floyd performance, not – as generally believed – the one at Live8, but the Arnold Layne song at the Syd Barrett Tribute Concert on the 10th of May 2007 at the Barbican. It can be found twice: once as a backstage rehearsal and once at the concert. The rehearsal doesn’t have Rick, but a cool as ever Nick Mason who is drumming on a chair, meaning he uses a chair for a drum. It’s fun to watch ex-Oasis bass player Andy Bell, who wasn't even born when Arnold Layne was a hit, learning the tricks of the trade.

Unfortunately Polly yaps a lot in the background, spoiling the fun. But that’s how she is known in Cambridge Mafia circles anyway.

From a far better quality is the concert take, filmed by Gavin Elder and using some shots from Simon Wimpenny and Kees Nijpels. The Floyd plays the song as has always been intended, without extra frills, short and sweet. Rick has the honour to do the vocals and it does seem a bit weird that a backup keyboard player (Jon Carin) was added, but Rick was probably already sick by then. The interaction between these three old geezers is magical and their smiles speak volumes.

A great document with an even greater symbolical and sentimental value.

Here I Go

So here we go for our review of the Ian Emes Endless River film, in 95 screenshots and a lot of text. Better scans can be found on our Tumblr page, using the Ian Emes tag.

As we have said before, in our Endless River album review from a couple of years ago, the album is divided in four instrumental suites, ending with Gilmour’s and Samson’s Floydian eulogy Louder Than Words (see: While my guitar gently weeps...).

Things left Unsaid

Things Left Unsaid

Things Left Unsaid starts with a very 2001-ish view from outer space with the sun and earth floating by. Just when you expect Kubrick’s embryo to appear a human form zooms in. In a corner you can spot something that could be a nod to the dark alien monolith that plays such a big role in Kubrick’s masterpiece. Perhaps it is the black ‘Telepatic Wave Receiver and Transmitter’ that adorns The Led Zeppelin Presence album, although Storm Thorgerson used to call that the object. (This cover can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Presence.)

Stanley Kubrick and Pink Floyd have a certain past together. Kubrick wanted to use the Atom Heart Mother suite for A Clockwork Orange, but (so the story goes) a stubborn Roger Waters refused when he discovered that Kubrick wanted to cut up the music to fit the film scenes. This is an answer Kubrick probably didn’t expect as the record shop scene in that movie shows the Atom Heart Mother album, twice.

This wasn’t the end of the Kubrick – Waters saga. Legend has it that Roger Waters wanted to sample some dialogue from 2001 on his album Amused To Death. This time it was Kubrick’s turn to refuse, and Waters – in his default charming way – insulted the movie maker with a cryptic message on that same album. (The 2015 remix/remaster of Amused To Death has the HAL 9000 message from 2001 restored and the backwards insult removed.)

Its What We Do

It’s What We Do

With It’s What We Do we return to Earth with scenes of futuristic skyscrapers and a menacing octahedron metal structure floating in the air, as an alternative to the Star Trek Borg cube.

Possible link: The Yes album Going For The One has a Hipgnosis sleeve with a man looking at out-of-this-world-ish skyscrapers and also the Quatermass' Quatermass sleeve plays with the same subject. (These covers can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Going For The One & Quatermass.)

The following scenes show us bridges, machines and cogwheels, a clear hint to Welcome To The Machine. (The track itself is a mild copycat of what we could hear on the Shine On You Crazy Diamond instrumental parts.)

Four people, wearing white masks, run in slow motion through a tunnel. Masks have obviously been used before in the Floyd’s and Hipgnosis imagery. Just think of the masked children in Another Brick In The Wall or the cover of the Pink Floyd live album Is There Anybody Out There? (This cover can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Is There Anybody Out There?)

After a succession of psychedelic liquid light style scenes, we cut to some water splashing and yet another drone shot, flying over a cobbled beach and the sea. A woman rises out of the water, a hint to the Wish You Were Here diver artwork probably, and is followed by three other persons, raising from the water like the zombies from that atrocious flick Zombie Lake.

The Pink Floyd Shine On box also has several (nude) persons rising out of the water. The same imagery can be found on the Rick Wright solo album Broken China. (These covers can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Wish You Were Here, Shine On, Broken China.)

We are confronted with an Escher-like semi-transparent object spinning around in the air.

Ebb And Flow

Ebb And Flow

For an unknown reason, the persons who came out of the sea, run through some fields. Night falls and we see the starry sky and the aurora borealis.



For the bulk of the following song the same four people run around through fields and forests. There are plenty of nature and water shots. People are cooling down, playing and resting in the river. Much more scenes of trees, waterfalls and clouds throughout Skins and Unsung.



Skins shows the more aggressive side of the river.



Unsung gives a more relaxing mood with the sun settling down.



The beautiful Anisina starts with boiling lava and a pair of hands grabbing mud and kneading it into a shapeless form. Close-ups of colourful nature scenes before the rain falls.

The Lost Art Of Conversation

The Lost Art of Conversation

It is raining and The Lost Art of Conversation concentrates on dripping leaves and a spider taking shelter in its web. We see some tiny fishes (and a very big one as well). Could this be a nod to the Pulse album art that shows the evolution from sea to land animals? (This cover can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Pulse.)

On Noodle Street

On Noodle Street

On Noodle Street shows us a bridge over a river that runs through a city. We look up at skyscrapers again.

Night Light

Night Light

People walk in the street to their work or to a train or airport terminal. A hint perhaps to the screen movies that accompanied the Dark Side Of The Moon shows.


Allons-y (1)

Allons-y reverts back to revolving city scenes and water spitting fountains. The four people walk barefoot in the grass, falling down in a field of ferns in the middle of a forest.

Autumn 68

Autumn ‘68

Autumn ‘68 has the four actors wrestling and lying on a grass field in the mountains. The spinning multi-cornered object appears again in the sky, confronting the people who look at it. It then disappears into space, where it seems to be heading for a far-away nebula.

Allons-Y 2

Allons-y (2)

Allons-y (2) really seems like 2001 revisited with a flight through space and a human form that appears in the vacuum. This could be influenced by the hanging man artwork on the Pulse album. (This cover can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Pulse.)

Pink Floyd has long time been associated with space and space rock (see our article from 2014: Still First in Space. NOT!) and most fans are well aware of the fan-made synchronisation between Echoes and the 'Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite' segment from Kubrick’s 2001 movie. If you have never experienced it, and you should, here is one of the many places were you can watch it: Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite (Vimeo link).

After the interstellar flight the movie shows the four protagonists, covered in multicoloured spots, dancing in the vacuum of space, while scientific and mathematical equations appear on the screen.

On what appears to be a dashboard from an extraterrestrial space ship some words appear in vaguely recognisable letters. It is as if multiple letters have been stacked on top of each other. Recognisable are the words ‘Infinite’ and ‘the dawn\mist’. That last one is a phrase from the refrain of High Hopes:

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
The taste was sweeter
The nights of wonder
With friends surrounded
The dawn mist glowing
The water flowing
The endless river

These lyrics read like a synopsis for Ian Emes’ The Endless River movie and they can be deciphered, with some difficulties, on the alien monitor.

Publius Enigma 2019
Publius Enigma, as mentioned on The Endless River, a film by Ian Emes.

But the surprises aren’t over yet. At the left hand side of the screen appear scrambled letters that form the nearly illegible words ‘Publius & Enigma’.

There we have it. After more than 25 years a new mention of this ongoing Floydian riddle.

Publius Enigma 2019.
Publius Enimgma 2019.

Publius Enigma

For those who are too young to remember. The Publius Enigma was an internet brain-teaser, a puzzle evolving around the 1994 Pink Floyd album The Division Bell.

In the morning of the 11th of June 1994, when the band was playing two nights at the New York Yankee stadium a cryptic message was send to the then leading Pink Floyd Usenet newsgroup. It was signed by a poster who named himself Publius and who used an anonymous e-mail service to deliver his message.

In this and about two dozen other posts he tried to convince the fans that The Division Bell music, lyrics and artwork contained an enigma and that the person who found the solution would be rewarded with a price.

Obviously a lot of fans were highly sceptical about these pretty vague messages (especially as there were also mails from pranksters going around). In order to prove his existence Publius promised to give a sign during a Pink Floyd concert at the Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey. During the song Keep Talking (!) the light display at the front of the stage spelled out the words ENIGMA PUBLIUS.

Enigma anagram
Enigma anagram hidden in the lyrics of Wearing The Inside Out.

From then on a large group of fans tried to find a solution to the enigma. The hints from Publius were deliberately very vague and it was pretty unclear where to start looking for clues. Basically Publius was asking for an answer but without giving the question first. There were rumours of people digging holes in fields around Cambridge, because they thought a ‘treasure chest’ might have been buried there. Others thought that the solution might simply be a code word, an anagram buried in the lyrics, like the word ‘enigma’ that can be found in the third strophe of Wearing The Inside Out.

Publius kept the Enigma search alive by adding hints that only added to the confusion. In an unpublished report from a Belgian fan, that the Church could look into, it was proven that most messages were send in the early hours after a show or during a day off in the Floyd’s busy touring schedule. Publius undoubtedly was one of the (many) people joining the Pink Floyd world tour and someone who could manipulate light and screen settings during a show.


On 20 October 1994 Pink Floyd recorded their London Earl’s Court show for what later would become the Pulse VHS release. During Another Brick In The Wall the word ENIGMA was projected on the big round screen behind the band, giving the Reverend a mild heart attack when he watched the show a couples of week later on television.

Publius Enigma, 1994
Publius Enigma 1994.

For the VHS release though the word was obfuscated by adding extra lines and stripes, just as it is has been scrambled now on The Endless River movie. (On the Pulse DVD release the ENIGMA slide has been removed and replaced by one reading E=MC2. However, traces of the original can be found if one browses through the scene frame by frame.)

Over the years the band has reluctantly confessed that the Enigma riddle was basically a hoax, started by the record company, although the Church of Iggy the Inuit still suspects that Nick Mason, who has been known for his pranks and dry wit, may have had a hand in it.

The Publius Enigma died an unsuspected death when the anonymous mail account suddenly disappeared, making it impossible for fans to post a solution and claim the price, if there ever was a riddle to start with and a price to collect.

Over the years ‘new’ Publius Enigma sightings have been discovered, but these all came from outside or unreliable sources. Until now… although we sincerely doubt that the crazy hunt for fame and fortune will start all over again.

But what a long strange trip it has been!

Talkin Hawkin

Talkin’ Hawkin’

Talkin’ Hawkin’ continues with the multi-coloured dancing silhouettes, followed by the clocks of Time. As a matter of fact, the original 'Time' backdrop movie was made by none other than Ian Emes (Time at YouTube).

Some of the people appear packed in linen, like a mummy or a ghost, others wear their masks again. It reminds us of the Hipgnosis artwork for the Alan Parsons Project ‘Tales of Mystery And Imagination’ and/or ‘Frances The Mute’ from Mars Volta. (These covers can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Tales of Mystery And Imagination & Frances The Mute.)

The aliens arrive in the city during the night with the street lights on and the buildings lit. They travel through a tunnel.


Calling / Eyes To Pearls

The aliens transform into liquid ghosts in a nightmarish scene. The city is dark but has tunnels that are lit. Somehow the aliens are trying to become human and they roam through abandoned buildings.

Those that have masks take it off. A couple of characters have difficulties breathing. Their faces are stuck in bubbles, like a liquid cosmonaut’s helmet, and they fight to survive. (There is a Hipgnosis cover for the album Deliverance from the French disco band Space. It has a woman, floating upside down in the desert, with an astronaut’s helmet on. This cover can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Deliverance, mildly NSFW.)

But apparently they succeed and overcome the nightmare. They are running through the landscape, sometimes hand in hand. One of the personae has the multi-cornered space anomaly tattooed on her arm.

Update December 2020 / January 2021: According to Tomhinde and Kit Rae at Yeeskul the official Calling track on YouTube uses a slightly different mix than the one on the album and in the Later Years movie :

Around 0:45 there's some added sound effects and an extra synth (.../...) and at 1:00 there's a slightly extended section.

This was confirmed by Brainysod. Apparently the Youtube version is about 50 seconds longer than the CD / DVD / BluRay version.

Eyes To Pearls


The band is running to the forest were they either find some rest or are falling down. It makes one wonder if they have succeeded transforming into humans or if they have failed in their mission. There is ambiguity in the scenes and they can be interpreted differently.

One of the aliens looks up at the sky, where the singularity has appeared again. It is not sure if it is there to rescue or to abandon them.


Louder Than Words

The last song of the movie shows several of the previous scenes again, but some have been turned upside down or are running backwards.

It could be that the aliens have finally accepted that earth is their new home. A couple meets at the seaside and sees the object that disappears again in outer space, leaving them while flashbacks from the previous songs are repeated.

The movie ends with yet another scene from a bubbling river before switching over to the earth seen from space again.

There is a glimpse of a black obelisk that transforms into the multi-shaped interdimensional spaceship.

Louder Than Words


Although weird and filled with contradicting symbolism The Endless River movie isn’t half as bad as we feared it would be. Ian Emes has turned it into an interesting visual spectacle with many enigmatic scenes and a pretty intriguing, but we fear, non-existing storyline. (Although the viewer will vainly try to reconstitute a consistent story out of it.) It could well be that we will get this DVD (or Blu-Ray) out whenever we want to listen to The Endless River, that is slowly but surely rising in our ranking from preferred ambient albums, whether you call it a Pink Floyd album or not.

The Church wishes to thank the many collaborators on Steve Hoffman Music Forums, Yeeshkul and the quite fantastic Hipgnosis Covers website.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

The Endless River screenshots on Tumblr: Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6 (Publius Enigma) - Page 7 - Page 8 - Page 9 - Page 10
Tags used on Tumblr: ian emes - the endless river - pink floyd - the later years - publius enigma - the division bell

Sources (other than the above mentioned links):
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 153.
Hipgnosis Covers at http://www.hipgnosiscovers.com/
Steve Hoffman Forum Thread: Pink Floyd The Later Years Box Set
Powell, Aubrey: Hipgnosis, Les Pochettes Mythiques du Célèbre Studio, Gründ, Paris, 2015 (French edition of Hipgnosis Portraits).
Thorgerson, Storm & Powell, Aubrey: For The Love Of Vinyl, Picturebox, Brooklyn, 2008.
Thorgerson, Storm & Curzon, Peter: Mind Over Matter 4, Omnibus Press, London, 2007.
Thorgerson, Storm & Curzon, Peter: Taken By Storm, Omnibus Press, London, 2007.
Thorgerson, Storm: Walk Away René, Paper Tiger, Limpsfield, 1989.
Yeeshkul Forum Thread: Pink Floyd - The Later Years


The Basement Tapes

A piper playing a tune.
A piper playing a tune.

While the Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is more and more becoming a recluse, living in a corner of a foreign field, it is cool to notice that the Syd Barrett community keeps on attracting new souls.

The authoritative Birdie Hop group, with its 7300 members (August 2020) attracts new members every day. The only negative point is that – due to Facebook’s business model – really interesting topics (for the extreme Sydiots amongst us) get pushed down, making them virtually invisible after a couple of days.

New members, and who are we to blame them, will ask the same questions, will post the same pictures and publish the same songs, due to their enthusiasm and relative unfamiliarity with the subject.

Quite a few Syd Barrett sites and fora have disappeared over the years. You may think whatever you want from Barrett-foghorn Kiloh Smith, but his sydbarrettpinkfloyd blog was an almost endless source of information, written by him and his many collaborators. The Late Night forum from Eternal Isolation, officially called the Late Night Syd Barrett Discussion Room, has 98000 threads but less than a dozen regular visitors nowadays. And don't let us get us started about the exclusive Syd Barrett Research Society that was such a creative pool of information, once upon a time.

But here’s that old fool on the hill pondering again that the good old days were much better, while the now and the here is in the hands of the young. But sometimes it is good to have a few dinosaurs around.

The administrators of Birdie Hop.
The administrators of Birdie Hop.
Fred and Ginger.
Good times, Fred & Ginger.

Ginger Cat

Bob Martin is a veteran of Birdie Hop who, end of August 2020, threw a little bomb in the community with an anecdote he got from Ginger Gilmour, David’s ex-wife.

I just had a bit of a chat with Ginger Gilmour and she mentioned that Syd would visit their home in Woodley and record at David's studio. The interesting bit is it would have been 1971 or later… How cool is that? And I would like to thank Ginger Gilmour for letting me share this story. I was not aware that Syd and David spent time together well after the recording of Syd's solo albums.

This is something new and exciting indeed. The obvious question some people were and are asking was if these recordings have been saved for eternity and are still somewhere hidden in Gilmour's archives. That these archives have some unpublished (Pink Floyd) goodies is well known. Gilmour used to have the Bob Dylan Blues reel that allegedly also contains demo versions of Wolfpack, Waving My Arms in the Air, Jigalo Aunt (sic) and an unreleased song called Living Alone (aka I Get Stoned).

Bob Martin, however, is prudent.

No one is saying anything came of these recordings, even if they were kept. But wouldn't that be grand if David did have some jams recorded?
David and Ginger.
David and Ginger.

The Geeky Stuff

Let’s try to put a date on these sessions, shall we? The Syd Barrett anecdote has not been put in Ginger’s ‘Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon’, but she is pretty accurate on dates and places. (Read our review here: The Ballad of Fred & Ginger.)

Virginia ‘Ginger’ Hasenbein met David Gilmour backstage on the 28th of October 1971, at the Hill Auditorium (University of Michigan, USA) and it was pretty much love at first sight. Ginger followed the band for the rest of the tour that would go on till the 20th of November, meeting Gilmour’s parents, who were living in the USA, on the 15th. After the tour, she emigrated to England where she lived with David in a farm near Roydon, Essex. Pink Floyd road manager Pete Watts and his girlfriend Patricia ‘Puddy’ Gleeson stayed with them for some time.

David and Peter spent a lot of time in his studio, which was downstairs next to the living room.

The two couples didn’t have much free time as the UK Tour ‘72 was starting in January. But even with Gilmour on the road, the house was never empty.

I was alone with the BOYS - David’s friends from Cambridge. Most evenings I got stuck doing the washing up and keeping them filled with Tea as they smoked their spliffs and watched telly.

Those boys probably were Emo and a couple of others, but Syd was not among them. There was also Warwick, the housekeeper, doing the odd job and taking care of the duck Digby, the cats Gretel and Naomi and a retired Shire horse, Vim. Emo:

Ginger moved in when she came over. I remember Ginger telling me she met Syd when he came to the house at Woodley, Essex.

Through Emo we got some extra information from Ginger:

He came to Woodley and David helped him record some music. Syd had to sit on a stool and David stood behind him and helped him play the guitar… arms around him… (date forgotten).

And from Bob Martin, we know that Ginger added that Syd would stop by the house in Woodley quite often.

So if Syd attempted some recordings it may have been in that two months ‘calmer’ period, from November 1971 to January 1972. At the end of January, the Floyd had a British tour, followed by the Obscured By Clouds sessions, followed by a Japanese tour, an American tour, another American tour and a French tour. And in between, they had some recording sessions for what would become The Dark Side Of The Moon.

David with Emo, 1973. Picture by Ginger.
David with Emo, 1973. Picture by Ginger.

Starting Over

It is not that weird that Barrett tried to put his career back on the rails. His previous album, Barrett, dated from November 1970 and he hadn’t been doing a lot since. As a matter of fact, he had been doing nothing.

February 1971 had seen his last gig, 3 songs only, for BBC radio, probably with David Gilmour in the band. There were a couple of interviews, with Syd invariably trying to convince the journalist that he was still in shape and that a third album was in the works.

I’ve been writing consistently for two years now and I have lots of undeveloped things lying around. I’m still basically like I’ve always been, sitting around with an acoustic getting it done. I never get worried about my writing. (1971 interview in Terrapin 17, 1975.)
I've got some songs in the studio, still. And I've got a couple of tapes. It should be 12 singles, and jolly good singles. I think I shall be able to produce this one myself. I think it was always easier to do that. (Melody Maker, Mar 27 1971, Michael Watts.)

Another trigger might have been the release of the Pink Floyd compilation Relics, in May 1971, that contained four Barrett tracks (and 6 with him in the band). Syd had a copy of the album and bragged about it to Mick Rock that it had reached the top 10. Probably his management must have thought this was the ideal moment to get the third record in the can and surf on the Pink Floyd wave of fame.

That Syd Barrett was trying to get back in shape could be seen on the 26th and 27th of January 1972. Invited by Jenny Spires Syd went to an Eddie ‘Guitar’ Burns gig at King’s College Cellars (Cambridge), bringing his guitar with him. After the official gig Syd, Twink (John Alder) and Jack Monck (who was Jenny’s husband) had an impromptu jam.

Syd in Stars,5 Feb. 1972.
Syd in Stars,5 Feb. 1972.

Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band

Barrett liked the experiment and joined the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band the next day on three numbers. LMPTBB was a power blues outfit built around Twink, Jack Monck and the American singer Bruce Paine. That day they also had Fred Frith with them, who was less enthusiast about Barrett than the others. (Read our Fred Frith interviews at: An innerview with Fred Frith.)

The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band gig was recorded and officially released, after a long battle, in 2014. You can read all about it in our LMPTBB series: LMPTBB.


When Syd Barrett showed interest to start performing again singer and guitarist Bruce Paine was thanked for his services and a new band was formed: Stars. Bruce Paine continued as the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band and had at least one gig with Rick Fenn, Bill Gray and someone called Gary, before joining Steamhammer.

All of a sudden, Syd Barrett had become the leader of a new band, something he wasn’t really ready for. Stars did six gigs in Cambridge and somehow the music press got hold of it.

When a Melody Maker journalist published a critical review of one of the lesser shows, Syd Barrett called it quits. Apart from a jam with Jack Bruce in the summer of 1973, he would never perform again in public.

Stars, without Syd, still played a few gigs but was disbanded soon after.

Stars Dandelion.
Stars Dandelion,29 Jan. 1972.

The Basement Tapes

That we have never heard of the Barrett-Gilmour home tapes before is weird, and perhaps not. The Floyd nicely cultivated the Syd Barrett myth over the years, keeping it mysterious. Take for instance the different Syd Barrett visits during the Wish You Were Here sessions, with Gilmour denying that Syd was there on his wedding day, although ten witnesses, including his ex-wife, tell the opposite. Read all about that at: Shady Diamond.

David Gilmour has never been the most talkative kind of guy, especially when it comes to his relationship with Syd.

This was proven once again during the A Theatre For Dreamers / Von Trapped Family live stream #6 (9 May 2020), that was mainly David Gilmour sharing some thoughts about Syd Barrett. When asked who was the culprit not wanting to take Syd Barrett on a gig in January 1968 David Gilmour stays very discreet, even when pushed by Polly Samson.

David: “Someone...”
Polly: “Who?!”
David: “...said...”
Polly: “Who?!”
David: “...as we were driving around West-London picking people up about to head off to some, like Southampton for a gig. Someone said shall we pick Syd up? Someone else said no, let’s not bother.” (Meanwhile, Polly keeps on yapping at her husband.)
Polly: “Come on, you know who said that!”
David: “Uhm, stop fishing… I actually don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that.”

Stars Corn Exchange
Stars Corn Exchange, 26 Feb 1972.

The Syd Barrett Lyrics Book

The main bulk of the conversation was about the Syd Barrett lyrics book that David Gilmour is proofreading, comparing the master tapes with the lyrics that have been written down. Not an easy task so it appears as the Barrett little black book with his poems in has disappeared.

Another contributor to the Syd Barrett lyrics book will be Rob Chapman and he had the following to say on Twitter about it:

No doubt publishers will announce this in due course but the Syd Barrett lyric book has been put back to next year due to the Virus. A pity because there is going to be an exclusive in there which will make all Syd fans gasp and spontaneously combust when they read it. (Rob Chapman April 29, 2020.)

What makes us wonder what this exclusive might be. Perhaps the fact that David Gilmour still has a few unpublished demos or pictures in his possession?

If we have learned something from our decades-long Pink Floyd admiration it is that ‘spontaneous’ scoops like this mostly have been organised by the Floyd’s management. The first 1975 Syd Barrett picture was coincidentally found when Nick Mason had a book to promote. Years later a second photo was accidentally revealed on the Pink Floyd exhibition.

But for the exclusive in the Syd Barrett lyrics book, we will still have to wait a bit.

Many thanks: Rob Chapman, Ebronte, Ginger Gilmour, Bob Martin, Iain ‘Emo’ Moore, Lisa Newman, Ken Sutera Jnr, Swanlee, Wolfpack, Syd Wonder and the friendly people of Birdie Hop and Late Night. Some pictures and stuff at our Tumblr: Stars.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

Sources (other than the above mentioned links):
Gilmour, Ginger: Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon, Angelscript International, 2015, p. 31.
Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p. 164.
Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 149.


Happy New Year 2021

Mojo 327.
Mojo 327.

Mojo 327

The most recent Mojo has, next to a John Lennon special, an eight pages article about the ongoing feud between Roger Waters and David Gilmour. It is titled Burning Bridges and has been written by Pink Floyd informant Mark Blake.

As usual, knowing the Mojo standards, it is a highly readable and informative article, but it’s all a bit of déjà vu, especially for members of the Pink Floyd obsessed dinosaur pack. We have been following that extraordinary band for about forty-five years and actually, we didn’t need to be reminded of something that happened thirty-five years ago.

The starting point of the article is the Roger Waters rant of May of last year (2020) where he was visibly annoyed that the official Pink Floyd website was actively plugging Polly Samson’s latest novel, but refused to mention the Roger Waters Us + Them live release. (For our review of that album or video, please consult: Them Secrets)

The Odd Couple

We will not get into the fruitless discussion who is right and who is wrong. There are pros and cons to both sides. Mark Blake quotes Polly Samson who once said that ‘Roger and David were like a bickering old divorced couple’. The only error in that quote is the use of the past tense, because, if the rumour mill is correct, the gap between the ‘genius’ and the ‘voice and guitar’ of Pink Floyd is still there and is – after a period of apparent reconciliation – again very wide and very deep.

Unfortunately, the Mojo article doesn’t mention the recent quarrels that have had consequences for the Pink Floyd fan and collector. But don’t worry, that’s where we – The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit: the thorn in the flesh of all things Pink – come in.

One of the juicier stories is that the advertised Early Years set (2016) was different than what finally could be found in the stores. 5.1 Mixes were promised of Meddle and Obscured By Clouds but had to be removed due to an ongoing copyrights war between the Waters and Gilmour camp. Much of the printed material had already been done and booklets were (allegedly) replaced at the last minute. (To read the full story: Supererog/Ation: skimming The Early Years.)

Bad Boys.
Bad boys.

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others

The 5.1 remixing war is not a thing of the past. While a 5.1 version of The Wall is (apparently) in the pipeline, the 5.1 release of Animals is not, although it has been finished a while ago. All it is waiting for is Gilmour’s blessing. And that will not happen soon if our information is correct.

One reason could be that David Gilmour is still pissed about the fact that he only received one songwriting credit for his work on Dogs, while Roger Waters got four (not counting the copyrights for the lyrics). Waters added Pigs On The Wing (Part 1 and 2) at the last minute and got 1 extra credit for each part. David Gilmour didn't like, and may still not like, that his 17 minutes song was valued less than the 3 minutes Roger Waters throwaway.

Peace Be With You

In a 2019 interview Waters claimed that he offered a peace plan to Gilmour, but that it was rejected. Polly Samson, from her side, twittered that it was not her perfect lover boy who rejected the peace plan, but the bad guy. Us and them.

As usual Nick Mason is the coolest of them all. He once said that ”if our children behaved this way, we would have been very cross.” (Read more about the Pink Floyd wars at: Happy New Year 2020)

Probably inspired by the Mojo article Far Out magazine has published an online article covering the same ground: Why are Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and Roger Waters feuding?

And now...

...for something completely different. Here is our yearly overview of what we have published on our Tumblr ‘sister’ page in 2020.

RIP Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon
January 2020: RIP Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon. Review: Life Is Just.
Iggy and Henrietta Garnett at Port Eliot.
February 2020: Iggy and Henrietta Garnett at Port Eliot. See also: A Tale of Two Henriettas.
New Iggy picture found!
March 2020: New Iggy picture found! See also: Amateur Photographer.
A Syd Barrett Facemask. Model: Eleonora Siatoni.
A Syd Barrett Facemask. Model: Eleonora Siatoni.
Two Rogers, 1965.
April 2020: Two Rogers, 1965. Taken from the Nick Sedgwick book ‘In The Pink’, annotated by Roger Waters. Review: Roger is always right.
What are you staring at, pervert!
May 2020: What are you staring at, pervert!
Blackbird, Men On The Border.
June 2020: Blackbird, Men On The Border. Review: Fly Into The Light.
A Pink Floyd Facemask. Model: Libby Gausden.
A Pink Floyd Facemask. Model: Libby Gausden.
Iggy having some fun with paparazzi.
July 2020: Iggy having some fun with paparazzi. See: Iggy at the Exhibition.
Jean-Marie Leduc, Pink Floyd 1973.
August 2020: Jean-Marie Leduc, Pink Floyd 1973. Review: Si les cochons pourraient voler.
Early Morning Henry found.
September 2020: Early Morning Henry found. See: Singing it again at night.
A Duggie Fields Facemask. Model: Felix Atagong.
A Duggie Fields Facemask. Model: Felix Atagong.
Iggy Rose snapshot.
October 2020: Iggy Rose snapshot.
Young David Gilmour biography.
November 2020: High Hopes: young David Gilmour biography. Review: Guitar Hero.
Jurassic Jewellery (Ian Barrett) Iggy remembrance jewelry.
December 2020: Iggy remembrance jewelry, made by Jurassic Jewellery (Ian Barrett).

The Church wishes to thank: Ulrich Angersbach, Edgar Ascencio, Azerty, Bafupo, Charles Beterams, Birdie Hop, Mark Blake, Brainysod, British Music Archive, Juliet Butler, CBGB, Rob Chapman, Ron de Bruijn, David De Vries, Dr Doom, Drosophila, Ebronte, Vita Filippova, Friend of Squirrels, Ginger Gilmour, Goldenband, Graded Grains, John Gregory, Hadrian, Hallucalation, Gijsbert Hanekroot, Sara Harp, Hipgnosis Covers, Alexander Peter Hoffmann, Steve Hoffman Music Forums, Elizabeth Joyce, Jumaris, Rieks Korte, Mojo, Late Night, Bob Martin, Men On The Border, Modbeat66, Modboy1, Iain ‘Emo’ Moore, Neptune Pink Floyd, Lisa Newman, Jon Charles Newman, Göran Nyström, Old Man Peace, Julian Palacios, Emma Peel Pants, David Parker, Joe Perry, Brynn Petty, Borja Narganes Priego, Catherine Provenzano, Sophie Partridge. Punk Floyd, Antonio Jesús Reyes, Ewgeni Reingold, Shakesomeaction, Solo En Las Nubes, Mark Sturdy, Ken Sutera Jnr, Swanlee, Tomhinde, Wolfpack, Syd Wonder, Randall Yeager, Yeeshkul,

♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥


The Syd Barrett Cookbook

The Lyrics of Syd Barrett
The Lyrics of Syd Barrett. Edited by Rob Chapman & David Gilmour..


Somewhere in October 2019, I heard rumours about a Syd Barrett lyrics book that was in the pipeline. In April 2020 there was – finally – some official news about the book when Rob Chapman tweeted about it:

...the Syd Barrett lyric book has been put back to next year due to the Virus. A pity because there’s going to be an exclusive in there which will make all Syd fans gasp and spontaneously combust when they read it…

Two weeks later, during one of his ‘Theatre For Dreamers’ live streams, David Gilmour confirmed that he was proofreading Syd’s lyrics by comparing Chapman’s notes with the isolated voice tracks from the Syd Barrett masters.


Omnibus Press has the following to say about it:

The complete lyrics of Syd Barrett – 52 songs written for Pink Floyd and during his subsequent solo career – are presented together for the first time, along with rare photos and artwork, to form this beautifully illustrated book.

February 2021 the book has finally arrived in the hands of the fans, although Amazon France keeps on insisting that it doesn’t exist, yet. Let's talk about the 'rare' photos and artwork first. To be honest, there aren’t any. I’m browsing through the Kindle version and all pictures, except perhaps one, are those that are daily published on a multitude of Syd Barrett Facebook groups and Tumblrs, including my own ridiculous iggyinuit.tumblr.com.

But obviously, this book isn’t about the pictures although these could’ve been a bit less predictable, to say the least.

Peter Jenner

There is a foreword by Peter Jenner who compares Syd’s songs with Van Gogh’s paintings. He’s done that before, for instance on the Birdie Hop / The Church interview he did in 2014 (see: An innerview with Peter Jenner). Syd left an everlasting impression on the people he met and worked with, that’s for sure.

Van Gogh - Wheat Field with Crows (1890). Mashup: Felix Atagong.
Van Gogh - Wheat Field with Syd (1890). Mashup: Felix Atagong.

Rob Chapman

Before the lyrics section starts there is a quite brainy and erudite introduction by Rob Chapman. Evidently, it centralises on Syd's wordsmanship that often meanders in obscure waters. Some lyrics need a guide book that only existed in Syd’s mind, others are just plain gibberish and failed experiments, a bit like the early Floyd jams that sometimes were cool and often were not. But when Syd is brilliant, well… he’s just damn brilliant.

Chapman's essay regales its readers, read it slowly to let it sink in.


As soon as the first copies were distributed Syd fanatics had their remarks. Fans are used to their interpretations of Syd's lyrics and some of the Gilmour / Chapman adaptions were not that easily accepted. Here are a few examples:

Waddle with apples to grouchy Mrs Stores vs.
Waddle with apples to crunchy Mrs Stores.

Gregory Taylor on the Birdie Hop Facebook group about this Scream Thy Last Scream verse:

I am not sure that the word 'grouchy' was particularly in usage during the 1960s whereas 'crunchy' was very current particularly in telly adverts. Syd liked onomatopoeic words so that sounds more feasible to me. He also didn’t use obvious Americanisms like ‘grouchy’.

Matthew Cheney:

My point was that given the potential for multiple interpretations still, the book will inevitably have some kind of slant depending on who is involved.
Green Limpets
Green Limpets.


Lime and limpet green vs.
Lime and limpid green.

Pink Floyd übergeek Rontoon at the Steve Hoffman Music Forum:

WTF is "limpet green"? Limpid green refers to the icy waters mentioned in the same verse. Limpid is a water reference. A limpet is a mollusk (and they aren't green).

Actually, Rontoon, green limpets do exist, the internet is full of them. However, it would be so nice if Rob Chapman could explain to the hardcore Sydocracy why he (and Mr Gilmour) put in the 'grouchy' and 'limpet' words instead of ‘crunchy’ and ‘limpid’.

Annotations would have been very helpful but unfortunately, Rob prefers to kick around on Twitter, making derogatory remarks about anyone who doesn’t agree with him.


At Late Night, still relevant after all these years, Syd Wonder assembled lyrics that could contain errors in Chapman's transcription. According to Syd Wonder Rob Chapman did a particularly bad job on Double O Bo and made mistakes in Late Night, Milky Way, Rats, Wined and Dined, If It's In You and Vegetable Man. Read his analysis at: The lyrics of Syd Barrett...

Official Secrets Act

Some fans regret the fact that this book was assembled in secrecy and that Roger Waters, nor Nick Mason have been involved. Were they asked, we will never know, but it doesn't look that way. Syd Barrett is a division of the Gilmour-led Floyd company and shares the same management.

Chapman, who once described Pink Floyd as a firm of chartered surveyors, finds this utterly silly as well:

I’ve got to sit on hot information for nearly a year now. I’ll probably have to sign the Official Secrets Act. 48 hour ago I was the first person in the world outside of ‘certain famous parties’ to read it.

Missing Songs

Now for the songs. These are the lyrics for the Syd Barrett tracks that have been officially released. Why do I say that? Because ‘Living Alone’ is missing and perhaps a few others.

‘Living Alone’ is vegetating on tape E95744Z that is in David Gilmour’s Fort Knoxian archives, along with Bob Dylan Blues. Bob Dylan Blues has been released on a compilation album, but Living Alone not. Is Living Alone a song with lyrics? Is it worth releasing? Who knows? Who cares?

Another missing song is ‘Remember Me’ from the 1965 demos. ‘Lucy Leave’, ‘Double O Bo’ and ‘Butterfly’ are in the book. ‘Remember Me’ not. This could mean it was written by someone else or perhaps it is just one of those traditional Floydian fuck-ups. As usual, there is silence in the Chapman / Pink Floyd camp.

Rooftop in Terrapin 9.
Rooftop in Terrapin 9.

A Rooftop Song In A Thunderstorm Row Missing The Point.

Then there is the case of ‘Rooftop’. The July 1974 issue of the fanzine Terrapin has an unpublished Syd Barrett poem, copied by Bernard White after a visit at the Hipgnosis headquarters.

It has survived in two versions, both in Bernard White’s handwriting. There is the published version in the fanzine, where he explicitly thanks ‘Hypgnosis’ (sic) for the poem. A second version was sold by Bonhams in December 2010 for the crazy price of 2160£.

The seller claimed that the poem was in Barrett’s handwriting. The Late Night forum and the Church debunked this and tried to warn potential buyers. Bonhams was warned as well but they ignored it. A decade ago I was advised not to dig too deep into the matter, as the seller had a high position in the Syd Barrett pecking order. Weird scenes inside the Syd Barrett goldmine, so it seems. See: Bonhams Sells Fake Barrett Poem.

In the uncut and unedited Darker Globe manuscript from Julian Palacios, one can find the following.

At El Patio, they read 19th Century French symbolist poet Charles Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil. In Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell, the 17-year old hellion poet insisted, ‘It is necessary to be absolutely modern’. Syd was taken with Baudelaire’s 1869 Paris Spleen, and fragments found way into his poem ‘Rooftop in a Thunderstorm Row Missing the Point’. Syd scribbled, ‘the prophecy, to recreate the truth / in visions of a seasonal mood...’

Unfortunately, I can't find the Paris Spleen fragments that inspired Barrett, but The Old Clown poem does have a clowns and jugglers line.

It was one of those gala days that all the clowns, jugglers, animal trainers, and ambulant hucksters count on, long in advance, to make up for the lean seasons of the year.

In a tweet from February 2021, Rob Chapman calls Rooftop a total fake.

Oh gawd!
Oh gawd!
Yes its that totally unconvincing Thunderbird (sic) Row missing the point forgery that Bernard White was passing around in the 80s. He casts a long vapour trail does Mr White.

Wolfpack, over at Late Night, has his objections about Chapman’s comment:

There were no Xerox machines just easily available in the early 1970s. So, if White found a sheet of Barrett lyrics in some Hipgnosis archive, he just couldn't run to some supermarket to copy the sheet.

All he could do was writing down in his own handwriting, what he was reading in front of him.

First of all, the Rooftop poem doesn't date from the eighties but was published in Terrapin in 1974. In his foreword Bernard White thanks ‘Hypgnosis for the poem and photos’. This is repeated in the ‘credits’ section: ‘This issue all photos plus poem: Hypgnosis’. Bernard White doesn’t seem the person to me to fabricate a false Syd Barrett poem. The Hipgnosis archive, where he claimed to have found the poem, has been lost. We can’t prove its authenticity. Chapman can’t prove the opposite either.

Mind Shot (It is obvious)
Mind Shot (It Is Obvious).

Mind Shot

The 2001 Syd Barrett compilation album Wouldn’t You Miss Me? has a partial facsimile of the Mind Shot lyrics, better known as It Is Obvious. It is believed that it comes straight out of Syd’s binder that contained his lyrics.

Wolfpack has asked, and rightly so, why this sheet hasn’t been included. Most of Syd’s typewritten lyrics have been lost, so why didn’t they add the one(s) that did survive?

On top of that, Chapman changes Syd’s line ‘Oh mumma listen dolly’ into ‘Mumble listen dolly’. Once again some explanation would have been appreciated.

I kid you not.
I kid you not.
Mad Cat
Madcap announced as Mad Cat.


There are plenty of cases where different interpretations of the lyrics are possible. But it’s nice to see that there finally is a consensus about Opal (instead of Opel) and that both mad cats and madcaps are hiding in Octopus / Clowns & Jugglers.

Meanwhile, it has been suggested that Gilmour and Chapman didn't listen to isolated voice tracks for all tracks, despite all the brouhaha, only for those they had a problem with. There is a line in Octopus that officially goes: "The seas will reach and always seep."

That's wrong, states Chapman on Twitter, nearly a year ago, suggesting: “The seas will wreath. We’ll always see.”

So why did it change back to the first – clearly wrong – line in the book?

Walk with me

Chris Flackett on Twitter:

I do have one question, respectfully asked, as it goes: I always thought the line in Candy and a Currant Bun was 'please just fuck with me'. Was it just a common mishearing then? Always wondered how they slipped that past EMI.

Rob Chapman replies:

Didn't have any multi-track to prove that but I think it's both, like madcap and madcat on Octopus.

Wrong, multi-tracks of Candy do exist and have even been (partially) published on YouTube. Rob Chapman plays it safe and uses the politically correct line: "Please, just walk with me."

This is weird because in 'Irregular Head' Chapman acknowledges the existence of the four-letter word: “He slips a cleverly disguised ‘fock’ into the chorus and makes it sound like ‘walk’.”

No Man’s Land

The promised part where fans would ‘spontaneously combust’ is the spoken word ending of No Man's Land. It must have been a titanic work to isolate the mumbling sentences of the crazy bard, spoken at a staggering speed.

It’s a work of love and dedication and Sydiots all over the planet will thank the Chapman / Gilmour team for that.


Is this the definitive statement on Syd’s lyrics as Chapman proudly tells in an interview with the Bureau of Lost Culture? I don’t think it is. There are still some loose ends and as some anoraks have said, it wouldn't have hurt to add some annotations. It’s not that Chapman / Gilmour didn’t have the time.

But it will find its way into the shrines of most Sydiots, I’ll guess. They will discuss its contents for centuries to come.

Strawberry Fair
Strawberry Fair Logo.


Let’s add another Syd Barrett myth, shall we? Over at Hoffman’s Music Corner member APH claims he had several brief Syd encounters:

I was watching my friends' group the Fire Dept at Strawberry Fair, late eighties. There was a bald guy in a jumpsuit dancing around enthusiastically on his own. I was told it was Syd. After that, I recognised him around Cambridge through the years. Generally just walking alone. Occasionally doing something like paying for his weekly shop in pennies, and making everyone wait.

He was quite well known locally, it wasn't considered the done thing to approach him. I heard he would scream at people who did that. One look at him, and it was obvious there was no reason to approach him, he wasn’t the same person.

The Church wishes to thank: APH, Asdf35, Eleonora Siatoni, Gregory Taylor, Hallucalation, Julian Palacios, Matthew Cheney, Psych62, Rich Hall, Rob Chapman, Rontoon, Stephen Coates, Swanlee, Syd Wonder, Wolfpack, Younglight.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

A podcast about the lyrics book at Bureau of Lost Culture: The legend, Legagacy and Lyrics of Syd Barrett
The lyrics of Syd Barrett… @ Late Night Forum
Syd Barrett 2021 Releases @ Steve Hoffman Music Corner
The Lyrics of Syd Barrett, Omnibus Press @ Yeeshkul
New book: The Lyrics Of Syd Barrett @ Neptune Pink Floyd
Birdie Hop @ Facebook

Sources (others than the links above):
Baudelaire, Charles: Paris Spleen 1869, New Directions Publishing, New York, 1970, p.25. Translated from the French by Louise Varèse.
Chapman, Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 134.
Palacios, Julian: Darker Globe: Uncut and Unedited, private publication, 2021, p. 85.


Not Now Jon

Animals 2018
Animals 2018, for 2022?


On the worldwide web, there is this huge Pink Floyd community, although we can't deny that the band's importance is dwindling from year to year. It needs to be said that the Floyd has tried to milk the fan’s wallets by issuing overpriced luxury box sets that invariably contain damaged Blu-rays, DVDs or CDs that the band refuses to replace.

The most important Floydian news nowadays is about the ongoing Roger Waters vs David Gilmour war. A long-awaited Animals reissue has been shelved for years because Roger Waters wanted to include an essay from Pink Floyd biographer Mark Blake and David Gilmour not. Waters gave in so we might still see an Animals re-release in 2022. Hopefully.

Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin

Recently the Waters-Gilmour war has been fought out by proxy. Jon Carin is a musician who has worked with Waters and Gilmour, but who fell out with the latter, probably over money matters. Carin started by minimising Rick Wright’s input on the three last Floyd albums, saying that he (Jon Carin) can be heard playing while the other (Rick Wright) gets the credits.


One example he gave is the track Marooned, from The Division Bell, credited to Wright and Gilmour. According to Carin the keyboards on that song are mainly his, and not Rick’s. David Gilmour retaliated by putting an early Marooned jam, called Cosmic 13, on the Pink Floyd YouTube page. It made fans wonder why this demo wasn’t included on The Later Years box that is getting less and less important (and value) now that Gilmour & Co have decided to individually release most of its ‘exclusive’ content.

Marooned aka Cosmic 13 (demo)

Yet Another Movie

This wasn’t all Jon Carin complained about. He put on his Facebook that Yet Another Movie was greatly influenced by him and that no demo of the song existed. Out of the blue, David Gilmour published a six minutes early jam of the track, recorded by him and Pat Leonard, without Jon Carin.

Yet Another Movie (demo)

It is not easy to dig deeper into the Jon Carin – David Gilmour feud. While Jon Carin’s Facebook is back – it was deleted for a while – we haven’t got a clue if his posts about David Gilmour are still visible. A massive Jon Carin – David Gilmour thread on the Steve Hoffman’s music forum has been deleted without warning and some people wonder if the Pink Floyd Gestapo had anything to do with that. Whether they like it or not it is censorship.

Luckily there still is a very interesting article ‘A History and Anatomy of Yet Another Movie', by Ed Lopez-Reyes, on the Publius Enigma fansite.

The big and so-called independent Pink Floyd fan-sites are very reluctant to discuss this subject, although a few of them have given some faint hints. Fuck all that.

♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


RIP Anthony Stern: 1944-2022

Anthony Stern
Anthony Stern


Anthony Stern grew up in Cambridge, along with boyhood friends David Gilmour and Roger Barrett. He moved to London in the mid-sixties and worked as a photographer for the Immediate record label. As a film-maker, he worked with Peter Whitehead on several documentaries that captured the rebellious energy of a tumultuous decade, such as the documentary Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London (1967).

LSD-pioneer Stern had been a part of the Cambridge set in the mid-sixties, with beat poets, aspiring musicians and artists meeting at the local coffee-bar El Patio. Ant and his pal Syd had a mutual art exhibition, in the summer of 1964, above the Lion and Lamb pub in Milton. Just like Peter Whitehead, Storm Thorgerson and Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon he was an aspiring photographer and would-be movie maker. Around 1967 he and Syd discussed co-writing and -producing a movie 'The Rose Tinted Monocle' but the project never materialised.

Was there something in the water? (…) How come it happened that in Cambridge, nearly everybody you met was already a sort of proto-eccentric by the age of fourteen? If you weren’t doing some mad beat poetry, or jazz or playing the trumpet or something by the age of fifteen you’d better get a move on, ’cos everyone else is doing something wacky.” (Irregular Head)

Iggy, by Anthony Stern
Iggy, by Anthony Stern

In the autumn of 1967 things weren’t going smoothly for the Floyd. One day Anthony Stern ran into Peter Jenner in the Drum City music shop in London. He was offered a place in the band as second guitarist but he turned down the offer: “Oh, no, I’m a film director.”

Anthony Stern made a few Floyd-related movies. One of those, using the Floyd's hit-single 'See Emily Play', was the legendary 'Iggy Eskimo Girl' (1968), a relic that has mostly been hidden for five decades. The movie is, to quote Stern, a short little film poem about a girl who was on the scene in London.

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.

Stern took many pictures of Iggy and some were shown as ‘triptychs’ at The Other Room, one of the exhibitions during the Cambridge City Wakes festival in 2008.

I re-discovered these photographs in my cellar in an old suitcase. All the optical effects were obtained in-camera. The colour images of Iggy were taken on a houseboat at Chelsea Reach. In the background you can see Lots Road Power Station. The distortions were achieved using a flexible mirror material called Malinex, as well as a magnifying Fresnel screen.

Iggy was terrific fun to be with and to photograph. I knew her before she was introduced to Syd by Jennifer Spires, and I remember walking through Battersea Park in the early mornings together.
Iggy triptych, Anthony Stern Iggy triptych, Anthony Stern
Anthony Stern's Iggy triptychs at The Other Room.

San Francisco

Even more famous than the Iggy movie is Stern’s San Francisco, (1968) where he ‘attempted to duplicate the Pink Floyd’s light show’ through cinematography. The soundtrack of that short is an early version of 'Interstellar Overdrive', dating from the 31st of October 1966. Stern used his camera as a ‘musical instrument’. San Francisco was seen by him as a ‘jazz music performance’ using still images as notes.


Syd Barrett used to crash in at Stern’s apartment, during and after his Pink Floyd period, but not all was well.

You’d see his mood declining as the evening wore on. (…) Then he’d disappear into the lavatory and come back and his mood had changed. (Pigs Might Fly)

According to Stern it was not cocaine Syd Barrett was taking, but heroin.

Iggy, movie strip.
Iggy Eskimo Girl movie strip, Anthony Stern.

Dark Side Of The Rose Monocle

When 'Dark Side Of The Moon' came out Stern was duly impressed, just like millions of other fans. He proposed to make a movie based upon the 'The Rose Tinted Monocle' script that he had worked on with Syd Barrett. He borrowed a projector from David Gilmour and showed a rough version to all members of the band.

They knew that Syd had been involved with the roots of the film, and on a purely aesthetic and creative level they all gave it the thumbs up. They all said, “Of course you can use Dark Side of the Moon for this.” (…) Roger, despite his immense ego, was incredibly friendly, warm and enthusiastic about the idea of me using this music in such an abstract, non-commercial way. (Pigs Might Fly)

The band’s approval was buried by the band’s manager, Steve O’Rourke, and the movie was never made. Pink Floyd now belonged to the high-fidelity first-class travelling set and no longer to the avant-garde underground.

Dancing With Glass, Anthony Stern.
Dancing With Glass, Anthony Stern.

Dancing with Glass

Making avant-garde movies doesn’t bring bread on the table. Around 1978 Anthony Stern found a new way to express his talent in glass blowing. Film-making and glass-blowing culminated in a short movie Anthony made: 'Dancing With Glass' (2013). Direct link: Dancing With Glass.

Chimera Arts

With the turn of the century there was some renewed interest in Stern’s film making. He joined forces with Chimera Arts, the production company from installation artist Sadia Sadia and music producer, composer and sound designer Stephen W Tayler. They salvaged some material from Stern’s archives. 'The Noon Gun', shot by Stern in Afghanistan in 1971, was released by Chimera in 2004.

Other rediscovered films had a premiere at the Cinémathèque Française in Paris, June 2008. Amongst them: 'The End Of The Party', from 1969 and 'Iggy Eskimo Girl', from 1968. Stern was present and gave some valuable information that has been hiding for years in one of the dark corners of the Internet. Direct Link: Anthony Stern.

The City Wakes festival in Cambridge (2008) created something of a Pink Floyd induced buzz, promoting Anthony’s pictures in The Other Room exhibition. Anthony Stern was also the subject of a 2008 documentary, shot by Sadia Sadia: 'Lit From Within'.

Sydge, Anthony Stern.
Sydge (Syd Barrett magnet) by Anthony Stern.

Get all that, Ant?

Stern was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and started revisiting his collection of photographs, 16mm film reels and Nagra sound tapes. A website was created in 2014, Anthony Stern Film Archive, that promised to release a book and a DVD containing Stern’s work: 'Get all from that Ant?' (later re-baptised to 'Get All That, Ant')

Although the 62 minutes documentary was shown on a Syd Barrett festival in October 2016 it never was released to the general public. Most of the relevant pages on the Anthony Stern Film Archive website have disappeared as well.

Get All That, Ant?
Get All That, Ant?

Memory Marbles

A condensed, 45 minutes, version was shown at BBC4 during Keith Richard’s Lost Weekend. 'Lost and Found: the Memory Marbles of Anthony Stern' made it on national television on Monday 26th of September 2016 at 01:25 in the morning. This documentary had some previously unpublished stills and snippets of Iggy and Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett.

Iggy, by Anthony Stern.
Iggy, by Anthony Stern. Taken from Memory Marbles.

Chimera Copyright Issues

No Church article without some controversy, some people say.

'Memory Marbles' – the condensed version of 'Get All That, Ant?' – was the only program from Keith Richard’s Lost Weekend that didn’t make it on the BBC iPlayer and couldn’t be seen ‘on demand’. Copyright issues, so it seems.

The 'Iggy Eskimo Girl' movie was never generally released and when a ‘bootleg’ version was found by none other than Iggy herself (in 2016) it took less than 24 hours for Chimera Arts to delete it from Dailymotion. (See: Iggy The Eskimo Girl (full movie).)

Over the years Chimera has been as protective over Stern’s movies as Pink Floyd over the Syd Barrett tap dancing video. They prefer to show his work on avant-garde film festivals rather than release it to the masses. (Anthony Stern did send an Eskimo Girl DVD to Iggy Rose though.)

As such it is quite ironical that the Anthony Stern retrospective at La Cinémathèque Française was organised after they found one of his movies… on YouTube.

Memory Marbles, Anthony Stern.
Memory Marbles Screenshot, Anthony Stern.

Vanishing Point

Sadia Sadia’s YouTube channel contained a biographical movie about ‘her friend, the glass artist Anthony Stern’. 'Lit From Within' (2008) is a cute documentary that has a mid-sixties cameo from none other than Libby Gausden. A few days after Stern’s decease, the movie mysteriously disappeared from the channel. It's probably an avant-garde way of honouring a friend who just passed away.

Old Friends

Another mystery is why Ant’s two Pink Floyd related movies never made it on The Early Years set. The 'Interstellar Overdrive' demo of the 1st of October 1966, recorded at Thompson Private Recording Studios, Hemel Hempstead can’t be found in the box, an unforgivable oversight. It was later released on one-sided vinyl for Record Store Day.

It is rumoured that Pink Floyd used a low quality tape to press the record. It is also believed that the original reel of the track belonged to Anthony Stern, who used it for the San Francisco movie. Just like with the BBC sessions the Pink Floyd archivists used low quality copies instead of trying to obtain the originals.

Interstellar Overdrive
Interstellar Overdrive.

RIP Anthony Stern (1944 - 2022)

Stern died somewhere in the first or second week of February 2022. With Anthony we lose another cogwheel from the Pink Floyd time machine. He used to play with light, first as a gifted avant-garde movie maker, later as a glass sculpturer. Let’s hope ‘Get All That, Ant’ will get a release soon and that it will not stay in copyright hell like Storm Thorgerson’s ‘Have You Got It Yet’.

We are the Fishes

An Anthony Stern movie from 2014. Direct link: We are the Fishes.

Many thanks to: Iain 'Emo' Moore, Lisa Newman, Göran Nyström.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

Links & Things:
Anthony Stern: Anthony Stern Glass.
Anthony Stern: BFI (incomplete).
Anthony Stern: Film Archive.
Anthony Stern: Film Archive (Wixsite).
Anthony Stern: IMDB (incomplete).
Anthony Stern: YouTube.

Chimera Arts: FILMS and INSTALLATIONS MENU - (hidden) movie page, containing descriptions of several Stern (related) movies.
Chimera Arts: Iggy.
Chimera Arts: The End of the Party.
Chimera Arts: Lit from Within (documentary).
Chimera Arts: San Francisco Redux (art installation).
Chimera Arts: The Noon Gun.

Sadia Sadia: YouTube (contains no Anthony Stern material).

THCoItI: Anthony Stern related pages.
THCoItI: Eskimo Girl (screenshots).
THCoItI: Iggy Triptychs.
THCoItI: The Other Room (Anthony Stern exhibition).

Tumblr: Anthony Stern.
Tumblr: Chimera Arts.
Tumblr: Iggnet (Iggy magnet).
Tumblr: Iggy Triptychs.
Tumblr: Lion and Lamb.
Tumblr: Lost Weekend.
Tumblr: Memory Marbles.
Tumblr: Sydge (Syd Barrett magnet).
Tumblr: The Other Room.

Sources (other than the above mentioned links):
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013.
Chapman, Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010.
Palacios, Julian: Darker Globe: Uncut and Unedited, private publication, 2021.
Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p. 7-8.


Hey, Hey, Rise Up

Hey Hey Rise Up
Hey, Hey, Rise Up.

Hey You

Let’s kick at an open door, shall we?

Hey, Hey, Rise Up is, in my humble opinion, not a genuine Pink Floyd track. It is, at best, a curio, like The Merry Xmas Song, but of course, it has been made for a much better cause.

Releasing it as Pink Floyd instead of David Gilmour and friends will get the song free promotion and as such every (online) newspaper has already brought it up, although not all reviews are that positive. The (Daily) Telegraph, for instance, describes it as an overblown 1980s Eurovision entry.

Update 2022 04 10: 24 hours after its launch, the song hit the #1 position of iTunes downloads in 27 countries.

The song uses the vocals of Andriy Khlyvnyuk, singing a 1914 Ukrainian patriotic song 'Oi u Luzi Chervona Kalyna' (Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow). The roots of the song can be found in a traditional from 1640 as explained in the next video from Metal Pilgrim.

(Link for recalcitrant browsers: What made PINK FLOYD come back with THIS song after 28 years?)

Andriy Khlyvnyuk
Andriy Khlyvnyuk.

A New Machine

It is not the first time Pink Floyd has used an outsider to sing a song, Roy Harper and Clare Torry come to mind, but it is a very rare occasion (not counting those two canine vocalists: Seamus and Mademoiselle Nobs). Pink Floyd doesn't have a tradition either of covering songs, the only examples I can think of is Green Onions on an early TV show and the King Bee demo. (Gilmour and Waters have recorded/streamed a few covers though.)

Gilmour and his merry men have the habit of turning Floyd's history into their hands and this time it is no different. The blurb says this is the first new original music they have recorded together as a band since 1994's The Division Bell. It makes me wonder what happened with Louder Than Words, from The Endless River, that ended the Floyd in a Yoko Ono kind of way. Fans are still dissing and fighting about it.

Gilmour has taken an a capella song from a Ukrainian singer-soldier and added some typical Floydian ingredients in the mix. On the video, we can see he uses his 1955 Fender Esquire that is prominent on the About Face album cover, but more than probably he changed that for a Strat, at least for the second solo.

David Gilmour, 2022
David Gilmour, 2022.

David's guitar play is, as always, impeccable - gold dust as one fan describes it. To my amazement, plenty of room is given to Nick Mason in the second part of the song. He spices it with his typical Masonic drum fills. He still is the best drummer for the band and the only member who has been present on every album, in every incarnation. Rick's keyboards are missed but you could do a lot worse than with Nitin Sawhney. (Spoiler: will he be on the solo album David Gilmour is currently recording?)

The song is short, three minutes and a half. Luckily Gilmour didn't fall into the trap of adding a six minutes guitar solo on a one couplet song like he used to do in the past.

Bandsmen by Remote Control

On the Steve Hoffman Music Forum, the song is heavily discussed and, as usual, opinions tend to differ, with online missile shootings between the David and Roger camps. Pigheaded people have forgotten that Roger Waters left the band some 37 zillion years ago.

Nick Mason, 2022
Nick Mason, 2022.

One can’t deny that Waters’ opinion about the war is somewhat prevaricating, one fan put it like this:

Given some of Roger's asinine comments on the subject of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, I think it's for the best that he's not involved.

I agree with some of Waters' political opinions, but the fact that he was a welcome guest on the one-sided propaganda channel that is RT (Russia Today) has been bothering me. Playing the Ukrainian Nazi card is a bit stupid after you have been welcomed by a TV station that has invited conspiracy theorists, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and Holocaust deniers.

Waters is writhing around like a snail in a saucerful of salt, condemning the war but trying to blame NATO and the USA. I’m old and realistic enough to understand that international politics is a dirty business. I agree that the ‘democratic’ Western world has played a dubious role in the Ukrainian Orange Revolution and its aftermath. In something resembling a mediocre Ian Fleming story, they overplayed their cards, perhaps not realising that Vladimir Putin is an even bigger madman than Donald Trump ever was.

Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd.
When The Tigers Broke Free
When The Tigers Broke Free.

Just Before Dawn

Floyd anoraks will fight over everything, even the use of the font on the cover picture for the song. It uses a letter type that is very close to the one we know from The Wall. It is even closer to the lettering on the anti-war single When The Tigers Broke Free, from 1982. We leave it in the middle if this is a deliberate stab at Roger Waters or just a clever marketing trick.

Hey, Hey, Rise Up is a very uncommon single by the Floyd, but these are uncommon times. Once you get used to the pompous singing you can discover its magic or as Gilmour ironically put it: the rock god guitar player. Bloody well done.

Buy it.

(Link for recalcitrant browsers: Pink Floyd - Hey Hey Rise Up (feat. Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Boombox))

Pink Floyd 2022

Pink Floyd 2022
Pink Floyd 2022: Nitin Sawhney, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Guy Pratt.

Many thanks to: Metal Pilgrim, Steve Hoffmann Forum and its many visitors.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

Sources (other than the above mentioned links):
Petridis, Alexis: ‘This is a crazy, unjust attack’: Pink Floyd re-form to support Ukraine, The Guardian, 7 April 2022.


Cows, Pigs, Sheep...

Through The Prism, Aubrey Powell.
Through The Prism, Aubrey Powell.


We have sometimes been harsh about David Gilmour who reconfigured the past in favour of his colleague Rick Wright, but the friendship between Gilmour and Wright was an honest and genuine one.

In an emotional introduction, Aubrey Powell tells how David Gilmour was sitting at Rick’s deathbed (2008). At a memorial party, where Roger Waters was absent, old surviving friends from the Underground days were present. Jon Lord and Jeff Beck played some songs and David and Nick, with Guy Pratt, Jon Carin and Tim Renwick remembered Rick with Great Gig and Wish You Were Here.

Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell was sitting next to Storm Thorgerson, who was in a wheelchair after a stroke, and both men realised that they were in the autumn of their lives. Powell knew that if he had to write some memoirs, he had to get on with it. It still took him more than a decade but in 2022 he published Through The Prism: Untold Rock Stories from the Hipgnosis Archive.

Madcaps Story Book.
Madcaps Story Book.


Through The Prism is, for once, not a coffee-table photo extravaganza, but a 320 pages book filled with anecdotes and stories about Hipgnosis and their many friends, who were often also their clients.

The first chapter 'Laying Ghosts to Rest' is about Cambridge and the boy/man who started the career of Pink Floyd and indirectly Hipgnosis as well. An autobiography is based on memories and not always on facts and as such we forgive that Po repeats the story that Syd Barrett was an admirer of Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. In a previous post on this blog, Step It Up And Go, we have stated that there were no easily obtainable records of these two bluesmen, certainly not in the UK. The chance that Syd Barrett listened to one of their songs is very, very close to zero. And, contrarious as we are, Syd didn’t contrive the term Pink Floyd either, one of his beatnik friends did: Stephen Pyle. Syd borrowed the line when he had to improvise a new name for his band.

Through The Prism is not a Pink Floyd biography, but a story about a man called Po. Syd happens to be present from time to time. One day, he takes some LSD in Storm's garden and is fascinated for hours by an orange, a plum, and a box of matches. This event, ‘small as a molehill’, has grown into a mountain over the years, but of course, Hipgnosis is to blame for that. Storm turned the anecdote into a record cover (photo).

In late autumn 1969 Powell visits Syd's flat to take some publicity shots for Madcap, the so-called yoga pictures. Aubrey writes that Storm had taken the album cover shots a few weeks earlier. That is not wrong if you go by Vulcan logic, but it has been established that the cover shoot dates from April 1969. That is about 20 to 24 weeks earlier, not 'a few'. Not a word about Iggy the Eskimo, nor about the presence of another photographer who was still their friend, but not for long: Mick Rock (see also: Rock of Ages).

The Syd chapter ends with the invention of the name Hipgnosis. Powell testifies how they almost catch Syd red-handed, a pen in his hand, seconds after he wrote HIP-GNOSIS on the white front door. I always believed this was something of an urban legend, invented by Storm and Po to give the name extra cachet, but if this testimony is accurate it leaves no doubt that Syd was behind it.

Atom Heart Mother
Atom Heart Mother, Pink Floyd.


As a young man, Aubrey Powell is more a hoodlum and a swindler than an artist. Peter Jenner even has to bail him out of jail, but slowly he finds his way as a photographer, helped by Storm. When Pink Floyd asks them for the cover of A Saucerful Of Secrets their career lifts off. That cover, actually a collage of pop culture and esoteric images, is photographed in black and white and coloured by hand afterwards (photo).

For Atom Heart Mother the Floyd want a non-psychedelic cover, so nothing like Saucerful, More or Ummagumma. The solution comes from conceptual artist John Blake, whose path they will cross several times. Why not a cow? A cow it is (picture).

Equally uncharacteristic is the cover for The Dark Side Of The Moon. Again it is Pink Floyd who want something else, much to the annoyance of a stubborn Storm Thorgerson who tries to push a picture of the Silver Surfer. They find the prism concept in a popular science book and because Storm and Po can't draw they ask George Hardie to finish it (photo).

Dark Side is much more than a record, it is a worldwide recognisable symbol and Powell gives some examples of how the record (and its sleeve) have become instruments to protest against censorship and war.

Pig, by Jeffrey Shaw.
Pig sketch, by Jeffrey Shaw (Hipgnosis).

Here, there and everywhere

For Wish You Were Here Hipgnosis devises some art, built around a theme of absence and the number 4. Four like 4 members of the band, 4 elements (earth, air, fire, water) and the 4 panels on a gatefold sleeve. Only, the final product is packaged in a single sleeve, but one with a twist.

One day, it must have been the 5th of June 1975, an almost unrecognisable Syd Barrett enters the office, asking where the band is. Richard Evans, of the Hipgnosis crew, replies that they are probably at Abbey Road. Po accompanies Syd to the street where he walks to Soho, ‘a confused and forlorn figure’ (see also: Shady Diamond).

The concept of the burning man puzzles Aubrey. How can he take a picture of that? For Storm, the solution is simple: set him on fire. Even better, set him on fire in America (photo).

Let’s remember folks, these are the golden days of rock. You wanna take a pic of a pyramid. Fly to Egypt. You want to check a few lakes out. Fly to California. All expenses paid, including the huge bill of ‘special medicine’ to get through those lonesome nights.

Look. Hear. 10CC.
Look. Hear. 10CC.

Hype Gnosis

Dark Side and Houses of the Holy (Led Zeppelin) make Hipgnosis nearly as big as the rock stars they graphically represent (photo). On a trip to Vegas Po stays in Frank Sinatra’s personal suite at Caesars Palace. Escort girls and coke (not the soft-drink variety) are included in the service, although Po claims he declines both offers.

Po loves the wide American scenery and trips to the USA are regularly made. Hiring a plane to fly over the desert to find a great location: no problem. Hiring a helicopter to shoot some pictures from the air: no problem. Hiring figurants, actors, stuntmen, and props: no problem. Rock ‘n’ Roll pays well in the seventies.

Hipgnosis not only make fantastic covers, but they have some duds as well. Al Stewart is so angry about the Time Passages sleeve that he will never speak to Po again. Needless to say that Hipgnosis lose a client that day (photo).

Obviously, the memoirs aren't about Pink Floyd alone. Peter Gabriel, Wings, and 10CC all have their entries. Po's stories about Led Zep, who have some gangsters refurbished as bodyguards, are so unbelievable you might think you have ended up in The Godfather. There’s some weird occult shit as well, Jimmy Page was called the Dark Lord by the other members of the band.

Not the greatest picture.
Not the greatest picture.


The sleeve for Animals is Roger Waters’ idea to begin with. Storm Thorgerson is (again) pissed when his idea for a sleeve is downvoted and refuses to speak to Waters. When Storm (in the book Walk Away Renée) calls the Animals sleeve a Hipgnosis project it is up to Roger to be offended. The next Pink Floyd albums, with Roger Waters at the helm, no longer have a Hipgnosis sleeve.

Despite the friction between Storm and Roger, Po Powell is commissioned to supervise the shoot. He hires 8 photographers and asks Nigel Lesmoir Gordon to coordinate some filming from a helicopter.

On the first day, Algie (the pig) refuses to soar to the skies and they postpone the shooting for the next day. When the pig breaks free on day two Powell suddenly realises he has forgotten to rebook the marksman to shoot it down. It could’ve been a disaster, but luckily it isn’t. Although unwanted, it will go down in history as the biggest rock publicity stunt ever (photo).

Time Passages, Al Stewart.
Time Passages, Al Stewart.


The thing with Hipgnosis is that they want to realise their surreal ideas in the real world. For a Wings Greatest Hits album, it is Paul McCartney’s wish to have a picture of a Demétre Chiparus statue standing in the snow on top of a mountain. Hipgnosis flies the statue to Switzerland where it is transported by helicopter to the Gorner Glacier. The team consists of several photographers, mountain rescuers and a pilot.

It is a great story, but frankly, the picture could have been made in the studio with cotton balls for snow and a picture of the Matterhorn as a backdrop (photo).

For a 10CC cover, Po wants to put a sheep on a sofa, by the sea. He flies to Hawaii, where there is only one sheep on the entire island. He has a sofa custom-made by a film props company (photo). Powell shows his expense sheet for the shoot. It is £2,280 in 1980 money or over £10,000 ($12,800/€11,800) today. The invoice to 10CC is double of that.

No wonder Po starts behaving like the rock stars he frequents, including a nasty habit with cocaine. Everybody who works with Storm Thorgerson knows that he can be incredibly stubborn. With the rise of MTV, Aubrey and Powell start a film company, but cracks are appearing in their relationship. The amicable banter of the past is gone and Po goes his way, becoming a successful filmmaker and creative director.

Houses of the Holy
Houses of the Holy, Led Zeppelin.

A New Machine

Years later they reconcile and when Storm realises he has not a long time to live he suggests that Po must be the Floyd’s art director. Powell is responsible for the successful Their Mortal Remains exhibition and book. Internal Floyd wars make it impossible to release a Mortal Remains compilation (not that anybody needed an extra Pink Floyd record). We finally get the confirmation that The Early Years box-set was going to include a miniature car but alas the band has always been known for its greediness (my comment, not Po’s).

Through The Prism is not a detailed autobiography but a collection of many (funny and interesting) anecdotes about Po’s graphical output and his wacky clients. Powell stays rather vague about his personal life and the relationship with Storm Thorgerson that was very troubled for a couple of decades. Attentive readers though will have the impression there is a new girlfriend or wife in every second chapter. Rock ‘n’ Roll!

For the Pink Floyd, Led Zep, 10CC and Macca anorak there is more than enough material to like this book, about those days when rock still was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Many thanks: Hipgnosis Covers.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥


A Great Day for Fighting

Hey Hey Rise Up
Hey, Hey, Rise Up!

Hey, Hey, Rise Up!

Good news and bad news in Pink Floyd land.

The charity single Hey, Hey, Rise Up! has finally got a physical release and has hit first place in the English charts, for about five minutes. If you are one of these critics who don’t consider it a Pink Floyd song because Roger Waters isn’t on it then I’ll politely tell you to fuck off. Roger Waters is the man who backed up Putin days before Russia invaded Ukraine. He’s a great artist but also an idiot. More in our review (that paradoxically starts by saying it isn’t a Pink Floyd song) at: Hey, Hey, Rise Up!

The B-side of the single is a partially re-recorded and remixed version of A Great Day for Freedom and that is where a second war comes in. For years Jon Carin was an amiable double spy, playing on records and live shows of Pink Floyd, David Gilmour and Roger Waters without any problems.

But when the box-set The Later Years, with a re-recorded and remixed A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, came out, something changed. Suddenly Jon Carin claimed – quite aggressively – that most keyboard parts on The Division Bell and The Endless River, credited to Rick Wright, were his work. This made him persona non grata in the Gilmour camp. (For more info, see: Not Now Jon)

Jon Carins Story
Jon Carin's Story.

Piano Piano

On an Italian Facebook page, Carin nicely summed up what is his problem (taken from the Steve Hoffman Music Forum, posted by Buran1988):

When I was asked to work on A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, you must understand 4 things...

1) The band Pink Floyd did not exist.
2) I wasn't working on it as a Pink Floyd record because it wasn't Pink Floyd yet.
3) Pink Floyd wasn't there.
4) There were no songs at all, we made them up or helped facilitate extremely rough ideas.

And a few years later, it was similar, but now Rick & Nick were part of the process, too. Rick and I were extremely close friends. At the time of Division Bell, Rick & I were really hoping it would be a record like Wish You Were Here. Maybe 4 extended songs. As Division Bell progressed, the songs got shorter and poppier and Rick completely lost interest and was quite upset at how it was turning out, and I was left to do most of the keyboards.

The irony that I completely agreed with Rick was not lost on me. But with a looming deadline because of the tour that was booked, that is how it went. It was way more complicated and nuanced than that, but that's a general idea.

And just for the record, I adored Rick and LOVED his playing. But sorry, that's me on much of Division Bell. And the fact that the credits were completely wrong on top of having slaved away on it for a year is quite insulting to me, despite asking many times for them to be corrected over the past 30 years. And it would be very insulting to you if you were in my shoes. I hope this helps to clarify things.

Rick Wright losing interest in The Division Bell is completely new to me, although he complained in 2000 that there had been some issues over copyrights and that he threatened to leave the recordings.

It came very close to a point where I wasn’t going to do the album because I didn’t feel that what we’d agreed was fair. (Pigs Might Fly, p 355.)

While I have the greatest respect for Rick Wright as a musician, leaving musical projects behind might have been something of a constant for him. He did it on Zee's Identity, and it has been rumoured - again by that same Jon Carin - that the driving force behind the Broken China album was Anthony Moore. Carin also claims that Rick used sound libraries, programmed by Jon, without mentioning it on his solo record.

A Slightly Faster Day

Let’s return to the Hey, Hey B-side: A Great Day for Freedom. Hear it and see it first and we'll talk about it afterwards.

Link for recalcitrant browsers: https://youtu.be/H__12YV8miY

This new version mixes old elements from The Division Bell version with new ones. Because Kit Rae can say it so much better than I can, I will quote/paraphrase from him.

The tempo has been increased with about 7% (between 6,50 to 6,95%, according to different people). The whole song is mixed and EQ'd slightly different from the original. Overall it is a bit drier and more upfront compared to the original mix, which has a lot more room/plate reverb.

A Great Day For Freedom - album art (1994)
A Great Day For Freedom - album art (1994).

The vocals were not completely rerecorded. Most of it is identical to the original mix, but a few verses are not. David just mixed in some vocals from a different take to make this mix a bit different. The whole "ship of fools" through "paper doves in flight" verses are a different take, and "now frontiers shift" is different, but the rest of the song is the same take. 

The guitar solo is identical to the original, just EQ'd differently. The orchestra from the middle of the song and under the guitar solo has been entirely removed. There are new backing vocals that start at the 3:08 mark, similar to the Meltdown version.

The four re-recorded lines for this song can be found on the
2nd verse:  

The ship of fools had finally run aground  
Promises lit up the night  
Like paper doves in flight.

and during the 4th verse:

Now frontiers shift like desert sands.

Jerry Is Bored compared these with several David Gilmour sound tapes and concludes that they have been recently recorded:

During the changed lines, an alternate take was used, but this take was not recorded in 1994 as some have suggested. There is a marked difference between David's voice in 1994 and his voice now. The replaced lines in this new mix have that faint rasp in them, just like a lot of David's other vocal recordings from recent years. If these alternate takes had been recorded in 1994, they would sound smoother.
Pink Floyd Credits
Pink Floyd Credits.
Jon Carins Credits
Jon Carin's Credits.


The official credits for the B-side (as printed on the single) are as follows:

David Gilmour: Vocals, guitars, keyboards
Nick Mason: Drums
Richard Wright: Keyboards
Sam Brown, Claudia Fontaine, Durga McBroom: Backing vocals

This was immediately ‘corrected’ by Jon Carin. He published ‘his’ version of the credits, but probably without listening to the new version (that has no orchestration at all):

David Gilmour: guitar, bass and lead vocals  
Nick Mason: drums  
Jon Carin: piano, Prophet V, B3  
Gary Wallis: percussion & drums
Ed Shearmur: orchestration  
Durga, Claudia & Sam: backing vocals

As usual, this created some discussion between believers and non-believers. The Pink Floyd fan-site Brain Damage looked into the matter, and came up with this:

The recording, using the original drums and bass by Nick and David, has keyboards by Rick and backing vocals by Claudia, Sam and Durga taken from the Pulse rehearsals. New piano, Prophet 5 synthesiser and Hammond are played by David, as on the original demo.

We've had it confirmed by Pink Floyd management that the credits on the single are 100% correct. The piano was re-done, the main synth was from David Gilmour's original demo, and the backing vocalists were added on to replace the orchestra.

If one reads between the lines, this could mean that David Gilmour replaced all of Jon Carin’s keyboard parts, just to make him shut up. In the video clip, that accompanies the song, there is no trace of Jon Carin at all. He has been wiped out with Stalinist scrutiny. (By the way, the Rick Wright shots don’t match with the music at all).

It only adds to the mystery: is there any Rick Wright on this record at all?

State of Independence

The neutrality of the three big Pink Floyd fansites has been discussed for ages, also here at the Church. We still haven’t forgotten that the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band release, with Syd Barrett, was never mentioned on several of them.

Brain Damage has a history of only giving the Floyd’s official viewpoints. Although Brain Damage writes the following: “We get no funding, so every penny/cent helps keep the site running,” Jon Carin, in a Facebook comment to me, insinuated something else. According to him Matt, the webmaster of Brain Damage, is ‘an employee of the [Pink Floyd] management, so there’s bias.”

Jon Carin about Matt (Brain Damage)
Jon Carin about Matt (Brain Damage).

Team Player

It all depends on whether you look at Jon Carin as a session player or as something more. Let’s go to Wikipedia for a definition:

Session musicians, studio musicians, or backing musicians are musicians hired to perform in recording sessions or live performances. (…) Session musicians are usually not permanent or official members of a musical ensemble or band. They work behind the scenes and rarely achieve individual fame in their own right as soloists or bandleaders.

Session musicians have been omnipresent on the most prestigious records. Pet Sounds would be nowhere without them.

A session musician can play on a track because the ‘official’ band member can’t get it right. Just ask Nick Mason on Two Suns In The Sunset or Charlie Watts on You Can't Always Get What You Want. Other studio musicians are hired for ‘doubling’, meaning they duplicate the work of a band-member note by note, often to have a better sounding version.

This is where Jon Carin comes in. He was a hired hand, a stand-in for Rick Wright when that last one wasn’t able to play, for whatever reason. And if we may believe the rumours, Rick Wright found many reasons to not appear in the studio. He did the same thing he did on The Wall, go sailing when he was expected in the studio. The problem for Diet Pink Floyd was that they couldn’t sack him a second time without looking ridiculous.

So they created this myth around Rick Wright which still is popular today. A somewhat introverted musician who, invisible to most, shaped the sound of Pink Floyd. For the release of the rerecorded and remixed Momentary Lapse history was even ridiculously rewritten.

Rick & Jon
Rick Wright & Jon Carin.

Arrangements and Copyrights

In music, so says Wikipedia, an arrangement is a musical adaptation of an existing composition.

Pink Floyd has always looked at copyrights conservatively, meaning that whoever comes up with a song gets the full credits.

Let’s take Money, for example, boasted by Roger Waters as being his – and only his – masterpiece. The two minutes and a half demo of this song has an almost Delta blues quality. David Gilmour played it on a radio show to demonstrate the difference between a demo and the final product, adding – somewhat wryly – if Roger Waters had put the guitar solo on sheet paper before Gilmour recorded it.

The guitar and saxophone solo (by Dick Parry) is what we call ‘arrangement’ and because Floyd uses a conservative view on copyrights, neither Gilmour nor Parry get a slice of the copyright pie.

Another Floydian example is Sheep, from the album Animals. It is credited to Roger Waters but throughout the song, there are innovative keyboard parts from Rick Wright. For years fans have asked why he didn’t get any credit for that. The answer is simple: it’s an arrangement.

For The Division Bell, Rick Wright jammed with David Gilmour and Nick Mason on about 65 pieces of music, cut down to 27 and later to 11. It was at a later stage that Jon Carin was brought in to give shape to the tracks. Carin was hired for his chameleon abilities, his mission was to sound like Rick, who lost interest, partly due to copyright problems (Rick Wright was never a full member of the band, despite the smooth PR talks).

Guy Pratt Comment
Guy Pratt Comment.

While a session musician can add an anecdote or two when he is interviewed or writes a book (see My Bass and Other Animals by Guy Pratt for a perfect example) it is not done to air the dirty laundry. Except perhaps for those biographers who thrive on that sort of shit. And that rag called The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, obviously.

Lennyif (at Hoffman's Music Forum) describes it well: “Carin comes off like he is tap dancing on Wright's grave now.” Guy Pratt has remarked the following on Rick’s birthday: “And there are those who would try and belittle him and take his credit when he’s not here to speak for himself.”

I can understand that Jon Carin has a (financial) problem with David Gilmour and that he wants to ventilate that to the outside world. But instead of doing exactly that he besmirches the image of his ‘extremely close friend’ Rick Wright.

It probably is not a coincidence that Jon Carin belongs to the Roger Waters camp now and that he has joined Waters’ This Is Not A drill’ tour. Roger Waters, if you may remember, is the idiot who defends war criminals and makes a million bucks out of it.

If we can say one thing, it is that Jon Carin should be more careful chosing his friends. Let's end this article on a more positive note, shall we?

Link for recalcitrant browsers: https://youtu.be/iHEDduKMGqA

Many thanks to: Big Pasi, Buran1988, Jon Carin, Geoffers, Jerry Is Bored, Kit Rae, Lennyif, Matt (Brain Damage), MOB, Nipote, Guy Pratt and all the beautiful people on Steve Hoffman's Music Forum and Yeeshkul!
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 355.

Pink Floyd new song - “Hey Hey Rise Up” at Steve Hoffman's Music Forum.
Pink Floyd's A Great Day For Freedom 2022 - video at Brain Damage
Pink Floyd's A Great Day For Freedom 2022 at Brain Damage



Storm, Thunder and Lightning

The Dark Side of the Moon
The Dark Side of the Moon.

Hip to be Square

Over the years, I have acquired a few too many Hipgnosis photo books, starting with Storm Thorgerson’s Walk Away Renée and ending with Aubrey Powell’s Hipgnosis Portraits (simply named Hipgnosis in the French edition, which has an extra boobylicious picture because French will be French). I may even have skipped a few, as they all have the same pictures and roughly the same text.

In 2022, Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell wrote an interesting (and funny) autobiography that was reviewed here as well: Through The Prism. (See: Cows, Pigs, Sheep...) This was followed by an ‘authorised story of Hipgnosis’, Us and Them, written by Mark Blake, that gave more saucy details about the Hipgnosis trio. (See: Un Orage Postmoderne) In between those two, a Hipgnosis documentary saw the light of day, Squaring The Circle, by Anton Corbijn. It was shown at a few movie festivals and streamed on several channels, but a physical release could not be found. Until now, although, at the time of writing, it can only be found on Amazon UK, where they have a ‘Collector’s Edition’ version. Probably it’s called that way because it has a DVD and a Blu-ray with the same content.

Squaring the Circle
Squaring the Circle.

Squaring the Circle

The movie starts with Po Powell walking through an old cemetery, carrying a huge carton folder on his back. Apparently, it is the same portfolio Hipgnosis used in the sixties. It is a powerful scene, obviously augmented when Shine On You Crazy Diamond chimes in. I know it is a cinematographic trick to make our eyes water, but it is damn effective.

Po sits down, opens the folder, and shows us several iconic images: Peter Gabriel, 10CC, Pink Floyd (three different ones)...

The first talking head is, weirdly enough, the nincompoop known as Noel Gallagher, but it has to be said that his interventions are cool and to the point. He has aged gracefully.

Starting in Cambridge in 1964, Po tells us how he met Storm, who would soon become his blood brother. David Gilmour and Roger Waters comment that Storm was the leader of a bohemian pack of hipsters who listened to jazz, smoking joints.

Storm Thorgerson gets some words in as well, not fully grasping why some people think he has an ego the size of a small planet. These archival snippets have been shown before, in Roddy Bogawa’s Taken By Storm, but more of that if you keep on reading.

Storm teaches Po how to become a photographer, a trade that is, according to Po, close to alchemy.

The documentary jumps to the first Hipgnosis album sleeve, A Saucerful of Secrets. It tries to emulate a space rock kaleidoscopic drug experience of sorts. (Actually, the duo did some book covers before, but that isn’t mentioned.)

The name Hipgnosis came from Syd Barrett, says Po, although other witnesses deny that and give the honour to Dave Henderson or Adrian Haggard. It will be forever shrouded in mystery.

LSD changed a lot, and Po testifies how Syd reacted: "There was a fear that emanated from him." Storm and Po also witnessed the dark side of LSD, and they both needed therapy to get rid of the spectres haunting their brains.

The movie has been going on for about 20 minutes, and all they have been talking about is the Cambridge mafia connection between Hipgnosis and Pink Floyd. But then the subject broadens.

Pink Floyd Secrets
Pink Floyd Secrets.

This is a release suited for minors aged 15 and older, and as such, it tends to go soft on certain subjects. An example is the snippet of the archive video of the Edgar Broughton Band slaughterhouse sleeve, which shows more (male) buttocks in the Bogawa documentary than in Corbijn’s version.

There is the anecdote that Jill Furmanovsky was hired by Storm because she had nice tits, and obviously, that doesn’t make the Squaring the Circle final cut either. It was no secret that Storm liked the female body, and several of his Hipgnosis sleeves show that, not always in good taste.

The ‘We piss in the sink’ story does pass the censor; apparently that one was too good not to mention.

The tipping point of Hipgnosis was not Lulubelle the Third — sorry to disappoint you, fellow Pink Floyd fans — but 1971’s Elegy from The Nice. Suddenly, Storm and Po realised you could put a piece of land art on a sleeve and sell it as an album cover. This culminated in 1973 when Hipgnosis became the go-to studio: Band on the Run, Houses of the Holy, and The Dark Side of The Moon.

By the mid-seventies, money is gushing in and Po travels around the world. In a shot that takes a split second, we see some lines of white powder on a mirror. It is the only suggestion that something was going wrong with them.

Peter Christopherson, the third Hipgnosis partner, brought an element of darkness to Hipgnosis. He had a music career as well, joining Throbbing Gristle and starting Coil and Psychic TV. Apart from that, not much is revealed about him in this documentary. Most of it isn’t suited for minors anyway. For one thing, he was aware of the changes in the music industry with punk, après-punk, and the birth of MTV.

In the early eighties, Storm and Peter believe there is no future in record sleeves any more, and they decide to start a music video company (Greenback Films). Po reluctantly joins them. In Po’s words, this made Storm think he was the master of the universe. He was always going over budget, making the company bankrupt in a couple of years.

Po Powell breaks down when he talks about the Hipgnosis collapse and their lost friendship. It is a powerful image, and putting Wish You Were Here on top of that adds to the sentiment. The screen turns black.

After the message that Storm died in 2013, the camera points back to Po, still crying over the death of his friend. In my opinion, Anton Corbijn crosses a voyeuristic line there. Chasing for cheap sentiment.

The epilogue has Po, with the carton portfolio on his back, walking towards the horizon, carrying the weight of the world. One of the best documentaries I have ever seen, with a more than excellent soundtrack.

One point of criticism, though. Squaring The Circle has one of the most underwhelming extras I have ever witnessed, consisting of a superfluous slideshow of merely 20 ‘iconic’ Hipgnosis covers. That's why we will give you a special feature at the bottom of this page.

Taken by Storm
Taken by Storm.

Taken by Storm

Taken by Storm is a 2015 documentary by Roddy Bogawa. It takes off where Squaring the Circle ended, with Thorgerson’s photoshoot for Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987).

This documentary isn’t as streamlined as the über-slick Squaring the Circle and has a ‘home movie’ vibe all over it. It uses a lot of archival material and impromptu interviews with Storm. The interesting thing is that it also has a healthy interest in Storm’s projects after Hipgnosis, with interviews of musicians of the post-2000 era.

As usual in these documentaries, there are a bunch of talking heads telling us what a genius Storm was. There is diversity among the guests from both documentaries, which is a good thing.

After a 15-minute introduction with Thorgerson’s later work, the documentary jumps to Cambridge in the sixties, with Storm and Roger Waters playing on the same rugby team. It starts the story of Hipgnosis, as told by Storm and Po. This time Po does mention that Hipgnosis started by making pictures for book covers, but of course, it doesn’t take long before he turns to A Saucerful of Secrets. It is noteworthy that Po doesn’t link Syd Barrett with the Hipgnosis name this time. It’s just a name they found on the front door.

Atom Heart Mother gets mentioned, as does Elegy, as a pivotal point in Hipgnosis’ career. Then it’s up to Led Zep and Houses of the Holy. Storm and Po talk about the philosophy behind their record covers while Squaring the Circle is more anecdotal.

The Animals debacle (or publicity triumph, if you will) gets mentioned, this time by Storm. This isn’t a chronological overview. The Dark Side of the Moon gets mentioned after Animals, and it takes them half a minute to get rid of it. Then the documentary wooshes back two years earlier to the Edgar Broughton Band, and this time we do get to see the model’s buttocks.

Taken by Storm CD
Taken by Storm CD.

Storm starts a hypocritical, poor artist’s sermon by saying how he never made money out of his work. From the Mark Blake biography, however, we know that Po bought a villa with a swimming pool and a speedboat in Florida. Storm was not only the last living surrealist, to quote David Gilmour, but he could also be quite surreal in his testimonies before a camera.

The Sex Pistols used to have a rehearsal studio next to the Hipgnosis offices. The long-haired hippies slowly started to understand there was a musical revolution in the air, especially when the Pistols came in wearing their I Hate Pink Floyd t-shirts.

After a sabbatical, a music video company sees the light of day: Greenback. Storm and Po get the chance to make a video for a new artist, whose Wherever I Lay My Hat reaches the top of the charts. Suddenly, they are recognised as the movie company for the stars. Within two years, they turn over 6 million dollars a year, according to Po. Storm has the opposite opinion: "It was totally disastrous" and tries to blame the others.

A Barry Gibb movie (Now Voyager) goes so over budget that it drowns the company. Po and Storm separate and won’t speak to each other for 12 years.

This is where Squaring the Circle stops, but Taken by Storm continues with Thorgerson’s solo adventures. Storm’s initial rescue lies in the fact that Pink Floyd does a Waters-less comeback and they want the Hipgnosis grandeur back. The documentary turns to the many post-Hipgnosis record sleeves and has interviews with collaborators, musicians, and even a psychoanalyst.

In 2003, Storm suffers a stroke in Paris. Nobody admits this happened while supervising a Pink Floyd exhibition. During his recovery, he manages to bring up an idea for a Mars Volta cover that comes out of his situation.

In the last quarter of the documentary, an EMI manager says cover art will be pushed away, not realising that there will be a vinyl renaissance. It’s the proof that record people haven’t got a single idea what they are talking about.

Storm by Roddy Bogawa
Storm by Roddy Bogawa.

An Epic Epilogue

Squaring the Circle is a film about Hipgnosis, narrated by Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell. Taken by Storm is a film about Thorgerson's magic, narrated by Storm. As such, they are complementary.

One of the things I noted is that people have aged a lot between these two documentaries. It’s the Mortality Sequence all over again. Watch them both, if you can.

Guest List

For those who kick on those things, here is a list of the talking heads in both documentaries. It shows that both have an exclusive list of guests. How many of these people do you know?
TBS = Taken By Storm, STC = Squaring The Circle.

Adrian Shaughnessy (TBS)
Alan Parsons (TBS)
Alex Henderson (STC)
Alex Wall (TBS)
Andrew Ellis (STC)
Aubrey Powell (TBS, STC)
Carinthia West (STC)
Cedric Bixler Zavala (TBS)
Damien Hirst (TBS)
Dan Abbott (TBS)
David Gale (STC)
David Gilmour (TBS, STC)
Dominic Howard (TBS)
Fergal Lawler (TBS)
George Hardie (STC)
Glen Matlock (STC)
Graham Gouldman (TBS, STC)
Humphrey Ocean (STC)
James Johnston (TBS)
James Roberts (TBS)
Jennifer Ivory (TBS)
Jenny Lesmoir-Gordon (STC)
Jill Furmanovsky (TBS, STC)
Jimmy Page (STC)
John Woods (TBS)
Josh Cheuse (TBS)
Merck Mercuriadis (STC)
Mirelle Davis (TBS)
Nick Mason (TBS, STC)
Noel Hogan (TBS)
Paul Fletcher (TBS)
Paul McCartney (STC)
Paul Rappaport (TBS)
Peter Blake (TBS)
Peter Curzon (TBS)
Peter Gabriel (TBS, STC)
Peter Saville (STC)
Richard Evans (STC)
Richard Manning (STC)
Rob Dickinson (TBS)
Robert Plant (TBS, STC)
Roger Dean (STC)
Roger Waters (STC)
Rupert Truman (TBS)
Simon Neil (TBS)
Steve Miller (TBS)
Tony May (TBS)

Special feature: Hipgnosis Covers with a Pig

Pictures taken from the (deleted) 'Records My Cat Destroyed' Tumblr. No pigs were harmed during these photo sessions.

Many thanks to: Hipgnosis Covers.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Previous Hipgnosis reviews:
Aubrey Powell: Through the Prism -- Cows, Pigs, Sheep... 
Mark Blake: Us and Them -- Un Orage Postmoderne 


Any Colour you Like

This page contains reviews of:
Metallic Spheres in Colour
The Dark Side Of The Moon (2023 remaster)
The Dark Side Of The Moon Redux
Wet Dream

Metallic Spheres in Colour
Metallic Spheres in Colour.

Colour me Blind

In 2002, a Scotsman with a UFO, sorry UAP, fixation logged into a bunch of military and NASA computers. This was, in the words of American justice, ‘the biggest military computer hack of all time’. The United States asked Great Britain for his extradition. In America, the chance existed that he would be sentenced to seventy years in prison, not a bright-looking future for a man in his thirties.

It took Gary McKinnon over a decade to win his fight with American (and British) justice, and during that period, several support events were held to help him (financially) with his battle.

David Gilmour recorded a charity single for McKinnon, a cover of Graham Nash’s Chicago. Chrissie Hynde saves the song, and it would have been excellent without Geldof's or Gilmour's vocals. It’s a bit of an uncoordinated mess and not something to be particularly proud of.

Youth Remix

Producer Youth (Martin Glover) was asked to make a remix of the track, and David Gilmour recorded some uninspired guitar licks at Youth’s studio. It was then that Youth got the luminous idea of turning the song into an album. And not just any album, but an Orb album. Youth has been a friend (and business partner) of Orb founder LX Paterson since his Killing Joke days.

After some hesitations, David Gilmour agreed on the album, and Metallic Spheres was released in October 2010. Although an Orb album in name, it is my opinion that Alex Paterson’s influence was minimal, or at least not as inspired as on other Orb releases. To quote another fan:

The original was such a letdown. On paper, it sounded like a dream collaboration; on wax, it sounded like an afternoon jam session of ideas all chucked together to be worked on later. (Mark Lawton @ Facebook.)  

Metallic Spheres in Colour

This year, a remix of the album was announced, called Metallic Spheres in Colour. For Pink Floyd buffs, this is not a remix in the Floydian tradition where albums like Animals and A Momentary Lapse get a much-needed cleaning up. It is a remix in the Orbian tradition where, if you have some luck, a snippet of the original release can be recognised.

In other words, this is a completely new album; it is brilliant, and the fact that it has even less Gilmour than before has all to do with it.

Part one, Seamless Solar Spheres of Affection, is a great re-interpretation of the source material.

Part two, Seamlessly Martian Spheres of Reflection, is the kind of ambient The Orb premiered in the late eighties. If you are into this kind of music, you are in for a treat; otherwise, it will pester you like a lingering toothache.

Kind of a funny remark for the dorks amongst us. The first Metallic Spheres was issued as The Orb featuring David Gilmour; the 2023 remix changed that to The Orb and David Gilmour. (There is also a promo CD with the politically incorrect The Orb vs. Dave Gilmour, which really must have angered good old Fred.)

DSOTM - 50 years
DSOTM - 50 years.

Colour me Dark

What is this rubbish?
What does Pink Floyd think we’re thinking?
Why release a fifth CD remaster of Dark Side of the Moon that sounds identical to all others?
To quote Ramenastern:

Wikipedia lists: 1979 remastered Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, 1992 Shine On Remaster (also released as standalone in 1993), 2003 30th anniversary remaster, 2011 remaster, 2023 remaster.
So that's five now. That's not including multichannel masters and mixes. (Ramenastern @ Reddit.)

The Dark Side of the Moon is no fucking Dash washing powder, is it? Sounding whiter than white...

Check out this summary by NO TIME TO ROCK: Is Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon a TIMELESS CLASSIC or is it PLAYED OUT?

Link for recalcitrant breowsers: Is Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon a TIMELESS CLASSIC or is it PLAYED OUT?

DSOTM Redux.

Colour me Grey

That there is a slight communication problem between Roger Waters and David Gilmour is a well-known fact. When he first announced he was going to reimagine Floyd’s 1973 masterpiece with the wisdom of an 80-year-old, most people thought he had finally become bonkers.

The Dark Side of the Moon Redux is partially a spoken word album, basically replacing the instrumental parts with long-winding, not always coherent, ramblings. This is not the first time Waters surprised us with a spoken word record. The 2004 single To Kill the Child/Leaving Beirut foreshadowed that. I don’t remember that single as being particularly memorable.

What to think about it all? The Redux floats between the brilliant (Us and Them) and the slightly exhausting (Money). The hits, so to speak, are beautifully rendered with minimalistic instrumentation and with a Tom Waits-like raspy voice. I imagine Roger Waters sitting behind a piano in a cocktail bar, while Polly Samson is sipping from a daiquiri and yapping loudly to drown out the music. In other tracks, it feels like Waters is his own tribute band, mimicking the jazz-lounge tunes of Air covering Pink Floyd.

It’s the kind of experiment only Waters can accomplish, but I guess once is enough. Nobody will ask for a spoken word record of Wish You Were Here. He would be capable of reciting his shopping lists over the instrumental Shine On parts.

As a Pink Floyd fan who only listens to Dark Side once in a blue moon, this is an essential record to have, but not really to listen to regularly. I’ll stack it next to the Ca Ira opera and the spoken word (again!) rendition of Stravinsky’s The Soldier Tale.

Wet Dream Remix
Wet Dream Remix.

Colour me Blue

Pink Floyd über-fans are such an elitist lot. I know I’m one of those as well. But I don’t understand why some of them loathe the solo records because they don’t have the same standards as the three, four, or five Pink Floyd big ones. (I even like the Mason + Fenn album Profiles.)

One of those is Rick Wright’s Wet Dream, which appeared in 1978. It went nearly unnoticed when it was released, but my favourite rock radio show (in Belgium) gave it plenty of airplay, often coupled with Gilmour’s first from that same year.

Zee is regarded as cult nowadays (see our review at: Are friends Zeelectric?) and Wet Dream has been heading the same way. I always found Wet Dream a fine album, with its scarcely hidden Shine-On-You-Crazy-Diamond-ish style and mood. It probably is my most liked (and certainly most played) solo album from the boys.

Just take the opener, Mediterranean C, for instance. This is Floyd pur sang and would have found its rightful place on Wish You Were Here or the slightly underrated Obscured by Clouds.

Cat Cruise is 33 seconds longer than in the original version; Waves even 52 seconds. The album follows the path of Gilmour’s first, which was also about a minute and a half longer in its remastered version.

The Steven Wilson remix, as about everybody agrees on, is pretty terrific, giving the instruments more place without destroying the original mood of the album.

Get it and enjoy this forgotten album. It might grow into a classic.

Wet Dream Blu-ray menu
Wet Dream Blu-ray menu.

Blu-ray version (Update: 2023 12 16)

After having travelled by carrier pigeons all over the entire world, the Blu-ray version of Wet Dream finally arrived at Atagong Mansion. It contains several superfluous postcards and a 10-page fold-out leaflet with some new pictures and the original cover art. By the way, do you know who the nipple belongs to that can be seen on that Hipgnosis cover? (Answer at the bottom of this post.)

The Blu-ray has the album in a 2023 Dolby Atmos mix, a 5.1 surround mix, and a 24-bit high-res stereo mix. All mixes that make audiophiles go crazy, but frankly, I can’t be bothered. But - what a nice surprise - it also contains the original 1978 stereo version.

The other extras are instrumental versions of the four tracks with lyrics. These are the songs with the vocals stripped off, and as such, they sound a bit meagre and repetitive. It’s somewhat interesting for anoraks but doesn’t add to Wright’s legacy - quite the contrary.

Scene from Remember a Day
Scene from Remember a Day.

Remember A Day

This isn’t the first time a Rick Wright song got the ‘instrumental’ treatment. In the 2000 bio-hysterical movie Remember A Day, which every Syd fan should at least watch once, not for its cinematographic merits but for its abundance of Floydian cameos, the credits have an instrumental version of Rick’s Remember A Day song.

That version was initially promoted as a rare alternative take of the Rick Wright song. Fans soon found out that it was merely a remix of the song, with the instrumental parts stitched together and the sung parts left out. You can listen to it here: Remember A Day.

The Wet Dream Blu-ray also has a pretty nice photo gallery and a couple of home videos with the surprise appearance of a certain Pink Floyd guitarist.

The Nipple Theory

To answer the question above, the model on the Wet Dream original artwork was Aubrey 'Po' Powell’s partner Gabi Schneider. This titbit was revealed by journalist Mark Blake, who wrote the biographies Pigs Might Fly and Us and Them. Gabi can also be seen on the back covers of 10CC’s Bloody Tourists and Wishbone Ash’s Front Page News.

Many thanks to: Mark Blake, Mark Lawton, NO TIME TO ROCK, Ramenastern.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥