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John Lennon called him 'Normal'.... (written by Julian Palacios)
Norman ‘Hurricane’ Smith (February 22, 1923 – March 3, 2008) was part of
the Golden Age at EMI. One of his very first assignments as engineer was
Kidd and the Pirates classic Shakin' All Over in 1960.
Already in his thirties when he began with EMI, Smith came up through
the ranks the hard way, learning the ins and outs of Abbey Road's three
studios. By the time he got to engineering The
Beatles, he'd already learned to compensate for the sometimes
acoustically odd rooms and crude two track recording consoles.
He and others developed some extraordinary techniques; just listen to
way Ringo's drums still jump out in She Loves You. EMI’s
innovations left the competition baffled by their recordings, which
couldn’t imagine Ringo Starr’s distinctive damped snare sound was due to
a combination of close miking, compression and tea towels in the bass
Smith had engineered all the Beatles albums through 1965’s Rubber
Soul and was adept at the arduous cut-and-paste editing required for
their four-track recordings. Having learnt his craft under the tutelage
of Beatles’ producer George Martin, he had been promoted from engineer
to producer and Piper was to be his first album as producer.
Norman and Pink Floyd
Despite his problems with Syd, (My godfathers, he's an awkward chap,
this Syd Barrett) Smith did some incredible work with the Floyd,
coaching them through vocal harmonies, sometimes joining in on the
recording (Note). He, Peter Bown (engineer) and
Jeff Jarratt (tape operator) rode the technological advances for all
they were worth, using limiting and reverb, then moving into flanging,
artificial double tracking. Spartan controls disguised the sensitivity
of the circuits inside the desk. The TG12345 Curve Bender provided an
equalisation curve, which let a sparkling surge of sound through to
saturate the recording tape.
Smith’s touches were subtle but powerful, note the rising glissando
note, which finishes each chorus on Bike, achieved using a crude
oscillator and vari-speeding the tape down while the track was running.
Smith was a hands-on producer, spending plenty of time on the studio
floor with the band rather than ensconced up in the control booth.
Despite his at time stolid approach to recording, Smith had a
wide-ranging ear and an experimental approach. If Mason wanted tympani,
Waters wanted to play his bass with a violin bow or Wright wanted to
mike up a harmonium, Smith was critical in helping them. Toy clockwork
running around the studio floor or miking wooden blocks, these were all
done because they had Smith as an ally.
Songs evoking the intensity of their live performances, such as Pow R. Toc H.
and Interstellar Overdrive, benefited from Smith and Bown, having
the rhythm section of Waters & Mason mixed right to the fore. The mono
mix is much punchier, compressed so the midrange jumps out with
thunderous drums and bass. If Barrett’s more intricate sonic textures
fade into the mix, his guitar rings out sharp as sirens, jumping out
like phantoms from under the stairs.
Despite purists crowing over the superiority of the mono mix of Piper,
the stereo version Smith produced was a feat of engineering. So radical
a departure from the mono mix, the stereo version amounts to the first
remix album. Smith, in a dazzling display of work, did the entire stereo
mix in two sessions totalling nine hours. The 2007 remaster
gives the stereo The Piper at the Gates of Dawn great resonance,
with a wide horizon of reverb, echo and chorus galore.
On the stereo version of Interstellar Overdrive, the rhythm
section of Mason & Waters is mixed to the right, while the melodic team
of Wright & Barrett is mixed to the left. The split in the stereo
spectrum mirrors the split in the Pink Floyd’s own music; with an
edginess that seeps into their tracks from the contention, musical and
personal, between the two sides of the group.
Smith was working round the clock, doing double time on the Pink Floyd’s
debut and The
Pretty Things psychedelic song cycle S.F. Sorrow. Dick Taylor, the
Pretty’s guitarist, recalled Smith as wide open to experimentation, and
with Smith as producer the Pretty Things let loose with some inspired
work. S.F. Sorrow and Piper DEFINE psychedelia, filled chock a brim with
sonic invention. These Norman Smith productions sound radical and fresh
forty years later.
THE MAN WAS A FUCKING MONUMENT!
Please, in memoriam for Hurricane Smith, crank up Interstellar
Overdrive until your bass bins rattle and the council files a noise
complaint. In Normanni nos fides. A great producer and one of the
last of the old school. RIP old man, you will be missed.
Note: Norman Smith replaced drummer Nick Mason during the recording
sessions for Remember A Day (October 1967, A Saucerful Of
Secrets). His vocals are also prominent on the same track. Remember
A Day is mostly cited as being one of the very few Five
Man Floyd tracks (meaning that both Syd Barrett and David Gilmour
played on the track, together with the rest of the band). Back to text.
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
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).
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:
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.
Iggy's public life started 44 years ago when she was spotted by an NME
photographer and was promptly and accurately described as half an
Eskimo. This took place in The Cromwellian, a bar, restaurant and casino
owned by wrestler Paul Lincoln. For a while The Cromwellian was the hot
place to be and even when the place lost its crown to The Scotch Of St
James there were still enough celebrities around to have a chat with.
The club was owned by wrestler Paul Lincoln who set his first steps in
music business by opening the legendary 2I's
coffee bar. In our four-part series Bending
at The Crom the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit attempted to assemble
several loose facts about the club that lay scattered all over the web,
but unfortunately we were unable to contact Paul Lincoln himself.
The wrestling fraternity is mourning Paul Lincoln, the man who was the
Doctor Death, passed away on Tuesday 11th January. (...)
In 1951 he left Australia for Britain, where he started wrestling the
following year. He established himself as a popular and respected
wrestler, particularly in the south of England. Paul met up with a
school friend who was also a wrestler, Ray Hunter. In 1956 they pooled
their savings to buy a coffee bar in Old Compton Street, London, the
“The Two I’s.” The name was retained from the previous owners, the Irani
Under Paul Lincoln and Ray Hunter management the coffee bar established
itself as a home for many young entertainers, giving them the chance to
display their talent to fellow customers. Amongst the many who took this
opportunity and went on to greater fame were Tommy Steele, Adam Faith,
Marty Wilde and Cliff Richard. Lincoln also opened an Italian restaurant
in Soho and together with Ray Hunter, Bob Anthony Al ' Hayes he
purchased The Cromwellian bar, restaurant and casino.
In 1958 Paul and Ray turned to the promotional side of wrestling,
setting up Paul Lincoln Managements. (...) Paul pulled on a mask and
appeared on his own bills as the masked man Doctor Death. Even without
television exposure Doctor Death became a household name. The masked man
was imitated many times, but fans overwhelmingly believe Paul Lincoln
was not only the original Doctor Death he was also the best. (...)
Paul Lincoln was to be remembered, and will continue to be so, as one of
the most influential figures in British wrestling. Paul Lincoln passed
away on Tuesday 11th January, 2011. (Taken from: Wrestling
World Mourns Paul Lincoln.)
On behalf of The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit I would like to offer our
sincere sympathies to the Lincoln family.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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...
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.
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:
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:
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
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.
Ayers died this week, 68 years old, leaving the enigmatic message
'You can't shine if you don't burn' on a piece of paper next to his bed.
The press is describing him as a whimsical psychedelic pioneer, which
undoubtedly he was, but they easily forget that he made a few landmark
albums en route to the third millenium. Well we did all forget
about Kevin Ayers, didn't we, including that silly Reverend who has
never bothered to buy his last album The
Unfairground. Not enough time, too much things to do, you know the
I have warm feelings for his albums Falling
Up (1988) and Still
Life With Guitars (1992) that were largely ignored by the public but
that contain some hidden gems. The punchline 'Am I really Marcel' was
for years a constant pun in my household, bringing back memories of hot
and steamy nights in a bohemian shack that had no electricity and no
heating but my LA-girl and me did have a cassette player under the bed
with an Ayers tape glued inside.
Let's get experienced
Kevin Ayers was the only musician who could convince Syd Barrett to play
on one of his records, but he didn't make it to the final mix when the
record came out in 1970. On the remastered Joy
Of A Toy CD there are two alternative takes of the Singing A Song In
The Morning / Religious Experience song and on the liner notes it is
claimed that Syd Barrett is on take 9 of the song (the 4 minutes 46
seconds version of the song, track 11 on the CD).
As with all things Barrett this has lead to even more confusion as
several people noticed that this might be wrong and that the real
version with Syd Barrett is take 103 (duration: 2'50” and track 14 on
On Wednesday 17th December 1969 Syd Barrett entered the Abbey Road
studios and recorded some guitar work for Kevin Ayers' song Religious
Experience. According to the tape box two different lead guitar
tracks were added to take 10 of the song. Random Precision author David
Parker notes that the third track of the tape 'is the guitar playing one
hears on the single [issued under the title Singing A Song In The
Morning, note from FA]... but on track 8 of the multi-track
another completely different sounding lead guitar is playing away'. That
one is Syd's guitar... (the same track has a mellotron as well, played
The next day the Religious Experience tapes were further worked on by
Peter Jenner for stereo mixing. For an unknown reason the takes were
renumbered from take 10 to take 100, and four stereo mixes do exist at
the EMI library that include Barrett's guitar in one way or another: take
100 – 3:07 (unreleased) take 101 – 3:07 (unreleased) take
102 – 3:05 (unreleased) and take 103 – 2:47 (released on the
remastered Joy Of A Toy CD).
Although take 9 has a sentence (from Kevin Ayers?) that (apparently)
goes 'Syd do your thing', it is highly improbably that Syd Barrett is on
But who cares, a great musician has just died...
Vive la banane!
Sources: (other than internet links mentioned above) Parker,
David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p.
a song in the morning on Late Night forum, 7 December 2007.
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?
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Is there really a Barrett revival going on, or are we just seeing more
Syd fans because our global village is getting smaller and smaller? I do
remember the early seventies when the only guy you could speak to about
Barrett was a freakish weirdo who smoked pot in the school toilets and
who was generally avoided by everyone, including the school teachers.
The vibrant Birdie
Hop Facebook group is sky-rocketing with over 1200 members and a
dozen new threads a day, but the traditional forum
has come to a standstill and survives on its three posters a day, so the
feeling is a bit ambiguous.
Facebook may be here to stay (but that was once said from MySpace
as well, remember?) but basically it sucks if you want to find
information and you are not employed by the NSA.
While traditional forums have this newbie rule to go looking in the
archives before asking a question this is virtually impossible on
Facebook, because their search system simply doesn't work and links are
automatically made redundant after a certain time. The whole 'group'
concept of Facebook is a laugh, especially for administrators.
Underneath is a screenshot of an actual search on Facebook, trying to
locate the thread
(Facebook link no longer active) this article is about...
So, by design, Facebook groups are condemned to have a flow of
'continuous repetition' to paraphrase the wise words of Dr. Hans
Keller while the one interesting thread is floating down around the
icy waters underground. (Wow, this is a good cigarette.)
Waiting for the man
A couple of weeks ago Baron
of Pink Floyd toying around at the Casa
Madrona hotel in Sausalito
(CA) was posted again and as usual there was that one individual asking
if anybody knew who the bloke was standing behind the boys.
Tea on the terrace at our hotel in Sausalito on the hillside above San
Fransisco Bay (…) I have no idea who our tea-time partner was – the
hotel manager, an under assistant West Coast promotion man, or a vendor
of Wild West apparel? We eventually acquired enough cowboy hats for the
entire population of Dodge City, and Roger commissioned a six-gun
holster in which he carried his wallet.
So here was another quest for the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit,
that splendid non-profit organisation, lead by that fantabulous
mastermind Reverend Felix Atagong who has already solved several
Barrettian riddles in the past.
The obvious first step was to contact the hotel that doesn't hesitate to
put on its website
that it is a legend since 1885 and that it drew celebrities such as Dick
Van Dyke, Carol Burnett, Warren Beatty and the rock band Pink Floyd.
We got a very friendly answer from Stefan Mühle, the general manager,
that our guess was logical but that he didn't know either. Since 1967
the hotel changed hands a couple of times and the finer side of these
anecdotes, that only seem to bother the Sydiots in the world, got lost
in the mist of times.
Before we continue with our quest, let's have a small history lesson.
In the summer of 1967 Syd Barrett suffered from something that
was euphemistically referred to as over-fatigue. The band scrapped some
gigs and send Barrett over to sunny Formentera under supervision of
Hutt, the underground's leading gynaecologist. Unfortunately Smutty,
as he was invariably called by his female patients, was the kind of
doctor who rather prescribed LSD
than aspirin. After some holidays in the sun Syd (and the rest of the
boys) returned to England where the endless treadmill of gigging,
recording, gigging, recording started all over again. (You can read more
about the Floyd's holiday at Formentera
In retrospect this was the moment that someone should've grabbed Syd by
the balls, whether he wanted it or not, drag him back to Cambridge, cold
turkey him and give him some proper therapy, although that was kind of
non-existent in those days. William
Pryor, a Cambridge beat poet who descended from the underground into
a heroine maelström, describes the Cane
Hill drug rehabilitation centre as a 'redecorated ward of a huge
Victorian lunatic asylum village that had been given a coat of paint and
a fancy name' where it was almost easier to score H than in the outside
This is not America
Pink Floyd's first American tour was planned between 23 October and 12
November 1967 but because there was a rather Kafkaesque bureaucratic
system to get work permits up till 15 possible gigs had to be cancelled
(according to Julian
Palacios 8 had already been booked, Mark
Blake sticks to 6 and Syd
Barrett Pink Floyd dot com counts 10).
The trustworthy biographies all have (slightly) different stories but it
is safe to say that the Floyd left for America with at least a week
delay. Unfortunately they still couldn't enter the country and had to
wait in Canada until their permits arrived while the management
frantically tried to reschedule the gigs that had already been confirmed.
The 1967 American tour was disastrous, to say the least, and quite a few
gigs went horribly wrong. Luckily the natives were friendly, so friendly
that at least one band member had to visit a venereal disease clinic
back in the UK. Syd and Peter
Wynne-Willson learned the hard way that American grass was much
stronger than at home, leading to another ruined gig as Syd was
apparently too stoned to handle his guitar. It is an educated guess that
Syd tried some local drug varieties like DMT
that were much stronger than their British counterparts. DOM
or STP or Serenity, Tranquility and Peace allegedly gave synaesthetic
trips that could last for 18 hours and from testimonies by Pete
Townshend, Eric Clapton and Mick Farren it is known that it could take a
week for some (frightening) hallucinatory effects to disappear. Julian
Palacios, who dedicates 11 pages to the Floyd's first American tour in Dark
Associated with the downfall of Haight-Ashbury, on 11 November pink
wedge-shaped pills containing 20-micrograms of DOM hit the Haight.
Haight-Ashbury Medical Clinic treated eighteen cases of acute toxic
psychosis in five hours. When Barrett and Wynne-Willson took STP in San
Francisco, this was in all likelihood the same ‘pink wedge’.
Result: if Syd Barrett had been mad before, this tour only made
him madder. At the Cheetah club he received an electroshock from his
microphone and he reacted by looking around on stage for the next hour
and a half, not singing, not playing his guitar. He would be
incommunicado to the others for the rest of the tour, who weren't very
keen to talk to him anyway. It needs to be said that not all gigs were
catastrophic and some reviewers actually found the band interesting, but
we wouldn't go that far by calling Syd's erratic behaviour a cleverly
performed dadaist statement like Rob
On the cover of the Rolling Stone
A brand new music magazine, called Rolling
Stone, whose first issue had just appeared a couple of days before,
wanted to do a feature on the new English underground sensation. They
send over photographer Baron
Wolman to the Casa Madrona hotel in Sausalito who found the lads in
a good mood and joking around. But when the band performed at Winterland
that night, the 11th of November, Ralph
Gleason of Rolling Stone was so disappointed he decided not to
publish the cover article and just reviewed the concert saying that
'Pink Floyd for all its electronic interest is simply dull in a dance
hall'. This was also the gig where Syd detuned the strings of his guitar
until they fell off, de facto ending his contribution for the
rest of the show. The next day, on the last gig of the American tour,
the band saw Syd walking off stage and for the first time voices were
raised to kick him out.
In retrospect this was another moment that someone should've grabbed Syd
by the balls, whether he wanted it or not, and drag him back to
Cambridge, but the management insisted to immediately fly to Holland.
Thirty-seven years later, Nick Mason more or less apologises:
If proof was needed that we were in denial about Syd's state of mind,
this was it. Why we thought a transatlantic flight immediately followed
by yet more dates would help is beyond believe.
This is the house
Madrona was build in February 1885 for (isn't it ironic?) William
G. Barrett, a wealthy Vermont born lumber baron and
Secretary-Treasurer for the San
Francisco Gas and Electric Company. He and his family lived high
above the town in his beautifully designed Italian Villa country home.
Architecturally, it was a mastery of craftmanship, a tall and stately
mansion which stood upon the hill-side. Its three stories, with handsome
porticos and verandas, projecting cornice with curved brackets, and
hooded windows, received prominent recognition from the community. This
resulted in an article in the Sausalito News in 1885, which praised Mr.
Barrett's "New Mansion... its fine appearance, magnificent view", and
called the Barrett place "one of the finest improved sites in
Sausalito." (Taken from the National
Register of Historic Places.)
In 1906 the house was sold to attorney John Patrick Gallagher who
converted it into a successful hotel. For the next three decades Barrett
House (and its four outbuildings) would be a hotel, a bar 'the Gallagher
Inn' and a brothel, but that last is something you won't find at the
During World War II, the property was used as temporary lodging for
military families in transit and for the labourers of the nearby
(military) shipyard. After the war it fell into disrepair and became
known as a crash pad for the city’s burgeoning beatnik population.
In February 1959 Robert and Marie-Louise Deschamps, who
had just immigrated from France, responded to an ad to run a 'small
hotel'. Their children Marie-France and 24-year old Jean-Marie
were there when they opened a nameless bar on the 27th of April 1959:
The building was in ruins. Mattresses on the floor, broken furniture -
and very little of that. It was not ‘bohemian’ - it was a flop house!
The Deschamps family had no hotel experience and were rather
unpleasantly surprised by the beatniks who rarely paid their bills. The
bar was not an immediate success either, they would often find that the
door had been smashed in at night and the beer stolen. The logical plan
was to close the hotel, evict the hobos and start all over again.
When the renewed hotel, in exclusive French style, and an excellent
restaurant 'Le Vivoir' were opened about a year later Jean-Marie
left the parental home to sail the seven seas, working as a cook on
Norwegian and Swedish ships. He returned to the hotel around the
mid-sixties and moved into Cottage B. Several guests, from the
pre-sixties bohemian days, were still living in the 'attached' cottages,
including a Swedish baron who had served in the Waffen SS, an ex-CIA
agent who claimed to have been a spy in Vienna, a mostly drunk beatnik
writer and adventurer and, last but not least, a continuously depressed
crew member of one of the planes that dropped the atom bomb on Japan.
In 1973 Casa Madrona was damaged by a series of mudslides and scheduled
for demolition, but it was saved in 1976. Since then it changed owner
several times and went even bankrupt in 2009. With the opening of a spa
resort the hotel was, hopefully, given a new life and history.
It is believed that Jean-Marie Deschamps, the owner's son, was
living and working at the hotel when the Pink Floyd stayed there in
November 1967, 2 months before his 32nd birthday. We contacted Baron
Wolman who told us:
While I'm not entirely certain that he was Deschamps himself, for sure
he was a principal in the hotel - owner, manager, chef, etc. Given the
look, however, I would say your educated guess is probably correct...
Comparing the Floydian picture (1967) with one from 2005 it seems pretty
safe to say there is a certain resemblance. Update January
2014: The Deschamps family have confirmed it is Jean-Marie standing
behind Pink Floyd.
Jean was born on January 20, 1936 and passed away on Tuesday, December
8, 2009. In a (French) obituary it is written how Jean-Marie was an
'incorrigible globe-trotting vagabond' whose home was always 'elsewhere'
and an anarchistic supporter of lost causes, like the rights of native
Americans. Later on, despising the Bush administration, he was an ardent
critic of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...
But once a cook, always a cook. The night before he died he asked his
(fourth) wife Monica to note down the Christmas menu for his children
and grandchildren, probably knowing that he wouldn't be there to attend.
January 2010 saw a 'sumptuous feast' at the Barrel Room of the Sebastiani
Winery in Sanoma (CA) where 150 guests honoured their friend,
husband, father, grandfather. The place was a gathering of artists,
writers, businessmen, hosts, globetrotters and vagabonds.
If only someone would have had the guts to find out earlier who was the
man standing behind the band. It would've been swell to ask him about
his meeting with the Floyd in 1967, but unfortunately now it is too late
for that. We are pretty sure that it would have led to a tsunami of
anecdotes as Jean-Marie Deschamps had always been a sailor and a
vagabond at heart.
And we will never know what Syd thought of staying in Barrett House.
An Ending In Style (or not)
We need an addendum as the Pink Floyd in Sausalito saga isn't over yet.
When Pink Floyd roadie Alan Styles, who used to be a punter on the river
Cam, saw the house
boats community in Sausalito he fell in love with the place and
decided not to return home after the 1972-1973 Dark Side of the Moon
tour. Alan, who was some kind of celebrity in Cambridge before anyone
had heard of Pink Floyd, can be seen on the rear cover of the Ummagumma
album and makes out the bulk of the 'musique
concrète' on Alan's
Psychedelic Breakfast (Atom Heart Mother).
In 2000 a short
movie was made about Style's life in Sausalito, but it was only
released after his death in 2011. It is the story of a man wanting to be
free in a world that keeps on abolishing freedom. In a nice gesture to
their old friend Pink Floyd Ltd cleared the copyrights for the movie, as
told by Viper:
Nick Mason messaged me on FB as I'd been asking on his site about
permission to release the video about my uncle. Nick gave me PF's
management details and in turn David Gilmour gave us permission to
release the video as it contains original PF music.
But when the Reverend visited Jon Felix's YouTube
channel this is all he got, apparently EMI (and a lot of other acronyms)
don't give a fuck about what Nick Mason or David Gilmour are deciding or
what friendship, compassion, remembrance and especially respect is all
In some kind of weird Floydian cosmic joke Alan Styles died on the same
day as Jean-Marie Deschamps, but two years later, on the 8th of December
Somewhere we think we should try to make a point, but we can't think of
anything right now.
Note: The memoires of Nick Mason's Inside Out are (90%)
identical between the different editions. However, the hardcover
'deluxe' edition contains hundreds of photos that aren't in the cheaper
soft-cover versions. These pictures all have funny and informative notes
that aren't present in the paperback editions. Back to top.
Many thanks to: the Deschamps family, Jon Felix, Yves Leclerc, Stefan
Mühle (Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa), Viper, Baron Wolman, USA National
Register off Historic Places. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 95-96. Chapman,
Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 198. Leclerc,
Yves: Bum Chromé, Blogspot, 9
décembre 2009, 10
janvier 2010. Mason, Nick: Inside Out: A personal history of
Pink Floyd, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2004, p. 93. Mason,
Nick: Inside Out: A personal history of Pink Floyd, Orion Books,
London, 2011 reissue, p. 98-102. Mühle, Stefan: JM Deschamps
on Baron Wolman picture?, email, 21.10.2013. Palacios, Julian: Syd
Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London, 2010, p.
289-290, 298. Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink
Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 45-46, 69. Pryor, William: The
Survival Of The Coolest, Clear Books, 2003, p. 106. Wolman,
Baron: Casa Madrona - Pink Floyd + unknown man, email, 14.10.2013.
The Church was informed, a couple of days ago, that Rusty Burnhill died
at the age of 70.
Rusty, and his girlfriend (and later wife) Gretta Barclay, were a
'hippie couple' who were in Syd Barrett's inner circle and who visited
him in his apartment at Wetherby Mansions. It is there that they met
Iggy and helped painting the floorboards in blue and red (or any colour
variation you like).
Unfortunately the other tenant of the apartment wasn't really amused
with the constant stream of visitors around the has-been pop-star and,
in several interviews, many years later, he still uttered his
frustration about this, naming the couple as one of the heavier nutcases.
This unfavourable account found its way in at least three renowned Pink
Floyd and Syd Barrett biographies and as such the Holy Church of Iggy
the Inuit repeated that testimony as well. (Source: Love
In The Woods (Pt. 2)).
However, another friend of Syd Barrett, who we may only address under
the pseudonym JenS, for reasons too much complicated to explain here,
vehemently disagreed and called the couple 'art school kids' who
probably goofed out on booze and mandrax, like everyone else did in
those days (Source: When
Syd met Iggy... (Pt. 3)).
Gretta Barclay denied the accusations in her interview with the Church:
Syd was a very dear friend of ours and we did a considerable amount
together in the 60's. Contrary to what I have read, we did not provide
Syd with drugs. (Source: Gretta
JenS had met Gretta and her sister Trina during the mid sixties in a
London grooming school and she introduced them to Syd when he was still
living at 101 Cromwell Road. JenS, Gretta, Trina and the French
Dominique (who apparently had a huge crush on Syd) lived together in
Chelsea for a while. Then Gretta met Rusty.
In late 1969 or early 1970 the couple, who had never been part of the
underground, left hectic London for Suffolk mainly because Gretta was
pregnant from her first child. Later in 1970 they moved to Devon.
Barrett still was a close friend and they did visit him, but obviously
not to indulge in drugs and booze. Rusty was a pretty good guitarist and
he jammed with Syd on tracks as Terrapin, Octopus and the blues
standards they both loved. The couple tried to upkeep Syd's interest for
(his own) music and Rusty silently hoped to do something together.
Although Gretta, in her first and only interview she ever gave, is
pretty vague about Syd's condition the couple must have sensed there was
something terribly wrong with the Cambridge wonderboy. They actively
tried to reactivate his musical interest by introducing him to the Welsh
They all visited the Welsh singer-songwriter in his house in Solva,
where Syd and Rusty jammed with Meic's band Bara
Menyn. A pretty bad photo exists of the encounter, perhaps with
Gretta and Rusty sitting around the table with Syd, Meic, Heather
Jones and Geraint
Jarman. (Syd and Meic would meet several times and they were the
subject of a BBC documentary that has probably been lost. See Meic
meets Syd for the story.)
After a while Rusty and Margaretta went separate ways. Rusty lived for a
few months with Jenny Spires and Jack Monck in Cambridge. Jack and Rusty
even started a band, in 1972, right after the Stars debacle. Rocksoff
(or Rocks Off) had Rusty Burnhill (gtr/voc), Jack Monck (bass/voc),
George Bacon (gtr/voc), Dan Kelleher (gtr/pno/voc) and a succession of
drummers, including Chris Cutler and Laurie Allan. (Source: http://calyx.perso.neuf.fr/mus/monck_jack.html.)
Rusty apparently travelled a lot before settling down on the North
Frisian island Amrum
(Germany) from 1978 till 1993. After a brief stay in Worpswede, a
village in the North of Germany, where he participated in a few art
exhibitions, he moved in 1995 to Barmstedt, a Hamburg suburb.
In March 2010, after some holistic detective agency proceedings, the
Church could find Rusty's address. We knew he wasn't using mail and that
he was very reluctant to speak about the past, so we wrote him a letter
to ask for an interview.
It took quite a while, and actually we had forgotten all about it, but
one day he called us out of the blue. Unfortunately the conversation
wasn't going into the direction we had hoped for. After a tirade that
took a few minutes Mr. Burnhill asked us:
Isn't it time this all ends? This has been going on for 40 years now. Can't
you just let the music speak for itself?
Wise words. There are more important things in life than chasing shadows
of dead men.
We really hope, Rusty, that you can finally form that band, you've
always dreamt about.
Many thanks: Gretta Barclay, Thomas Hartlage, JenS, Gus Mark Peters,
Rebecca Poole, anonymous. Picture of Rusty Burnhill: courtesy of Gretta
You could find many weird folk running around in London in the sixties,
but there was only one Eskimo. On the 13th of December 2017, just a
couple of minutes before her seventieth birthday, Iggy Rose, aka Iggy
the Eskimo, peacefully died.
She was born in the Himalayas, on the fourteenth of December 1947, in a
country she has always refused to name, but it was probably that part of
India that became Pakistan, after a particular bloody separation, with
its death toll running into the hundreds of thousands. Her father was an
officer in the British army who married a local beauty. Their first
child was Evelyn, but for one reason or another she would be known as
Iggy. Her mother gave her an indigenous name as well, Laldawngliani,
meaning gift of the gods, in a language Iggy never spoke.
Update December 2017: Iggy's mother, so was confirmed to us,
wasn't from Pakistan, but from Mizoram, situated at the North-East of
India, sharing borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Iggy grew up as any normal child, although she already had the special
gift of running into trouble. There is the family anecdote of the cat
Iggy wanted to pet in the garden, until her parents, or the servants,
found out it really was a hungry tiger on the loose.
For a while all went well, with Iggy and family living a luxurious and
protected life in one of the British enclaves, politely ignoring that a
civil war was raging around them. One day a mob invaded their house,
burned it down and, if Iggy’s recitation of the events is accurate, they
narrowly escaped a lynching party.
Next stop: Aden, Yemen. Another melting pot of colonial and religious
problems. This was only a temporary solution as the family returned to
England where they lived the upstairs life. Iggy always stayed vague
about her family ties, but there might have been some railway money in
the family, from the time that railways were still a great money-making
Iggy hit puberty, running away from home at fourteen, discovering boys,
girls, booze, and speed. These were the days when young adults refused
to lead the life of their grey parents, refused to listen to that boring
BBC and refused to agree with the après-guerre nuclear
warmongering. There may also have been some family turmoil, at times
Iggy alluded to that, other times she just blamed her exit from home
upon her temperamental character.
Iggy danced through life, her pretty looks and free spirit mostly
assured her some food and a place to stay. Through a well-known DJ she
turned from mods to rockers and Brighton was changed for London.
Enter Brian and Keith and others, for what could be called a groupie
career, although she never was a groupie pur sang. In contrast to
some flower power beauties who have made a fortune by talking out of
bed, Iggy stayed discrete about the people she met, from Beatles to
Yardbirds. There is the story how she was at a Rolling Stones party,
went 'home' in the evening, slept on the stairs of a house portal,
returning the next day as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
Probably for Iggy, it was. She never was a trophy hunter, nor a fortune
Iggy and Jenny Spires met at Biba and they went to a Dusty Springfield après-event.
Jenny returned the favour and introduced her to Syd Barrett who had left
Pink Floyd, a band Iggy wasn’t particularly fond of. Iggy had always
been more of a Motown girl. She stayed for a couple of weeks at Wetherby
Mansions and she visited Barrett over the period of a few months, until
– one day – Duggie Fields told her that Syd didn’t live there any more.
The legend that Iggy vanished all of a sudden isn’t true, she just
wasn’t traceable on the Floydian radar any more. In those days it was
enough to move a couple of blocks where she frequented other, equally
alternative and underground, circles. There were painters, musicians,
actors, movie directors...
The first post
that appeared on The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit (on 08-08-08)
mentioned Duggie Fields in its second sentence (see that post here: Iggy).
For years he was a privileged witness in the world of Sydiots.
In 1963 Duggie went to the Regent Street Polytechnic, where some of the
Pink Floyd boys were studying at well.
I met Roger Waters in the same group. On Friday afternoon dances, I was
Juliette’s [Gale] dancing partner.
Later he was one of the many people living at 101 Cromwell Road where he
witnessed how the Cambridge gang were ‘real acid proselytisers’. Mick
Apart from Duggie’s room, the rest of the place was full of acid
Syd Barrett used to break into Duggie’s room to read the Dr Strange
comic books Fields had imported from the States. Fields was a fan of
comics creator Stan
Lee. His bedroom wall was covered with Marvel comics. Unfortunately,
people used to borrow those and never bring them back.
Around Christmas 1968 Duggie, Syd and a third tenant called Jules moved
to Wetherby Mansions. Jules quickly disappeared. After the sessions for
the Barrett album were completed in July 1970 Syd began to spend
less time at Wetherby Mansions and by 1971 he was living full time in
Cambridge. Duggie would live in the same apartment for the rest of his
life, turning it into a colourful bric-a-brac museum of his art.
Duggie was about the most reliable witness about Iggy, who was known as
the Eskimo girl, and the one who recognised Syd’s car, a Pontiac
Parisienne, in the movie Entertaining Mr Sloane.
The car too has its own mythology. (...) I first saw it at Alice Pollock
and Ossie Clark’s New Year’s Eve party at the Albert Hall – a memorable
event itself where both Amanda Lear and Yes (separately) took to the
stage for the first time. (Taken from: Duggie
Julian Palacios interviewed Duggie in 1996 for his Syd Barrett biography.
He was so cool. Reserved and wary at first, then about halfway through
he became super raconteur. (email to FA, 10 February 2010).
For the Mortal Remains exhibition, Duggie painted Syd Barrett leaning
against a pink convertible. It’s a gripping image, loosely based upon
one of Mick Rock’s photographs of the madcap. It shows a headless Syd
who seems to be humming a tune, hence the musical note appearing behind
Although Fields had a great career of his own, painting in a post-modern
pop-art comic-strip style, he was forever Syd Barrett’s room-mate which
must have been tiring from time to time.
The legend goes that Duggie Fields used to play his records loud. One
day he played some Motown and Iggy, in the other room, started to dance,
much to the amusement of Syd. They’re all reunited now…
He was truly one on the last real English gentlemen and it was an honour
to have known him.
We were also informed of the death of John Davies, one of the hip boys
in Cambridge in the early sixties. As a friend of Syd, he used to trade
guitar licks and hangout in El Patio. See also: The
John Davies Collection
The Church wishes to thank: Antonio Jesús Reyes, Eleonora Siatoni,
Julian Palacios, Rich Hall. ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (others than the links above): Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly,
Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 81, 82. Chapman, Rob: A Very
Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 79. Palacios,
Julian: Darker Globe: Uncut and Unedited, private publication,
2021, p. 133, 484.
Rock (1948-2021) we have lost another member of the Cambridge mafia,
although he wasn’t from that town, so perhaps Floydian mafia is a better
description. Rock, a Londoner, was a student in Cambridge where he took
a degree in Medieval and Modern Languages. He frequented some of the
local beatniks, Emo (Ian Moore), Pip (Pip Carter) and Fizz (Frances
Fitzgerald), and followed them to London to the legendary 101 Cromwell
Rd drugs pad. Later he moved to Egerton Court where Syd Barrett, Duggie
Fields, David Gale, Dave Henderson, Nigel and Jenny Lesmoir-Gordon,
Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell, Ponji Robinson, Matthew Scurfield, Storm Thorgerson
and Yes-collaborator Roger Dean all lived together.
In the beginning, was Syd
Rock knew Barrett since December 1966, they were hanging out together,
getting high, discussing literature, playing Go,
and developed some kind of virtual friendship that – according to Rock –
would go on for decades. Syd’s last interview, for Rolling Stone in
1971, was taken by Mick Rock. Syd’s last ‘public’ outing was when he
autographed 320 copies of Psychedelic Renegades, a 2002 Mick Rock
coffee table book. Mick was one of the very few photographers who
managed to picture Barrett in a relaxed state, laughing, as the 1971
pictures, taken in Syd’s back garden, prove.
My experience of Syd was he wanted to have fun. But somehow he was
stymied and then he got caught in this trap, this psychological trap and
he couldn’t get out of it.
The last time Mick Rock saw Syd was on an unexpected visit to Rock’s
flat in Notting Hill Gate in early 1973.
Caught in a storm
There has been some animosity for years between Storm
‘Hipgnosis’ Thorgerson and Mick Rock over The
Madcap Laughs pictures. History has been interpreted, changed and
rearranged by both and different versions of what ‘really’ happened can
be found, depending on the source one consults. Julian Palacios keeps it
diplomatic in his Syd Barrett biography:
Storm Thorgerson supervised the photo session for the cover of The
Madcap Laughs, bringing in Mick Rock to photograph, whom Syd requested.
Rock: ‘Syd just called out of the blue and said he needed an album
The Holy Church already mentioned the divergence in a 2008 article: Stormy
Pictures. Legally, the cover and back cover shots for Syd’s first
solo album belong to Hipgnosis. The official story is that these have
been taken by Storm, but Mick Rock has several times suggested that he
was behind it all.
Thorgerson gave his point of view in the 2007 edition of Mind Over
A photo session was duly arranged at Syd’s request in the flat in Earls
Court that he shared with the painter Duggie Fields. (…) My only
decision was to use a 35mm camera (to adapt to Syd’s mercurial moods)
and upgraded colour transparency, partly because of the low-level light
conditions and partly for the grainy effect.
Mick Rock’s presence, that same day, is dryly explained as follows:
Friend and photographer Mick Rock, later famous for his Bowie photos
amongst many others also came on the photo session, but I can’t remember
why. I think it was to help me, which seemed ironic given his subsequent
lensmanship and success in the rock business, especially in New York.
Mick Rock books (three different ones)
Mick Rock has devoted three books entirely to Syd Barrett. Two of them
are part of a box that also contains some music.
Syd Barrett – The Madcap Laughs – The Mick Rock Photo-Sessions
(UFO Books, 1993) is a limited deluxe box combining a book, a vinyl
album and a t-shirt. The elaborate and well-researched text of this
(sold out and deleted) book has been written by Pete Anderson, who is
the co-author of the Syd Barrett biography Crazy Diamond. Pete Anderson
wrongly dates the photoshoot in October and writes:
The task of designing the album sleeve fell to Storm Thorgerson and his
partner Aubrey 'Po' at Hipgnosis.
When it comes to the actual photoshoot there isn’t a single word about
Storm Thorgerson being there. Throughout the essay, it is mildly
suggested that Mick Rock did all by himself.
The startling colour images were taken in a single two-hour session in
the autumn of 1969 in the spartan bedroom of Syd Barrett's Earls Court
flat in London. (...) The sleeve, showing the beleaguered "star"
squatting bird-like in a room devoid of all creature comforts save a
vase of flowers and a battered electric fire, perfectly summed up the
mood of the record which many have interpreted as a scream for help.
But isn’t the above description about the Thorgerson picture? Mick Rock
(and Pete Anderson) carefully dance around the subject.
"We hadn't had any discussion about how the pictures were going to be,"
says Rock. "I suppose the idea had always been to do them in the flat
because Syd had told me about the floorboards and he was pretty excited
about that.” “But there had been no talk of getting a model in.
Iggy just happened to be there. I have no idea where she came from or
where she went to. Everyone just knew her as Iggy the Eskimo." (...) "There
were no curtains, just the bed, Syd's record player, the vase, and maybe
the stool. I can't remember if that was because the floor had just been
painted or because he didn't like furniture."
It is no secret that Mick Rock used to work as a freelancer for
Hipgnosis in his early career. His camera was a black Pentax that he had
bought from Po (Aubrey Powell), equipped with a cheap 28mm wide-angle
Soligor lens. The following paragraph however seems to imply that there
was more than one person around (without naming them):
"I think we did make a conscious decision not to have Iggy's face in the
pictures and we also decided that Syd would look good with a bit of kohl
make-up around his eyes. Iggy put that on. "Syd was pretty passive about
the whole thing and he was never that interested in the pictures
afterwards. (…) Syd could be quite uncommunicative but I can see from
the pictures that he was relaxed that day."
The photoshoot only took about two hours. Mick Rock used only two rolls
of film, simply because he couldn't afford a third.
"There had been no discussion about money at all. Later on I did get a
very minor payment but it couldn't have been more than £50 and I don't
know if it came from Syd or EMI."
Again, not a word about Storm Thorgerson nor Hipgnosis.
Two of a kind
In his other books, Mick Rock is a bit less authoritative.
Psychedelic Renegades – Photographs of Syd Barrett by Mick Rock.
Genesis Publications published a limited first edition in 2002. 320
copies were autographed by Roger Barrett & Mick Rock and 630 copies were
signed by Mick Rock alone. In 2007 the book was published in a regular
version, by Plexus (London) and Gingko (USA).
This is the picture book to get if you are interested in Mick Rock's Syd
pictures. It has an introduction/essay by Rock and throughout the book
there are some observations by the photographer, although these are not
always accurate. Contrary to the first book Rock acknowledges that Storm
was around that day, although he still stresses the fact that the
initiative came from him:
Syd asked me to take the pictures. We had talked about the shoot for a
while, and the day before it happened I told Storm from Hipgnosis, so he
came along because they were putting the package together. So the
actual session turned out to be a collaboration really because Storm
also took some pictures. I remember Storm asking me whether to credit
the image, ‘Hipgnosis and Mick Rock’ and I said, ‘No just credit it
This must have been a decision Rock regretted later.
Syd Barrett – The Photography Of Mick Rock is a tin box
that includes a 128 pages booklet and a 7-inch single 'Octopus' b/w
'Golden Hair' (EMI Records Ltd & Palazzo Editions Ltd, Bath, 2010).
There is an introduction and some observations by Mick Rock who repeats
that Syd asked him to do the photoshoot in autumn.
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit was the first blog in the world where
it was suggested that The Madcap Laughs photoshoot took place during
spring. This theory, originating from Jenny Spires, has now been largely
accepted by Syd fanatics and scholars. It is possible that a second
photoshoot took place later in the year, but the sleeve uses the
pictures of April 1969.
Remarkably, ‘Renegades’ and ‘Octopus’ contain a picture that was cropped
on the back cover of Syd’s second solo album, without crediting Mick
Syd Barrett (1974, double album vinyl compilation)
In 1974 Storm and Po knocked on Syd’s door asking if they could take
some pictures for a budget vinyl compilation that was going to be
released. Barrett never let them in and told his old chums to ‘fuck
off’. Thorgerson designed one of his iconic sleeves instead, the one
with a plum, an orange and a box of matches.
The inner sleeve of the Syd Barrett double album contains a bunch of
disorganised press clippings and pictures of Syd and Pink Floyd. Some of
these undoubtedly are Mick Rock’s. It means that Hipgnosis, at one
point, did have access to Mick Rock’s negatives. It is believed that
Mick Rock gave his film rolls to Storm, to have them developed.
(Pictures of the Syd Barrett inner sleeve can be found at our Storm
There are quite a few Hipgnosis related coffee table books around (the
reverend’s wife claims he’s got at least six too many). We have already
quoted from Mind Over Matter, but what do the others have got to say?
It needs to be said that the sleeve pictures of The Madcap Laughs can
not be found in any of Mick Rock’s books, these can only be found in
Hipgnosis/Storm Thorgerson related works.
Walk Away René
The 1978 book Walk Away René (The Work of Hipgnosis, Paper Tiger, 1978)
contains a detailed description of every picture in the book, except for
The Madcap Laughs. It gives conspiracy theorists a field day, although
it doesn't help anyone any further.
Taken By Storm
Taken By Storm (The Album Art of Storm Thorgerson, Omnibus Press, 2007)
leaves no ambiguity as Storm writes:
He crouched down by the fireplace and I took a 35mm pic quite quickly.
For The Love Of Vinyl
One year later For The Love of Vinyl (The Album Art of Hipgnosis,
Picturebox, 2008) was published and obviously the cover of The Madcap
Laughs is represented as well. Storm Thorgerson:
Back in 1970, the Floyd helped him make a solo album called The Madcap
Laughs. I told him I was coming over to his Earls Court flat to take a
picture. Mick Rock came too. I think Syd painted the floor specially for
us. He crouched. I took a pic. A naked girl appeared. Mick took a pic,
and we went home.
Storm Thorgerson died in 2013. Po published another Hipgnosis book one
year later: Portraits. According to Po, the Madcap sleeve was taken by
Storm Thorgerson, using a Nikon with a 500 ASA 24 x 36 mm film.
Powell writes that Syd invented the word Hipgnosis and that he wrote it
on the front door of the Egerton Court house they all lived in. About
The Madcap Laughs photoshoot Po has the following to say:
Syd's management company, Blackhill, commissioned us to do the Madcap
cover, and Storm went to the flat with our assistant, Mick Rock.
(Translated from the French edition by FA.)
Suddenly Mick Rock has become merely an assistant of Storm Thorgerson.
It gives the story about who did what a completely new insight.
But our investigations aren’t over yet.
In the 2017 documentary Shot! – the Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock –
Mick Rock hints again that he was behind the cover shot.
In the beginning, was Syd. Psychedelic Syd. (…) Syd had actually left
Pink Floyd and was living in relative obscurity. He asked me to take the
cover photo for his solo album The Madcap Laughs.
It is then that the official ‘Hipgnosis’ sleeve picture appears, for the
first time, in a Mick Rock publication, albeit without giving credit to
Storm Thorgerson. The image, with a handwritten title, clearly hints
that it is Mick Rock’s work, not Storm’s. Of course, when this
documentary came out Storm wasn't around anymore to comment on Rock's
interpretation of the past.
I didn't really have any plans. It simply was to shoot El Syd... and
Iggy opened the door in the altogether. All together now, miss Iggy. She
was holding company with Syd... but of course, the gift was the
floorboards. He had moved in not long beforehand and he was painting the
floorboards and he... he was painting all over these... I mean, there
were dog ends buried in there. He didn't clean the floor before he
Rock shows one of the better known Madcap pictures and claims:
That should really have been the cover of The Madcap Laughs. (…) That’s
what me and Syd wanted.
While he testified earlier that Syd wasn’t interested in the pictures at
all, he suggests in Shot! that they both agreed on a sleeve cover, an
opinion that wasn’t followed by Hipgnosis.
For years there have been rumours in anoraky Floydian circles that
Thorgerson and Rock sued (or threatened to sue) each other over the
ownership of The Madcap Laughs pictures. Probably a deal was made – a
bit like the one between Roger Waters and Pink Floyd over The Wall. The
Madcap Laughs front and back sleeve pictures officially belong to
Hipgnosis (Storm Thorgerson). The out-takes belong to Mick Rock. It has
been hinted before that Rock handed over his film rolls to Thorgerson to
have them developed and part of the deal must have been that the
negatives were returned to him.
This could be the reason why the Mick Rock out-takes can’t be found in
Hipgnosis / Storm Thorgerson books. This could be the reason why
‘official’ Madcap pictures can’t be found in any Mick Rock publication,
except for Shot!
Both parties seem to agree that Hipgnosis was commissioned by the record
company (Harvest, EMI) to supervise the record sleeve.
Did Syd Barrett ask his friend Mick Rock, an aspiring would-be
photographer, to organise the shooting for the forthcoming album? As
Rock was freelancing for Hipgnosis and they all were buddies anyway, he
may have warned Storm that Syd was expecting a photographer the next
day. The result was that Storm was there, not as Mick Rock’s colleague,
but as his boss.
We keep hearing from people how nice a person Mick Rock was. From Men On
The Border we have this reaction, coming from Jenny Spires:
The wonderful Mick Rock, unmatched intelligence, kind and generous,
totally lacking in malice, a dear friend. RIP. I will miss you, Mick.
That’s why it is a pity that Storm and Mick never conciliated, fought
over the legacy of the Madcap pictures and refused to give the other one
Because of their stubbornness, there will always be some doubt who took
The Madcap Laughs cover (and back cover) pictures. But it doesn't matter
really. It's the stuff legends are made of.
Many thanks to: Anonymous, Göran Nyström. ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (other than the links above): Chapman, Rob: A Very
Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 385. Palacios,
Julian: Darker Globe: Uncut and Unedited, private publication,
2021, p. 823, 963.
Hipgnosis & Storm Thorgerson: Powell, Aubrey: Hipgnosis, Les
Pochettes Mythiques du Célèbre Studio, Gründ, Paris, 2015,
p. 40, 118 (French edition of Hipgnosis Portraits). Thorgerson, Storm
& Powell, Aubrey: For The Love Of Vinyl, Picturebox,
Brooklyn, 2008, p. 38. Thorgerson, Storm & Curzon, Peter: Mind
Over Matter 4, Omnibus Press, London, 2007, p. 234. Thorgerson,
Storm & Curzon, Peter: Taken By Storm, Omnibus Press, London,
2007, p. 100. Thorgerson, Storm: Walk Away René, Paper
Tiger, Limpsfield, 1989, p. 103.
Mick Rock: Rock, Mick: Psychedelic Renegades, Plexus, London,
2007, p. 20. Rock, Mick & Anderson, Pete: Syd Barrett - The
Madcap Laughs - The Mick Rock Photo-Sessions, U.F.O. Books, London,
1993. The text of this book ca be consulted at Luckymojo.com. Rock,
Mick: Syd Barrett - The Photography Of Mick Rock, EMI Records
Ltd, London & Palazzo Editions Ltd, Bath, 2010.
Videos: Syd Barrett related excerpt from Shot!: The Psycho-Spiritual
Mantra of Rock: Syd
Barrett SHOT! Mick Rock Shot! Q&A, hosted by Barney Hoskyns.
Filmed Wednesday 12th July 2017: Mick
Rock Q&A (Syd bit starts at 5:30, do not miss the hilarious
anecdote about David Gilmour being chased by Brian Epstein in his
bedroom). Mick Rock: on shooting Syd Barrett for 'Madcap Laughs'
album cover. Interviewed in his studio, September 2001: Mick
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)
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
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.
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.
Dark Side Of The Rose Monocle
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
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 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
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
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.
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
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.
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…
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.
Another mystery is why Ant’s two Pink Floyd related movies never made it
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.
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’.
The curry inspector is no more, no more Lord Drainlid either.
RIP Mick Brown, Cambridge music archivist, painter, cartoonist,
satirist and Pink Floyd’s enemy number one, whom we all loved to hate.
There is this thing called Pink Floyd on the Interweb. It is pretty big.
So big that it has intersections between different divisions. There are
many crossroads so to speak. There is this five-lane Pink Floyd motorway
that has a Syd Barrett exit. It leads to an A-road that still is pretty
busy. If you go further down the line you have to take a B-road. I call
it the Cambridge connection. Not a lot of Pink Floyd fans will ever go
there, but those who do are in for a surprise. It takes some effort
The Cambridge beatnik scene of the late fifties and early sixties has
been extensively described in several Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett
biographies, but these mostly hover around the three Cantabrigian Floyd
members and their friends: Roger ‘Syd’ Barrett, David Gilmour and Roger
Waters. (Actually, Fred and Roger affectionately called Barrett: Sydney.)
There was a group of youngsters who wanted to find fame and fortune in
London and who stayed in the Pink Floyd slipstream once that band became
famous. David Gilmour jokingly called them The Cambridge Mafia. It is
believed the last hangers-on were surgically removed decades later by
Pink Floyd became a successful band by throwing their R&B shackles away
and diving into the swampy London Underground. But they weren’t the only
band with Cambridge roots. Enter Warren Dosanjh and Mick Brown.
Mick Brown edited, did the layout and added plenty of pictures from his
archive for this book. He was also one of the contributors to the
'young’ David Gilmour biography High Hopes, written by
Warren Dosanjh and Glenn Povey (see also: Guitar
Hero). That book describes him as follows:
Mick Brown went to the Perse preparatory and senior schools until 1963
when he was asked to leave. He attended the CCAT until 1965 and then
lived in London between 1967 and 1972. His contribution to the 1960s
counterculture was being jailed for two months in 1968 after the
anti-Vietnam War protest in Grosvenor Square.
While Brown was in London he carefully avoided the psychedelic hippie
and acid scene. Brown worked in the print industry and after his
retirement produced satirical cartoons, movie clips and posters for
local community rock and jazz groups (High Hopes, p. 120).
While Mick Brown is virtually unknown to the average Floyd fan he was
regularly consulted for his encyclopedic knowledge of Cambridge bands.
Yes, even Pink Floyd asked him for information once. He was also the man
who claimed to know who Arnold Layne was.
The real 'Arnold Layne' was John Chambers who came from Sturton Street.
He was well known around Cambridge in the early 1960s and often used to
hang about at the Mill Pond. The Arnold Layne name was simply a
typical Barrett parody of the Beatles' Penny Lane that was recorded at
the same time.
Mick Brown was a regular at Birdie
Hop where he liked to contravene uncritical Syd Barrett and Pink
Floyd fans. He relentlessly contradicted those self-proclaimed Barrett
specialists begging for the attention of the Syd anoraks. It didn’t
always make him friends, quite the contrary.
When a Syd Barrett and early Pink Floyd event was organised in Cambridge
he described it, pretty accurately, as 'a load of old toffs stuck in a
lava lamp'. He was also the one whispering in my ear that The Syd
Barrett (charity) Fund was conned by 'useless PR men and bullshitters'.
When The City Wakes festival took place they promised to publish a
Cambridge bands coffee-table book, but it never materialised. It may
have pissed him off.
Mick Brown made many movies he published on his YouTube
channel. Some are political observations, under the alter ego, Lord
Drainlid. As 'curry inspector' he documented day trips he made with his
friends to the seaside or other places.
He also documented several 'Roots of Cambridge Rock' festivals.
In one of those, there is a jam between Rado Klose and Jack Monck. That
should sound familiar to early Pink Floyd fans.
It was his opinion that a small exclusive group of former students and
public schoolboys claim to have been the sole innovators of alternative
culture in Cambridge since the early 1960s. He was not very happy with
middle-class so-called artists saying to have been Syd Barrett's best
friend. In other words: gold diggers.
To quote him:
The Mill was the place to gather at weekends. Originally the scene of
elite students' merry japes, it was taken over by Mods, Rockers and
Unfortunately, a hard drug habit spread in the city from
the 1960s onwards, helped inadvertently by a prominent GP with
university connections over-prescribing heroin and cocaine.
small elite group who claim to have originated the alternative or
counter-culture in Cambridge – and indeed London – seem not to recognise
the existence of a local community.
Apart from patronising one or
two 'clowns', they ignore the fabric of the city. Their only
contribution to life here has been to hawk their self-published works
with the help of press releases in the local papers.
Mick Brown remembered the gigs Syd Barrett had with Those Without but
was more impressed by a concert from Thelonius Monk, whom he called a
great musical genius of the 20th century. The first album he bought was
from Charlie Parker, at Millers Music Shop. He was a jazz lover for the
rest of his life, pretending that Pink Floyd never happened. But despite
his criticism, he did have a soft spot for Birdie Hop and joined their
2013 and 2015 Cambridge gatherings.
A true one-off and lovely human being. I will remember him often, and
always with a smile on my face. If ever there was a need for a national
day of mourning, this is it.
Farewell, you absolute legend. ❤ ❤ I am so privileged to have met him.
He wasn't only incredibly polite, but freaking hilarious, a class-A
joker but also disarmingly clever at times and made me proper belly
laugh on more than one occasion!
Mick Brown was a great grumpy man, whose heart was with the local bands.
Many thanks: Warren Dosanjh, Rich Hall, Peter Alex Hoffmann, Lisa
Newman, Glenn Povey, Antonio Jesús Reyes, Eleonora Siatoni, Abigail
Thorne, Lee Wood and the many, many members of Birdie Hop. ♥ Libby ♥
Sources (other than the above mentioned links): Dosanjh, Warren &
Povey, Glenn: High Hopes, David Gilmour, Mind Head Publishing,
2020, p. 120. Dosanjh, Warren: The Music Scene of 1960s Cambridge,