Saturday, January 8, 2011

Iggy The Eskimo Phones Home

Amplify’d from
The Church of Iggy the Inuit

Iggy The Eskimo Phones Home

Mojo does it again!
The Reverend was silently contemplating the long cold winter, sitting in
his rocking chair, reading in Glenn Povey's Pink Floyd bible Echoes,
woollen socks tightly stuck to the wood stove, a pipe in the mouth and a
glass of flaming Italian Sambuca
with 3 coffee beans in his immediate reach when his laptop went ping. A
minute or so later his HTC smart-phone went ping as well. Thirty seconds
later his iTouch went ping. This meant serious business, probably
instigated by the Holy Igquisition.

At the forum
of a well-known Pink Floyd website
somebody had posted a scan of the latest Iggy interview, done by Mark
, and published in Mojo
(February 2011 issue). Last week, the Church had promised that
the interview would not be published here as long as the issue is for
sale in the shops but extraordinary occurrences demand for extraordinary
measures. So here it is. Enjoy!

In March 2010, MOJO 196's cover story on Syd Barrett's The Madcap Laughs
pondered the whereabouts of 'Iggy The Eskimo', the naked girl on the LP
sleeve. It came as a shock to the object of Syd obsessives' fascination;
who contacted MOJO after reading the magazine for the first time last
summer. “I knew nothing about any of this,” says Iggy (real name:
Evelyn) who married in 1978 and lives near the English South Coast. “I
went to a boot sale with my husband to find The Madcap Laughs. When I
saw the cover I thought, Oh, yes, that is my bottom.”

Iggy (she gave 'the Eskimo' name to an NME photographer as a joke) grew
up in the Far East. Her father was an English army officer, while her
mother came from “a remote village in the Himalayas”. After moving to
England Iggy was briefly an art student, a Brighton mod and London
scenester, dancing on Ready Steady Go! and hanging out with Eric
Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and the Stones.

But in 1969, she ended up at the Earls Court flat Barrett shared with
the painter Duggie Fields. She and Syd became an item.

“I didn't know Syd had been a pop star,” she insists, though she'd seen
Pink Floyd at the UFO club and Alexandra Palace. “Duggie and I were into
soul music, and Syd used to laugh at me dancing to Motown.”

One day after Iggy had been messing around on Syd's guitar he took the
instrument from her and began playing.

“It was the first time I'd heard or seen him to do this, and my mouth
just dropped. He had this reel-to-reel tape recorder and he played me
these songs he'd written. The one that stood out went, “I really love
you and I mean you' [Terrapin] and I remember telling him, That's very
catchy,” she laughs.

Barrett then told Iggy someone at EMI wants me to make a record, how
would you feel about having a rock star boyfriend?”

Later photographer Mick Rock and designer Storm Thorgerson would call to
take the album sleeve image. At Syd's suggestion Iggy was naked: “It was
his wicked sense of humour,” she says. “People talk about Syd's madness
and his dark side but I never saw it. We had a wonderful giggly time.”

“I put the Kohl around his eyes that day and tousled his hair: Come on
Syd, give us a smile, moody, moody, moody! But he knew exactly what he
was doing.”

After a few months Iggy moved on. Returning to the flat later she was
told by Duggie Fields, “Syd's gone back to Cambridge, don't bother
trying to find him.”

Contrary to mythology, she never joined a religious cult or married a
banker. “I heard on the radio that Syd died, and I felt sad but it was
so long ago,” she reflects. It wasn't until I went online for the first
time and read these things that I realised anyone remembered me. I'm
incredibly flattered.”
Iggy 2011
A while ago Mark Blake also had the following to say to the Church:

I have a wealth of other interview material with Iggy. Mojo are
interested in running this additional stuff on their website: there are
also pics of her from early 60s and late 70s. The extra interview
material contains some good stuff for the Syd obsessives, including
stuff about the Madcap photo shoot.

And today he added at the Fleeting Glimpse forum:

Just a little more Iggy info for anyone interested: there's a chance
that MOJO will run some additional interview material on their website
Iggy also talked about a trip to the Speakeasy with Syd Barrett and had
plenty more to say about the photo-shoot for the album cover. There are
also some more photos of Iggy from back in the day.

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit wishes to thank Mark Blake and Mojo
for their authorisation to publish this interview. In the next couple of
weeks the Church will probably add some comments, reflections and

And for those new believers, here is a quick overview of the Iggy events
of past year:

January 2010:
The Mojo articles that started it all
got my) Mojo (working...)
Dust [(I've got my) Mojo (working)... Part 2]

February 2010:
The Church reveals that Iggy has been found (by
a Mojo reader):
Exclusive: Ig has been found!
about Evelyn

The Croydon Guardian tracks down and
interviews Iggy:
first interview in 40 years
old lady from London-by-the-Sea

This is it for this week, and my dear skyclad sistren and brethren,
don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't have done!

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