Iggy the Eskimo
Croydon Guardian tracks down
elusive rock star muse
by Kirsty Whalley
13th February 2010
An iconic model who stole Syd Barrett’s heart in the 1960s has been found after three decades of anonymity.
Known only as Iggy, the enigmatic woman was immortalised posing naked for the Pink Floyd star’s solo album, Madcap Laughs.
She disappeared in the late 1970s and has been living in West Sussex, oblivious to her iconic status.
In September 2008, the Croydon Guardian appealed for information about the model and, more than a year later, we managed to track her down.
She inspired artist Anthony Stern, who filmed her dancing in Battersea Park and also took striking photographs of her on a houseboat in Chelsea.
They were released at the City Wakes festival – a tribute to Syd Barrett – in October 2008, in Cambridge.
Mr Stern said: “Iggy was my muse. I met her at a Hendrix gig at the Speakeasy.
“She entirely captures the spirit of the Sixties, living for the moment, carefree.”
Iggy said: “I cannot believe there is a film of me, that there are photos of me.”
Iggy spent a brief part of the 60s living in Croydon with DJ Jeff Dexter, who used to play at the Orchid Ballroom.
She said: “The Orchid Ballroom was the place to be, the atmosphere was fantastic.
“I loved going there, I loved to dance.
“Jeff wanted to turn me and two other lovely girls into the English version of the Supremes, but that never happened.”
She does not like to talk much about Syd Barrett, but admits she lived with him in Chelsea in the late 1960s.
She said: “Syd was so beautiful looking.
“We had a relationship, I lived with him for a while.”
It was at that time she became known as Iggy the Eskimo.
She said: “In part I made up the nickname.
“The rest was the photographer Mick Rock, who asked where I was from.
“I said ‘my mother is from the Himalayas’ and he said ‘we will call you Iggy the Eskimo’.”
Mick Rock took the pictures for Madcap Laughs.
Iggy said: “When Mick turned up to take the photos I helped paint the floor boards for the shoot, I was covered in paint, I still remember the smell of it.
“In the pictures my hair looks quite funny, I remember hiding my face behind it because I did not want my mum and dad to see it.”
She broke up with Syd Barrett shortly after the photo shoot and moved to Brighton.
She said: “I have just been living very quietly, I left London in the 70s and I got married in 1978.
“I met so many people in the 60s – the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart.
“I was a free spirit. I have left that life behind me now.”