January saw the 42nd anniversary of the release of The Madcap Laughs album on Harvest Records. Timeless photos that helped put Mick Rock on the map and the lovely Iggy graced the cover with Syd.
Peter Jenner was Syd's manager since May of 68. The sessions were in and out for over a year. By 1969, Malcolm Jones stepped in and took over. Back in the day at Abbey Road Studios, Jerry Shirley was a session drummer and some of Soft Machine's members were session musicians like Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt.
No one but Jones knew why he left the project, my guess is it was getting lengthy. They were playing well together. Waters and Gilmour got involved at this point due to Syd asking Gilmour for his help. They lived close to one another at this time. They were not altogether considerate of Syd's state or feelings at the time.
Syd did backing vocal and guitar tracks and the other musicians filled in. Of course he was a bit erratic on beats and bars so it was a difficult process. The late Robert Wyatt said they'd ask Syd "What key is that in?" and he would reply with a "Yeah!" or a color. That sparked debates to this day whether Syd had synaestesia or not but Hendrix termed chords in color also. Syd said he liked the albums outcome, but wanted it to be a whole thing people would listen to all the way through with everything related and balanced, tempos and moods offsetting one another.
The single "Octopus" was released in November of 69 and it went to #40 on the UK charts, with good reviews of course. Iggy helped supply fun vibes and gave him inspiration for some of his songs. She said they always had a giggly good time and talked how happy Syd was, contrary to some sources over the years.
When the photos were done and Mick Rock arrived, Syd was in his knickers tuning his guitar and having a fag. Iggy was in the kitchen, making coffee or something in her birthday suit. They eventually got dressed and made it out on the street where dozens more shots were snapped off. The late Alan Styles, PF's road manager happened along and made it in a few. Iggy looked smashing in her groovy pantsuit and Syd with tossled hair and Duggie's overcoat. Iggy would line his eyes with kohl and he looked amazing. The photos are iconic, to say the least.
The album was released three days before Syd's birthday on January the 6th. To check out Iggy and her divine adventures you can find her and the reverend Felix Atagong at The Holy Church of Iggy The Inuit. The Laughing Madcaps are the #1 Syd Site online and both are on FaceBook. Let the Goddess smile upon you!