Ian Dury





Ian played the part of Jay Jay in the film 'Split Second'


DATE OF BIRTH :- 12th May, 1942


DIED :-  27TH MARCH, 2000

Ian Dury was a rock and roll singer, songwriter, and bandleader.  He is best known as founder and lead singer of the British band Ian Dury and the Blockheads, though he began his musical career in pub rock act Kilburn and the High Roads.

Ian Dury lived with the effects of polio, which he contracted at the age of seven very likely, he believed, from a swimming pool at Southend on Sea. Ironically his 1981 song "Spasticus Autisticus", intended to mark the International Year of the Disabled, was banned by the BBC despite having been written by a disabled person.  The lyrics were definitely uncompromising:

So place your hard-earned peanuts in my tin
And thank the Creator you're not in the state I'm in
So long have I been languished on the shelf
I must give all proceedings to myself
The chorus' refrain, "I'm spasticus, autisticus" was inspired by the response of the rebelling gladiators of Rome who (at least in the version of the story as portrayed in Kubrick's movie), all answered to the name of their leader, "I am Spartacus", to protect him.


Managed by Andrew King, Ian Dury and The Blockheads had several hit singles, including "What a Waste", "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" (which was a UK number one at the beginning of 1979, selling just short of a million copies), "Reasons to be Cheerful (Part Three)" (number three in the UK), and the rock and roll anthem "Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll", often credited with introducing the phrase to the language.  His music is marked by clever lyrics and word play, many jazz influences but with a strong allegiance to rock and roll.

In the early 80s he disbanded the Blockheads after securing a new recording deal with Polydor Records through A&R man Frank Neilson, choosing to work with a group of young musicians which he named The Music Students and recorded the album "Four Thousand Weeks' Holiday".  This album marked a departure from his usual style and was not as well received by his fans for its American jazz influence.

He had small parts in several films, most well-known of which was Peter Greenaway's The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover, as well as cameo appearances in Roman Polanski's Pirates and the Sylvester Stallone science fiction film Judge Dredd.  He also wrote a musical, Apples, staged at the Royal Court Theatre in London's Sloane Square.

Ian played the part of Jay Jay in the film 'Split Second' (1992), with Rutger Hauer.

Ian wrote and performed the theme song "Profoundly in Love with Pandora" for the television series The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 (1985), based on the book of the same name by Sue Townsend, as well as its follow-up The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1987).

In the 1990s, Ian became an ambassador for UNICEF, recruiting stars such as Robbie Williams to publicise the cause.

It was known for some time before his death that Ian had cancer.  In 1998, his death was incorrectly announced on XFM radio by Bob Geldof, possibly due to hoax information from a listener.

Ian Dury & The Blockheads' last performance was a charity concert in aid of Cancer Bacup on February 6th 2000 at The London Palladium.  Ian was noticeably ill and had to be helped on and off stage.  He could not stand unaided for most of the evening but delivered a powerful and uncompromised performance.

Ian died of colorectal cancer in 2000.  One of his obituaries read: "one of few true originals of the English music scene" (The Guardian).  Meanwhile, he was described by Suggs, the singer with Madness as "possibly the finest lyricist we've seen."

His son, Baxter Dury, is also a singer.  He sang one of Ian's songs at his funeral, and has released his own album, Len Parrot's Memorial Lift.

In 2002, a musical bench was placed in Poet's Corner, near Pembroke Lodge, within Richmond Park, South-West London.  This solar-powered seat allows visitors to plug in and listen to eight of his songs as well as an interview