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Ian Robins Dury was somewhat of a pioneer of punk and new wave music from the 1970's onwards. His most famous bout to date is fronting the band Ian Dury & The Blockheads. Ian was born in north-west London in 1942. His early life included battling with polio, as well as teaching art in various schools across south England.
Prior to his fame with The Blockheads, Dury formed a band in 1970 under the name Kilburn & The High Roads. Despite signing to Dawn Records and opening for The Who on tour, the band eventually split in 1975 due to lack of success.
Ian Dury & The Blockheads were managed by original members of Pink Floyd, and rocketed to success with many chart topping singles including 'Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick', 'What A Waste' & 'Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll'. Dury was particularly acclaimed for his ability with play on words and witty lyricism, lead singer of Madness 'Suggs' went on to describe him as "possibly the finest lyricist we've seen" when speaking at Dury's funeral, in 2000. The band sporadically gigged and changed line up right up until just six weeks before Dury's death, where performed with Dury for the last time at the London Palladium in March 2000.
Dury also dabbled in acting, as his confidence and quirk gave him the ability to wow directors and producers alike. He appeared in BBC drama series', as well as making cameo appearances in films alongside stars like Sylvester Stallone as well as fellow lyricists Tom Waits and Bob Dylan. He also did his part with charities, becoming an ambassador for UNICEF, visiting Sri Lanka to promote polio vaccination after his childhood battle with the disease.
The memory of Ian Dury is still strong, a musical on his life having been shown, a biopic of his life in production, as well as The Blockheads still making music in his honour.
Source: Matt Fearon
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