Completely absorbed in everything Stiff (Records), I was buying every Stiff single. One caught me as quite amusing. An anthemic “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” by Ian Dury. A jazzy rock riff played in the back of this low gravely voiced old mannish looking deviant. I was reading a lot about the whole movement in a British magazine called Trouser Press. This weekly zine covered the newest music and was required reading. They had already grabbed onto the whole Stiff movement (ugh. hard to avoid the puns).
Ian Dury and his band The Blockheads released their first Stiff album. It had the funniest cover. An old man outside some kind of store that could have been a sex shop. The title of “New Boots And Panties” gave you an idea of what kind of theme this guy was going for. Not sure why he is standing next to a small boy, but that is a little creepy.
Once again, Stiff managed to find a diamond in the rough. Ian Dury was a pub rocker with a band called Killburn & The Highroads. He now surrounded himself with some of the finest musicians I had heard. The funky jazz pub sound of The Blockheads was infectious.
Ian Dury’s half singing/half talking vocals were a perfect fit for this seedy, depraved sound. Many of the songs have sexual undertones. THe rest were not so subtle. This album was one of my favorites and I could not get it off the turntable.
Ian Dury was disabled. Apparently he had polio. Who they hell gets polio in 1977. It didn’t matter. The music was great. The album was great and Ian was a star, to me.
Of course he never made it in the states, other than a novelty act. He had a semi-hit with “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”, which I guess was in the collection of many a Dominatrix back in the day.
Ian Dury toured with the Stiffs Live tour which included all the Stiff artists. Apparently, he could not be followed and usually closed the show.
Unfortunately he passed away about 10 years ago after losing a battle to colon cancer.
A sad loss. What a talented man.