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Spasticus Autisticus for Number One

I met Ian Dury briefly in 1979. I was working in London and walking down a street in London W1 (I think it was Charlotte Street) and saw the unmistakable figure awkwardly perambulating  down the street with two guys, one of whom I recognised as Chas Jankel. Dury was wearing a bright blue jacket with jet black trousers and lace up boots. He was sporting a rather natty fedora and a dangly earring.

“Can I have your autograph Mr Dury I’m a big fan” (rather pathetically) said a Scots teenager dressed in a suit from Fosters Menswear and carrying a briefcase. “Tell you what”, said the great man, “It’s a little bit tricky for me walking down the street let alone signing autographs. Come along to one of my gigs an’ I’ll give you an autograph”

I was disappointed but it was fair enough.
Some fans have mounted a Rage Against the Machine type heist on the charts, They’re trying to make Dury’s 1981 record Spasticus Autisticus number one on the week of 27th March to mark ten years since his passing. When the record was released the BBC banned it because of pressure from the Spastic Society. This completely ignored Dury’s severe disability (from polio) and the fact that he had written the record as his take (savage disdain) on 1981 being the international year of the disabled person.

I’m not sure if Ian Dury would approve of the campaign, he’d probably see it as a gimmick and not an original one at that. However I’d like to see it succeed if only to let polite society and the chattering classes change their focus a little from words to people.


3 Responses

  1. Rab, He would absolutely view your P.R campaign with disdain,but hey disdain is only a word wasted with 3 vowels & 4 consonants,eminating in a nasty veneer! I’m right behind you Sir Robert of Petcare,YOU KNOW HE CARE’S (I AM’S ARE SURE,too)Sorry for the petfood joke,those who know,know,the other’s can wonder!!)Sneddy(aka Sonsfan biding in The Bloo Toon).

  2. New Boots and Panties is one of the all time great albums. Never did get to see him unfortunately but still enjoy screaming along to Sweet Jean Vincent.

  3. That’ll be Gene Vincent Dave!

    Vincent like Dury was disabled, hence his admiration.

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