Saturday, 28 November 2009

Ian meets Terry Day at Walthamstow School of Art

Arriving at Walthamstow in February 1962, Terry Day made a big
impression on Ian. Heavily into modern jazz and the action
paintings of Jackson Pollock, Terry had started his record collection
at the age of five. With help from his older brother, he
learnt to play an assortment of musical instruments by the time
he was fifteen. His first love was drums, and he found himself
giving Ian some early tuition. ‘We were always hitting things
with paint brushes, bashing out rhythms and making a noise,’
recalls Terry, who would go on to be one of Ian’s closest pals.
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Sunday, 22 November 2009

Ian's develops his Teddy Boy persona 1954-56-58

Ian had been at the Royal Grammar School only a few weeks when, in May 1954, the bi-annual, official school photograph was taken (left). By May 1956 (centre) - in the week that Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel entered the UK hit parade - Ian had developed his early Teddy Boy persona. By 1958 (right), Ian was sporting the full greasy quiff and playing drums in the Black Cat Combo. Ian exerted a certain influence over his contemporaries, telling them about the little tailor’s shop in High Wycombe where they could get their trousers tapered; the cinema at the back of town that showed the sleazy movies and the precise location of the dirty bookshop. ‘Here was clearly a chap who recognized style,’ says classmate Warwick Prior. ‘He once returned to school in what he called a “denim rock suit”. It was a pair of jeans and a short jeans jacket, which were very rare in those days. He’d slip it on occasionally, if he got the opportunity. I grew my hair quite long, significantly under his influence. I learnt about it all from Dury.’
With thanks to Tony Hare and John Saunders
'Ian Dury: The Definitive Biography' will be published by Sidgwick & Jackson in January 2010.
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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Barney Bubbles original design for 4000 Weeks Holiday

Graphics genius Barney Bubbles accepted the commission Ian passed to him in the early autumn of 1983 to design the sleeve for 4000 Weeks Holiday. Tragically it was one of Barney's last designs - he died in November of that year before the work was completed. Here we see the first stage of Barney's original design (courtesy of Pauline Kennedy aka Caramel Crunch/Reasons 2009). When the album eventually appeared in 1984, it was packaged in what was intended to be the inner bag, with Ian's hand-written credits, its design completed by Caramel Crunch following Barney's death. It is thought, however, that Barney's original design did appear on Portuguese pressings of 4000 Weeks Holiday (Polydor Records).
With thanks to Rebecca and Mike, and Paul Gorman, author of Reasons To Be Cheerful - a book about the work of Barney Bubbles