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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