43 Facts About Ian Dury


Ian Robins Dury was a British singer, songwriter and actor who rose to fame in the late 1970s, during the punk and new wave era of rock music.


Ian Dury was the lead singer and lyricist of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, and previously Kilburn and the High Roads.


Ian Robins Dury was born on 12 May 1942 in Harrow, West London, and spent his early years at 43 Weald Rise, Harrow Weald.


Ian Dury's father, William George Dury was born on 23 September 1905, Southborough, Kent; died 25 February 1968), was a bus driver and former boxer, while his mother Margaret (known as "Peggy", born Margaret Cuthbertson Walker, 17 April 1910, Rochdale, Lancashire; died January 1995 and was a health visitor, the daughter of a Cornish doctor and the granddaughter of an Irish landowner.


William Dury trained with Rolls-Royce to be a chauffeur, and was then absent for long periods, so Peggy Dury took Ian to stay with her parents in Cornwall.


At the age of seven, Ian Dury contracted polio, most likely, he believed, from a swimming pool at Southend-on-Sea during the 1949 polio epidemic.


Ian Dury's illness resulted in the paralysis and withering of his left leg, shoulder and arm.


Ian Dury left the school at the age of 16 to study painting at the Walthamstow College of Art, having gained GCE 'O' Levels in English Language, English Literature and Art.


In 1967 Ian Dury took part in a group exhibition, "Fantasy and Figuration", alongside Pat Douthwaite, Herbert Kitchen and Stass Paraskos at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.


Ian Dury painted commercial illustrations for The Sunday Times in the early 1970s.


Ian Dury formed Kilburn and the High Roads in 1971, and they played their first gig at Croydon School of Art on 5 December 1971.


The band was formed after Dury began writing songs with pianist and guitarist Chaz Jankel.


Partly due to personality clashes with Ian Dury, Jankel left the group again in 1980, after the recording of the Do It Yourself LP, and he returned to the US to concentrate on his solo career.


Jankel was replaced by former Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson, who contributed to the next album Laughter and its two hit singles, although Gallagher recalls that the recording of the Laughter album was difficult and that Ian Dury was drinking heavily in this period.


In March 1996 Ian Dury was diagnosed with cancer and, after recovering from an operation, he set about writing another album.


Ian Dury released a single album with the Music Students, 4,000 Weeks' Holiday.


Ian Dury described the song as "a war cry" on Desert Island Discs.


In 1984, Ian Dury was featured in the music video for the minor hit single "Walking in My Sleep" by Roger Daltrey of The Who.


Vincent wore a leg brace, although Ian Dury said he did not know this until later.


Ian Dury wrote the lyrics after spending six weeks of research on Vincent, which included reading two biographies.


Ian Dury was a lover of music hall, another of his heroes being Max Wall.


Ian Dury developed a unique style that mixed music hall with punk and rock and roll, and crafted an on-stage persona that entertained his audiences.


Ian Dury appeared in the Eduardo Guedes film Rocinante, the German comedy Brennende Betten, Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Rainbow Thief, and the Sylvester Stallone science fiction film Judge Dredd.


Ian Dury appeared alongside fellow lyricists Bob Dylan and Tom Waits, respectively, in the movies Hearts of Fire and Bearskin: An Urban Fairytale, by Eduardo Guedes.


Ian Dury wrote a musical, Apples, staged in London's Royal Court Theatre.


Ian Dury turned down an offer from Andrew Lloyd Webber to write the libretto for Cats.


Ian Dury got Richard Stilgoe to do the lyrics in the end, who's not as good as me.


Ian Dury appeared with Curve on the Peace Together concert and CD, performing "What a Waste", with benefits to the Youth of Northern Ireland.


Ian Dury appeared in the Classic Albums episode that focused on Steely Dan's album Aja.


Ian Dury commented that the album was one of the most "upful" he had ever heard, and that the album "lifted [his] spirits up" whenever he played it.


Ian Dury was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 1996 and underwent surgery, but tumours were later found in his liver, and he was told that his condition was terminal.


In 1999, Ian Dury collaborated with Madness on their first original album in fourteen years on the track "Drip Fed Fred".


Ian Dury and the Blockheads' last public performance was a charity concert in aid of Cancer BACUP on 6 February 2000 at the London Palladium, supported by Kirsty MacColl and Phill Jupitus.


Ian Dury was noticeably ill and again had to be helped on and off stage.


Ian Dury died of metastatic colorectal cancer on 27 March 2000, aged 57, in Hampstead, London.


Ian Dury was cremated after a humanist funeral at Golders Green Crematorium with 250 mourners at the service, including fellow musicians Suggs and Jools Holland and other "celebrity fans" such as Member of Parliament Mo Mowlam.


The Ian Dury website opened an online book of condolence shortly after his death, which was signed by hundreds of fans.


Ian Dury sang a few of his father's songs at the wake after the funeral, and has released six of his own albums, including It's a Pleasure, Prince of Tears and The Night Chancers.


The film, in which Ian Dury recalled his life and career, intercut with concert footage, included contributions from painter Peter Blake and members of the Blockheads.


Ian Dury married Elizabeth "Betty" Rathmell on 3 June 1967 and they had two children, Jemima and Baxter.


Ian Dury divorced his wife Rathmell in 1985, but remained on good terms.


Ian Dury had a year-long relationship with actor Jane Horrocks, whom he met while they both performed a play, and they remained friends until his death.


Ian Dury married sculptor Sophy Tilson in 1999, with whom he had two children, Bill and Albert.