don’t let the hits fool you
Listening to some of Ian Dury’s radio music could give you the impression he’s kinda shallow but he was actually a wonderful, although very basic, lyricist.
Much of his talent was borne from his childhood angst. Ian contracted polio when he was seven years old. He spent six weeks in a full plaster cast in a Truro hospital before being moved to a hospital in Essex. He remained there for a year and a half before going to a school and hospital for disabled children.
The philosophy of this latest school was that “these sort of children” needed toughening up if they were going to survive the rigours of everyday life in the real world. It was an unhappy time for Ian.
good ol’ mum
Ian’s mother came to the rescue. She valued education and wanted him to excel academically. She enrolled him in Royal Grammar School. Here he gained an education but, as with the previous schools, didn’t enjoy the atmosphere at all.
[If I misbehaved] I had to go into a box room where the suitcases were stored and learn 80 lines of Ode to Autumn by yer man Keats. If I got a word wrong I had to go back, they added that to the end of the sentence and after five nights of this my head had definitely gone.
Ian had been writing poetry for years. Its basic and straightforward format fitted the New Wave music genre that was beginning to sweep Britain. Ian wrote enough songs to fill an album which he entitled, “New Boots and Panties.” Needing a band to back him, he formed The Blockheads and the rest, as they say, is history.
Ian died on March 27th 2000. The Blockheads continue to perform.
Ian’s favourite album was Steely Dan‘s, Aja. He said of it;
It lifts my spirits up whenever I play it.
hit me with your rhythm stick fax
- Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick was released on 23rd November 1978. It reached #1 on the UK charts in January 1979 but nearly didn’t make it – it was kept from #1 for five weeks by Village People’s YMCA.
- Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick mentions a number of international locations and a number of non-English phrases.
- Not surprisingly, there seems to be few, if any, cover versions of Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, but it did appear in an episode of Dr Who.
- Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick lyrics
hit me with your rhythm stick – ian dury and the blockheads – 1978 – video
hit me with your rhythm stick – ian dury and the blockheads – recorded live – 1985
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