Ian Dury rode the punk
bandwagon in the 1970s
with the singles ``Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick'' and ``Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3)''
Dury, whose singing
featured clever, exuberant, Cockney
was backed by a band
called the Blockheads.
Dury was partially crippled
at age 7, and as a result was a lifelong campaigner for the acceptance of disabilities
, Dury pursued a career
as an illustrator
. It wasn't until 1970
that he turned seriously to music
, forming a group called Kilburn and the High Roads that was characterized by Dury's wry
, gravel-voiced vocals.
The group mostly struggled for seven years, but the formation of Ian Dury and the Blockheads in 1977
helped him finally taste success
-- even though, at 35, he was almost two decade
s older than the archetypal punk rocker
Dury and the Blockheads were signed to independent
Stiff Records, and the group's 1977 tour with other Stiff artists, including Elvis Costello
and Nick Lowe
, served as a springboard for the so-called New Wave
, a gentler, more thoughtful offshoot of punk.
As rock 'n' roll became ``exhausting,'' Dury segued into acting
, taking roles in movies ranging from Roman Polanski's
``Pirates'' to Peter Greenaway's ``The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover.''
He also wrote a musical, ``Apples,'' that was staged at London's Royal Court Theatre