I think ‘New Boots And Panties!!‘ is the greatest album in the world ever. I still remember the rush of exitment I got in my bedroom, listening to ‘Plaistow Patricia‘ on side two and hearing ‘Arseholes, bastards, facking c–s and pricks‘.
“In a world where pop stars these days tens to be people you’d rather fuck than listen to, it’s quite nice that a guy who doesn’t fit into any of those stereotypes – he was disabled and short without the most obviously naturally talented singing voice – could be a huge star. It was all about passion with Ian Dury, rather than image – it felt like it all was really passionately delivered.”
“Ian Dury being a pop star is the biggest proof that anything can be done at all in the world.”
“I did a show about ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful‘ in 1997 and I met his daughter when I was doing it, she came along to a show in Brighton. At the end she said Ian wants to wish you luck, he’s heard about the show and he thinks it’s great idea. It meant the world to me that I got his approval, albeit secondhand. And then I stayed in touch with her a little bit.
When he passed on I wrote her a letter and she wrote one back, which is just the most beautiful thing in the world. When he did pass, oddly, because I’d done a show about him I got hundreds of email from punters saying, ‘Are you OK?‘ – a really weird place to direct sympathy. I didn’t know the man but because I’d done a show about him it was clear I loved him. And I was really weirdly affected.”
“If I think about that time of my life, I want to listen to the most recent stuff but, more often than not, I want to slip on ‘New Boots And Panties!!‘. There’s something about the man who wrote that but who also wrote ‘My Old Man‘ – the sweetest and most touching song about his father.”
“He’s with me all the time – he’s never far from my turntable and everything he ever did is on my iPod. It goes with me wherever.”
“The thing I love about Ian Dury is that he sits outside of the rest of what music’s ever been doing. You could never see what team he was in.”
“Last time I saw him was at Manchester University, probably in 1998. I went with a musician friend who wasn’t that familiar with the work of Ian Dury and he was blown away. The only way you could tell what were the new and what were the old songs was by how many people joined in. The blockheads were just an incredibly good live band. He was a showman – if you saw him live it’d be impossible to be unimpressed.”
“What gets you first and always is the indefatigable spirit that makes him unique”