Monday, 31 January 2011

Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll

This was the question I also asked of Ian Drury whose biographical story I also viewed entitled Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll. There is an excellent performance by Andy Serkis(Gollum Lord of the Rings) as the troubled entertainer. However it is difficult to believe that the feel will appeal to anyone other than fans of the performer. The film tries to explain his anarchistic and authority hostile life in which in one instance his son gets hold of drugs used by Ian and his associates. In flashbacks the suggestion is made that he was always a rebel, throwing a fish at a master at school which he did not want to eat resulting in the cane.

According to Wikipedia he had a working class father and mother from a middle class background. His father was a boxer and a bus driver who became a Rolls Royce Chauffer and was an absentee husband for long periods resulting he his wife taking the boy to live with her parents in Cornwall coinciding with World War II. The family as a unit then moved to Switzerland where his father worked for a millionaire. His mother then returned to England to live with her sister and while father made visits the couple did not live together again.

Aged seven he contracted polio, probably at a swimming pool where he lost the lower part of his leg according to film and was disabled with a limp consequentially. His aunt arranged for him to attended the Royal Grammar school Hugh Wycombe where he remained leaving the sixth form at 16 years gaining GCE’s in Englush Language and Literature as well as Art . I also gained the first two plus Mathematics. He then went to the Walthamstow School of Art and the Royal College of Art bur although he did some teaching he never became a professional artist because he realised he would not be good enough.

The past three days have been good ones I have immersed myself in reading the King’s Speech and making my notes in three parts. I stayed home today Friday 28th January rather an go for the early morning swim because I wanted to make progress and with the swim, even returning early for the Australian Tennis Semi Final involving Andy Murray, I would be tired for the morning and not at my best.

I debated the wisdom of the decision as soon as the match started as Murray seemed nervous, lacking the confidence to play his shots from the outset and for the great part of the first two sets they were well matches with both having the opportunity to break service of each other game after game. His opponent, the Spaniard David Ferrer conqueror of Nadal seemed to have the edge and took the first set and was in a point of taking the second. I switched away at that point. During this time he married his first wife and they had to children while in the film he appears to only have a son.

He then embarked on his subsequent life as a performer and song writer. He was a shouter more than a singer and he went in for earthy lyrics which some regard as having a poetic quality while others crude. He appears to have made infrequent visits home and according tot he film met someone on the road who became his mistress and subsequent his second wife although he remained on friendly terms with his first wife.

It was when he formed the Blockheads as a New Wave band that he became popular nationally although his strength was in his theatrical live performances in which he was something of a clown. The most famous number was Hit me with your rhythm stick followed by Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll. The Blockheads lasted five years and then reformed in 1987. His battle with cancer commenced in 1996 lasting for four years dying in March 2000 aged 57 years. He remained a larger than life character on and off the stage. I am not sure the film does him any favours.

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