Ian Dury

Born: May 12, 1942
Died: March 27, 2000

Occupation: Musician/Singer and Actor

Challenges overcome: Poliomyelitis/Polio

Successes, Achievements & Awards:

Ian Dury was a rock and roll singer who rose to fame in the late 1970’s. Born in London in 1942 in London, Dury moved to Cornwall, and then Switzerland before settling in Essex with his mother.

Ian Dury formed his first band, Ian Dury and the High Roads, in 1971. They signed to Dawn Records in 1974, and even opened up for The Who, but unfortunately never gained a large enough following and disbanded in 1975. They released two albums, Handsome and Wotabunch.

The Blockheads released their single, ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’ in 1977, and despite being banned by the BBC, it was named NME’s single of the week on its release. Later that year, the band began performing as Ian Dury and the Blockheads. The band soon gained success with the singles ‘What a Waste’ and ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ which reached number 1 in the chart. The band disbanded and reunited a number of times, but still toured Europe, Japan and the UK throughout their time together.

Ian Dury penned the song ‘Spasticus Autisticus’ in 1981, in retaliation to The Year of Disabled Persons, and the song showed how he felt the event was patronising and counter productive as a disabled person himself. Despite the song being banned by the BBC when it was first released, it was used as part of the Paralympic Opening Ceremonies in London in 2012.

Ian also enjoyed acting and had a number of small roles in television and movies including BBC’s King of the Ghetto, and Sylvester Stalone movie Judge Dredd.

Ian Dury supported a number of charities and became a UNICEF ambassador in the 1990’s.

Challenges Overcome

Ian contracted polio when he was 7 years old; it’s believed he caught it from an outdoor swimming pool during the 1949 polio epidemic. He spent a considerable amount of time in hospital after contracting the virus, before going to a specialist disability school in East Sussex. Polio left him visibly disabled and meant he had to walk with an aid of a stick.
Ian died of bowel cancer in 2000, after being diagnosed in 1996.

Disability Definitions

Poliomyelitis often called polio or infantile paralysis is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. Approximately 90% to 95% of infections cause no symptoms. Another 5 to 10% of people have minor symptoms such as: fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea, neck stiffness and pains in the arms and legs.

These people are usually back to normal within one or two weeks. In about 0.5% of cases there is muscle weakness resulting in an inability to move. The weakness most often involves the legs but may less commonly involve the muscles of the head, neck and diaphragm. Years after recovery post-polio syndrome may occur, with a slow development of muscle weakness similar to what the person had during the initial infection.

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Information sources:

Please click on the information links below to find out more.

Ian Dury. (2015, March 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:37, April 2, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ian_Dury&oldid=654037418


Image source – Wikicommons

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