In July 1979, a week before the release of 'Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3', Ian Dury & the Blockheads came to town for a two night stand. Perhaps it was because it was the first of those two shows and he was in no hurry to go anywhere, or maybe it was what he always did, but my pals and I were saved a wait round at the back door, when, 10 minutes after the concert ended and the majority of the audience had dispersed, Ian ambled back into view from the wings, sat himself down on the lip of the stage and began chatting with whoever was still around. Typically, on the one occasion where I had all the time in the world to grab an autograph, I found myself with nothing for him to sign. There either weren't any programmes available or I chose not to buy one that evening, I can't remember which. Half a dozen of us chewed the fat with Ian for ten minutes while I patted my pockets, trying to find a scrap of paper for him to squiggle on. I opened my wallet and there it was - a pound note. I handed it over and asked Ian if he'd mind signing it. He gave a big, wheezy laugh, lent over the note and wrote 'Ian X' and went to pass it back, then changed his mind. 'Hang on a minute' he said, before adding more writing beneath his autograph. 'What's that say?' I asked. 'I'm Mr 10%' he said with a grin.
Ian Dury would've been 72 today. Here he is in 1983 with 'Really Glad You Came', a post-Blockheads single, perhaps sonically a little of its time, but a neglected gem nonetheless. The TV show is Pebble Mill at One and Ian looks less than thrilled to be there. Check out that stare at the end of the song!