Monday, July 09, 2012

Sex and Drugs and Rock'n'Roll - Ian Dury bio-pic

Stiff Records ruled the late 70's British "New Wave" scene with a line up that included such stalwarts as Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Larry Wallis and, of course, Ian Dury & The Blockheads. His debut album, which this movie got its title from, gave him several hits in England, though he never really made it in the States and I'm not sure if he even toured over here.

So, to me, a fairly unlikely subject for a bio-pic, but I've been a fan of his ultra-quirky tunes since the 70's and this popped up on Netflix, so we gave it a try.

The basic story seems to all be here - contracting polio as a child, getting married and having kids while slogging it out with unsuccessful, truly odd groups (think he must have been influenced by the Bonzo Dog Band and Captain Beefhart), splitting with his wife, eventually getting the Blockheads together and gaining enough popularity to overindulge somewhat. At the same time, he was in charge of his rebellious young son, who traveled with the group and was quite taken by their style and lifestyle - to the point where he is a singer himself today.

While the story is there, the movie never quite clicks for some reason - no fault of the actors or the tale, just something isn't there 100% - I think maybe the direction just didn't work for me on this project. So, I can't recommend it unreservedly, but if you have Netflix and are interested, it will give you some background on this wackily talented man.