Hit me with your lyrics, dad


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The Independent Culture

What's it like having a Seventies/Eighties pop star dad whose songs include, “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”? Jemima Dury, 43, has unearthed piles of lyrics, photographs, demo tapes, band memorabilia, scrawled notes and T-shirts, belonging to her dad, Ian Dury, which she has pieced together for a book. 'Hallo Sausages' – The Lyrics of Ian Dury, which is published in hardback next month, comes with a free CD of unreleased material.

“Doing the book has helped me to understand who he was and to fill in the gaps when his music career took over and he became more absent,” says Dury (with her father, below) fondly. “As soon as dad died in 2000, I knew I needed to do the book. At first it was too emotional to even pick up CD case and I couldn't face it.

”But in 2007, I started to go into dad's storage in London. He had stashed all his paperwork in this lock up in bin bags, carrier bags and boxes – so I started to dig around and found he kept a huge map of his life.“

Among the highlights, she found the valuable coffee-stained original typed lyrics for ”Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick“, on which he crossed out lines in pen. ”I was 10 years old when that song went to number 1,“ recalls Dury. ”I got teased at school – it was jealousy – but my dad becoming famous had its up and downs.“

She also found a whole new verse for the song ”Sweet Gene Vincent“, as well as a previously unpublished demo of a song ”Nervous Piss“, both of which she has released on CD with the book.

Dury who was born in Chiswick, lived in Buckinghamshire along with her younger brother Baxter, when her dad split from her painter mum, Elizabeth Rathmell, when she was four years old.

”My dad gravitated back to London and spent all his time in band rehearsals for Kilburn and the High Roads,“ says Dury. ”I wanted him at home writing with a Budweiser and Anglepoise lamp. I didn't always enjoy the fame side of it because it took him away and was intrusive. His saving grace was his was a writer as he had to come back to that.“

The book contains 160 lyrics from 1970 to 1999 and six chapters covering every phase in her dad's career.

”Being a kid, I used to tidy up his records – it bugged me when it was messy,“ she says. ”It was about tidying dad up and connecting to him. So doing this book I'm doing same thing with his lyrics. It's bringing him back and putting them in a safe place.“

'Hallo Sausages – The Lyrics of Ian Dury' is published on 25 October