The Progster

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Comic Genius Passes away . .

Ivor Cutler 1923-2006

Only by chance did I find out today that Ivor Cutler died on 3rd March age 83. Unless I missed it, nothing in the news, no BBC Scotland special to celebrate the man who brought us albums such as "Life in a Scotch sitting room Vol 2", "Ludo" and "Dandruff" .

Born into a Middle-class Jewish family in Glasgow, it wasn't until his mid 30s he started writting music, and claims he only performed his songs because nobody else would. A deadpan dour demeanour, delivering songs of incredible silliness, but all with that distinct hint of something more profound. All this, accompanied by the harmonium. Throughout it all Ivor maintained that same deadpan look that he was famous for. A kind of Chick Murray, but with better material.

Spotted by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, they gave him a spot in the Magical Mystery Tour movie.

I remember seeing Ivor play once in the Glasgow Film Theatre in the late 70's, and so many of the audience had tears in their eyes from laughter. When the show was over, and as everyone was leaving he popped back to the stage saying "If anyone is heading back to Edinburgh and has space for me and a harmonium, I'd appreciate a lift".

His work lives on in the many poetry books and childrens books published, as well as his recorded work. For more info - go to : Listen to the sound clip "If your breasts . . ." for a very short, but representitive example of his humour. It simply isn't the same to type the words here, you have to hear the delivery.

``Ivor Cutler is a Glaswegian whose humour is surreal, to say the least. He is a master of anecdotes, monologues, comic songs and poems, commentaries on the more neglected aspects of everyday life, and just sheer nonsense. But very often, if one looks beyond the nonsense facade, there seems to be a glint of a message in it all - whether or not he intended it to be, we will never know.'' -- DA Eger


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