Spasticus Autisticus

Album: Warts 'N' Audience (1981)
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Songfacts®:

  • The United Nations proclaimed 1981 the International Year of Disabled Persons. Although disabled himself - due to childhood polio - Dury found this patronising, and came up with "Spasticus Autisticus", his first single on the Polydor label. Like Noël Coward's "Don't Let's Be Beastly To The Germans" it missed the mark, and was boycotted by many radio stations.

    According to Dury's biographer Richard Balls, he felt "The Year of the Disabled... implied that everyone who was disabled was going to be okay in 1982..." Dury said it was the second best song he'd ever written, and that it had actually been inspired by a spastic, an Oxford educated scholar, who'd told him the most difficult thing for him was that "nobody knows what I'm on about."
  • Dury co-wrote "Spasticus Autisticus" in the Bahamas with his regular partner Chaz Jankel; it was released in August 1981 in 7 and 12 inch formats backed by an alternative version credited to The Seven Seas Players; the record was deleted the following month, and was also rejected by the United Nations, although the passage of time has led to its re-evaluation. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2

Comments: 1

  • AnonymousIan Dury confessed to being inspired by a scene from Kubrick's movie when gladiators praised Spartacus with a raised fist: "Spartacus, Spartacus".
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