In the late '70s and early '80s, Ian Dury became an unlikely hero of the British new wave scene. Born on May 12, 1942 in Middlesex, England, Dury suffered from polio as a child, spending a year and a half in a hospital and emerging with a crippled arm and leg. In the mid '60s he attended the Royal College of Art, becoming a painter and art teacher. In the early '70s, Dury founded the band Kilburn & The High Roads, a pub-rock band that helped pave the way for punk but also had a quirky, bookish side influenced as much by jazz and Steely Dan as rock 'n' roll. After two albums, they split in 1975. Ian Dury & The Blockheads formed in 1977, bearing a sound that picked up where Kilburn & The High Roads left off, but adopting more of a new wave edge and highlighting both Dury's Cockney tale-spinning and his onstage antics. The 1977 album New Boots and Panties was an Ian Dury & The Blockheads album in all but name, and it became a No. 5 hit in England. In 1978, the danceable non-LP single "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" became a No. 1 hit for the band in the U.K. The follow-up, 1979's Do It Yourself, was the first official album with The Blockheads, and it went all the way to No. 2. Crucial contributions from keyboardist Chas Jankel, bassist Norman Watt-Roy, and saxophonist Davey Payne helped the band achieve its idiosyncratic signature sound, but Jankel was gone by the time Laughter came out in 1980. By this time, Dury's alcohol and drug problems were creating conflict in the band, and he soon cut The Blockheads loose, releasing the solo album Lord Upminster in 1981, with help from the returning Jankel. Over the next decade, Dury released three more solo albums, but he reunited with the original Blockheads for 1998's Mr. Love Pants. Dury was diagnosed with cancer in 1996 and died on March 27, 2000 in London. The Blockheads overdubbed some previously unreleased recordings for the posthumous 2002 album Ten More Turnips from the Tip. A Dury biopic, "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll," was released in 2010 with Andy Serkis as Dury.