blue gene, baby

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin impedimentum, from impedire (see IMPEDE).

I am more drawn to the crippled gait of Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps, I must confess, than the music it propelled. There is something mildly heroic in its caliper splinted drag; the insistence of a three legged pit bull to get right in one\’s face.

Ian Dury, of course, summed it up perfectly in his unrequited poem set in song, \”Sweet Gene Vincent\”.

Knotted and twisted by poliomyelitis contracted at the height Britain\’s post-war (1949) Polio Epidemic, he formed his first band, Kilburn and the High Roads in 1971. The year Vincent died. It is hardly surprising Dury – the child and teenager – should have idolized Vincent. The leather clad American made it easier to stand apart and face the taunts. He demonstrated that it is the thing which burns within that makes the man, that impediment is merely that: a hindrance to be stared down and overcome.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Their stature alters through the years. We are speaking of role models here; the great, the gifted, and the defiant. He – or she – might be a poet; an idiot; a thief. The f@cking Green Lantern even.

Fathers tend not to possess the stuff out of which heroes are built. They are all too obvious in their failings.

Bukowski detested his. Most of us do, for a while at least. Often unflinchingly. IAN DURY: SWEET GENE VINCENT from \”New Boots And Panties!!\” LP (Stiff) 1977 (UK) IAN DURY: MY OLD MAN from \”New Boots And Panties!!\” LP (Stiff) 1977 (UK)


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