INNER CITY UNIT: not to be sniffed at and Ian Dury: What a waste


RandM say: It would be a massive shame for people to miss what this is about.

John Coulthart writes: Hey, you found one of the rare unsigned copies of Pass Out! (Sorry Nik.) I think Trevor Hughes got Nik Turner to sign nearly everything ICU ever did, often seemed that way.

Anyway, great band, they even played my wretched home town of Blackpool once, to the delight of locals and the disgust of bouncers at the Norbreck Castle Nite Spot (sic) who declared them the worst act ever to appear there. Given that the usual fare was crappy NWOBHM acts (Samson, for example), the competition was fierce. I used to have a recording of that gig but it’s long since vanished.

I don’t think I ever deciphered the curious Kanji-style characters on the back of the Pass Out sleeve. Anyone have a clue?

Wills: That alphabet is from an American book of Chicago sign writers’ 193o’s advertising faces I gave Barney. Lost deep in the comments below, RandM state categorically,  that it reads ‘Poppa Mm Mao Mao,’ and is all in caps.

At the Eye logs, there are postings concerning the wonderfully obscure texts associated with His Master’s works, words tucked into convenient crannies here and about, in this instance, the words in the square around the Dury, Block Head logo,  “Don’t fuck about or else”.

“Don’t fuck about or else” is also very similar  to what Barney would actually say when setting up a client to not mess with his vision.

In this instance, the words would also have probably, and obviously, been used to complete the square – they fit the gap at the end of the official legalese.

Words used as ‘design filler’ – hey, you  often see it happen in caption writing to fill a given space. Barney would have been familiar with the phrase, and popped it in the space, or Dury offered it as a fit. Being a typographer, one intuitively gets get very good at knowing word counts and spaces. These things are co-operative in nature. Barney and Dury would have discussed it, maybe Barney would be going, ” ‘Ere, I got a space to fill, you gotny wurdz, twenty characters?” or to that effect.

The co-op approach is important, and integral with the way his Bubbles worked.

The tactical cut-up approach, applied here, is inspired by Burroughs’ poet friend, Brion, as has been said elswhere somewhere out there in this Barnython of  Blogoville,