There were two different covers Barney Bubbles did


Talking about the Ian Dury song-book covers, Rebecca and Mike reveal an astonishing breakthrough in Barnology that, yes –  there were two different covers Barney Bubbles did! Two completely diff  flat-arts for the same song-book.

David Wills says: SInce I have nothing to top that. Hold, yet – are those the artist’s ink-and-pen tests on the right of cat and boot, or is it a wacky script? Aha! I pushed the magic buttons, enlarged the words – and they sprung out clear – “London-calling.” The grid reminds me of Barney’s yellow scarf with a red, 0.5 inch square grid on it, Rupert Bear style back in ’63.

David Lowbridge: I’d not seen the one on the right before — are they from the same pressing of the book (which I assume) or different editions?

rebecca and mike: regarding the two versions of the Ian Dury Songbook: they are the same publisher, same year, same ISBN

David Wills: I’d guess the second song-book cover was by another hand with the guidance of Barney. Who was his assistant at the time?


David Lowbridge: That grid is reminiscent of the Lives catalogue too (although it’s easier to see on the poster) which must’ve been done in the same year.

Great to see this, and your ‘London calling’ spot too.

David Wills: For our younger readers,, we should perhaps explain that use of the grid, as does Barney here, was not then quite a viz-cliche, a graphic tick used by every Tom, Sylvia and Brian in town. Barney did’t mind if somebody’d been there before him, but def he’d be the first to use it well.