Ian backstage with Peter Rush – aka The Sulphate Strangler
Extract from Chapter 7: The Cake of Liberty
Spider was at Ian’s side at all times, ushering him up and down steps, on and off stage, adjusting his mircophone and keeping unwanted visitors at bay. If Ian began to fall during his set or his calliper became unhinged, Spider leapt into action, picking him back up or lending a strong arm, often to deafening cheers from the crowd. But there was another member of Ian’s backroom staff who Ian chillingly described as ‘The Sulphate Strangler. 4 men.’ Peter Rush was a native of Uxbridge, Middlesex, and was six foot six inches tall and muscular. But while Spider was into physical fitness, Rush, aka The Strangler, was a hopeless drug addict. He had been working as a roadie for Yes in 1976 when he turned up to see Ian Dury & The Kilburns playing at the Hope & Anchor. He spotted Spider, got chatting and offered to help him move a heavy piano from the venue’s basement. Spider instantly identified him as a potential asset and recommended that Ian add him to his security team. Fascinated by the power of the two as a team, Ian found their presence both reassuring and thrilling in equal measure.
Read much more about The Strangler and the tribute Ian penned to him in one of two brand new chapters of Sex & Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll from 3 May 2011.