Ivor Cutler, anyone familiar with this song-writer, poet and eccentric?
December 31, 2007 6:47am CST
Ivor Cutler (15/1/1923 – 3/3/2006) a Scottish poet, songwriter and humorist became known for his regular performances on BBC radio numerous sessions recorded for John Peel and later for Andy Kershaw. He appeared in the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour film in 1967 and on Neil Innes' television programmes. Cutler, who also wrote books for children and adults was a teacher at A. S. Neill's Summerhill School and for 30 years in inner-city schools in London. Often accompanied by himself on a harmonium or Phyllis King. She usually read small phrases but also read a few short stories. The two starred in a BBC radio series, King Cutler. Cutler is known to have had a long term relationship with King though they never married. Cutler also collaborated with pianist Neil Ardley and singer Robert Wyatt. Many of Cutler's poems and songs involve conversations delivered as a monologue and, in these, one party is often Cutler as a child. Cutler describes poverty and neglect from his parents with great stoicism. He focuses on acceptance and gratitude for the basic elements of life, nature and love, which allows him to make points about mother-love in particular. The humour develops from the child's curiosity and the playful or self-serving lies the parent tells him to get, for example, a chore done or simply to stop the incessant questions. Cutler recited his poems in a gentle Scottish burr, and this, combined with the absurdity of the subject matter, is a mix that earned him a faithful cult following. John Peel once remarked that Cutler was probably the only performer whose work had been featured on Radio 1, 2, 3 and 4. Cutler was a member of the Noise Abatement Society and the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. He retired from performing in 2004 and died on 3 March 2006. His poems and stories are often insightful and pithy. all the best urban
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• New Zealand
1 Jan 08
I've never heard of this bloke, but perhaps that's because his material never made it to NZ. Summerhill brings back memories, though. It was the title of a famous book about the school, which was essentially reading for anyone doing Child Care in the 70s, as I did. It always seemed like a remarkable place, but like so many of such one-off institutions, it relied heavily on its founder. When he departed the scene, it petered out, as most places like that do.