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Ivor Cutler


1923 - 2006

Eccentric poet, musician, comedian and philosopher. Born in the Ibrox district of Glasgow, into a Jewish family, Cutler was educated at Shawlands Academy. He worked in an aircraft manufacturing plant during World War II but thereafter embarked on a career as a teacher. He taught in Glasgow and Paisley before moving south to the unconventional environment of Summerhill School in Suffolk, which suited his offbeat personality. After two years he moved to Inner London, where he taught until 1980.

Religiously agnostic and quite eccentric, Cutler's works include Cockadoodledon't! (1966), Many Flies Have Feathers (1973), A Flat Man (1977), Life in a Scotch Sitting Room Volume II (1978), together with children's books, an opera, Prince Ivor (1986), and a book of philosophy, Befriend a Bacterium (1992). He is best known for his absurd poetry, which has been heard on BBC radio for four decades. His television debut came in the late 1950s on Cliff Michelmore's Tonight programme. His songs, accompanied by the unique sound of his pedal-driven harmonium, have been described as 'surreal folk'. Cutler has also published cartoons in Private Eye and The Observer.

A friend of the Beatles, he famously appeared as Buster Bloodvessel in their Magical Mystery Tour film of 1967. His album Ludo was produced in the same year by Beatles' producer George Martin.

Cutler was much in demand for his public performances, delivering his poems, songs and stories as entertaining monologues. His last major public performance was in London's Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2004. He died in London.


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