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the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

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Saturday, November 08, 2008


The wonderful British rock'n'roll cartoonist Ray Lowry died last month (he was also a painter and album-cover designer for The Clash). It's very hard to find examples of his work online. Punch magazine's website is very mean about theirs. Searching in retrospect isn't very fruitful, therefore, but anyone who read NME for any length of time will remember and recognise Lowry's work. His topics varied, but were very often about rock'n'roll or big-business greed. An example of each is above, the first superbly relevant in these recessionary times and the second showing Lowry indulging a fervent and timeless early-Elvis fandom, resenting the way that showbiz conventionality tried to smother Presley's original genius with playsafe devices: in this case the Jordanaires, whom many of us loved to hate.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Michael, Homer here, sad to think of Ray Lowry gone. I nearly met him, and I soooo wanted to, when I was being interviewed for a Dylan documentary DVD and he was next in for one on the Clash. I waited for about an hour or so after his allotted time but he didn't show. It's amazing that he lasted so long with his lifestyle (same with me, I readily acknowledge!)but it's still a sad and shocking thing.
His work for the NME was marvellous and surely nothing in all of Dylan criticism (exempt yourself if you want!) has ever been as pithily apt as his cartoon of Bob flying over the handlebars of his motorbike and the thought bubble reading "Country Rock"

6:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

minutes ago i went out for a fag, and i read the piece of 'Song and dance man', the book that arrived today, and i only managed to read the small piece: 'The journalist cannot afford the time or the perception needed for telling the truth or even recognizing it.' - and then what follows. i just want to thank you for these words. I'm polish and I'm writing the book about american folk (there's no such book in Poland so far) and I just want you to know, that so far there is no better example for me how to do it than you. So thanks.

2:37 am  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

Hi Anonymous Homer
I don't remember the motorcycle crash cartoon at all - but it sounds a good one. Anyone out there have it?

Dear Kajetan
You're welcome. Thank you for bothering to write. Good luck with the book on American folk. My only advice would be: give up the fags.

2:48 pm  
Blogger Alastair said...

I actually own the original of the Cartoon about the Jordinaires.

12:48 am  

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