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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 13:39 GMT
Cult poet Ivor Cutler dies at 83
Ivor Cutler
Ivor Cutler's books included Life in a Scotch Sitting Room Vol 2
Poet and musician Ivor Cutler, who counted John Peel and The Beatles among his fans, has died at the age of 83.

Cutler wrote surreal songs and poetry and continued to perform live until 2004. He also wrote books, did illustrations and made radio series.

He appeared regularly on Peel's radio shows and The Beatles gave him a role in the film Magical Mystery Tour.

Cutler's 1967 album Ludo, produced by George Martin, was re-released in 1997 by Creation, then the label of Oasis.

Cutler said he began composing music properly at the age of 34 and only decided to perform his own material because no-one else would use his songs.

He said: "My way of writing poetry was to go to a jazz concert and just let the music come through me and just write nonsense poems, so that one was listening to the noise of the words rather than the meaning."

He was invited to perform his material on the BBC's Home Service and went on to broadcast 38 poems and stories between 1957 and 1963, often accompanied by the harmonium.

Ivor Cutler
I'll leave you with this thought. No, I won't. It would not be fair.

Cutler began releasing records with titles such as Jammy Smears and Who Tore Your Trousers?

His BBC shows attracted a following, including Paul McCartney and John Lennon, who invited Cutler to appear in their 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour.

Cutler continued to write and perform, with his work often drawing upon his own life.

His album Prince Ivor even included a description of how to get to his north London home.

Teaching career

A member of the Noise Abatement Society and the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, he appeared on Peel's show from 1969 until the DJ's death in 2004.

Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand was among younger fans. Last year he said he admired Cutler "because he has fun and is unpretentious with language".

Ivor Cutler
Ivor's work shows the value of supreme silliness
Andy Kershaw, BBC Radio 3

Having been born into a middle-class Jewish family in Glasgow, Cutler attributed his artistic bent to the displacement he felt when his younger brother was born.

"Without that I would not have been so screwed up as I am, and therefore not as creative," he said.

"Without a kid brother I would have been quite dull."

After serving with the RAF in World War II, Cutler became a teacher.

He moved to London and continued to teach, while still pursuing his artistic career, until he retired in 1980.

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