The Life and Poems of Sid Ozalid
By Douglas John McLean Cairns
Key Themes: prose, poetry, mental health, empowerment
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
This book is a must for anyone making a serious study into the totally ridiculous. Sid Ozalid first burst onto the scene in 1978 as a one-legged tap dancing poet. He would dance with his pet monkey, thrash himself with a daisy and beat his head with a tin tray. During this time he provided support for such acts as Simple Minds, The Clash, The Specials, OMD and many more, some of whom asked for him to be removed from the building. He worked on Radio, TV and in The Moulin Rouge. This entertaining story of Sid’s life and his brushes with fame over a 30-year period, plus a collection of poems written and performed from 1977 to 2010 demonstrates one man’s desire to find a space for his creativity.
About the Author
Born weeks before the start of the 1960s, Douglas fitted in very well at school until he had to learn something. On leaving school at 16 he found employment working in the cartographic drawing office at BP in Aberdeen. To fulfil his creative side, he invented the poet Sid Ozalid, and went on to perform for over 30 years on stage, radio and TV.
At the turn of the century, Douglas suffered mental health issues and stopped both writing and performing. Over a period of time and with the help of friends and colleagues he managed to get back to work and establish himself as a successful Facilitator and Change Manager.
Douglas has gone on a number of sponsored cycle rides and raised thousand of pounds for mental health charities. In 2010 he started performing again with gigs in London, Aberdeen, Amsterdam and on the moon.
Legend has it that Sid Ozalid was born sometime during an eruption of earwigs. His father was thought to have been a redundant caveman and his mother a transvestite Egyptian monkey. Sid arrived on earth from the planet OZ in the year 1898. His spaceship was disguised as an old brown suitcase that was full of inflatable toys. His mission was to read from ‘The Book Of Oz’ and spread the word; the word may or may have not been ‘mango’.
His talent as an entertainer first came to light in 1911, when he appeared with the Flying Ozalids. During this period he specialised in walking backwards into hat stands. Six years later he split from Flying Ozalids to form Sid and Sam the Ozalid Twins. This dynamic duo thrilled audiences with their routine entitled ‘The First pickled Onion in Orbit’, but alas this too came to an abrupt end due to lack of cupboard space.
Alternatively Sid’s mother says that he was born in Glasgow, moved to the highlands of Scotland at the age of three, chased sheep for three years and arrived in Aberdeen in 1967. It is rumoured that she also says that he is a very silly but loveable boy, who was always a bit ‘naive’.
He burst onto the Punk scene in 1978 as a one-legged tap dancing poet. Billed as ‘The Tap Dancing Robert Burns’ he would dance with his pet monkey, thrash himself with a daisy and beat his head with a tin tray. Some folks described him as a Punk Poet, but in reality he just happened to be a Punk who was performing poetry.
Dyslexia was the lens that helped Sid view the world, the world of Laurel and Hardy, The Keystone Cops, Harpo Marx, Spike Milligan, and Wild Man Fisher. All first-class performers but touched by the ridiculous. As a young boy he lived in a vacuum of nonsense, watching the ‘real’ world go by, deciding that if you can’t join them, enjoy yourself!
Punk gave him a window of opportunity to perform. He could be as ridiculous and silly as he wanted, some may say outrageous, but he was never ever rude.
Sid started off performing at local gigs round Aberdeen at salubrious establishments like The 62 Club, The Crescent Hotel, The Copper Beach, Ruffles Night Club, The Music Hall, Aberdeen University Union and Jay Jay’s to name but seven.
Most of the time he would appear between the support and main act and strut his stuff. Performing his free-form wild dancing and whacking his tambourine in time with his poetry, he would intermittently pull out one of his inflatable toys. Ladies and Gentlemen ‘Mickey the Monkey’. The audience always greeted the toys with great delight. Whether it was the introduction, or the quality of the toys we will never know.
Poems like ‘Three Fat Ladies at the Bingo Hall’, ‘I’m In Love Said The Caterpillar’ and ‘Elephant in a Sack’ had nothing to do with Punk, but their energy and disregard for norms fitted right in.
During this time he provided support for such acts as Simple Minds, The Clash, The Specials, OMD and many more, some of whom asked for him to be removed from the building.
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 14 April, 2011.