Painted teddy bear door to music studio used by Simple Minds to be sold at auction

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The painted door to a former London music studio used by Simple Minds and Ian Dury And The Blockheads is to be sold at auction.

Music producer Jonathan Rowlands, 84, said clients often struggled to find the entrance to his 24-track basement studio, located in an alleyway off Fulham Road in Chelsea.

He decided to have his logo, of a smoking teddy bear in a suit, painted on the door to make it more easily identifiable.

Rowlands asked singer-songwriter Ian Dury, who was in the studio at the time, if he knew of any artists who might be able to help.

Dury, who recorded Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, recommended painter Humphrey Ocean, a former student at an art college where he had taught.

Ocean, who had also played bass in Dury’s band, painted the door and included a monogrammed HO on the teddy bear’s satchel.

“Come the end of the lease I decided I loved it, took it off its hinges thinking I was going to open up another studio somewhere, and of course it remained packed up for years,” said Rowlands, of Bakewell, Derbyshire.

He said it was the late 1980s when the studio closed and he had then forgotten about the door.

His wife suggested they should sell it after he rediscovered it when clearing out their garden shed, he said.

“It had just followed me round as a packed up item,” he said.

The teddy bear is painted above a line of musical notation, with the door measuring 198cm by 75cm by 5cm.

“The door knob is in the incorrect place but it’s the correct place for the door,” said Rowlands, commenting on the fixture’s position in the bear’s groin area.

The door, which has a pre-auction estimate of £1,000 to £1,500, is to be auctioned at Cheffins in Cambridge on October 26.

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