Robert Wyatt, a song of his and his disability gets a mention in Autobiography:
"From that moment on, once ‘the Smiths’ (actually just Johnny and I) were signed to Rough Trade, Geoff removed his Vivian Stanshall cape and made an impressive effort to erase the old-governess spirit of Rough Trade with a tearless goodbye to their fair-trade essence of hiring dwarfs on stilts to pack and shift; or of rolling along in tight circumstances that favored social awareness, musicians’ collectives, the communal vote, homemade bread and an unsexed all-hands-on-deck concept that had thread its way to some attention with Robert Wyatt’s Shipbuilding. In his wheelchair, Robert was the very picture of the Rough Trade pop star, with a hit song that had cloistered nuns the world over tapping their habits. Certainly, there could be no shame attached to wheelchairs, but there aren’t many in the Top 40. Ever after, Rough Trade became the Smiths label, and mostly – but not strictly – the label joined the Smiths’ world into the 1990s and beyond."
Born: Robert Wyatt, January 28, 1945 in Bristol, England to Honor Wyatt a teacher and BBC journalist, and George Ellidge, an industrial psychologist married at that time to another woman. Robert Wyatt became Robert Ellidge [or Robert Wyatt Ellidge] when his father and mother could finally marry in 1951. In the Summer of 1964 Wyatt co-founded Wilde Flowers. Wyatt then co-founded Soft Machine in the Summer of 1966. Soft Machine gained a strong 'cult' following on the London 'psychedelic underground' music scene, sharing club billings with bands such as Pink Floyd and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. In January 1967, Soft Machine's first single release was recorded ("Love Makes Sweet Music" b/w "Feelin' Reelin' Squeelin'").
In February 1968, Soft Machine embarked on a three-month American tour (opening for the Jimi Hendrix Experience), recording their first album during their touring schedule in New York over four days in April. The band split up in December 1968, re-formed in February 1969 and carried on until the late 1970's through many line-up changes and leaving no original member on board. It re-formed briefly in 1980 and 1984.
Shortly after recording the third Soft Machine album, Wyatt released his first solo album, [m23458]. He suffered an injury in June 1973 which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Wyatt's second solo effort, [r=388615], was recorded three months after he was released from hospital in 1974 with the aid of Pink Floyd's Manor Mobile and Nick Mason as producer. Wyatt has continued to record and perform despite being confined to a wheelchair.
Robert Wyatt (born Robert Wyatt-Ellidge, 28 January 1945) is a retired English musician. A founding member of the influential Canterbury scene bands Soft Machine and Matching Mole, he was initially a kit drummer and singer before becoming paraplegic following an accidental fall from a window in 1973, which led him to abandon band work, explore other instruments, and begin a forty-year solo career.A key player during the formative years of British jazz fusion, psychedelia and progressive rock, Wyatt's own work became increasingly interpretative, collaborative and politicised from the mid-1970s onwards. His solo music has covered a particularly individual musical terrain ranging from covers of pop singles to shifting, amorphous song collections drawing on elements of jazz, folk and nursery rhyme. Wyatt retired from his music career in 2014, stating "there is a pride in [stopping], I don't want [the music] to go off." He is married to English painter and songwriter Alfreda Benge.