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Record Collector - Letter from Glen Colson

Thanks to Rob Watson for spotting this item, which is in Issue 190, June 1995.

Letter of the Month

Viv-Id Memories

Dear RC,

In between snoozing and boozing, Viv Stanshall actually fitted quite a bit into his 52 years. On a good day, he'd call me "Amigo"; on a bad day "Arthur Daley"; and that about summed up our relationship over the last 27 years.

His talents included water-colours, oils and acrylics, pottery, carving, etching and (my favourite) making masks from dog ends. He would paint everything - chairs, cups, walls and toilets.

He had no truck with politics or sport, but he did play snooker very well indeed, loved nature and was a member of the Zoological Society, where he would take lunch and attend lectures. He liked all his clothes to be handmade by craftsmen; he was mad about books, especially biographies and reference works, and would never leave them out of sight. He would agonise over everything... he was always working on a final draft, hating to let it go. He was a perfectionist. His musical tastes narrowed towards the end but included Glen Shirley, Link Wray and the Fairports. The death of close friends - Moonie, Rebop, B.J. Wilson and Ollie Halsall - left deep scars. His last public gig was at the Malt Room, Kendal, on Friday December 20th, 1993.

As far as I know, Viv had been recording stuff under his own steam over the last few years and, having just secured a deal with Warners, all was looking rosy. The tracks he played me had no vocals on them, so I'm not sure they will ever see the light of day.

I hope to put out the Radio Flashes tape one day. It is fantastic! There is a Strange Fruit compilation of Bonzo sessions ready, and maybe a poetry book - so watch out for them.

I am left with many rich and terrifying memories of this man. I bet you all have too.

Glen Colson
Up Late Management


Link Wray

Vivian and Link Wray were with Charisma Records. Link recorded Bob Dylan's It's All Over Now Baby Blue in 1985, which is included in Glen's The Famous Charisma Box.
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