The air was humming
to the sound of The Beatles and Stones, flower-bedecked hippies were migrating in hordes to California , and I was shopping in trendy Carnaby Street, London for a secondhand military jacket, the standard posing 'gear' for any would be dedicated follower of fashion in 1963.

Meanwhile at Ealing College
a young Vivian Stanshall, contemptuous of the entire pretentious pop scene, plotted with Roger Ruskin Spear, Niel Innes and Rodney Slater to undermine the very fabric of the swinging 60s with a blasphemous new satirical rock band: The Bonzo Dog Dada Band. The Bonzo's soon became known the The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and set a new comedy music standard as a wacky zany Pythonesque band who wickedly lampooned everyone and everything involved in the 60's scene.

They were highly successfully touring around the UK college concert scene accompanied by an avant garde robotics sculptor/artist Bruce Lacey who delighted in filling the stage with his 'Heath Robinson' styled crazy robot inventions such as a giant pair of inflatable moving female lips on wheels that would pucker up to Viv as he trounced about the stage in a lime green satin jacket covered in sewn on fake plastic fried eggs and bacon singing a wicked parody of Elvis. Viv Stanshall was a very odd front man for a very odd band (even by today's standards)

Now for the music: I hadn't planned it that way but... Bonzo Dog music was a very strange mixture from the parody heavy rock number 'The Strain' lamenting Viv's constipation and inability to get off of the toilet, to the frivolous Down on Jollity Farm. Born to a middle class family in East London
Vivian Stanshall was a very intelligent and gifted child. He spoke at four months and conducted conversations at ten months. To his childhood embarrassment his mother taught him to knit (Which was what probably got him to write the album Teddy Boys Don't Knit) and his strict father required him to speak in an upper class, "posh" accent when at home. Once out of the house he quickly reverted to the local cockney dialect and teddy boy clothes his mates wore, but when returning home he was forced to hide Edwardian Drape Jacket, drainpipe trousers and blue suede crepe sole shoes in the garden shed to avoid a row.

Sadly the Bonzos finally broke up
in March, 1970. Many hoped that Viv would go on to a solo career, but he had a nervous breakdown following a series of disasters and, like so many rock musicians of the 60s, he became a heavy drinker, went on many binges with other hellraisers, including Keith Moon from The Who. Viv never made a comeback, being hired for just a few TV ad's and making the odd guest appearance here and there.

Viv died in a fire at his flat in Muswell Hill, London on 5th March 1995 leaving a son and a daughter.

He could given other circumstances, have easily been another John Cleese or Eric Idol.

I still play my Bonzo Dog albums at work and find myself laughing uncontrollably at the sheer stupidity of 'Trouser Press' or 'My pink half of the drainpipe' despite the strange looks of disbelief from my co-workers.

but then again..."Life's like that isn't it?"

Check out the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band if you get a chance, I dare you!

Here is my Bonzo Top Ten:

1/ Canyons Of Your Mind.
2/ My Pink Half Of The Drainpipe
3/ Hunting Tigers Out In "Indiah"
3/ Laughing Blues
4/ Big Shot
5/ We Are Normal
6/ Trouser Press
7/ Mr. Apollo
8/ Mickey's Son And Daughter
9/ Mr. Slater's Parrot
10/ Hello Mabel

BONZO DOG Discography

Let's Make Up And Be Friendly
Mar-72 United Artists UAS 29288 (also Sunset SLS 50418)
1. The Strain (V. Stanshall)
2. Turkeys (N. Innes)
3. King Of Scurf (N. Innes)
4. Waiting For The Wardrobe (R.R. Spear)
5. Straight From The Heart (N. Innes/V. Stanshall)
6. Rusty (Champion Thrust) (T. Kaye/L.L. Smith)
7. Rawlinson End (N. Innes/V. Stanshall)
8. Don't Get Me Wrong (V. Stanshall/N. Innes)
9. Fresh Wound (N. Innes)
10. Bad Blood (V. Stanshall)
11. Slush (N. Innes)

The History Of The Bonzos
Apr-74 United Artists UAD 60071/2
1. The Intro And The Outro (Viv Stanshall)
2. Rockaliser Baby (V. Stanshall/N. Innes)
3. Sport (The Odd Boy) (V. Stanshall)
4. Noises For The Leg (V. Stanshall)
5. King Of Scurf (N. Innes)
6. Labio Dental Fricative (V. Stanshall) Viv Stanshall
& The Sean Head Showband
7. Hello Mabel (N. Innes)
8. Look At Me I'm Wonderful (V. Stanshall)
9. Canyons Of Your Mind (V. Stanshall)
10. Jollity Farm (L. Sarony)
11. You Done My Brain In (N. Innes)
12. My Pink Half Of The Drainpipe (V. Stanshall/N. Innes)
13. Mr. Apollo (V. Stanshall/N. Innes)
14. Hunting Tigers Out In "Indiah" (Hargreaves/Damerell/Evans)
15. Suspicion (Pomus/Shuman) Viv Stanshall & His Gargantuan Chums
16. Mr. Slater's Parrot (V. Stanshall) 17. Laughing Blues (Bradley)
18. Narcissus (Nevin)
19. I'm The Urban Spaceman (N. Innes)
20. Bad Blood (V. Stanshall)
21. I Left My Heart In San Fransicso (D. Cross)
22. Tent (V. Stanshall)
23. Can Blue Men Sing The Whites? (V. Stanshall)
24. 9-5 Pollution Blues (N. Innes) The World
25. Big Shot (V. Stanshall)
26. Release Me (Miller/Williams/Yount/Harris)
Roger Ruskin Spear & His Giant Kinetic Wardrobe
27. We Are Normal (V. Stanshall/N. Innes)
28. The Sound Of Music (Rogers & Hammerstein)
29. Kama-Sutra (V. Stanshall/N. Innes)
30. Rhinocratic Oaths (V. Stanshall/N. Innes)
31. Shirt (R.R. Spear)
32. Mickey's Son And Daughter (Lisbona/Connor)
33. Blind Date (V. Stanshall) Viv Stanshall & biG GRunt
34. Trouser Press (R.R. Spear)
35. Slush (N. Innes)

Sir Henry At Rawlinson End
1978 Charisma CAS 1139 (by Viv)
1. Aunt Florrie's Waltz
2. Interlewd
3. Wheelbarrow
4. Socks
5. The Rub
6. Nice 'N' Tidy
7. Pigs 'Ere Purse
8. 6/8 Hoodoo
9. Smeeton
10. Fool & Bladder
11. Endroar
12. Junglebunny
13. The Beasht Inshide
14. Rawlinsons & Maynards
15. Papadumb

Teddy Boys Don't Knit
1981 Charisma CAS 1153
1. King Kripple
2. Slave Valse
3. Gums
4. Bewilderbeeste
5. Calypso to Colapso
6. the Tube
7. Ginger Geezer
8. The Cracks Are Showing
9. Flung a Dummy
10. Possibly An Armchair
11. Fresh-Faced Boys
12. Terry Keeps his Clips On
13. Bass Macaw & Broken Bottles
14. Nose Hymn
15. Everyday, I Have the Blows
16. Smoke Signals at Night
17. Nouveau Riffe

Sir Henry At Ndindi's Kraal
1983 Demon Verbals VERB 1

The Very Best Of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
Oct-84 Music for Pleasure MfP 4156801

The Peel Sessions - The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
(BBC Radio 1 John Peel Top Gear sessions)
1987 Strange Fruit SFPSO51 (EP)
1. We're Going To Bring It On Home
2. Monster Mash
3. Sofa Head
4. Tent

The Bestiality Of The Bonzos
Apr-90 EMI EMS 1335

The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band Cornology
1992 EMI CZ 499/500/501 (3 CD set)

The Intro:


The Doughnut In Granny's Greenhouse

The Outro:



1. My Brother Makes The Noises For The Talkies
2. I'm Going To Bring A Watermelon To My Girl Tonight (Conrad)
3. Alley Oop (Frazier)
4. Button Up Your Overcoat (De-Sylva/Brown/Henderson)
5. Mr. Apollo (V. Stanshall/N. Innes) (German version)
6. Ready Mades (V. Stanshall/N. Innes)

Let's Make Up And Be Friendly:
7. The Strain (V. Stanshall)
8. Turkeys (N. Innes)
9. King Of Scurf (N. Innes)
10. Waiting For The Wardrobe (R.R. Spear)
11. Straight From The Heart (N. Innes/V. Stanshall)
12. Rusty (Champion Thrust) (T. Kaye/L.L. Smith)
13. Rawlinson End (N. Innes/V. Stanshall)
14. Don't Get Me Wrong (V. Stanshall/N. Innes)
15. Fresh Wound (N. Innes)
16. Bad Blood (V. Stanshall)
17. Slush (N. Innes)
18. Labio-Dental Fricative (V. Stanshall)
19. Re-Cycled Vinyl Blues (N. Innes)
20. Trouser Freak (R.R. Spear)

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