May 23, 2009


(The Bonzo Dog Band - Cheerfully poking holes in credulity)

Vivian Stanshall was probably one of those most gifted, absurd, hysterical performers to come out of England in the 1960's. The band he helped form, The Bonzo-Dog (Doo-dah) Band gained an enormous cult following among musicians and lovers of theatrical insanity from 1966 to the eventual demise of their first incarnation in 1970. Many people attribute the rise of Monty Python to The Bonzo's influence and in fact, Neil Innes (another founding member of the band) figured prominently in the early stages of their success. The Bonzo's were also featured in The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, and their featured song "Death Cab For Cutie" became the namesake of a band currently on the scene (but with no other connection other than name).

But it was Vivian's contribution, his vision, that gave him such a cult following. One which continues to this day, some 14 years after his premature death.

There are a number of sites devoted to Stanshall and the work of The Bonzo's. This is one of the best sites. It's well worth checking out.

In 1971 Stanshall was recruited by John Peel to act as substitute DJ while Peel went on vacation. The result was a series of programs for the BBC entitled "Vivian Stanshall's Radio Flashes.

This show also features the talents of his pal and drinking buddy Keith Moon acting as straight man and foil.

The combination is perfect, the madness bounces out of the speakers and the genius behind it all is sorely missed.

Listen and enjoy - and tell your friends.

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