Great Madmen of the 20th Century #23

Viv Stanshall


Mike D said...

'sweet essence of.... giraffe'

'do it if you can
its much better than
the pre-fabricated,
concrete coal bunker!'

i love this man - RIP old fellow.

Vanwall said...

Do Not Adjust Your Set.

Vanwall said...

I should really give credit for the introduction to Stanshall and the Bonzos, and for that matter, to much of the offbeat, the weird, the eclectic in music and many other strange and wonderful things in my life, to the great radio station of my early '70s youth in Phoenix - KDKB, 93.3 FM and 1510 AM. (Or as The Firesign Theater said in a live promo interview when in town for a show, "Krazy Dog, Krazy Boy, that's 93.3 FFMMM, and 1510 if you am!" "And we am, Phil" - this was often used later as a check during broadcasts) The DJs, the awesome Nina Joy, Toad Hall, and the late, lamented Bill Compton, and more, used an almost underground playlist, that was album-oriented, mixed between cutting edge R&R, jazz, southern rock, lots of comedy albums, hell, even music by the seminal Outlaws Willy Nelson and Waylon Jennings, and others, who had trouble back then getting airplay on the redneck stations - they were too "differnt". They actually took requests seriously, and were listened to by just about every high-school and college kid in town - they were a wonderful antidote to the top 40 crap around everywhere else.

They even had a serious Public Interest series, back when it was important for Fancy Candy Company to actually enforce the licensing rules, and their homegrown comedy, mainly with Wonderful Russ, a whacked-out loud and rude character, was just short of always brilliant - even his legitimate commercials were outrageous in a Firesign-kinda way.

I remember the first Monty Python bit they played, "The Argument Sketch" - I almost drove my dad's truck off the road I was laughing so hard, and the Bonzos were regularly played, like as not at any hour of any day. A few of us outside types immediately latched on to the zany humor of the BDDB, and we even had an appreciation of the British Music Hall and Vaudeville comedy that seeped out of their music. Record store orders were never the same after that.


swac said...

Look out, there's a monster coming.

David Wise said...

One of my heroes. Saw the Bonzos on "Do Not Adjust Your Set" in London in 1969, then live at the Fillmore East. (Opening for the Kinks!)

BTW, Thomas Pynchon's new book INHERENT VICE mentions an extremely obscure Bonzo song, their cover of "Bang Bang." (Yeah, THAT "Bang Bang," with a few judiciously warped lyrics courtesy of Mr. Stanshall.)