bonzo-article [updated, the full article is now translated]
now I have the whole thing translated.
the dada-ists that was on with the groove
Give me a deserted island och 3 records to bring with me threre. The choise is simple. The collector-records
Bonzo dog band 1 and 2.
In that way I can also bring the Rutles-album.
And in that case all my needs are fullfilled.
They were tested twice on Top of the pops with
a wonderfully trippy song. If all knew
that the producent
Apollo C Vermuth in fact
were Paul McCartney "The Urban Spaceman"
would probobly not have come in at last
Where shall I begin? In january 31 years ago, directly after new years eve? when
"Urban Spaceman" didnt make it
to the top..
No, not even I understood that the secret word
I was mostly confused over the
spaced out, psykadelic umpa-umpa-song.
I didnt even know the Bonzos were in the
Beatles flop-movie "Magical Mystery Tour"
But a while later, also on tv, the show
"Do not adjust your set" started running.
With a few of the boys that later would
become Monty Python. the Bonzos were the
They came in now and again,
did a song and looked crazy.
One number with
slide-guitar was called "can blue men sing
the whites?" and was sort of a coment
debate about if white muscisians could play
After one verse a man with a harmoinca walks
in on stange but gest thrown off it by the
with the words "shit, man!"
The lyrics of the song is a humoristic
killer-satire over the brittish rythm and
with limousine-riding stars like
Mick Jagger or Eric Clapton.
It was then I had my fist true love. "oh, you have discovered Bonzos? congrats!" said Swinto, who naturally
(without me ever giving it a second thought) had their first album in his huge collection of recods.
"put it on NOW!" I screamed.
The Bonzo DoG Dada band was the original bandname, in those days they were around 20 persons in the band.
That in the spirirt of 20s dadaism made fun of everything they could think of making fun of. A musichal mishmash
of trad-jazz, 50s rock, american sleeze-ringers, garrgebands, Trippy 60s music with obvious beatles-influences.
Gorilla was the title of their first album that 1967 gave a sampe of the freaked-out mixture.
And the student-like vaudville-bits where still there.
It was pop-art in its true form, typical of its time and very uniqe at the same time.
But its with the next album "Doughnut in Grannys Greenhouse" the first real master-piece becomes placed on my
record-player. The musical genious Neil Innes and the charismatic singer Vivivan Stanshall
have written most of the 12 songs. And the record has no weak spot!
The band has gone over from Dada to Doo Dah and begins with a Zappa-like verbal bitchsap to the
flower power-culture in "We are normal and we want our freedom" (Just FYI a quote from the american
group Loves classic "Forever changes")
The silly bubblegum-pop, for example "Simon says" got their slap through the song "Trouser-press", with later became the
name of a brittish rok-magazine. The song was written by Roger Ruskin Spear, whom on stage took with him a always
growing number of robots of a very spectaculare kind.
And "My pink half of the drainpipe" is the sort of satirical soial observetion that Ray Davies in Kinks used to do about
"the brittish way of life" but when the Bonzos does it it naturally ends in a total kakafoni of chaos.
Then Tadpoles came out and that was when I became a complede bonzoist.
The bands third album is a colletion of songs they did on "Do not adjust your set" its one of the 3 reords I have
played most in my life, and still play very often. Because the whole album ould have been done today. We are talking about the
original ironical generation. Sort of.
I give you titels; "Hunting tigers out in indiah", "Shirt" "Tubas in the moonlight" "Monster mash" "Ready-mades" "Ali Babas chamel"
"By a waterfal" and "Canyoins of your mind"
And two perky jazz-songs "dr. Jazz" and "Laughing blues" If you are in luck you can find a vinyl-copy with "Urban spaceman" on it as well.
Bonzos musi often begins in beautiful harmony to then freak out competely, much like life itself. Innes amazing feeling for pop and Stanshalls
ecually bizarre timing is a combination imopssible to ingore. Its party every time.
1969 Bonzo, now only with Dog Band left in the name, gave it a try to make a koncept-album about the mostly harmless little town Keynsham. If it wasent for
the fact I soon have used up all the letters I can use in this aricle I would made a good stot´ry to tell how the people in the camping-sight in Heidelberg
reacted when Swinto, myself and Fats, after rasing our small yellow tent and started drinking beer put on the records big highlight, so good it could have
been a song by the Marx Brothers and sang along as high as we could "Im gonna get you in my tent!"
Another time, maybe....
(Rutles-box in the article)
Even tho the Bonzo-years its most likely that Neil Innes will be mostly rememberd by The Rutles. The project is a documentary about a makebelive-band
directly copied from Beatles, was started by Eric Idle. 1978 the record where Innes had twisted inside out on a bunch Beatles-songs to the level that
you recognize even if you have never heard them before. Like on all Bonzo-occations it points out the recent popular-musics ways and never makes you
feel that you want your money back after listening to it.
(Vivian-box in the article)
The singer and trumpet-blower Vivian Stanshall Smith created after Bonzo had broken up 1972 with the last abum "Lets make up and be friendly" his
own carreer.After a few group-experiments in the beginning for example The Gargantuan Chums, that was a cooperation with Eric Clapton, he became a popular
radio-voice with his own show.
But then again, the words was always important no matter what the Bonzos did. Not what was actually spoken, but the streaming of verbal ideas, word-plays
the recykling of sayings and fantasyfigures goes like a red thread all through the history of the Bonzos.
The exentric verbalator at the microphone sadly run a hard life, and died alone and disillusioned in his clotterd London appartment when it burned down
in the spring of 1995.
Original writer: Anders Hansson
Translation by: Thina Hederstedt