Bonzo Dog Band, “Canyons Of Your Mind

My darling, in my cardboard-coloured dreams
Once again I hear your love
And I kiss, yes I kiss your perfumed hair
The sweet essence of giraffe

And each time I hear your name
Oh! How it hurts
In the wardrobe of my soul
In the section labelled “shirts”

Happy birthday to head Bonzo Vivian Stanshall, who would’ve been 71 today. Here’s a tribute Paul wrote after Viv’s tragic 1995 death:

“I originally met Viv in the London club days, out and about on the town. We used to have drinks and a laugh together and he was a lovely, funny man. He was in The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, which I saw live on stage at the Saville Theatre a couple of times when Brian Epstein promoted shows there. They were very eccentric — sort of modern yet very old-fashioned — following on from bands like the Temperance Seven.

Then I phoned Viv and asked if the Bonzos would be in Magical Mystery Tour with us. They did the scene with the stripper that we filmed in Paul Raymond’s Revuebar and I think they had a pretty good time, playing while the woman took off her clothes.

So Viv became a very good friend and I used to visit him at his house — I remember that he had an aquarium with turtles, at which we used to sit and wonder! Then he asked me to produce their next single ‘I’m The Urban Spaceman’, which I did at Chappell Studios. I went down there, met the guys, and Viv had a length of brightly-coloured plastic piping which made a noise when he swirled it around his head. That was to be his contribution. We chatted a while and then I produced the record. He suggested that I be credited as "Apollo C Vermouth”, which indeed I am, still, to this day. It turned out to be the Bonzos only hit, although hit singles is not what they were about anyway.

I’ll always remember Viv and Keith Moon being a sort of double act, the two of them playing very, very posh English gentleman. They did have their crazy side, of course, but whenever I saw them together they were perfect gentlemen. They did a joint Radio 1 show, which I heard while driving up to Scotland and was the inspiration for Oobu Joobu.

Over the following years Viv and I would see each other, on and off, at functions, but I gradually lost touch with him, so it was with particular sadness that I heard he had died. He was a wonderful man and he’ll be much missed.“


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Wicked Annabella - The Kinks ☠ Season Of The Witch - Donovan ☠ Strange Brew - Cream ☠ Walk On The Water - Creedence Clearwater Revival ☠ Boris The Spider - The Who ☠ I Put A Spell On You - Screamin’ Jay Hawkins ☠ Monster Mash - Bonzo Dog Band ☠ Werewolves Of London - Warren Zevon ☠ (Don’t Fear) The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult ☠ Suspiria - Goblin