|The Bonzo Dog Band|
A little lesson in British comedy: One can draw a very crooked line from the surreal '50s radio show The Goon Show--from which Peter Sellers sprang--to the anarchy of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Between the two was the seminal children's show [sic] Do Not Adjust Your Set. Later-Pythons Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin wrote and starred in this Thames tee vee series. However, people of all ages tuned in to see the antics of The Bonzo Dog Band, which featured today's Birthday Boy Dennis Cowan on bass.
Here's some very early Bonzos from Do Not Adjust Your Set:
People know the band Death Cab For Cutie. However, few know that the name is a tribute to the song of the same name that The Bonzo Dog Band performed in Magical Mystery Tour. This tasty little morsel of Doo Wop is one of few highlights in this horrible film that will always be an albatross around Paul McCartney's neck:
Neil Innes also came from the Bonzos and he became, almost, an auxiliary member of Monty Python Flying Circus. As told (accurately) by the WikiWackyWoo:
Innes wrote the songs for Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He appeared in the film as a head-bashing monk, the serf crushed by the giant wooden rabbit, and the leader of Sir Robin's minstrels. He also had a small role in Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky. Because of these long-standing connections, Innes is often referred to as "the Seventh Python".Neil Innes documentary was called The Seventh Python. Innes was also Ron Nasty in The Rutles, which makes him one of the Pre-Fab Four. But this isn't about Innes, which would be a fun transgression.
|L to R: Dennis Cowan, Roger Ruskin |
Spear & Rodney Slater 1969
Photo © Barrie Wentzell, who
sells beautiful prints of early
Bonzo Dog Band and more.
Lastly, for fans of Beatles trivia, like James Rosen of Fox News (who I stumped. That story coming.), here's a real rarity: The promotional film for I'm The Urban Spaceman. The original recording of Urban Spaceman was produced Apollo C. Vermouth, which was a pseudonym for Paul McCartney. Enjoy.