Way back in an early PopCult post I made a reference to the song “The Equestrian Statue” by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band (later shortened to “The Bonzo Dog Band,” and henceforth called by me, “The Bonzos”). That post elicited a “Who the hell?” response from my esteemed editor and required further explanation via links and such. Now, thanks to the miracle of YouTube, here’s a look at The Bonzos performing “The Equestrian Statue” from the 1960s British TV show “Do Not Adjust Your Set,” which also featured Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Eric Idle, who would go on to fame as members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
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Killer song, eh? I’ll bet you go around the rest of the day singing “Feel so gay” under your breath. The Bonzos main claim to fame was writing and performing the song used as the theme to “The Muppet Show,” but they also appeared in The Beatles’ famed bus-wreck of a movie, “Magical Mysery Tour.” In that film they performed the song “Death Cab For Cutie,” from the alt-rockers of the same name found their inspiration. The late, lamented “Trouser Press” magazine also took their name from a Bonzo song.
After the jump we’ll look at some more coolness from the Bonzos, including a report on the 2006 reunion of the surviving members of the band. Apparently the dead ones were being stubborn. This link will take you to their website, where you can learn about their first new album in 35 years.
Here we see The Bonzos entertaining George Harrison and John Lennon, from “Magical Mystery Tour.” This is where Death Cab For Cutie got their name.
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Harrison became fast friends with many of the Bonzos. When Neil Innes wrote the music for Eric Idle’s Beatles parody, “The Rutles,” Harrison appeared in it as a reporter. Harrison also wrote the song “His Name Is Legs” about Bonzo drummer Legs “Larry” Smith, who later designed the graphics for Harrison’s “Gone Troppo” album. He also wrote the song “Do The Bonzo,” which was never released, but which is available, coupled with a late 1960s faux BBC report on the band in this clip:
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One of my favorite pieces of Bonzo music is “The Intro and the Outro” which introduces all the members of the band, and then some. Check out this nifty fan-made video:
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For the record, that actually was Eric Clapton playing ukelele.
Finally, we take a look at the Bonzo reunion from a couple of years ago. Viv Stanshall could not appear due to having died ten or so years previously. Luckily Stephen Fry and Ade Edmonson were able to fill in.
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