Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Few indie.rock followers would perhaps know the band Death Cab for Cutie took their name from a song by this group of musical surrealists, the song of that name appearing in the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour film in late '67 when the band were invited to sing it.
The Bonzos enjoyed some patronage from various Beatles -- McCartney produced their hit I'm the Urban Spaceman under the name Apollo C. Vermouth and Harrison, a big fan of Monty Python also, had a long association with various members.
And what members they had: Neil Innes went on to write and appear in The Rutles; founder Vivian Stanshall lent his voice to Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells but is best known for his eccentric Sir Henry at Rawlinson nd album and film; Legs Larry Smith was (improbably) a tap dancer-cum-singer and actor . . .
They were satirists (sometimes more gentle and whimsical than Zappa and the Pythons with whom they were closely associated) and did withering parodies, and their albums were shot full of humour, spoken word pieces, strange soundscapes, silly jazz, oldtime MOR and sharp barbs of pop.
They split up a few times and reformed with various new members (their live guests was parade of rock celebrities), but true aficionados prefer their early work which, admittedly, does sound a bit dated these days. Just as some Python sketches do.
But this track from their debut album Gorilla remains very amusing. Just silliness, in a very British way.
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