Vivian and old wooden head

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Sign the Petition for Warner Brothers to re-release Vivian Stanshall's rare solo album Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead.

You Have Spoken

Subject: That's nice Max

Hi there, happy you could stick around . . . I bought two remaindered copies of Gorilla from a charity shop in Wimbledon 35 years ago - gave one of them to a friend who has since disappeared without trace (she couldn't stand him anyway), kept the other for myself and set about memorising the lyrics. . . life has never been the same since. A huge disappointment, but not the same. Vivian was no genius . . . he was more talented than that. But more than anything, like Kong, he was a great bloke. Ginger Geezer, I salute you! Seán PS: what gives with Stinkfoot?

Subject: thank you

wish merely to say thank you - to viv, & his memory, & to you. viv's lightened my life xxx

Subject: Count Kryzal

There may be misinterpretation of my last message (for which I apologise profusely). It was an anarchic request that someone should listen (again sincere apologies). However, your online marketing is not exactly wonderful and I would be happy to help. No large sums of money required - in fact nothing at all. Please feel free to contact me if you wish (or not). I grew up with Viv and the Bonzos. I try very hard to keep the memories of a most wonderful, inventive and incredible man alive. I could only wish to have a fraction of his his mind or talent. I am old and hope, one day, to meet him again. God bless you all. I am here (weird and eccentric as Viv insisted he wasn't) to help promote, preserve and revere a wonderful human (?) being. With much love.

Subject: count kryAL

Now we, meaning "us" or "me" have a real problem. Professionally, I should tell you that your digital marketing is poo but I can't bring myself to do it unless you pay me huge sums of money. Anyway, much love and good luck.

Subject: Just hello from Tonton DougDoug and his ever wrinkling retainer

Loved all the man's stuff since I was a wee boy running home to see Don't Adjust Your Set. Later Sir Henry loomed large in my Peel adjusted adolnonesence. Enjoying rediscovering all this myself Umbrellas and the Stinkfoot book for Krimbo. Stylistic links to Ian Dury and the Blockheads uncanny...they were friends ? and Tom Waits Lovely Site...thanks for all your efforts...much appreciate big love from Singapore in the year of the unconstitutional rabbit !


I've always been intrigued by Viv, and somewhat fancy that something of his spirit now resides in my own psyche. Currently reading 'Ginger Geezer' with great awe and bewilderment, and wish I had with Viv personally! Sometimes one feels as if their heroes belong to them, but in this case, I do not feel worthy of such as a claim. But not a day goes by without me quoting the old reprobate. May all things Viv be re-released, remixed, regurgitated and recycled. Methinks that we need a convention of some kind, or perhaps an unconvention!? Keep spreading your light all around. Andy

Subject: The Great Viv

I miss the nutty and lovable bloke. Keep his skewed vision alive, folks! I want more Stanshall creations!

Subject: Vivian Stanshall on the YouTube

A particular susceptible Ginger Geezer as found on the Youtube:

Subject: comments

Hello- Long,long ago my quality of life was altered by a friend who,during the any man's land between midnight and daybreak played me "The Doughnut In Granny's Greenhouse." As a Brit loving Yank,it was the link between The Goons and Python,it was "We're Only In It For The Money' without the smugness,it was more,it was everything. Another fan. Cut to- While browsing through the LP racks,I discover "Sir Henry At Nididi's Kraal." I now know what the artist and some others thought of this release but for me it was another priceless package of free flowing Stanshall,no small thing.Note-the album was new at that point. Cut to- The EMI Bonzo remasters thrilled and delighted me with improved sound,bonus tracks and liners from Mr. Innes. My one screaming complaint:where the fuck are Viv's original track by track notes??? Thankfully,I have my old copies. Cut to- I meet Neil Innes at a gig in Rodchester,New Y

Subject: Photo of (an) actual Sir Henry Rawlinson

I would like to direct your attention to a photograph that resides in the United States Library of Congress. It dates from 1855 and is part of a collection of Crimean War photos donated to the Library. Labeled "'Sir Henry Rawlinson,' Sanitary Commissioner," the summary states that it is in fact a portrait of "Dr. Sutherland Robert Rawlinson, Esq. ..." according to info provided on the photo mount. This link will take you to the summary page where you can view or download the photo in several formats. Since discovering this photo while hunting around for something else, I have wondered why it is labeled "Sir Henry Rawlinson" when its subject is someone other, and just who labeled it as such, and when. I like to think the employee responsible was an avid fan who did it on the sly. Thank you for this lovely site, and for your d

Subject: Richard Vranch

Amazing to spot the reference to Richard Vranch. His mother and mine used to share dropping us off at our respective schools QEH (me) and Bristol Grammar (Richard). His dad used to tutor me in Maths, taking me from floundering at 28th out of 32 to a surprising 1st in class. I still hate Maths, but I do paint:

Subject: Not necessarily zebras

By the greatest of good luck and a stout piece of string, I have discovered this most marvellous website. In fact I would say it is the best of all sites. Just spent a while watching the 40th anniversary fillum. Crikey me it was top flight. Best wishes Shelfy the Bear

Subject: ...and a piano

I was wondering what Vivian would have made of 'Three Bonzos & a Piano'. I imagine he would have loved to get up and do some for old times sake. Shame on the ego warrier for leaving them in the lurch!


I first discovered the cheerful insanity of the Bonzo Dog Band back in the late 70s on the Dr. Demento Show, and it has probably left me permanently warped. Being stuck on this side of the pond, no one over here has heard of any of this, and whenever I bring it up, they look at me like, "O no! Not again!" I heard of Viv's sad demise in 1995, yet no one understood the loss I felt when I contemplated this fact. To find this site is a godsend. Anyone who's interested, I can be reached at And remember, "I'm singing to you covered entirely in sequins!" -David West

Subject: Stinkfoot 2010

I've been watching the gig list for The Thekla, Bristol for a little while now, but noticed this morning the listing included Stinkfoot. That got my interest and, lo, I've learnt that Thekla is in fact the Old Profanity Showboat. So now I've just bought our tickets for one of the shows in July 2010. I think it'll be a great night of entertainment, and quite a special one too.


Subject: Thank You

...for bringing a touch of reasonable madness into the worlds of many, many, many people.

Subject: An Improper Plaice

If I had to choose a desert island disk I would be 'Sir Henry'. The tumult of ideas, the double and triple puns, the fantastical scenes and the delivery would make is a work of genius even if it wasn't the wittiest piece of prose/poetry/music that I know. A truly unique album, I never tire of it and return to it again and again as a source of inspiration and comfort.

Subject: Greeting From Southend Will be trying to find the Southend connection with the man. Best WG

Subject: Mathew Pariss

I heard the Radio 4 programme and thought you did a great job - such a pity Mathew Paris didn't "get" Vivian. The amazing weird humour of Viv, yourself and all the rest of the Bonzos really influenced my life as I was growing up. You were all terrific - and so funny. I had the brief pleasure of recording your narration for an episode of "The Raggy Dolls" once as a studio engineer at Alfasound Studios in Manchester. Such a delight to meet one of my heroes, and you were faultlessly nice, which was a big bonus. Steve England

Subject: Vivian's work

Just finished a marathon read of "Ginger Geezer", and it was the most compelling, exciting, maddening and sad bio I'd ever laid eyes on. Vivian's work is quite singular and those of us who carry the torch will hold it dear forever. The web site is a wonderful tribute. Thank you. Tim Rusling, Tecumseh, Ontario Canada

Subject: How I got Viv.

Hi there... I'm Johnny Jarman, English comedy writer who was the only person in my world who had heard of and was a total fan of Vivian Stanshall.. Intro Outro had me absolutely creased up every time I played it to my friends and acquaintances... they laughed kindly for me... I had the feeling that someone had to be a certain "type" to get Viv and his wonderful comic energy. Well, I am a comedy writer now... and my erstwhile friends are ordinary people... Yep, I "got" Viv straight away. I still have him. He was the nearest thing to a human firework. Bright, colourful,effervescent, explosive, joy inducing - and over all too quickly. -

Subject: On Meeting A Leg End

Met Viv/Vic circa 1980 during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (along with his mate - may have been Mr Innes). First 'serious' question I was asked: 'Where can we score some d*pe about here?' I may have duly done my duty (ha! ha!). I'm sure we had a good night ... Thanks for the laughs (and thoughtful inspiration), VS.

Subject: Viv

I'd just like to say what a great man Vivian must have been. . such a true individual. Must've been fun to know him. Did you know there are groups over the internet who think Viv replaced Paul McCartney?

Subject: English as tuppence

Wonderful window to the 20th Century Shakespeare. I worship his linqual luminosity Keep it live and moist Auild Scrote

Subject: appreciation

A fan since 1971 when I heard the Best of the Bonzos. Happy to see so much of Vivian on the web.

Subject: Vivian

Vivian is Absolute. Thank you for this site....

Subject: Vivian and the Extruded Doorknobs of Kathoom

Just wanted to drop a line and say I love the site and have loved Vivian and the Bonzo's since 1978. Although for a long time Vivian was just a voice on a record to me. Here in Yankville it was hard to get much info on the band. Many many years later I found out it was Vivian who sang and spoke my favorite Bonzo songs. ("In July 1937 I bought my wife a new electric iron. She still uses it every day and it's never needed repair." I don't know why but I find that line hilarious.) I never thought I'd ever see footage of Vivian or the Bonzo's performing but now, thanks to the internet and sites like this I get to see these great performances and read about a mad genius whom I've admired for years, even when he was just a silly voice on a record. Thanks for this site, it's a lot of fun. May you always have healthy bowel movements! yr. obt. servt. azathoth60

Subject: WOW!

A few years ago I promoted a series of club nights in an old, slightly weathered (!) boat called The Thekla. A unique and brilliant venue which I hear has now been rejuvinated and pleasingly still plays a crucial role in bristol's live music and club scene. Today whilst reminiscing I decided to learn a little more of the boat's history - something i cant believe I'd never done before. Through this quest I've been introduced to the fascinating story and of Viv's (and Ki's)life. What a legend! One of my favourite album's of all time is Steve Winwood's Arc of a Diver. Shamfully I had never known anything about the man behind the lyrics. I'm glad I now do.

Subject: videos

Equestrian Statue

Sound of Music

Urban Spaceman

By a Waterfall

Little Sir Echo

Monster Mash

Subject: Hurrah

Hurrah, thanks

Subject: Do Not Adjust Your Bonzos

I recently bought the release of "Do Not Adjust Your Set" on DVD as well as "L'Amour des Chiens". And it made me realise that somewhere along the line Britain has lost that strain of eccentric genius that used to define us. Perhaps Vivian was the last of the breed and the responsibility of bearing that load was too much for one man to bear. Somewhere there should be 'A statue in the Square'.

Subject: Do Not Adjust Your Bonzos

I recently bought the release of "Do Not Adjust Your Set" on DVD as well as "L'Amour des Chiens". And it made me realise that somewhere along the line Britain has lost that strain of eccentric genius that used to define us. Perhaps Vivian was the last of the breed and the responsibility of bearing that load was too much for one man to bear. Somewhere there should be 'A statue in the Square'.

Subject: Do Not Adjust Your Bonzos

I recently bought the release of "Do Not Adjust Your Set" on DVD as well as "L'Amour des Chiens". And it made me realise that somewhere along the line Britain has lost that strain of eccentric genius that used to define us. Perhaps Vivian was the last of the breed and the responsibility of bearing that load was too much for one man to bear. Somewhere there should be 'A statue in the Square'.

Subject: Ahoy hoy

Hope all is going well with the book Ki ? Can't wait to read it. Just been watching the awesome week of Viv doc from the bbc in the mid superb ! And yes ! we need Umbrellas unleashed !! Mark x

Subject: Tria Linning

I worked with Tria in 1978 in the John Inman show in Bournemouth. At the time she was dating Ray. I often wonder if she ever married him! You look just the same Tria on this website. Hope you are doing well. Lucinda (Cindy) Peterson (nee Burrell)


Viv was and in a sense (innocence?), still is one of those minds whose work I have discovered slowly, finding new treasure over an extended period and therefore never growing stale. I have found the same with Roy Harpers Work. I wonder what he would be doing now.

Subject: I signed the first one ages ago, but here I go again

This is my favorite site on the internet. What can I say, but that I love the man, and I'm so grateful that his considerable legacy is being lovingly and responsibly looked after by Ki, et. all. Thank you for this wonderful window into the inner life of a man I deeply admire and whose work is a constant source of weirdness, joy, thoughtfulness and revelation. Thanks to a link here I now have an MP3 copy of Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead (just posted my homage/review in the forum), and I've been otherwise enriched by the many links to and posts of not only Vivian's work, but also Ki's insightful musings. Bless you and keep you absurd in a world that doesn't appreciate absurdity nearly enough. --Brad Hollowniczky

Subject: So long ago in a sea of mediocrity...

My word, it has been what... 15 or more years since we lost Mr Stanshall? A brilliant mind... amazing wit... I first heard the Bonzos in 1972 & couldn't believe what I had found... I still listen to those recordings & smile large... but, what of Mssrs Innes, Desborough-Slater, Ruskin-Spear, Smith, et al? I hope future generations get to hear, appreciate & smile large at the genius that was Vivian & his cohorts... Best to all... Bob W Temple, NH USA

Subject: Thanx for the fun

His masterly way of using the English language in a way it shouldnt gives me endless smiles, Thanx Viv

Subject: thekla

This is very complicated! Just wanted to say thanks for the memories, I used to work on the Thekla a vey long time ago. Regards to Pam, Sydney and Silkie (silkie I imagine is extremely grown up now) Michèle

Subject: Just to Say Thanks

Thank you for this wonderful site. I have spent many hours delighting in it.

Subject: Vivian

Sometimes I want to put a gun to my head and fire because you showed us how pathetic and ridiculous real life is. It's fitting that you were chosen early for removal to a higher plane because you always were on a higher plane when you were alive. But I won't be joining you just yet because I need to hear My Pink Half Of The Drainpipe just a few more times if that's OK with you. People like you make me despair at and love the human race at the same time. You were great indeed.

Subject: Pseudemys Scripta Elegans

In 1990 I lost my most trasured possesion. Aged seventeen I wrote to Vivian and asked his advice on keeping terrapins as I knew him to be keen on the subject. He sent me back a glorious letter and, as I had reqested, a signed glossy pic. A Bonzo fan since aged twelve, I naturally treasured it. Too young to ever see the band live, I did manage to see both biG GRunt and Vivarium in concert. Naturally I own all the albums. His art was part of my childhood and is still part of my life today. Thank you so much for producing this site. With love, Martyn A. Littlefair


God, he was so good.

Subject: Woops! In the oven my rice pudding's getting burnt!

Just stumbled upon the site while surfing a Muswell Hill tangent on the web. I lived in Muswell Hill briefly in the late 90s and thought of Vivian often when I used to go for walks in its verdant tranquil parts. I liked to imagine that something of the great man's spirit lingered on in the area. As a long-time admirer of Mr Stanshall's work I thought I should leave these words in tribute to him. One of England's great - and enduring - poets. Bless you Viv. May your words and your voice endure for all eternity. Love from Oysterfrond (aka Les Ward, Southampton)

Subject: Eleven Moustachioed Daughters

When I was young and foolish, two school friends (one of whom was Dave Lewis, now owner/operator of Lakeside Studios in Bristol and bass guitarist of The Shrinks) and I performed a version of Eleven Moustachioed Daughters at Bristol Grammar School's annual Poetry Reading Competition. Our English tutor, a great guy called Jim Hunter, thought it was brave and exciting (especially as we added bits of poems that used to crop up every year, like Kipling's "If" and Louis MacNeice's "I Am Not Yet Born" on to the end of it.) The headmaster and the adjudicator, the actress Margaret Rawlings, didn't agree and looked daggers during the performance and were downright rude about it in the summing up. We didn't win, but we sure as hell got the loudest and longest applause of the afternoon. Long time fan of the man and his works. We need more like him

Subject: Release anything and everything

Not only would I want Warners to release what they have, but the more stuff from the multiple archives of the likes of the BBC and etc the better. To think I commute into Leeds with a fella and we end up muttering Stanshallesque stuff to save our sanitary as the journey burbles towards the basking-shark misery of tedious employment... The best of Ginger wishes to all who sail in Viv's Longships of laughter and pilot his post-mortal existences. Facejumper No.3

Subject: Rawlinson+DVD

Is there a chance in Hades of a North American DVD being available? I am pining for Scrotum, and a fine cider at the Fool and Bladder. Chin Chin

Subject: Love to family

Gosh its going to take me several days to wade through this site - how wonderful. Loved the photo album - Ty is beautiful and I felt very honoured to see all the pics. Love to all the family and thank you for finding Viv back in the 70s and giving him a new lease of life. Beautifully written description of the first encounter with Mr Stanshall - happy you could stick around. So many of us adored Viv, even with all his struggles in life. He made a difference.

Subject: Great British Eccentrics. A tradition.

Dear Viv, The Bonzo's and Sir Henry make life worth leaping about in. I miss you Old Pal. 'Jewboy'Dave, (Australia, 2008)

Subject: Lovely

I have adored him for the last 37 years. I have a dear friend in Nevada City whom I met while we were both employed as bakers. My first day of work he began singing my pink half of the drainpipe and I finished it. We never looked back. I continually look for Vivian's work and love this site. How lucky you are. Tod

Subject: Fabulous man!

Wow you have created such an amazing site!

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