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Viv Stanshall

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  • Viv Stanshall

    Just back from holidaying in Corfu. I bought a couple of bargain books from Fopp to read while away (an excellent music retailler in UK, always has a vast selection of cheap CD's and books and not the usual crap that is sold off cheap). I read 'The First Book of Lankhmar' by Fritz Leiber, pretty much on the recommendations of this site and a fine read it was, but I digress, the second book was 'Ginger Geezer', the autobiograpy of Viv Stanshall ( I have a great fondness for music books and this is a cracker), now I really didn't know much about Viv, but one of my friends had told me it was a great read (for our American friends Viv was lead singer with 'The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band' among other things and also a Great British Eccentric). Anyway, I just wondered if you every met him, as you were both in the 'scene' back in the 60's & 70's and he was on Bob Calvert's 'Captain Lockheed' album.

  • #2
    MM was also on the album playing the banjo, so it's very likely they met.


    • #3
      I didn't like Viv very much, unfortunately. He was a bastard to his wife.
      Not uncommon amongst people who get too high on their own success, maybe, and the list is almost endless, but I found him exhausting, much as Bob could be exhausting, when 'up'. Bipolarism can drain the sufferer and all around them pretty dry.

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      • #4
        A "lady" I used to work with went out with one of the other Bonzos in the 60s (Nigel? maybe not) and thought Viv was a lovely guy, but then again she described him as the most outrageous "queen"; so perhaps inevitable there would be some issues vis-a-vis his wife?

        I passed over Ginger Geezer, hoping someone would buy me it for Solstice ( :( ), but it seemed obvious from my skim-read of it that Viv was a fairly tormented character and therefore probably an infuriating one. Rawlinson End seems a work of near-genius to me, his wordplay goes far beyond most emanances from the "rock world", but Ndidi's Kraal raises a few smiles and many many more hackles. Is it an affectionate send-up of imperialist attitudes or is it a vicious satire, or is it in danger of reinforcing stereotypes? Or am I taking the jester too seriously?
        \"Killing me won\'t bring back your apples!\"


        • #5
          Strangely (considering the timing of this thread) there was a documentary on Viv on BBC4 on Sunday (part of the 60s season they are running at weekends). Was John Martyn a couple of weeks back.