Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

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Brock
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Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by Brock »

Another compilation of potential interest coming up tomorrow on Radio 4 Extra: Neil Innes looks at the work of "the incorrigible, adored, unpredictable, unfathomable absurdist from the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and creator of the intricate world of Rawlinson End. Including, for the first time in over 40 years, a selection from Vivian Stanshall’s Radio Flashes". Don't think it's aired previously. 9am and 7pm as usual.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/progin ... pence.html

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bent_halo
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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by bent_halo »

More Radio Flashes to follow in the autumn apparently. What I know to be held at the Sound Archive is in a bit of a muddle so I'm guessing it will be domestic recordings restored.

Xrds1895
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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by Xrds1895 »

It certainly is a brand new show with some remarkably rare and unheard material. Also there is much to be heard on the stage show of Sir Henry at Rawlinson End which I am very proud to be the theatrical director of. Well worth getting your DAB on either right now or this evening for the repeat.

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Private Frazer
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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by Private Frazer »

There were certainly a lot of jokes I'd never heard before in this - "If I had all the money I'd spent on drink.... I'd spend it all on drink"
"Now listen you guys, I don't wish to alarm you but there's some pretty weird things going on out here..."

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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by Private Frazer »

It must have been a 'Sir Henry at Rawlinson End' clip I heard which made me laugh so much. I've got a feeling this was probably the tamer stuff, so I'll not follow it up. He reminded me of Barry Humphries character Sir Les Patterson.
"Now listen you guys, I don't wish to alarm you but there's some pretty weird things going on out here..."

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penfold
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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by penfold »

Glorious programme, nice to have a 3-hour luxuriate in the man's company.

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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by Nigel Stapley »

Very good programme. I particularly liked the anecdote about the time he did the gig at Southend Poly. It's one of those, "Even if it wasn't true, in a fair and just universe it should be true!" stories.

One aspect of Vivian's work which I felt was rather glossed over was his songwriting ability. Everyone knows about the funny and Dada-ist stuff, but he could write beautiful stuff. "Florrie's Waltz" was heard more than once on the programme, but "Redeye" from "Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead" has the most wonderful Gospel-style chorus, and "Calypso To Colapso" from "Teddy Boys Don't Knit" is beautifully arranged. And my own favourite, "Labio Dental Fricative", a single which he put out during The Bonzos' hiatus at the beginning of the 70s, and which featured his old art-school chum Eric Clapton on guitar. The song is, for the most part, frivolous, with its chorus of "Cannibal chiefs chew Camembert cheese, 'cos chewing keeps them cheeky...", etc., but the middle eight is wonderfully slow, and wistful, quite out of keeping with what is around it. But it still works. You can hear it on a certain video site [link removed], although the version which Vivian himself remixed for the 1974 "History Of The Bonzos" compilation is far better to my mind.

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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by didi-5 »

Not to mention the lovely lyrics he wrote for Steve Winwood, and the song which appeared on the Bonzos reunion album 'Now You're Asleep'. Lots of people remember Vivian as the great British eccentric but he was a great songwriter, musician and versatile singer, as well as being wickedly funny. Really something very special.

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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by Mike S »

It really benefited from the 3-hour running time, I thought - enough space to meander about and explore/debunk a few myths. They should do docs like this more often.

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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by Mike S »

Also, it wasn't a beginners' guide. It didn't feel it needed to explain who the Bonzos were, etc.

Plus: John Walters. Always a plus.

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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by Mike S »

That Libby Purves interview is great (even if she did keep calling him 'Viv Stansall'). This is exactly the kind of ephemeral gem that would never normally get an airing due to 4 Extra's apparent 'comedy and accessible drama only' remit. There's been so many good things on 4 Extra recently, though, so I'm speculating there's been a regime change.

Great to hear a high-quality/stereo chunk of Crank too.

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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by Brock »

Mike S wrote:This is exactly the kind of ephemeral gem that would never normally get an airing due to 4 Extra's apparent 'comedy and accessible drama only' remit. There's been so many good things on 4 Extra recently, though, so I'm speculating there's been a regime change.
The Saturday morning compilation slot certainly seems to have changed in the last few months, with the focus on specially-made themed sequences rather than just a collection of someone's six favourite comedy programmes or whatever. (Though last week and this week they've returned to the old format with Ken Dodd presenting comedy shows from the first year of Radio 2 - a repeat from 2007.)

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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by Mike S »

4 Extra obviously aren't going to do a repeat-run of Midweek, and if that interview had been in a normal documentary it would have been cut down to a few snippets...so the three-hour retrospective is a good way of getting such stuff heard in full.

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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by Xrds1895 »

Just in case anyone around that there London fancies it, tomorrow night at The Bloomsbury you could be in the company of Neil Innes, Rick Wakeman and many more for One Night Stanshall. There are still a few tickets left...

http://www.thebloomsbury.com/event/run/1870

The evening includes a complete performance of Sir Henry at Rawlinson End. If you make it do say "hello"! I'll be the chap looking hassled and doing the shouting from the control box at the back of the theatre.

Cheers!

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Re: Vivian Stanshall - English as Tuppence

Post by Brock »

Mike S wrote:4 Extra obviously aren't going to do a repeat-run of Midweek
I don't see why not. I've never heard it suggested, but if they can repeat old editions of Desert Island Discs I don't see any objection in principle to repeating old chat shows.
and if that interview had been in a normal documentary it would have been cut down to a few snippets...so the three-hour retrospective is a good way of getting such stuff heard in full.
Indeed. These extended compilation-style programmes are occasionally popping up at other points in the schedule now as well - did anyone hear the two-hour programme last Sunday given over to previously undiscovered recordings of Letter from America, presented by Paddy O'Connell and with various studio guests? I thought it was excellent.

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