The Bonzo Dog Band

The Bonzo Dog Dada Band formed at Goldsmiths Art College in London in 1965 and were centred on the songwriting talents of Neil Innes and Vivian Stanshall. Tired of explaining what the Dada art movement was, the band then changed their name to the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. They were influenced by comedy, jazz, pop and Dadaism and recorded four albums. Latterly they were known as The Bonzo Dog Band. Their 1967 debut album 'Gorilla' saw them move away from jazz towards comedy psychedelia, though there were also talented songwriters. The band wrote the satirical song 'Death Cab for Cutie' which was used in The Beatles' 1967 film 'Magical Mystery Tour'. They scored a top five hit with the single 'I'm the Urban Spaceman' in 1968, produced by Paul McCartney under the pseudonym of Apollo C Vermouth. They released the albums 'The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse' in 1968 and 'Tadpoles' in 1969. Their fourth album 'Keynsham' was released in 1969 and moved towards more serious songwriting and was regarded as their weakest work. Despite their relative success the band split up in 1970. Neil Innes went on to have success recording songs with Monty Python and in the spoof Beatles outfit The Rutles. Stanshall was the grand narrator on Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells'. One of the band's song titles 'Cool Britannia' was adapted to describe the era of Britpop and Tony Blair's Labour government in the late 1990s. Stanshall died in a house fire in 1995. The rest of the band reunited as the Bonzo Dog Band and toured from 2006 to 2008. Neil Innes died in 2019.

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