Vivian Stanshall

(c. 1943—1990) musician

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b. Victor Anthony Stanshall, 21 March 1943, Shillingford, Oxfordshire, England, d. 5 March 1995, Muswell Hill, London, England. Stanshall was evacuated with his mother to Shillingford in Oxfordshire soon after his birth, but following the end of the war the family relocated to Walthamstow and then Southend-on-Sea in Essex. Stanshall’s love of pre-war ephemera, traditional jazz and an art school prankishness was instrumental in shaping the original tenor of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. This satirical unit was one of the most humorous and inventive bands to emerge from the 60s, but fell foul of the eclectic pursuits of its divergent members. Stanshall’s first offering following the Bonzo’s collapse was ‘Labio-Dental Fricative’, a single credited to the Sean Head Showband, an impromptu unit which included guitarist Eric Clapton. A second release, a brazenly tongue-in-cheek rendition of Terry Stafford’s ‘Suspicion’, featured Vivian Stanshall And His Gargantuan Chums, and was coupled to ‘Blind Date’, the artist’s only recording with biG GRunt, the unit he had formed with Roger Ruskin Spear, Dennis Cowan and ‘Borneo’ Fred Munt, three refugees from the immediate Bonzo Dog Band circle. Each band member, bar Munt, appeared on 1972’s Let’s Make Up And Be Friendly, the album the Bonzo Dog Band belatedly completed to fulfil contractual obligations.


From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.

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