A ridiculously short history of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
All the interesting details are of course in the Doo Dah Diaries, but here is a brief history of the Bonzos.
A group of students from various art schools across London decided to have fun by playing a mixture of old novelty songs in the common room of the Royal College of Art. They adopted the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band as their name following the meeting of Rodney Slater and Vivian Stanshall in 1962 and whilst still students playing in colleges and pubs, they acquired a big following.
1966 - 1970
There were constant changes in personnel and even when they turned professional in 1966 and recorded their first single, there were still further changes. The Bonzos released their first album ‘Gorilla’ in 1967 and they caught the attention of the Beatles, making a cameo appearance in the ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. They were also invited at this time to perform on a new children’s television show called ‘Do Not Adjust Your Set’. But with a change in musical direction and the hit single ‘I’m The Urban Spaceman’, in 1968 the ‘Doo Dah’ was dropped from the band’s name and there were further changes in personnel. Whilst at the start of 1970 the Bonzo Dog Band was still enjoying great success, the constant pressure meant that it was no longer fun so they decided to disband.
1970 - 2006
Whilst they disbanded, this was far from the end of the activities of the individual Bonzos.
The Bonzos had to reform again in 1972 to record their final contractual obligation album, which became ‘Let’s Make Up And Be Friendly’. Apart from the 1992 single ‘No Matter Who You Vote For’, the full Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band was then only enjoyed by fans through the numerous re-releases of their ageless music.
2006 to present day
In 2006 the surviving Bonzos were convinced to reunite for one show. The band included Neil Innes, Rodney Slater, Roger Ruskin Spear, Sam Spoons, “Legs” Larry Smith, Vernon Dudley Bowhay Nowell and Bob Kerr. Following the success of that reunion show, there were successful tours and shows over the following years as well as new CD’s, whilst the individual Bonzos also continued with their other bands.
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