The Bonzo Dog Band

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The Bonzo Dog Band, also known as the Bonzo Dog Dada Band and the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band were a British rock group, best known for their only number one hit "I'm the Urban Spaceman" (1968) (which was produced by Paul McCartney) and the B-side "Canyons Of Your Mind". The group was for the most part a comedic act featuring bizarre costumes, surrealistic dialogues and lyrics, weird live improvisations and other crazy (and often silly) stage antics. Their lead singer Vivian Stanshall was seen as the creative brain behind the band.

The Bonzo Dog Band were active from 1966 until 1970. Together with Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention the Bonzos were seen as one of the few comedic rock bands and they both inspired each other, even though their musical and comedic styles were still very different. One of the members, Neil Innes, later became a musical collaborator for Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Bonzo-bassist Joel Druckman claimed that he once played in Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention. Bonzo songwriter Neil Innes later considered the Bonzos "the mothers of convention". [1] He also named We're Only In It For The Money his favorite album of all time. [2]

Links with Zappa

Frank Zappa referenced their track "Canyons of Your Mind" in his song We're Turning Again.

In the BBC documentary "Vivian Stanshall: In the Canyons Of His Mind" (2004) one of the interviewees talks about Stanshall's career after the Bonzos. A stoned Stanshall once met Zappa and was surprised to find out that it hadn't been three, but thirteen years since they last met. At that point Stanshall realized he had to quit using drugs and did so immediately.


  • "But, for the most part, the people I met were quite intelligent. They all admired Zappa for what he was doing too, especially The Bonzo Dog Band and Viv Stanshall, though I think that there was some sort of mutual admiration society there." (David Walley in David Walley's Exclusive Interview)


See also