Monday, December 19, 2011

Pheaturing Three Bonzos and a Piano

Hello, kids, and welcome to the Peverett Phile on a Monday. How are you? Me? I am getting a new stereo put in the ol' Cruiser this afternoon and we might go and see the new Chipmunks movie. So, things are pretty damn good. In the run up to Christmas, shipping companies are doing twice as many shipments as normal. So today is the best day to send drugs through the mail and not get caught. A lot of packages this time of year get lost. That's awful. You’re promised something great. You wait and wait and wait. But nothing good ever comes. It's like voting for Obama. LOL. Just kidding... or am I? Santa blows all these shipping companies away. He delivers more than 2 billion packages in just 24 hours. He does it by sleigh. He doesn’t use tracking numbers and doesn’t use trucks. He just uses midgets and a giant bag. You know, I looked all over Orlando yesterday and I was unable to find a partridge in a pear tree. But I did find a pigeon in a homeless person's beard. Pippa Middleton made the list of "Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating People". Who could be more fascinating than someone who's the sister of someone who married someone who's famous for just being born? Some people are objecting to Donald Trump being included in the list. Not me. I'm glad someone is finally giving Trump a forum so he can express himself and get some attention. Barbara has been doing these specials for a long time. The first time she hosted, the No. 1 most fascinating person was Socrates. The list included the Kardashian family, Donald Trump, Simon Cowell and Katy Perry. Is that a list of the most fascinating people or a list of the reasons the terrorists hate us? Ryan Gosling was named "coolest person of the year" by 'Time' magazine. Because when the kids want to know what's cool, they put down their Internets and their smartphones and pick up 'Time' magazine. In Sioux City, Iowa, there was another debate between the seven Republicans running for president. All your favorites were there: Grumpy, Dopey, the other Dopey, Romney, Bashful, another Dopey, and Happy. This was the 427th of 2,000 debates to be held between now and when President Obama is re-elected. There are so many debates. For a group of people who don't want the government interfering in our lives a lot, they interfere in our lives a lot. Ryan Gosling was named "coolest person of the year" by 'Time' magazine. Because when the kids want to know what's cool, they put down their Internets and their smartphones and pick up 'Time' magazine. Today in 1971 the movie A Clockwork Orange opened, originally given an X rating. Censors objected more to the sex scenes than the orgies of ultraviolence, which is rather odd. Director Stanley Kubrik later earns an R by removing some of the smuttier footage. Speaking of movies, this time of year I love watching Christmas movies. It's not as fun watching them around Easter for some reason. Anyway, one of my favorite Christmas movies is "A Christmas Story". I was so excited when I saw "A Christmas Story" inspirational poster. Here it is.

Well, in a minute I will mention Kim Jong's passing, kids. But someone beat me. Check out this poster that was just put out.

Well, there's been a lot of interesting news stories throughout 2011 so the last few entries of the Phile this year, I decided to look back at some with the help of LEGO. In September protesters camped out in Zuccotti Park in New York City as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, sparking copycat demonstrations across the globe. 

I like the guy with the sign that says "Occupy LEGOland". LOL. Alright, now for some sad... I mean happy news.

Vaclav Havel
October 5, 1936 - December 18, 2011
Kim Jong-il
February 16, 1941 - December 18, 2011
Not anymore he not.

Well, this time of year some people are working on their Christmas wish lists, and I got my hands on some and like to pheature it in a pheature I call...

By the way, this is the dumbest pheature ever. Thank God this is the last one... oh, wait. I have one more for Wednesday's entry. Crap. Alright, today's list is from Sonic. Yep, Sonic the Hedgehog. That Sonic. Here we go.
1. Chili Dog.
2. Rings.
3. Dreamcast.
4. Tickets to Furcon 2012.

The next artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is Phile Alumni and musician Alexis White who was at one time Alexis Thompson. This is one of her pieces, kids.

Alexis will be the on the Phile in a few weeks. In fact, she'll be the first guest of 2012. 

This is so bloody cool. Today's guests are the four members that make up the British band Three Bonzos and a Piano. They have a new CD available in stores in Britain, and on CDBaby and iTunes called "Hair of the Dog". Please welcome to the Phile the Three Bonzos and a Piano... Rodney Slater, Roger Ruskin Spear, Sam Spoons and David Glasson!

Me: Hello, fellas, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Rodney: I was 70 a couple of of weeks ago for which there is no known cure, but it’s alright!

Roger: Old.

Me: Man, I have a million questions for you but will only ask you about twenty or so. I just hope this is not your last appearance on the Phile as I am a huge fan. If I never do another entry again, I am glad I am interviewing you guys. Okay, I have to say congrats on your 50th anniversary. That's pretty impressive. I can't think of another band that has been together for 50 years.

Sam: 50 years - not being together for 35 probably says it all.

Roger: We've not really seen much of each other since 1970.

Me: For the younguns out there who don't know who you guys are, tell them who is in the band.

Rodney: Myself (co-founder with Viv Stanshall), Roger Ruskin Spear, Sam Spoons and Dave Glasson – with permanent guest Andy Roberts and occasional Bonzo guests Legs Larry Smith and Vernon Dudley Bohay Nowell

Sam: Who in band. Roger Spear - robots and props maker/ Sam Spoons-fastest spoon player in the world/Rod Slater-the world's first angry old man and Dave Glasson-a mutual friend on piano and the organiser (he's good with computers).

Me: The band was originally called Bonzo Do Doo Dah Band, or the Bonzo Dog Band which I knew you as when I was a kid. Is there a reason you don't go by that band name anymore?

Rodney: Because it isn’t the Bonzos – it’s three people from the Bonzos.

Sam: There are too many of the original band missing. We don't want to be associated with outfits that exploit an original band name when the sole representative is a distant cousin of the third bass player.

Me: Yeah... I can think of one band like that.

Roger: We don't have all the original members still with us.

David: When their 2006 reunion tour ended and the boyz disbanded, I contacted Sam and Roger, with whom I’d played with in other bands for many years previously, and asked if they wanted to continue the madness. They were keen to keep the ball rolling, so we contacted Rodney to augment the line-up – and here we are!

Me: How did the original name come to be? Bonzo Do Doo Dah Band is a mouthful.

Roger: Rod can explain that.

Rodney: It came out of a word game myself and Vivian used to play.

Sam: A mischievious cartoon dog created by George Studdy in the 1930's and Dada is the art movement of the bizarre and we were all art students making mischief with music.

Me: And who came up with the new name Three Bonzos and a Piano?

Rodney: Sam, I think

Roger: Sam and I argued it out together.

David: Yes, Sam and Roger. There was a UK TV chat show here, Jonathan Ross... and his weekly music was provided by Four Poofs and a Piano – we nicked the idea, slipping in the key ‘Bonzo’ ingredient.

Me: Okay, Neil Innes was in the original band but decided not to be in the new band, right? Was that okay with you guys? He is doing his own thing I guess.

Rodney: Neil has had his own performing career since 1970 when we all left the band. Seven survivors were involved in the 40th anniversary activities 2006/08.

Sam: Neil Innes no longer wants knockabout/upstaging/living on the edge etc. We do.

Roger: Always has done.

David: We intentionally don’t do any of Neil’s songs as he is out there doing them himself (and much better than we could!). We do do Viv’s and Roger’s songs from the albums and singles as well as new songs from "Hair of the Dog" written by each of us.

Me: Vivian Stanshall passed away in '95 and was one of the original members. Where were you guys when you found out he passed?

Rodney: I was living a couple of blocks away and saw him most days. We had been touring, recording and broadcasting for the previous 4 years when he was well enough.

Sam: Viv's death...  Lecturing at Chelsea College of Art.

Roger: Doing the washing up.

Me: Did you all go to his funeral?

Rodney: I did, yes, at Golders Green Crematorium, North London.

Sam: I attended the memorial service.

Roger: Wasn't invited.

Me: You guys all did your own thing before you reformed so to speak. Whose idea was to get back together and continue making music?

Rodney: Dave initiated it and spoke to Sam and Roger. Roger phoned me.

Sam: We were all approached to do a 40th anniversary tour by someone with loadsa money in 2006. A very successful tour followed with many top celebrities (Stephen Fry, Ade, Phil, etc) joining in.

Roger: Some madman from North of the border with lots of money wanted to see a Bonzo Gig so he had to organise it himself as no one else would.

David: Three Bonzos and a Piano started in 2008 after the demise of the reunion band. I approached Sam and Roger.

Me: Where was your first gig at when you reformed and how did that go? Was it like you never stopped performing together?

Rodney: The Latest Music Bar, Brighton. There was probably more mayhem and chaos than I remembered previously but a sellout crowd liked it!

Sam: At the Astoria, London, in 2006 preceding its demolition.

Roger: Never stopped arguing together you mean?

David: I booked a small club here in Brighton on the south coast for 4 shows, one a month, starting in October ’08. It was a sell-out and fans came from across the country.

Me: I imagine you got together to rehearse before that show? I cannot imagine how that went. Did you all sit and discuss the past and talk about the old days or was it just let's get back to work and work on the music?

Rodney: Our motto is "Never Knowingly Over-Rehearsed”. There is usually more talk than work when we pretend to rehearse!

Sam: There was a lot of catching up which led to what material we could present to best reflect a vast repertoire and which best accommodated the celebrities.

Roger: Bit of both and not much of that either.

David: Lots of catching up chat, deciding which songs we could manage with a smaller band, and pulling it into a sort of 2-hour show!

Me: David Glasson is the Piano in the band... you chaps know him ahead of time, right? Whose idea was to invite him into the band and did he say yes right away?

Rodney: Dave, Roger and Sam have worked together for years.

Sam: Dave. Yes we played with him in other bands over a long period so when the second tour didn't go ahead, see Neil Innes above, it made sense at his suggestion to recreate an original Bonzo evening aimed at Arts Theatres.

Roger: He invited us actually, but we forced the Bonzo moniker on him.

David: I’ve always known him! I was keen to play again and approached Sam and Roger when I heard their reunion tour had disbanded.

Me: I am a big Beatles fan so I have to ask you about this... Paul McCartney asked you to be in "The Magical Mystery Tour Film". How did he approach you? What was the first thing you guys thought of when he did?

Rodney: Viv and Neil probably oiled him in the Bag O’ Nails nightclub or somewhere trendy. I wasn’t there so can’t remember.

Sam: We were quite often at the Abbey Road Recording Studio with them and conversations led to the approach.

Roger: Money. He approached us through his brother Mike (in the Scaffold).

Me: The Beatles were big fans of yours. Were you big Beatles fans?

Rodney: Their significance dawned on me from the mid sixties and they are completely unique. I know where I was when I first heard my favourite Beatles songs.

Sam: Yes, everyone was into what they were creating.

Roger: Not me personally... I couldn't stand them.

David: I was always a big Beatles fan.

Me: You guys were known pretty well in England from your records and I am sure being on the TV show "Do Not Adjust Your Set" helped, but what was it like when you first came to America?

Rodney: Chaos, poor organization and management, hanging around for weeks before we could work.

Sam: America. I don't know. I'd left by then.

Roger: Bloody awful. 

Me: Rodney, Roger, where was the first State you went to?

Rodney: Inebriation!

Roger: Blotto!

Me: That was when you opened for The Who, right?

Rodney: I think that might have been later. Our first gig was some sort of High School Dinner Dance to give us something to do and put down a mounting rebellion.

Roger: We never opened for The Who. We played at the Felt Forum a day after them, then it burnt down.

Me: How did the American audiences take you?

Rodney: With a largely benign pinch of salt!

Roger: They were with us all the way but we shook them off at J.F.K. Airport.

Me: When was the last time you came to America?

Rodney: Individually and collectively 1969.

Roger: Last tour 1969?

Me: Okay, let's talk about your new CD "Hair of the Dog". I was expecting you guys to perform the Nazareth song on the album bit you didn't. Where did the name come from?

Rodney: It means having another one quickly when you have previously been badly wasted.

Sam: From new album!

David: Roger suggested it, we wanted to continue a link with ‘dogs’!

Roger: Nazareth song?

Me: Yeah, Rog. "Now you're messin', with a son of a bitch". I ordered the CD from CDBaby and really enjoyed it. When was the album released and where was it recorded?

Rodney: Released 6 Feb 2010. Recorded at Dave’s studio in Brighton.

Me: How did you guys decide to release a new album? When did the prior one come out?

Rodney: Whilst respecting the past we are living in and commenting on the present. Pour Les Amour Des Chiens 2007, the cast of the 40th anniversary celebrations.

Sam: We needed something for 40th anniversary tour.

David: We were all writing stuff and wanted to get it down whilst we could. It was also a useful way of promoting the band on the radio and at our shows.

Me: Let's talk about the songs, fellas. There's so many songs on it, are they all new songs or songs redone?

Rodney: Almost all new songs. Just 3 covers out of 19 tracks.

Sam: There was nothing re-done, either our own new material or an old novelty number from way back, re-interpreted.

David: Mostly new songs written by all of us individually.

Me: Did you have a good time recording it?

Rodney: Unless one of moves to Scotland it is almost impossible to live further apart, so our time together is very limited. It is very enjoyable to be together when distance, dog walking, gardening, bowling DIY, etc allows.

Sam: We had a good time recording it.

David: Because we all live so far apart, we were never in the studio all at the same time. I have a recording set-up at home and the others came down one by one over a few months to add their tracks. We all play on each others songs.

Me: There's one song on it that I wanna say is about me... "Ginger Geezer". Okay, I am only 43 and am strawberry blonde... but still. Who is that song about?

Rodney: The song is from Viv’s album "Teddy Boys Don’t Knit”. I believe it to be a generic view of Cockney (Londoners) and their rhyming slang which always fascinated Viv. It bears an uncanny resemblance to how Viv looked and oftensaw himself, which is why we use it as something of a tribute.

Sam: It's about Viv Stanshall and contains lots of rhyming slag.


Me: So, will you be releasing another album? This is not it, right?

Rodney: Yes, we have about 10 songs down.

David: We are currently preparing our next album and now have enough tracks for a release date in May 2012. They just need tidying up, but not too much! We started this 2nd album about a year ago.

Me: Fellas, thanks so much for being on the Phile. It is truly a huge pleasure and my dad would of been so happy I interviewed you as he was a large fan... Will you guys come back again as a band or seperately? I feel we only touched the surface. And please come to America to play... Orlando to be precise.

Rodney: We aim to please, however sadly it is unlikely we could ever play America again.

David: I was in L.A. last year touring around (as a tourist) California, Utah and Nevada. I’d love to come back and put on a Bonzo show, but it’s going to need some serious backing!

Me: Go ahead and plug your website and everything and I wish you continued success, and again, don't be a stranger, guys. You guys rock.

Rodney: Thanks for your interest.

David: Our website:, Facebook:, Twitter:!/bonzodogsbody.

There you go, another entry of the Phile done. Thanks so much to Roger, Rodney, Sam and Dave from Three Bonzos and a Dog. I pray they will come back on the Phile in the new year. Well, there's only three more entries of the Phile to go this year, kids. The Phile will be back on Wednesday with A Peverett Phile Christmas 3 and the guest will be singer Karling Abbeygate. Then next Sunday it's Christmas Day so they'll be no entry. On Monday though it's Declan Harrington, lead singer for the great band Shibuya Crossings. Then next Wednesday it's the last entry of the year with Erica Monzon, lead singer for the band Ledaswan. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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