Vivian Stanshall

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Vivian Stanshall (21 March 1943 – 5 March 1995), born Victor Anthony Stanshall, was an English singer-songwriter, painter, musician, author, poet and wit, best known for his work with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, for his surreal exploration of the British upper classes in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, and for narrating Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells.


Sir Henry at Rawlinson End (1978)[edit]

Several recordings for the John Peel radio program were re-recorded for a 1978 LP

  • English as tuppence, changing yet changeless as canal-water, nestling in green nowhere, armoured and effete, bold flag-bearer, lotus fed Miss Havishambling, opsimath and eremite, feudal-still reactionary Rawlinson End. The story so far. (Dot dot dot.)
    • opening of side 1
  • ... gauzes of filmy Fellini ...
  • The gutters leaked like secrets, and the rain rained rain like rain...
    • opening of side 2)
  • I don't know what I want, but I want it NOW!
    • prescient of the Sex Pistols: "I don't know what I want but I know how to get it."
  • This unasked-for jollity in the middle of an English afternoon left Sir Henry shivering with a red passion, his face a crumpled tissue on which a lobster might well have wiped its bottom.
  • Do you know what a palmist once said to me? She said: WILL YOU LET GO!
  • Gentlemen, I am a bulldog, and you will find my bark is worse!
  • If I had all the money I've spent on drink — I'd spend it on drink.
  • That was inedible muck, and there wasn't enough of it.
  • Seems a novel enough way to commit suicide. Pass me m' pistol. See if I can't bring the blighter down in the lake.
    • observing a hang glider pilot
  • Like the shock of fondling a raw sausage, blindfold, at a gay party ...
  • Mercifully, Henry hit him with the soft end of the pistol.
  • A pale sun poked impudent marmalade fingers through the grizzled lattice glass, and sent the shadows scurrying, like convent girls menaced by a tramp.
  • Fear is the root of all courage
    • ???Rev. Slodden, Rawlinson End
  • Frankly, once I've eaten a thing, I don't expect to see it again.
    • ???
  • I've never met a man I didn't mutilate.
    • ???
  • The hounds are all fagged out after yesterday's Jehovah's Witnesses ... we do not want more blood all over the lawns again
  • Florrie nodded and indicated the sink:"P'rhaps you'd care to wash your hands?" "arrh no thank you M'am; I already done that against a tree before I came in here" said the Wrinkled Retainer

Sir Henry at Rawlinson End [from CD and Film][edit]

  • Sir Henry Rawlinson disguised as Hugh Bliette:

"i'm Hugh Bliette ... art lover especially fond of Mike and Jello two men responsible for the Cistern Chapel I like the moderns too Avocado Da Vinci and Anonymous Boche cheeky secret nazi .. Caravan Yo the gypsy dauber and there's Albrecht Durex the sensitized German woodcutter ... Jackson Pollack the Polish Extractionist Vincent Vin Rouge ... Paul Shazam .. the Captain Marvel of pierced impressionism who did nothing but letters postcards parcels ... enjoy surrealism always listen to mrs Dali's diaries etc etc Manet and Monet the Jewish Boys Piss Arrow the Irishman Van Gore who lent his name to a paint-by-number canvas Pick Arso who suffered from piles Mac Yavelly the amazing Scottish Italian impressionist bird impressions he ate worms people impressions he ate birds ate cetera he ate badgers"

My Pink Half of the Drainpipe[edit]

Song on "The Doughnut In Granny's Greenhouse" LP

  • If you are normal, I intend to be a freak for the rest of my life
    • My Pink Half of the Drainpipe


  • Do have an unusual day, won't you?
    • Essex Teenager to Renaissance man
  • You got a light, mac? No...but I've got a dark brown overcoat.
    • Big Shot
  • Why can't I be different and original, like everybody else?
    • Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead
  • It was a great party until someone found the hammer.
    • Bonzo days
  • And, looking very relaxed, Adolf Hitler on vibes. Nice!
  • If you're going to say anything filthy, please speak clearly.
    • Message on his answering machine
  • I've been looking for that particular son of a bitch for seven years. I could have been a doctor, or an architect.
    • Bad Blood
  • Five years ago I was a four-stone apology — today I am two separate gorillas.
    • Mr. Apollo
  • Wrestle poodles...and win!
    • Mr. Apollo
  • Viv Stanshall? I didn't know that.
    • Icy Gull on NSC
  • Vivian Stanshall, about three o'clock in the morning, Oxfordshire, 1973, goodnight...
    • Tubular Bells: The original version of the Sailor's Hornpipe
  • it's the problem with Italian aeroplanes too much hair on the wings
  • why do male nudists wear towels to play tennis?
    • ???
  • "I'm going to rhino over your lino"
    • We Were Wrong[1]
  • I studied the swell of her enormous breasts and I said: "Baby you're so far ahead it's beautiful"
  • Normally I pack a rod; in pyjamas I carry nothing but scars from Normandy Beach
  • "earnestly humming on his way"
    • John Peel Sessions 1975-1991
  • Wrestled Anaconda and she's a big girl
    • John Peel Sessions 1975-1991
  • "Willy consulted a book called I-ching. Florrie suggested calamine lotion to stop it.... Henry suggested it sounded like something a gentleman would do behind a handkerchief"
    • John Peel Sessions 1975-1991