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 changless 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.
    •  ???

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