Night Music: Bonzo Dog (Doo Dah Band) – “The Intro And The Outro”

Peter and I have written back and forth about what it is that triggers the “Night Music” pieces, at least for us.

For me, sometimes the impetus is simply hearing a song on the radio (yes, I still listen to that old fashioned medium) or on my shuffle. Sometimes a tune just pops into my head. Sometimes something will occur during band practice and remind me that “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” was not a bad tune and one the Biletones could cover.

And, sometimes it is a stimulus-response thing, as in one of us will write about a song and band, and that starts the whole association moving along.

So, Peter, writing about the Rutles has done for me.

As an already crazy Python fan when The Rutles All You Need is Cash was released in 1978, I watched it, loved it, and even bought it on DVD years later.

I am still a fan of all things Python related, but my familiarity with the music of Python pre-dated my seeing the comedy act by a handful of years. Before that, my friend Stephen Clayton and I had been big fans of the Bonzo Dog (Doo Dah Band), whose principle song writer was Neil Innes.

Innes moved on to do the music for the Python films, and as Peter noted, headed up the Rutles (with Eric Idle, from Python) and also did some solo stuff. Innes also appeared on Saturday Night Live, when I believe Idle was the guest host, and if memory serves, he wore white and played a white grand piano, a la Lennon, and performed the Rutles Cheese and Onions.

The Bonzo Dog band were a goofy consortium of great British musicians with a slight twist on everything, pre-dating quasi pop-rock Big Band sound Squirrel Nut Zippers and their ilk produced by nearly 30 years.

The band’s biggest hit–at least in England–was the venerable I’m the Urban Spaceman but my fave song of theirs was the opening cut to the album Gorrilla from 1968 called The Intro and the Outro, a shameless grab of Duke Ellington’s C-Jam Blues, although in the Bonzo’s treatment,Count Basie gets the nod over the Duke lyrically, shall we say.

Still, a great riff, funny words, and everything that is Innes, Bonzo, and Python.


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