September 3, 2016

MONTY PYTHON & BONZO DOG BAND TOURS 2016

Happy Saturday, Spy Vibers! Another week flew by, as I helped my art students launch a new semester. We're about a week and half in and already the filmmakers have completed their first movies and the photographers have mastered some of the foundation elements of composition. With a three-day weekend ahead, I cleaned up the Spy Vibe lair last night, put my feet up on the ottoman, and checked in with some of my fave artists from the 1960s to see what they are up to these days. You know I like to cover a wide scope of sixties-related material, but the tone yesterday was really set by my postman, who delivered some signed books from Michael Palin of Monty Python! I can tell you the little kid in me was Super Excited. The Pythons stood right up there along with The Beatles and The Avengers as my greatest childhood heroes. It appears Michael Palin is now working with Terry Gilliam to (finally) make Terry's Don Quixote film. If you've seen Lost in La Mancha, you know this particular classic story has been cursed for filmmakers like Gilliam and Orson Welles. But I bet the project will be guided by a lucky star with Michael aboard. Have fun, chaps! If your vibe is British satire and surreal comedy, you might be pleased to hear that a number of autumn tour dates have been announced in the UK for Neil Innes (with The Rutles!) and the Bonzo Dog Band. You will even find some Pythons on tour! Let's add some laughter to our day. More info below.


The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band (the Bonzos) formed in the early 1960s, combining a love of vintage novelty songs with elements of Dada/avant-garde art, satire, and surrealist humor. Spy Vibers might recognize the group from their appearance in The Beatles film, Magical Mystery Tour (debut Dec 26, 1967). Check out the short they made with British Pathe earlier that same year for their track, The Equestrian Statue. It's a wonderful time capsule of Sgt Pepper-Magical Mystery Tour-era Britain (see below). The Bonzos came to wider attention as regulars on the comedy children's program, Do Not Adjust Your Set (1967-1969), where they appeared alongside future Pythons, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, and Terry Jones. They released a number of albums- and Paul McCartney produced their first hit! Neil Innes of the Bonzos continued to collaborate with the Pythons, most notably on Monty Python's Flying Circus, Monty Python and the Holy Grail ("Bravely Bold Sir Robin" is one of his famous tunes), Live at the Hollywood Bowl, Jabberwocky, and The Rutles. More below. 


Now you have a chance to see some of these guys on stage! Try to catch one of the upcoming Rutles or Bonzo shows if you are in the UK this fall (see links above for dates). For readers in the States, fret not- John Cleese and Eric Idle are also on tour! Apparently their show includes fun discussions about Python, readings and screenings of classic skits, and comedy solo spots. Check their official tour website, Together Again At Last... For the Very First Time, for upcoming dates. I'm seeing them twice. It will be my first time seeing John Cleese live, so I really can't wait to see these gentlemen together! Now, let's go back to 1967 and catch some of the vibe with the Bonzos. Enjoy! Still curious? Check out the new set of five classic albums by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band at Amazon. Related Spy Vibe posts: Peter Sellers To John Lennon, Surrealism Satire Boom in the UK, The Prisoner Fallout and Surreal Satire, George Martin: Desert Island Discs, Magic Christian Blu-ray, Wonderwall Blu-ray, Python's Dental Spies, New Beatles Film 2016, Sol Weinstein: License to Kvell, Agent Woody, Produced by George Martin, David Tennant Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


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