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Terry Jones

I was so saddened to hear of the death of Terry Jones but it was even sadder that his fertile mind had been undermined in the last years of his life by dementia.

Everyone knows Jones from Monty Python (and his eponymous Flying Circus) but I first remember his appearances in the ITV series Do Not Adjust Your Set which ran in the late 1960s. I see some of that programme’s episodes are now on You Tube.

Many of the traits later to be expanded on in Monty Python’s Flying Circus were there in embryo.

There are many classic Jones/Python moments. Here are just three:-

Mouse organ:-

Terence Graham Parry Jones: 1/2/1942 – 21/1/2020. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 181: I’m the Urban Spaceman

A piece of one-off absurdism from 1968. One-off in the sense that the Bonzo Dog (Doo-Dah) Band didn’t trouble the charts again. The brackets I put in the name are because the band changed it – dropping the Doo-Dah (which had originally been Dada) – at around the time Urban Spaceman was released.

Yes, they were bonkers, but in a Monty Pythonish way. There was something in the air in Britain in the late sixties.

The song’s writer Neil Innes was a genius as his later work with The Rutles and The Innes Book of Records proved.

I remember a TV appearance where Viv Stanshall “played” the last musical phrase of Spaceman on a hose-pipe, while whirling it around his head.

The recording was produced by one Apollo C Vermouth (otherwise known as Paul McCartney.)

The Bonzo Dog Band: I’m the Urban Spaceman

Away

I’ve been away, with no internet access, for the last week. A trip to Norway. The scenery there is just fantastic. Stunning. I wasn’t planning on internet access but the mountains of the fiords would have blocked communications anyway. Those posts which appeared during the week had been scheduled ones.

As a result I’ve missed whatever happened during the week and my book reviews are way behind. I’ll catch up no doubt. In the meantime I have a couple more posts scheduled.

I spotted lots of birds in Norway; sparrows, wagtails, magpies – and gulls of course – but no Norwegian Blues.

At time of writing I’ve only been back a few hours but I’m pining for the fjords already.

Look Out, There are Llamas!

One of the last things I expected to see on our trip to Ypres/Ieper was ….llamas. In a field by the Menin Road, grazing peacefully on what was a battlefield 100 years ago.

Llamas near Ypres (Ieper)

The photos were taken late in the evening when it was beginning to get dark.

Llamas Near Ypres (Ieper)

I just can’t help it. Every time I see llamas I always utter the quote which I used for this post’s title.

Friday on my Mind 114: Rhubarb Tart Song

The B-side of The Ferret Song (see last week) had a tune based on the middle part of one of John Philip Sousa’s marches, The Washington Post, and had a lyric which became typical of the Monty Python style since the song references a slew of philosophers and artists and also includes nods to popular culture as well as Shakespeare – all wrapped around an idea of the utmost silliness.

I really like the cleverness of the rhymes with the word tart, though.

John Cleese with the 1948 show choir: Rhubarb Tart Song

Friday on my Mind 113: The Ferret Song

Monty Python didn’t come out of nowhere. There was a ferment among English comedic talent following in the wake of Beyond the Fringe in the early to mid-60s, with individuals coming together in various combinations, splitting apart and recoalescing in TV shows like At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set as well as the immortal radio comedy I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Againtwo of whose songs have appeared in this category previously – before the main players settled down into their most famous incarnations as Monty Python’s Flying Circus and The Goodies.

I first remember hearing this classic (I can’t bring myself to categorise it as music however) on I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again but it had been performed earlier in At Last the 1948 Show and it also counts towards those singles from my elder brother’s record collection – see this category numbers 53-56.

John Cleese with the 1948 show choir: The Ferret Song from the 1948 Show

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