Praise for Vivian

From whence you came...

'Some people place a lot of value on artists who "speak to a generation" or who "engage masses" but I treasure Vivian Stanshall because he speaks to the individual listener... right to the nerve center in ways that make life immeasurably better for his presence'.

—Sport Murphy

'I'd think, wow, wouldn't it be fantastic to be as daft as that... how challenging to be that funny and that imaginative'.

—Kevin Eldon, actor, comedian, writer

'We'd end up in clubs, the two of us doing these silly monologues at each other... and he'd take one character and I'd take another and it would just go on for hours, dear boy... [or] we would just sit and talk about the inadequacies and insanities of the world'.

—Paul McCartney, the Beatles

'It was always the case with me... that whenever I saw the [Bonzo Dog] band playing live it was always Viv I watched. I remember him... sort of standing there, amid all this chaos and uproar and shambles, twirling a piece of flexible hose above his head that had been converted into some sort of trumpet. At that moment he seemed the sanest man in the room. ...It was that air of detachment and superiority, that sense of cultural supremacy, that I used to envy like mad. ...I could never really think of something to say when I played one of his pieces on the radio, and would end up, rather feebly, with something along the lines of "I fear that a single one of Viv's thoughts would blow my damn brains out"'.

—John Peel, DJ, BBC Radio One

'Vivian Stanshall was a real triple handful. I've worked with, you name them... I worked with them. But not a single one was as mad as Vivian and no one was as brilliant. Every mad moment was worth it'.

—John Walters, BBC producer

'I liked to go off alone, find places where I wasn't bothered by people. I heard about this ship in Bristol so I went there. I was home. It was this feelin' I'd never had before, being home somewhere I'd never been. It didn't last long, that ship, but while it lasted I'd hang out when I could and be amazed. Viv Stanshall lived there. Viv Stanshall! He didn't know who I was but I knew who he was. One night he was at the bar and I was at the bar and we got to talkin'. I have to say, when you talk to someone like that, you're really talkin' to someone'.

—Joe Strummer, the Clash

'One of Kurt's favorite songs was "Hunting Tigers Out in India". Just a kid when he learned to play it on guitar'.

—From an interview with Kurt Cobain, Nirvana

'All clever people are difficult, and all successful people are driven. And none was more difficult, driven, extravagantly gifted, prone to more exaggerated highs or punishing lows, more maddening or sublimely inventive than Vivian Stanshall'.

—Mark Ellen, Launch Managing Editor, MOJO Magazine

Read on dear reader...
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