Be nice to a harmless fruitcake day

I have decided to start a "Be nice to a harmless fruitcake day". Crazy, eccentric and mad people provide the icing on the cake of life. And the fruit. Often they are unaware of how nutty they are, but that doesn't matter. What does matter is that they are just as needy, if not more, of understanding and kindness.

In order to get things going, I shall cite a few well-known harmless fruitcakes (Gordon Brown is most certainly not harmless) and invite readers to provide their own nominations. Failure to take part will result in me posting more obscure, egregious tracks from crap musicals.

First up is Criswell. Criswell almost defies description. He was a sort of psychic who never got any prediction right. Correction, he made so many predictions that, statistically, some of them probably were right. Criswell sang, wrote, appeared in films, usually by Ed Wood (Plan Nine From Outer Space.) Here he is, with his trademark kiss curl and stentorian delivery. A real gem.

(the last few seconds are spoiled by the addition of some irrelevant promotion)

Next Vivienne Westwood. Some of her high-end fashion is obviously only for the catwalk, but Viv has stood the test of time. Even the Weasel owns one of her Red Label Items. She is obviously mad as Hamish McMad of Madison County, but where would we be without Vivienne Westwood and the revolution she was a central player in.

Next up, and again, sadly, recently deceased, is Frank Sidebottom. Frank's trademark eyeball head was a proto-post modernist deconstruction of marxist dialectic over foucaultian paradigm. And other total bollocks. In fact Frank just deconstructed everything, including himself, but you could not help but stare at that outrageous, endearing head of his.

And then there is Viv Stanshall. I really hope someone remembers Viv Stanshall. Together with a bunch of other fruitcakes he formed the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Collectively, they reminded us not to take the Sixties too seriously. The Bonzo's "Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse" had a piss-take cover. Any guesses for getting the one it took the micky out of?

Anyway, here is a Stanshall solo effort, from Men Opening Umbrellas ahead. It has more or less disappeared without trace, which is probably for the best, but as John Peel said of him:  I could never really think of anything to say when I'd 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.

We need harmless fruitcakes. Let's make November 1st, Be Kind to a Harmless Fruitcake Day. Tally Ho! Your nominations, please.


Smoking Hot said...

WW, your day would not be complete without John Otway!

Jim Baxter said...

Ivor Cutler

Richard said...

+1 for Ivor Cutler. I heard his 'Life in a Scotch Sitting Room' on the John Peel programme. That was the first time I had heard the word 'micturate'. Marvellous. The only performer ever to have been broadcast on Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The Bonzos were harmless in the strict sense of the word, but they were also phenomenally talented. 'Jazz - Delicious Hot Disgusting Cold' has me in stitches every time I hear it. I don't know the album cover they are parodying, but I know that Steeleye Span did a few with mediaeval lords and ladies on. It was the done thing in about 1970.

Spartan said...

John Otway .... yay!

Bonzo's album cover was a take on lncredible String Band's The Hangmans Beautiful Daughter

Richard said...

Don't think so. The ISB's cover is peasants, kids and mongrels. The Bonzos' is velvet gowns, jesters and deerhounds. (Yes, I have been to check :) )

Dave said...

I was lucky enough to see the Bonzos in concert a couple of times in the late 60s. They were brilliant, and I agree that Viv Stanshall was a one off. A friend of mine has been telling everyone that Poundland have been selling a Bonzo CD for, let me see- £1! and he's been telling everyone and anyone to go check out the bargain bins for more.

I never "got" Ivor Cutler, but agree that John Otway deserves an honourable mention.
We must cherish these people. They provide just a little salt and flavouring to an otherwise bland existence

Smoking Hot said...

Don't know about that Richard, l think Spartan could be right.

WW? answer please