Formed in 1962 by Vivian Stanshall and Rodney Slater, the band were originally known as the Bonzo Dog Dada Band. Joined shortly after by Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell, Sam Spoons, Roger Ruskin Spear, Bob Kerr, “Legs” Larry Smith and Neil Innes, the now classic line up was re-named The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.
The band’s debut single was My Brother makes the Noises for the Talkies followed shortly by Alley Oop. Musically the band were in the Trad Jazz/Music Hall bracket at this point but soon changed their sound to dismiss the frequent comparisons that were made to the Temperance Seven and the New Vaudeville Band.
In 1967 Paul McCartney invited the Bonzos to appear in The Beatles film Magical Mystery Tour where they performed Death Cab for Cutie. Around the same time the band became regulars on Do not adjust your set along with future members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The band’s debut album Gorilla was also released in the same year.
The following year the band had a hit single with I’m the Urban Spaceman which was produced by Paul McCartney & Gus Dudgeon. This was followed by follow up albums The Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse, Tadpoles & Keynsham. In 1969 the band toured the USA with The Who & The Kinks before dis-banding in early 1970.