Although I have been visiting Amsterdam for about thirty years, I have only been living here (part time) for the last six months. Previously, I was familiar with a number of places, and I had a general idea about the layout of the city; but only since I have been riding around town on my bicycle do I really know how those places relate to one another. Streets look different if you know where they are going. And in going from here to there, I sometimes stumble upon places I have known in the past of which I never even wondered where they were.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
This week I experienced a -very small- paradigm shift: I found out something about the Tadpoles album that changed the way I mentally classify the four original Bonzo Dog Band albums.
I used to think of them as two pairs: the first and third (Gorilla and Tadpoles) seemed to belong together, and so did the second and fourth (The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse and Keynsham). I never owned Let's make up and be friendly, so I didn't worry about that one's position in the scheme of things. What seemed odd was that Tadpoles and Keynsham came out in the same year, while they are probably the two most differing albums that the band produced.
I had some kind of theory about why this should be: I imagined there might be two factions in the band, one that wanted to play the Temperance Seven-type material, and one that wanted to do the absurdist/rock parody/weird stuff. And I figured they alternately got their way.
Well, as the song goes, we were wrong. Turns out that Tadpoles was not exactly a new album when it came out: for the larger part it consists of songs that the band had played in the children's television program Do Not Adjust Your Set (at this point it is traditional to mention that this program featured some future members of Monty Python). Somehow for twenty years I have managed to overlook the fact that the sleeve of the record mentions this... The DNAYS material is in the faux-twenties style that the Bonzos had been playing when they started out, but it was not really representative anymore for what the band was doing at that time. If you take Tadpoles out of the chronology, the development of the band from Gorilla > Doughnut > Keynsham makes more sense.
What caused me to surf the web for Bonzoiana? YouTube. There is some great Bonzo related stuff there.
My favourite is this scary version of Eleven Mustachioed Daughters by the awesome Vivian Stanshall & biG Grunt.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
I was looking back at the ~800 photos I posted at Flickr in the past year, and I was struck by the fact that for almost all of them I can very clearly remember the moment I took them: where it was, why I was there, where I was going.... Now this probably is not a very original observation, but for me it was new. I did not do much photographing before, and if I did it was on ccasions that I would remember anyway, not just walking down the street going here or there. So for me my Flickr account is not just a set of images, but also a collection of moments.