Having spent a couple of fruitful and pleasant afternoons
chatting to Rupert last year, myself and Andy present the following section.
This is in the form of an almost quarterly artefact,
photograph, piece of artwork, instrument or prop (it will probably vary
considerably) displayed on the site with a related anecdote or story,
and anyone viewing it will have the opportunity to add their thoughts
or a tale of when and where they might have seen it. In order to do this
please e-mail us at the below contact with "Trivia" in the subject
column, all contributions will be credited and are much appreciated.
The image for February 2009 is...
Those of you who've seen the 1991 Late Show special entitled
'Crank' may recognise this artwork hanging on the wall behind Vivian whilst
he reminisces. As you can see it is made of rolled fag butts, matches
and egg shell.
Please see the below transcript from one of our chat's
Rupert chat - Jon Street & Andy Sloss talked to Rupert
Stanshall last summer (2007) about various bits and bobs, below is a transcription
of snippets of our conversation.
Andy Speaking has the prefix 'A:', Jon speaking has the
prefix 'J:', Rupert speaking has no prefix.
On our animation of Uncle Otto Gets Blotto...
He’s somewhat worse for wear whilst he’s doing this unfortunately.
J: Yes you can tell it’s coming up for Christmas and he’s
enjoying the Yuletide tipple.
“A brick smashed through the window of the family chapel, about
the brick was wrapped a note which simply said ‘Hello, I’m
your new neighbour’”
That comes from Granddad who had a perfect dent in his head from when
a neighbour threw a house brick over the fence and it landed square on
the top of his head and left a perfect dent in his head for the rest of
his life, you could get a house brick and just slot it in.
J: A lot fo comedy comes from life at the end of the day.
Well that’s what I like because a lot fo this stuff I can relate
back to that means this and that means that, otherwise insignificant.
To a degree it’s a lot better to have the word, not saying that
this isn’t good, but this is how you guys interpret it which is
different to everyone else rather than the lazy way of today when someone
produces something and it has a video telling you instantly ‘This
is how it should be’ rather than you making it up in your own mind.
There’s no rules with this at all.
A: We see all the mistakes even though nobody else does.
J: But I suppose I still imagine Rawlinson End as this very fifties black
and white entity as a result of seeing the film and its style.
Well they wanted black and white even though it cost more money, he wanted
it black and white.
A: I always got the impression he wanted it to be this ‘Surr-Ealing
Comedy’ which is a phrase Vivian came up with I believe.
J: We wanted to use all sorts of moving colourful bits to compliment Vivian’s
Yes, well Vic all over was colour.
A: Which is why we wanted to see some more of his artwork as I think I’ve
only ever seen about three pieces just to see what kind of colour he used
J: Although the few bits that were published were colourful and bright
album covers saying ‘Look at me, buy this album’ which is
their whole purpose.
But he was lucky because a lot of his stuff was personal wasn’t
it, you can’t imagine Britney Spears bringing out any of his tunes
J: No, not quite.
It’s licence really isn’t it and he earned his licence, there’s
no imagination out there - it’s all manufactured with X-factor and
programmes like that.
A: That was his luck in that respect, during the sixties the music business
hadn’t worked out what it was doing it wasn’t the money-maker
and by now it has everything worked out down to who the target audience
is and what the best channel is for getting to them and so on and so forth.
Well one of the expressions I’ve come up with is ‘Individually
the same’, which is I think the case everyone wants to be different
but the same as each other. They don;t want to be too different, dress
the same, speak the same watch the same Television, eat the same food,
drink the same Beer, whatever it might be it’s just crazy conforming.
It’s ok to be different if you want to, I believe strongly enough
that if you don’t need to wear a three-piece chequered bright red
pinstripe suit to be different, it’s ok to be different without
telling everybody about it as such. There’s more eccentricity behind
closed doors, say someone like Vic, at least he wore a warning sign on
him, you can tell from a distance that this guy’s probably going
to be different from that one, whereas it’s the others that you
don’t quite know about, it’s a little bit scary.
J: Yes, you’re much more likely to be murdered by an accountant
than an eccentric artiste or some such.
A: I always assumed that what Vivian was reacting against was that fifties
mentality of having to be the same and so anyone who was different hid
behind closed doors or behind a different voice.
Or as he described himself as being a Teddy Boy but his parents didn’t
know about it so he’d sneak off and dress up and come home and speak
A: Yes because they or certainly your Grandfather were still living that
A: Whereas my father-in-law is sixty-odd and he’s always had that
mentality and yet he’s not that old yet he’s terrified of
anything different. I find it quite peculiar that he’s lived through
that last forty years without noticing any of it.
But then it’s the same as someone wearing the same pair of shoes
for twenty-odd years it’s because they’re comfortable it’s
as simple as that, they’re happy and comfortable with them and they
don’t have to think about them any longer, the laces will still
tie up the same, there’s some wear in there and they’re ok.
A: Yes, the blinkers get a bit tighter every year.
Yep, they were hip twenty years ago.
A: It’s the same as fifty year olds with Mohicans, it could be a
good thing on the other hand it could be very sad.
More will follow soon...
Please see below some notes from my first chat
Having asked Rupert in what way he felt our website might
be lacking an element of Vivian’s personality, he informed me that...
‘He’s cheeky. Not a rogue, but almost, not a blaguard, but
sort of. How do you portray cheekiness? When an animal dies the glint
goes, you know it’s dead, it’s the same with a person. But
some glint’s are far more powerful as such.
Certain people have got that look where you know they’re going to
make you laugh or they’re going to ask you something uncomfortable,
but you know they’re going to get away with it, and you know you’re
going to give them the answer even though you normally wouldn’t.
It would be nice to get his cheekiness like that across somehow.
Looking at your site and gingergeezer.net together you see that the latter
is very visually dark, I don't know why but yours is at least clearer.
There are virtually no relaxed photos of the guy. I never took pictures
of my Pa, it wasn’t something we did, so for me it was natural not
to, we didn’t take photographs of each other so there aren’t
really any pictures of him in a relaxed condition other than on stage
I would happily look to see if I can find anything that shows him in a
happy time as a happy chappie, that’s what it was about, he’d
make you laugh and that was important.
That would be something nice to put in there.’
‘It needs colour because my father was very visual, it hasn’t
got enough actual colours in it.
When you come to look at his artwork it’s very powerfully colourful,
maybe you can use some artwork of some description from him to make the
And also to make it stand out more with his cheekiness, that would be
Upon asking Rupert what his thoughts on Rawlinson End were, he recounted
his enjoyment of it.
‘Firstly, for me, Florrie’s Waltz is possibly the most beautiful
piece of music he’s written, I love the flow of it, it’s like
a babbling stream. It’s lovely, it washes over you and I really
It’s great fun, the whole idea of it is just lovely. You don’t
need the visuals to read it, you can be there and enjoy it.
I’m really proud of that piece of work, as a complete item it really
I hope channel 4 continue to show it now and again, it’s a real
gem of a film, you can watch it from any angle and get joy out of it.’
Also, Rupert told of the immense trials and tribulations involved in trying
to get the final Warner Brothers album Vivian was working on when he passed
away released, it does exist, but not in Warner’s vaults as Vivian’s
biography says, basically after ten years and a lot of stress W.B. said
it wasn’t good enough or up to scratch.
Please see the below transcript from one of our chat's