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My Pink Half of the Drainpipe: A Fond Memory of Viv Stanshall

January 26, 2017

Francis Pryor - In the Long Run

I was going to use the song , My Pink Half of the Drainpipe as the title to the chapter on the 20th century in my Making of the British Landscape. Then I decided against it, wisely I think, as there was more to that century than the creation of suburbs alone. For the benefit of younger readers that song was created by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, whose lead singer, trumpet player and multi-instrumentalist was the late great Vivian Stanshall. It’s a wonderful song, too: satirical and yet self-mocking, rather like the man who sang it.

I first met Viv in 1976, very shortly after my first marriage broke up. I was doing what many men in my situation do: I was going a bit potty. But at the same time I was directing one of the largest excavations in Britain, at Fengate in eastern…

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