28 October 2009

Rolf Harris - Bony


You may remember that I linked to the above clip some months ago when discussing the more obscure end of Rolf Harris' career, begging readers for more information on its origins. Just last week, Tim Worthington of the Out on Blue Six blog was kind enough to post me a full mp3 of the track which was recently discovered on a complilation by the man entitled "The Australian Album". On top of that, information came to light that the track originally featured on the "Two Little Boys" EP (rather than single) on Festival Records in Australia.

I still have yet to discover a copy of the single in Britain anywhere, although the fact that he recorded a promo clip for it in preparation for an edition of Top of the Pops would suggest that it was at least planned to be a proper, fully fledged A-side on these shores at some point (wouldn't it?). This download is purely the "Bony" track itself, and no information on what the B-side might have been - but come on, this is gold, with or without the full package. You won't hear the like very often.

As you'll have gathered from the video clip, "Bony" is a queer release indeed, but the full version reveals further absurdities, stylistically fitting somewhere between Chris Morris' "Dancer Prancer" music, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch's "Zabadak" and Roxy Music's "Triptych". Admittedly I'm exaggerating to perhaps unacceptable degrees here, but "Bony" is not what you'd expect of Harris at all, and was actually a self-penned effort to boot. Whatever, EMI clearly weren't keen on the idea of him recording his own "Tilt" or "Metal Machine Music", because no similar noises have really been forthcoming since, unless we count the ones he's done on the Churchill advert.

Thanks to Tim again.


(post-publishing edit: A friend of mine has contacted me to suggest that this song is about a fictional Australian detective called "Bony", the star of many detective novels by Arthur Upfield. His nickname was Napolean Bonaparte, hence the references to the man throughout this song. The lyrics make much more sense if you know this, but on the other hand, nobody can deny that this is a slice of oddness.

Jay Strange has also kindly left me an mp3 download of another Rolf moment "Tutankhamun")

11 comments:

jay strange said...

my oh my havent hear this before...sensational...even now knowing the song is about napolian bonapart doesn't mean the lyrics make any more sense...this is definately his trout mask replica moment.....i love it...his other masterpiece about a historically figure has to be the epic (and i mean epic) Tutankamun single...do you know it?
all the best and thanks for this gem
mick

23 Daves said...

Lyrically, I do have to wonder if some of these verses are about Napolean, and others about some all-powerful Indigenous Australian chap. True, that still doesn't appear to make a great deal of sense either, but still...

And no, I've not heard the single you mention either. There's a lot more to Rolf than we're all aware of...

jay strange said...
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23 Daves said...
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jay strange said...

daves the link is subject to that ten downloads only thing rapidshare do (i havent got an account or owt like that ..which is why i suggested grabbing and reposting at your leasure type of thing...if you get back and the link is all used up then just give me a shout here and ill repost it
meantime i've been inspired to update my harris visual discography..check it out

http://artintodust.blogspot.com/search/label/Rolf%20Harris%20an%20incomplete%20visual%20discography

all the best mick

23 Daves said...

I've moved it to Sharebee so all should be sorted now. Thanks for you help again- impressive visual discography, by the way!

jay strange said...
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jay strange said...
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jay strange said...
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23 Daves said...

Cheers as ever for your mp3s, Mick. I haven't got around to listening to them yet, but I definitely will do.

Andie Carney said...

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