From The Coventry Telegraph website at:
THEIR WEB SITE
GROUNDBREAKING, hilarious, unique and irreverent - just four words that could probably
only belong to one British band. I speak of The Bonzo Dog (Doo-Dah) Band.
Fronted by 'Ginger Geezer' Viv Stanshall and a quarter of 'Pre Fab Four' The Rutles Neil Innes.
They probably will always have one leg in the 1960s.
Those who would declare them dated should take note of the current resurgence of the band and their re-formation culminating in a tour, sadly without the band's doyen of sartorial eccentricity the sadly departed Viv Stanshall.
Viv liked to recruit not just great musicians, but musicians who also looked a little eccentric.
Anthony 'Bubs' White, fitted the description to a tee.
Not only a brilliant guitarist, but at 22 stone with long hair and cherubic features, he was just what Stanshall was looking for.
Bubs was born in Cambridge on St Valentine's Day, 1944.
He had come through the ranks of skiffle bands, eventually touring as a pro-musician in The Soul Committee.
"We were playing one of these May Balls in Cambridge," reveals Bubs.
"Backing Bonzo Dog. I weighed about 22 stone at the time, with long hair in a black suit and bow tie."
Nothing was said on the night, but a few weeks later there was an advert in the Melody Maker, saying the Bonzos were looking for this fat guitarist from Cambridge.
I knew they were talking about me, so I rang them up and I joined the band.
"One early memory I have as far as playing with the band was at the North London Poly.
"I was playing a big guitar solo, and suddenly a massive cheer went up.
"I remember thinking; this is what it's like to be famous then.
"That was until I turned around and spotted The Who's iconic drummer Keith Moon who had come on stage!"
In the early 70s, Bubs played on what was the last Bonzo Dog album Let's Make Up and Be Friendly.
Although considered by most to be a contractual obligation album, it nevertheless contained a stack of classic Bonzo material.
Bubs was credited as playing the Brainbiter guitar (it was actually a souped-up Telecaster).
When the Bonzo Dog folded, Bubs joined Viv in a new venture Big Grunt.
I put it to Bubs that in the Viv Stanshall biography Ginger Geezer Viv had selected Bubs because he had an angelic face and a big frame.
"Oh yeah," replies Bubs. "In a video we did for The Marty Feldman Show he said that I should dress up as an angel.
"Viv was very sure on how he would like each person to look, and he would go for it, even if it took him years to get it.
"So I fitted in with the look, and I also happened to be a good guitarist so that was a bit of a bonus for him."
After Big Grunt, Bubs went into session work and appeared on records by The Scaffold, Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi as well as Viv Stanshall's solo efforts such as Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead.
By the early 80s Bubs had quit music and was working in the labs at Cambridge.
In 1982 he began a pure maths degree at Warwick University.
He hadn't been in Coventry long before he was approached by the band Quite Riot in The Freemasons, Harnall Lane and asked if he was Bubs White.
Days later he was a fully-fledged member of the Quite Riot.
It finally emerged that some of the band had included former members of local folk-rock band Dando Shaft, who had remembered Bubs when they had supported the Bonzos.
Meantime Bubs worked as a part-time lecturer at Henley College, finally becoming a professional computer programmer.
Years later Bubs would work again musically with his old Quite Riot band member Rob Armstrong, and produce in their own computer studio (so far) a total of 23 albums.
Including a very interesting Christmas song that recently picked up a lot of interest.
NOTE from another site: Pop Trivia - BUBS WHITE
VIV released the single Suspicion under the name, Viv Stanshall & His Gargantuan Chums. For obvious reasons the band included Bubs, and Who mega-stars Keith Moon and John Entwhistle.
IT has to be a chance in a few billion that both Bubs and Rob Armstrong, who now collaborate together, were both in a band with "grunt" in their name. Bubs in Big Grunt and Rob in The Idiot Grunt Band (and later the New Modern Idiot Grunt Band).
BUBS, was not asked to join the Bonzo Dog reunion tour, and knew nothing about it until it was officially announced. "I wouldn't have done it, but it would have been nice to have been asked!"
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