Rupert's Relics

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 with Rupert...

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 vocals.
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 in it.
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 can you?
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 posh.
A: Yes because they or certainly your Grandfather were still living that repressed lifestyle.
Victorian, yes.
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 with Rupert:

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 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 or whatever.
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 site different.
And also to make it stand out more with his cheekiness, that would be good.’
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 like that.
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 is superb.
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 with Rupert...