The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band was named after a cartoon character named Bonzo the Dog. Bonzo was created in the 1920s by George Studdy and became very popular in Britain over the years.
After gaining popularity in England in the '60s, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band was asked personally by Paul McCartney to be The Beatles' 1967 Magical Mystery Tour film. The Bonzos appear at the end of the movie to play their song "Death Cab for Cutie."
In 1968, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band became the resident house band on the sketch comedy show Do Not Adjust Your Set. The show featured Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin, all of whom went on to form the comedy troupe Monty Python's Flying Circus.
Due to record label budget constraints, the band was only given two hours to record each song for their 1967 debut album Gorilla. As a result, the record famously boasts that it contains "some of the most deliberately inept jazz playing ever recorded."
In 1995, Vivian Stanshall, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, died in a tragic house fire. Stanshall's body was found after the fire in his North London flat was extinguished. Friends and family said that Stanshall regularly smoked and drank in bed and even occasionally lit his long red beard on fire.
In the '60s, they became notorious for combining comedic onstage antics with music in their live shows. Vocalist Vivian Stanshall used to perform stripteases, drummer Larry Smith would tap-dance, and multi-instrumentalist Roger Ruskin Spear would do a gag where his head eventually exploded.
"Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk" describes a time in Rufus Wainwright's life when he found himself hungover and pounding chocolate milk to feel better. It didn't work, so he smoked a cigarette, which is when he realized his addictive personality could be a problem.