The Bonzo Dog Band

Trouser Press

Song Review by

One of the Bonzo Dog Band's most popular songs -- and the inspiration for the name of one of the best music magazines of all time -- "Trouser Press" was inspired by multi-instrumentalist Roger Ruskin Spear's tendency to make musical instruments out of the most unusual implements. Indeed, the song's solo, which consists solely of a vaguely rhythmic clattering and squeaking, is performed on an amplified trouser press! Like most of the Bonzos' most out-there songs, "Trouser Press" consists of several loosely related segments, starting with bassist Joel Druckman's lisping parody of a sleazy nightclub MC, whose invitation for the audience to clap their hands is greeted by the most arrhythmic applause ever. (In perhaps the song's most inspired moment, Druckman's standard-issue MC patter "So you like soul music?" is followed by a sudden, abrupt silence broken only by a frosty and barely audible "No.") This swings into the R&B-flavored body of the song, with Ruskin Spear grunting and hollering like a former art school student imitating Little Richard prior to the aforementioned trouser press solo. The song fades out on a completely incongruous list of surreal credits read by Vivian Stanshall in his best smooth BBC announcer voice before finally stumbling to a close as Druckman shouts out a final non sequitur, "Raw meat!"

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Urban Spaceman 1969
No Image 1970 United Artists Records
The History of the Bonzos 1974 Beat Goes On 2:20
No Image 1984 MFP [U.K.]
The Bestiality of the Bonzo Dog Band 1989 EMI Music Distribution 2:20
The Best of the Bonzo Dog Band 1991 Rhino 0:00
The Bonzo Dog Band [Box Set] 1992 EMI Music Distribution 2:20
Vol. 1: The Intro 2000 EMI Music Distribution 2:20
Original Album Series 2015 Parlophone