The Ollie Halsall Archive


Monkey's Bum

No-one seems to quite know the derivation of the album's title. It acquired the name sometime after it was recorded and abandoned.

Derivation #1

The Monkey's Bum is a variation of the Modern Defense , a chess opening

Derivation #2

Third Bruce: Blimey, s'hot in here, Bruce.

First Bruce: S'hot enough to boil a monkey's bum!

Second Bruce: That's a strange expression, Bruce.

First Bruce: Well Bruce, I heard the Prime Minister use it. S'hot enough to boil a monkey's bum in 'ere, your Majesty,' he said and she smiled quietly to herself.

Third Bruce: She's a good Sheila, Bruce and not at all stuck up.

Monty Python's Flying Circus

V 1970



Fictitious cover featuring the cast of Meet the Huggetts, a late 1950s BBC radio sitcom. The line, "Does anybody here remember Meet the Huggetts," comes from Mike's lyric to My Days are Numbered from the unreleased album, Monkey's Bum.

My Days Are Numbered

Last Night I Had a Dream

Sugar Cube 1967

I Need You

Good Friend

Get Up And Dig It



Pick Up the Phone

General Custer

What about 'Monkey's Bum'?

"It was the first album we'd done that I wasn't happy with. I liked some of it, but we were trying to write songs and for me, it wasn't happening. Ollie got in a real mood. We were listening back to some tracks and we were saying, "What are you playing like that for, Ollie?" And he'd just say "it's how I feel like playing". But he wasn't playing properly, you know, one note guitar solos. It was really strange. There were a few songs he obviously liked, and on those he played properly. But on all the things that Mike Patto wrote, he wouldn't play ball. Then he turned round and said "I've had enough, I'm leaving". And that was it, he was gone.

So we got Mel Collins in, and we dubbed sax solos in on all the bits that Ollie had been messing around on, wiped those off, and the album was finished*

But Island decided they weren't going to release it. Well, Muff [Winwood] was really cold about it. He just said "Forget it. It's all over, the record industry's not like that any more. We're into Roxy Music, Sweet, glam rock. All that progressive stuff's finished. Move on."

We didn't know what to do. We'd done four albums with Muff, and we'd never seen that side of him. He was really curt. "Don't wanna know. Just leave me alone. It's all finished." That was his attitude . . . and he was right!

- 'Admiral' John Hasley

*Despite this account from the proverbial horse's mouth, the only track that really suffers from perhaps less than dazzling guitar is Get Up and Dig It.
Sugar Cube 67 certainly has Mel Collins sax overdubs in place of the original guitar.

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The links above are low bitrate versions from an early source. Pleae ourchase the fully remasterd album. It is a revelation [despite having, possibly, the worst and least imaginative cover]


Bonus tracks:

San Antone
Holy Toledo
Loud Green Song

BBC Radio One John Peel session –
12th February 1973

Produced by Muff Winwood

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