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Origin England
Genres Pop rock, Poetry
Years active 1972–1976
Labels Island, DJM
Associated acts The Scaffold
Bonzo Dog Band
Liverpool Scene
Past members John Gorman
Andy Roberts
Neil Innes
Mike McGear
Roger McGough
Vivian Stanshall
Adrian Henri
Brian Patten
George "Zoot" Money
Michael Giles
John Megginson
David Richards
Peter "Ollie" Halsall
Gerry Conway
Timmy Donald

GRIMMS was an English pop rock, skit and poetry group, originally formed as a merger of The Scaffold, the Bonzo Dog Band, and the Liverpool Scene for two concerts in 1971 at the suggestion of John Gorman. The band name was an acronym formed by the initial letters of each member's surname:


Neil Innes said about the formation of the group, "I don't know what attracted the Scaffold to the Bonzos; we were incredibly anarchic, which was probably something shared by the Scaffold as well. Hence Grimms, this leap in the dark."[1] At the second performance, Keith Moon played drums. However, when the band was properly organized in 1972, it quickly added other personnel, including:

These eleven members formed the "real" initial version of Grimms, despite the acronym which only included six of them. Others appearing on the band's albums included:

All members were paid the same wage and those not performing any given segment would sit with the audience.[2]

Roberts never quit the band but was touring with Plainsong in 1972 and missed the performances during which the first album was recorded, although he soon returned and remained in the band until its 1976 break-up.[3] Stanshall, however, left the band before the first album was recorded, although he would occasionally turn up at concerts, and Grimms remained at 10 members (more or less) through the end of 1973. Henri, Giles and Money left after the album, to be replaced by Halsall, Richards and Conway.

Grimms' second album, Rockin' Duck, received generally favorable press, but shortly after its release, the tensions among the band's leaders reached a breaking point and prevented the group from capitalizing on the good reviews. During the tour behind the album in late 1973, Patten punched McGear on the band's bus in Manchester, which led to McGear leaving the group.[1] In 1974, Grimms suspended operations, as The Scaffold, at McGear's instigation, reunited for a major tour behind its hit single "Liverpool Lou", with most of the backing musicians accompanying them. Patten left Grimms as a result. When The Scaffold tour ended in 1975, Halsall and Conway also left Grimms, to be replaced by Donnell for the third album, which left the final version of Grimms with only seven members (Gorman, Roberts, Innes, McGough, Megginson, Richards and Donnell).



UK releases

  • "Backbreaker" / "The Masked Poet" (DJM DJS 393) July 1975
  • "The Womble Bashers Of Walthamstow" / "The Worst Is Yet To Come" / "Wiggle Waggle" (DJM DJS 679) June 1976
  • "The Womble Bashers" / "Womble Bashers Wock" (Virgin VS 154) June 1976 by The Bashers


UK releases

  • Grimms (Island HELP 11) [LP] February 1973
  • Rockin' Duck (Island ILPS 9248) [LP] October 1973
  • Sleepers (DJM DJLPS 470) [LP] May 1976
  • Grimms / Rockin' Duck (Edsel EDCD 370) [CD] 1993 [Reissue of both 1973 albums on one disc, with two tracks from the first album omitted]
  • Sleepers (Hux HUX 079) [CD] July 2006 [Reissue of the 1976 album, with eleven additional tracks]

US release

Discography notes[edit]

  • On the Island label releases, Grimms included Mike McGear.
  • On the DJM label releases, Grimms did not include Mike McGear.
  • The single, "The Womble Bashers" / "Womble Bashers Wock," is by The Bashers, including members of Grimms and Mike McGear.
  • See also The Scaffold Discography.
  • See also Mike McGear Discography.


  1. ^ a b Bowen, Phil. A Gallery to Play to: The Story of the Mersey Poets. Liverpool University Press, 2008. pp.104-106.
  2. ^ Interview on GRIMMS on Women - bootleg CD available from the Neil Innes Sound Archive
  3. ^ Per Andy Roberts' website.

See also[edit]