The rock singer and accordionist Xerxes P Zodiac, of the 1970s supergroup 'Xerxes And The Xylophones', has died aged 103 after a long illness and a short haircut.
Born in 1945, the son of two people and a split condom, he first studied music at the Alvin Stardust Institute For Leather Pants, and made his professional debut at 17 in the West End musical, 'Jesus Christ Superstar Rides Around In Chitty Chitty Bang Bang With Jerry Springer - The Opera'. Following a scandal involving three squirrels and a bicycle pump, he quit and formed The Xylophones with former band mate and certified lunatic Neville Crisps.
But it was serious music rather than frivolous 'Pop' that had the greater appeal for Zodiac."I'm the reincarnation of Beethoven", he once explained."As soon as I can get out of this strait-jacket, I shall compose sonatas and wear huge white wigs. Laugh at me, will they???" He loved Emerson, Lake And Palmer, and blamed the demise of 'progressive rock' on the New-Wave movement of the late 70s and a jar of whelks he bought in Blackpool: "They looked like snots. I should have stuck to fish and chips", he rued.
Theatrical 'extravaganzas' and special effects became his trademark, and in 1987 he embarked on his 'Ultimate Laser Beam And Quadrophonic Tour', which ended in disaster when the candles blew out on stage in Glasgow: "I should have stuck to coloured light-bulbs," he rued.
Zodiac suffered from poor health. In 1997, he was hospitalised with bronchitis and 'emptiness of the wallet'. In 2001, he collapsed during a performance of 'Three Blind Mice' and had to be rushed to hospital in a taxi. Further complications set in when the taxi driver demanded payment, and Zodiac was mysteriously struck deaf.
In December 2005, he married a giraffe called Marlon and retired from the stage. He leaves behind two sons, a daughter and a weird thing with a long neck.