Author Topic: Eric Idle  (Read 9671 times)

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2018, 08:47:11 PM »
I've never seen Spamalot and didn't realise that it contained some Innes tunes. What songs of his are in the show?

I haven't seen it either, but I do know "Knights Of The Round Table" is pretty much the centrepiece of the whole show, the climax of a massively over-elaborate production number.

Can just about be seen here in an incredibly murky nine year old video clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g0XmIubuts

With that in mind you can see how furious Innes would've been not to receive a penny for it.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2018, 08:57:48 PM »
Ah, of course. I should've guessed. If Innes really hasn't received a penny for its inclusion in the show, I don't know how Idle can justify that to himself.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2018, 08:58:21 PM »
For me, it's the best post-Python project apart from Fawlty Towers. Idle's script is sublime, really. "Che Stadium, named after the Cuban guerrilla leader, Che Stadium" is one of my favourite jokes, the first time I heard it I couldn't stop laughing. It's deceptively simple and obvious, yet utterly surprising.

Yeah, my favourites are the Belushi reveal and the tea "...and biscuits" gag by Idle. That biscuits punchline stayed with me. It's so tightly packed with gags and well structured. The celebrity cameos are excellent too, stuff like the Jagger "songs" bit.

Also, I know this isn't an original point of view, but Innes' songs are actually as great as the Fab tunes they're ostensibly parodying.

Yeah the tunes are really excellent, managing to both perfectly spoof the Beatles early combo pop sound while simultaneously being better actual tunes in their own right.

I love This Is Spinal Tap, but The Rutles: All You Need is Cash should be just as feted.

It's just one of those things, the original being almost forgotten when compared to the cult juggernaut of Tap even though it's just as good in any quantifiable sense.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2018, 09:06:33 PM »
I saw Idle on tour with John Cleese last year and Idle did all the work. His song selection at the end remains very good and he seems to like being on stage whereas Cleese hates it and is presumably just doing it to pay for his divorces.

In the TV series, I think Idle picks up the slack when Cleese loses interest about halfway through Series 2. The TV parodies like Alan Wicker are still pretty good. He also of course did excellent work on The Rutles movies and Rutland Weekend Television series.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2018, 09:06:42 PM »
If Innes really hasn't received a penny for its inclusion in the show, I don't know how Idle can justify that to himself.

Indubitably, if that's true then that's completely unjustifiable, especially in a piece that is so heavily reliant on music. But it doesn't make sense because if Innes sued he'd surely get a massive chunk of the cash. Even if you sample a tune these days the originator usually gets 90 odd percent of the profits.

A good example is Innes suing Oasis for the Oasis song "Whatever" which sounds suspiciously like Innes' "How Sweet to Be an Idiot". Noel Gallagher claimed no deliberate plagiarism but Innes still won the rights to most of the profits if memory serves. The Spamalot case would be even more open and shut I would have thought.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2018, 09:34:51 PM »
Indubitably, if that's true then that's completely unjustifiable, especially in a piece that is so heavily reliant on music. But it doesn't make sense because if Innes sued he'd surely get a massive chunk of the cash. Even if you sample a tune these days the originator usually gets 90 odd percent of the profits.

A good example is Innes suing Oasis for the Oasis song "Whatever" which sounds suspiciously like Innes' "How Sweet to Be an Idiot". Noel Gallagher claimed no deliberate plagiarism but Innes still won the rights to most of the profits if memory serves. The Spamalot case would be even more open and shut I would have thought.

It never went to court apparently, I'm not sure why. Like you say, it would've been an open-and-shut case.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2018, 09:47:43 PM »
Indubitably, if that's true then that's completely unjustifiable, especially in a piece that is so heavily reliant on music. But it doesn't make sense because if Innes sued he'd surely get a massive chunk of the cash. Even if you sample a tune these days the originator usually gets 90 odd percent of the profits.

A good example is Innes suing Oasis for the Oasis song "Whatever" which sounds suspiciously like Innes' "How Sweet to Be an Idiot". Noel Gallagher claimed no deliberate plagiarism but Innes still won the rights to most of the profits if memory serves. The Spamalot case would be even more open and shut I would have thought.

It makes no sense at all. Neil Innes wrote one of the pivotal songs in the Spamalot musical, therefore he should receive royalties. He also wrote Brave Sir Robin, which is in the show too.

This article doesn't shed any more light on the matter: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2005-06-02/features/0506020069_1_beatles-idle-innes

As for the Whatever/How Sweet to Be an Idiot plagiarism case, I'm inclined to believe that Gallagher coincidentally hit upon a similar chord progression and melody. Noel is a shameless thief, as we know, but him pilfering ideas, not just from the Beatles, but from the Rutles too, just seems too good to be true.

He'll have seen All You Need is Cash, of course he has, but I can't imagine him being au fait with Innes' solo work. I could be wrong, as Noel has often revealed in interviews that his listening habits are far more interesting than the music he makes.

Anyway, not that I mind Innes earning a tidy fortune from Whatever. He's probably doing alright for himself, but he deserves to earn more money and recognition than he's so far accrued throughout his career. 

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2018, 10:16:39 PM »
Innes talked about the Oasis “case” on a recent Word podcast. I think he said that it was all instigated by the publishers and that it was only the press who span it into “Innes Sues Oasis”.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2018, 10:25:44 PM »
He's probably doing alright for himself, but he deserves to earn more money and recognition than he's so far accrued throughout his career.

Does he though?  Don't get me wrong; I think he's a genius. Innes is very successful and has certainly made his mark on British pop culture but he never seemed to embrace self-promotion and was far too parochial, satirical and "eccentric"  '' to truly crossover like his 1960's peers did.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2018, 10:27:27 PM »
The Oasis thing is a rather poetically just reversal, then, since the Beatles' publishers wound up stealing much of the royalties and a chunk of the credit for Innes' Rutles songs (with the result that, for example, Galaxie 500's cover of "Cheese and Onions" is credited on the sleeve to Lennon-McCartney).

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2018, 11:43:05 PM »
I think he said that it was all instigated by the publishers

This makes sense. I've definitely seen interviews with musicians who were plagiarised and claim they didn't bother suing because they just didn't want the hassle of dealing with lawyers and court and some who almost pitied the people ripping them off, like they're welcome to it. Artists can be peculiar like that sometimes. I could picture Innes thinking fuck Idle and his money, I'm staying out of it. This is probably more likely when the artist is financially independent and not particularly greedy.

It's very hard to know for sure exactly what are the motivations and machinations going on in the background though.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2018, 12:19:37 AM »

Yeah the tunes are really excellent, managing to both perfectly spoof the Beatles early combo pop sound while simultaneously being better actual tunes in their own right.


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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #42 on: July 28, 2018, 01:11:44 AM »
This is very good; well worth watching if you haven't seen it before (or if you have):

John Cleese in conversation with Eric Idle at Live Talks Los Angeles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnpY46lOTX4

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #43 on: July 28, 2018, 02:04:40 AM »
This is very good; well worth watching if you haven't seen it before (or if you have):

John Cleese in conversation with Eric Idle at Live Talks Los Angeles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnpY46lOTX4

I'm halfway through it.  It's excellent.  The 'memory tuition' sketch is fucking brilliant.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #44 on: July 28, 2018, 02:19:19 AM »

Yeah the tunes are really excellent, managing to both perfectly spoof the Beatles early combo pop sound while simultaneously being better actual tunes in their own right.

I'm with the science eel here. I've never heard such utter cak.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #45 on: July 28, 2018, 06:00:06 AM »
Neil's songs are great, they're wonderful, but they're not better than the songs they tip their hat to. That's just silly. Doubleback Alley and Let's Be Natural are great songs, but they wouldn't exist without Penny Lane and Dear Prudence.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #46 on: July 28, 2018, 06:10:27 AM »
I'm halfway through it.  It's excellent.  The 'memory tuition' sketch is fucking brilliant.

Which could have been on the Contractual Obligation Album (an album already suffering from a pronounced Cleesian deficiency), if (presumably) Idle hadn't rejected it. Weird. But whate'er. It's just lovely to see the two of them getting on so affectionately after they locked horns a few years ago over (wait for it...) Spamalot. I actually got more pure, uncomplicated pleasure from this semi-informal chat session than I did from One Down, Five To Go.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #47 on: July 28, 2018, 07:12:29 AM »
As great as Eric Idle is, I'm inclined to believe that Neil Innes was the reason The Rutles was such a brilliant concept, after all The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band preceeded Monty Python by two years, and lord knows they must have been a massive influence on Eric. (plus the Bonzos and Idle we're on Do Not Adjust Your Set)

But considering Eric is about 20x more rich and famous than Innes these days it was a bit cheeky to sue him over the Rutles Archaeology project.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #48 on: July 28, 2018, 07:36:41 AM »
I actually got more pure, uncomplicated pleasure from this semi-informal chat session than I did from One Down, Five To Go.

Hardly surprising but an interesting (and correct) observation to make, all the same.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #49 on: July 28, 2018, 03:53:22 PM »
Neil's songs are great, they're wonderful, but they're not better than the songs they tip their hat to. That's just silly. Doubleback Alley and Let's Be Natural are great songs, but they wouldn't exist without Penny Lane and Dear Prudence.

True, but I was a bit narky to checkoutgirl last night. Sorry checkoutgirl. Friday night cider.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #50 on: July 28, 2018, 05:33:06 PM »
True, but I was a bit narky to checkoutgirl last night. Sorry checkoutgirl. Friday night cider.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #51 on: July 28, 2018, 06:10:39 PM »
Yes! Brilliant in Live at Drury Lane too.

I think the Drury Lane album is the peak for Monty Python as a whole. The performance of the sketches is extremely sharp and the timing is beautifully honed. I found it a bit difficult to adjust to going back to the original TV versions as they seemed very slightly laboured in comparison.

I agree that All You Need is Cash is on the same level as Spinal Tap, it really should be better remembered.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #52 on: July 28, 2018, 06:13:47 PM »


I agree that All You Need is Cash is on the same level as Spinal Tap, it really should be better remembered.

Absofuckinlutely.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #53 on: July 28, 2018, 06:18:38 PM »
he's brilliant, & RWT was beautifully bleak, but I don't like him.

I loved the rutles flick, but there are suggestions that idle elbowed ollie halsall out of an on-screen role that could've properly deservedly launched the genius guitarist/vibesist as a household name &, while this was certainly the right thing to do for the movie, I'm still cut up about it.

+ yes, 'bright side of like' is really fucking annoying.

but he's very very good at what he does.

[edit: ollie halsall joined an early incarnation of a band called patto, when it was still known as timebox. he played vibes, but was persuaded to take up the guitar &, from scratch, developed a facility on the instrument that still astonishes people now, a particularly fluid legato style which probably came from having to hang the guitar quite high around himself so that he could also play vibes & piano in the band. this isn't really the place for a patto playlist, but what the fuck? why not? guitar (channelling les paul), then piano, then guitar again- a truly heart-rending solo]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwT-xMaMZJo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQc2ykwSgUM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZpvRCkWAGI


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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #54 on: July 28, 2018, 06:47:51 PM »
I agree that All You Need is Cash is on the same level as Spinal Tap, it really should be better remembered.

If it helps, all of this love for The Rutles has encouraged me to download a copy.  If nothing else, my Dad will be pleased, as I know that he's a fan.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #55 on: July 28, 2018, 08:12:39 PM »
I thought that South Bank Show on the 2014 Mostly Live shows was quite revealing. I actually empathised with Idle because he really put the work into that production and it felt like the others didn't really appreciate his drive and nouse. The show wasn't perfect but he understood because of the ailing cast and the sheer scale of the thing, it had to be bold and spectacular with loads of musical numbers and big set pieces. I don't see why he should be singled out as being any more a gimlet-eyed avaricious old sod than the other Pythons.


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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #56 on: July 28, 2018, 10:01:08 PM »
Is it controversial to suggest that the first Rutles film is as good as Spinal Tap?
They are both fantastic. Spot on with their comedy, which comes from slightly different angle.
I often think about Blind Lemon Pye and Ruttling Orange Peel.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #57 on: July 28, 2018, 10:07:05 PM »
I feel like with Spinal Tap or Bad News you dont need to be a fan of heavy metal to find the films funny. Would you get much out of The Rutles if you didn't like or know much about The Beatles?

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #58 on: July 28, 2018, 10:19:48 PM »
I remember watching All You Need Is Cash at the time and my confused mum saying, "But George wasn't an Indian!". I didn't get the joke but thought it was just absurd and funny anyway.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #59 on: July 28, 2018, 11:14:51 PM »
Is it controversial to suggest that the first Rutles film is as good as Spinal Tap?

the original being almost forgotten when compared to the cult juggernaut of Tap even though it's just as good in any quantifiable sense.