Author Topic: Eric Idle  (Read 9670 times)

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #60 on: July 28, 2018, 11:18:48 PM »
Would you get much out of The Rutles if you didn't like or know much about The Beatles?

I would say yes, most of the gags work independently of any knowledge of the Beatles. Either way, it's pretty difficult to be completely ignorant of the Beatles, they're cultural icons like McDonalds, Elvis, Hitler and Jesus.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #61 on: July 28, 2018, 11:28:04 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?

I was 15 in 1978 when All You Need is Cash was broadcast, and I and my schoolmates found it extremely funny despite missing a lot of the clever references due to not being particular Beatles fans. I didn't know why Lennon was 'Nasty' or understand the references to the Brian Epstein character liking their trousers, but it was still funny. Learning all those things later just made me appreciate it even more.

As I remember some people made quite a stink about the programme, finding it a bit sacriligious or something, and someone who wrote to the Radio Times thought the reference to Leggy Mountbatten's tragic fate of emigrating to Australia to take up a lecturer's job was tasteless. It was only eight years after the Beatles split up of course, still a fresh memory.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #62 on: July 28, 2018, 11:28:53 PM »
Is it controversial to suggest that the first Rutles film is as good as Spinal Tap?

I don't think AYNIC is all that, to be honest.
Take Innes' songs out and the best bits go with it.

Not the case with TIST.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #63 on: July 28, 2018, 11:42:13 PM »
I don't think AYNIC is all that, to be honest.
Take Innes' songs out and the best bits go with it.

Not the case with TIST.

I thought the same about AYNIC last time I saw it. I sort of hope I was wrong and just missing something because of the mood I was in that day. I liked it when I first saw it years ago.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #64 on: July 29, 2018, 10:26:47 AM »
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 comes up a lot but Neil Innes never sued Oasis. His publisher EMI who own the rights asked Oasis for a credit without his involvement and they won a 25% credit with no legal action. Which he gets 50% of. Which is fair enough as the first verse is a direct lift.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #65 on: July 29, 2018, 10:50:42 AM »
That makes sense; Innes never did strike me as the suing type.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #66 on: July 29, 2018, 10:51:52 AM »
I'm halfway through it.  It's excellent.  The 'memory tuition' sketch is fucking brilliant.

Great isn’t it.  I love Cleese’s impression of Gilliam too.  “Why doesn’t somebody boil up a whole bunch of water?”

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #67 on: July 29, 2018, 10:54:22 AM »
I don't think AYNIC is all that, to be honest.
Take Innes' songs out and the best bits go with it.

Not the case with TIST.

I tend to agree.  I enjoy All You Need Is Cash for the Cheese and Onions animation and a few other pieces.  Most of the bits with Idle as presenter/interviewer strike me as laboured and unfunny and kind of annoy me.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #68 on: July 30, 2018, 12:28:14 PM »
Great isn’t it.  I love Cleese’s impression of Gilliam too.  “Why doesn’t somebody boil up a whole bunch of water?”

Yes, Cleese's impression of Gilliam is spot on.  I was surprised that it didn't get more of a reaction from the audience.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #69 on: July 30, 2018, 12:58:26 PM »
I've listened to enough Gilliam commentary tracks that it slightly rattles me whenever Cleese wheels out that line.  Gilliam's got a lovely bunch of brain.

Just finished the Hollywood Bowl movie.  That must have been a proper peak experience for the audience- so much gottdamned effort went into that thing.  I will say the climactic version of the Lumberjack song doesn't quite resonate as much with Idle replacing Palin.  Wonder if Idle exploited Palin's willingness to please a wee bit by asking if he could take it over?

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #70 on: July 30, 2018, 01:33:00 PM »
It comes up a lot but Neil Innes never sued Oasis. His publisher EMI who own the rights asked Oasis for a credit without his involvement and they won a 25% credit with no legal action. Which he gets 50% of. Which is fair enough as the first verse is a direct lift.

At one Innes event I went to, Innes claimed he contacted his publishers about the lift and they told him that they were aware and not to worry as they were taking the necessary steps.

I think at the same event when he talked about the plagiarism claims against the Rutles’ first album, which were made by the owners (at the time) of the Beatles’ song rights. According to that, they weren’t able to prove any plagiarism from Beatles material but the outcome from the legal case was that there would be 50/50 split of royalties, but he’s yet to see any.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #71 on: July 30, 2018, 01:33:31 PM »
I've listened to enough Gilliam commentary tracks that it slightly rattles me whenever Cleese wheels out that line.  Gilliam's got a lovely bunch of brain.

Just finished the Hollywood Bowl movie.  That must have been a proper peak experience for the audience- so much gottdamned effort went into that thing.  I will say the climactic version of the Lumberjack song doesn't quite resonate as much with Idle replacing Palin.  Wonder if Idle exploited Palin's willingness to please a wee bit by asking if he could take it over?

As an expensive one for the Pythons.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #72 on: July 30, 2018, 06:42:15 PM »
Did anyone see the joint Cleese/Idle shows recently?

I caught two of them and enjoyed both. They performed the "Bookshop" sketch, and since it was election time Idle asked "Do you have The Art of Pussy Grabbing, by Donald J. Trump?" That got the biggest laugh of the night.

Nobody should have to be funny for 50 years in a row. That's a ridiculous burden to put on anyone. If he was funny for a few years in the sixties then that's still way better than 99.9999% of the people in the world.

And the 70s--All You Need is Cash and Rutland Weekend Television would be significant achievements in any post-Python career. I also liked his play Pass the Butler. Has anyone read his first novel, Hello Sailor? Idle also maintains a reading log on his website that's fairly enjoyable: http://www.ericidle.com/blog/. I'm hoping his upcoming memoir will be as good as Cleese's and not a collection of starfucker anecdotes.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #73 on: July 30, 2018, 07:00:30 PM »
I'm hoping his upcoming memoir will be as good as Cleese's and not a collection of starfucker anecdotes.

I've bagged myself a signed copy of that and will have to make up a decent anecdote about meeting him. ("He asked me who he should sign it for and I said 'Mister Smoketoomuch'!!!!!!!!")

Great isn’t it.  I love Cleese’s impression of Gilliam too.  “Why doesn’t somebody boil up a whole bunch of water?”

I think I've seen Graham Chapman do a similar impression in Gilliam's presence and Gilliam just rolls his eyes and denies ever using the phrase. Something about being in a plane over the Atlantic and Gilliam looking out of the window to say "Hey look guys, a whole bunch of water".  Could have been an old Letterman show. Anyway, quite possibly a running joke that Cleese and Chapman started.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #74 on: July 30, 2018, 07:08:14 PM »
It's an extremely funny phrase in any case, and perfectly believable.  It's not just the "whole bunch of water" part of the sentence either, but the opening words "why doesn't somebody..." as a way to request something.  And "boil up" is perfect as well!

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #75 on: July 31, 2018, 01:19:35 AM »
The Chapman version is around 25 minutes into this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvVYnxZBvWA. It's neither here nor there but I guess it's something to watch.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #76 on: July 31, 2018, 03:43:29 AM »
Not that it matters, as you say, but I think Terry G probably did say something approximately along those lines once, and the rest of the Pythons decided to turn it into an exaggerated anecdote. It works as an example of the British Pythons faux-arrogantly yet self-deprecatingly making fun of English and American stereotypes, while allowing Terry G to roll his eyes and make fun of his colleagues. A win-win bit of business.

The Pythons take the piss out of each other all the time, but it's almost always done with affection. 

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #77 on: July 31, 2018, 03:45:00 AM »
It's an extremely funny phrase in any case, and perfectly believable.  It's not just the "whole bunch of water" part of the sentence either, but the opening words "why doesn't somebody..." as a way to request something.  And "boil up" is perfect as well!

Yes, regardless of whether it's true or not, it's a very funny turn of phrase.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #78 on: July 31, 2018, 04:07:48 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il-cG4EvCg4 < Video of Chapman saying that

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #79 on: July 31, 2018, 07:53:30 AM »
The Chapman version is around 25 minutes into this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvVYnxZBvWA. It's neither here nor there but I guess it's something to watch.

Somehow I don't think I've ever seen Chapman being interviewed alongside another member before. Lovely stuff. I have a fairly low tolerance for Letterman but those interviews are excellent. Also proof, if proof be need be, that Gilliam is just as witty as the Brit members of the team.


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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #80 on: October 02, 2018, 10:27:19 AM »
Just got his autobiography, opened it at random and read this:

Quote from: Eric Idle
Pink Floyd record producer Bob Ezrin invited Tania and me to visit him in a studio in Provence the very evening Roger Waters was recording his lead vocal for Another Brick in the Wall.
We don't need no education...
Well, actually you clearly do, or you'd say "any education".

Oh dear. I wonder if he mentions Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak as well.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #81 on: October 03, 2018, 02:03:14 PM »
Just got his autobiography, opened it at random and read this:

Oh dear. I wonder if he mentions Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak as well.

Does he also believe the old Beatles song should be "She Loves You, Yes, Yes, Yes"?

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #82 on: October 03, 2018, 04:11:46 PM »
"Eric Idle Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qbchmshpsz0

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #83 on: October 04, 2018, 11:29:24 AM »
Just got his autobiography, opened it at random and read this:
But that’s Waters point. I was looking forward to reading this at some stage but that alone has put me right off.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #84 on: October 04, 2018, 04:11:12 PM »
Come on, Idle is obviously joking.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #85 on: October 05, 2018, 06:21:02 AM »
Come on, Idle is obviously joking.
Ah. Ok then.
Also he said on Twitter recently the reason he did Lumberjack at Hollywood Bowl was that Michael Palin always lost his voice doing Gumby.

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #86 on: October 05, 2018, 08:31:18 AM »
Reading this now and it's easily the worst of the Python autobiographies, shallow stuff of the type Idle himself would once have parodied: "We were having drinks with George Harrison and his wife Olivia in David Bowie's holiday home in the south of France when who should pop by but Jeff Lynne, Jack Nicholson, Carrie Fisher, Henry Kissinger, the Pope, etc, etc." I don't share the dislike for Idle himself. I think he's a hugely talented and funny guy. But for the most avowedly literary of the Pythons, his prose is turgid and the content unrevealing. Compare with the other Python autobiogs:


Chapman's A Liar's Autobiography - hilarious, outrageous and impressively frank
Palin's diaries - full of wondrous behind-the-scenes Python detail
Cleese's So, Anyway - great stuff about the workings of the Frost empire and the '60s satire boom
Gilliam's Gilliamesque - fascinating, impressively written, almost a Python manifesto


Idle's done himself no favours by waiting this long to spill the beans. All the best Python anecdotes have already been told by his colleagues. But I did expect more than a dull litany of starfucking.



Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #87 on: October 05, 2018, 08:41:55 AM »
Chapman's A Liar's Autobiography - hilarious, outrageous and impressively frank
Palin's diaries - full of wondrous behind-the-scenes Python detail
Cleese's So, Anyway - great stuff about the workings of the Frost empire and the '60s satire boom
Gilliam's Gilliamesque - fascinating, impressively written, almost a Python manifesto

I agree with the above summaries.

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Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #88 on: October 05, 2018, 08:52:02 AM »
so which to go for out of Gilliam, Cleese and Chapman?

Re: Eric Idle
« Reply #89 on: October 05, 2018, 09:18:40 AM »
so which to go for out of Gilliam, Cleese and Chapman?


All of them! They're all good. I particularly recommend the audiobook of Cleese's So, Anyway, produced by longtime Python collaborator André Jacquemin. Endearingly, he's left in Cleese's corpsing, which is very entertaining. There are also audio excerpts from At Last The 1948 Show included.