by Hans ten Cate
Sunday, 4 July 1999

Announcing... Eric Idle: Unplugged!!!

Eric Idle will be performing an evening of songs July 9, in a performance titled ERIC IDLE SINGS MONTY PYTHON SONGS, A RATHER STUPID EVENING. This is the first time Eric Idle has done a solo show and it promises to be a hilarious evening of jokes, Python songs, and anecdotes as told by our very own Eric Idle. Sadly, this performance was sold out the first day (well, tickets were free after all). The evening will take place in the 450-seat auditorium of the J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles and will begin 7:00 PM.


Friday, 9 July 1999 - 7:00 PM
Program Notes, by Eric Idle

Eric Idle has long been recognized as the most musical and gifted Python. He is an accomplished guitarist and is well-versed in composing and arranging songs as well as writing lyrics. In fact, most of the songs remembered from the Flying Circus television shows, the Python albums, and movies had Eric's involvement as writer, composer, and/or arranger. Eric's signature song, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life went to #1 in the UK ITV music charts in 1991 (and was performed by Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel in the 1997 film, As Good As It Gets). Eric has been nominated for a Grammy award for reading and singing his children's book The Owl and the Pussycat. He also performed with The English National Opera in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado (and wrote additional lyrics for the song, "I've Got a Little List," for the musical). Eric can also be heard singing on the soundtracks to two recent animated films: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie, and The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue. Eric Idle's musical contributions are obviously endless, and Eric Idle Sings... seems a long time in coming.

Eric Idle was also very kind to send us an advanced copy of the program notes he had written for the evening. For your reading pleasure, we've included them here.

Eric told the Daily Llama that the evening would promise "An hour of songs, with a little linking, but basically performing the songs live with a fairly large ensemble."

Aerial photo of the J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles

The J. Paul Getty Trust is a private foundation dedicated to the visual arts and the humanities. Through its museums and work in education, the Getty provides opportunities for people to experience the world's artistic and cultural heritage. The Getty Center, a hill-top campus in Los Angeles, opened in 1997.

We asked Eric Idle how the evening was put together: "The Getty asked. They are having a series of short concerts... to promote the Getty [Center]. It's a free concert. My friend Danny Ferrington (the guitar maker) asked me, as we have been talking about doing an evening of nonsense songs for some time."

Eric Idle will be accompanied by what he has humorously dubbed the Monty Python Memorial Orchestra. Conducting will be John Du Prez, a long time friend and collaborator of Eric Idle and the Pythons. Du Prez arranged many-a-famous Python song, including such classics as "Sit on My Face," "Finland," "Medical Love Song," "I Like Chinese," and even helped compose songs for the films (mostly for Meaning of Life) including "The Meaning of Life," "The Galaxy Song," and "Accountancy Shanty." Du Prez is also an accomplished movie composer and penned the film scores for A Fish Called Wanda, Terry Jones's Wind in the Willows, and a number of other Python related films.

Evidence of Eric Idle's musical talent - here he leads the chorus in the grande finale in 1979's Monty Python's Life of Brian. Eric Idle's Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is perhaps Monty Python's most famous song.

"John Du Prez is coming over from London," Eric Idle told the Daily Llama, "and my pal Tom Scott is going to play sax. Should be fun." Joining them will be Danny Ferrington on guitar, Johnny Friday on drums, and Tim Landers on bass. Also part of the orchestra in various capacities (including backup vocals) are: Peter Crabbe, Terri Wood, Catte Adams, and Samantha Harris.

When asked if this was the first live one-man show he's done, Eric Idle told us: "Yes it is the first time I have done this. But maybe we can travel it some time. Who knows?" Eric suggested that since the Pythons will not be touring this year for their 30th anniversary, Eric Idle's evening of song may be closest we'll get to a PythonFest.

Notes from the Getty Website

Eric Idle Sings Monty Python Songs, A Rather Stupid Evening*

Unless otherwise noted parking and seating reservations are required for all events and can be made by calling (310) 440 - 7300. Notice of cancellation is appreciated. Seating reservations are general admission and are honored until the start time of the program. Doors open 45 minutes prior to the start of the program.

* Warning: Some Of The Lyrics Are Not Suitable For Adults - Idle will perform the light-hearted, whimsical, downright hilarious songs that he has written for himself and for the Monty Python films. He will be accompanied by John Du Prez (who also writes music for the films) and other guests. Friday, July 9, 1999.