It was 34 years ago this week that the Pythons played four nights live at the Hollywood Bowl. At that time, none of them would have dreamed that they’d be playing ten nights at the O2 in London 34 years late. For one thing, the O2 didn’t exist. But at the time, it seemed like the high point of Python, and in many ways, it was.
They were still active, making movies together. They were all together, including Graham, along with other fans and friends who were hanging out at the Bowl that I now miss very much, including George Harrison, Harry Nilsson, and John Tomiczek.
It was a very special four nights, part of which I was lucky enough to spend backstage, and even luckier to be on stage, with the Pythons. Not to take anything away from the O2 shows, which comprised one of the most amazing curtain calls for show business careers ever. But the Hollywood Bowl was just as special in its own way. It was where Python peaked in America, where Graham took his final Python curtain calls, and where I get way more nostalgic than I probably should. But it might be a good weekend to put Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl in the DVD player…
32 years ago this week Terry Gilliam and Graham Chapman appeared on Late Night with David Letterman for the premiere of the film of Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl.
And now, just 32 years later, another live Python performance! #pythonspamclub #montypythonlive
Python Live Linking
The Monty Python Live Facebook page just went live last week, and it looks like it might be a very good place to check in for occasional updates. Of course, this will, I hope, continue to be another very good place to check in for occasional updates. Why not keep using us both?
BTW, a couple of people have asked me if Terry Gilliam will be taking over Graham Chapman’s roles in this show. As I understand it…not quite. First of all, Terry and Graham are rather different types. Other Pythons may fill in for Graham in some circumstances, but there will also be clips and recordings of Graham filling in for Graham.
I should point out that while the show will include lots of favorite old sketches, there’s going to be new material, and new twists on old material. If you’ve seen or heard Monty Python Live at City Center or Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, you haven’t seen Monty Python Live (mostly). Tickets are still blah, blah, blah…
It seems like almost every time I’ve done something cool, Monty Python has been involved in some way or another. And so, when I found out about Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, I began planning to drive to California. The story of my first trip to L.A. and appearing on stage with the Pythons will help me fill up a future blog or three. What is more relevant here is that I decided to look up the only non-Python-related star I knew. That’s right. Curly Joe.
I can’t remember if I was brazen enough to call him when I knew I’d be out there, or if there was another, more subtle reason for the call and subsequent invitation, but Joe and his wife invited me over to their house one afternoon. It was a nondescript house in a quiet neighborhood (Moorpark sounds right, for some reason). Joe answered the door, though it took him longer than I had expected. I wish I could recall more of the details, although I’m sure many of the stories he told me were the same ones he had told in our radio interview. I can recall that he was very detailed in describing the business relationship he had entered into with Moe when he joined the Stooges. Moe and Larry had died by that time, so he had resigned himself to retirement. His wife, a nurse, joined us for part of the time, and he happily autographed a few photos for me before I had to scamper off for the Hollywood Bowl. I was always a big Stooges fan, and although I had always wanted to be one of the lucky fans who had met Moe or Larry, I was delighted that Curly Joe proved a very nice brush with Stoogedom.