Amoeblog

Monty Python’s Flying Circus - 39 years ago today

Posted by Whitmore, October 5, 2008 08:38pm | Post a Comment


39 years ago today
, light ceased radiating; the World stopped spinning, coughed up a hairball, then turned on its side and attempted to shake loose all the other furry dust berries clinging to its nipple-ly peaks. Fearful of this new creepy darkness, the World tried to catch the tail of a passing comet only to stagger badly and get singed by the fiery interloper.

But seconds before collapsing gloomily into one last catatonic stupor, the World accidentally stepped on the remote control, triggering a channel change and so discovered that there was in fact something worthwhile to watch on television.

October 5th 1969, Monty Python’s Flying Circus was unleashed onto the airwaves of the BBC … six rather handsome young gents (Terry Jones and Michael Palin from Oxford, Eric Idle, John Cleese and Graham Chapman from Cambridge and American born Terry Gilliam from a little school in Los Angeles called Occidental College) changed history itself by saving the World, and us, from sheer utter boredom.

LIFE OF BRIAN: THE IMMACULATE EDITION DVD

Posted by Billyjam, January 28, 2008 09:30am | Post a Comment
Thanks to reading the resourceful Movies/New Releases section of this Amoeba Music website, I learned ahead of time that there will be a special new edition DVD reissue of the classic Monty Python movie Life of Brian being released tomorrow, January 29th, titled Monty Python's Life of Brian - The Immaculate Edition.

This new DVD release of the hilarious Terry Jones directed 1979 Monty Python film starring John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and many others, is not the first time it has been released on VHS or DVD over the years, but this new 2 DVD reissue includes some extra bonus "immaculate" additions not seen before.

Life of Brian is so worth watching if you have never seen it before or watching again if you have already seen it. Life of Brian is the Monty Python crew at their comedic very best with a film budget to really stretch out their already hilarious TV sketches. Basically the plot outline is that "Brian," who is a lot like Jesus, is constantly getting confused with JC. Brian, who was born on the original Christmas and in the stable right next door to the Messiah, ends up spending most of his life being mistaken for the messiah. 

The movie is chock full of memorable (and oft imitated) parts. The two clips below include the movie's crucifixion, ending when all break into song (always look on the bright side of life) and the hilarious scene where Brian, the reluctant messiah, is being chased by his devoted mob up the hill, where he encounters the holy man in the hole who has sworn to silence for 18 years.

Tomorrow (Jan 29th) the new Monty Python's Life of Brian - The Immaculate Edition will be available at Amoeba Music in the DVD section. Ask if you have any difficulty finding it.

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Tuba's, Urban Spacemen and the Bonzos

Posted by Whitmore, August 2, 2007 10:35am | Post a Comment

I've never met a man I didn't mutilate. I only wish I had said that first.
I might be happier today.

A funny thing happened on the way to listening to some Bonzo Dog Band vinyl. I think I’ve finally found an answer to the ol’ question “When did the attitudes of the free wheelin’ 60’s shift in the 70’s, and is there an exact date when it was nailed into the proverbial American forehead?” I think the answer lies in the sound of a tuba.

Side Note: not only am I something of a record geek, I’m also a closeted history geek, and I kind of believe in what philosopher George Santayana once said: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to have it shoved up their friggin’ asses!” (Okay, maybe it didn’t go quite like that)

Of course there was a difference between the late 60’s and the early 70’s. Perhaps not a great defining difference (at least not until disco hit big), but let’s say as different as “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” compared to “Blue Bonnet” margarine, or olive oil to canola oil. Actually ignore that part. But there was a slight imperceptible change in attitude somewhere early on in the 70’s and I believe I‘ve uncovered, for my thesis, the linchpin date.

Of course it just dawned on me not everyone knows The Bonzo Dog Band. Created in the early 1960’s by British art-school students (art school, where all great bands begin!) the Bonzos started out playing mostly traditional jazz, early century novelty and British music hall songs.

Later they combined those elements with rock, adding touches of psychedelia and dadaism to confound the public at large. They released about 4 or 5 albums, and toured the US with The Who and The Kinks. Eventually they were aligned with Monty Python's Flying Circus, having met several future members on the set of the children's television show, Do Not Adjust Your Set, where the Bonzo’s were the resident house band. They disbanded in 1970 but had one reunion album released in 1972. There you have it … in a nutshell.

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(In which we now have something completely different.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 4, 2007 04:29pm | Post a Comment
There’s few things more annoying than a  Monty Python fan. I should know, I am one.

The first thing I ever saw from this most-famous, British comedy troupe was “The Meaning of Life”, their fourth and final film, released in 1983. I was eight. It was completely inappropriate for a child and I still taunt my older sister for taking me to see it.

Being the baby of the family, I was inevitably stuck with my older sister on dates, so all the films I saw as a child were wrong for my age.

My first film was the whimsical and high-spirited “Reds”, based on real-life American Communist, John Reed, and his affair with a married woman. Tee hee! Next, I remember seeing “Gandhi”, that laugh-a-minute movie that’s warmed the cockles of so many tots. Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” was a memorable evening for me (I was still small enough to hide under my seat); “Mommie Dearest” caused a temporary phobia of wire coat hangers; watching “Sybil” resulted, ironically, in me developing a split personality to handle the memory of seeing it, and imagine my delight at being the only kid in class to say he’d seen “Chariots of Fire”… twice.


Just another childhood cartoon for Job: Pink Floyd's "The Wall"

In my sister’s defense, she did once take me to see a showing of “Bambi” at her college theatre, but the reel broke just after the forest fire that claims Bambi’s Mommy’s life. Whereas the other kids were crying and traumatized by this, I wasn’t phased. After all, what’s one dead deer when I had already witnessed the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre?

But this isn’t therapy and you’re not a psychologist*, so I won’t pursue this tangent.

(In which Job fondly recalls Ancient Rome.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 19, 2007 10:44am | Post a Comment
I don’t own a television. I can’t.

I just can’t face another TV commercial. It doesn’t matter how good a show is, if it must stop all of a sudden in order for some hopped-up, bling-bling supermodel to salaciously coax me into purchasing the latest acacia-infused douche/pudding pop, I will barf.

Maybe my resistance is low because I spent most of my childhood glued to the boob-tube. I could tell anyone what I was “going to do that day” in half-hour increments.

“Four o’clock? Well, ‘Dangermouse’ will just be finishing up, then segueing into ‘You Can’t Do That On Television,’ after which I will switch channels to Mtv to watch ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’…” ad infinitum.

(Monty Python on Mtv? Man, those were good times. ‘Just Say Julie’ and ‘Post Modern Mtv’… I weep for our losses.)


Strictly UPTOWN Julie Brown, Queen of Mtv

At some point, I switched watching copious amounts of TV for lots and lots of mind-altering drugs. So yeah, things were getting healthier. By the time I sobered up and realized that my life wasn’t going to figure itself out, I had a quick nervous breakdown and spiritual crisis, considered suicide, came back from the brink of annihilation, got a job and a girlfriend and discovered I could no longer cope with Nike ads.

Really, this could be anyone’s story.

This is my very personal and long-winded way of saying that I only watch TV shows on DVD. On my computer. In control. No swooshes.

Currently, I am enjoying HBO’s epic saga, “Rome”. I can’t say that I’m bowled over, but it’s amusing enough to watch when I scurry home from Amoeba Music for my lunch break. I’ve only watched the first four episodes, too, so there’s still a chance I’ll get addicted. It took about that long before I realized that “Deadwood” was (curse-word) brilliant.

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