Another Python meeting. This time to discuss affairs of Python generally and to plan our future in general.
When I arrived, Eric was the only one there, stretched comfortably in a corner of the sofa, wearing what looked very much like a bovver boys outfit, with TUF boots and jeans with rolled-up bottoms.
Good news at the beginning of the meeting – Nancy rang through to say that a US record deal was signed today with Arista Records – we would get an immediate $10,000 advance on Matching Tie and Live at Drury Lane. So good work there from Nancy, who has also secured her pet consideration on a record contract – $50,000 set aside just for publicity.
It was on the subject of paying off Gledhill* that the meeting suddenly and abruptly took off. As I remember it, Graham was on the phone to Jimmy Gilbert to check the autumn TV recording dates, John Cleese was being unusually co-operative and had even indicated that he might consider coming on this publicity tour to the US in March, when Eric suddenly became quite animated, attacking the Terrys and anyone around for being mean with Gledhill. From here Eric went on bitterly to criticise Python for becoming nothing more than a series of meetings, calling us ‘capitalists’ and ending up by saying ‘Why can’t we get back to what we enjoyed doing? Why do we have to go through all this?’ It was rich dramatic stuff.
Terry J was on his feet – ‘Well, if that’s how Eric feels, we might as well give up,’ and he nearly left there and then. GC and JC looked at each other in amazement. Only the entirely admirable Anne H managed to cool everything down by giving out cheques for £800 each from Charisma – an advance for the LP made last May!
A selection of letters are read out to the assembled gathering. From CBC Canada – ‘We would like the Python group to contribute up to ten minutes of material for a special programme on European Unity. The group can decide –’ the reading was interrupted here by farting noises and thumbs-down signs. On to the next.
‘Dear Sirs, I am writing on behalf of the Television Department of Aberdeen University … ’ An even louder barrage of farting.
‘Dear Monty Python, we are a production company interested in making TV films with Python, George Harrison and Elton John …’ Despite the fact that £36,000 is mentioned in the letter as a possible fee for this never-to-be-repeated offer, it is jeered raucously and I tear the letter up and scatter it over the Henshaws’ sitting room. In this symbolic gesture, entirely characteristic of the general irresponsibility of the assembled Pythons, the meeting staggers to an end and we all make our several ways.
*John Gledhill had ceased to be our manager as from November 1974.