Eric Idle one of the co-founders of the legendary British comedy sketch group Monty Python recently released his autobiography, which shares many details of the group’s early days. Notably in the beginning the group lacked funding, and it turned to the British rockers of their time for their initial bankrolls. Famous groups such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Genesis, and Jethro Tull all helped Monty Python get their career off the ground.
Monty Python is seen as the group that had an influence on the comedy world that beforehand had only been witnessed in the music world, by groups such as the Rolling Stones or The Beatles. This is why the symbiotic relationship between Monty Python and the rockers of the 60s and 70s is even more special.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail would never have been financed without the famous British Rockers, who all gave around 10,000 British pounds for the movie to be produced. Eric Idle wrote in his book that they were the best types of backers to have, as they didn’t care about the money at all. The music groups did not ask for the money to be repaid and did not interfere with the comedy’s production at all, they never tried to control the filming at all.
That is not to say the movie’s production was without money problems, but Idle believes it made the film better. For example, they lacked the funds to get real horses so used coconuts to pretend the actors were on horses. Idle said it turned out that the film became iconic and really good, simply, because they had to think outside the box.
Later down the line when filming Monty Python’s Life of Brian, the group once again found themselves lacking the investment to create the film. Idle had become good friends with the late Beatle George Harrison, who promptly mortgaged his house to take a chance on the comedy troupe. Mocking large institutions and cultural phenomena was always at the hard of the comedy that came out the Monty Python troupe, so maybe that is why British rockers took such a loving to them.
Eric Idle commented that at one point they believed they would run out of mega rockers to back their projects. As every time they presented a project to a movie studio, they were simply told they were mad, despite their movies finding worldwide success and making money.