Why I Read It: I wasn't the seventh Python, but I was the ninth. Actually, they started before I was born, but who's counting? Probably Eddie Izzard. He probably thinks he's the ninth.
Summary: Eric's "sortabiography."
My Thoughts: I will say this right up front, and I'm sure Eric Idle will appreciate it: I don't want him to die.
I say that because when I read a good autobiography and it creeps toward its inevitable end I always become a little bit too morose, a bit too nostalgic. Yes, I fall in love with people. Unfortunately, I was already in love with the Pythons as dear old friends before I opened this book. It is, in fact, the reason I bought it. So, yes, toward the end of this book, the feeling washed over me again.
And let's face it, there's a weird energy at work with our relationships with celebrities; we feel like we know them. And for me, we're now talking about more than 40 years of "friendship" with the Pythons. I've grown with them, checked in on them, followed them on Twitter, seen all their movies, bought all their merch, from cassette tapes to this book. They've been there for four decades of my life, whether they know it or not (they don't).
But, as it is, I've known the public face of Eric Idle through all these years, or should I say, the many public faces, from "Nudge Nudge" to Sir Robin to the man Chevy Chase continuously injured in European Vacation to the Nun on a Run. This book exposes the private side of life that most of us never really knew. Yes, I knew about his friendship with George Harrison, but not so much Robin Williams. I've followed the post-Python years closely, but never knew certain intricacies about the creative relationships the boys shared. This book gives those insights.
Surprisingly, I didn't know that Eric had performed "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" at the closing ceremony for the London Olympics (the song, not the book, which would have been harder and taken MUCH longer). When I found out, I Googled it and must admit that tears came to my eyes as I watched. It was a piece of my youth, up there on the screen...forty years later. It brought me such joy to see him still bringing the world together in laughter and enjoyment.
That's when the realization hit me. Eric Idle will never die. He and his iconic song will live forever. Besides, at least one person in my familial home town of Hingham, Massachusetts, has already beaten him to the epitaph, so he can't die until he finds another one just as suitable:
So, it's settled then, Eric. The show must go on.