Halfway To Hollywood: Diaries 1980-1988
A second decade of Michael Palin diaries, a follow up to Python Years: Diaries, 1969-1979, catches Palin in a pretty productive period. Python was was winding down (although you wouldn’t know except in hindsight), and Michael’s acting career was heating up. It’s not all laughs. The diary covers his private life and tragic death of his sister.
It was interesting to see the other Pythons through his eyes, especially Graham. Palin did a lot of writing during the 80s, including this diary, so he was always busy. It was fun see some of my favorite movies from the inside. Such as: “A Fish Called Wanda”, “Time Bandits” and “Brazil” I wasn’t familiar with all of Palin’s work so I see he was busier than I thought.
Palin reads the audio version, recommended.
Excerpts From My Kindle
Friends, Neighbours and Colleagues:
- Richard and Christine Guedalla, and daughters Louise and Helen, neighbours
- Clare Latimer, neighbour
- Terry Jones and Alison
- Terry Gilliam and Maggie
- John Cleese, formerly married to Connie Booth, one daughter, Cynthia, born 1971, married Barbara Trentham 1981, separated 1987
- Graham Chapman, partner David Sherlock. John Tomiczek (adopted)
- Eric Idle, married Tania Kosevich 1981
- Robert Hewison. Contemporary of MP at Brasenose College, Oxford 1962- 5, during which time he persuaded MP to perform and write comedy for first time.
- Simon and Phillida Albury. Simon met MP after Oxford in 1965. Television journalist, producer and Gospel music fan.
- Ian and Anthea Davidson. Met MP at Oxford. Encouraged him to perform in revue and gave him early work at the BBC. A writer and director and occasional Python performer.
- Chris Miller and Bill Stotesbury. Chris looked after Eric’s son Carey during Life of Brian. Bill is a designer and banjo player.
- Neil and Yvonne Innes. Neil, Ex-Bonzo Dog Band. Worked closely with the Pythons especially on their stage appearances. Collaborated with Eric to create the Rutles. Sons: Miles and Luke.
- Mel Calman, cartoonist and friend
- George Harrison. Musician, ex-Beatle. Married to Olivia Arias, son Dhani born 1978.
- Derek and Joan Taylor, Beatles’ publicist and wife
- Chris Orr, artist and printmaker
- Charles McKeown, actor, writer and performer in many MP films and TV shows
- Geoffrey Strachan. Editor at Methuen who encouraged Python to go into print. Also published the Ripping Yarns books.
- Tristram and Virginia Powell. Tristram was director/collaborator on East of Ipswich, Number 27 and worked on development of American Friends.
- Andre Jacquemin. Recording engineer, Python recordist, composer (with Dave Howman) of some Python songs. Founder of Redwood Studios.
- Trevor Jones/John Du Prez, musician and composer (Python songs and A Fish Called Wanda)
- Ray Cooper, legendary percussionist who became important go-between and general troubleshooter on all the HandMade films
– location 129–158
Graham [Chapman], who is getting £5,000 a month from Python as co-producer of this album [Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation], sits contentedly, with John [Tomiczek] in attendance. He seems, as usual, not quite in tune with what’s going on around him. I record the Headmaster’s speech and that’s about all. – location 282–284
Graham is there with David, and I sit next to John’s new wife, Barbara. She says she desperately wants to take him back to LA for a few months, but he won’t go as it gives him the creeps. – location 2750–2751
To dinner with Graham and David. Was supposed to be with TJ as well, but he rang this morning, having had Creosotic eruptions during the night, to cancel. Take GC to Langan’s Brasserie. He’s half an hour late. – location 5251–5253
Thursday, October 3rd Up to Highgate for lunch with Graham C. He and David and John T and Towser and Harry(119) are all moving down to Maidstone next week to a new house in the country. It’s a seventeenth-century house with additions including an indoor swimming pool. Graham seems continually hard-up and paying out huge bills to builders – but he does drive Aston Martins and likes his house to have a pool and a gym. Graham is a bit twitchy and unrelaxed to start with, but expands during the meal. We talk diet. He’s very keen on the low-cholesterol, low-fat diet, and takes it far more seriously than me – with regular blood tests, etc. I suppose this is the price you pay for being a doctor and knowing so much more about what’s happening inside you. He seems to have no immediate work lined up. Still looking for alternative funds for [his film project] ‘Ditto’ after Paramount backed out. Bid goodbye to GC and to his association with Highgate, the Angel pub, dinner parties with amazing food and eccentric service, the house where I first met Ray Cooper, and so on … – location 7826–7835
(119) Towser and Harry were their two dogs. Harry was named after Graham and David’s great friend, musician Harry Nilsson. – location 12332–12333