Pink Floyd’s ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ Changed Monty Python History

Pink Floyd were a lot more serious than Monty Python, however, the two groups crossed paths in a major way. After all, one Monty Python film might not exist without Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. Here’s a look at what the people behind the film had to say.

Pink Floyd | Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour discussed his involvement with ‘Monty Python’

During a 1978 interview with The Guardian, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour discussed what he was doing with his free time.” I didn’t know what to do with leisure time, but now I’m quite good at it,” he said. He felt his leisure time had rewards.

He discussed “having to go to board meetings, and meetings with investment companies.” In addition, he said “You either give money to the tax-man or stick it into businesses. There’s all sorts of things I wouldn’t normally think about, but it’s got to go somewhere. So there’s things like a hire-car company, an electronics company, and a slice of the last Monty Python film….” 

Pink Floyd’s “Money”

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How Pink Floyd’s ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ helped rid Monty Python of studio constraints

According to Rolling Stone, the film Gilmour discussed was Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Pink Floyd partly funded it from sales of The Dark Side of the Moon. Monty Python members Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones co-directed the film. In an interview with The Guardian, Gilliam explained why he didn’t have any trouble with studio interference while working on Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

“There was no studio interference because there was no studio; none of them would give us any money,” he recalled. “This was at the time income tax was running as high as 90%, so we turned to rock stars for finance. Elton John, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, they all had money, they knew our work and we seemed a good tax write-off. Except, of course we weren’t. It was like The Producers.

The trailer for Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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The Producers is a Mel Brooks movie where a pair of entrepreneurs get people to invest in a musical. They try to make the musical flop so they can keep the money their investors gave them. In the end, the musical becomes a resounding commercial success anyway.

How much money did Monty Python get from the sales of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ and how much did the movie make?

This raises an interesting question: How much money did Pink Floyd contribute to Monty Python and the Holy Grail? According to Rolling Stone, the band spent £21,000 on the film. In contrast, Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson spent £31,500 and £6,500, respectively, on the movie.

The reaction to the film was huge. Monty Python member Eric Idle retweeted someone who said the film earned $175 million. In addition, it inspired the Broadway musical Spamalot. Pink Floyd were most known for their music, but they helped make comedy history as well.

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