The Butterfly Ball (and the Grasshopper's Feast)
August 1, 2008 5:15 AM   Subscribe

In 1975, Roger Glover of Deep Purple staged a rock opera based on William Roscoe's poem "The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast". (The book had been reprinted the previous year, with illustrations by popular record sleeve artist Alan Aldridge.) The performance -- which featured such talent as Judi Dench, Vincent Price, Twiggy, and Ronnie James Dio (!) -- and subsequent recording met with enough interest that British animation company Halas & Batchelor had planned a feature-length animated adaptation. While the full animated movie never materialized, a Max Fleischer-influenced three-minute short accompanying the opening song, "Love is All", was broadcast frequently around the world. (Stateside viewers might remember it from such disparate programs as"The Great Space Coaster", "Pinwheel" and, uh, "Night Flight".) [Previously on MeFi: Alan Aldridge.]
posted by pxe2000 (8 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I've no recollection of the Rock Opera, but I remember the Alan Aldridge book. It was one of those quintessentially 70's things that people used to have around to look at when they'd dropped acid.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:24 AM on August 1, 2008

I see it is available on DVD; I bet my daughter would love it! She is already a Deep Purple fan at age 3.
posted by TedW at 5:42 AM on August 1, 2008

Man, they showed that so often at the end of the Great Space Coaster. As much as I liked it, it always meant it was time to walk to middle school. Who knew I was a Dio fan that far back?
posted by kimota at 6:02 AM on August 1, 2008

This is one of those videos that, when I saw it as a child, convinced me using LSD might be an utterly terrifying experience.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:23 AM on August 1, 2008

I'm at work so I can't see the vids or take time to thoroughly explore this fascinating post. But I couldn't wait to say 3 things:

1- Deep Purple! Awesome!
2- 70s rock operas! Awesome!
3- Night Flight! Awesome! I loooooved watching Night Flight. And against sterotype, I was a non-drinking, non-drugging, married, 20-something dude. When we bought our first HUGE 27-inch TV, I enjoyed it all the more. One specific memory: the old silent film A Trip to the Moon set to Pink Floyd's Echoes.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:43 AM on August 1, 2008

If I saw this on "Pinwheel" then this video belongs in that category of things I thought I hallucinated while in a cold medicine haze as a kid, but actually saw on that show.
posted by medeine at 9:04 AM on August 1, 2008

Man, did that video want to be Yellow Submarine! I love it. Especially the mild, unconcerned way the frog's friends watch him turn into a plant with six singing heads. Walt Kelly might even have liked it.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:01 PM on August 1, 2008

This is one of those videos that, when I saw it as a child, convinced me not using LSD might be an utterly terrifying life.
posted by Sparx at 4:08 PM on August 1, 2008

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