Jim Lange Published

Don't Meet Your Heroes

“Expectation is a prison.” ~ Robert Fripp

Literary giant T.S. Eliot was a fan of comedic genius Groucho Marx and vice versa.

It is thought that expectations of one another thawed what could have been a spectacular meeting of the minds.

This BBC special is part history and part speculation about their friendship. King Crimson’s Jakko Jakszyk created this work as well as the music.

After a correspondence beginning in 1961, after a number of failed attempts to arrange a meeting, Eliot and Marx had dinner at Eliot’s flat in 1964.

From the BBC site:

"After a number of failed arrangements, in June 1964, a car arrives at the Savoy to collect Groucho and his wife to take them the short distance to Eliot's home for the much-awaited dinner. Yet such is the nature of celebrity that when Groucho quoted lines from Eliot's The Wasteland back to him, he was uninterested, and Groucho, in turn, was unable to recall the scene from Duck Soup that Eliot particularly loved. They parted, disappointed and a little dejected."

Artists are and are not their work. First and foremost, they are people. It’s too bad Tom and Groucho could not let go of their image of the other.

Groucho was never interested in serious conversation, was he?