The Rutles

The Rutles
Origin London, England
Genres Parody, comedy rock, pop rock
Years active 1975–1978, 1996–1997, 2002
Labels Warner Bros., Rhino, Virgin
Associated acts The Beatles, Monty Python,
Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Past members
Eric Idle
Neil Innes
Ricky Fataar
John Halsey
Ollie Halsall
David Battley

The Rutles (also known as the Prefab Four[1]) are a band that are known for their visual and aural pastiches and parodies of The Beatles. Originally created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes as a fictional band to be featured as part of various 1970s television programming, the group (remaining a parody of The Beatles) recorded, toured, and released two UK chart hits in reality.

Initially created for a short sketch in Idle's UK television comedy series Rutland Weekend Television, The Rutles gained international fame after being the focus of the 1978 mockumentary television film, All You Need Is Cash (often referred to as just The Rutles). Having been encouraged by the reaction to the sketch, featuring Beatles' music pastiches by Neil Innes, the film was written by Idle, who co-directed it with Gary Weis. It featured 20 songs written by Innes, which he performed with three musicians as "The Rutles". A successful soundtrack album in 1978 was, much later, followed in 1996 by Archaeology, which spoofed the Beatles' Anthology series which had recently been released. The Rutles pre-date the American parody Spinal Tap by about a year.

A second film, The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch — modelled on the 2000 TV special The Beatles Revolution — was made in 2002 and released in the US on DVD in 2003, but it did not prove as popular as the original film.


The band

Rutland Weekend Television version (1975-76)

The Rutles members in the original 1975 skit on Rutland Weekend Television, which subsequently aired on Saturday Night Live, were:

In the original skit "Stig" is the Paul McCartney character and was portrayed by Battley, with Idle portraying the George Harrison character as "Dirk". The John Lennon character is named "Nasty". The Ringo Starr character was originally named Barry, although in the series spin-off book "The Rutland Weekend Songbook", this character is mistakenly identified as "Kevin" -- the only appearance of this name in the entire Rutles canon. In the original sketch, the characters are given only the singular names Stig, Dirk, Barry, and Nasty.

However, as would happen frequently during the Rutles existence, some of the actors lip-synching The Rutles music on-screen were not musicians, and did not participate in the recording process. Rutles music for Rutland Weekend Television and the spin-off album The Rutland Weekend Songbook was recorded by Neil's Innes' own band Fatso, which consisted of:

All You Need Is Cash version (1978)

In adapting the characters for a full-length TV feature, several changes were made. Idle continued to play "Dirk", but Dirk was now modelled after Paul McCartney, not George Harrison. Battley was replaced as Stig by Ricky Fataar, and Stig became the George Harrison-inspired character. Additionally, the characters now all had first and last names.

The Rutles members in All You Need Is Cash were:

  • Ron Nasty (styled after John Lennon) — played by Neil Innes
  • Dirk McQuickly (styled after Paul McCartney) — played by Eric Idle
  • Stig O'Hara (styled after George Harrison) — played by Ricky Fataar
  • Barry Wom, ne Barrington Womble (styled after Ringo Starr) — played by John Halsey. The character's truncated name was a play on how Ringo had changed his name from 'Richard Starkey' to 'Ringo Starr'.

Also, in tracing the fictional history of the band, one other member was mentioned:

Once again, the band that recorded the actual music was slightly different to the band that appeared on camera, as Idle did not take part in the recording process. On the soundtrack release of the music from All You Need Is Cash, The Rutles were officially:

  • Neil Innes: guitar, keyboards, vocals. Innes sang the John Lennon-inspired songs.
  • Ollie Halsall: guitar, keyboards, vocals. Halsall sang the Paul McCartney-inspired songs.
  • Ricky Fataar: guitar, bass, sitar, tabla, vocals. Fataar sang the George Harrison-inspired songs.
  • John Halsey: percussion, vocals. Halsey sang the Ringo Starr- inspired songs.
  • Andy Brown: bass

While the Rutles are often thought of as a four-piece band, the credits of the original LP release of their first album makes it quite clear they were a five piece band. Brown, however, did not appear in any role in All You Need Is Cash, and was not part of any Rutles reunion.

Archaeology version (1996)

After an 18-year hiatus, The Rutles (Innes, Halsey and Fataar) reconvened to record the 1996 album Archaeology (parody of the Beatles Anthology). Halsall had died in 1992, but appears on several tracks that were outtakes from the original 1978 album, and is credited as a band member (similar to the Beatles' "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love").

On record the band was augmented by keyboardist Mickey Simmonds, who would go on to play with the band live. Also appearing on the record was bassist Malcolm Foster, (ex-Pretenders), as The Rutles had no bass player. Guitarists Dougie Boyle and Bernie Holland were also featured.

Subsequent touring versions (1997–present)

Innes and Halsey toured as The Rutles in the UK, augmented by other musicians. The touring group performs songs from the Rutles repertoire and from Innes's own solo career.

The touring version:

Fataar played with this touring version of The Rutles on certain dates.


Rutland Weekend Television (1975-76)

The Rutles began in 1975 as a sketch on Idle's BBC television series Rutland Weekend Television. The sketch presented Neil Innes (ex-Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band) fronting The Rutles singing "I Must Be In Love", a pastiche of a 1964 Lennon-McCartney tune. The band name was a continuation of the regional premise of the TV show.

The show was presented as a programme by a fictional TV network in Rutland, the smallest county in England. One running joke was that it was run on a shoestring. If the show parodied a topic, it would use names derivative of "Rutland". When Idle and Innes created a parody of the Beatles, Idle suggested "Rutles".

Innes was the musician/composer for the series and created songs with ideas on how they could be presented.

Innes came up with parodying A Hard Day's Night. He had written "I Must Be In Love" which he realised sounded very "Beatley" and thought of the Rutles skit. He passed the idea to Idle, who had a separate idea about a boring TV documentary maker. They merged the ideas into one extended film shot for the TV show.

The Rutles had connections with The Beatles, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and Monty Python. The Beatles were fans of the Bonzos: they featured them in the 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour and Paul McCartney (working with Gus Dudgeon under the alias Apollo C. Vermouth) had produced their 1968 hit single "I'm the Urban Spaceman". The Bonzos and members of the Python team worked together in the late 1960s on the TV comedy show Do Not Adjust Your Set. George Harrison was a Python fan as well as being involved in The Rutles film (see below), his company Handmade Films later took over production of Python film Life Of Brian after the original backers pulled out, fearing its subject was too controversial, as well as financing the two first solo films of ex-Python Terry Gilliam, Jabberwocky and Time Bandits.

In merchandising for the TV series, references were made to a Rutles album (Finchley Road) and a single ("Ticket To Rut"). In 1976, BBC Records produced The Rutland Weekend Songbook, an album containing 23 tracks including the Rutles songs "I Must Be In Love" and "The Children Of Rock And Roll" (later reworked as "Good Times Roll").

Saturday Night Live (1976)

Two years later, on 2 October 1976 , when Idle appeared on the American NBC show Saturday Night (later Saturday Night Live), he took videotape extracts from Rutland Weekend Television — including the Rutles clip. That led to a suggestion by SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels to extend the skit into a one-hour mock documentary. This proposal led to the 1978 mockumentary All You Need Is Cash, directed by SNL film director Gary Weis (responsible for the programme's short films), though Idle was credited as co-director.

Saturday Night Live (1977)

On 23 April 1977, Idle made another appearance on Saturday Night Live, bringing along Neil Innes as a musical guest. A running theme for this episode is the "Save Great Britain Telethon," and at one point there is an appearance by "The Rutle who lives in New York, Nasty". Innes appeared as Nasty with a lone white piano, singing a short version of "Cheese & Onions". Later in the episode, as Neil Innes, he performed a pre-Rutles version of "Shangri-La".[2]

"All You Need Is Cash" (1978)

All You Need Is Cash documented the rise and fall of The Rutles, paralleling much of the history of The Beatles.

Innes wrote and produced the music. He relied on his memory of Beatles music, without listening, to create soundalike songs. Innes assembled a band (himself, Halsey, Ollie Halsall, Andy Brown, and Ricky Fataar) and the group played in a London pub to gel. During Rutles performances and studio recordings, Innes took lead on the songs that resembled Lennon's; Halsall sang on most McCartney-esque tunes; Fataar sang the Harrison songs; and Halsey sang a Ringo Starr-type song. Idle mimed to Halsall's singing and Brown's bass playing in the completed film. Halsall appeared in the film as "Leppo", the fifth Rutle who in the earliest years "mainly stood in the back". Brown did not appear in the film.

George Harrison makes a cameo, interviewing the band's press spokesman 'Eric Manchester' — based on Beatles press agent Derek Taylor, played by Michael Palin.

All You Need Is Cash was one of the first of its kind, inspiration for the Rob Reiner comedy film This Is Spinal Tap in 1984.

All You Need Is Cash is a series of skits and gags that illustrate the Rutles story, following the chronology of The Beatles. The glue of the film is the soundtrack by Innes, who created 19 more songs for the film, each a pastiche of a Beatles song or genre. Fourteen songs were on a soundtrack album. The CD version added the six songs omitted from the original vinyl album. The album was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Comedy Recording of the year. The orchestrations and arrangements were by film composer John Altman.

All You Need Is Cash was not a success on American television and finished bottom of all programmes that week. The programme fared better on BBC television.

A 66-minute version edited for TV was released on video and DVD but it has been superseded by the restored 72-minute version.

The Beatles' reaction

George Harrison was involved in the project from the beginning. Producer Gary Weis said "We were sitting around in Eric's kitchen one day, planning a sequence that really ripped into the mythology and George looked up and said, 'We were the Beatles, you know!' Then he shook his head and said 'Aw, never mind.' I think he was the only one of the Beatles who really could see the irony of it all.

Harrison later said "...the Rutles sort of liberated me from the Beatles in a way. It was the only thing I saw of those Beatles television shows they made. It was actually the best, funniest and most scathing. But at the same time, it was done with the most love." Harrison showed Innes and Idle the Beatles unreleased official documentary The Long and Winding Road, made by Neil Aspinall. (Aspinall's documentary would be resurrected as The Beatles Anthology.)

  • Ringo Starr liked the happier scenes in the film, but felt the scenes that mimicked sadder times hit too close.
  • John Lennon loved the film so much that he refused to return the videotape and soundtrack he was given for approval. He told Innes, however, that ‘Get Up and Go’ was too close to The Beatles' "Get Back" and to be careful not to be sued by Paul McCartney. The song was subsequently omitted from the 1978 vinyl LP soundtrack. In an interview with 'BeatlesandBeyond' Radio Show presenter Pete Dicks, Innes remembered that Lennon said...' you're going to have trouble with THAT one! - How right he was, the dear man...'
  • McCartney, who had just released his own album, London Town, always answered, “No comment.” According to Innes: “He had a dinner at some awards thing at the same table as Eric one night and Eric said it was a little frosty.” Idle claimed McCartney changed his mind because his wife Linda thought it was funny.

All the group and Apple consented to use of the Beatles' Shea Stadium concert footage, along with other “real” footage cut in with Rutle footage.

Idle claims on the All You Need Is Cash DVD commentary track that Harrison and Starr at one point discussed starting a band with Innes and Idle, based on the Beatles' and Rutles' shared and imaginary histories. This never came to pass.

Later history

Idle and Fataar issued one single as 'Dirk and Stig' in 1979 (Idle's only appearance on a Rutles-related disc), but throughout the 1980s The Rutles did not exist.

Innes, with session musicians, performed as "Ron Nasty and The New Rutles" at a convention honouring the 25th anniversary of Monty Python in 1994. This led to a Rutles reunion album in 1996, featuring Innes, Fataar and Halsey. Halsall died in 1992, but the reunion album, entitled Archaeology (a play on the Beatles' Anthology series), featured several tracks recorded in 1978 that included his contributions.

In 2002, Idle made The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch, but it remained unreleased for a year. The film features an even bigger number of celebrity interviewees discussing the band's influence. This was met with mixed reactions from fans, especially since it used material culled from the original. The DVD has yet to be released in the UK.

McQuickly and Nasty had cameos in the 2004 graphic novel, Superman: True Brit, co-written by John Cleese. In the graphic novel, the Rutles are saved by Superman after their car nearly plummets from the top of a car park.

In 2007, a reissue of Archaeology included a new Rutles track called "Rut-a-lot", which was simply a live medley of songs from the first Rutles album.

On 17 March 2008, all four Rutles reunited for the first time at a 30th anniversary screening of All You Need Is Cash at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. The event included a question and answer session and performance by members of the tribute show "Rutlemania" which ran for a week at the Ricardo Montalban Theater in Hollywood before doing a week in NYC at The Blender Grammery Theater. The "Rutlemania" live show was conceived and written by Eric Idle which starred The Beatles tribute group "The Fab Four" as "The Pre-fab Four" Rutles.

In February 2009 on his website "InnesBookOfRecords.Com", Neil Innes released what he refers to as "Ron Nasty's Final Song", titled "Imitation Song" - a parody of "Imagine". This was also Innes' first and only entry in the Masters of Song-Fu competition run by Quick Stop Entertainment.

Fictional history

Ron Nasty first met Dirk McQuickly in January 1959, at the now-historical address of 43 Egg Lane, Liverpool. Having joined up with Stig O'Hara (a guitarist of no fixed hairstyle), they started playing as a trio. After 18 months, they discovered drummer Barrington Womble (whom they persuaded to change his name to Barry Wom to save time, and his hairstyle to save Brylcreem) hiding in their van, and the classic line-up of the Rutles was completed.

In 1960, at the suggestion of then-manager Arthur Scouse, the group went to Hamburg where, with fifth member Leppo, who mainly stood at the back, they played all the clubs on the Reeperbahn, particularly The Rat Keller. It was there that Leppo crawled inside a trunk with a small German fräulein and was never heard from again. Luckily, he had no talent for playing anyway.

In October 1961, fate intervened in the shape and other attributes of one-legged retail chemist from Bolton, Leggy Mountbatten (a parody of Brian Epstein), who, after falling into "The Cavern" one night, decided he hated the boys' music, but liked the cut of their jib (and especially the cut of their trousers). He became their manager, cleaned up their image, and touted them around the major record companies. Eventually, they signed to Parlourphone, and their debut album, which was recorded in 20 minutes (their second took even longer), became an enormous success. By December 1963, they were the biggest thing ever to hit the music business, with 19 out of the top 20 singles in the UK.

In 1964, Rutlemania went worldwide, and then some. The group swiftly conquered the US thanks to the promotion of Bill Murray the K, while Nasty's book of comic prose, Out Of Me Head, dominated the best-seller lists. In July of that year, the group's first film, A Hard Day's Rut, was released. This was followed in 1965 by Ouch! By this time, Rutlemania had reached such a fever pitch that crowd control was a serious problem. In August 1965, the Prefab Four played a sell-out concert at New York's Ché Stadium (a pun on Argentinian-born guerrilla leader Ché Guevara and the New York Mets's Shea Stadium), arriving a day early in order to get away before the audience arrived.

When Nasty met Chastity: The Rutles's not-so-subtle sendup of John Lennon meeting Yoko Ono in 1966 at Indica Gallery in London.

In 1966, controversy hit the Rutles when Nasty was quoted as saying that the group were 'bigger than God'. Nasty, however, insisted that he had been misquoted by a slightly deaf journalist, and had actually said they were bigger than Rod, referring to Rod Stewart, then a relative unknown. The band bounced back with their 1967 masterpiece Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band, though this too was misted over in controversy when the group claimed they wrote it under the influence of tea, to which they had been introduced by Bob Dylan. When Nasty was arrested for possession of tea, there was a national outcry and a full-page advertisement in The Times calling for it to be legalised. All five members of The Rolling Stones had been arrested already, and an MP had been caught nude with a teapot. Shortly afterwards, Nasty visited an art exhibit at The Pretentious Gallery in Soho, and it was here that he met an German-born Nazi artist named Chastity whose father had invented World War II. After spending a whole night together, Nasty and Chastity announced their engagement the next day at a press conference, during which they sat in a shower to promote world peace.

More bad news followed for the group. While staying with the mystic Arthur Sultan at his retreat in Bognor Regis, the band heard that Mountbatten had tragically emigrated to Australia, where he had accepted a teaching post. Some critics argue that the band lost their direction at this point. Tragical History Tour, their self-indulgent TV movie about four Oxford history professors on a tour around Rutland tea-shops, was regarded as a failure, despite the success of the soundtrack, which included the classic songs "W.C. Fields Forever" and "I Am the Waitress".

In April 1968, the group launched their new record company, Rutle Corps. Despite signing up some promising talent (notably Arthur Hodgson and the Kneecaps and the 'French Beach Boys,' Les Garçons de la Plage), poor financial management (mainly on the part of Stig O'Hara's financial planner, Ron Decline) finally led to the label's ultimate failure. Around this time, a 'Stig is Dead' rumour, prompted by both many obscure clues within the band's songs and album covers (including a track which, when played backwards, reportedly said 'Stig has been dead for ages, honestly') and the fact that Stig had not spoken publicly in five years began to circulate, prompting Barry to stay in bed for a year. Whether this was intended as a tax dodge or as an attempt to start his own 'Barry is Also Dead' rumour never became clear.

It was in this atmosphere that the group's final release, Let It Rut was recorded. Soon afterwards, the band fell apart amid much legal wrangling; McQuickly sued Nasty and O'Hara, Wom sued McQuickly, Nasty sued O'Hara and Wom and - in all the confusion - O'Hara ended up accidentally suing himself. Wom had some success with his solo LP, When You Find The Girl Of Your Dreams In The Arms Of Some Scotsmen From Hull, but like the other members, soon drifted into obscurity, punctuated only by the making of a 1978 retrospective documentary, All You Need Is Cash. McQuickly formed the punk rock group Punk Floyd with his French wife, Martini (he sang; she did not); Nasty turned his back on the world; Wom became two hairdressers, as per a joke once made to the press; and O'Hara found work for Air India as an air hostess.

It is rumoured that The Rutles acquired all their music from others. Many people said that they stole it from New Orleans blues legend Blind Lemon Pye, but he said that the Rutles music came from his next-door neighbour Ruttling Orange Peel. Ruttling claimed that he did write the music, but his wife claims that he is always lying. She said that he also claimed to have started the Everly Brothers, Frank Sinatra and Lawrence Welk. There is a small-time group named The Beatles who patterned their career after the legendary Rutles.

Rutles albums (fictional)

  • Please Rut Me (1963)
  • With The Rutles (1963)
  • A Hard Day's Rut (1964)
  • Rutles for Sale (1964)
  • Ouch! (1965)
  • Rutle Soul (1965)
  • Semiautomatic (1966)
  • Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band (1967)
  • Tragical History Tour (1967)
  • The Rutles (a.k.a. "The Shite Album") (1968)
  • Yellow Submarine Sandwich (1969)
  • Shabby Road (1969)
  • Let It Rot (1970)

(Note: These titles may not all be official.)

Rutles discography (real)

The Rutland Weekend Songbook (1976)

"The Rutland Weekend Songbook" / Eric Idle & Neil Innes

BBC Records (UK) / Passport Records (US)

Saturday: (Side 1 )

  1. "L'Amour Perdu"
  2. Gibberish
  3. Wash With Mother ( "Front Loader" )
  4. "Say Sorry Again"
  5. The Rutles in "Rutles For Sale". ("I Must Be In Love")
  6. 24 Hours In Tunbridge Wells ( "Tunbridge Wells Medley" )
  7. The Fabulous Bingo Brothers ( "Once We Had A Donkey" )
  8. In Concrete ( "Concrete Jungle Boy")
  9. "The Children of Rock-N-Roll"
  10. Startime ("Stoop Solo" )
  11. "Song O'The Insurance Salesmen"
  12. Closedown

Sunday: (Side 2)

  1. "Testing"
  2. "I Give Myself To You"
  3. "Communist Cooking"
  4. Johnny Cash Live At Mrs.Fletchers ( "Stuck In Mrs.Fletchers" )
  5. The Old Gay Whistle Test ("Protest Song")
  6. "Accountancy Shanty"
  7. "Football"
  8. "Boring"
  9. Goodafternoon ("L'Amour Perdu Cha-Cha-Cha")
  10. Disco ("Hard To Get")
  11. Closedown ("The Song O'The Continuity Announcers")

Rutles Notes:

  • Side 1, Track 5: The first released Rutles recording. (This version has slightly different lyrics from the 1978 version.)
  • Liner notes mis-credit "Kevin" as a Rutle instead of "Barry." (This marks the only appearance of "Kevin" in the Rutles canon!)
  • The original "Rutles" Musicians are: Roger Rettig and Billy Bremner on guitars, Brian Hodgson on bass, Neil Innes on piano, and John Halsey on drums. (This group was also known as "Fatso.")
  • Side 1, Track 9: This song is credited as "Ron Lennon," and it is the nucleus of what will later become The Rutles song "Good Times Roll".
  • Album reissued on C.D. in the 1990s with two bonus tracks: "Protest Song" (Uncensored) & "I Must Be In Love" (Minus screaming fans.)

The Rutles (1978)

A soundtrack album entitled The Rutles containing 14 tongue-in-cheek pastiches of Beatles songs was also released.

The cover art of the album suggested the existence of a number of other Rutles albums including Tragical History Tour and Let It Rut.

The album contains some obvious send-ups of Beatles numbers such as "Ouch!" ("Help!"), "Love Life" ("All You Need is Love"), "Piggy in the Middle" ("I Am the Walrus"), "Doubleback Alley" ("Penny Lane") and "Get Up And Go" (CD reissue only — "Get Back"). However, its real tribute is in its subtly layered blending of elements from many classic Lennon-McCartney tunes.

The Rutles 7" Singles (1978)

"I Must Be In Love" + "Cheese And Onions " / "A Girl Like You"

WEA Records / UK only release / 1978 / K17125

Side 1: "I Must Be In Love"

Side 2: "Cheese And Onions" / "A Girl Like You"

  • Released with picture sleeve.
  • Sleeve misprints "With A Girl Like You" on both sides ( Dropping "With" ), Label is correct.
  • All three songs same as album versions.

"Let's Be Natural" b/w "Piggy In the Middle"

WEA Records / UK only release / 1978 / K17180

Side 1: "Let's Be Natural"

Side 2: "Piggy In the Middle"

  • Issued in a standard paper sleeve.
  • Both songs same as album versions.

"I Must Be In Love" b/w "Doubleback Alley"

WEA Records / Japan / 1978 / P-200-W

Warner Bros. Records / US / 1978 / WBS 8560

Side 1: "I Must Be In Love"

Side 2: "Doubleback Alley"

  • Japanese release issued in picture sleeve featuring rare colour photo from "I Must Be In Love" video.
  • Both songs same as album versions

The Rutles 12" EP (1978)

Promotional Warner Bros. faux-Beatles Rutles five-song 3313 RPM 12-inch (PRO-E-723) complete with recreated Lads-in-Nehru-suits portrait in the same fashion and pose as the real Beatles' portrait released on the sleeve of the Capitol 45 rpm release "I Want to Hold Your Hand" b/w "I Saw Her Standing There" (Capitol 5112). The unnamed Rutle Corps Records label (peeled banana in the centre) boasted five tracks and was pressed in translucent yellow vinyl:

Side 1

  1. "I Must Be In Love" - 2:04 ("A Hard Day's Night"/ "Can't Buy Me Love")
  2. "Doubleback Alley" - 2:54 ("Penny Lane")
  3. "With A Girl Like You" - 1:50 ("If I Fell")

Side 2

  1. "Another Day" - 2:09 ("Martha My Dear")
  2. "Let's Be Natural" - 3:23 ("Dear Prudence")

The Rutles Archaeology (1996)

The Rutles Archaeology, 1996

Three of the four musicians who had created the soundtrack for the 1978 film — Innes, Halsey and Fataar — reunited in 1996 and recorded a second album, Archaeology, a send-up of The Beatles Anthology albums. The fourth 'real' Rutle, Ollie Halsall, died in Spain in 1992. Eric Idle was invited to participate, but he declined. Accordingly, photos of the three 'surviving' Rutles parodied those of the then three surviving Beatles in the Anthology series.

Like the Anthology project that it lampooned, it featured tracks ostensibly from all periods of the Rutles career, sequenced to reflect the fictional band's chronology. (Several of the songs were actually old Innes standards that were dusted off and given the 'Rutles' treatment.) The reunion was blessed by George Harrison, who encouraged The Pre-Fab Four to proceed. (When approached, he told Innes, 'Sure. It's all part of the "soup"...' Innes related that encounter in interviews he gave in 1996.)

"Eric Idle Sings Monty Python" (2000)

"Eric Idle Sings Monty Python" (Live) / Eric Idle

Restless Records / C.D. only release / 01877-73730-2

  • Track 16 is the only track with Rutles content, Idle sings "I Must Be In Love" (First recording of Idle vocalising a Rutles song.)
  • Eric is introduced as "Sir Dirk McQuickly" with a "History of The Rutles" introduction by Peter Crabbe
  • In the C.D. booklet , the lyric page for this song is torn out.
  • This C.D. is the sole release featuring the notorious " Lennon / McCartney / Innes " song credit!

Rutles Highway Revisited (A tribute to The Rutles)

A 20-track album of Rutles covers released by Shimmy Disc Europe on 1 January 1990 (SDE 9028/CD), liner notes include interview with Ron Nasty. (Written by Neil Innes.)

  1. "Cheese & Onions" - Galaxie 500
  2. "Hold My Hand" - The Pussywillows
  3. "Number One" - Bongos, Bass & Bob
  4. "Good Times Roll" - Lida Husik
  5. "Another Day" - Dogbowl
  6. "Piggy In The Middle" - Das Damen
  7. "I Must Be In Love" - Syd Straw and Marc Ribot
  8. "Nevertheless" - Joey Arias
  9. "Let's Be Natural" - When People Were Shorter and Lived Near the Water
  10. "Between Us" - Unrest
  11. "Ouch!" - Peter Stampfel and The Bottlecaps
  12. "Blue Suede Schubert" - The Tinklers
  13. "Living In Hope" - Tuli Kupferberg
  14. "Baby Let Me Be" - Daniel Johnston
  15. "It's Looking Good" - Uncle Wiggly
  16. "Goose Step Mama" - Shonen Knife
  17. "Get Up And Go" - Jellyfish Kiss
  18. "Doubleback Alley" - King Missile
  19. "With A Girl Like You" - Paleface
  20. "Love Life" - Bongwater


Bootlegs include Hard Days Rut, Rehearsal, Sweet Rutle Tracks, Rutles To Let, Sgt. Rutters Only Darts Club Band, and Rutland's Rare Rutles Revisited. Much of the material on these releases comes from 1978 rehearsal tapes, or from the Rutland Weekend Television soundtrack LP.

  • Also of note: "Cheese & Onions" - the version heard on Saturday Night Live - made its way onto several Beatles bootleg albums, as an unreleased John Lennon demo. See: "Indian Rope Trick. The Echoes of a Dream" (side 2, track 5), for one.[3]
  • "Get Up & Go" also appeared on a bootleg as an "Unreleased Beatles Track" on the album , "Tanks For the Mammaries".


Following the release of the 1978 The Rutles album, ATV Music, the then-owner of the publishing rights to the Beatles catalog, sued Innes for copyright infringement. Though Innes hired a musicologist to defend the originality of his songs,[4] he settled with ATV out of court for 50% of the royalties and shared songwriting credit on the 14 songs included on the album.[5] As of early 2006, these six songs from the first Rutles CD (which were not on the original LP release) are credited solely to Neil Innes: "Baby Let Me Be", "Between Us", "Blue Suede Schubert", "Get Up And Go", "Goose Step Mama", and "It's Looking Good".[6] The other 14 songs from the CD (that is, all of the songs from the original LP release) have all had John Lennon and Paul McCartney added to the songwriting credits along with Neil Innes. However, the booklet accompanying a 2007 reissue of the album on Rhino/Warner Brothers credits all 20 songs solely to Innes.

See also


  1. ^ Eric Idle (1978). All You Need Is Cash (Film). 
  2. ^ SNL Transcripts listing
  3. ^ Bootleg album (vinyl LP): Indian Rope Trick. The Echoes of a Dream. Slipped Disc Records SX-TT 979. Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  4. ^ Catlin Moran (1996-10-25). The spoof Beatles are back in business. Times (London). 
  5. ^ Paul du Noyer (1996-12-01). The Post-Prefab Three. Q Magazine. 
  6. ^ BMI web site


  • Badman, Keith (2002). The Beatles: The Dream is Over. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-9199-5. 
  • Badman, Keith (2001). The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the Break Up 1970–2001. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-8307-0. 

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