The Rutles

The Rutles (/ˈrʌtəlz/) are a rock band that perform visual and aural pastiches and parodies of the Beatles. This originally fictional band, created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes for 1970s television programming, became an actual group – whilst remaining a parody of the Beatles – which toured and recorded, releasing many songs and albums that included two UK chart hits.

The Rutles
OriginRutland, England
GenresRock, parody, comedy rock, rock and roll
Years active1975–1978, 1996–1997, 2002-present
LabelsWarner Bros., Rhino, Virgin
Associated actsThe Beatles, Monty Python, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, George Harrison, Timebox, The Flames
Past members
  • Billy Bremner
  • Andy Brown
  • Roger Rettig
  • Brian Hodgson
  • J.J. Jones
  • Jay Goodrich (2018)

Originally created as a short sketch in Idle's British television comedy series Rutland Weekend Television, the Rutles gained notice after being the focus of the mockumentary television film All You Need Is Cash (1978, aka The Rutles). Former Beatle George Harrison appeared in the film and assisted in its creation. Encouraged by the positive public reaction to the sketch, featuring Beatles' music pastiches by Innes, the film was written by Idle, who co-directed it with Gary Weis. It had 20 songs written by Innes, which he performed with three musicians as the Rutles. A soundtrack album in 1978 was followed in 1996 by Archaeology, which spoofed the then recent Beatles Anthology series.

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.


Rutland Weekend Television (1975–76)

The Rutles first appeared in 1975 as a sketch on Eric Idle's BBC television series Rutland Weekend Television.[1] The sketch presented a mini-documentary about the 1960s band the Rutles, and featured Neil Innes (formerly of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, and a frequent Monty Python collaborator) fronting the band singing "I Must Be In Love", a pastiche of Lennon and McCartney's 1964 style.[1] However although not billed as the Rutles, Innes had already appeared in episode 3 of Rutland Weekend Television accompanying himself on a piano singing "Good Times Roll" which would later appear on The Rutles album released in 1978.

The sketch was the work of Innes and Idle.[1] Innes conceived parodying the film A Hard Day's Night after writing "I Must Be In Love", which he realised sounded very "Beatle-y". Innes was the musician and composer for the series, and routinely created songs and ideas about how those songs could be presented on the show. He passed the idea along of a Beatles spoof to Idle, who had a separate idea about a boring TV documentary maker. They then merged the ideas into one extended film shot for the TV show. The band name was a continuation of the regional premise of the TV show, which was presented as a programme by a fictional TV station based in Rutland, the smallest county in England. One running joke was that it would use names derivative of Rutland. The initial idea was a parody of the Rolling Stones called the Rutland Stones[2] but became a parody of the Beatles, and Idle suggested the Rutles. 'The Prefab Four' is a pun on the Beatles' nickname 'the Fab Four' with an additional subtext: a prefab was a cheap postwar form of British housing, intended to be temporary, often poorly constructed, draughty and leaky, and not well-regarded by those who had to live in them. (The epithet had earlier been applied to The Monkees.)

The Rutles had connections with the Beatles aside from the parody. The Beatles were fans of Innes's previous band, the Bonzo Dog Band; they featured them in the television film Magical Mystery Tour (1967), and Paul McCartney (working with Gus Dudgeon under the collective alias Apollo C. Vermouth) had produced the Bonzos' hit single "I'm the Urban Spaceman" (1968). George Harrison made a guest appearance on Rutland Weekend Television's 1975 Boxing Day special, with Idle and Innes, and encouraged them to make a film that parodied the Beatles' career and deflated the myths surrounding the band's legacy.[1]

In merchandising for the TV series, references were made to a Rutles album called 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)

One year after their initial BBC appearance, on 2 October 1976 Idle appeared on the American NBC show Saturday Night (later Saturday Night Live), and showed 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 mockumentary All You Need Is Cash (1978), directed by SNL film director Gary Weis, with Idle credited as co-director.

Saturday Night Live (1977)

On 23 April 1977, Idle made another appearance on Saturday Night Live, with Neil Innes as a musical guest. A running theme for this episode is the "Save Great Britain Telethon", and includes 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 "Shangri-La", a song subsequently recorded by the Rutles.[3]

All You Need Is Cash, 1978

Written by Idle and Innes, All You Need Is Cash documents the rise and fall of the Rutles, paralleling much of the history of the Beatles. The project was given extra recognition through Harrison's support. As well as providing ideas, he supplied Idle and Innes with a copy of the Beatles' long-planned documentary, The Long and Winding Road[4] (eventually re-titled The Beatles Anthology and released in 1995). Idle drew inspiration from this 1976 version of the documentary, as compiled by Neil Aspinall, and was granted permission to use some of the archival footage to tell the Rutles' story.

Innes wrote, composed, and produced the music. He relied on his memory of Beatles music, and not careful later analysis, to create sound-alike songs. Innes assembled a band (himself, John 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 at the back". Brown did not appear in the film.

The film 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 wrote and composed 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 on its first showing on 22 March 1978; indeed, it finished at the bottom of all programmes that week. The show fared better on BBC television when it was premiered a week later, on 27 March 1978.[5]

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

Additional actors in the special included Dan Aykroyd as the man who turned down the Rutles; John Belushi as Ron Decline (a parody of Allen Klein); Bill Murray as "Bill Murray the K"; Gilda Radner as a reluctant street interviewee; George Harrison as a TV reporter; Mick Jagger and Paul Simon as themselves;[4] Michael Palin as Eric Manchester (a parody of Beatles press agent Derek Taylor); Ron Wood as a biker; Lorne Michaels as a man who wants to merchandise the Rutles; Al Franken and Tom Davis as Ron Decline employees; and many others. It included actual footage of David Frost and Ed Sullivan taken from TV appearances.

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 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."

  • 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 and 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 ATV Music, owners of the Beatles catalogue's copyright at the time. The song was consequently omitted from the 1978 vinyl LP soundtrack.
  • Paul 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.

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's shared and imaginary histories. Harrison and Starr also surprised him and Innes one day by singing a version of the Rutles' "Ouch!"

Later history

In 1979, Idle and Fataar issued a single as "Dirk and Stig"—"Ging Gang Goolie" backed with "Mr. Sheene". This was Idle's only appearance on a Rutles-related disc.[6] Throughout the 1980s, the Rutles did not exist.

In 1982, the Rutles were involved in a record scandal reminiscent of the one surrounding the Beatles' Yesterday and Today album. Rhino Records, at the time a small Los Angeles label specialising in off-beat releases, released an album that it called Beatlesongs, purportedly a collection of Beatles novelty songs but actually a weird catch-all of assorted Beatles-related tunes. For the collection, Rhino licensed the Rutles' "Hold My Hand" from Warner Bros Records. The cover of the album was done by well-known commercial artist William Stout, who had made a name for himself drawing the cover artwork for some of the best-looking Beatles bootleg records in the 1970s. His cover drawing included a representation of Mark Chapman, the man who had killed John Lennon, which generated an immense backlash. Rhino responded by recalling the album and reissuing it with a new, innocuous cover, which they announced in this press release.[7]

A clip from All You Need Is Cash appeared on this compilation of comedy videos put out by the now-defunct Vestron Home Video in 1985. The clip is simply the Tragical History Tour part of All You Need Is Cash, with the sound clunkily muted out during the segment's narration in order to leave just the music. This home video release was released on both VHS and Laserdisc.[8]

Innes, with a group called the Moptops backed by the Rutland Symphony Orchestra,[9] performed as "Ron Nasty and the New Rutles" at a convention honouring the 25th anniversary of Monty Python in 1994.[10] This led to a Rutles reunion album in 1996, featuring Innes, Fataar and Halsey. Halsall died in 1992, but the reunion album, titled Archaeology as a play on the Beatles' Anthology series, featured several tracks recorded in 1978 that included his contributions.[1] The Japanese version included four bonus tracks.

In 2002, Idle made The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch, which 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, particularly because no new footage of the Rutles was filmed. The DVD had yet to be released in the UK as of February 2014.

McQuickly and Nasty had cameos in the 2004 graphic novel, Superman: True Brit, co-written by former Monty Python's Flying Circus member John Cleese.

In 2007, a reissue of Archaeology included a new Rutles track called "Rut-a-lot" (a jab at Idle's stage show Spamalot) which was simply a live medley of songs from the first Rutles album.

On 17 March 2008, all four movie Rutles (Innes, Idle, Fataar and Halsey) 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 Montalbán Theatre in Hollywood before doing a week in NYC at the Blender Gramercy 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, Innes released what he refers to as "Ron Nasty's Final Song", titled "Imitation Song", a parody of "Imagine". This was also Innes's first and only entry in the Masters of Song-Fu competition run by Quick Stop Entertainment.

On 9 February 2014, Idle reprised his narrator persona from All You Need Is Cash as part of The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles, noting how the Rutles had made their American debut 50 years earlier, and it was an amazing coincidence the Beatles were there the same day. He then lent straight narration to biographical sketches of the Beatles's early lives.

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 Batley, 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.[11]

Some 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 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, né 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:

  • Leppo, the Fifth Rutle (styled after Stuart Sutcliffe, the name referencing Zeppo Marx) – seen only in a still photograph. The photo showed Ollie Halsall, who played and sang on the soundtrack.

The band that recorded the actual music was slightly different from 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 indicate they were a five-piece. 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. (Similarly, the three surviving Beatles had incorporated recordings by John Lennon in the songs "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 Doug Boyle and Bernie Holland were 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 solo career.

The touring version:

Other bands mentioned in the films

In All You Need Is Cash and Can't Buy Me Lunch, other "artists" are mentioned, including:

Rutles discography

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, although it could be stated that "Kevin" is more of a parody of Pete Best)
  • 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 CD reissue included the 6 other songs featured on the soundtrack that were not included in the vinyl LP.

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

The album contains send-ups of Beatles numbers such as "Ouch!" ("Help!"), "Good Times Roll" ("Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"), "Love Life" ("All You Need is Love"), "Cheese and Onions" ("A Day in the Life"), "Piggy in the Middle" ("I Am the Walrus"), "Doubleback Alley" ("Penny Lane") and "Get Up And Go" (CD reissue only – "Get Back").

The Rutles 7" Singles (1978)

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

WEA Records / UK only release / 1978 / K17125

Side 1: "I Must Be In Love"

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

  • Released with picture sleeve.
  • Two versions of the sleeve were printed. One has the correct title for "With A Girl Like You," and the other has the title incorrectly listed as "A Girl Like You." The title is always correct on the record label itself.
  • 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 US promo single has stereo and mono versions of "I Must Be In Love."

"Ging Gang Goolie" b/w "Mr. Sheene"

EMI Records / UK only release / 1978 / EMI 2852

Side 1: "Ging Gang Goolie"

Side 2: "Mr. Sheene"

  • Never released on an official Rutles album.
  • Eric Idle's first time playing on a Rutles related recording.
  • Released by Dirk (McQuickly) and Stig (O'Hara).
  • Ron Nasty (Neil Innes) and Barry Wom (John Halsey) were not a part of this recording.

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)

Three of the five 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. Original Rutles bassist Andy Brown did not participate in the reunion. 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 them 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, and again in 2013.[12]

Eric Idle Sings Monty Python (2000)

Eric Idle Sings Monty Python (Live) / Eric Idle

Restless Records / CD 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 CD booklet, the lyric page for this song is torn out.
  • This CD 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 on 8 December 1993.

  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

Live + Raw (2014)

  1. "Hold My Hand"
  2. "Good Times Roll"
  3. "Questionnaire"
  4. "I Must Be In Love"
  5. "Another Day"
  6. "Living In Hope"
  7. "Piggy In The Middle"
  8. "Love Life"
  9. "Cheese And Onions"
  10. "Doubleback Alley"
  11. "Eine Kleine Middle Klasse Musik"
  12. "Hey Mister"
  13. "Easy Listening"
  14. "Imitation Song"
  • All tracks recorded live.


Bootlegs include Hard Days Rut!, The Last Tea Party Tapes, This is the Savage Young Rutles, Sweet Rutle Tracks, Rutles To Let, Sgt. Rutters Only Darts Club Band, Rutland's Rare Rutles Revisited, Yesterday's Leftovers and Greatest Hits Vol. 3: The Number Twos. Much of the material on these releases comes from 1978 rehearsal tapes, or from the Rutland Weekend Television soundtrack LP, as well as a lot of rare Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and Neil Innes solo material.

  • 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.[13]
  • "Get Up & Go" also appeared on a bootleg as an "Unreleased Beatles Track" on the album, "Tanks For the Mammaries".

Hard Day's Rut!

All tracks by the Rutles, otherwise noted.

  1. "I Want To Be With You" [Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band]
  2. "Backbreaker" [GRIMMS]
  3. "Front Loader" [Unknown]
  4. "Say Sorry Again" [Neil Innes and Fatso]
  5. "I Must Be In Love" [Neil Innes and Fatso]
  6. "Concrete Jungle Boy" [Neil Innes and Fatso]
  7. "The Children Of Rock and Roll" [Neil Innes and Fatso]
  8. "Baby S'il Vous Plait"
  9. "It's Looking Good" (demo)
  10. "Hold My Hand"
  11. "Number One"
  12. "Love Life"
  13. "I Must Be In Love"
  14. "Lullaby"
  15. "My Little Ukulele"
  16. "The Knicker Elastic King" (demo)
  17. "Ready Mades" [Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band]
  18. "Testing" [Neil Innes and Fatso]
  19. "When I'm With You" [Unknown]
  20. "Live At Mrs. Fletcher's" [Unknown]
  21. "Protest Song" [Neil Innes]
  22. "The Bride Stripped Bare By Bachelors" [Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band]
  23. "Doubleback Alley"
  24. "Plenty of Time"
  25. "Boring" [Neil Innes and Fatso]
  26. "Worst Is Yet To Come" [Unknown]
  27. "Womble Bashers Of Walthomstowe" [GRIMMS]
  28. "Slaves of Freedom" [Neil Innes and Fatso]
  29. "We've Arrived (And To Prove It We're Here)"
  30. "Now She's Left You"

The Last Tea Party Tapes

  1. "I Must Be In Love (Live)"
  2. "With A Girl Like You (Live)"
  3. "Ouch! (Live)"
  4. "Another Day (Live)"
  5. "Hold My Hand (Live)"
  6. "Now She's Left You (Rat Keller 1962)"
  7. "Blue Suede Schubert (Rat Keller 1962)"
  8. "I Must Be In Love (Rehearsal)"
  9. "It's Looking Good (Rehearsal)"
  10. "Piggy In The Middle (Take 5)"
  11. "Let's Be Natural (Rehearsal)"
  12. "Good Times Roll (Edit Piece 3)"
  13. "Baby S'il Vous Plait"
  14. "The Short Blues"
  15. "Bonsoir A Revoir"
  16. "The Missing Rutles Song"
  17. "Lullaby"
  18. "Fallen Arch Angel"
  19. "Questionnaire (Early Demo)"
  20. "Get Up And Go (Take 16)"
  • Track 1 is from "Eric Idle Sings Monty Python".
  • Tracks 6 and 7 are from Neil Innes' "Innes Book of Records" TV show.
  • Track 15 is a French version of the Beatles' song "Hello Goodbye".
  • Track 16 is an acoustic demo of "We've Arrived (And To Prove It We're Here)".
  • Track 18 is from Rutland Weekend Television.

This is the Savage Young Rutles

  1. "Baby Let Me Be"
  2. "Blue Suede Schubert"
  3. "Between Us"
  4. "It's Looking Good"
  5. "Goose-Step Mama"
  6. "I Must Be In Love"
  7. "We've Arrived (And To Prove It We're Here)"
  8. "Now She's Left You"
  9. "Number One"
  10. "Love Life"
  11. "Good Times Roll"
  12. "Doubleback Alley"
  13. "Piggy In The Middle"
  14. "Let's Be Natural"
  15. "Get Up And Go"
  16. "Living In Hope"
  17. "Plenty Of Time"
  • Tracks 7 and 8 are featured on "Archaeology".
  • Track 17 was originally a GRIMMS song.
  • Track 10 features the "Monty Python's Flying Circus" Theme Song as an Intro.

Sweet Rutle Tracks

  • This album has the same track list as This Is The Save Young Rutles, just in a different order.

Rutles To Let

  1. "Goose-Step Mama (Take 1)"
  2. "Now She's Left You (Take 1)"
  3. "Number One (Takes 1-2)"
  4. "Baby Let Me Be (Takes 2-3)"
  5. "Blue Suede Schubert (Take 1)"
  6. "Hold My Hand"
  7. "With A Girl Like You (Live)"
  8. "Baby S'il Vous Plait (Take 1)"
  9. "Hold My Hand (Live)"
  10. "I Must Be In Love (Take 3)"
  11. "Between Us (Takes 1-2)"
  12. "I Must Be In Love (Live)"
  13. "Living In Hope (Take 2)"
  14. "It's Looking Good (Take 1)"
  15. "It's Looking Good (Live)"
  16. "The Song O' The Continuity Announcers"
  17. "We've Got Plenty Of Time (Take 1)"
  18. "Testing"
  19. "Doubleback Alley (Take 2)"
  20. "Good Times Roll (Take 1)"
  21. "Good Times Roll"
  22. "Love Life (Takes 1-2)"
  23. "Piggy In The Middle (Take 6)"
  24. "My Little Ukelele"
  25. "Cheese And Onions (Take 4)"
  26. "We've Arrived! (And To Prove It We're Here!) (Takes 1-2)"
  27. "Feet (From A Thousand Feet Of Film)"
  28. "Get Up And Go (Takes 236-237)"
  29. "Get Up And Go (Live)"
  30. "Today Is Our Wedding Day (Home Tape)"
  31. "Let's Be Natural (Take 3)"
  32. "Shangri-La (Live)"
  33. "Cheese And Onions (Live)"
  34. "Lullaby (Home Tape)"

Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band

  1. "Goose-Step Mama"
  2. "Between Us (From All You Need Is Cash)"
  3. "With A Girl Like You (Royal Command Performance)"
  4. "Hold My Hand (Ed Sullivan Show)"
  5. "I Must Be In Love"
  6. "Ouch!"
  7. "It's Looking Good (Live)"
  8. "Love Life (From All You Need Is Cash)"
  9. "Piggy In The Middle (From All You Need Is Cash)"
  10. "Cheese And Onions (From All You Need Is Cash)"
  11. "Get Up And Go (From All You Need Is Cash)"
  12. "Doubleback Alley (Incomplete)"
  13. "Act Naturally (Backyard Tapes)"
  14. "Between Us (Backyard Tapes)"
  15. "We've Arrived! (And To Prove It We're Here!) (Backyard Tapes)"
  16. "Hello Goodbye (Backyard Tapes)"
  17. "The Short Blues (Backyard Tapes)"
  18. "Cheese And Onions (Backyard Tapes)"
  19. "Cheese And Onions (On Saturday Night Live, April 1977)"
  20. "Another Day (Live)"
  21. "With A Girl Like You (Live)"
  22. "Ouch! (Live)"
  23. "Hold My Hand (Live)"
  24. "I Must Be In Love (Live)"
  25. "Good Times Roll (Acetate)"
  26. "Ging Gang Goolie"
  27. "Mr. Sheene"

Rutland's Rare Rutles Revisited

  1. "I Must Be In Love (Live)"
  2. "Hold My Hand (Rare TV Intro)"
  3. "Gibberish"
  4. "The Children Of Rock N Roll"
  5. "Cheese And Onions (Saturday Night Live)"
  6. "You Need Feet"
  7. "Rutle Corps ('All You Need Is Cash' George Harrison Interview)"
  8. "Rutles Women Part 1: Dirk Demoes With Martini"
  9. "Rutles Women Part 2: Ron And Chastity: Feet"
  10. "Press Conference Part 1"
  11. "Press Conference Part 2"
  12. "Press Conference Part 3"
  13. "Press Conference Part 4"
  14. "Testing"
  15. "Concert Introduction (Live At Rutlefest)"
  16. "Major Happy's Up And Coming Once Upon A Good Time Band (Live At Rutlefest)"
  17. "Rendezvous (Live At Rutlefest)"
  18. "Joe Public (Live At Rutlefest)"
  19. "Cheese And Onions (Live At Rutlefest)"
  20. "I Must Be In Love (Live At Rutlefest)"
  21. "Hold My Hand (Live At Rutlefest)"
  22. "Shangri-La (Live At Rutlefest)"
  23. "We've Arrived! (And To Prove It We're Here!) (Live At Rutlefest)"
  24. "Neighbours"
  25. "Lullaby"
  26. "The Song O' The Continuity Announcers"

Yesterday's Leftovers

  1. "I Must Be In Love [1]"
  2. "The Children Of Rock 'N' Roll"
  3. "I Must Be In Love [2]"
  4. "Cheese And Onions (SNL)"
  5. "Shangri-La (SNL)"
  6. "Hold My Hand"
  7. "Brian Thigh"
  8. "You Need Feet"
  9. "Dirk's Love Song"
  10. "Lullaby"
  11. "Baby S'il Vous Plait"
  12. "My Little Ukulele"
  13. "Under My Skin"
  14. "Cee U Next Tuesday"
  15. "Rut-A-Lot"
  16. "I Must Be In Love [3]"
  17. "Not Letting It Be"
  • Tracks 1-3 are from Rutland Weekend Television/The Rutland Weekend Songbook
  • Tracks 7-9 are from 'All You Need Is Cash'
  • Tracks 10-14 are from 'Archaeology'
  • Tracks 15 & 16 are from a radio interview with Neil Innes

Greatest Hits Vol. 3: The Number Twos[14]

  1. "Testing"
  2. "The Equestrian Statue"
  3. "What Do You Do?"
  4. "I Want To Be With You"
  5. "Ready Mades"
  6. "Give Booze A Chance"
  7. "Nine-To-Five Pollution Blues"
  8. "Don't Get Me Wrong"
  9. "Fresh Wound"
  10. "Worst Is Yet To Come"
  11. "Backbreaker"
  12. "Womble Bashers Of Walthomstowe"
  13. "Slaves Of Freedom"
  14. "Plenty Of Time (Solo Version)"
  15. "Front Loader"
  16. "Say Sorry Again
  17. "Concrete Jungle Boy"
  18. "Protest Song"
  19. "Shangri-La (Solo Version)"
  20. "Tinsel And String"
  21. "Montana Cafe"
  22. "The Knicker Elastic King (Solo Version)"
  23. "The Rutles Movie Medley"
  24. "Song O' The Continuity Announcers"

The final disc of a three-volume series that gathers the Rutles' greatest hits. This disc compiles a number of songs that inspired the Rutles, pre-Rutles work by Neil and Eric, and original versions of "Archaeology" tunes.


Following the release of the 1978 the Rutles album, ATV Music, the then-owner of the publishing rights to the Beatles catalogue, sued Innes for copyright infringement. Though Innes hired a musicologist to defend the originality of his songs,[15] he settled with ATV out of court for 50% of the royalties on the 14 songs included on the album.[16] The settlement did not include any other Rutles songs which were not on the original LP release (some of which were included in the television film, e.g., "Baby Let Me Be", "Between Us", "Blue Suede Schubert", "Get Up And Go", "Goose Step Mama", and "It's Looking Good"); Innes has retained 100% royalties to these.[17] On actual Rutles releases, LP, CD, etc., writing credit for all songs has always been printed as Neil Innes only.

See also


  1. Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1049. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. George C. Perry (2007). The Life of Python. Pavilion. p. 154. ISBN 1-86205-762-1.
  3. "SNL Transcripts: Eric Idle: 04/23/77". 23 April 1977. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  4. Spitz, Marc (19 December 2013). "Rutlemania Is Back, and It's Unreal".
  5. "All You Need Is Cash (1978 TV Movie) : Release Info". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  6. "The Rutles - The Lean Years". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  7. "The Rutles - The Lean Years - Part 3". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  8. "The Rutles - The Lean Years - Part 4". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  9. "Live Rutles". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  10. "An Eyewitness account of Ron Nasty and the New Rutles at the Troubador". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  11. The Rutles. 2 October 1976.
  12. BBC, Radio 4. "Chain Reaction". Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  13. Bootleg album (vinyl LP): Indian Rope Trick. The Echoes of a Dream. Slipped Disc Records SX-TT 979. Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  14. "Bootleg album (CD-R): Greatest Hits Vol. 3: The Number Twos. A Rutland Productions, Capitol Compact Disc, CDP 0777 7 97039 2 0. Made in USA".
  15. Moran, Catlin (25 October 1996). "The spoof Beatles are back in business". The Times. London.
  16. Paul du Noyer (1 December 1996). "The Post-Prefab Three". Q Magazine. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011.
  17. "Songwriter/Composer: INNES NEIL JAMES". Retrieved 26 July 2014.


  • 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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