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Lunchtime with Rutlemania

It's not exactly the actual return of The Rutles as the Pre-Fab Four

by Mitt Namlitt

Has it really been thirty years since The Pre-Fab Four rutled across American television in a prime time evening special? Yes, The Rutles in celebration of their 30th Anniversary reunited for the media at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre on Monday, March 17, 2008. Eric Idle, Neil Innes, Ricky Fataar and John Halsey conducted their first group public appearance together to promote Idle's new stage presentation.

Rutlemania: The Semi-Spectacular Tribute featuring the Prefab Four premiered at Ricardo Montalban Theater across a five night stint. Rutlemania will follow up with four additional stage performances for East Coast audiences in New York City on March 26, 27, 28 & 29 at the Blender Theater.

The Rutles began as an abbreviated television skit by Monty Python alumni Eric Idle and Neil Innes for a British audience. When asked to host Saturday Night Live in 1977, Idle included The Rutles sketch as a bit during his SNL broadcast. SNL Producer Lorne Michaels enjoy the spoof on the career of The Beatles and commissioned Idle to produce a feature length parody as an NBC television program in 1978.

Idle teamed up with Innes who composed all of the magnificent music for the All You Need Is Cash film soundtrack. The classic Beatles mockumentary preceded 1984's hilarious This Is Spinal Tap. The Rutles sans Idle would release a second album, Archeology, in 1996. Working on his own in 2002, Idle created a Rutles sequel Can't Buy Me Lunch released on DVD.

Dirk McQuickly (Idle), Ron Nasty (Innes), Stig O'Hara (Fataar) & Barry Wom (Halsey) were the imperfect musical foil to send-up the original Fabulous Foursome. The ridiculous humor and superb music of The Rutles generated a lasting legacy with Beatles fans. Innes enjoys playing Rutle tunes on stage and fans who express their appreciation for his compositions.

RockonTour   Issue #78
Concert Fan - the Single Source for the Concertphile 2008 RockonTour