Damn My Bad Timing! Alas, my crush on the young Neil Innes has been renewed.
Yup, watched “The Rutles” on DVD this week. I expanded my paltry DVD collection to include this classic.
“The Rutles” quotes:
Narrator: Their first album was made in twenty minutes. The second took even longer.
Narrator: What did he like?
Iris Mountbatten: The trousers.
Narrator: Well, what about the trousers.
Iris Mountbatten: Well, they were very, um, tight.
Iris Mountbatten: Yes, you could see quite clearly…
Narrator: Oh I see…
Iris Mountbatten: Everything. Outlines. Clear as day.
Narrator: Yes, yes. Thank you.
Narrator: For four hungry, working class lads there are worse places than prison and Der Rat Keller, Hamburg is one of these. This is where they found themselves – far from home and far from talented.
Archie Macaw: They had something.
Narrator: What was it?
Archie Macaw: I think it was the trousers.
Narrator: Dick Jaws, an unemployed music publisher of no fixed ability signed them up for the rest of their lives.
Dick Jaws: Lucky really.
Interviewer: What’s your ambition?
Barry Wom: I’d like to be a hairdresser. Or two. I’d like to be two hairdressers.
Ron Nasty: I’d like to own a squadron of tanks.
Dirk McQuickly: What Ron and I’ll do is probably to write some songs, you know, and sell them to people. We tried to write some for The Rolling Stones and they’re probably gonna buy them.
Journalist: It must have been a great honour meeting the Queen.
Ron Nasty: Yeah, it must have been.
Journalist: What did she ask you?
Barry Wom: She asked us who we were.
Journalist: What did you say?
Dirk McQuickly: I said I was him.
Ron Nasty: I felt more like him than me.
Journalist: Do you feel better after seeing the Queen?
Ron Nasty: No, you feel better after seeing a doctor.
Dirk McQuickly: Not my doctor you don’t.
Ron Nasty: Not your doctor, no.
Journalist: What are you gonna do now?
Dirk McQuickly: Back to your place.
Ruttling Orange Peel: Yes Sir, I originated The Rutles, they got it all from me. Every single bit of it.
Narrator: Well, how do you mean?
Ruttling Orange Peel: Well Sir, they come here and they took everything I ever written. Those four guys from Liverpool came here.
Mrs Ruttling Orange Peel: He’s lying!
Ruttling Orange Peel: I ain’t lying!
Mrs Ruttling Orange Peel: He’s always lying!
Ruttling Orange Peel: I ain’t lying!
Mrs Ruttling Orange Peel: Everytime there’s a documentary on white music around here he claims he started it all.
Ruttling Orange Peel: I did, I did, I did!
Mrs Ruttling Orange Peel: Last week he claimed he started Everly Brothers, Frank Sinatra and Lawrence Welk. He’s always lying!
Narrator: Che Stadium. Named after the Cuban Guerilla leader: Che Stadium.
Narrator: In 1966 The Rutles faced the biggest threat to their careers. Nasty, in a widely quoted interview apparently had claimed that The Rutles were bigger than God and had gone on to say that God had never had a hit record. The story spread like wild fire in America. Many fans burnt their Rutles albums. Many more burnt their fingers attempting to burn their albums. Rutles album sales sky rocketed – people were buying them just to burn them. But infact it was all a ghastly mistake. Nasty, talking to a slightly deaf journalist, had claimed only that The Rutles were bigger than Rod. Rod Stewart would not be big for another eight years.
Dirk McQuickly: It’s not up to me. If you come to me and ask me I’m gonna tell you the truth. Because it is the truth, I have had tea. Lots of tea. Indian tea. And biscuits.
Narrator: It was a bombshell for The Rutles, They were shocked. And stunned.
Dirk McQuickly: Well, we’re shocked.
Ron Nasty: Yeah, shocked.
Barry Wom: Shocked.
Dirk McQuickly: And stunned.
Ron Nasty: Yeah, stunned.
Barry Wom: Very stunned.
Narrator: Decline had a reputation as a hard man. His only weak spot was dishonesty. Anyone was free to inspect his books but no-one could find his accounts. He struck terror into the hearts of his sub-ordinates. People would commit suicide rather than meet him. In business his left hand never knew who his right hand was doing. Nasty adored him – he was a man after his own wallet.
Narrator: In the midst of all this public bickering, “Let it Rot” was released as a film, an album, and a lawsuit. In 1970, Dirk sued Stig, Nasty, and Barry; Barry sued Dirk, Nasty, and Stig; Nasty sued Barry, Dirk, and Stig; and Stig sued himself accidentally. It was the beginning of a golden era for lawyers, but for the Rutles, live on a London rooftop, it was the beginning of the end.
Your mother should know that this is probably my favourite scene in the film, bar none.
Watching Neil and Eric Idle (centre left and centre right) mug for the cam here has me cracking up each and every time.
The Rutles was first shown as a sketch on UK TV show Rutland Weekend Television written by Eric Idle
When Eric Idle hosted Saturday Night Live the original TV sketch was re-shown leading to the film being made
The full title is actually The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash
Stig O’Hara’s character stayed true to his image as The Quiet One by not speaking one line throughout the film
Ollie Halsall provided the singing voice for Eric Idle’s character as well as playing Leppo, the 5th Rutle
Neil Innes also appeared in The Beatles movie Magical Mystery Tour
In the original TV version Dan Aykroyd’s character who turned down The Rutles actually shot himself as opposed to being asked “What’s it like to be such an asshole?”
The Rutles minus Eric Idle re-formed in 1996 to record Archaeology in response to The Beatles Anthology series
A sequel was made in 2002 titled The Rutles: Can’t Buy Me Lunch but is yet to be made available outside of the USA
The studly and well-coiffed young Neil Innes, one of my Imaginary Boyfriends. *pine, sigh* (ROFFLE!)
Who the Heck Is Neil Innes?
Not content with providing a pitch-perfect impression of John Lennon as Ron Nasty, Innes also wrote the music and lyrics to all The Rutles songs.
Neil Innes was also a regular on the Monty Python TV series and movies. For these he was also the guy responsible for a whole host of their songs.
In Monty Python And The Holy Grail, Innes played, among other roles, that of the Minstrel taunting Eric Idle’scharacter Brave Sir Robin for running away – “When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled. Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about, and valiantly, he chickened out. Bravely taking to his feet, he beat a very brave retreat. A brave retreat by brave Sir Robin”
In more recent years and despite nearly being sued himself by The Beatles during the making of The Rutles, Innes successfully sued Oasis for plagiarism. Their hit Whatever was deemed to be too similar to Neil Innes’ song How Sweet To Be An Idiot.
I’ve had Bonzo (Doo Dah) Dog Band and Rutles albums for decades and enjoyed them, and played them on my radio show, and of course The Beatles were a godly influence on my young self. Not that anyone else had heard of them, of course.
But, ah, bad timing, Not that Neil Innes isn’t still cute as the proverbial button, but he could be my granddad. Woe!
Previous depressions about having a crush denied include finding out Jim Morrison got fat, wrote bad poetry and died, and that Nick Drake didn’t get fat, wrote good poetry, but still died.
Also, I learned that writing poetry, good or bad, may be detrimental to your health.
* No mention of Hull is complete without a shout out to the dearly departed Mick Ronson.
Miss ya, Ronno!