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Original Rutles reunite for the first time!
[Posted by Dave Haber on Tuesday, 03/18/08 10:06 am] [Full Blog] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Your intrepid Paperblog Writer had the privilege to be among the 50 closest pals of the Rutles joining them for a special celebration of last night's special Rutles 30th Anniversary Reunion at the Mods & Rockers Clubhouse in the private back room of the adjacent Pig 'n' Whistle restaurant.

To the delight and surprise of everyone in the room, late into the evening, the event's organizer Martin Lewis coaxed all four Rutles to get on the tiny clubroom stage where some musical instruments had been strategically-placed, to give a truly historic performance! It was the first time the four had ever performed musically together, even during making of the film!

They performed three Rutles songs and one Monty Python tune. Drummer John Halsey played the drums, Neil Innes and Eric Idle played acoustic guitars, and multi-instrumentalist Ricky Fataar played keyboards.

They started with "Easy Listening" from the 1996 "Archaeology" album, with lead vocal by John Halsey and backing vocals by the other three.

Photo by David Haber

They then performed "Let's Be Natural" from "All You Need Is Cash," with Neil Innes taking lead vocals and Eric Idle harmonizing.

With Eric Idle standing there with a guitar in his hand looking at Neil, who was a regular musical performer with Monty Python on their 1970s and 1980s stage shows, also holding a guitar a few feet away, I guess it just felt natural for them as, without thinking, Eric launched them all into a song he wrote for Monty Python, "The Philosophers Song," complete with vocal support from Neil.

The final song performed by the four Rutles in their first-ever performance together was, fittingly, the song that started the entire Rutles phenomenon. They played "I Must Be In Love," which was the song written by Neil for the 1976 "Rutland Weekend Television" sketch that gave birth to the Rutles. On this final performance of the night, they were joined on stage by film composer John Altman, who was also the arranger/orchestrator for all the Rutles recorded music (in 1978 and 1996). Altman performed the song's instrumental passage on soprano saxophone.

The assembled crowd of friends, myself included, expressed their appreciation loudly and the evening ended on a truly historic note!

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