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NEIL INNES & MONTY PYTHON:



The Extravaganza

A pretty old but still pretty good section of neilinnes.org devoted to the work Neil did with Pythons and ex-Pythons. It includes video clips, stories and pictures, and Python memories Neil shared in an interview he gave us specifically for this.

Below are a few highlights from it in case you don't feel like
slogging through the whole thing! Click on the flash things to make
them play audio.

 

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FROM OUR INTERVIEW WITH NEIL:

python"...we started talking about doing records for Monty Python. And I said, 'Well, what sort of songs have you written?' I think Eric said, 'Well, Michael's written this thing about Agrarian Reform in the Middle Ages.' So I said, 'Ah. Ah. Right.' And they said, 'What sort of music do you think that would have?' And I said, 'Reggae?' And that's how it began. The collaboration, as it were.

"The thing was, a lot of the things, even Eric the Half a Bee or something like that, I had a lot of input into the tunes. A lot of them were just lyrics with nowhere to go, and I helped shaped them. So even though I'm not credited on some of the tunes, I did have a hand in quite a lot of them. Especially the Philosopher's Song."

Click on these to hear songs

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The 3 songs from Background to History
From Monty Python's "Matching Tie & Handkerchief" album
lyrics by Michael Palin, sung by Neil

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python

 

"Everything I've been in with the Pythons usually ends with something being slung at me. I don't know whether they're trying to tell me something! In the Holy Grail I had a cow dropped on me and a huge wooden rabbit. In the Missionary I had a barstool thrown at me. There's something unpleasant happening to me in Jabberwocky I can't remember. In Life Of Brian I was hurled into an arena. I still have a scar on my chin from falling onto my spear."

From a radio interview:

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Neil:
Holy Grail was a bit disappointing for me, in that we only had a tiny budget, and we thought well as it's people banging coconut shells instead of having horses, it might also be funny to have just a few musicians, so I was trying to write all these great Arthurian themes, you know with just two french horns, so them going "papapapapapapa", you know all that stuff, it didn't sound big enough, so we had to junk it and put library stuff on with 140 people playing it.

Q: I remember in the film you being a wandering minstrel.

Neil: Oh, yeah, that was all right, all that other stuff was simple enough, but the real sort of film music you can't do, can you? You need at least 140 people playing. So all producers and film score bookers, please note, no skimping!

Q: That must have been quite a jaunt, nipping up to the Scottish highlands to make that film.

Neil: That's true. I think I learned how to do crosswords then. Halfway up a Scottish mountain in string chain mail — there's a giveaway folks, it's not the real stuff, it's made out of string and sprayed-on silver.

 

 

And there was much rejoicing

The Holy Grail scenes Neil is in Photo Gallery

New!!

 

 

Then there was the time in 2003 when we arranged a Neil concert that Eric Idle came to and they sang the Philosopher's Song together for the first time since 1980 at the Hollywood Bowl.* Here are a few pictures and then you can listen to it too.

Click to embiggen
Eric brought his Bruce hat!
Click to embiggen Click to embiggen
Eric & Neil and Rutling Ken Thornton
played a few Rutles songs too

Audio!


Part One - Just Eric & Neil


Part Two, the sing-along -
This recording is just from their mics so you can't hear us
in the audience but we were all singing along heartily!

 

* To our fellow Python nerds: We saw the Hollywood Bowl show live when we were teenagers, so we fully appreciate how awesome this was!

 

 

And finally, some good YouTube Neil & Monty Python things.


 

 

 

 

Goose Steppin' Mama
Number One
Baby Let Me Be
Hold My Hand
Blue Suede Schubert
I Must Be In Love
With A Girl Like You
Between Us
Livin' In Hope
Ouch!
It's Looking Good
Doubleback Alley
Good Times Roll
Nevertheless
Love Life
Piggy in the Middle
Another Day
Cheese And Onions
Get Up and Go
Let's Be Natural

The Rutles (1st Album)
1978

 

Archaeology
(best album ever recorded)
1996

Major Happy's Up and Coming 
Once Upon a Good Time Band
Rendezvous
Questionnaire
We've Arrived (And To Prove It We're Here)
Lonely Phobia
Unfinished Words
Hey Mister!
Easy Listening
Now She's Left You
Knicker Elastic King 
I Love You
Eine Kleine Middle Klasse Musik
Joe Public
Shangri-La
Don't Know Why
Back in '64

Bonus Tracks
(Japanese Release only)

Lullaby
Baby S'il Vous Plait
It's Looking Good
My Little Ukulele

 

The Rutle Songs: How They Were Made & Why They're So Good
From the All You Need is Cash section of the Python Extravaganza

Says Neil :

The opportunity of making All You Need Is Cash, the Rutles, sort of came about by accident as well. I was doing a show with Eric called Rutland Weekend Television and he wrote skits and I wrote musical ideas. And one of the things I thought would be cheap and cheerful to do was a parody of A Hard Days Night, and Eric had an idea for a documentary maker who was so boring that the camera ran away from him. And we showed this on Saturday Night Live, and before I knew where we were, could I write 20 more Rutle songs by next Thursday lunchtime? - court t.v. interview, 2000

Well, you never know that you can do these things until you're asked. I mean it wasn't as though I was sort of sitting there, waiting, 'oh if only somebody would ask me to parody the Beatles,' I mean literally it's your job to do it, and you do it." - Nicky Campbell radio interview, 1992

"And that's how I became a parodist. I didn't listen to one Beatles song, I wrote songs based on my memory of them. The hardest part was coming up with genuinely affectionate songs like Hold My Hand, working in stories from your own adolescent experience. We needed something from each period, because The Beatles never did the same thing twice. That was the brief for the film. The thing was to make the lyrics just parallel, or askew, and not use the same tune." Q Magazine, 1996

"I made a conscious decision not to listen to the records; I did everything from my memory of how it ought to sound. The psychedelic lyrics were easy, you just rhymed anything with anything else, but the earlier songs were difficult to get right, because of on the Beatles' trademarks is that the tunes and the words were always just a little bit unpredictable, so I was constantly throwing out tunes because they were too ordinary. The whole Rutles group could play. Ollie Halsall - who did a lot on the songs but is only in the film as Leppo, the fifth Rutle - was an incredibly underrated guitarist and singer, as was John Halsey. Rikki Fataar was a very accomplished all-rounder who'd played with The Beach Boys. The best thing I did was to insist that we all rehearsed together, playing live several times before filming started, so we became a proper band. Ollie did most of the Paul-type singing and Eric had to mime to his vocals. He never quite forgave me for that." - Q Magazine, 1996

Says John Altman, the orchestra arranger of the Rutle songs:

The Rutles, I think - I'm trying to think what stage they'd got to - they'd been rehearsing, and they'd recorded a few backing tracks. They hadn't worked out a hook for 'Love Life', how to get it going, so I came up with the 'John Brown's Body' idea, that was mine, at the beginning, to parody the marsellaise on 'All You Need Is Love', and then all the stuff at the end was my idea. And we just all threw ideas out and into the mix. And you'd start listening, you'd hear on 'Penny Lane', there's a flute playing behind the vocals. It's something you never actually notice, and it's just there for a couple of bars. So I put one in for a couple of bars in 'Doubleback Alley'. And I remember playing the tapes to Clive Franks who was Elton John's engineer, who'd been the tape op on all the Beatles sessions, and he was saying, 'How did you know that? That's what we did! Nobody's ever noticed that was there!' So I sort of dug into it. I was never really sure about how George Martin felt about all that. Obviously Neil talked a lot about what the Beatles thought about what the Rutles did, and then years later I sort of met him somewhere and someone introduced me and said, 'This is John Altman, he's...' and George Martin said 'I know who John Altman is!" - John Altman interview

"When we did the sessions on the Rutles, when we were doing 'Piggy in the Middle', one of the cellists - I mean, all the string players really got into it, they loved it - and one of the cellists said, 'Oh, the original record is Bram Martin and someone else, the guys who played on the original, and they really played it like this, with the bows like this, so should we do that?' And as soon as they did it, you went 'Wow! That's the Beatles!' And that was like, something that you wouldn't particularly know, but because the cellist listened to the cello on the original record, he would say 'This is how they play, those guys played like this' and as soon as they did it, bingo, you've got another element. You'd written half of it into the arrangement. They put the other half in. So that's why the string playing sounds so Beatley. It really does. They'd got the essence of the string sections that the Beatles used. And every single player who came on did what they knew worked on Beatles tracks. That's why it's so authentic." - John Altman interview

 

 

Rutles articles & photos & such

Rutles at the Directors Guild
Pictures from the 2001 reunion in Los Angeles of Rutles Eric Idle, Ricky Fataar, and Neil, and "All You Need Is Cash" director Gary Weis.
Interview with John Altman
The George Martin of the Rutles talks about the making of the Rutles songs among other things in an interview he gave to us neilinnes.org gals in December of 2001.
Rutles '96 Reunion photo gallery
Bad snaps taken years ago from 100th generation video, but there you go.
Rutles Reunion Q Magazine article
From 1996, includes photos from the original article.
All You Need Is Cash photo gallery
Actually just a whole bunch of snaps from the movie.
All You Need Is Cash Q Magazine article
Also from 1996, a really cool hodgepodge of quotes from various people involved in the making of "All You Need Is Cash". Snaps from the movie added by us.
The Rutles And The Use Of Specific Models in Musical Satire
This published paper, honestly, is so over my head, but let me have a try... it's something about how when certain philosophical observations are applied to music, one must first determine how the congruity-incongruity dialectic can arise. The author John Covach compares Beatles and Rutles tunes to demonstrate that it is the stylistic competencies which provide the mechanism for certain types of amused response in music. Or something like that.

 

Another Day
Baby, Let Me Be
Baby, S'il Vous Plait
Back In '64
Between Us
Cheese And Onions
Don't Know Why
Easy Listening
Eine Kleine Middle Klasse Musik

Get Up And Go
Good Times Roll
Goose-Step Mama
Hey Mister
Hold My Hand
I Love You
I Must Be In Love
It's Looking Good
Joe Public

Knicker Elastic King
Let's Be Natural
Livin' In Hope
Love Life
Lullaby
Major Happy's Up And Coming Once Upon A Good Time Band
My Little Ukulele

Nevertheless
Now She's Left You
Number One
Ouch!
Piggy In The Middle 
Questionnaire

Rendezvous
Shangri-La
Unfinished Words
We've Arrived! (And To Prove It We're Here)
With A Girl Like You

 

Learn the real story behind the making of the Rutles from RWT through Archaeology at John Hazelton's Rutlemania.org

Or learn the "real" story of the Prefab Four at Dave Haber's Rutles.org

Nice Rutles page with interesting stuff from the Ollie Halsall website

RUTLES HISTORY!!

March 2008; Dave Haber and John Hazelton with Eric Idle in the bar at the after party of the Rutles 30th anniversary at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, where all four Rutles; Neil, Eric, John & Ricky, played Rutles songs together for people for the first time, I believe, ever.  Here's what Dave posted about it and what the LAist had to say about the rest of the event.

Pictures Laurie took that night
Tom Hanks in Rutles 2
Tom Hanks from Rutles 2 which is available on DVD
It features Neil's songs from Archaeology and a LOT of
footage from the original you've never seen before
(unless you've already seen Rutles 2 of course)

 

And finally, Eric Idle & Ricky Fataar put out a single as Dirk & Stig. Neil had nothing to do with it, but here's the audio anyway just because I think it's
really pretty.

Ging Gang Goolie

DL

 

 


Some of the better Rutles clips out there on the You Tubes

 

 

These aren't really lame, but more just pointless since you can watch any of these sketches on YouTube now.
I made these ages ago so they're all small but still okay I guess.

 


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