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Beatles Parody Band The Rutles Announce 2014 U.K. Tour

WB Records

The Rutles, aka the Pre-Fab Four, pioneers of the ‘Rutland Sound,’ have found their “get up and go” and are returning to the concert stage. They will play 19 dates — listed below — across the U.K. in May.

Of course, the Rutles were born from the minds of Neil Innes of the Bonzo Dog Band, and Eric Idle of Monty Python fame. In 1976, the duo created the Rutles as a send-up of the Beatles for part of their BBC2 sketch show, ‘Rutland Weekend Television.’ Ultimately, the spoof led to a full-length movie, ‘All You Need Is Cash,’ which was broadcast on U.S. television in 1978. It featured note-perfect pastiches like ‘Ouch!,’ ‘I Must Be in Love‘ and ‘Cheese and Onions,’ and even a cameo from George Harrison.

In typical Neil Innes fashion, a press release regarding the upcoming European tour states, “It is hereby agreed that, in as much as two of the Artistes heretofore and informally known as ‘The Rutles’, ‘The Pre-Fab Four’ or ‘Dirk, Nasty, Stig and Barry’, shall be appearing live and in person as ‘Themselves’ (namely Neil and John) and whilst they are appearing as ‘Themselves’ they do so solemnly and without prejudice hereby undertake to use their best endeavors not to make frivolous use of any former silly name, no matter whomsoever, whatsoever, whenever, for ever and ever.”

In other words, the only ‘original members’ taking part in this venture are Neil Innes (aka Ron Nasty) and drummer John Halsey (aka Barrington Womble, shortened to “Barry Wom”). Taking a jab at the question of who actually owns the rights to the Rutles name, Innes said on his website, “Those songs are mine – I wrote them! Why can’t we just go out and sing them?”  “Maybe we could call it ‘Rutalot,’” proposed Halsey, a jab at Idle’s Broadway hit, ‘Spamalot.’

The connection between Innes and the Beatles goes back to 1967 when the Bonzo Dog Band and the Beatles became fast friends, even appearing in the ‘Magical Mystery Tour Film.’ Paul McCartney also produced their single, ‘I’m The Urban Spaceman’ under the pseudonym of Apollo C Vermouth. The film also features cameos from Mick Jagger and Paul Simon among others.

The tour announcement continues, “However, and nevertheless, they reserve the same human rights as any honest Ticket Holder to be free, and at liberty, to make use of any of the aforesaid names as they see fit – in so far as, and provided that, any such said Ticket Holder, or person of wisdom and taste, is deemed to be at all times within the boundaries of the Public Domain or any other such place, area or location as defined by the Real World.”

The Rutles 2014 U.K. Tour

5/7 –  Exeter Phoenix
5/8 — Stroud Subscription Rooms
5/9 — Cardiff Globe
5/10 — Frome Cheese & Grain
5/11 — Southampton Brook
5/14 — York Fibbers
5/15 — Newcastle O2 Academy 2
5/16 — Leeds City Varieties Music Hall
5/17 — Nottingham Rescue Rooms
5/18 — Didcott Cornerstone
5/21 — Birmingham Town Hall
5/22 — London O2 Islington Academy
5/ 23 — Farnham Maltings
5/24 — Bridport Electric Palace
5/25 — Swansea Garage
5/28 — Clitheroe Grand
5/29 — Manchester RNCM Theatre
5/30 — Glasgow O2 ABC2
5/31 — Liverpool O2 Academy 2

Next: 10 Most Unique Beatles Cover Versions

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