Sunday, March 30, 2008

By the way, "Rutles" rhymes with "shuttles"

We never expected we’d see a review of a Rutles-related event in which the reviewer has to spell out that “Rutles rhymes with shuttles,” but that’s where we stand when it comes to general knowledge of pop culture and history, and it might as well serve as a reminder as Eric Idle and Neil Innes’ 30th anniversary of their historic (and historically low-rated) All You Need Is Cash Beatles parody TV special wraps its first big bang.

Idle’s Rutlemania! show ended a four-night run in New York City this weekend, after opening with five shows in LA earlier in the month. The multimedia stage production, which featured a Beatles tribute band playing Rutles favorites and acting out scenes under a screen that mashed up the best bits of Idle’s two Rutles mockumentaries, as a great crowd pleaser, and all the more remarkable in that Idle put it all together himself, from idea to onstage introduction in three weeks.

We didn’t see a lot of press about the New York run, despite the involvement of Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels as executive producer with Idle, and the presence of the original Rutles for the kick off of the run in Los Angeles.

But the Washington Post sent along a reviewer-- the guy who explained how "Rutles" is pronounced-- who seemed a bit baffled by the idea of

“…a concert by a band re-creating the music of a fake band that satirized the songs of a real band. Or maybe it's a reenactment by four men of four men farcically reenacting the lives of four other men. Or maybe it's a new genre of rock: heavy meta.”

He was also put off by the fact that the crowd stayed in their seats, while girls in the old Beatlemania days would stand up and scream. He blamed that on the audience being full of “men over 40.

“Including Salman Rushdie. How much leaping and shouting do you think Salman Rushdie does?

“But those facts only partially minimize the weirdness of sitting and listening to a Rutles track like 'Number One,' an imitation of the Beatles circa 1964, and realizing that you're sitting. Because everyone is sitting. Because it would be odd to do anything but sit.”


Rhymes with "hush me."

Oh well, at least we know what a famous author does for fun after he’s survived a fatwah by the Ayatollah, Bono, a knighthood and getting dumped by Padma Lakshmi.

Rutlemania! may be popping up elsewhere. We’ll keep you posted on that, further Rutles tributes in the coming months, and of course the premiere of The Seventh Python, the Neil Innes musical biopic from our pals at Frozen Pictures.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Or perhaps people stayed seated because they were still livid this event was falsely advertised by the venue and livenation as being the Rutles and not a tribute to the Rutles, and therefore being scammed out of $50-plus dollars for a tribute band.