A Rutle Remembers: Talking with Neil Innes
Contributed by a mailing list member (name withheld upon request):
"...a brilliant interview with Neil Innes
from Beatlefan magazine... Here's a snippet:"
Q: Besides George, what was the reaction of the other Beatles to The Rutles?
A: The official thing I heard was John was fascinated and kept watching it.
Allen Klein actually owned up and said, "Yes, I do talk to myself
in the mirror." Ringo like the happy bit and not the sad bit. It was
too close. That was the big thing about The Rutles.
The real story was too sad to tell. I feel very sorry for Neil Aspinall, who actually
put together a very informed and balanced, well-made film of the whole period.
I don't know whether it's seen the light of day or not, but George had a copy and showed it to Eric and I.
And after Leggy [Brian Epstein] dies, it's miserable. You feel, what a downer.
And so it was a way of telling the story without downing the audience, skipping over the sad bits.
So I think Ringo was too much reminded of the real breakup.
And Paul had an album out at the same time as The Rutles came
out and was forever saying, "No comment" about The Rutles.
He had dinner at some award thing at the same table as Eric one night and Eric said it was a little frosty.
But they all agreed to release Shea Stadium footage
and other footage and things like that and said good luck to you.
Because I think they all wanted the record put straight a little bit, even if it was slightly cockeyed.
Q: It's a legend that will last a lunchtime.
A: Certainly is. With pudding and tea. And biscuits.
For anyone who doesn't know, Innes was a guest at Beatlefest '94 in
Chicago, and performed both Rutles and solo songs. He even sang
I'm Going To Bring a Watermelon To My Girl Tonight on a whim during
a discussion panel. No, I don't have that on tape.
P.S. Musician and eccentric Alan Clayson was a guest there as well.
He is the author of a book called Death Discs: From Ashes to Smashes
about popular music through the ages with morbid themes, in his he mentions
Viv Stanshall a few times
they were friends).
He also wrote Backbeat - either the book or the screenplay.