Neil's on tour with part of the Pre-Fab Four

Neil Innes

Neil Innes

First published in News Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

NEIL Innes - the seventh member of Monty Python who later co-created Beatles spoof The Rutles - returns to Liverpool as part of a national tour celebrating the band’s 36th anniversary.

He is at the 02 Academy in Hotham Street, Liverpool on May 31 with a show featuring music from his Rutles days.

The Pre-Fab Four as they became known were created 36 years ago when Monty Python’s Eric Idle persuaded Neil to join him in a comedy series for BBC Two called Rutland Weekend Television about a spoof TV station.

A year later, such was the enormous pressure on the Beatles to get back together again, that a oneoff clip was shown in America – on NBC’s satirical programme Saturday Night Live.

The show's parody of the Beatles' story, All You Need Is Cash starred American comedians Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Michael Palin and ex-Beatle George Harrison.

Joining Neil on tour is John Halsey, who played Barry Wom in the film.

Neil told the Globe: "It's all gathering speed. After we've done the shows in May we're off to Japan, which is amazing.

"The thing about the tour is it's not a career move, we’re doing this purely to have fun."

Neil played Ron Nasty in the film and wrote and produced all the songs.

Parts of the film were made in Wirral.

On returning to Liverpool, Neil said: "It's my second home; used to spend a lot of time there, stayed at home of Roger McGough. I think the people have a great sense of humour."

Asked how The Beatles re-acted to the Rutles, Neil said: "John loved it, Ringo was being tactful, but Paul was put out by Eric's portrayal of him in the film. He’s always good natured about it, though.

"I think, above all, George Harrison just wanted to put The Beatles in the cupboard and move on, but then decided to go for it."

Neil's career in entertainment began with the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Their early hit - I’m the Urban Spaceman topped the UK charts in 1968. It was produced by A C Vermouth - better known as Paul McCartney.
 

In 1969 Neil was asked to join BBC comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus - which also featured the late Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam.

The London-born musician worked on their albums, films and concert tours.

Their second film, Monty Python & The Holy Grail, which featured his songs Brave Sir Robin and Knights Of The Round Table, has been turned into a stage musical Spamalot, which is enjoying success on Broadway and The West End.

Apart from music, Neil has also presented a wide variety of children’s television programmes, including Puddle Lane.

A second Rutles album, Archaeology, was released in 1996.

The remaining members of Monty Python have reunited for a series of shows at the 02 arena in London later this year.

Asked if he will be joining them, Neil said: "They haven't asked me and to be honest I don’t think I really want put my hand up and ask. There's no reason for me to do it.

"Why should they need me? They have got Arlene Phillips doing choreography, so why would they want an idiot on a piano to spoil it?” he joked.

Send the answer to: The Rutles, Wirral Globe, Haymarket Court, Hinson Street, Birkenhead CH41 5BX. The entry deadline is 5pm on Wednesday, April 30. 
 

Tickets for The Rutles show are from 02 Academy o2academyliverpool.co.uk

Your Globe has a pair of tickets for the show.

To be in with a chance of winning, The Rutles were created by Neil and which member of the Monty Python team?

Send your answer on postcard to: The Rutles, Wirral Globe, Haymarket Court, Hinson Street, Birkenhead CH41 5BX.

Or email to cmanning@wirralglobe.co.uk. Closing date is 5pm, Wednesday, April 30.

Comments (1)

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8:14pm Wed 12 Mar 14

GWB1983 says...

'I have always thought in the back of my mind cheese and onions', yes such classic words to the micky take, good to have them back touring even if it is only half of them.
'I have always thought in the back of my mind cheese and onions', yes such classic words to the micky take, good to have them back touring even if it is only half of them. GWB1983
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