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Neil Innes and The Rutles

The Rutles


The Rutles 2008

Barry Wom' [John Halsey]
a nd 'Ron Nasty' [Neil Innes]
reflect on Ollie's contribution
to The Rutles

The Rutles 2008

Get Up and Go

It's Ollie doing Eric Idle's
vocal here and playing
the lead guitar solos.

Shangi La


Th Rutles get back

Reunion in Hollywood 2008

Rutles Uncut

June 1977: Innes, Fatso drummer Halsey, South African bassist/drummer Ricky Fataar and ace guitarist Ollie Halsall are rehearsing Innes' 20 Rutles songs and trying not to collapse in laughter.  Halsall, left-handed and similar to Macca in vocal range hopes to land the Dirk role in the film.
"We had Ollie", says John Altman, "who could reproduce anything, play it upside down and make it funny all at the same time."
To Halsall's disappointment, the part of Dirk has gone to Idle.  Everyone who works with him later raves about Halsall's contributions as guitarist and singer,  and he gets a 3-second cameo in the film as Leppo, the fifth rutle.

Uncut magazine
December 2008


Los Angeles Times, March 19, 2008
Thanks to David Baxendell

[c;ick image to enlarge]

The Rutles 2008

Rutles reunited in Los Angeles, 2008. L-R: Barry Wom (John Halsey), John Altman (Musical arranger), Ron Nasty (Neil Innes), Dirk McQuickly (Eric Idle), Stig O'Hara (Ricky Fataar)

Meet the Rutles 1978

Goose-Step Mama
Number Two
Baby Let Me Be
Hold My Hand
Blue Suede Schubert
I Must Be In Love
With A Girl Like You
Between Us
Living In Hope
It's Looking Good
Doubleback Alley
Good Times Roll
Love Life
Piggy In The Middle
Another Day
Cheese And Onions
Get Up And Go
Let's be Natural

Archeology 1998

rutles rutles

Major Happy

We've Arrived

Lonely Phobia
Unfinished Words
Hey Mister
Easy Listening
Now She's Left You
Knicker Elastic King
I Love You
Eine Kleine Middle Klass Musik
Joe Public
Shangri La
Don't Know Why Back in 64

2007 reissue also includes:
Baby S'il Vous Plait
My Little Ukelele
Under My Skin

1978 out-takes and updated newer material.

Superb Beatles pastiches. For the first album, Ollie not only contributed guitar, bass and keyboards but also sung the vocal parts of Eric's Idle's character Dirk McQuickly (slightly speeded up). As far as I can tell he features only on We've Arrived & Hey Mister from the Archeology set.

Rehearsal tapes 1978
I Must Be In Love
Let Me Be
Blue Suede Shubert
Number One
Double Back Alley
Get Up And Go
Betweem Us
Now She's Left You
Baby Let Me Be
It's Looking Good
Let's Be Natural
Living In Hope
Goose Step Mama
Good Times Roll
Love Life

Digital versions sourced by Joerg Reinick

All You Need is Cash [video] 1976


The best Beatles parody ever and, bizarrely, more accurate than the real Beatles Anthology

Rutles 2 - Can't Buy Me Lunch [video] 2003

rutles 2 rutles 2

Somewhat less than successful 'sequel'. Described as 'embarrasing' by Barry Wom [John Halsey]

Ollie Halsall: guitar keyboards vocals. Rikki Fataar: guitar bass sitar tabla vocals.
John Halsey: percussion/vocals.
Andy Brown
John Altman
: orchestral arrangements. Cliff Haines: piccolo trumpet.
Dave Spence, Martin Drover, Pat Kyle, Steve Gregory, Malcolm Griffiths
: horns. Strings led by Christopher Warren-Green.

Ollie played guitar and probably some keyboards] on all the original Rutles' recordings and movie soundtracks, played the part of Leppo [the 5th Rutle] and sang Dirk McQuickley's parts, slightly speeded up - which Eric Idle mimed to in the films

In a 1992 interview, Ollie states that Ricky Fataar was not allowed to play on the recordings due to Musicians' Union rules. The bass was played by Andy Brown.

However, John Halsey says, "Before we went into the studio to record the Rutles music for film and LP, we were in a demo studio in a house in Hendon, it was called Hendene i think. Some of the tracks from those sessions were used. Also some tracks on Archaeology were from those sessions as well, and the bass player was Riki Fataar."

"John Altman is the George Martin of The Rutles" - Neil Innes

John Altman interview

Ollie & Ali - John Altman

The Rutles website


John Altman's comprehensive run-down of the largely uncredited Rutles recording personnel:

Produced by Neil Innes. Engineered by Steve James. Neil Innes and Ollie Halsall.



Ollie [far right] as 'Leppo' [Stuart Sutcliffe] in the Rutles movie, 'All You Need is Cash'

Neil Innes  

How Sweet to be an Idiot 1973


Momma Bee

Immortal Invisible
Topless a Go Go
Feel no Shame
How Sweet to be an Idiot
Dream On
L'Amour Perdu
Song for Yvonne
This Love of Ours
Singing a Song is Easy

Recycled Vinyl Blues 1994


Complilation including all of How Sweet to be an Idiot plus:

Come Out into the Open
Lie Down and be Counted
Age of Desperation
Dream On

Fluff on the Needle


Recollections 2014

3x CD Box Set.
Vol 3 includes this gem from The Innes Book of Records TV show

[not yet documented]

Off the Record 1978
City of the Angels
Time to Kill
Rock of Ages
One Thing on Your Mind
The Worm and the Angel
Not Getting any Younger
Happy Ending
Stoned on Rock
Spaghetti Western
Mr Eurovision
Godfrey Daniel
Fortune Teller
Down That Road

[not yet documented]



Words of Innespiration
- The Neil Innes website

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