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Neil Innes and The Rutles

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

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

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


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
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.

rutles rutles

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 McQuickley (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

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

rutles 2 rutles 2

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

"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 Halsall: guitar/keyboards/vocals. Rikki Fataar: guitar/bass/sitar/tabla/vocals. John Halsey: percussion/vocals. Andy Brown:bass. 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.

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)

Neil Innes
Words of Innespiration
- The Neil Innes website

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


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

BBC radio sessions
[not yet documented]
Neil Innes and The Rutles

> Play the Perfect Fool

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