Dean recalls their greatness -- and those trousers
I always knew the Rutles would last. It wasn’t just the trousers. It was the whole package. It was obvious to anyone who looked. In 1971, I landed my first job, working for their former publicist, the legendary Eric Manchester. We were promoting lots of acts in those days. The Stones … the Faces … Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Gifted & Black … but as a youngster all I wanted was to hear Eric tell me about the good old days. When “All You Need Is Cash” was televised in 1978, it was like the ultimate Rutle junkie fix. At last we could see again all those magical moments and inside seams.
It was in the mid-’90s when they decided to empty out their vaults. The rent was due again and it was cheaper to release the tapes than have them carted away. That was the inspiration for their “Archaeology” project. Eric was a key supporter. “Just get them out of here” is what I remember him saying.
Of course there has been tension within the Rutles family: the odd remark, the occasional lawsuit, one or two charges of Grievous Bodily Harm. The important thing is that they have settled all their differences and are one happy dysfunctional family again.
Last month NUSA (the National Underground Sewer Administration) awarded the Rutles the supreme accolade: It selected the Rutles’ “Let’s Be Natural” to be the first song ever bored into the earth’s core. It will take 431 dark-years to reach the center of the planet.
The Rutles’ message is as endearing today as it was when they started. It’s all summed up in the last song on their “Archaeology” album. “Back in ’64 before you were born. People had no time for pouring scorn. On dreams of love and peace. No one was obese. Only tight trousers were worn …”
Dean started his career in the early ’70s as a protege of former Rutles publicist Eric Manchester. In the mid-’90s he reunited with Manchester to work on the Rutles’ archival project “Archaeology.”
What: The Rutles Reunion (30th Anniversary of NBC docu spesh “All You Need Is Cash”)
When: 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Where: Egyptian Theater, Hollywood
Highlights: The Rutles in person; “All You Need Is Cash” screening.
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What: Rutlemania! The Semi-Spectacular Tribute Concert
When: Los Angeles: March 19, 20 & 21 at 8 p.m.
New York: March 26, 27, 28 & 29 at 8 p.m.
Where: Los Angeles: Ricardo Montalban Theatre, 1615 Vine St.
New York: Blender Theater, 123 East 23rd St., NYC
Highlights: Rutles tribute band The Pre-Fab Four in new Tribute Concert directed by Eric Idle with music by Neil Innes.