Neil Innes on The Rutles reunion

Neil Innes was surprised by how many fans The Rutles have in America and spent a weekend signing albums during a recent visit

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The Rutles

The Rutles

Neil Innes was surprised by how many fans The Rutles have in America.

The Monty Python music man has reformed The Beatles parody group, which was originally formed as a spoof by Neil and comedian Eric Idle, and admits he was shocked by how popular the group is overseas during a recent visit.

He told BANG Showbiz: "They don't hold back [in America], what I didn't know, from all the years, from first doing The Rutles, I spent all the whole weekend [on a recent trip] signing Rutles albums.

"I had no idea that so many Beatles fans were also fans of The Rutles."

The band, often referred to as the Pre-Fab Four, were originally formed for a sketch in Eric's 'Rutland Weekend Television' show.

They later went on to star in the film 'All You Need Is Cash', which features a cameo from George Harrison, and had a number of successful albums.

Neil, 69, is also pleased Oasis are fan of the band after they lifted a melody from their song, How Sweet to Be an Idiot', for their song 'Whatever'.

Neil said: "I enjoy a certain amount of peer support [and] I think The Rutles has got to be in the top ten of tour bus films, because everyone has been there.

"There was a camaraderie, everyone knows what it's like to be in a band. The Rutles, now, are very good virtuoso musicians, craftsman, who know their stuff and have a sense of humour."

Neil has revealed that his alter-ego Ron Nasty and drummer John Halsey, known Barrington Womble, will be the only original members of the group taking part in 19 shows.

They will kick off the tour at Exeter Phoenix on May 7 and finish at the Liverpool O2 Academy 2 on May 31.

Neil Innes

Often referred to as 'the seventh Python', Innes has worked with comedy greats over the years, and is renowned for his wordsmithery, musical comedy and wry humour.

The Rutles

The 'prefab four', satirical creation of Neil Innes and Eric Idle, starred in Rutland Weekend Television and the 1978 mockumentary The Rutles: All You Need is Cash. The group – that's Dirk McQuigley, Ron Nasty, Stig O'Hara and Barry Wom – play parodies of Beatles songs so intricately realised that you'd be forgiven for…

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