After an afternoon of working on taxes, I’m planning to kick back to watch the Beatles special on CBS tonight. I thought it was worth mentioning that Eric Idle is also going to be a part of it, narrating a few segments and doing whatever else needs to be done to help pay tribute to the Fab Four. In addition to being a member of Monty Python and being a close friend of George Harrison, Eric, of course, created The Rutles. (And I’m sure I don’t have to explain to any Beatles or Python fan who the Rutles are. Right? But if you’re still not certain, click here.)
It’s interesting to see art imitating art this way. Eric once told me of how he was filming a scene for The Rutles: All You Need is Cash (now out on Blu-Ray!), dressed in mid-60s Beatle-ish attire, when a frantic fan came up to him, begging for an autograph. She was convinced that she had just met one of the Fabs, even though none of the real Beatles had looked like that in 10-12 years. But she didn’t care, so Eric obliged her with an autograph, and she went on her way. What she failed to realize was that, standing next to Eric, was George Harrison, dressed for his role in the film as a TV interviewer.
Eric also told me about another occasion, when he and (fellow Rutle) Neil Innes were visiting George at his home in Henley. Ringo showed up, and the four of them (two Beatles and two Rutles) sat around singing Rutles songs. The older I get, the more I see how life is becoming a mash-up–and I can’t think of a better example.
At any rate, the Beatles special includes a Rutle–and I think all of the Beatles (and Rutles) would be happy.