Rutles Appear At L.A. Rutlefest '97
Hundreds of fans showed up last weekend at the Los Angeles Bonaventure Hotel to attend the 21st Annual Los Angeles Rutles Fan's Celebration, Rutlefest. Unfortunately, the Rutlefest was held at the L.A. Airport Marriott.
Thousands more who found the Rutlefest by mistake had a wonderful time. There was a large Rutles Marketplace room where an endless supply of Rutles records, CDs, T-shirts, books, pins, Archaeology posters, and everything else related to the Pre-Fab Four was for sale. There were also lots of fun activities during the day, including a Rutles Memorabilia Museum, a Rutles sound-alike contest, a Rutles Puppet Show, which was very funny even though Stig's puppet didn't talk, and a room where you could make your own Rutles video. The Rutles films A Hard Day's Rut, Tragical History Tour and Let It Rot were shown on the big screen. During Let It Rot the audience laughed at the annoyed businessmen on the street during the Rooftop concert, and booed when the Bobbies showed up.
But the big excitement happened on Saturday night. First, there was a live performance by the Rutles tribute band "Rutland". They were fantastic, and performed all of our favorite Rutles songs just as we remember them. You could close your eyes and imagine you were back in 1964, a special experience for those who didn't have the chance to see the Rutles live the first time around. They even did a few numbers from Dirk's recently released solo album Flaming Punk.
Next, Len Garry, one of the original Quarrel Men, appeared and sung a few old rock and roll Elvis and Lonnie Donnegan songs backed by Rutland, bringing the audience back to the Rutles' skiffle roots. Then, Laurence Juber and Denny Laine, members of Dirk's successul band of the seventies, Punk Floyd, joined Rutland for some exciting performances.
Finally, topping the excitement of the entire celebration, the Rutles themselves, Nasty, Stig and Barry, took the stage and performed seven songs for the screaming and dancing crowd. It was only their second live appearance ever since 1969, the earlier being at the Chicago Rutlefest earler this year. Here are the songs they played:
At live shows it's typical for fans to call out requests for numbers to the stage in between songs, and at one point, someone really close down front yelled out, "I Am The Waitress", to which Nasty quickly replied, "Then bring me a beer!"
For the culmination of the entire evening, everyone came back out on stage and the audience joined them in singing Love Life. It was a very moving experience.
For more information about future Rutlefests, call 800-232-8537.