1976 saw the publication of The Rutland Dirty Weekend Book,
written by Eric Idle (the acclaimed author of Hello Sailor).
In addition to being triffically funny in its own right, The Rutland Dirty Weekend Book is notable for the issue of "Rutland Stone" bound inside. The back page of this issue carries a full-page advertisement for The Rutles' latest album ("Finchley Road"), a single ("Ticket To Rut"), and an assortment of Rutles merchandise.
|Released on BBC Records the same year was The Rutland Weekend Songbook, by Eric Idle and Neil Innes. There are two early Rutles gems among the 23 tracks on the album. The first is a stereo recording of I Must Be In Love (RA), which is different from the version used in the sketch on Rutland Weekend Television.|
|Note that at this point, the Rutles are composed of Dirk, Stig, Nasty, and Kevin! Even though he wasn't trying to do it, Eric Idle had created a history of The Rutles that more closely parallels that of the Beatles than he designed. In the same way that Pete Best would be replaced by Ringo Starr, Kevin is the drummer who would later be replaced by Barrington Womble. (Though, of course, it isn't really that simple. The person who played Kevin would actually later play Barry, and at this nascent point, a different person entirely plays Stig.) This first version of The Rutles is portrayed by Eric Idle (Dirk), occasional series guest John Halsey (Stig), Neil Innes (Nasty), and series regular David Batley (Kevin).|
|Hear the version of "I Must Be In Love" found on the "Rutland Weekend Songbook." (Click here to find out how you can listen to the RealAudio files on this site.)|
|The second track, The Children of Rock and Roll (RA), is here credited to Ron Lennon, but Rutles fans will recognize the song as the basis of the Rutles classic "Good Times Roll."|
|Hear "The Children of Rock and Roll" as found on the "Rutland Weekend Songbook." (Click here to find out how you can listen to the RealAudio files on this site.)|
The Rutles story might have ended here, but, fortuitously, Eric Idle was asked to host the new American late-night hit "NBC's Saturday Night."