Eric Idle's Rutles film All You Need Is Cash was first broadcast 6 months before I was.
I grew up on a steady diet of Beatles records and Monty Python; it was only natural that I would discover The Rutles.
In the end of April 2007 my wife Kristine and I were on a drive, with my MP3 player on shuffle, when a Rutles song came on that she wasn't familiar with. Her initial reaction of "is this a Beatles song I don't know?" led to a conversation about the Rutles, and a switch to an all-Rutles playlist. We talked and listened until we were back at our apartment.
Walking from the car to our door, I commented that a lot of Rutles songs were direct analogues of Beatles songs that had been used in their recent LOVE project.
...and the proverbial light went on.
That night, I worked on a small test to see if my idea of doing The Rutles version of Love was at all possible. I started by fusing Nevertheless and Joe Public, unintentionally paralleling George and Giles Martin's LOVE test of Within You Without You and Tomorrow Never Knows.
After a few hours' work, I brought Kristine in and played her the test. Then I played it again. It worked, and we both agreed I was on to something.
For the next 3 months, I worked on my new project at least 2 nights a week.
I worked out which Rutles songs I could best map against the structure of LOVE, and then began using every technique I had at hand for remixing and recombining them - without multitracks, the isolating of elements of Rutles songs came through channel manipulation, EQ, and other such trickery.
A tremendous amount of time was just spent listening to LOVE, identifying what pieces were being used where and how. My appreciation for the work George and Giles Martin performed on LOVE only deepened with each listen.
For more information on each song in LUNCH and LOVE, head over to the Song By Song Details write-up.
By early August 2007, I had a rough assembly of everything together.
The next few months were spent listening and making minor adjustments. Before the holidays, I also created cover art for the project. 2007 closed with LUNCH "done" enough for what I considered a private experiment.
That would change.
In early March 2008, it was announced that a 30th anniversary Rutles retrospective/reunion was going to be held in Los Angeles. The event would feature a screening of the Rutles film All You Need Is Cash and Q&A session with the cast of the Rutles, and it would be held in only 2 weeks.
I found out about the retrospective on March 10, and immediately sent an exploratory e-mail to an acquaintance in California. He said that he would be attending the event, and that if I could get CDs to him in time, he'd see what he could do.
The next 2 nights were sleepless marathons of final audio polish and graphic design, revising the cover art and creating a full booklet and CD tray.
True to his word, at the retrospective, he gave copies of LUNCH to both Neil Innes and Eric Idle.
Since 2008, LUNCH has been a wholly private creation. My wife has a copy that she listens to and loves. When a Rutles song comes up in shuffle on my MP3 player in the car, she always mentions LUNCH.
LUNCH is an incredibly meta project... a closing of the loop between 2 bodies of work, one of which was always meant as a loving parody of the other. It requires a lot of information to really understand.
I've told friends about the album, though most are not familiar enough with LOVE and/or not familiar with The Rutles at all, to fully appreciate the project.
So, here it is. I hope you enjoy LUNCH.