Neil Innes (The Rutles, Bonzo Dog, Monty Python), RIP
Musician, comedian and Monty Python collaborator Neil Innes has died at age 75. The sad news came via Innes' website:
It is with deep sorrow and great sadness that we have to announce the death of Neil James Innes on 29th December 2019.
We have lost a beautiful kind, gentle soul whose music and songs touched the heart of everyone and whose intellect and search for truth inspired us all.
He died of natural causes quickly without warning and, I think, without pain.
His wife Yvonne and their three sons Miles, Luke and Barney and three grandchildren Max Issy and Zac give thanks for his life, for his music and for the joy he gave us all.
Neil Innes was a member of The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band with Vivian Stanshall in the '60s and their Innes-penned single "I'm an Urban Spaceman" (co-produced pseudonymously by Paul McCartney) was a #5 hit in the UK in 1968. (The Bonzo Dog Band's song "Death Cab for Cutie" also inspired the name of a certain very popular indie rock band.) The group's comedic nature put them in similar orbits to Monty Python and Innes and Eric Idle became friends and collaborators. Innes co-wrote the songs for Monty Python & The Holy Grail, and he and Idle created and wrote the songs for the classic Beatles satire The Rutles and its mockumentary All You Need is Cash. (Innes played Ron Nasty, who was based on John Lennon.) Innes toured in 2018, including an appearance at The Fest.
Neil, you'll be missed. Rest in peace. Watch The Rutles: All You Need is Cash, the promo film for "I'm an Urban Spaceman" and other Innes clips, below.