Innes’ household confirmed his loss of life in an announcement, saying, “We’ve got misplaced an attractive, type, mild soul whose music and songs touched the center of everybody and whose mind and seek for fact impressed us all. He died of pure causes rapidly with out warning and, I believe, with out ache. His spouse 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 enjoyment he gave us all.”
Innes was often called the “seventh Python” for the work he did with the comedy troupe all through the Seventies. He contributed to a number of of their albums and was one in all simply two nonmembers — together with Douglas Adams — to put in writing for his or her acclaimed sketch present, Monty Python’s Flying Circus. He additionally appeared in and wrote music for a number of Python motion pictures, together with “Knights of the Spherical Desk” and “Courageous Sir Robin” for 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Innes was born in Britain however grew up in Germany (his father was within the military), the place he realized piano and later taught himself guitar. His musical profession started within the early Sixties when some artwork college pals requested him to hitch their group the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, later shortened to the Bonzo Canine Band. Whereas the group began out as a jazz act, they later embraced rock & roll, although by no means dropped their comedic and anarchic method to music.
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Towards the top of the last decade, the Bonzo Canine Band caught the eye of the Beatles, who requested the group to carry out their track “Death Cab for Cutie” within the Magical Thriller Tour movie (the track would later encourage the Ben Gibbard group of the identical title). The next yr, the Bonzo Canine Band notched a Prime 5 hit within the U.Okay. with the Innes-penned “I’m the Urban Spaceman,” which Paul McCartney co-produced underneath the pseudonym Apollo C. Vermouth.
The Bonzo Canine Band would launch 5 albums throughout their preliminary run, the final, Let’s Make Up and Be Pleasant, arriving in 1972 (in 2007, they launched a reunion album, Pour l’Amour des Chiens). Across the similar time, Innes started working with one other musical comedy group, Grimms, whereas he additionally linked up with Monty Python. Innes toured usually with the troupe, started contributing to their albums, beginning with 1972’s Monty Python’s Earlier File, and was quickly writing for Flying Circus and showing of their motion pictures, Holy Grail and Lifetime of Brian. One in every of his most well-known contributions to the group was the Bob Dylan parody “Protest Tune,” which he launched with the quip, “I’ve suffered for my music and now it’s your flip.”
In a 2010 interview with Pop Matters, Innes recalled his time with Monty Python, bearing on his function within the group and the way fixed stress among the many members allowed it to thrive. “I used to be sitting on a prepare being fairly shocked as they have been verbally lashing at each other. John [Cleese] noticed my furrowed forehead and got here to my rescue. He mentioned, ‘Neil, don’t fear. That is what we wall stick.’ And that was the sport. I spotted they have been an identical outfit to the Bonzos; everyone knew the sum of the entire was higher than the person. The chemistry was such that it was pushing and pulling it out of everybody’s management, however was in some way significantly better than any of us may do individually. I used to be type of the agony aunt. Fairly an necessary job, actually.”
Whereas Innes labored with Monty Python all through the Seventies, in 1976, Eric Idle tapped him to work on his post-Flying Circus sketch present, Rutland Weekend Tv, which is the place the pair got here up with the Beatles parody group the Rutles. The Rutles launched a string of profitable albums, whereas an look on Saturday Night time Reside led to the 1978 mockumentary All You Want Is Money.
Earlier within the decade, Innes additionally launched a solo profession together with his 1973 album, How Candy to Be an Fool. He launched a follow-up, Taking Off, in 1977, whereas in 1979 he launched The Innes E book of Data to accompany a BBC TV present of the identical title, which ran for 3 seasons. Innes continued to work on a wide range of initiatives all through the Eighties and Nineties, releasing scattered singles, composing music for tv reveals, reuniting with Monty Python on numerous events, and even releasing a brand new Rutles album, Archaeology, in 1996. In 1994, Innes even notched a writing credit score on the Oasis single “No matter” after he and the band settled a lawsuit over whether or not or not the track included components from “How Candy to Be an Fool.”
In 2008, Innes was the topic of a documentary, The Seventh Python, whereas in 2010, he fashioned a brand new group, the Fool Bastard Band. Innes additionally continued to tour with the Rutles, and earlier this yr launched a GoFundMe campaign for a brand new album, which he’d beforehand tried to fund by way of PledgeMusic. Whereas the mission had met its pledge objective there, all of the contributions have been “misplaced” when the corporate went bankrupt, leaving Innes and an array of other artists within the lurch. The album, Almost Actually, was finally released in September.