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Neil Innes Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (4)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (5)

Born in Danbury, Essex, England, UK
Died in Toulouse, France  (heart attack)
Birth NameNeil James Innes
Nickname The Seventh Python
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Comedian, musician and songwriter, renowned for his deadpan delivery and an uncanny ability to send up musical acts. The son of a warrant officer in the Royal Artillery, Innes learned to play piano from the age of seven and guitar at fourteen. He began to make a name for himself in 1963 when he joined the off-beat Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band which grew in popularity from playing the London pubs to becoming a fully-fledged professional outfit featured in the TV series Do Not Adjust Your Set (1967) and in the Beatles film Magical Mystery Tour (1967) (for which Innes wrote the song "Death Cab for Cutie"). Another successful Innes song, "I'm the Urban Spaceman", was produced by Paul McCartney. After the band broke up acrimoniously in 1970, Innes launched a solo career which brought him into the orbit of the Monty Python crew.

He wrote several songs for the Pythons and contributed the whistling to Eric Idle's brilliant opus "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life". He also played multiple parts in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), two of his characters ending up being squashed variously by a cow and by a giant wooden rabbit. Having taken on the sobriquet of 'The Seventh Python' (courtesy of Terry Gilliam), Innes went on to provide the music for Rutland Weekend Television (1975), a BBC2 spoof series created by Idle, purportedly featuring Britain's smallest TV network broadcasting from England's smallest county. The show culminated in the 1978 mockumentary The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash (1978) which brought into being The Rutles, a musical send-up of The Beatles. The 'Prefab Four' consisted of Innes (who wrote the lyrics, composed and produced the music) as 'Ron Nasty', Ricky Fataar as 'Stig O'Hara', Eric Idle as 'Dirk McQuickly', and John Halsey as 'Barry Wom', aka Barrington Womble. The band had the unqualified support of George Harrison, a self-declared Rutles fan who had gone on record saying that "he liked The Rutles better than he did the Beatles". Rutles titles -- invariably Beatles soundalikes -- included "All You Need is Lunch", "W.C. Fields Forever", "Blue Suede Schubert", "Cheese and Onions" and "A Hard Day's Rut".

At the end of the seventies, Innes resumed his patented affinity for cheeky musical pastiches as host of the BBC series The Innes Book of Records (1979) (and an accompanying album). In the eighties, he starred as a magician in the children's television program Puddle Lane (1985), did voice-over work, composed the music for the animated series Jane (1982) (based on a World War II comic strip) and took part in the 2008 Rutles 30th anniversary tour. As late as 2010, Innes assembled The Idiot Bastard Band which performed (unrehearsed) 'silly pub songs' and included among their alumni Adrian Edmondson and Nigel Planer from The Young Ones (1982). That same year he went on a 'semi-retirement tour' of Britain and the U.S. with a show of "immature themes, comedy, and a lot of sing-alongs" entitled A People's Guide to World Domination. Comic genius and all-round entertainer Neil Innes died on December 30 2019 at the age of 75.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (1)

Yvonne Hilton (5 March 1966 - 29 December 2019) ( his death) ( 3 children)

Trivia (4)

Three sons: Miles Alexander, born in 1967; Luke Zachary, born in 1971 and Barnaby James, born in 1978.
Terry Gilliam called him the Seventh Python.
Successfully sued the British rock band Oasis for plagiarizing the beginning of his song "How Sweet To Be An Idiot" (which can be seen and heard on Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1982)) to write their hit "Whatever.".
He was a singer-songwriter, pianist, and guitarist in The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, and had a hit in 1968 with "Urban Spaceman". He wrote "Death Cab For Cutie", which was used in The Beatles' film Magical Mystery Tour, and which later became the name of a US alt-rock band.

Personal Quotes (3)

Ladies and gentlemen, I've suffered for my music, now it's your turn.
Freedom is the handle on the bucket of your soul, the image of illusion in the goldfish of your bowl, the shampoo of perfection in the bathroom of your dreams, freedom is the universe and everything it seems, oh yes, we are the slaves of freedom.
We used to think he [Eric Idle] had delusions of grandeur, now we know it's only grandeur.

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