Apart from being a collaborator of Monty Python, Innes was also a part of Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and the Beatles spoof band The Rutles.
English musician and humorist Neil Innes who worked closely with The Beatles and Monty Python, passed away on December 29, 2019, at the age of 75, reported CNN. Innes was a part of two of the biggest musical juggernauts ever produced in the UK, but sadly, he never became a household name himself.
In an interview with L.A. Times in 2003, he had said, "I’ve been very close to people who have had all this terrible fame and renown — it’s really not for me. I’d rather be able to talk to people, my neighbors, or be able to be in a shop and nobody thinks I’m a freak. If that means I only do tiny things here and there, then that’s fine. At least it’s working the way I like it to work.”
It has been reported that Innes died of natural causes at his home near Toulouse, France, according to a statement released by his family. The statement read, "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,” the statement said. “He died of natural causes quickly without warning and … without pain.”
The way Innes approached his work for more than a half-century gained him celebrity status in England when he was a member of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.
His band managed to revolutionize the expanding ‘60s rock music scene. Innes said in his 2003 interview, "The Beatles used to come to gigs. A lot of bands that were in the god strata used to be dead jealous of the Bonzos ‘cause we could muck about, and they couldn’t. Eric Clapton said, ‘I wish I could do what you were doing.’ ... ‘Cause it’s too much for anybody to take all this idolatry.”
More than 10 years later, Innes took jabs at idolatry, which, in turn, helped create one of the savviest musical parodies of the 20th century. The Beatles spoof project, called 'The Rutles' came up and the band, very affectionately told the story of the fab four where they retold the story of the iconic band, whose story would last till "lunchtime".
I wanted Neil Innes to live forever. A wise, funny and beautiful man. RIP.— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) December 30, 2019
Innes, due to his work was also dubbed as the seventh python as he wrote songs and appeared in films including “Monty Python & the Holy Grail” and“Monty Python’s Life of Brian.” Founding member of Monty Python, John Cleese tweeted on Monday saying, "Utterly dismayed to hear about Neil Innes. Right out of the blue. A very sweet man, much too nice for his own good. Lovely writer and performer. When he worked with Python on our stage show, I listened every night to ‘How sweet to be an Idiot’ on the Tannoy [loudspeakers]. Very sad.”
Utterly dismayed to hear about Neil Innes. Right out of the blue...— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) December 30, 2019
A very sweet man, much too nice for his own good
Lovely writer and performer. When he worked with Python on our stage show, I listened every night to "How sweet to be an Idiot" on the tannoy
Michael McKeanaka of the mock rock group Spinal Tap also tweeted, saying, "I wanted Neil Innes to live forever. A wise, funny and beautiful man.”