Neil Innes of Monty Python died suddenly December 29, 2019 of what appears to be natural causes. He was 75.
Neil James Innes, an actor and musician, was born December 9, 1944 in Danbury, Essex, UK. His family announced “He died of natural causes quickly without warning and, I think, without pain.”
His colleague Terry Gilliam nicknamed him “The Seventh Python.” He was a musician, a songwriter, and an actor. In The Life of Brian, he played a weedy Samaritan. Like most of his colleagues, he played multiple roles in Monty Python and the Holy Grail: a monk, a minstrel, a page crushed by a rabbit, and a peasant. He both performed on and wrote for the TV show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and starred as the Magician on the TV show Puddle Lane.
In the 1960s Innes was a co-founder of the Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band, which appeared on Do Not Adjust Your Set and in concert internationally.
After working with Monty Python, he performed with the Rutles. They were a group parodying the Beatles, created originally as a short sketch on the TV show Rutland Weekend Television. Innes wrote all the songs for the band, which appeared twice on Saturday Night Live before being the subject of the mockumentary All You Need is Cash in 1978, and then again in a follow-up mockumentary called The Rutles 2: Can’t Buy Me Lunch. The group actually went on tours, recorded two albums, and had a couple of hits on the UK recording charts.
British actor Jim Howick (Corporal Matlin on Hellboy) described Innes as “a champion of silly.” The world needs more silly singers and songwriters. Innes will be missed.
A statement from the Innes family said “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.”
For the joy and the laughter, thank you, Mr. Innes.
Remember, SCIFI.radio’s live DJ’s do take requests. We’ll be happy to play Neil Innes’ music for you any time, whether it’s the award-winning Urban Spaceman, How Sweet to Be an Idiot, or one of his many other songs.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.