Neil Innes, the Monty Python actor and Rutles musician, has died at the age of 75.
The news was confirmed by his agent, who said it was unexpected and that Innes had not been ill.
” We have lost a beautiful, kind, gentle soul whose music and songs touched the heart of everyone and whose intellect and search for truth invigorated us all ,” their own families said during a statement.
Born in Danbury, Essex, on December 9, 1944, Innes was married to wife Yvonne, who he satisfied while studying at Goldsmiths College in London in the 1960 s. The couple had three sons- Miles, Luke and Barney- and three grandchildren.
The family statement added:” 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 exultation he gave us all .”
Monty Python pose with a large scarf around their necks during a visit to Paris.( L-R ): Terry Gilliam, Neil Innes, Eric Idle, and Terry Jones. Credit: Pierre Vauthey/ Sygma
Best known for his work with Monty Python, Innes appeared in both Life of Brian and Monty Python and The Holy Grail- the latter of which he wrote chants for.
He also performed and penned sketches for the group’s final Tv serials after the temporary departure of John Cleese, and toured with them in the UK and Canada.
He was one of only two non-Pythons to be credited as a columnist on the series, alongside Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams.
Innes also is indicated in Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky before joining Eric Idle on the sketch demonstrate Rutland Weekend Television, which spawned Beatles spoof ensemble The Rutles where Innes played the character of Ron Nasty, who was based on John Lennon.
Before forming the parody band, Innes was a member of The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, who are scheduled to play a departure gig at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire in May next year.
Innes is also credited as a co-writer on Oasis” Whatever ‘, after the opening line and primary referain of the song borrowed the melody of Innes” How Sweet To Be An Idiot ‘, which he wrote in 1973 and performed under some of Monty Python’s live presents. It was also used as the theme song for Charlamagne Tha God and Andrew Schulz’s podcast The Brilliant Idiots.
Tributes has begun to pour in for Innes since the news of his death.
Monty Python actor Michael Palin shared a heartfelt message.” Simply heard the shocking report that Neil Innes has died ,” he began.” Neil was one of the best. A terrifically accomplished musician, writer and performer who could stir people laugh, cry and dance, all at the same time. He had an eye and ear for the surreal and a gentleness at the heart of all his employment which constructed him the most delightful of companions.
” Neil accompanied the Pythons on our live tours, and try as hard as we have been able to, it was Neil’s sublime performance “How Sweet To Be An Idiot’ that always brought the house down.
” Neil was the best friend you could wish for and one of the most naturally gifted entertainers I’ve ever convened .”
Just heard the shocking news that Neil Innes just died. Neil was one of the very best. A terrifically achieved musician ,…
The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band shared a photo Innes and the band reunited a few cases weeks ago for a” win dinner .”
” The Bonzos were reunited one last period simply a few weeks ago for a victory dinner ,” the tweet read.” Our thoughts and prayers are with Yvonne and the family at this sad time. RIP to the Urban Spaceman himself, the great Neil Innes xxxx”
The Bonzos were reunited one last-place day only a few weeks ago for a victory dinner. Our thoughts and prayers are with Yvonne and their own families at this sad time. RIP to the Urban Spaceman himself, the largest Neil Innes xxxx pic.twitter.com/ zWKmCh4qSW
— The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (@ BonzoDogBanned) December 30, 2019
Writer/ director Edgar Wright wrote:” If it’s true that the great Neil Innes had sadly passed away, please let me elevate a glass to the man. Forever a fan of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Allow me to share a favourite clip of them in action( with a bonkers Innes guitar solo too ). RIP Neil .”
If it’s true that the largest Neil Innes had sadly passed away, please let me grow a glass to the man. Forever a fan of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Allow me to share a favourite clip of them in action( with a bonkers Innes guitar solo too ). RIP Neil. https :// t.co/ wojCBk7GPY
— edgarwright (@ edgarwright) December 30, 2019
Comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar said:” Tragic news of @NeilInnes passing. Supremely gifted songwriter and comedian. Always acerbically funny and incredible corporation. Here, sharing the stage at a @python celebration. Was glad to have met him many times. Deepest condolences to his friends and family. #RIPNeilInnes”
” V sad to hear Neil Innes, the brilliant comedian, musician, and Rutle, just died. Humming this today, having had it stuck in my head for approximately 40 times ,” said Charlie Brooker, who posted his message with a link to The Rutles song’ Cheese and Onions’.
Ian McMillan added: “# RIPNeilInnes A male who constructed carols from a scaffolding of absurdity around strong walls of music and nerve .”
Tragic news of @NeilInnes run. Supremely endowed songwriter and comedian. Always acerbically funny and enormous company. Here, sharing the stage at a @python celebration. Was glad to have met him many times. Deepest condolences to his friends and family. #RIPNeilInnes pic.twitter.com/ zy4oqcolO1
— Sanjeev Bhaskar (@ TVSanjeev) December 30, 2019
V sad to hear Neil Innes, the brilliant comic, musician, and Rutle, just died. Humming this today, having had it stuck in my head for approximately 40 years: https :// t.co/ tLQKs7 5WTS
— Charlie Brooker (@ charltonbrooker) December 30, 2019
#RIPNeilInnes A mortal who built chants from a scaffolding of nonsense around strong walls of melody and heart.
— Ian McMillan (@ IMcMillan) December 30, 2019
See more tributes below 😛 TAGEND
“I’ve suffered for my music and now it’s your turn” RIP Neil Innes https :// t.co/ o4WUn6FUej
— Billy Bragg (@ billybragg) December 30, 2019
Neil Innes has moved. As a Python-obsessed teen I heard him at Darlington Arts Centre& missed my bus home to catch his brilliance. I used to record’ The Innes Book of Records’ on C-6 0s& marvel at his knack. I still hum’ I like Cezanne, says Anne’. Sweet dreams, sweet idiot.
— Mark Gatiss (@ Markgatiss) December 30, 2019
— lizo mzimba (@ lizo_mzimba) December 30, 2019
Neil Innes was given the task of parodying the Beatles, and accidentally created a torso of music that was every bit as good. If you haven’t yet treated yourself to the Rutles, today, the working day “weve lost” Neil Innes, is a great day to start. https :// t.co/ n0xYF8i1a5
— Jay Foreman (@ jayforeman) December 30, 2019
We are destroyed better understand Neil Innes.
He played The Cavern only this year and was booked to play Beatleweek 2020, we have been in regular contact with him so this is a real shock
A friend of The Cavern for over 30 years, he will be forever remembered, and missed. pic.twitter.com/ aoJTsBeCx2
— Cavern Club (@ cavernliverpool) December 30, 2019
Fairwell Neil Innes. One of the nicest people I’ve ever met and a loom talent. pic.twitter.com/ JJ2vZUtkKO
— Diane Morgan (@ missdianemorgan) December 30, 2019
Incredibly sad to be acknowledged that Neil Innes has started. The Innes Book Of Records was one of the most beautiful, innovative and funny depicts I’ve ever seen. The Rutles’ hymns, of course, beyond perfection. What a knack and what a ghastly loss.
— Simon Blackwell (@ simonblackwell) December 30, 2019
So sad to hear of the passing of Neil Innes. Shared studios and stages with him over the years and he was always brilliant, kind and creative, especially so on [?] @EricIdle [?]’ s’ Rutland Weekend Television’. We’ve lost a good one #RIP https :// t.co/ q9xSpS6kCq
— Bob Harris (@ WhisperingBob) December 30, 2019
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