Neil Innes
Neil Innes
L-R: Neil Innes and Al Gomes

Neil Innes
Neil Innes
Neil Innes

The Rutles - 'I Must Be In Love'

Neil Innes - Spring 2011
NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Neil Innes
Neil Innes
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Neil Innes

Al Gomes of Big Noise : I was among the luckiest people on the planet to get to know and work with my brilliant friend
Neil Innes, best known for his collaborations with Monty Python, as a member of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, and as co-creator of the classic, acclaimed Grammy Award-nominated film, soundtrack and band The Rutles.

His concert appearance that I attended in the spring of 2011 (see the photo at left) was one of the greatest performances I will ever see. It should have been a massive one-man show hit on Broadway with one of the most touching and stirring meditations on humankind anyone has ever witnessed.

I was instrumental and honored in bringing together Neil and Beach Boys lyricist Stephen Kalinich to write a new track called 'A Song About Me' for a tribute CD for Stephen called 'California Feeling 2.' It was placed on the Official Ballot for The Grammy Awards for Best Pop Solo Performance. While the finished track is great, this early unreleased demo below really shows Neil's beautiful personality.

Neil was an absolutely class act and lovely man, and the blueprint for how everyone should live their life as a human being.

To quote Apple Music, 'An amazing songwriter and performer and probably the most important figure in British musical comedy since the heyday of vaudeville, Neil Innes was that rarity among musical comedians, a side-splitting satirist who can also write perfectly straightforward, catchy pop songs.'

Thanks Neil for making our world that much more brighter.

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The Film: 'The Seventh Python'

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In the mid-1970s, Neil Innes became closely associated with the TV series Monty Python's Flying Circus. He played a major role in performing and writing songs and sketches for the final series in 1974. His work included 'George III' (sung by a pastiche black American girl group) which appears in 'The Golden Age of Ballooning,' 'Where Does a Dream Begin?' used in 'Anything Goes: The Light Entertainment War,' the 'Most Awful Family in Britain' sketch, a humorous stilted guitar version of the Flying Circus theme song, and 'The Liberty Bell March,' during the credits of the last episode, 'Party Political Broadcast.' He is one of only two non-Pythons to ever be a credited writer for the TV series (the other being Douglas Adams).

He appeared on-stage with the Pythons in New York City in 1976, performing the Bob Dylanesque 'Protest Song' as Raymond Scum (complete with harmonica), which was included on the album 'Monty Python Live at City Center'. He told the audience 'I've suffered for my music. Now it's your turn.' In 1982, he travelled to the States with the Pythons again, appearing in Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl. He performed the songs 'How Sweet to Be an Idiot' and 'I'm the Urban Spaceman.' He also appeared as one of the singing 'Bruces' in the 'Philosopher Sketch.'

Innes wrote the songs for the classic film 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail.' He appeared in the film as a head-bashing monk, the serf crushed by the giant wooden rabbit, and the leader of Sir Robin's minstrels. He also had a small role in Terry Gilliam's 'Jabberwocky.' Because of these long-standing connections, Innes is often referred to as 'The Seventh Python.'

After Python finished its original run on UK television, Innes joined with Python's Eric Idle on the series 'Rutland Weekend Television.' This was a Python-esque sketch show based in a fictional low-budget regional television station. It ran for two series in 1975-76. Songs and sketches from the series appeared on a 1976 BBC LP, 'The Rutland Weekend Songbook.'

This show spawned The Rutles (the 'prefab four'), an affectionate pastiche of the Beatles, in which Innes played the character of Ron Nasty (loosely based on John Lennon). Innes played Nasty in an American-made spin-off NBC-TV movie, 'All You Need Is Cash,' with Idle. The project also yielded a hit album released by Warner Brothers Records, and a Grammy Nomination for Best Comedy Album. More...

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