December 30, 2019
Monty Python collaborator and Rutles singer Neil Innes has died at the age of 75.
Neil Innes, Monty Python Collaborator, Dies Aged 75
His agent Nigel Morton confirmed to the PA news agency that he died unexpectedly on Sunday night and had not been ill. A statement released on behalf of the comedian and musician’s family said: “It is with deep sorrow and great sadness that we have to announce the death of Neil James Innes on December 29 2019.
“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.
“He died of natural causes quickly without warning and, I think, without pain.
“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.”
Neil was known for writing and performing songs and sketches for final series of Monty Python in 1974 after John Cleese temporarily left.He also wrote music for the Python’s albums including Monty Python’s Previous Record, The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief and Monty Python And The Holy Grail. 
Neil also appeared in Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, and toured the UK and Canada with the group.
He was one of only two non-Pythons to be credited as a writer for the TV series, alongside Douglas Adams.
After Python’s original run on TV came to an end, Neil joined Eric Idle on the sketch show Rutland Weekend Television, about a fictional low-budget regional TV station.
This show spawned the band The Rutles, a spoof of The Beatles, in which Innes played the character of Ron Nasty, who was based on John Lennon.Neil was also a member of the band The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, whose song I’m The Urban Spaceman won him an Ivor Novello award.
He penned the song Death Cab For Cutie, which inspired an American band of the same name.
Neil was also involved in a number of children’s TV shows in the 1980s, voicing The Raggy Dolls and composed music for Puddle Lane, The Riddles and Tumbledown Farm.
Actor and writer Mark Gatiss was among the first to pay tribute to him, writing on Twitter: “Neil Innes has gone. As a Python-obsessed teen I saw him at Darlington Arts Centre & missed my bus home to catch his brilliance.
“I used to record ‘The Innes Book of Records’ on C-60s & marvel at his talent. I still hum ‘I like Cezanne, says Anne’. Sweet dreams, sweet idiot.”
Comedian Diane Morgan added: “Fairwell Neil Innes. One of the nicest people I’ve ever met and a towering talent.”Neil Innes has gone. As a Python-obsessed teen I saw him at Darlington Arts Centre & missed my bus home to catch his brilliance. I used to record ‘The Innes Book of Records’ on C-60s & marvel at his talent. I still hum ‘I like Cezanne, says Anne’. Sweet dreams, sweet idiot.— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) December 30, 2019Fairwell Neil Innes. One of the nicest people I’ve ever met and a towering talent. pic.twitter.com/JJ2vZUtkKO— Diane Morgan (@missdianemorgan) December 30, 2019
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