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Neil Innes
Neil Innes
Neil Innes
Neil Innes
Neil Innes
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Neil Innes

Neil Innes is an English songwriter and performer of brilliant comic songs - best known for his collaborative work with Monty Python, as a member of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, and as co-creator of the classic, acclaimed Grammy-nominated film, soundtrack and band The Rutles.

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The Film: 'The Seventh Python'

Bio

In the mid-1970s, 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 songs and sketch writing 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 credited writers 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 '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, and a Grammy Nomination for Best Comedy Album.

After Rutland Weekend Television, Idle relocated to the USA, and Innes went on to create a solo series in 1979 on BBC television, 'The Innes Book of Records,' which ran for three seasons and contained several of Innes' previous music compositions, along with new ones written for the show.

During the 1980s, Innes delved into children's entertainment. He played the role of the Wizard in the live-action children's television series 'Puddle Lane,' made by Yorkshire Television for the ITV network.

He voiced the 1980s children's cartoon adventures of 'The Raggy Dolls,' a motley collection of 'rejects' from a toy factory. The 65 episodes for Yorkshire Television included the characters Sad Sack, Hi-Fi, Lucy, Dotty, Back-to-Front and Princess.

In addition, he brought Monty Python's Terry Jones's fairy-tale book 'East of the Moo'n to television. He contributed all the stories and music on this production. He was also involved with the enormously popular children's show 'Tiswas.' More...

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