In recent years the Bonzos spent some precious energy reclaiming their name from a legal entanglement. And Neil Innes kept busy, producing new CDs and playing limited tours and engagements. Collaborators and fans have reached out to social media this morning. Michael Palin wrote: "Neil was one of the best. A terrifically accomplished musician, writer and performer who could make 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 work which made him the most delightful of companions." John Cleese shared this on Twitter: "Utterly dismayed to hear about Neil Innes. Right out of the blue... A very sweet man, much too nice for his own good. Lovely writer and performer. When he worked with Python on our stage show, I listened every night to "How sweet to be an Idiot" on the tannoy." Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Doctor Who): "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." Close collaborator throughout Do Not Adjust Your Set, Python and The Rutles, Eric Idle, seemed to allude to his distance from Innes in more recent years with this statement on Twitter: "Writer, reader, husband, father, Dogfather, dog owner, guitarist, humorist, humanist, satirist, cricket fan. Have finger will block." I think Spy Vibers will enjoy Neil's musical cocktail of humor and heart. Some of my favorite moments include: The Bonzos performing "Look Out, There's A Monster Coming" (Do Not Adjust You're Set), "Brave Sir Robin Ran Away" (Holy Grail), "A Short Blues" (Python Live at the Civic Center), and every second of The Rutles: All You Need is Cash (1978). Innes had a great ability to blend humor and surrealism with moments of great emotional comment and poignancy. Two Rutles songs come to mind: "Cheese and Onions" (a Yellow Submarine-style sequence ala John Lennon) and "Questionnaire" (a Lennon-style number that sneaks in a sombre statement about gun violence). Spend some time today with Neil Innes on Youtube and you'll see what I mean. Bonzo. Python. Rutle. Gone Sunday at 75. Below: Neil Innes with the Bonzos, The Rutles, The Pythons (Giliam, Idle, Jones), with Eric Idle in 2008, and "Questionnaire". Sending my condolences to his family and friends.
Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Claudine Auger R.I.P., OHMSS at 50, Italian Job 50th OST, Charles Schulz Modern, Paul Desmond, Python 50th, Randall Hopkirk 50th, Thunderbirds Day, Lazenby Returns to MI6, Dr. John R.I.P., Spy Vibe Radio: Lupin III, Lupin Ska, Spy Vibe Prime, Zigomar Translation, The Village: Part 1, Monkey Punch R.I.P., Bubble Girl 63, ITC Soundtracks, Spy Vibe Radio: Public Eye, UFO Prime, Spaceship to Mars, Modesty Blaise Companion, Spy Vibe Radio: Fantomas, George Day, Fantomas Blu, Dark Shadows Doc, Bedazzled Blu-ray, Mary Quant Exhibit, Laika Calypso, Lost in Space Japan, Spy Dust Calypso, Atomic Cafe, John Barry Mono, Interview: John Barry Book, Land of the Giants Score, Skyfall Concert, Dearest Emma, Spy Vibe Radio: Upperseven, Ogilvy at Elstree, Mabuse Propaganda, Bond Beatles Day, Spy Vibe Radio: Liquidator, Diabolik LP, Fab Dresses, Eurospy Music Collection, Beetle Bailey in West Berlin, Why Mort Walker?, Spy Vibe radio: The Beatles Help!, Avengers Critical Guide, The Spotnicks, Benny Spies, James Pond 0017', Satire Stones, Annette Andre Book, Cat Day, Spy Vibe Radio: Get Smart, Caine: My Generation, Interview: Ian Ogilvy, Horror of Party Beach, Sylvie Vartan Renown, Ringo At 78, Dark Shadows Strips, Spy Vibe Radio: Flint, Archie Batman 66, Paul at 76, Beatles Pac-Man, Spy Vibe Radio: Jerry Cotton, The Invaders, 007 Horowitz Book Tour, McGoohan/Prisoner Event at Elstree, The Prisoner Interviews Vol 1, British Underground Press, Interview: Fab4 Mania, Bond Cocktail Book, Bond at Bletchley, Spy Smasher, Spy Vibe Radio: Peter Gunn, Agent Zero M, New Prisoner Comic, Dr. No Villains Edition, Spy Vibe Radio: Danger Diabolik, Dr. No 60th, Oy-Oy-Seven, Spy Vibe Radio (UFO), Cold War Comic Strips, Thunderball Event, Mission to India, Mort Walker Celebration, Peter Wyngarde Celebration, Batman 66 Exhibit, Prisoner Fifty Event, Ian Fleming Publications 2017-2018, Interview: Ed Hulse Pulp, Avengers Audio Drama, Interview: Callan At 50, Interview: Playboys, Spies, Private Eyes, TWA Returns, Spy Vibe Radio 8, Interview: Ryan Heshka, Mid-Century Modern Schulz, Agent Werewolf, Johnny Sokko 50th, Interview: Trina Robbins, Eddie Izzard, The Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50th, Hugh Hefner R.I.P., Jack Good R.I.P., Interview: Shaken Not Stirred, Callan 50th, Spy Vibe Radio 7, The Prisoner 50th Event, Spy-Fi Event, Kaho Aso 007, Two Million, Bo Diddley, Carnaby Pop, Le Carre Events, Billy Bragg Skiffle, Elvis 68, Jack Kirby The Prisoner, Casino Royale Concert, Review: The Prisoner Vol 2, Interview: The Prisoner Essential Guide, Maud Russell Mottisfont, Spy Vibe Radio 4, Batman Gallants, Adam West R.I.P., Village Triangle, Roger Moore R.I.P., Spy Vibe Radio 3, Sgt Pepper 50th, Satanik Kriminal OST, 60s Overdrive, Make Love in London, Spy Vibe Radio 2, Spy Vibe Radio 1, James Bond Strips, Propaganda Mabuse, Interview: Police Surgeon, XTC Avengers, 1966 Pep Spies, Batman Book Interview, Exclusive Fleming Interview, Avengers Comic Strips, Robert Vaughn RIP, UNCLE Fashions, Thunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview: Spy Film Guide, Lost Avengers Found, The Callan File, Mission Impossible 50th, Green Hornet 50th, Star Trek 50th, Portmeirion Photography 1, Filming the Prisoner, Gaiman McGinnins Project, Ian Fleming Grave, Revolver at 50, Karen Romanko Interview, Mod Tales 2, Umbrella Man: Patrick Macnee, New Beatles Film, The Curious Camera, Esterel Fashion 1966, Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview, 007 Tribute Covers, The Phantom Avon novels return, Ian Fleming Festival, Argoman Design, Sylvia Anderson R.I.P., Ken Adam R.I.P., George Martin R.I.P., The New Avengers Comics, The Phantom at 80, 007 Manga, Avengerworld Book, Diana Rigg Auto Show, The Prisoner Audio Drama Review.