Neil Innes, songwriter, dies

Neil InnesSongwriter and occasional actor Neil Innes, best known for his association with Monty Python, The Rutles, and the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, dies unexpectedly at the age of 75. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band’s hit “I’m The Urban Spaceman” brought him into the orbit of the Beatles, and he contributed a background track to their 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour. His participation in a later parody of the Beatles, the Rutles, led to TV specials and well-received albums, which counted among their fans and participants the former members of the Beatles themselves. Innes contributed material to the shortened final season of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which made him one of only two members outside of the Python troupe to write material for the show (the other was future Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy creator Douglas Adams); his work with the Pythons continued into their feature films in the 1970s and early ’80s; he was also a cast member in the Pythons’ live performances during this period.