Neil Innes, British singer-songwriter, long-time collaborator with Monty Python, and co-founder of The Beatles pastiche band The Rutles, has died at age 75. Innes passed away on December 29 with an official statement being released on his personal website, indicating the cause of death to be natural causes.
"It is with deep sorrow and great sadness that we have to announce the death of Neil James Innes on 29th December 2019," the statement reads. "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."
Innes musical career began in the 1960's when he formed the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. The musical works incorporated his musical skill and comedic abilities, quickly spawning the top five single, "I'm the Urban Spaceman." The song was co-produced by The Beatles legend Paul McCartney. It earned McCartney and Innes an Ivor Novella Award before the band's 1967 song "Death Cab for Cutie" became a hit in the U.S. and expanded the band's horizons.
Innes and his Bonzo Dog band made several appearances on the popular U.K. comedy series by the name of Do Not Adjust Your Set. In the 1970's, Innes began working with the Monty Python comedy troupe, collaborating on their albums and stage shows. Most notably, Innes wrote Monty Python's famous Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Going forward, Innes would find success in work with the BBC network and Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels for the All You Need is Cash TV mockumentary of The Beatles history. The series did not yield impressive ratings but did spawn a few hit songs which was enough success from the studio's perspective.
Innes is survived by wife Yvonne, their three sons, and three grandchildren.