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LAist Interview: Neil Innes

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Neil Innes is nothing if not a gentleman, a distinctly British one at that.

Innes was - literally - the John Lennon of the Rutles, recently memorialized here with a thirtieth anniversary showing of the great Beatles-taunting mockumentary All You Need Is Cash that put the four principal actors on stage together for the first time. The anniversary of the film was also marked with the premiere of a multi-media stage show, Rutlemania, that featured an unbelievably accurate Beatles cover band playing slavish covers of Rutles tunes and re-enacting their faux history as if it were the Civil War.

Innes was also one of the two principal writers for the beloved Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, purveyors of psychedelic music-hall comedy that a times felt like an English Mothers of Invention indulging latent oom-pah fixations. But Innes remains best known in this country for his musical contributions to Monty Python, for whom he served as “music guy” and occasional sketch writer through the Holy Grail period, one of only two people to receive writing credit for Python besides the six core members. So despite a long and varied career, it’s perhaps inevitable that the documentary dedicated to his life, which premieres tonight at the Egyptian Theater, would be titled The Seventh Python.