After the smiling positivity of my last two posts yesterday I saw the news that Neil Innes had unexpectedly died. I'm not sure when I first was exposed to him via the Bonzo Dog Band, possibly on "Do Not Adjust Your Set" , the the hit single with "I'm The Urban Spaceman" and listening to "The Doughnut In Granny's Greenhouse" in the Sixth Form College common room to the annoyance of the "cool heads" but there was a guy there who took no shit from them and we continually played it, and when they listened they liked some of the stuff.
Although essentially born in trad jazz the Bonzo's were the English equivalent of The Mothers of Invention (Frank Zappa's lot) seemingly anarchic and chaotic but absolutely spot on musicians and composers covering all sorts of genres meaning you didn't necessarily know what to expect. They incurred the wrath of politician Quentin Hogg for crediting him with "Piggy Grunt" on "The Intro and The Outro", and the band continued to delight and surpries.
While Bonzo's songs were often credited to Innnes with front man Vivian Stanshall , they were not a two man unit, with other members contributing much of their repertoire.
But this is essential my remembrance of Neil Innes who along with the Bonzo's was the mind behind the Rutles , absolutely spot on Beatles pastiche band and many other musical and comedy collaborations including beith dubbed the seventh Monty Python member.
So although our Urban Spaceman has left the plane he will always bring a smile to my face , and he's now joined Vivian in the next phase of existence.