Neil Innes Quotes

Home / Writer / Neil Innes Quotes
Neil Innes

Innes at the premiere of The Seventh Python
Background information
Birth name Neil James Innes
Born (1944-12-09) 9 December 1944 (age 72)
Danbury, Essex, England
Genres Parody, satire, comedy rock
Occupation(s) Musician, actor, comedian, game show panelist, TV Presenter
Years active 1960s–present
Labels indie, distributor Danny Barbour at
Associated acts The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, The Rutles, Monty Python, The World, Fatso, Grimms, The Secret Policeman’s Balls for Amnesty International.
Notable instruments


We weren't by any means like the Grateful Dead or something, who could just roll on and on and on.
Neil Innes
When we did Top of the Pops for the third time, we decided to do it as a television program here called Come Dancing, which is not as rude as it sounds.
Neil Innes
Viv had this kind of stage presence where you couldn't ignore it. He walked onstage, he looked dangerous. You just didn't know what he was going to do.
Neil Innes
So we used to look for funny songs, and learn them and play them. And we used to play them in pubs.
Neil Innes
But I remember we sold nearly 18,000 records in one day.
But we used to go to flea markets and things, and look for old 78 records that had silly song titles.
Neil Innes
I suppose Roger had the license to do anything that fitted the venue.
It was just us lampooning our own peer group, saying, well hey, where did this stuff come from? And where does British guys get to be so good at it suddenly?
Neil Innes
I used to help Viv with the chords and melodies sometimes.
Eric Clapton always wanted to come out onstage with a stuffed parrot on his shoulder.
Neil Innes
But mostly, I wrote songs and Viv wrote songs.
As I said, when we needed to move over to rock'n'roll, Sam and Vernon couldn't quite make the shift. So that's when Larry took over on drums, and we needed a bass player.
Neil Innes
Larry only ever wrote one song, and he wrote that with Tony Kaye, I think it was, from Yes.
Neil Innes
In many ways, Viv and I were the only ones who were really songwriters.
I see my role in the Bonzos as being the straight man, in many ways.
I mean Gorilla was really our first sort of goes at songwriting.
Ladies and gentleman, I've suffered for my music, now it's your turn.
Neil Innes
I suppose we all loved those kind of sci-fi movies where terrible things came out of swamps and came to Mars. And there's usually some poor girl. All the guys are trying to desperately handle levers and saying, go to something or other.
Neil Innes
I think most musicians do like to have a laugh.
But Dennis was a really solid musician, and we really needed somebody who could play bass like him.
Neil Innes
In fact, Moon came on tour with us for a bit just before a big festival in Brighton, I think.
Neil Innes
We then took a shortened version of what we'd been doing in the pubs, with the best gags and things like that, out to cabaret clubs and things in the north of England for six weeks. And we became a big success.
Neil Innes
And Roger was crazy with his robots and everything.
But I mean, again, Zappa's far more musical than the Bonzos ever were.
I wasn't aware that Track Records were interested in the Bonzos.
Because Larry, by then, was a drummer, who would sort of get bored and tired, and rather stand up and blow kisses to people. So we needed the bass to sort of drive along.
Neil Innes
I mean in recent years, I think you've only got to sell thirty or forty thousand to get a #1.
Neil Innes
We weren't going to play the show-biz game, and be obsequious.