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NEIL INNES – INNES OWN WORLD – BEST BITS – PART ONE - SLEEVE NOTES:
Produced and Recorded by Mark Howard in Nashville  for the Children’s Book of the Month Club album: “Singing In the Bath Tub”. The opportunity to work with brilliant musicians and get to be on the same album as Johnny Cash, Leon Redbone, Rachel Peer and the exquisite Madeleine Kahn – oh yes, I can drop names – was truly memorable. Thanks to David Allender for making it all possible.
This was the original introduction to “Innes Own World” programme 1. “Teapot” and “Tate Modern Mug” make their debuts and give credence to the possibility that all Belief Systems are probably suspended and that we ourselves dangle from something only slightly more tangible.
… Or to give it it’s full title: “I Like Cezanne, Says Anne”. Judging by their many letters over the years, this has always been a firm favourite with “Innes Book of Records” and word-play aficionados – so here it is. Well, you don’t get to hear “Chiaroscuro” everyday… not even in an Art School.
Words are the Names we give to Things. Naming [and Measuring] does not necessarily mean “understanding” but I really do have a passion for finding out where words come from - or “Etymology”. Not to be confused with “Entomology” – the study of bugs – it’s as well to remember that any “-ology” is just a suffix and any suffix is only an extra syllable or two - and when I say “only” I mean…
BREAKFAST THINGS 1
Ever since “News” became a “Product” and so-called “Demand” has increased coverage to 24/7 “Breaking Headlines” with loops of random footage and misspelled Scrollbars adding to the utterly false and unnecessary Nonsense of Urgency applied to Events that are supposed to be AFTER The Fact – not Conjecture – don’t get me started! I cannot even finish a sentence properly – it’s not “News” anymore – it’s “Emotional Engineering”. Peter Jay [“Yes Minister” and more…] is right – “The Media is biased against Understanding”.
This song was written in Barbados while on holiday . We stayed in a little wooden Chattel House well away from the Tourist areas. Yes, we got some odd looks. In Bridgetown, the finishing touches were being put to the new Cricket Stadium where the traditional blowing of Conch shells, partying and selling exotic snacks would soon be banned. Third Way Thinking from people who somehow believe you can drop a “Democracy” from 40,000 feet.
“Wealth regarded as an evil influence” is but one of the many ways the Dictionary defines “Mammon”. You can also have “Greed” or “Avarice” or even “the Demon of the love of money”. Who cares?
EARLY MORNING TRAIN
This was an experiment that came about by accident while recording “Pour L’Amour Des Chiens” [Bonzo Dog Band 2007]. A love song about a girl on a train and a thorough, but all too ubiquitous, pest with a mobile phone - are juxtaposed to create a tragi-comedy effect that simultaneously transcends and undermines both the sincerity of one and the Zeitgeist of the other. Pretentious? Moi? Big thanks to Adrian Edmonson.
SAGA CITY 1
Yes, welcome to the “Steamy Soap that’s got everybody in a lather”. Unashamedly based on BBC TV’s “East Enders”, this opening episode is a blatant vehicle for one of Barry Cryer’s many, many jokes - all about a naked man in a wardrobe who has come to “see about” the moths. Pull the other one! It also features the surprisingly poignant concept of the “All-Night Joke Shop”. To be continued…
This tasty morsel of a track is another refugee from “Pour L’Amour Des Chiens” and truly deserves to be more widely heard, not least because it stars the Olympic-level Vocal Artistry of the superlative Stephen Fry Esq. Universally celebrated as the veritable master of this kind of thing, on-form Stephen is undeniably at his less-is-more, quintessential, absolute best and I do sincerely hope that this inadequate groveling, in some small, teeny-weeny way, compensates for my rude, solipsistic negligence in omitting to ask his kind permission? Oh dear, I’ve wet myself…
ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE
A toe-tapping cri de Coeur if ever there was one. Musically it’s a fusion of solid Afro downbeat and Celtic jigging offbeat featuring the original line-up of my dear Slovenian friends “Terrafolk”. We can only marvel at their unpronounceable names [see Musicians A-Z] and exuberant virtuosity and reflect on what their language may lack in vowels their music more than makes up for in demi-semi-quavers.
GIVE US A TWIRL 1
Special Thanks must go to the “studio” audience in Edinburgh at The Pleasance, where the “Innes Own World” series was recorded, for so enthusiastically embracing the idea of becoming an “All-Star Celebrity Packet of Cornflakes” and being so good at speaking in unison. At the time [August 2002] the then Head of Radio 4 was heard to mutter; “This isn’t going to be an ordinary production is it.” Indeed, in their wisdom, the BBC thought 4 programmes was probably enough.
I’ve chosen this version, [rather than a “live” recording - complete with “The Oath”] because it seems to fit in more with the general Sound Effects approach of the other “Radio” tracks. Again, it’s from “Pour L’Amour Des Chiens” – [which is French for “For the Love of Dogs” – which in turn was inspired by Damion Hirst’s £50 million diamond encrusted human skull entitled “For the Love of God”] – big, big thanks go to Bob Carruthers for making this final Bonzo album happen and for allowing these tracks to appear here. It features the Bonzos, old and “new” - including Phill Jupitus as: “Oi! What’s your game?”
BREAKFAST THINGS 2
The return of “Dick Headline – Anchorman”, along with “Teapot” and “Tate Modern Mug” – and while actually mentioning the actual name of “John Humphreys” – as you can see, no actual pun is intended.
CITY OF THE ANGELS
This song is based on a true story. On my first visit to Los Angeles  I watched a news item on television about a man [OK he was walking beside a Freeway] who was shot dead by a jumpy policeman who tragically misinterpreted the action of reaching inside a jacket pocket for a card that explained he had a speech impediment. The following bulletin, no pun intended, reported a fire downtown and used dubbed Dramatic Music to accompany the helicopter shots.
GIVE US A TWIRL 2
More fun from the Radio Quiz with a Fashion Slant - are the All-Star Celebrity Cornflakes stumped, flummoxed or just plain bamboozled? Tension mounts as the seconds tick away and the parameters of extreme pointlessness become palpable. Hang on to your matching Baseball Caps!
SAGA CITY 2
Reg, Trevor and Gavin discuss the finer points of the Beautiful Game of Soccer while Gaston tries his best to impress the legendary Anton Trauzerkoff – the renowned International Gourmet – with his Avant Garde Cuisine. I ought to point out that no Actors have been harmed in this production. Thanks to the miracle of editing in the Digital Domain, all the voices are supplied by me.
This track, put together with the superb Mickey Simmonds and his amazing PC Skill [“Evenin’ all”], is intended to be the very last Rutle offering, Ron Nasty’s swansong if you like. At least I hope so, right Mick? [Jagger - if you didn’t see the movie]. I have this pet theory that the word “Rutle” should now be in the Dictionary as a verb: rutle: (ruh-tul) v.t. to copy - or emulate - someone you admire [esp. in the music business]. After all, surely everybody “rutles” – we are a bunch of copycats. By their very nature, Human Beings are in the imitation business. In this way, I suppose, the Rutles are the biggest band in the World.
And so, rather neatly I think, we return to the Dictionary. This stuff is not just “thrown together” you know!