I played the video of "How Sweet to be an Idiot" in his memory. I hadn't known I knew it but it seems I do. The hook is very familiar. Did he steal it from the Beatles? No, I did the research and it turns out Oasis stole it from him- and had to pay him financial compensation- and serve them jolly well right.
When I first saw the Rutles it all but made me cry. It seemed like an elegy for hopes and dreams of my generation. When I catch bits of it now I find much of the comedy far too broad. What it needed to be was as almost-straight as Spinal Tap. Innes' contributions are of course immaculate. He wrote "Beatles songs" that are all but indistinguishable from the real thing.
The Innes Book of Records was ground-breaking. I adored that show.
In later life he seems to have given much of his energy to kids TV- which is admirable but meant I no longer came across his work.
Not only was he nice but apparently happy with it- and perfectly content to be unfamous. "Take it from me," he said. "Being a Rutle was much more fun than being a Beatle."