The Innes Book of Records was Neil Innes' BBC2 TV show from 1979 to 1981. It was originally shown in the UK and Australia and then reran occasionally over the next 20 years on UK Gold (with several songs always cut out and episode contents in the wrong order.) In the 80s & 90s it circulated around America on videotape, and today is all over the Tubes of You. Laurie and I first got a VHS copy in 1997. After our initial relief it wasn't a rhinestone-studded 70s variety show, our next reaction was, what is this??
15 years later I had the extreme privilege to put that question to the people who created it, and now there's this big huge Innes Book of Records section of neilinnes.org!
This isn't really put together in any kind of "this is the story of..." narrative; my aim here is to take all this great stuff and information I've collected over the last year and just dump it all out for everybody to research and enjoy for themselves. So I guess this is more like a museum than a "Behind the Music." I've included a lot of the audio of people saying things rather than just the transcribed text so you can hear how they said things rather than imagining how they said it.
The episode guides are really the meat of the piece; look for these buttons on the episode pages for the special goodies, including anecdotes by Neil, Ian Keill and/or Andrew Gosling (or others), behind-the-scenes pictures and video. There is also a section dedicated to the heart of the series, the music, including the two albums that came out of the show. The "Process" section is audio & text of what Neil, Andrew & Ian told me about how they created the show, and the "Creators" section is just what it says, with a page for each of the people I was able to speak with.
Like a library, this section will always be open to contributions; if you have anything to add click "share your story" on left-hand menu. There were literally thousands of people who participated in the filming of this show, so hopefully some of you will stumble upon this page and want to share your own memories! An extra special thanks to all the folks who were there who contributed to this, especially Neil, Ian & Enid Keill and John Altman who really went above and beyond anything I ever expected. Thanks also to Louise Marriot who had already been collecting IBoR stuff & information long before I'd ever heard of the show, which she generously shared. And my darling angel from heaven NellyM, I so couldn't have done this without you, literally, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. And finally to all our friends Laurie & I have ever discussed this show with, 99.999% of everything we ever guessed, assumed or theorized about Innes Book of Records was wrong, so very wrong.
Dedicated to Tom Strickland, who, for all intents and purposes, brought Innes Book of Records to America.
First update! 26 Aug 26, 2012
I was so thrilled to find out it wasn't just me who had fun doing this; Andrew, Ian & Neil so enjoyed reliving all this after all these years, they got together for lunch a few weeks after the site was made public to wax nostalgic, and sent me a lovely picture.
Andrew Gosling Ian Keill Neil Innes