Rutles HOAX

A magazine exploiting the rumour.

"Stig is dead" is a rumour started in 1969 that Stig O'Hara had died in a flash fire at a waterbed shop. He had either been replaced by a wax replica or an unknown Liverpudlian by the name of David Battley. During the time of the original rumours, many fans reported breaking their Rutle record players by playing records backwards. In 1970 an entire magazine was created about the rumour, (the first issue can be seen right), which continued to appear until 1978.

The clues (and why they're false)Edit

Shabby road

The famous Shabby Road cover.

  • He never says anything publicly. Even as the quiet one, he has not said a word since 1965. (Melvin Hall gave a wrong date saying 1966)
  • Ron Nasty is supposed to sing "I Buried Stig" on "I Am the Waitress".
    • In fact he sings "¿E Burres stigano?" which is very bad Spanish for "Have you a water buffalo?".
  • On the cover of Sgt. Rutter's only Darts Club Band, Stig appears to be stand in the exact position of a dying yeti (from the Rutland Book of the Dead).
    • One problem here is that dying yetis weren't discovered until 1968, a year after the album was released, and neither was the Rutland Book of the Dead released until 1969.
  • On the cover of Shabby Road, he is wearing no trousers, an Italian sign of death. In the background is a car (a Beetle) with the numberplate 'GSW 271F', signifying 'Gertrude Strange Weeps' " (or 'Gertrude Strange Widow' depending on which version you hear) "and that Stig would have been 28 IF he had lived".
    • This is completely a coincidence:
      • It was a hot day; Stig discarded his pants because he felt uncomfortable in them.
      • Stig was actually 26.
      • Stig didn't meet Gertrude until a year after his "death", so for her to be a widow makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
  • Some believe that the whole cover of Sgt. Rutter's only Darts Club Band depicts Stig's funeral. To the left are the four "original" Rutles, and Stig looks bewildered and confused, as if wondering; "Why am I at my own funeral?" Barry and Dirk look stricken with grief, because they miss Stig, and Nasty is smiling, because he never really liked Stig.

In Popular CultureEdit

Shitty Road

Stig cheekily references the legend on the cover of his most famous live album.

  • In 1993, Stig released a live album which he titled Stig is not a wax replica please stop asking., which featured a cover making several references to the theory.
  • The hit British tv show Top Gear featured a group of characters named "The Stig". The original Stig was advertised as dying, and the term "Stig is dead" became even more popular. When doing a tribute to the original Stig, the announcer stated that the Stig had "Easy Listening."
  • In 2010, Highway 69 produced a partial-documentary, partial-mockumentry film entitled Stig O'Hara Really Is Dead: The Last Testament of Ron Nasty. According to the story, in 2005 Highway 69 received a package from Rutland, UK. Inside were two cassette tapes, in perfect condition, with a voice on them claiming to be Ron Nasty in 1973, right before he became anti-social, telling the shocking story of how he and the other two Rutles covered up Stig's death. He refers to Stig after 1966 as "Ftig" and before as "Stig". According to the tale, Stig died in a waterbed shop in March 1966.
  • In April 2014, a Swedish man named Stig Kernell died at the age of 92.  His self-written obituary attracted press coverage upon its publication because it was just three words long: "I am dead."


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