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 He had either been replaced by a wax replica or an unknown Liverpudlian by the name of David Battley.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 cluesEdit

Shabby road

The infamous Shabby Road cover.

  • He never says anything publicly. Even as the quiet one, he has not said a word since 1962. (Melvin Hall gave a wrong date saying 1966)
  • On the cover of A Hard Day's Rut, Stig appears to be spinning in his first two squares, going from left to right, while in his last three he is pointing to the front. In the final two squares his eyes are closed. Some believe this represents Stig passing out during the fire.
  • On the Cover of Ouch!, Stig is posing such that his body makes the shape of an X, supposedly suggesting that he is not in the picture.

The true back masking message of "Sgt. Rutter's only Darts Club Band"

  • If you sing the title track of Sgt. Rutter's backwards, it is supposed to sound like "Stig has been dead for a long time, honestly." In fact, it sounds just like "dnab bulc strad ylno srettur tnaegres."
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Many believe that the song Joe Public from Sgt Rutter's is actually about Ftig wanting to be recognized as Stig. "My name is Joe Public - I'm sure you all know me" is supposed to indicated as this. "Sometimes they call me 'the man in the street'" is supposedly a reference to the soon-to-be-recorded Shabby Road, where Stig is shown crossing the street pant-less.
  • 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?".
  • The Rutles infamously owned a clothes boutique in London, which Nasty blew up after three weeks. This was in fact done in tribute to his old friend's accident, according to some theorists.
  • On the cover of Shabby Road, he is wearing no trousers, an Italian sign of death.
  • Eric Manchester stated in an interview that "[Stig]'s dead. I've stopped denying it." After he made the statement, he was sued. [1]

In Popular CultureEdit

  • 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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