A year later the Rutles were caught up in another scandal. In the heady atmosphere of San Francisco of the mid sixties, Bob Dylan had introduced the Rutles to a substance that was to have enormous effects on them: Tea. They enjoyed its pleasant effects, despite warnings that it would lead to stronger things, and it enormously influenced their greatest work, Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band.
Stig meanwhile had fallen under the influence of Arthur Sultan, the Surrey mystic, and he had introduced Stig to his Ouija Board work. Sultan now invited the Rutles on a get away from it all table-tapping weekend near Bogner. As usual the press followed.
But while the Rutles sat at the feet of the Surrey mystic seeking spiritual enlightenment at his hands fate dealt them an appalling blow. It was at Bogner that they learned the shocking news of the loss of their manager Leggy Mountbatten. Tired and despondant over the weekend and unable to raise any friends, Leggy had gone home and, tragically, accepted a teaching post in Australia. It was a bombshell for the Rutles. They were shocked.
The Rutles first major flop The Tragical History Tour immediately followed the loss of Leggy. It was not the stongest idea for a Rutles film, four Oxford History Professors on a walking tour of English Tea Shops, and it was slammed mercilessly by the critics.
In 1968 Dirk and Nasty flew to New York to announce the formation of Rutles Corps, their aim, as Nasty put it, "to help people help themselves". Unfortunately Rutles Coprs did just that, people helped themselves for years. So many parasites jumped onto the band's wagon that at one stage they were losing money faster than the British government.
The pilfering from Rutle Corps was on a monumental scale, typewriters, TV sets, telephones, cars, even offices disappeared overnight.
During this time, Dirk married Martini, a french actress who spoke no english and precious little french. When they married in London, the service was conducted in Spanish, Italian and Chinese, to be on the safe side.
Stig, meanwhile, had hidden in the background so much that in 1969 a rumour went around that he was dead. (See the Is Stig Dead? page.) Stig was of course, far from dead. Although not far from London. He had fallen in bed with Gertrude Strange, a large-breasted, biologically accomodating American girl who's father had invented the limpet mine. When Stig met her it was lust at first site. They retired to his bungalow where he woke up exhausted a year later to find that Gertrude was gone, leaving only some crumbs in the bed and a lot of torn sheets. She left no forwarding address, no farewell notes, but also luckily no children.
Barry meanwhile had also spent a year in bed as a tax dodge. Eric Manchester, the Rutles press agent, thinks that he either had appalling financial advice or he was deperately trying to start a "Barry is also dead" rumour. When he finally got up to answer the telephone, Rutle Corps was in a perilous financial state.
Nasty had flown back in a hurry from his honeymoon to meet Ron Decline, the most feared promoter in the world, in an attempt to settle Rutle Corps' appalling financial problems.
Unfortunately, Stig was now accepting the financial advice of Billy Kodak, Dirk had hired Arnold Schwarzenweisengreenenbluenbraunenburger to handle his end of the name, and Barry was consulting the I Ching every three and a half minutes.
In the midst of this public and legal wrangling Let It Rot was released as a film, an album, and a lawsuit. It showed the Rutles as never before; tired, unhappy, cross, and just like the rest of the world.
In December 1970 Dirk sued Stig and Nasty, Barry sued Dirk, Nasty sued Stig and Barry, and Stig sued himself accidentally. It was the end of a golden era, and the beginning of another one for lawyers everywhere.
Nasty turned his back on the world,
and sat for many years with his thoughts and his memories. He
briefly came out of his self-imposed exile in 1977 for an
appearance on Saturday Night Live.