Is Stig Dead?

Stig O'Hara, the Rutles' lead guitarist, pictured below in an early Cavern Club performance in Rutland in 1962, had hidden in the background so much that a rumour went around in 1969 that he was dead. According to the rumor, he was supposed to have been killed in a flash fire at a water bed shop and replaced by a plastic and wax replica from Madame Tussauds.

Several so-called "facts" helped the emergence of this rumour.

First, he never said anything in public. Even as the "quiet" one he had not said a word since 1962.

Secondly, on the cover of their then latest album, Shabby Road, he was wearing no trousers, and old Italian way of indicating death.

Thirdly, Nasty supposedly sings "I buried Stig" on the song I Am The Waitress from the Tragical History Tour album. In fact he sings "E burres stigano" which is very bad spanish for "Have you a water buffalo?"

Fourthly, on the Sgt. Rutter album he was leaning in the exact position of a dying Yeti (from the Rutland Book of the Dead).

And finally, if you sing the title of "Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band" backwards it is supposed to sound very like "Stig has been dead for ages honestly". In fact it sounds uncannily like "dnab bulc strad ylno srettur tnaegres".

Is Stig really dead? In recent years, "Stig" has joined in with several Rutles reunions, but since he never talks, there's no way of knowing if it's really the original Stig or not. In addition, over the years after the Rutles broke up, someone resembling Stig has been seen on stage as a member of Bonnie Raitt's band.

This page enhanced March 13, 1995
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