The Rutles Story
(the early years)
On January 21, 1959 the Rutles story began at 43 Egg Lane, Liverpool, where Ron Nasty and Dirk McQuickly first bumped into each other. Ron invited Dirk to help him stand up. Dirk, merely an ameteur drinker, agreed and on that spot a legend was created, a legend that will last a lunchtime. They were soon to be joined by Stig O’Hara, a guitarist of no fixed hairstyle, but it would be another two years before they found their regular drummer, Barrington Womble, hiding in the van. When they did, they persuaded him to change his name to save time and his haircut to save Brylcreem. He became simply Barry Wom.
They gained their first manager, Arthur Scouse, as part of a bet (which they lost). So impressed was he with their music that he sent them immediately to Hamburg. Thinking that Hamburg was just outside Liverpool they accepted. It turned out to be not only in Germany, but in the very worst part of Germany. The Reeperbahn Hamburg is one of the naughtiest streets in the world. This is where they ended up, far from home, and far from talented.
In those days there was a fifth Rutle, Leppo, who mainly stood at the back. He couldn’t play the guitar, but he knew how to have a good time, and in Hamburg that was more difficult. For five hungry working class lads there are worse places than prison, and The Rat Keller Hamburg is one. For fifteen months, night after night, they played the Rat Keller before they finally escaped and returned to Liverpool. In the rush they lost Leppo. He had crawled into a trunk with a small German Fraulien and was never seen again. (This inspired Nasty to write the song “Goose-Step Mama”.) His influence on the Rutles was so immeasurable that no one has ever bothered to measure it.