Following a fictionalized account of Dave Fishwick’s mission to establish a community bank in his small hometown, Burnley, Netflix’s ‘Bank of Dave’ takes the viewers on a story full of lively spirit. Dave and his friends, namely Hugh Stockwell, a lawyer from London, and Alexandra Ashforth, a local doctor, find several roadblocks in their path, particularly at the hands of the bankers at London finance institutions, who are reluctant to greenlight Dave’s bank. Nevertheless, the trio takes their adversaries’ attacks head-on and remains persistent in their mission.
In doing so, Dave receives help from his fellow Burnley citizens and friends within the community, with famous music promoter Rick Purdy emerging as a memorable contributor. As such, given the film’s roots in reality, paired with the man’s instrumental role within the story’s narrative, viewers must be curious to know if Rick Purdy is based on an actual person from the real-life Dave Fishwick’s life. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Rick Purdy is a Fictional Character
No, Rick Purdy, the Burnley-based music promoter from ‘Bank of Dave,’ is not based on a real person. Within the film’s pseudo-biographical narrative, Rick’s character and influence over Dave’s life is largely a work of fiction. Within the film, director Chris Foggin tells a “true-ish” story inspired by Dave Fishwick’s real life and career. Therefore, in doing the same, the film often diverges from reality in significant ways, particularly in its conclusion.
The film ends with Dave raising enough funds to meet the Finance Regulation Board’s demands and opening up his bank. In order to achieve this feat, the man finds miraculous help from an old friend, Rick Purdy. In ‘Bank of Dave’s’ fictional narrative, Rick is a famed English music promoter who has worked with and managed several big names in the country’s Rock music sectors. As a result, he’s made a close acquaintanceship with Dave, who helps him acquire minibusses for band tours through his automobile-supplying business.
Therefore, with access to contacts like Bad Company, Saxon, and Def Leppard, Rick is able to convince his clients-turned-close-friends to fundraise for Dave’s bank. As such, the man ends up being a vital player in saving Dave’s bank by organizing a charity Def Leppard concert for him in Burnley.
However, Rick’s most significant characteristic that helps him shape the film’s narrative is entirely fictitious. In real life, no such Def Leppard concert occurred in the early 2000s that helped Fishwick raise millions of pounds for his bank. Since the detail was only added as a way to provide an upbeat, inspiring, and feel-good conclusion to the tale, a lot of the elements surrounding that plot line are also rendered fictional.
When speaking about his band’s participation in the film, Joe Elliott, the lead singer of Def Leppard, told Planet Rock, “What they [the filmmakers] did is they kind of wrote us into the story, and they’ve obviously enhanced the story somewhat because our part in the movie didn’t really happen. One of his [Dave’s] mates, the character of one of his friends [Rick Purdy], knows me for 30 years [in the film] and says, I think I might be able to get Def Leppard to do a fundraiser for you.” Consequently, Dave’s contact with the Sheffield rock band— Rick Purdy— remains a fictional element.
Outside of the film, an English music promoter named Rick Purdy, who was a manager for bands like Saxon, Bad Company, and Def Leppard, does not exist. Furthermore, although the real-life Fishwick is a huge Def Leppard fan, his storyline revolving around the band, including his friend-of-a-friend connection, was fabricated for the film. Ultimately, Rick Purdy remains a fictional character, created by the film’s screenwriter, Piers Ashworth, as a link between Dave Fishwick and Def Leppard to incorporate the latter into the former’s fictionalized story.