- Greenpeace video warns that climate change is wrecking Santa’s home
- Herman Cain profiled in ‘Political Power’ comic book
- Hagel renews Qatar defense pact despite differences over Iran, Syria
- Fire departments fear Obamacare will gut volunteer ranks
- Rep. Alan Grayson loses $18M in stock scheme
- Christmas secularists get 6-foot beer-can Festivus pole at Florida Statehouse
- George Zimmerman’s girlfriend flips on assault: Let ‘my boyfriend’ go
- Lululemon Athletica chairman quits after firestorm over his fat-thighs comment
- CBS’ beleaguered Lara Logan gets a cheerleader — Dan Rather
- Jesus tops list as most significant figure in history; Mohammed at 4th
The Troggs’ Reg Presley dies at 71
1966’s ‘Wild Thing’ remains a classic
LONDON — The structure is simple, the guitar riffs basic, the lyrics at best inane, but the Troggs’ “Wild Thing” remains a garage-rock classic more than 45 years after its release made the Troggs and lead singer Reg Presley international stars.
Mr. Presley, whose raunchy, suggestive voice powers this paean to teenage lust, died Monday after a yearlong struggle with lung cancer that had forced him and the band into reluctant retirement, his agent Keith Altham announced on Facebook late Monday night. He was 71.
“My dear old pal Reg Presley of The Troggs died today,” he said, calling Mr. Presley “one very real person in a sometimes very unreal world.” He said the singer had suffered a number of strokes recently and died at his home in Andover, 70 miles west of London, surrounded by his family and friends.
The Troggs, part of the British invasion spurred by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, perfected a simple, hard-driving approach to the three-minute rock song that was miles away from the lyrical art-rock of the Beatles or the poetic songs of Bob Dylan.
This was rock music at its “boy meets girl” basics, with a caveman’s approach to romance — and it created such a powerful image that Mr. Presley and the band played these songs to appreciative (if smaller) audiences until illness intervened.
Jon Voight said in 2007 that he fell on the floor laughing when he first heard “Wild Thing.”
“I came up saying ‘It’s a hit! They won’t be able to get it off their tongues.’ It was such a fun song,” he said.
However, the original recording by Jordan Christopher & The Wild Ones in 1965 was quickly forgotten. It took the Troggs’ cover, released the following year, to make it a classic.
With its basic three-chord approach and driving beat, “Wild Thing” became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic and has been covered by literally hundreds of bands.
The song was picked up not only by semi-skilled garage bands the world over — the lead guitar lines were easily copied — but also by masters like Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen who treasured the song’s raw energy.
The Troggs, all from the Andover area, had several other big hits, including “Love is All Around” and “With a Girl Like You.”
They faded in the 1970s but their songs were revived in the 1990s when REM and Wet Wet Wet released covers of “Love Is All Around.”
Mr. Presley, also a prolific songwriter, helped found the Troggs in the 1960s while he was working as a bricklayer.
Born Reg Ball, he took the stage name “Mr. Presley” at his manager’s suggestion.
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- Oregon fails to sign up single person on health care website as states struggle
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- George Zimmermans girlfriend flips on assault: Let my boyfriend go
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow