Feb 052013

Reg Presley, singer for The Troggs, has died at 71. The band had a handful of excellent garage-rock classics, but they will forever be known for their version of “Wild Thing,” a song so simple and direct that just about any band has covered it at one time or another. However, no one has come close to matching The Troggs’ hit version, not even Jimi Hendrix, who felt compelled to light his guitar on fire to try in effort to keep pace with Presley and his mates’ incendiary performance. If a singer ever owned a song it was Reg Presley owning “Wild Thing.” Not even Brian Jones-era Mick Jagger could have out-snarled and out-leered his way through that song.

There would be no Stooges’ “No Fun” without Presley and his mates’ take on “Wild Thing.” What kind of world would we be living in without “No Fun”? I shudder the thought. There’s only one thing left to say…after the jump!


  15 Responses to “Troggs Singer Reg Presley to Take “Wild Thing” to His Grave”

  1. bostonhistorian

    I’ve always loved “Wild Thing” because the band sounded barely competent to me: they can’t even get it together for a real guitar solo, which makes them the precursor to punk rock in my mind…

  2. Suburban kid

    I so wish that clip in the tube station was in color. I’m picturing yellow and orange matching striped suits, but who knows?

    Was Reg Presley the Lee Elia of rock and roll? http://youtu.be/XcM2_ZjTLK8

    I’ll never tire of Wild Thing, and I wonder why I Want You never made it as a follow up (despite being a b-side):

  3. Rock Town Hall’s first Lee Elia reference?!?! Outstanding!

    The problem with “I Want You” is the guy wearing the stripe-less sweater on the single sleeve. It’s a wonder the A-side succeeded.

  4. Lest we forget: Any Way That You Want Me, With A Girl Like You, Love Is All Around, etc.

  5. RIP Reg.

    I was a single digit aged kid when I first heard The Troggs and I was hooked instantly. There was no doubting the meaning of the lyrics to Wild Thing even to a kid. Subtlety was not it’s intent. It moved me.

  6. misterioso

    Maybe the problem was that “I Want You” didn’t quite sound enough like “Wild Thing.” No denying that there was a certain limited but unmistakeable genius at work here.

  7. While “Wild Thing” is undoubtedly a classic I was never the biggest fan of the band. The attention given to them by Lester Bangs surprised me while R.E.M & Alex Chilton covers made me sit up too. Now I guess that I give a lower priority to subtlety in my rock n roll & keep finding tracks by the Troggs that sound like garage rock to me.
    Here’s the best live & in colour clip I have found. I think it’s fine that “Les Troggs” are cooler than the Parisian hippies.

  8. That is truly amazing!

    I had forgotten that Chip Taylor was Jon Voight’s brother.

    And is my memory correct that Larry Page is the Kinks’ one-time manager, immortalized on “The Money-go-round” (“Robert owes half to Grenville, who in turn gave half to Larry’)?

  9. 2000 Man

    He is very likeable. His interests are harmless. He is not mad.

    I hope that’s what people say about me. It seems like about the nicest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say about anyone. I hope Reg and Bob Welch finally know the real deal about the aliens now.

  10. diskojoe

    That clip came from a French TV show that was broadcast on New Year’s Eve 1968 & featured many French & English acts, such as Francoise Hardy, the Who, the Small Faces & Johnny Halliday:

    A bit of Francoise Hardy:

    Small Faces:


  11. diskojoe

    Your memory is correct, sir. Larry Page, who was the once (& future!) Kinks manager, also managed the Troggs. He put them on his Page One record label.

    I find it remiss that we haven’t mentioned this bit of Troggs lore yet:


  12. Page tried his hand at many things. Here he & his Orchestra butcher “Instant Karma” on an LP of Beatles covers.
    The 1965 “Kinky Music”, featuring Jimmy Page, is better. It’s just too early in the day to listen to a song titled “Erotic Soul” !

  13. hrrundivbakshi

    Thought everybody here might enjoy and appreciate this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6TywsL48Ww

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