The Troggs will be forever remembered for their primitive rock
anthem "Wild Thing", a No. 1 hit in the US in June
1966, selling many million copies.
Hailing from the town of Andover in southern England, The
Troggs (short for Troglodytes) consisted of Reg Presley on vocals,
Chris Britton, guitar, Pete Staples, bass guitar and Ronnie Bond
Larry Page was a budding record producer who had found success
with the Kinks recording of "You Really Got Me".
Following this success, he got a call from someone who said they
had a tape by a group who sang "You Really Got Me"
better than the Kinks. He listened to the tape and told them to
come back in a year's time, which they did...to the day! And so
the Troggs' first recording session began. "Lost Girl"
was released on CBS and according to the band, it got one play on
Radio Luxembourg...at 3 a.m.
However in 1965, The Wild Ones, a house band for a posh
discotheque run by Richard Burton's ex-wife Sybil recorded a song
called "Wild Thing", written by Chip Taylor, brother of
actor Jon Voigt and a performer in his own right. During a trip to
New York, Larry Page heard the demo of Wild Thing but wanted the
Troggs to record it as a B-side, reserving the A-side for The
Lovin' Spoonful's "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your
Mind" instead. The band however thought differently - all
those harmonies on the Spoonful song just wasn't them. The Larry
Page Orchestra had a session booked, and The Troggs were told to
wait outside in the van in case there was any studio time left.
They waited in their van until they got the signal. There was
three quarters of an hour for them to get their equipment in, get
a sound check, get the songs recorded and get out again.
"Wild Thing" and "With A Girl Like You" were
both recorded in two takes in ten minutes.
The Troggs continued to have many more hits in the UK: "With A Girl Like You", "I Can't Control
Myself", "Anyway That You Want Me", "Give It
To Me" and "Love Is All Around",
also composed by Reg Presley. They all followed
in rapid succession, giving The Troggs worldwide acclaim.
Dubbed by many as the "first British punk band", they
have continued playing in their own uncompromising style of good
basic rock music. Never strangers to controversy, many of their
records were considered by the "powers that be" too
suggestive for the masses, and they consequently banned them. How
anybody could judge Reg Presley's tongue in cheek delivery to be
dangerous to the morals of the young is hard to believe.
In 2012, frontman Reg
Presley retired and sadly, passed away from lung cancer in 2013.
The remaining members, Chris Britton (guitar), Pete Lucas (bass) and Dave Maggs
(drums) opted to continue the Troggs's legacy. Chris Allen on lead vocals, who has been in the Denny Laine Band, the Commitments and part-time with the
Animals, now prforms lead vocal.
Their appeal hold no age barriers, fans ranging from the stalwarts
who have supported them throughout the years to the many new fans
from the younger generation.