The Troggs Tapes

These tapes helped inspired the movie Spinal Tap and The Troggs were forever known for these tapes just as much as their big hits like Wild Thing, A Girl Like You, and Love Is All Around. If you are a rock fan and a comedy fan…I think you will like it.

They were working on a song in a session in 1970 but things weren’t going well, and the session degenerated into a F bomb fest…but a hilarious F bomb fest. A copy of the recording somehow made it onto the bootleg market and became legendary. Saturday Night Live even parodied the Troggs Tapes in a sketch with Bill Murray and John Belushi except using “flogging” in place of the real word.

A friend of mine had a tape of this in the 80s. It was many generations old but it was really funny. We would listen to it over and over and cry laughing. You can see where Spinal Tap got a lot of their ideas. The F word is used liberally to say the least. I’m positive the Troggs were not the only band to have these kind of talks but their engineer (Clive Franks) who evidently had a great sense of humor let the tapes roll….and later it was passed around as a bootleg.

Later on when Clive Franks was asked by his boss (Dick James) about the tape…he thought he was fired…but James wanted a copy…then the Troggs wanted to hear it including their lead singer Reg Presley…at first he was unhappy with the release, but later gave a positive opinion of it.

Later on Clive Franks was introduced to George Harrison as “the guy who made the Troggs Tapes” and George shook his hand and told him how much he enjoyed it.

This tape made it around to every major performer in the 1970s. Everyone from Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, Jeff Lynne, to George Harrison.

The release gave the Troggs an infamous reputation, though it also raised their public profile. Though the band’s career collapsed shortly after the session, it was revitalized by the bootleg’s notoriety and led to the band reforming and becoming popular with punk rock audiences towards the end of the 1970s.

If you have sensitive or virgin ears…don’t listen!

“Put a Little Bit of F***ing Fairy Dust Over the Bastard!”

This is a partial transcript…you don’t really need it to follow the “conversation.”

Ronnie Bond: “That is a fuckin’ No 1! If that baaa-stard don’t go, then Oi’ll fuckin’ retoire. Oi fuckin’ do!”

Dennis Berger (producer): “I agree – I think it is a good song.”

Ronnie: “But it fuckin’ well won’t be unless we spend a little bit of fuckin’ thought and imagination to fuckin’ make it a fuckin’ No 1. You’ve got to put a little bit of fuckin’ fairy dust over the baaa-stard!”

Dennis: “Well, we’ll put some fairy dust over it – I’ll piss over the tape.”

Ronnie: “Oi don’t know what it needs, Den …”

Dennis: “Aaah! I know that it needs strings – that I do know.”
Reg Presley: “You’ve got to have a fuckin’ bloke who says: ‘Oi’ve got a fuckin’ sound in here that’s fuckin’ great.'”

Tony Murray: “We need a producer who says: ‘You’re not doing that; you’re fuckin’ doing this.'”

Dennis: “Did you do exactly what Larry Page said?”

Chorus: “Yep!”

Tony: “That’s how they had hit records.”

Reg: “Because there was just one fuckin’ mind on it – not fuckin’ seven or eight.”

Ronnie: “We didn’t even fuckin’ get a say in it – it was fuckin’, wham, it was in the can regardless. You reckon that was bad? Fuck me! One take, that’s it, finish. You never ‘ad a fuckin’ say – it was out. As weak and fuckin’ insipid we used to think.”

Reg: “We thought With A Girl Like You was fuckin’ terrible and let’s go and do it again. And that was the only fuckin’ time he let us fuckin’ have our way. And could we get anything fuckin’ better?”

Ronnie: “No.”

Reg: “Fuckin’ … the first thing he fuckin’ did was it.”

Ronnie: “All fuckin’ day. We went in there at nine o’ clock and we didn’t come out till, fuck, about three o’clock the next fuckin’ morning, and they had Mick Jagger, you name it, they were fuckin’ in there to try and make it better.”

Reg: “What about a fuckin’ 12-string on it?”

Dennis: “Play the beginning again, Barry.”

(The identity of “Barry” is now lost in the mists of time. Vigorously-strummed guitar chords are affirmed as just the ticket by a slightly demented shriek of “Yeah! … No!!” from Reg.)

Reg: “You ‘ad it there at the beginning. Ron. It was soundin’ good. Ron?

Ronnie? Just listen for a sec …”

Ronnie: “You can say that all fuckin’ night, but Oi just cannot feel it any other than what Oi’ve been fuckin’ doing it.”

Reg: “You have played it tonight.”

Ronnie: “Don’t expect fuckin’ miracles just like that.

Reg: “It’s fuckin’ there – better than there. Oi can’t fuckin’ hear it any other way but that.”

Reg: “But you have done it. You did it.”

Tony: “Play duh-duh duh-duh duh duh.”

Reg: “No, no more beats.”

Tony: “Play duh-duh duh-duh duh-chuh on whatever drum you were playing it on originally.”

Reg: “You did it. You went duh-duh duh-duh duh chuh.”

Ronnie: “You can say that all fuckin’ night, but you won’t listen.”

Tony: “We can keep on trying …”

Ronnie: “You can say that all fuckin’ night, but you won’t listen.”
Tony: “We can keep on trying …”

Ronnie: “Yeah – well just shut your fuckin’ mouth for five minutes and give me a fuckin’ chance to do it. Don’t keep fuckin’, right into that fuckin’ microphone. Duh duh derh duh duh derh. Fuck me, Reg. Just fuck off, in there, and just keep going, fuckin’ do it, don’t just …”

Reg: “Well, just fuckin’ think, then.”

Ronnie: “Don’t just keep saying they’re not loud enough. Oi know they’re fuckin’ right. Oi can hear it ain’t right. Weeell, fuck me.”

Reg: “You can hear it’s fuckin’ not right, too.”

Ronnie: “Oi fuckin’ can, and Oi’m the one that’s playing it so Oi don’t want to hear … fuck … fuck … in me fuckin’ head, that’s what Oi gotta fuckin’ do, then Oi’ll do it. Yer big pranny.”

(Tum-tum-tum-ti-tum, goes the bass guitar. Tum-tum-tum-ti-tum, tum-tum-tum-ti-tum…)

Reg(quietly): “Fuckin’ drummer. Oi shit ’em. Duh duh derh duh duh derh, duh duh derh duh duh derh.”

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(Enter the guitar)

Reg: “One, two, a one, two, three, four … Yer doing it fuckin’ wrong!”

Ronnie: “Oi know Oi am.”

Reg: “Dubba dubba dubba chah, dubba dubba dubba chah, dubba dubba dubba chah, dubba dubba … You din i’ in the beginning. Bloody hell, Oi can’t play to tha’.”

Ronnie: “Nor can fuckin’ Oi.”

Reg: “Well, you’re fuckin’ doin’ it!”

Ronnie: “Well, Oi can’t fuckin’ play to it either.”

Reg: “Hahahaha. Why don’t you just do what you fuckin’ started out doing – dubba dubba dubba chah. On your top one, dubba dubba dubba chah. Dubba dubba dubba chah.”

(On tom tom, Ronnie attempts to follow his singer’s sage advice. It sound hopeless.)

Reg: “Nooooo!”

Ronnie: (very heatedly) “Why don’t you fuckin’ … You’re talking out of the back of your fuckin’ aaaarse because all you want then is the same fuckin’ thing that Oi was playing fuckin’ originally in that baaa-stard.”

Reg: “But on different fuckin’ drums!”

Ronnie: [agitated] “Then all you want, then, is fuckin’ tha’ one, and the fuckin’ bass drum playing the same thing.”

Reg: “You’re the fuckin’ drummer!”

Ronnie: “Yes, you fuckin’ do, ‘cos that’s all you’re fuckin’ doing. You ain’t playing any fuckin’ thing else – orl roi’, Oi’ll play tha’. Oi’m goin’ nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-bomp, nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-bomp …” (He thumps in dull accompaniment, sarcastically).

Reg: “You don’t fuckin’ listen, that’s your trouble. Oi’m only asking you to do half of it on one drum, half of it on the other and the bang wherever you want to bang … Ronnie, can you ‘ear me? Wha’ abou’ trying’ i’ not just on that top skin floor and then your floor tom-tom, but split your hands so’s that one beat is doin’ it on the top drum, one’s doin’ it on the floor tom tom, then your bass.”
(A tinny tattoo beats out gamely.)

Reg (philosophically): “Fuckin’ drummer. Oi shit ’em.”