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.”


(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.”

The Troggs – Wild Thing

I’ve covered all of the Troggs hits except their international smash Wild Thing. In the late seventies, I bought this single when I heard Hendrix cover it…such a simple guitar riff but very effective. The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #2 in the UK in 1966.

If you were in a garage band in the sixties…or now you probably have played this song. This is the Troggs claim to the fame in the history of Rock and Roll. They had other good songs but nothing that had this much influence. The song is as raw as you could get at the time. It could be said that it was one of the first punk songs.

From Songfacts

This was written by a songwriter named Chip Taylor, who has made tons of money from it because it has been recorded by many artists and is constantly being used in movies and TV shows. Taylor used a lot of this money to gamble – for years he bet about $10,000 a day and was kicked out of every casino in Las Vegas for card counting. He also wrote “Angel Of The Morning,” which was a hit for Merrilee Rush in 1968. Taylor is the brother of actor Jon Voight and the uncle of Angelina Jolie.

The style of music exemplified in this song became known as “Caveman Rock.” The Troggs is short for “troglodyte” (meaning “cave dweller”), which helped bolster this image. Over the next few years, The Troggs moved away from this Neanderthal sound and had a big hit in 1968 the much more evolved “Love Is All Around.”

A New York group called Jordan Christopher & The Wild Ones were the first to record this, but their version flopped. That group was best known for their outrageous hairstyles.

The Troggs’ first single flopped. For their second single, their producer/manager Larry Page had them choose between “Wild Thing” and The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind.” They went with “Wild,” recording the song using studio time booked for an orchestra session Page was running. When that session ended 45 minutes early and the musicians shuffled out, The Troggs quickly set up and blew through “Wild Thing” and what would be their next hit, “With A Girl Like You,” in about 20 minutes. It was mixed live as they recorded it.

The way the song stops and starts up again was inspired by Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel.”

When Chip Taylor originally demoed this basic three-chord song in 1965, he didn’t take it too seriously. He later told Rolling Stone magazine: “I was on the floor laughing when I was through.” Taylor added in Mojo magazine September 2008: “‘Wild Thing’ came out in a matter of minutes. The pauses and the hesitations are a result of not knowing what I was going to do next.”

This was released simultaneously on Atco and Fontana Records. The Troggs were from England, and sent their manager to the US to make a distribution deal as Fontana (their British label) was initially hesitant to release it in North America. Fontana changed its mind and shortly afterwards, the manager returned with a signed distribution contract with Atco. Because both singles used the same master recording, the compilers of the Billboard Hot 100 decided to combine the two singles (which had different B-sides) into one chart position. It is the only single to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 while being offered on two different labels simultaneously.

That crazy whistling instrument in the break is an ocarina, which is an Eastern instrument that dates back thousands of years. The original version of the song recorded by Jordan Christopher & The Wild Ones had whistling in the break, but The Troggs identified the ocarina from the demo they heard of the song and got one to record it. This gave the song a very distinctive sound and was a great talking point for the band. The next hit song to use an ocarina was “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” by John Mellencamp, which used the instrument as a tribute to this song as part of his pastiche of ’60s rock.

In 1967, this was revived as a parody recording by a comedy troupe called The Hardly Worthit Players. Their version ht #20 in the US, and was recorded under the name Senator Bobby. It was a send-up of the popular Senator from New York (and younger brother of President John), Robert F. Kennedy, and loaded with in-jokes about Democratic party politics and RFK’s family. The interplay between “Senator Bobby” and the producer is outlandish. The B-side was a send-up of the popular Senator from Illinois, Everett Dirkson, loaded with in-jokes about Republican party politics. The interplay between the “senator” and the producer on the “response” to “Senator Kennedy’s hit record” is equally funny. The voice of Senator Bobby was James Voight, brother of actor Jon Voight. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968 while running for President. Everett Dirkson died in 1969.

The parody version by The Hardly Worthit Players was one of the last hits for the Cameo/Parkway empire before it went belly-up in early 1969. A former Beatles and Rolling Stones manager bought the original tapes of all product by the company, then changed its name to ABKCO. He still owns the rights and refuses to issue any of them on CD.

Five years after The Troggs recorded this, Jimi Hendrix released his version. It was one the few songs Hendrix recorded that he did not write, and it gave the song new life on rock radio stations, as Jimi worked it over in his legendary guitar style. This is the song Hendrix is playing in the Monterey Pop Festival footage where he sets his guitar on fire.

Sam Kinison recorded a version of this in 1988 with a video featuring Jessica Hahn, who was famous for having an affair with televangelist Jim Bakker. Also appearing in the video were Slash, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Billy Idol and Tommy Lee.

A version by Cheap Trick was used in the 1992 movie Encino Man, starring Brendan Fraser as a caveman who comes back to life in a Los Angeles suburb. It was also a big part of the 1989 movie Major League, where Charlie Sheen played Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, a relief pitcher with control problems who becomes a star when he gets glasses and starts throwing strikes. This song was his theme music and was copied in real life by Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Mitch Williams, who entered games with the song playing. Williams was known for his reckless, but effective fastball until 1993, when he became known for giving up the home run to Joe Carter that won the World Series.

It quickly became commonplace for dominant closers to enter the game with a specific theme song playing when they made the trip from the bullpen to the mound. Trevor Hoffman of the San Diego Padres came in to “Hell’s Bells” by AC/DC, and Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees had Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” as his music.

After their first single flopped, The Troggs moved from CBS to DJM, Dick James’ label. Reg Presley recalled to Mojo magazine April 2008 his initial reaction to “Wild Thing”: “There was a guy there (at DJM) called Dennis Berger, who had a heap of demos on his desk. The first one I picked up was Wild Thing. I took a look at the lyric sheet and read: ‘Wild Thing-you make my heart sing-you make everything groovy.’ It seemed so corny, I thought, Oh my God, what are they doing to us! Then I played Chip Taylor’s demo- just guitar and him- and it was incredible. The other boys all liked it too. Chip Taylor later told us our version was just what he wanted.”

In the same Mojo interview, Reg Presley recalled the recording of this song at London’s Regent Sound studio: “We recorded Wild Thing and With A Girl Like You at the same session. We had about three-quarters of an hour to get our gear set up for them to get a balance, then record and get out. It was at the end of a session Larry Page and his orchestra had booked. Larry was our manager and said we could have any time left over. So we recorded very fast-and for rawness, you can’t whack it.”

Wild Thing

Wild thing
You make my heart sing
You make everything groovy
Wild thing
Wild thing, I think I love you
But I wanna know for sure
Come on and hold me tight
I love you

Wild thing
You make my heart sing
You make everything groovy
Wild thing

Wild thing, I think you move me
But I wanna know for sure
So come on and hold me tight
You move me

Wild thing
You make my heart sing
You make everything groovy
Wild thing
Oh, come on, wild thing
Shake it, shake it, wild thing

The Troggs – Love Is All Around

We will start off the new year with a little love from 1968. The Troggs are my favorite 60’s garage rock/punk band. Their big claim to fame was “Wild Thing” in 1966. The song peaked at #7 in the Billboard 100, #6 in Canada, and #5 in the UK.

Troggs lead singer Reg Presley wrote this in about 10 minutes. He was inspired by the Joy Strings Salvation Army band he’d seen on TV

The Troggs are not the only band to have success with this song. Wet, Wet, Wet recorded this song and it peaked at #41 and #1 in the UK in 1994.

REM and the Troggs made an album together called Athens Andover… REM later released a live version of this song.

From Songfacts.

Reg Presley’s real name is Reginald Ball, he adopted the name of Presley in 1966 as a publicity stunt.

In 1994 this became a huge hit when Wet Wet Wet covered it for the movie Four Weddings And A Funeral. The band chose it over Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and Barry Manilow’s “Can’t Smile Without You” even though some of their members hadn’t heard it before. Their version was UK #1 for 15 weeks and became the best selling single in the UK in 1994.

The UK record for longest stay at #1 is held by Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You).” Wet Wet Wet’s record company tried to tie this record by announcing they were pulling the single after 16 weeks, hoping people would rush out to buy it. The plan failed and Whigfield knocked them out of #1 with “Saturday Night.” Wet Wet Wet claimed they asked their record company to pull the song because they were sick of it. Their version does hold the record for most weeks at #1 for a UK based act. In the US it reached #41.

When this was revived by Wet Wet Wet, Reg Presley got massive royalties as the songwriter. He denoted the proceeds to crop circle research.

R.E.M. did a cover of this as well, which they played on an episode of MTV Unplugged. The video for this can be found on their VHS/DVD This Film Is On, featuring all the videos for the songs off their 1991 album Out Of Time

Presley recalled the inspiration for the song in the July 2011 edition of Mojo magazine: “I got back from America, I smelt the Sunday lunch cooking (inhales deeply), phaaaaw – after about 25 years on burgers – I kissed my wife, my little daughter, four years old. We went into the lounge and those Salvation Girls, The Joystrings, were on television, banging their tambourines and singing something, ‘Love, love,’ love.’ I went over to turn it off, knelt down and hearing that ‘Love, love’ I got a bass line, (sings) ‘doom, doom doom, doom doom, doom doom, doom,’ and I got: ‘I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes. My wife, my kid… And so the feeling grows.'”

 Love Is All Around

I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes
Love is all around me and so the feeling grows
It’s written on the wind, it’s everywhere I go
So if you really love me, come on and let it show

You know I love you, I always will
My mind’s made up by the way that I feel
There’s no beginning, there’ll be no end
‘Cause on my love you can depend

I see your face before me, as I lay on my bed
I kinda get to thinking of all the things you said
You gave a promise to me, and I gave mine to you
I need someone beside me in everything I do

You know I love you, I always will
My mind’s made up by the way that I feel
There’s no beginning, there’ll be no end
‘Cause on my love you can depend

It’s written on the wind, it’s everywhere I go
So if you really love me, come on and let it show
Come on and let it show
Come on and let it show
Come on and let it show
Come on and let it show
Come on and let it show