RIP: Troggs Singer Reg Presley Has Left The Building


The Troggs were the party in Austin Powers’ pants. Let the record show that Reg Presley’s libidinous lead vocal on The Troggs’ primal, garage-rock-defining stomp through “Wild Thing” remains the second or third greatest rock n’ roll vocal of all time. Right up there with Richard Berry’s gloriously indecipherable blurt on The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” and Little Richard’s rawboned shriek on “Lucille.” Also, The Troggs is the best band name ever. He will be missed.

REUTERS: Presley announced in January 2012 that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer after falling ill during a performance in Germany. He began chemotherapy and announced his retirement from the band at the time. Presley’s publicist did not immediately return calls seeking confirmation of his death on Monday. The singer’s friend and music publicist Keith Altham posted on Facebook on Monday that Presley had suffered several strokes recently. “He was one very real person in a sometimes very unreal world,” Altham said. “Our thoughts are with his wife Brenda and the family and those legion of fans who loved his music and his band. I will miss him hugely.” MORE

WIKIPEDIA: The Troggs formed in 1964 and were signed by Larry Page, manager of the Kinks, in 1965. Their most famous hit was the single “Wild Thing” (written by Chip Taylor) (the song on the b-side of the single depended on the country where it was sold), which with the help of television exposure on Thank Your Lucky Stars reached number 2 in the UK and number 1 in the United States in July 1966. Its combination of a simple heavy guitar riff and flirtatious lyrics helped it to quickly become a garage rock standard. It was recorded in one complete take (take two) at Olympic Studios in London, with Keith Grant engineering.  The band’s success in the US was also limited by not touring there until 1968. MORE

RELATED: Among musicians, the infamous Troggs Tapes is the tabula rasa of rock and roll memes. As band members Reg, Dennis, Tony and Ronnie desperately try to nail a take of a song, they progressively meltdown, bickering, ranting, and collectively uttering more “fucks” than Tony Montana in Scarface. The tapes are claimed to have been a source of inspiration for Spinal Tap. MORE

RELATED: Ron Wood was doing some studio work with Bob Dylan and over the course of the gig played Dylan the “Troggs Tapes”. Not unnaturally, Dylan thought they were very funny.It turned out that Troggs singer Reg Presley was working in an adjacent studio making a demo for a commercial. When Wood discovered this, he approached Dylan all excited, saying “Remember that guy on the tape I played you? Well, he’s next door right now!” Dylan says, “Really?! Wow, I gotta meet him. You gotta introduce me!” So Ron Wood takes Bob Dylan next door to find Reg disconsolately fumbling with a bass guitar. Dylan, by way of introduction, says “Hey, I didn’t know you played bass, man. How long you been playing bass?” Reg looks up and with a deep sigh says, “All fuckin’ afternoon, mate, all fuckin’ afternoon.” MORE

LISTEN: The Troggs Tapes [NSFW]

RELATED: The F***ing Troggs Tape Soundboard