Reg Presley: The Troggs singer who kept on gigging

 

Troggs frontman Reg Presley will be remembered as the singer on some of the most enduring hits of the 1960s and for one of rock's most famous outtakes.

Presley, 71, was born in Andover, Hampshire, founded the band in the early 1960s and only stopped touring in 2012 after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Their grungy take on "Wild Thing" was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic and was later covered by stars including Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen and and countless bar bands over the years.

The band scored a handful of other hits including "With A Girl Like You" and "I Can't Control Myself" before fading into obscurity in the 1970s.

For a while it looked like they were going to be mainly remembered for the Troggs Tapes, an expletive-ridden recording of the band arguing in the studio.

The much bootlegged recording is often reported as the inspiration for the mockumentary Spinal Tap.

But their proto-punk sound kept them gigging and their reputation rose again in the 1990s when first REM and then Wet Wet Wet covered their 1967 hit "Love Is All Around".

The band recorded an album with three members of REM and the success of the Wet Wet Wet version, which featured on the soundtrack of the hit film Four Weddings and a Funeral and spent 15 weeks at number one, allowed Presley to pursue his interest in crop circles and UFOs.

He published a book, Wild Things They Don't Tell Us, about the paranormal in 2002.

PA

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