THE TROGGS TAPES
Ronnie: Whether you think so or not, that is a number-fucking one, and if that bastard don't go, then I'll fucking retire! I fucking do!
Dennis: I think it is a good song. I agree, it is a good song.
Ronnie: But it fucking well won't be unless we spend a little bit of fucking thought and imagination to fucking make it a fucking number one. You gotta put a little bit of fucking fairy dust over the bastard, you know…..
Dennis: Oh, we'll put some fairy dust over it. I'll piss over the tape.
Reg: I'm a fairy!
Ronnie: Do you know what I mean? I don't know what it needs then…
Ronnie: But I know that it needs…
Dennis: I know that it needs strings. That I do know.
Ronnie: And it needs something at the beginning of that number to make it…the…somebody remember it…
Tony: Look, yeah. While we're arguing here we could be trying to get some, some sound out there. Trying to get something we like.
Tony: So what do you suggest we do then? Give it up for the night?
Dennis. No! Not at all! I don't say give it up! I'll stay here 'til tomorrow night.
Tony: Well then, what's wrong?
Dennis: Just provided we get something going.
Reg: We will. We will.
Reg: We'll get something going, we're just trying different things.
Ronnie: But it's, that, what he was playing, agreed…the sound..it's something going, but it ain't what we want.
Tony: Listen, we got about, what? We got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, about 6 producers in here tonight.
Dennis: We haven't got 6 producers.
Tony: Yes we have. If we had one producer here tonight, we'd get it right. He would get it the way he thinks it should be. But because we haven't got a producer, we're all fucking pitching in ideas.
Dennis: Yeah, well we always do that.
Tony: Which are probably, most of them are wrong, you know?
Dennis: Not necessarily. They're not necessarily wrong.
Tony: Yeah, but most of them are wrong, but we're trying, and it makes his life fucking hell. You get one producer, and it'd be great. But we haven't got a producer, we were supposed to have a fucking producer, but we haven't got one.
Reg: So, this is what is been going fucking wrong. You've gotta have a fucking bloke that says, "I've got a fucking sound in here that's fucking great! Come in here and have a fucking listen to it. And you come in here and it's probably a different fucking tune, nearly. But if it's fucking good? Yeah, that's it. But when we go through that door, we think, oh fuck, no. You know?"
Dennis: But what would you'd said if the producer would have been here and he would have left it exactly as it is? As you've got it now?
Tony: What producer would do that?
Dennis: I don't know. He might be, you don't know. He might say, "Keep it like that and put whatever else strings, or whatever.
Tony: We wouldn't have signed a contract with him in the first place.
Tony: Any producer.
Dennis: You don't have to sign a contract with him. You don't have to sign a contract with a producer to have a record produced.
Tony: We thank you and good night. If we left it the way it is now.
Dennis: Ah, you see then you'd argue with him.
Tony: Yeah, but we'd fix it and leave it like that.
Dennis: You don't know.
Tony: What producer would sort it out?….
Dennis: You know, he might say we'll put other things on it. Or overdub, you know, we'll put strings on it, or brass, or whatever his idea on or fucking wobble board, I don't know. But would you agree to that?
Ronnie: Well for a fucking start I don't suppose he'd even fucking…..
Tony: I'd agree to listen to what he's got to say.
Dennis: Oh yeah, sure. But would you agree? Would you have a producer sit here and say, "That's it!"?
Reg: Within the first half an hour, I'd either have faith in the cunt, or I wouldn't.
Tony: That is what we want. That is what we need. Because you can see the way we're going on. We need a producer to say, "No, you're not doing that, you're fucking doing this." That's what we need.
Dennis: Well, then I don't think you'd wear it.
Reg: We would.
Reg: We would. If we had faith in him. And we'd know whether we had faith in him within the first fucking half an hour.
Dennis: Did you do exactly what Larry Page said?
Tony: That's how they had hit records.
Reg: Because there was just one fucking mind on it. Not fucking 7 or 8.
Tony: Until we had that fucking row, we didn't even fucking get a say in it. It was fucking wham, and it was in the can.
Ronnie: Regardless, you reckon that was bad? Fuck me. He used to, you know, I mean one take, that's it. Finished. We'd say, eh, eh? You never had a fucking say in it. It was out. As weak and fucking insipid used to think, well fucking hell. The bastard was in fucking charge.
Reg: We thought 'With a girl like you' was fucking terrible and we said let's in and do it again. And that was the only fucking time he let us fucking (Background voice - have our way) have our way. And could we get anything fucking better? (No) Fucking, the first thing he fucking did - was it.
Ronnie: We spent all day. All fucking day. We were in there at 9 o'clock and we didn't come out until fuck, like, 3 o'clock the next fucking morning. And he had, Mick Jagger, you name them, they were fucking in there …. to try and make it better … and they couldn't.
Tony: Anyway, Chris is sitting out there wondering what he's fucking going to do. Now, what are we going to do?
Reg: What about a fucking 12 string on it? Doing what he was doing. That sounded sort of full.
Dennis: Play the beginning, play the beginning again Barry.
Tony: Tell you what we can do. We can put that on. Let's just put it on. It can always be taken off afterwards…..because we're not going to mix down tonight anyway.
Dennis: Play the beginning again.
Reg: That thing's empty, and unless you can get really something exceptional…
Dennis: Just play the beginning again.
Reg: [Music starts up] Yeah!.....No!
Reg: You had it there at the beginning Ron. It was sounding good. Well just…Ron…Ronny? Just listen for a sec…
Ronnie: …all fucking night. I just cannot feel it any other way that what I've been fucking doing it.
Reg: You have played it tonight.
Ronnie: Well you better fucking forget it, 'cos I ain't going to be able to do it, I'll tell you that now. I cannot fucking do it…I don't know, because if that's the case, then we should fucking find out before we ever get to the fucking studio. We want to fucking do that, that and that, because we've been doing it every …
Reg: It's easy. You've done it tonight. …every fucking week, it's been going 'da da da da da… you know.
Ronnie: You don't expect fucking miracles just like that Reg, it's fucking in there, embedded in there. I can't fucking hear it any other way but that.
Reg: But you have done it. You did it.
Chris: It is exactly the same rhythm as you were playing before. It's da da da da da ja, da da da da da. On different drums, that's all.
Reg: You're doing da da ba boom boom ba.
Chris: Play da da da da da ja.
Reg: No, no more beats.
Chris: Just play da da da da da ja. Or whatever drums you were playing Ron, originally. How you've got them embedded in there.
Ronnie: Yeah, alright. Alright.
Tony: And then just start moving it about with different drums…. What you were doing is exactly the same as what you were doing originally, only different drums.
Ronnie: Yeah I know.
Reg: Yeah…and you did it. And you did it. You went da da da da….
Ronnie: You can say that all fucking night but you won't listen.
Chris: We can keep on trying and then we can get it together.
Ronnie: Yeah, well just shut your fucking mouths for five minutes. It'll give me a fucking chance to do it. Don't keep fucking …?..ing that fucking microphone. Da da da. Da da da.
Ronnie: Fuck me Reg.
Ronnie: Just fuck off.
Reg: Yeah, well you fucking think, then…we're not just..
Ronnie: Just keep going…we're working through it.
Reg: Don't just keep saying, "Ah, yeah, well that ain't right". I know that ain't fucking right. I can fucking hear it ain't right, you cunt.
Ronnie: Well, fuck me.
Reg: We can hear it's fucking not right too.
Ron: I fucking can and I'm the cunt that's playing it so when I'm fucking hearing it in my fucking head, yeah, that's what I gotta fucking do. Then I'll do it! You big pranny.
Tony: Listen, we keep on playing it and just fucking play what you think is right.
Chris: Fucking up….Ok…can you sing along with it? 'Cos then we'll know where we are…
Reg: Fucking drummer, I shit him. Da da da da da…Da da da da da …..(What about a fucking count then?)… 1, 2, a 1, 2, 3, 4…You're doing it fucking wrong….laughs….dubba dubba dubba cha, dubba dubba dubba cha, dubba dubba dubba cha, dubba dubba….you did it, you did it in the beginning. Bloody hell, I can't play with that! …..Hey?
Ronnie: Nor can I…Nor can fucking I…
Reg: Well you're fucking doing it.
Background voice: I can't fucking play to it either…
Reg: Why don't you just do what you fucking started out doing? Dubba dubba dubba cha. Yeah, on your top one…dubba dubba dubba cha….[drumming] dubba dubba dubba cha….No!
Reg: da da da da da cha….. da da da da da cha……… da da da da da cha [drumming]
Ronnie: Why ain't you fucking, you're talking out the back of your fucking arses, because all you want then is the same fucking thing that I was playing fucking …. You bastards….
Reg: On different fucking drums…on different drums.
Ronnie: Well then, all you want then is the fucking that one and the fucking bass drum. They're the same thing…
Reg: You're the fucking drummer…You're the drummer.
Ronnie: Yes, you fucking do! 'Cos that's all you're fucking doing. You ain't playing any fucking thing else.
Background Voice: Play that one.
Reg: Alright, I'm playing that. [Drumming]. Da da da da da dum… da da da da da dum
Ronnie: ….You're changing the fucking thing completely….You can't fucking do it…Won't listen…[Drumming over muffled voices].
Chris: Exactly the same thing on different drums.
Reg: You don't fucking listen, that's your trouble.
Ronnie: I didn't say we want different things..on fucking different drums…We want da da da da da
Reg: You do…We're saying what you…And you did it…And you fucking did it…Dubba dubba da cha. Dubba dubba da cha.
Chris: And then change it around and do it the other fucking way around.
Ronnie: Oh fuck it….[mumbles]..fuck….
Ronnie: It's the fucking…always fucking get this…you don't….
Reg: You should have a little more time than to be able to just whip it over and change it entirely.
Ronnie: Not while I keep getting in ….
Reg: In fact, we're not asking you to change it much. 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.
Reg: Ronny, can you hear me?
Reg: What about, trying it, not only, not on that top, just on that top skin floor, and then your floor tom-tom. But try it on, split your hands, so's that one beat is doing it on the top, er drum, one's doing it on the floor tom-tom, then your bass. [Drumming]….Sounds better…hey?..top…top…
Atco and Fontana
July 9th, 1966
IN 1965, SONGWRITER CHIP TAYLOR was called in to bang out a rock tune for a now long-forgotten act by the name of Jordan Christopher and the Wild Ones. He came up with a riff in his New York office - "Wild Thing, you make my heart sing" - and hummed it all the way to the studio so he would remember it. Once there, he had engineer Ron Johnson roll the tape while he ad-libbed for five and a half minutes "I was on the floor laughing when I was through" Taylor says. Johnson joined in the fun, blowing a goofy whistling solo with his hands. In a few hours, they pared it down to the song Jimi Hendrix would later call "the national anthem" at the Monterey Pop Festival. But Taylor (who would later write the softer "Angel of the Morning") was embarrassed "As soon as I did it," he recalls, "I said, 'What is this monster? Is it too much?' Because, basically, it was just a guttural expression, some kind of sexual thought." When the Wild Ones' recording sank without a trace - ruined, Taylor says, by horns and polish - Taylor hoped "Wild Thing" would do the same.
His publishing company, however, had a deal to share its demos with a British publisher, and the song ended up in a stack considered by producer Larry Page for a new group called the Troggs (who took their name from the word troglodyte, or "cave dweller"). "They weren't sure if they liked it or hated it;' says Taylor. "They thought 'You make everything groovy' was a corny expression. But more they heard it, the more they wanted to do it, and they cut it in five minutes." The group - lead singer Reg Presley, guitarist Chris Britton, bassist Peter Staples and drummer Ronnie Bond - even matched the whistling solo note for note on an ocarina.
"Wild Thing" zoomed to Number One. In addition to Hendrix's classic cover, it engendered a Top Twenty parody in 1967 by Senator Bobby, Kennedy imitator. Today, Taylor is somewhat less embarrassed by his song.
"'Wild Thing' was an original expression" he says. "It's not like the chords don't sound like a thousand other songs, there's something within the simple structure that's magical. It's still inspired, even in its own dumbness."
SONGWRITER: Chip Taylor. PRODUCER: Larry Page. HIGHEST CHART POSITION: Number One. ALBUM: Wild Thing.