'Wild Thing' Singer Dies

Reg Presley, one of the most influential garage rock singers of all time, has died at 71 after a career of inspiring artists as big as the Beatles, the Stooges and the Ramones.

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Reg Presley, the singer of the widely-influential garage rock song "Wild Thing" with The Troggs, has died at age 71.

The Troggs version of "Wild Thing", which you can hear below, went to number 1 in the US in 1966 and became an influence on artists like The Beatles, The Ramones, The Stooges and many others.

Jimi Hendrix famously burned his guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival after performing song, and it has also been covered by artists as varied as Chimaira, Bruce Springsteen and The Muppets.

Reg announced his retirement one year ago upon being diagnosed with lung cancer:

"I've had to call time on The Troggs and retire," he said at the time. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the cards and calls and for your love, loyalty and support over the years. I shall miss you all."

The Troggs formed in Andover, England and were signed by The Kinks' manager Larry Page in 1965. Other Troggs hits included the song "Love Is All Around" which had a resurgence in the early 90s when a cover version featured on the film "Four Weddings And A Funeral". The sudden boost in popularity led to the band collaborating with three members of R.E.M. on an album called "Athens Andover" in 1992.

Tributes have been pouring in from his friends and family. Music publicist Keith Altham updated fans on the specifics of his last days:

"My dear old pal Reg Presley of The Troggs died today at 1.00 surrounded by family and friends at his home in Andover following a succession of recent strokes and a losing battle with cancer. He was one very real person in a sometimes very unreal world. 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."

His daughter Karen added: "He passed away peacefully at home and myself, my brother and our mother were with him. We're absolutely heartbroken."

Watch "Wild Thing" by The Troggs featuring the late Reg Presley on vocals here:

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21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Damn. You gotta think about how many people were probably inspired to pick up a guitar just from that one riff...
    RIP indeed. You forget how much music is based off of this song and "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks. True legends.
    Way Cool JR.
    R.I.P Reg, you inspired many of people. Relevant: A cover of your song (my favorite cover) with a few other legends in it that have passed since then. May you all R.I.P
    Yes like you i am surprised you can earn money on the internet. Have you seen this page though? www.stop-****ing-spamming-on-ultimate-guitar-you-useless-pri cks.org
    Rest in peace.. Truly an innovator in a band that influenced a generation that continue to influence others. Rock On! \m/
    At the New Year's Bash I went too they had 500 people all singing Wild Thing. Still influencing our generation. R.I.P dude.
    I rember learning Wild Thing riff when I was 13. That along with Smoke on the water were my teo first songs. Now i'm playing prog rock and heavy metal. I'm grateful this song kept me going. RIP