The Story Behind The Troggs' Wild Thing
The Troggs were the first to have a UK hit with a cover of it (No.2 in 1966) , but a long list of artists that includes Jimi Hendrix, Fancy, Sam Kinison, X, Prince, Warren Zevon and, most recently, Bruce Springsteen have put their spin on its simple chord progressions and sweaty lyrical sentiments. But the song's writer Chip Taylor (brother of actor Jon Voight) sees what many consider the ultimate distillation of pure, rock'n'roll heat as a more important step in musical history.
"I guess it is the most covered song on the planet," chuckles Taylor. "Particularly if you include all the kids who learned guitar by playing it."
It's easy to see why so many aspiring rockers took to the song as their first lesson. Strummed in a bluesy rock A-major and using a simple chord progression, Wild Thing was that raunchy, goofy ode to unbridled lust that anybody could relate to and that almost anybody could play – all the things that have made Wild Thing perfect cover fodder for major stars and rank amateurs alike.
However Taylor insists that Wild Thing in execution and intent was serious business. "I treat all my songs seriously," he says. "There was an honesty to the song. Sure, when you break it down there's not a lot to it. But when I was writing it, I was treating it as the most serious thing in the universe." more
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