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Four Memorable Takes On Timeless Rock Standard 'Wild Thing'

The Troggs 'Wild Thing' was first released on this day in 1966. Here's four unforgettable versions of the classic rock anthem

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

As he later proved with a definitive deconstruction of Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower, Jimi Hendrix had a knack for re-imagining songs in a fashion that totally eclipsed the original version. His jaw-dropping take on Reg Presley’s song at the 1967 Monterrey Pop Festival featured roaring feedback, prolonged amp-humping and much phallic posturing, culminating in the great man dousing his Stratocaster in lighter fuel and setting it alight. At the risk of sounding like X Factor’s Louis Walsh, it’s fair to say he made the song his own.

Sam Kinison

It’s considered bad manners to speak ill of the dead, but we’re going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the success of Sam Kinison’s version of the song had less to do with the late comedian’s ‘energetic’ vocals, and everything to do with the presence of Playboy model/actress Jessica Hahn in the song’s star-studded video, which featured Billy Idol, Slash and members of Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue and Ratt drooling over the young lady’s pneumatic cleavage. Stay classy everyone.

Oliver Reed featuring Ned’s Atomic Dustbin

And just when thought we’d reached the bottom of the barrel… For those mercifully unaware of its existence, The Word was a late night British TV show which featured inane celebrity interviews, incredible live music (from Nirvana, Hole, Faith No More, L7, Sepultura and Huggy Bear, among others) and a succession of absolute berks intent upon proving that the UK was the stinking armpit of Europe in cultural terms. The show reached its nadir with this unhinged collaboration between a barely conscious Oliver Reed and Stourbridge fraggles Neds Atomic Dustbin in 1992. File under ‘Sweet Jesus, Make It Stop.’

Animal

It’s Animal, from The Muppets, doing Wild Thing. What else do you need to know?

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.