Wild Thing: A Rocky Road by Pete Staples - review

On the Trogg

Cover art for Wild Thing: A Rocky Road by Pete Staples

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Although Troggs bassist Pete Staples was sacked the year before 1970’s infamous Troggs Tapes cemented the band’s “brickies-turned-pop stars” image, his memoir is unwittingly bathed in similarly naïve country logic (expletives detailed).

Rich in rural working-class roots and tour japes but low on jaw-hanging insights beyond late singer Reg Presley being a sneakily rich “arsehole” who betrays him to his face, Staples takes the barroom bard approach to revisit that time when bands were hyped to stardom, sent on merciless tours, ripped off by predatory managers and recorded on the fly; for the Troggs, producing hits from Wild Thing to Love Is All Around (most mentioned briefly before the next fart-lighting or red-faced trouser escapade).

Staples’ crudely-edited tale predominantly favours a lighthearted approach, only mentioning The Tapes that clinched immortality (and influenced Spinal Tap) to illustrate the band’s tendency to swear. Best read in an Andover accent with sporadically inserted “Oi shit ’em”.

Kris Needs

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!