5 February 2013
Last updated at 12:49
Reg Presley, the singer with British chart-toppers The Troggs, has died at the age of 71. The group scored five UK top 10 hits in 1966 and '67, including Wild Thing, With A Girl Like You, I Can't Control Myself and Love Is All Around. They also enjoyed success in the US at the height of the British Invasion, with Wild Thing hitting number one on the Billboard chart in 1966.
Formed in Andover, Hampshire, The Troggs became known for a rock 'n' roll formula that was more direct than peers like The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Kinks. With crunching guitar chords and Presley's primal vocals, their "caveman rock" was dismissed by some, but proved hugely popular and was a key influence on garage rock and punk.
The group enlisted a lion named Marquess to provide a roar for one of their singles. As well as their stomping rock hits, they found success with power ballads like Love Is All Around, which was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. A cover version by Wet Wet Wet spent 15 weeks at number one in the UK in 1994.
The group, which included (left-right) Peter Staples, Reg Presley, Ronnie Bond and Chris Britton, also went down in rock legend for The Troggs Tapes, an expletive-riddled recording of the group engaged in a blazing row in the studio that was said to have been an inspiration for Spinal Tap.
The hit singles dried up as the 1960s drew to a close, although they kept going as a live band and with occasional record releases. In 1992, for their comeback album Athens Andover, they were backed by members of REM, who hail from Athens, Georgia.
Reg Presley said he earned so much from the Wet Wet Wet hit that he did not have to work again. He put some of the royalties into his fascination with crop circles, UFOs and other mysteries of the universe. He often appeared as a speaker at conferences on such subjects and in 2004 published a book titled Wild Things They Don't Tell Us. In January 2012, he revealed that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.