Troggs singer Reg Presley dies

The frontman best known for his swaggering vocals on hit single Wild Thing died aged 71 at his home in Hampshire

Reg Presley, the lead singer of the 1960s rock band The Troggs, has died at the age of 71. Presley died at his home in Andover, Hampshire from cancer.

In December, the singer best known for the hit single Wild Thing, was diagnosed with lung cancer after becoming ill during a tour in Germany. He is also reported to have had a series of strokes in the year leading up to the diagnosis. On 24 January Presley wrote to fans on the band's website: "I am receiving chemotherapy treatment and at the moment not feeling too bad. However I've had to call time on The Troggs and retire. 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. Lots of Love."

Born Reginald Maurice Ball, Presley's swaggering vocals characterised a band that was credited with influencing generations of punk and garage musicians, including the likes of Iggy Pop and The Ramones. Jimi Hendrix famously covered the song Wild Thing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, when he spontaneously burned his guitar before smashing it on the stage.

The Troggs had a string of other hits, such as Love is All Around, I Can't Control Myself and With a Girl Like You, which reached number one in the UK.

Presley's talents didn't end with rock 'n' roll. The band's website says that he enjoyed an acting career between music gigs: "He has sparred with Mohammed Ali, secured a cameo role in a Bob Dylan film and appeared in an episode of a Ruth Rendell's 'Inspector Wexford' TV series. He has also participated in two editions of channel 4's quiz The Music Game.

Tributes have begun pouring in via the internet. Music publicist and journalist Keith Altham wrote on Facebook: "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."

On Twitter, music producer Andrew Loog Oldham who used to manage the Rolling Stones, tweeted: "R.I.P. reg presley of the troggs. a long time served in the rock trenches. always innovative."


Roxanne Escobales

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
The Troggs' Reg Presley diagnosed with lung cancer
Singer announces retirement and thanks fans for their 'love, loyalty and support over the years'

Sean Michaels

27, Jan, 2012 @1:59 PM

Article image
Reg Presley and the Troggs: the best songs in clips

Know the Hendrix take on Wild Thing, or Wet Wet Wet's Love Is All Around, but not the Troggs' versions? Watch, listen and learn

Guardian music

05, Feb, 2013 @11:31 AM

Article image
Reg Presley obituary
Lead singer with the Troggs, best known for their hits Wild Thing and Love Is All Around

Dave Laing

05, Feb, 2013 @4:18 PM

Article image
Letters: Love is all around for Reg Presley
Letters: Wet Wet Wet were lucky not because we had a giant hit, or because Richard Curtis asked us to be a part of Four Weddings, but because we were part of Reg's music

06, Feb, 2013 @9:00 PM

Article image
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
Presley was rushed to hospital on Thursday night after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest

Sian Cain

13, Jan, 2023 @6:34 AM

Article image
Millie Small, My Boy Lollipop singer, dies aged 73
Jamaican singer had global hit in 1964 before largely disappearing from public life in the 1970s

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

06, May, 2020 @10:46 AM

Article image
Dame Vera Lynn, singer and 'forces' sweetheart', dies aged 103
Much-loved entertainer, whose voice brought Britain together during the second world war, has died

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

18, Jun, 2020 @10:45 AM

Article image
Terry Hall: lead singer of the Specials dies aged 63
Having survived a tough childhood in Coventry, Hall became one of pop’s defining voices at the turn of the 80s, chronicling British decline and disfranchised youth with the 2 Tone band

Laura Snapes

19, Dec, 2022 @10:41 PM

Article image
Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of the Cranberries, dies aged 46
Death of Irish singer, whose band sold more than 40m records, is being treated as ‘unexplained’

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

15, Jan, 2018 @10:17 PM

Article image
Levi’s launderette model and singer Nick Kamen dies aged 59
Kamen, who appeared in seminal 1985 Levi’s 501 ad, died on Tuesday after a long illness, it is understood

Alexandra Topping and agencies

05, May, 2021 @3:07 PM