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."

Contributor

Roxanne Escobales

The GuardianTramp

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