Reg Presley of The Troggs dies aged 71
- 5 February 2013
- From the section Entertainment & Arts
Reg Presley, singer with 1960s British rock band The Troggs, has died aged 71.
The frontman died at his home in Hampshire surrounded by his family, his daughter Karen said.
The Troggs had a number of hit songs, including Wild Thing and Love Is All Around, which was covered in the 90s with huge success by Wet Wet Wet.
Presley had announced his retirement from music a year ago after being taken ill during a concert in Germany and being diagnosed with lung cancer.
Music publicist Keith Altham said on Facebook his "dear old pal" had died after "a succession of recent strokes and a losing battle with cancer".
BBC 6 Music presenter Marc Riley paid tribute to the "great character" of Presley.
"He was so engaging and, at the same time, having been so influential, he was so humble and so likeable," he said.
In January 2012, in a letter to fans posted on his band's website, Presley said: "As you all know I was taken ill whilst doing a gig in Germany in December. During my stay in hospital tests showed that in fact I have lung cancer.
"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."
Presley was born in Andover, Hampshire, and founded The Troggs in the early 1960s.
The band's other hits included With A Girl Like You and I Can't Control Myself.
The 1967 hit Love Is All Around became a hit song again 27 years later when a cover version by Scottish band Wet Wet Wet remained at number one in the UK for 15 weeks.
The success of the Wet Wet Wet single, which featured on the soundtrack of the hit film Four Weddings and a Funeral, allowed Presley to pursue his interest in crop circles and UFOs.
The singer published a book, Wild Things They Don't Tell Us, about the paranormal in 2002.
Alan Clayson, who wrote biography The Troggs: Rock's Wild Things told the BBC Presley was a "local hero", describing him as a "world expert on crop circles" with an "intelligence within".
"I must admit since I knew him I became a great deal less cynical about that," said Clayson.
"Reading his book, it's got an intellectual depth of a University professor rather than a former brick-layer from Andover."
Your memories of Reg Presley
Reg was our next door neighbour in the early 80s when we lived in Andover. I was only a young kid at the time but I remember him vividly as a larger than life character. When we moved, he built the extension to our house. He was a skilled builder. I also saw him and the Troggs play live at an open air gig in Andover. Rest in peace Reg, you made a positive difference to so many people's lives. Matt Spires, Bristol
I met Reg many times when we were both signed to the same record company during the 70s and later during the "Oldie" revival in Germany during the 90s. He was a funny fellow and always had a joke ready. He made us laugh a lot - not a bad thing to be remembered for. John Kincade, Alingsås, Sweden
I first met Reg 40 years ago when I was a singer in a band and we were the support act whilst we all performed at an army base in the UK. Then many years later I too was obsessed with UFOS and crop circles and asked Reg if he would give a talk at one of our conferences held on the subjects of mysteries of the world. He was a great man very funny and likable. He will be missed by many. Kerry McKenna, Wiltshire
Reg Presley had a unique voice and in the sixties where a lot of bands were trying to make it in the charts the Troggs produced a sound that were all their own. Wild Thing started with a guitar riff that once you heard it was instantly recognisable. RIP Ron Smith, Basingstoke, Hampshire
I was in a band called The Victims during the mid-70s in New York and opened a couple of shows for the Troggs. Reg gave me a copy of Love Is All Around. What a gentleman. Barry Ryan, New Jersey, USA
As the bass player with 70s band Christie, I worked with Reg many times in the 90s in live concerts and TV shows, mainly in Germany. He was a mild-mannered, engaging character. Once, we were about to go on stage at an outdoor festival and the heavens opened. "That's not good Reg", I said, and he replied in that lovely West Country accent, somewhat enigmatically: "Oi loik the rain!" He'll be missed. RIP Reg. Kev Moore, Turre, Spain
He was my heartthrob all through my teens never mind the Beatles and that!! They were my band - I remember getting the LP for Christmas in the 60s and the front cover was them sitting in a big Rolls Royce with their infamous white suits on!! But had to wait till the 80s to see them live may you R.I.P. Reg you made a young girl very happy in her teens xxxxxx Sandy, Newcastle upon Tyne