The "Wild Thing" Ocarina Solo

Jack Campin

version 1

Last updated: March 2013


The Troggs ocarina solo on "Wild Thing"

was played by Colin Frechter. This is what he said about the recording session (I can't recall where I got this).
From: Paul McGee Date: Monday, July 05, 2010 7:33 AM
Subject: The Ocarina

My name is Paul McGee. I first heard "Wild Thing" when I was about
15 back in the 80's. I've always loved the song- especially its
sound: the crunch and jangle of the guitar, the bop and thud of the
drums, Reg's voice, and, of course, the "recorder" solo. I always
suspected it wasn't a really a recorder. Recently, I learned that
you used an ocarina. I've been wondering what type of ocarina, what
was it made of, does the solo start on G5 or G4? I, myself, am a
musician and so the curious qualities of "Wild Thing" are obvious
to me. What I mean by curious is: the guitar is maybe 25 cents
sharp, the drums sound somewhat like boxes, and the "recorder"
that doesn't sound like a recorder. These things, to some measure,
are what make it such a captivating song (with a seriously hip
ocarina solo). I hope you don't mind my questions. I would be so
pleased to hear from you. Truly, Paul McGee, USA

Reply from Colin Frechter

Hi Dave, Your 'enquirer' must have sharper ears than me! The
ocarina was wood, bought from Scarth's Tottenham Court Road,
45 mins before the session started. Pitch in C concert. We
didn't have G4 or G5 in those days (pre computers) but I
suspect G4. The start note was G natural, a blue note as
Wild Thing is in A major (G#'s in key signature) unless he
means the 1st bent note. As far as I remember and can hear
the guitar is relatively in tune (for rock'n'roll) 25 cents
is a LONG way out of tune.

Kind Regards Colin

Date: 09 Jul 2010 20.40
Hello Dave, About the rhythm guitar being twenty fives cents
sharp- it seems I was wrong about that! I had been playing
along to a cassette tape and found it to be about that much #.
I've since acquired a digitized version of "Wild Thing" (and
I'm awaiting a vinyl copy of "From Nowhere") and found the
rhythm guitar to be in tune - in as much as a guitar might be.
I still have a question: what kind of ocarina was used? There
are 12 hole, 10 hole, 9, 8, 6 and 4 hole ocarinas...
I appreciate Colin's humor and the little piece of the song's
story he gave me. Thanks.

Kind Regards, Paul McGee, USA

Reply from Colin Frechter

It was an 18 hole, par 72, Links ocarina. Actually I don't
remember as It was bought 45 mins. before the session started.
I had one (1) go at the solo (LP would have been thrilled to
replace it with a guitar solo if I had messed it up - BUT
I DIDN'T) and I never saw the ocarina again!
Reg did phone me at 2.30 on a Sunday morning from Perth
(Scotland) to tell me that the ocarina had got smashed when
fans stormed the stage. They had a gig in Glasgow on the
Sunday evening and 'could I get him another one'. I reminded
him it was a Sunday, he was in Scotland and I was in London.
I suggested he learned to 'whistle'. I don't know what
My expertise about ocarinas extends to about 48 1/2 mins.
But from 'Blood, Sweat & Tears' I know that there are Alto,
Tenor and Bass as well as soprano ocarinas (like recorders).
Any more info and I will be sending an invoice!

Regards , Colin

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