Last updated: March 2013
The Troggs ocarina solo on "Wild Thing"
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 happened. 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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