Former The Troggs singer Reg Presley has passed away due to complications from lung cancer and a series of strokes. He was 71.
Influencing popular musical figures such as Iggy Pop and Bob Dylan, journalist Lester Bangs called the Troggs “the godfathers of punk” and compared Presley to French novelist and critic Marcel Proust.
In a statement by his daughter:
“He passed away peacefully at home and myself, my brother and our mother were with him. We’re absolutely heartbroken.”
Born Reginald Maurice Ball on June 12, 1941 in Andover, Hampshire, England, he got his stage name from New Music Express writer and publicist Keith Altham. He worked as a bricklayer until the Troggs’ 1966 hit single “Wild Thing” (originally written by Chip Taylor) entered the UK Charts.
Other songs he sang on with the Troggs include “With A Girl Like You,” “Anyway That You Want Me” (also written by Taylor), “Give It To Me”, and “Love Is All Around”.
He made a name for himself as an amateur alien researcher who specialized in crop circles and signs of extraterrestrial life on Planet Earth. He wrote a book called Wild Things They Don’t Tell Us in 2002.
Presley was hospitalized in January of 2012 in Winchester, Hampshire in England after suspecting to have had a stroke. He also suffered from pneumonia and fluid around his heart. He had a prior stroke a year before as well.
His wife said he originally began feeling ill during a performance in Germany on December 3, 2011 and then his illness worsened. A month later he announced he was diagnosed with lung cancer and placed on chemotherapy. Then he announced his retirement from the music industry.