Sunday, 3 August 2008

The Shaggs

I'm surprising myself by wanting to write about pop music again on what is supposed to be a site about my compositional work, but The Shaggs, a truly bizarre and unique band, are having a curious, inescapable, effect on my writing that has left me needing to say more about them.

Regularly called - quite wrongly in my view - the worst band of all time, what is most often talked about is their strange and sad story, centered around a small town in rural New Hampshire, and culminating in their only album, 'The Philosophy of the World'. This was retroactively discovered by, amongst others, Frank Zappa, who compared them with Ornette Colman and included it in his 5 greatest records of the century. More about their lives and history can be found in this lovely article by Susan Orlean: Meet The Shaggs .

I'm a bit more interested in talking about the music itself, however. To that end, here is perhaps my favorite song of theirs, "I'm so happy when you are near":

Carry on reading...

1 comment:

ddick10634 said...

It's Darlene in Tampa. I just happened to check your website tonight, and got "The Shaggs" entry. I got completely immersed in your stimulating note on their music, and read their story -- yes, a sad life. Their music is in a category that reminds me of folk art. Thanks for introducing it to me. Enjoyed having lunch your mother, ET AL in July.