The Shaggs

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The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:19 am


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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:00 pm

pinhedz
Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:23 pm

I posted this on the expectingrain forum, but I think it might be more appropriate (linguistically, if not thematically) here.

In searching for articles about the Shaggs, I found that some of their work (actually, the work of Dorothy Wiggin) has been translated into Portugese. Here's the fragment:

"It doesn't matter what you do
It doesn't matter what you say
There will always be one
who wants things the opposite way
We do our best, we try to please
But we're like the rest we're never at ease
You can never please
Anybody
In this world"

tradução:

"Não importa o que você faça
Não importa o que você diga
Haverá sempre alguém que deseja o contrário
Mas fizemos nosso melhor, tentamos agradar
Mas somos como todo mundo, e nunca é fácil
Você nunca vai agradar
Ninguém
Nesse mundo"

For those who aren't familiar with The Shaggs, there is a nice description here: http://www.guilhermebarros.com.br/artigos.html

Even though I'm not fluent in Portugese, I can see it's a better description than most that I've found in English.

Frances Jones

i never heard the shaggs but seems really interesting , and i must say that i will try to find some music of them to listen
thanks for the information , and the arcticle in portuguese was very helpful

pinhedz

I think you can listen to samples on Amazon, you'll probably find it very unusual.

Many people--including Shaggs fans--say they are terrible (the fans say "they're terrible--that's why I like them ) People say they didn't know what they were doing. In fact, their songs are carefully worked out, but too difficult for them to play well (I'm sure Brazilians would find their guitar playing inept).

There's a very interesting jazz band that plays their songs. Here they are on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMfWhCZGsII

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbjQtYQXbuw

Stan54
Uranus Member
pinhedz wrote: I think you can listen to samples on Amazon, you'll probably find it very unusual.

Many people--including Shaggs fans--say they are terrible (the fans say "they're terrible--that's why I like them ) People say they didn't know what they were doing. In fact, their songs are carefully worked out, but too difficult for them to play well (I'm sure Brazilians would find their guitar playing inept).

There's a very interesting jazz band that plays their songs. Here they are on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMfWhCZGsII

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbjQtYQXbuw
I like The Shaggs. I once got into a bidding war over an original copy of the LP that I lost and then, to my horro, discoveredf that I'd been bidding on a copy of the OTHER Shaggs LP "Wink" by the SOuth Bend IN 60s prep-rock band!

The Shaggs LP is reviewed at a web site called "Acid Archives" by two collectors i know, the first from TX the second from OH. I like the reviews:

Magically incompetent teen sister garage band who play and sing like ten year olds. Unreal plodding drums, out of tune guitars, and amazing off-key vocals. Jawdropper slice of life lyrics loaded with girl diary philosophies, Foot Foots, and parents who are always there. They were coerced into recording this by their father and their discomfort is clearly evident. This record is known to end parties in record time. The second LP "The Shaggs' Own Thing" (Rounder 3056, 1990s) is more monstrosities from the vault. Promo copies of "Philosophy" include an 8x10 photo, 2 wallet photos, and a business card. [RM]
~~~
This is one of the most misunderstood albums of all time. It's one of the very, very few "real people" albums that appeals to people who don't appreciate those records in a condescending, or amused, way. Musicians tend to like it, which is also unusual for a record of this type. What makes these three sisters different from every other "inept" band is that they redfine the meaning of that word. This is not just another album by people who just learned to play their instruments last week. It's more like they taught themselves to play without having any instruction, and without having any knowledge of music theory. Once they figured out a way to play, which is unlike any "accepted" method, they worked on it and perfected it. Evidence of this is that a number of bands who wanted to cover Shaggs songs couldn't figure out how to play them. From the sounds of it, they even made up their own way of tuning the guitars, and rather than playing chords, they played patterns that follow along with the vocals. It's unique and impossible to duplicate. It also is one of the greatest ever expressions of pure love of music, and the joy and warmth of this album is irresistible. [AM]

I wonder if you're familiar with the Peter Grudzien LP from NY from 1974 "The Unicorn" or the LP by Charlie Tweddle "Fantastic Greatest Hits"? Both sort of come from planets in the same system.

Stellar
Admin
Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:04 pm

The lyric is so nice Thanks for the info. New bands are always welcome to my acknowledgment!


Last edited by pinhedz on Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:39 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Shaggs

Post  sil on Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:16 am

This is the first time I listen to The Shaggs



First thought: they sound really bad
2nd: But there's something I like about it
After several listenings: the more I listen to it the more I like it, there's something sad and beautiful in it (I've only perceived it as sad in this last listen)

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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:23 am

They grow on you (on some of us anyway).

And the philosophy is certainly not at all cheerful.

This used to be my tag line:

Mas fizemos nosso melhor, tentamos agradar
Mas somos como todo mundo, e nunca é fácil

We do our best, we try to please,
But we're like the rest, we're never at ease.

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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:37 am

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Stan--of your 2 Shaggs reviews, this one rings true for me:
Stan54 wrote: This is not just another album by people who just learned to play their instruments last week. It's more like they taught themselves to play without having any instruction, and without having any knowledge of music theory. Once they figured out a way to play, which is unlike any "accepted" method, they worked on it and perfected it. Evidence of this is that a number of bands who wanted to cover Shaggs songs couldn't figure out how to play them.
But what makes it so strange is knowing that they had guitar lessons and listened to lots of pop music on the radio. Almost anyone that does that slides into the same patterns as all other garage bands, as simple as counting 1-2-3-4 and then you counting 1-2-3-4 again. How was she able to avoid that? Was it a learning disability, or did she just decide she'd darn well make a line 4 1/2 instead of 4 because that's how many syllables she had in the line of her lyric?

And that guitar tuning--I think it really is standard, but they forgot that when you tune your guitar you have to make it match your sister's. It's incomprehensible that the engineer didn't stop them after 2 notes and say: "What a minute, girls! You'd better get in tune if we're going to record!" About half the songs were recorded with the two guitars egregiously misstuned, but the others aren't so bad. They must have taken a break during the session and tuned before they started up again.

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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:05 pm


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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Mon May 30, 2011 12:05 pm

Here's a rarity--a recent interview with the girls themselves:


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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Mon May 30, 2011 1:04 pm

This is probably the best Shaggs cover band:


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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:25 pm

There's a rumor that the Fanning sisters are going to star in a movie about the Shaggs. Of course, it might not be true.


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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:26 pm

I don't know what this is about, but I want to hear it:


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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:28 am

Here's one of the best Shaggs cover--taking it back to the time of the ancient Druids:


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Re: The Shaggs

Post  sil on Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:25 pm

^^ me likes it

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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:58 am

New picture of the Shaggs I love you I love you I love you I love you


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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:17 pm


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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:05 am

doctorfuse0072 years ago
Something is fishy here. I count the first ten measures as 11/8, 3/8, 5/16, 2/4, 3/4, 11/8, 7/8, 7/8, 2/4, 5/8 - BUT MITSUKO IS CONDUCTING THEM ALL IN 4/4!!! This is not a real performance!


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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Fri May 02, 2014 1:45 am

The very latest thing is the "Dot Wiggin Trio," which is a girl band.

The Shaggs are officially back, or at least semi-officially.  


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Re: The Shaggs

Post  Yakima Canutt on Mon May 05, 2014 4:25 pm

Dot, what a lady fraudster, as if anyone with gumption could care whether or not "Foot-Foot" likes to "roam" ... hehg, PT Barnrum's got nothing on these coy racketettes

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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Mon May 12, 2014 10:56 pm

Even if you have to sell out to cash in, there comes a time in one's life when the temptation becomes too great.


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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:56 am

Because of the Shaggs' international fame and popularity, there is now an interest in the brand of guitar they played (which never caught on, so it would be forgotten without the Shaggs).

An unidentified guitar geek the the web expounds as follows:

"At first glance, it’s a cheapie, made-in-Japan, ’60’s solidbody, probably produced by Kawai, Teisco, or maybe Tele-Star. It has two single-coil pickups, a 3-way selector switch (conveniently located in the strum path on the pickguard), two volume and two tone knobs, and a surfacemount whammy. Even though it didn’t catch on—which is probably why there is so little information available about this guitar company— this model was built to be more than an entrylevel student guitar. The headstock has a beautiful mother of pearl inlay logo. The pickguard and back plate are made from high-gloss chrome plated steel, as are the pickup rings, bridge plate, tuners, Strat-style output jack, and the ingenious towel-rack string guide on the headstock. The AV-T2 is finished in a righteous tobaccoburst on a figured flame maple top. The bridge sports six individual rollers and the neck plate has five set screws. Not exactly a kid’s guitar!"

"Here’s what you don’t see at first glance: This guitar actually plays quite nicely. It has a skinny, multi-laminated “propellerwood” neck with jumbo frets, super-low action, and a tremolo that’s very user-friendly and smooth. Plugged into the clean channel of my old Boogie, the Avalon gives good surf, partly due to the smoothness of the trem system, but also thanks to the tone of the single-coils, which— although not particularly unique—are quite musical, falling somewhere between a Tele and a Jaguar. With distortion, you can get a tone reminiscent of Jimmy Page’s Silvertone work with Led Zeppelin."

"With all of the lore surrounding the Shaggs on the 40th anniversary of the release of their first album, this weird guitar isn’t easy to find—and isn’t cheap—but well worth the hunt, although any of us would be hardpressed to duplicate the magic of the legendary Dot Wiggins."

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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:56 am

They look like this:


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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:58 am

Pickers can do this with them:




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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:50 am

Some people doubt that Frank Zappa was a fan--but here's proof. bounce 

Guest DJ: Frank Zappa (live on KMET) - December 24, 1973 (9p-11p)

Bang Bang Lulu - Alex Tyrell
Earth To Buffalo (excerpt) - Ruben & The Jets
Joe The Grinder - The Hawks
Earth To Buffalo (continued) - Ruben & The Jets
I Wanna Know - Ruben & The Jets

Well! - The Olympics
Low Ridin' Cruiser - Ruben & The Jets
Going Down To Tijuana - Andre Williams
Tell Me Darling - The Gaylarks
Lou Ann - Little Sunny Day & The Clouds

Your Cash Ain't Nothing But Trash - The Clovers
Life Is But A Dream - The Harptones
How's Your Bird? - Baby Ray & The Ferns
Louisiana Blues - Muddy Waters

My Pal Foot Foot - The Shaggs

It's Halloween - The Shaggs


Next Time - Richard Berry
When We Get Married - The Dreamlovers
The Big Break - Richard Berry
Smokey Joe's Cafe - The Robins

Cherokee Dance - Bob "Froggy" Landers w/ Willie Joe & His Unitar
Nite Owl - Tony Allen
Anymore - Johnny Ace
I Got Loaded - Peppermint Harris
I'll Be Forever Loving You - The El Dorados

Twilight - The Paragons
Morrine - The Five Campbells
It Hurts Me Too - Elmore James & The Broom Dusters
Shoo Doo-Be Doo (My Loving Baby) - Bobby Lester & The Moonlighters

Those Lonely, Lonely Nights - Johnny "Guitar" Watson & His Orchestra
The Jerk - The Larks w/ Don Julian
World's Greatest Sinner - Baby Ray & The Ferns

Memories Of El Monte - The Penguins
Nona - The Feathers
So Long - Lloyd Price
The Wedding - The Solitaires
I Can't Be Satisfied - Muddy Waters

Hot And Nasty - Black Oak Arkansas
I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man - Muddy Waters
Rock It, Davy, Rock It - The Jaguars
Let's Start All Over Again - The Paragons
Still Love You So - Johnny Ace

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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:31 am

New pictures of the Shaggs, unearthed by the Russian secret service organs.

These pics are only available on Russian-language sites. Shocked 

Note that they are not playing their Japanese Avalon "Shaggs" model guitars--they have upgraded. Smile 









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Re: The Shaggs

Post  Yakima Canutt on Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:22 pm

pinhedz wrote:and here's proof that Heaven is for real


while you may have unearthed data of Black Oak Arkansas distribution models, sleuthing for the cold truth of The Unitar & Friends is a different can of mule. Brock Dierdre Houndstooth remembers:

He only made one and a half singles, but there are some people out there, me for instance, that have spent an inordinate amount of their life wondering, just who the grint was Willie Joe Duncan? It wasn't hard to figure out what a Unitar is. A Unitar is a home made one string electric guitar. Willie Joe Duncan was remembered by many folks in Chicago who saw him in the early 50's playing on Maxwell Street with Jimmy Reed. Jimmy Reed, who called Willie Joe by the nickname Jody, reminisced about Duncan in his final interview (Living Blues #1, June 1975):

   "...he was doin this old crazy thing, with this one strand of wire, he wasn't lettin' me lose him nowhere; now, how he was catchin' me on that one strand of broom wire I don't know! But he was doing it all right. He could play that string of wire with a bottle, if he didn't do it with his finger he'd do it with a little old piece of leather on his finger or something he'd pick it with. But on that one strand of wire on that board he could find whatever I was playin' on that guitar. Now that was somethin' I sure hated to lose. Yeah, I hated to lose Jody because it just was a crazy old thing."

The last thing Jimmy Reed heard about his old busking partner "Jody" was that Duncan had taken up preaching in California. He hadn't seen Willie Joe since 1955 when Duncan left Chicago for the coast, taking his crazy, one stringed instrument with him. Having settled somewhere in the greater L.A. area, in 1956, Duncan recorded with the mysterious Bob "Froggy" Landers, appearing on Landers' classic-- Cherokee Dance (Specialty), his rockin', distorted, Unitar was the most predominate instrument on the record. On the b-side was Unitar Rock which was credited only to Willie Joe & his Unitar. It's a classic of instrumental rock'n'roll, proving, less is more...but we already knew that. Bob "Froggy" Landers would go on to make one more record-- River Rock parts 1 and 2 for Ensign on which he is backed by a band called the Cough Drops, but Willie Joe was nowhere to be heard.

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Re: The Shaggs

Post  pinhedz on Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:56 am

I think John Fahey might have been the first to record and release a unitar album:


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Re: The Shaggs

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