As a kid, I always wanted a pet tiger, to go along with all of our barn cats and animals . . . My mother was quick to point out that there is a place in the world for wild things, which is not a house, barn, or cage, which led me to love the song, Wild Thing . . . I still listen to that song and think of tigers and Sendak. Funny how that works.
I read an interview with songwriter Chip Taylor (Jon Voight's brother, actually) recently about the creation of Wild Thing, which apparently was, a sort of out-of-the-blue experience for him. He and his music publisher knew immediately that they had something very special, but hard to define, on their hands. Personally, I think the Troggs nailed it, but Jimi Hendrix's version (and, of course, "Senator Bobby's" novelty take on the song) are pretty special, though. My favorite version, though, was a live performance by a group of children (full band line up of electric guitars, bass and drums) playing at someone's picnic years ago. I once read an interview with John Kaye, the Steppenwolf singer, where he was asked about the enduring popularity of Born To Be Wild. He replied, correctly I think, that everyone thinks they were born to be wild. Similarly, I think Wild Thing just connects with something so elemental, and the riff, pauses, starts, stops and words, really ring true. Curtis