Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Shaggs

Times of crisis can also be times of great innovation. Yesterday the bumbling Commissioner of the Met, Tim Goodwin, appealed to parents to help control the riots by keeping their children off the streets, no doubt with cuts to the prisons budget in mind. Meanwhile Conservative MP Jane Ellison went one better, encouraging parents to ask "tough questions about new trainers", and if necessary  'march their children to the police station'

So in addition to fucking you up, your mum and dad are now expected to interrogate and incarcerate you. Back in 1968 (a vintage year for riots) Austin Wiggins decided to keep his daughters off the streets by forcing them to form a band, which he named The Shaggs

He was  convinced by a palmreader's prediction that they were destined for super-stardom. The girls were reluctant but as Dot recalls "he was something of a disciplinarian. He was stubborn and he could be temperamental. He directed. We obeyed. Or did our best." The resulting record, which came out in 1969, has been variously described as an idiosyncratic masterpiece and the worst album ever made. 

In 1975 as they were about to record their second album Austin suffered a massive heart attack and died. The group promptly disbanded.

The Shaggs - Who Are Parents?
The Shaggs - Philosophy of the World

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